A lot of companies sell themselves on the fact that they are an authorized dealer of the products they sell. But what is an authorized dealer exactly? Why does it matter? And does it really benefit consumers to make sure they buy from one?

Short answer: Yes. It really does matter.

If things always worked out like we'd like them to, every item we purchased as consumers – like watches, headphones, TVs, toys, and computers – would work perfectly and without defects. They would function for as long as their normal useful life. There would be no glitches, crashes, or breaks. And we'd have no complaints.

But this is the real world.

And in reality, things don't always work as they should. Pieces break. They stop working. Or sometimes, we simply open a box and find a piece missing.

When any of these things happens, it's nice to know that we can call the manufacturer and have them make it right.

Herein lies the problem in dealing with an unauthorized seller; the manufacturer has no relationship with them or control over the products they sell. They may sell items with missing serial numbers. They may be selling damaged or used items. Or pawning off refurbished items as new.

Any, or all of these practices can void a manufacturer's warranty. Naturally, this is going to limit your chances of finding a resolution to whatever product issue you experience, especially if the unauthorized seller doesn't offer assistance either.

It's a frustrating, expensive, and unfortunate scenario that happens much more often than it should.

The bottom line? Do your research and when applicable, make your purchases from an authorized dealer. It's best way to protect your investment. These retailers are held to certain standards of practice and service that unauthorized companies are not. Plus, you can rest easy knowing that your item is covered by the manufacturer's full warranty, and that you'll have support after the sale is made.

Check with a company before you buy. And if the item you're buying is especially expensive or requires a significant level of support, check with the manufacturer for their list of dealers first.

Source by Alan Saltz