How to find authorized retailers, dealers and stores

Posted on February 28th, 2017

Copyright: dirkercken / 123RF Stock Photo

Online retailing is growing annually at an accelerated pace, but the end of year holiday shopping season is the busiest time for most retailers. It’s also a time for illegitimate retailers to flourish, as they promote and sell their products on nationally recognized e-commerce websites. So, imagine how difficult it might be for consumers to safely and securely complete their shopping lists, if they desire to shop exclusively with manufacturer authorized retailers and dealers, holiday season or not.

No time is a good time to cut corners. Yes, our days get busy, but that’s no excuse to not employ smart consumer practices. Online shopping opens doors for unethical businesses. These are the companies, lurking within shopping marketplaces, like those that exist on, , and others, that serve only to take advantage of bargain-hunting consumers by offering too-good-to-be-true prices on potentially outdated, unsafe and fake goods, obtained outside authorized distribution channels.

The holiday season, in particular is big business. At the end of 2016, the National Retail Federation predicted that holiday sales would increase 3.7 percent, to $630.5 billion. Online sales on Cyber Monday Nov. 28 alone reached a record $3.45 billion, according to research company ComScore. Overall, online holiday sales could grew by as much as 11 percent, to $91.6 billion, according to Adobe Digital Insights.

Between the billions being spent and the risk of wasting money, it’s important that savvy consumers know how to find dealers and retailers that are duly authorized by a product manufacturer. Buying any item from anything less than an authorized dealer or retailer is asking for all kinds of potential trouble.
“People need to be vigilant all year long,” says Daniel C. Botbol, CEO of, which offers its Seal of Integrity program to legitimate and ethical businesses that pass its thorough vetting process. “When any holidays approach, it’s even more important to conduct due diligence. The last thing we want to hear is people getting ripped off by these unscrupulous and unauthorized dealers and retailers.”

What can you do?

There are three things that a consumer or business can do to find a manufacturer authorized dealer and/or retailer. Ten minutes of effort today will save hours of headaches down the road. Money, too.

1.) Visit a manufacturer’s dealer/retailer locator on its website. Reputable companies won’t hide the fact that they work with only the most ethical businesses. When a manufacturer’s reputation is on the line, it’s not going to voluntarily team up with a fly-by-night operator, instead opting for proven businesses that will only reinforce the manufacturer’s commitment to ethical business practices, providing high-quality products and employing impeccable customer warranty/service skills.

For example, say someone is looking to buy Klein tools as a present for the mechanic in their life. Klein Tools’ website allows visitors to search for authorized dealers/retailers. Whether people are looking for a specific tool or need help making choices, a search for authorized distributors, dealers or retailers can help consumers through making a decision and buying. And, maybe, if you ask nicely, Klein Tools will offer advice on how to best wrap a hammer and cable cutters.
A search for authorized dealers/retailers for Klein Tools products produced 38 within 10 miles of the ZIP code entered into the search tool. That information quickly identifies the dealers/retailers within Klein Tools’ authorized chain of distribution, meaning consumers know they will be buying legitimate, top-quality and real products with a real warranty to back it.

Want another example? Skincare brand iS Clinical, created by Innovative Skincare, sells its products only through authorized retailers like Skin Trends, an online skin care products company located in Tampa, FL. A retailer like Skin Trends offers Authorized products, exclusively, so consumers can count on authenticity and freshness. These retailers, however, can’t offer discounted prices due to manufacturer restrictions. If a consumer were to find iS Clinical products for sale at a discount, chances are the products are old, used, diverted or even fake. Instead, iS Clinicals website offers an official dealers list where smart consumers know they’ll be buying fresh, safe and real products.

2.) Calling or emailing a manufacturer and asking it to verify a specific distributor or retailer is a task well worth the time. Look for telephone numbers within the “Contact Us” section of a manufacturer’s website. Reputable manufacturers that place great value on their reputation should appreciate it when consumers do this, as it shows a higher level of brand awareness and allegiance to the product or company. When it comes to protecting your money and making the best shopping decision, no question is too silly to ask.

Chances are, too, that a distributor or retailer certainly wouldn’t mind a call inquiring about its authorized status. A company’s reputation and public perception are important factors that weigh into any buying decision. To receive a call from a consumer should open the doors to some one-on-one marketing designed to allay consumers’ fears and, as a result, generate some sales.

Consumers, too, shouldn’t have any reservations about making these calls. They’ve worked hard for their money. And, at this time of the year, most money is being spent on gifts for others. So, it’s not just the company’s reputation on the line. The consumer giving the gift will be affected as well. A top-shelf item that exceeds expectations creates a wonderful holiday memory. A poorly made or counterfeit item or even a real product that lacks a manufacturer warranty could lead to potentially embarrassing situations and, perhaps, hurt feelings.

3.) Look for’s Seal of Integrity. Honestly, it’s the easiest thing to do. If a distributor or retailer displays a Seal of Integrity on its website, consumers instantly gain a peace of mind that the product they’re buying is real, fresh, authentic and has traveled through an authorized means of distribution.

Distributors and retailers can display’s Seal of Integrity only after earning the right that clearly establishes these businesses as reputable and ethical entities worthy of a consumer’s trust. As a fully intended result, manufacturers also gain an important and marketable benefit by being identified as a partner of these quality-conscious businesses that place emphasis on more than the bottom line.

With all of the competition online for consumers’ dollars, especially at the winter holidays, consumers can know they’re getting the best possible deal for a legitimate and authorized product. Consumers will get exactly what they wanted at a fair and realistic price and, should a problem arise, they know that the retailer, distributor or manufacturer stands behind their warranty with professional customer service.

Aren’t these the type of reputable companies you want to conduct business with? thinks so.

For more information about’s Seal of Integrity program, call Daniel C. Botbol at (813) 333-1411, send him an email or contact him through the website.

Retailer Seal of Integrity