Buying Through a Reseller? What You Need to Know About Registered Deals

By Rich Staas

Director of Client Services, NPI

May 29, 2015

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Buying IT through a reseller has its advantages – and it also has its pitfalls, one of which is the registered deal. Here’s how it works…

Many IT manufacturers, whether hardware or software, only sell through channel partners. When that occurs, the first reseller contacted by a customer will register the deal with the manufacturer. At that point, they will be the only channel partner to receive special discounting. That’s all well and good, unless the customer is inviting other resellers to the table.

These days most organizations require three bids for every purchase, unless IT/procurement has successfully provided sole source (which can be pretty hard to do). When the first reseller invited to the table registers the deal with the manufacturer, the customer inadvertently creates a “sole sourcing” situation. It’s difficult for any other reseller to match the first reseller’s pricing, and establish fair pricing targets and a truly effective buying event.

There are a few measures that can be taken to ensure a competitive bid between resellers. If you are unhappy with the reseller that registers the deal, you may request to have the deal unregistered in order for another reseller to get the best pricing. However, bear in mind that the manufacturer will NOT make that process easy. Manufacturers that only sell through the channel will do everything they can to protect their relationship with their partner and will discourage your request or ask you to wait for 90 days until the registration expires before selecting another reseller. If you want the vendor to unregister your purchase within the 90 days, you will need to build a strong business case by citing specific business reasons, such as lack of responsiveness or performance, or other reasons that affect your ability to work with that reseller.

The moral of the story is this – When purchasing solutions through a reseller, be very selective on the reseller you discuss the opportunity with first. Be aware that they may immediately register the deal in order to lock in the best pricing and lock out any competition.