How Exchange for Resale Differs from Exchange for Consumption
As we explore the terrain of marketing exchange we usually find a reseller standing in the path of production and consumption. The reseller usually serves as the vehicle by which the product passes from producer to consumer or user; hence the term channel. To view the reseller as merely a selling agent for manufacturers or a purchasing agent for consumers would unjustly distort the value of resale markets and the contribution resale exchange makes to the marketing process.
The purpose of this chapter is to give resale exchange its own identity in the realm of marketing and exchange relationships. To begin, resale marketing is defined as the assigning of extrinsic value to products and services for the purpose of facilitating a subsequent market exchange. We underscore the word "extrinsic" because resale value exists in the potential for exchange rather than the potential for use (i.e., intrinsic value) (cf., Houston and Gassenheimer 1987). That is, value is obtained by enhancing one's own assorted offering through market exchange. The distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic value takes on additional when we consider that resale intermediaries exist because manufacturers have chosen to buy access to markets rather than perform the necessary functions themselves.
In charting the course of resale exchange, we borrow from the literature of sister disciplines as well as our own better to understand "sales between parties within a channel" and "sales between entities who are not part of a common channel. . . end users." We begin by looking at the threads resale exchange and consumer exchange share. This includes defining resale exchange in terms of extrinsic value and establishing a preliminary set of exchange conditions. Next, we explore the differences between resale and consumer exchange. Here, we view both exchange markets from the perspective of dependence, and notice that the intent of the exchange and the importance placed on exchange elements differ between markets. Then the discussion is extended to include network effects and to attend to conditions that foster and hinder exchange relationships. The final section questions how far our discipline has come and encourages others to plot new ground.