American customers, especially, are surprised when Jamco International says, wait, don’t pay us too much. The Canadian company has a pricing policy that takes some getting used to for some customers.
“With everything we sell, the price is based on what we paid for it, not what the market will bring,” said Ali Jamal, vice president of operations and partner. “If I bought a used forklift for $5,000, and the going price is $8,000, I’ll ask $6,000, because at wholesale, that is a fair mark-up. When we pay a lower price, you pay a lower price. We pass it on to customers,” he said.
“That’s just the way we do business. That builds a lot of trust and loyalty and it lets us sleep at night.” They believe in making a fair margin but aren¹t greedy, he said.
The way Jamal sees it, the customers create Jamco¹s buying power that lets them find better deals. So it is fair to share that with the customers. “Obviously the competition hates that because they feel we are bringing prices down,” he said.
The integrity pricing concept has brought Jamco sustained, steady growth since 1986. They have added both customers and products. The company celebrated its 20th anniversary by moving to a new facility and expanding its reach into the United States.
Jamco International is a used forklift wholesaler that also sells pallet jacks, battery chargers and forks. Jamsons, a sister company that is less well-known in the United States, is an after-market forklift parts wholesaler.
Jamsons started as a retail forklift parts outlet serving the local area. Within the last six years, it became a major wholesaler of forklift parts in Canada. Jamsons also operates under the integrity pricing policy. “We just grew and grew and grew,” Jamal said. “Eventually we started adding more product.”
About two years ago, the company started marketing in the United States. One question Jamal hears sometimes is “If your stuff is so good, why is it so cheap?” And so he explains the business philosophy behind the price. And the proof, as they say, is in the pudding when customers try the products.
The company continually strives to improve the quality of product offerings and negotiate better prices with their vendors, Jamal said. They offer a three-year warranty on pallet jacks, compared to the standard two years. Their Eagletronic battery chargers are very high-tech but about half the price of others, and their Eagle 55 pallet jacks also have more features but cost about half, he said, and are now one of the best selling pallet jacks in North America.
When they find an overseas firm selling a good product, they take on the product, he said. The battery chargers they sell come from Italy and most of the parts and the pallet jacks come from the Far East. They listen to what customers are looking for and add those products to their offerings at the lowest prices possible.
With the new products and customers, Jamal predicts a 20 percent growth rate for the company. And the material handling industry as a whole will hold steady or slightly increase, he predicted.
The firm in Cambridge, Ontario, about an hour west of Toronto, has a dozen employees. The staff also grew slowly, as the number of customers and volume of sales justified it. “We take on only a few customers at a time,” Jamal said.
They are strictly a wholesale company. “We do not sell to end-users,” Jamal said. “A lot of other companies try to do both (wholesale and retail) and end up competing against their own customers.”