Middlemen play an important role in every aspects of marketing as they act as a bridge between the producers and consumers. However there are still some areas where the service of middlemen need a second thought.
Whether the service of middlemen is necessary or should the service of middlemen be eliminated completely in channels of distribution? Lets see the top 10 arguments against or disadvantages of middlemen.
Top 10 Arguments against Middlemen
1. Cost of Distribution
Middlemen hike the cost of the product, which is reflected in the selling price. The cost of distribution increases in view of the presence of middlemen in the market. The entire burden finally falls on the consumer.
2. Practice of black marketing
Middlemen resort to black-marketing and hoarding and thereby create an artificial demand for the product. This leads to price rise. Here again it is only the consumer who suffers.
3. Fail to pass on benefits to customers
Sometimes, the middlemen do not pass on certain benefits to the consumers, like samples, price cut, etc., offered by the manufacturers.
4. Duplicate products
Duplicate products are mixed with genuine products and sold by some unscrupulous retailers.
5. Selling expired goods
Goods, the expiry date of which has lapsed, are also thrust on the buyers by some retailers. They capitalize on the ignorance of the buyers.
6. Selling at higher than M.R.P
Some retailers even sell at a price higher than the maximum retail price (M.R.P). They manipulate “local taxes extra” to their advantage.
7. Fail to replenish exhausted stock
Sometimes, the middlemen fail to replenish the exhausted stock in time. As a result, the consumer has to wait for a longer time to get what he wants.
8. Poor after sale service
In the case of durable, the attitude of some dealers, particularly when ‘after sale service’ is required, irritates the buyers. Some of the dealers do not extend the courtesy extended earlier at the time of sale.
9. Prominence to a particular make
Some retailers even have secret pact with certain manufacturers by which they recommend only the products of such manufacturers to their consumers. In other words, prominence is given to the products of only certain manufacturers.
10. No faithfulness
As a connecting link between the producer and the consumer, the middleman is supposed to be faithful to both. He has to convey the suggestions and complaints of the consumers to the producers and also pass on any useful information, conveyed by the producers, to the consumers. Not many middlemen faithfully carry out such duties.