As a prospective customer, you may have multiple options for purchasing Hypertherm products, in particular consumables and the Powermax line of products sold through numerous distribution outlets worldwide. There are a variety of factors you should consider when deciding from whom to purchase, and it is up to you to determine which factors you consider most important. Factors to consider when deciding where to purchase Hypertherm products include:
Most Hypertherm channel partners carry only a portion of the total Hypertherm line. This is primarily driven by the markets the channel partner chooses to serve and the regulatory requirements of the specific area. Regulatory requirements for welding and cutting tools differ from country to country, and customers need to take care to ensure that their selected channel partner carries the correct product configuration for their market. For example, European Union countries require products to have “CE” certification. CE-certified Hypertherm products are ONLY available in countries that require the CE certification.
Local stocking and delivery
Does the channel partner has the desired Hypertherm product – as well as consumables and repair parts – in stock for immediate pick-up or delivery, or whether it must be shipped in from a central warehouse based on demand.
Authorized channel partners set their own selling prices for Hypertherm products. These prices vary due to a variety of factors, including:
- The seller's business model (Does the seller have a physical store where he stocks and can demonstrate product, with salespeople who can visit customers? Or is the seller only online?)
- The seller's location
- Shipping costs
- Import fees, duties, VAT and other taxes that may apply
- Foreign exchange rates
- The seller's investments in service and customer support
- Availability of payment terms
Each of these factors carries a cost – and also a value – that is typically reflected in the selling price.
Pre-sales expertise and assistance
Most Hypertherm channel partners have sales staff who have a strong knowledge of the capabilities and operation of Hypertherm products, and who are expert at developing an understanding of each customer's individual requirements. These salespeople help customers select the most appropriate Hypertherm products based on their needs. Most channel partners are able to perform a product demonstration in their showroom or on-site.
After-sales training, service and warranty support
Most customers find that they require some amount of after-sales service and support, ranging from preventive maintenance to additional training for new operators to timely access to consumable or repair parts. Different channel partners offer different levels of after-sales service and support.
While Hypertherm's warranty is valid regardless of where a customer purchases a Hypertherm product, channel partners are not required to provide free warranty service for products that they did not sell.
Authorized vs. unauthorized distributor
Hypertherm products should only be purchased from authorized Hypertherm channel partners. Unauthorized sellers of Hypertherm products have not received sales or service training. Unauthorized sellers may not sell genuine Hypertherm consumable parts or repair parts, and may not honor the full factory warranty provided by Hypertherm on all products.