There’s something I don’t understand about the sale of software. Why do companies have resellers? Why do they want you to buy through their resellers?

It’s usually the case with expensive software aimed at businesses. Like 3D Studio Max, Photoshop, Unity3D or XProtect.

Why would we want to buy it via a reseller? Why would we go to their website to buy the software – then decide that we want to buy it through another company who is probably going to charge us more for the same thing?

Is it some out-dated thing that hasn’t properly died yet but will quite soon?

10 thoughts on “Resellers

  1. Could be related to brick-and-mortar practices, where you rarely sell your product directly but sell it to a store to distribute and resell it to customers. Reselling online would be a natural extension for them.

    Though none of the companies on the Unity site jump out as brick-and-mortar businesses. Still it could be somehow related to that practice (old habits die hard?).

  2. I don’t know about software, but the US car industry has to have dealers by law. It varies by state, but a manufacturer can’t not have a dealer, there are some cases where the car company is newer than the law like Tesla which runs it’s own dealerships with much lower overhead.

    I wonder if a reseller is kind of to deal with support unless there is a major issue, kind of like the main company not wanting to deal with itself on the end consumer end.

  3. I believe it has something to do with name recognition. For example, although Bioshock Infinite is something I want to purchase, I already know Walmart, Amazon, etc. have it. Same if I wanted to purchase Garry’s Mod – I wouldn’t send you an email asking to buy a copy, I’d more likely go look for it in Steam, since I know they’re likely to have stock, I’ve given them my credit card info before, etc. etc.

    Think it might be more to do with name recognition & the false sense of already established security than anything else. But even Steam makes Indie games easy to find, and easy to help be available for purchase, so I wouldn’t say this screws the little guys either.

  4. Usually they attach a service, like customer support, or combine it with other products. “Buy Windows and get Photoshop free”.

    It’s also about just getting the product everywhere. Valve still sells their games through other retailers. It’s mutually beneficial.

  5. As mentioned above it’s normally to do with services. Also it also means the developer can get on with coding and allow their resellers to do marketing and getting messages about the product out there. The reseller generally gets a discount on the software which grows larger with volume. Microsoft have been doing this for years (this is changing a little at the moment). The reseller will sell you Windows Server/Exchange Server/etc. They’ll make a little margin on the software but the bulk of their cash comes from charging for installation and support.

  6. They buy 3908472014 licenses, get a discount and then they sell it for a bit higher than what they paid.

  7. I buy from resellers because I can’t buy directly from steam, origin etc. because my credit car is gay as hell. So I go to local game selling sites or whatever and buy games there, it’s the only way for me.. Well except. I could get new credit card.. But welp, too much paperwork..

  8. you do essentially the same thing. you give your game to steam who sell it through their store and take a cut of the profits. You would not get the same amount of sales if you where to simply sell it as a standalone game from your own website.

  9. I think it partially has to do with server bandwidth and traffic.
    If my server were to have a massive incoming audience, I wouldn’t want it worrying so much about out-going data beyond the Images, HTML, CSS, etc… that it is already putting out. That could bog it way down, I think, and I personally don’t have the money for another dedicated download server.
    It might also have to do with purchase history storage, payment systems, and other things that an external reseller might already have implemented and provide for your convenience. It’s like using a pre-made game engine to save yourself time in the long-run. And like you said in one of your posts after this one, mayhaps they don’t feel as though they could develop a system any better than the reseller’s.

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