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View Full Version : Distributor Central vs. ASI, Sage, or PPAI



flisk
03-14-2008, 10:13 AM
I'm not going to knock it, ASI has ESP Online, certainly a wonderful tool for looking up items, especially in regards to the presentation look and ease of creating.

However, it's also a fairly expensive route to go, and can be hard to justify if you only do a small amount of promotional products each month.

The same holds true for both Sage and PPAI as well, although they are not quite as expensive per month. However, to that end, I am not sure of what their presentation outputs look like.

With that said, I'd love to suggest Distributor Central (just google that and it should be the first link).

The best thing; it's 100% free to use. They have an online search engine, and let you set up a website based around that search engine.

It can be a little tough to navigate, especially when compared to ESP Online, but once you figure it out, it's easy as pie.

cOrKinSA
03-14-2008, 10:18 AM
Do they share in your profits like Kaeser-Blair (http://www.kaeser-blair.com/) do?
Don't get me wrong because if anyone is going to test the waters in this field that is the way to go without taking that big risk or heavy commitment!

cOrKinSA
03-14-2008, 10:34 AM
Okay a simple "duh, look it up" solved that,

Q: How is DistributorCentral different from ESP or SAGE?
A: What sets DistributorCentral apart from other product sourcing tools in the industry is its comprehensive product detail. Accurate product information is maintained by the Supplier, including pricing, options and choices, shipping and freight. DistributorCentral is FREE to Distributors. You, as a Distributor, can even include the power of the DistributorCentral catalog and searching services inside your own website! Taken for researching from DistributorCentral (http://www.distributorcentral.com/websites/DistributorCentral/faq.cfm?)

flisk
03-14-2008, 01:00 PM
No they don't share in your profits.
In fact, in all cases that I have ever delt with, I have looked up the Supplier's information (as supplied on DC) and contacted them directly for pricing and samples.

ShawnLVESP
03-18-2008, 04:49 PM
When i get some free time i'll give DC a try. I've been putting off the others like ASI because of cost.

Free is always worth a try because you dont lose money

Bigdawg
03-18-2008, 05:03 PM
We use distributor central...
THIS IS NOT A PLUG - DO NOT ORDER FROM ME! JOIN YOURSELF IF YOU ARE INTERESTED :smile:
if you want to see what a DC site looks like and interfaces like you can look here:
www.bigdawgspecialties.com

This was done with a minimum of fuss and links to our main site (which is wayyyy out of date).

Edited to add that I pay nothing for them hosting the domain name I had already bought!

ShawnLVESP
03-18-2008, 05:51 PM
Thanks Bigdawg

That has helped alot.

Bigdawg
03-18-2008, 05:54 PM
Another thing I really like is that you can print sale sheets on any product with the retail pricing and your logo.

killergraphics
04-06-2008, 11:45 AM
If you do not want to offer everything one of the best on the planet is
http://www.goldbondinc.com/gbportal/default.asp

AdventGurl
04-06-2008, 10:59 PM
So, have you used the Kaeser-Blair company?
If so, what is the quality of their products?
Anyone ordered from them?
I like the minimal investment so I can test the waters...

cOrKinSA
04-06-2008, 11:14 PM
So, have you used the Kaeser-Blair company?
If so, what is the quality of their products?
Anyone ordered from them?
I like the minimal investment so I can test the waters...
They deal in split profit sells. They have the same huge selection of Suppliers that ASI or Sage has but they are already credited with these companies.
So for example a widget cost 5 dollars to produce and the going market for them is 10 Dollars, using ASI/Sage you would have to set up a fairly easy account with the supplier and do your business with them but
with Kaeser-Blair they have the account set up and you would only make $2.50 rather then 5 dollars on that item with them.
You kinda follow what I am saying?

AdventGurl
04-06-2008, 11:17 PM
They deal in split profit sells. They have the same huge selection of Suppliers that ASI or Sage has but they are already credited with these companies.
So for example a widget cost 5 dollars to produce and the going market for them is 10 Dollars, using ASI/Sage you would have to set up a fairly easy account with the supplier and do your business with them but
with Kaeser-Blair they have the account set up and you would only make $2.50 rather then 5 dollars on that item with them.
You kinda follow what I am saying?

yes. they are another middle man. plus me as a middle (wo)man....hard to compete with such higher prices...and less commission.
kinda a no-brainer as far as the decisions go.

thanks :smile:

AdventGurl
04-06-2008, 11:21 PM
corkinsa,

with all this said...have you tried distributor central?

seems like the $175 fee for ASI is a no-brainer (more commission potential) than the $85 charge for Kaesar.

unless I am interpreting this all wrong.

I have been looking for something like this (to be an "order-taker" / sales rep for a advertising promo co.) for a few weeks, and it seems very confusing and a little elitist.

i need a big, big high-heeled foot in the door! lol!

cOrKinSA
04-07-2008, 12:18 AM
seems like the $175 fee for ASI is a no-brainer (more commission potential) than the $85 charge for Kaesar.
I think you might need to reread that ASI Application because I don't think they have ever been that low.
You can spend hundreds to a few thousand to get what you want and need from them.
I think Sage is at around 5-600 Dollars though and thats not counting add ons that you may or may not want that run anywhere from 80 - 800 Dollars.

a+signgal
05-28-2008, 08:18 PM
I joined Kaiser and Blair years ago and found that I couldn't beat my competitors pricing through asi. I just signed up for ASI at the special convention discount and it cost me $349.00. Then they start ribbing you for the extras you have to have to make it easier to find the products, so now I am into $150.00 per month. I'm giving it the 3 months i am paid for and if I don't make my money back plus I'm not going to mess with it anymore. I was not happy when they (asi) started hitting me up to pay for extras such as cateloges and web sites. I guess the sales rep didn't fill me in on all the details. Go figure!

flisk
05-28-2008, 08:26 PM
ASI CAN be a good source, if you know your promotional products. I worked at a company down in Florida that did over 1 million in sales just on promo products each year. But of that the owner probably spent close to 5 grand a month in advertising.

Jamie Christy
05-28-2008, 09:03 PM
with DC....Can I have a link from my sign/apparel site that says "promotional products" or is it a whole different domain?

Bigdawg
05-28-2008, 09:47 PM
I use a whole different domain that links back to my main site. I think they provide space too.

nowellwisch
09-16-2009, 07:52 PM
I work for the company that developed Distributor Central (DC). I also teach website sales support demonstrating how websites help the selling process.

The examples I show in class are based upon the free websites available through DC. While I tell everyone that the principles I demonstrate are valid no matter what system you use, the fact is that DC is simpler to use and implement than most others.

The value of the Internet is that if you can imagine doing it, you can do it quickly and easily with the DC tools. Yes, it is easier to call someone up and tell them but it is time consuming and expensive.

DC gives you virtually every capability that ASI and SAGE do but at a significant savings. (Subtract their total cost from the price you pay and you get the DC cost... FREE !) Unfortunately, you have to pay a price for FREE. You have to take a fully configured program that outperforms the competitive systems in almost every respect and you have to spend the money you would have spent on something else... maybe dinner, mortgage payment, car payment, ???

While I freely admit that the learning curve can be steep, DC is easily mastered. If you want to see some examples, email me at nowell@nowellwisch.com and I will send you some websites to explore.

Nowell C. Wisch, MAS
TradeNet

postnetnc133
03-02-2010, 11:07 PM
I am am member of ASI and DC. I started out with DC and when things picked up I signed up with ASI. THe biggest difference between ASI, Sage, and PPAI verse DC is that DC as mentioned is free but DC is also VERY small compared to the others so they dont have a ton of vendors or products. Because of the market I am dropping my ASI membership and going back to only DC. Another issue I have is if you get set up with several vendors why do you need ASI, Sage if you are set up with those vendors. Over the last yr I have only used ESP to find new vendors but for those odd products I havent closed the deal on those products but your more popular items I am established with vendors and no longer need ASI.

smdgrfx
04-04-2010, 03:16 AM
+1 on just getting to know the vendors. I did ASI over 10 years ago for one year. It was worth it to learn alot about different vendors. I now just contact vendors/manufacturers directly. They have never turned me down because I don't have an ASI number. I have a couple of brokers that use me to print their signage now. I usually just tell one of them what I'm looking for and they show me where to get the product. Easy as can be.

Vinylman
04-04-2010, 04:56 AM
Thanks for the info.

signs2trade
04-04-2010, 10:20 AM
www.promomarketing.com (http://www.promomarketing.com)
another free ad speciality site......

royster13
04-04-2010, 11:19 AM
What services you buy are up to you......Many folks get by with DC and a 500.00 plotter......Others want all the bells and whistles and get a nice Summa and ASI....

Some folks can make money with either setup...While others can not make money if their life depended on it...

Last year I am sure 95% of what I sold came from 6 vendors....You only need 3,000 vendors if you let your clients become PITAs....If they are not happy with something with 1 of say 20 vendors, they may not be worth keeping as a client....Take the low hanging fruit and cast the PITAs away.....