Beware of SPIFS

Our friend Howard had his heart set on buying the digital camera we recommended based on his personal interests, needs, and budget—the Kodak EasyShare DX6490. But when he visited one camera and two electronics superstores in an attemptto buy it, the salesclerks all disparaged that model in particular and Kodak in general and tried to steer him to another make and model that they personally recommended and endorsed. Howard was upset because the salespeople sounded very persuasive. He asked us: what's wrong with Kodak that three separate salespeople tried to get him to buy something else?

The answer is nothing is wrong with Kodak.

What Howard encountered was something few outside the photographic industry know about: it's called SPIFS. SPIFS is an acronym for special incentives for sales, a bonus or override that a retailer, wholesaler, or manufacturer rewards a salesperson with for selling a particular product. This is above and apart from salary and ordinary commission, and, depending upon the make or model, SPIFS range from $25 to $200 and go directly into the sales clerk's pocket. They're offered to help move slow-selling models or models about to be discontinued. Most manufacturers offer SPIFS at one time or another, but usually not on best-selling or hot models. We don't know what SPIFS were being given to sales personnel at the three stores Howard visited, but you can be sure that they weren't for the very popular Kodak EasyShare DX6490.

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