This is annoying. If I hadn’t mentioned it before I run All Things Mac, a Macintosh consulting company based in Kansas City. Though my membership in a consulting organization, I can sell Apple products.
In regards to the continuing discussions of Apple, the Apple Store, and their resellers, one of the things that many people may not be aware of is that beyond the Apple Store, Apple also has Corporate Account Reps. Our company, a small pre-press and art production facility works with one such rep. This rep is able to get us prices usually 10-15% lower than the Apple Store on most goods, sometimes even lower depending on quantity and current rep incentives. Since establishing our corporate account, we’ve not purchased any Apple branded product from anyone other than our Corporate Account Rep.
In addition to the lower prices, my rep has also gotten me direct access to Apple engineers when larger problems come up; bypassing Apple’s own AppleCare support. The engineers have proven to be much more knowledgeable than regular support staff, too.
We’ve worked with two other resellers in the past, but none could even come close to Apple’s pricing nor provide the “free” engineering level support, so they’ve since lost that part of our business.
Now, sales is not a major part of my business, it’s just nice to ba able to sell what I help my clients with, so I try not to take this stuff personally, but Apple relied heavily on Authorized Resellers for years, maybe too heavily, but this is not the way to go about changing. There are problems with a lot of resellers, but there are a lot of good ones too.