(Post Updated 8/13/2016: Bosch’s Official response added below)
If you’re shopping for Reconditioned tools, Bosch has cut out the middlemen of retail and is now selling direct to customers through their website Bosch Remastered. Of course reconditioned power tools are always sold for less because they have been used or the package was damage or something went wrong but is now fixed. That being said reconditioned tools can often be a great value as they can easily last as long as brand new. Additionally they are selling brand new Bosch Accessories direct to customers through the website which has a lot of their local dealers pretty nervous.
This is just the toe in the water for Bosch but if they are selling new accessories direct, it could easily mean sales of all their tools are coming soon. You better believe Makita, Dewalt, Milwaukee and others are keeping a very close eye on this to see how it pans out as Bosch is the first pro-focused tool brand to sell direct online. While the conversation from other top brands is that they would never violate the trust of their dealers in such a way if Bosch is successful we have no doubt others will go this direct as well.
If Bosch were looking to go totally direct, similar to Hilti, this seems like the logical first step (although Hilti is fighting pretty hard to get back into retail…). Obviously the current network of local Bosch dealers can’t compete if they uses their full marketing power to sells products direct online at discounted prices. The smaller shops will be forced to shift focus to manufacturers who support them in the local market, online and on the jobsites.
Perhaps the local tool shop will be a thing of the past and Bosch can see the writing on the walls? It’s a pretty simple scenario, customer demand will always dictate how, what, where, when people buy power tools and the market will adjust accordingly. Some manufacturers will sell direct, as Hilti has done pretty successfully and other will partner with dealers to support the customers. Online strategies of manufacturer’s is huge in today’s world, these websites can be used to cut out the local dealers or they can be a great tool used to support them.
(Official Response) Bosch Reinforces Commitment to Dealer Network
The Bosch dealer network provides tremendous value to the company’s target users and will continue to be the distribution strategy for Bosch. The Bosch Remastered reconditioned online shop is not an effort to sell products outside the dealer network. As a manufacturer, Bosch receives returns from distribution partners that are reconditioned and sold through many companies that specialize in this trade, as well as sales through local Bosch Service Centers. The reconditioned online shop is simply the digital representation of the service centers, a model that is used by all major power tool manufacturers. The Bosch goal is to work in concert with distribution partners to sell the best power tool and accessory solutions to meet user needs.