Let’s discuss another pet peeve of mine. If you follow this blog you’ll know I have a few. In fact, if my pet peeves were actual pets, I’d need to open a zoo. Nevertheless, I was in the market for a new appliance and I resented the salesperson trying harder to sell me the extended warranty than he did to sell me the damned appliance. Now, if you’re in the extended warranty bidness, let me just say…”Shut Up.” You have no defense. And don’t try and mask it by calling it a service contract or maintenance agreement. If it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck, well…it’s a duck. You’re essentially telling me that your product was poorly designed or made from inferior materials and will not make it to its intended life span without coming apart like a five dollar suit. You just failed my “peace of mind” test. Not as bad as the astronaut flying through space at 17,000 MPH in a glorified washing machine put together with parts all made by the lowest bidder but still not the most comforting thought. Here’s my concept: tell me the price and how long it’s going to last. If it doesn’t…fix it. If it does you have a customer for life. And while extended warranties used to be just on big ticket items like homes, autos, yachts…you know, things we buy every day; recently the PT Barnums of marketing have begun employing some sort of trickle-down theory and extended warranties are now prevalent on cheaper items like laptops, TVs, sewing machines and Mr. Coffee’s. At this rate it won’t be long before you have the warranty option the next time you buy a comb. Though I try and remain calm through this transition, I can guarantee that if I go to the store to buy a spatula and see a sign that says, “Extended Warranty Available” I’m going to flip more than a burger. If I can guarantee that, why can’t you guarantee your product? I go to a restaurant and expect to pay extra for dessert but if I buy your product I don’t expect to pay extra for your incompetence. I already pay taxes and get a higher level of incompetence than I like. Embarrassingly, I just realized I’ve come to expect more from manufacturers than I do my government but that’s a topic for another day. So you may notice I’m not a fan of extended warranties but I do have the following caveat. As far as I’m concerned the only worthy extended warranty is long-term health insurance because I’m coming apart like a three dollar watch.
It’s not really that different in business. As a distributor, you want to give your client value for their promotional product spend and IMC supplies quality product with quality decoration. We have pens with lifetime warranties and we offer laser engraving that will be there long after you lose that keychain. And we have random samples of almost every product we carry so you can be see the quality and the logo area. Look at any of our 2,300 products from our IMC Collections or retail brands like Visconti, Cerruti 1881 and Umbra. We have choices in most promotional product categories and we will do all we can to make you and your client a lasting relationship. So whatever your cause, event, launch or celebration, IMC has ideas and advice that will promote and support your client’s event. With five IMC collections and twenty-eight retail brands, we have unique and quality products for all occasions and events, so you can always find something that fulfills your client’s needs. And we’re always happy to offer ideas and provide case histories. What do you think? Let us know with a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter. IMC wants to hear an extended story from you.