Breaking up with Brands

I sent a Dear John letter to Catalinbread the other day.  Even though I’m probably one of their smallest dealers, it was still tough as they are one of my biggest brands.  They drive more people to my site than anything else I sell.  Their pedals are the easiest to sell, because they are awesome effects and people are almost never disappointed with them.  So why stop carrying them?

Well, frankly, they’re too big for me.  I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s just the reality of things.  When I started this business, I wanted to carrying brands that were up and comers.  At the time, there were 5 or 6 places you could find Catalinbread pedals online.  Boy has that changed.  It’s amazing how quickly they’ve grown.  But that success doesn’t fit with what I’d like to do.

When you have a ton of stores all selling the same product at the same price, they all offer free shipping and roughly the same return policy… it’s tough to convince people that they should buy from you.  Really it just comes down to supply and habit.  If one retailer has inventory and the rest don’t, they win.  If everyone has inventory, people just tend to buy from the place they’ve bought from in the past.  There’s no reason to try buying from someone new as it creates a sense of risk.

You can easily say it’s my job to convince you to buy from me.  But that means I don’t have the time/money to spend promoting the next Catalinbread (or the next Red Witch, or next MXR – whatever it is).  That takes a lot more time and care, and frankly, I think it’s a lot more fun.  So rather than carrying the same products as everyone else and hoping people buy from me, I’d rather focus on telling the world about products they don’t know about.  Brands like Fairfield CircuitryAmptweakerKeeler Designs and Circus Freak are prime examples of this.  Expect to see more of them.