While I’m all in favor of competition, I would like it to be fair.
I think it’s fair when retailers all have the same terms and conditions with a vendor. I think it’s fair when vendors don’t try to go around me to get to my customers which I have worked hard to have a relationship with. I think it’s fair when vendors don’t establish a web site with prices for the consumer lower than their suggested retail price they want me to sell at.
I think it’s fair when vendors don’t offer consumers free shipping on their web sites, when I had to pay shipping to get the item in my store and would have to pay shipping again to send the product to a customer. I think it’s fair when vendors include all of us on the store location sites, not just some of us. I think it’s fair when vendors give me an incentive, such as free product, when they want me to have their fixtures. I think it’s fair when vendors don’t place their products in every store on the street.
I don’t think it’s fair when vendors give customers incentives to buy direct from them at terms I can’t match. I don’t think it’s fair when vendors treat some retailers better than others because someone is someone’s friend. I don’t think it’s fair when competitors tell customers your products are inferior so they won’t buy from you, even though it’s not true. I don’t think it’s fair that competitors spread rumors that you are going out of business, even when you’re not. I don’t think it’s fair when you have a business relationship with someone, like for example a landlord, excepting them to have a vested interest in your success and to not be a competitor, and then they turn around and unfairly compete with you.
Competition when it’s fair benefits everyone. When it’s unfair, it only benefits the party that doesn’t play fair. It tends to drive some competitors out of business, giving the competitors that remain an unfair advantage, which they will likely use, and not to the benefit of customers, but only themselves.