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  1. #1
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    what do resellers really want?

    ok, im still debating doing this.... but

    what do resellers REALLY want??

    aside from pricing and space issues, what else?

    what kind of support? what kind of network? what kind of payments accepted, etc etc etc
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  2. #2
    we want everything we can get
    unlimited sql's, e-mail, ftp's, and what ever else we can get.
    support the best that it can be. and so on.

  3. #3
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    Re: what do resellers really want?

    Originally posted by LaurenStephens
    ok, im still debating doing this.... but

    what do resellers REALLY want??
    Love, money, fast cars, and beautiful spouses.

    Originally posted by LaurenStephens
    aside from pricing and space issues, what else?

    what kind of support? what kind of network? what kind of payments accepted, etc etc etc
    Ohh, that stuff.

    Well, support-wise *most* resellers I've been in contact with fall into two groups (after the initial setup questions that occur, of course):
    1) Gimme my account and I'll never talk to you again (except to upgrade, cancel, etc)
    2) Those that contact once per month or so, asking questions about TOS policies, requests for software upgrades ('I want php extension X'), that sort of thing...

    Then, like any group, you'll get the 'vocal minority'. There're very few who belong to this group. They'll put in a new ticket, daily, about how to do things with their reseller account. Or how to explain how to setup OE to a customer. Or any number of other things that really they could figure out on their own, if they try.

    Now, the vocal minority folks aren't *bad* per-se. At the least, they're trying. With proper guidence, you can usually get these folks on the right track. Teach a man to fish, etc. They're also often ones that end up growing their business, I've found; and as such, grow with you.

    In *general* it's like any other group of customers. Specifically though, the resellers are going to rely on your technical knowledge and know-how as a support for their success. As such, a lot of their questions are more low level than a regular customer. For example:

    Joe businessman from Main street isn't going to care that you have a bgp, multihomed connection to the internet. It's a flashy term that might put some confidence in your product, but Joe doesn't know or care about bgp. He just knows his site is up, working, and happy.

    Joe reseller on the other hand, is likely to have a lot more knowledge about these things. They're likely to know about the value of a multi-homed connection, and ask you about it (or even make it a pre-requisite for their business)

    Best advice I could give, is this:

    If you have the technical side down pat (or hire/have someone who does), offer reseller accounts. If not, don't until that point in time.

    If you go for it, have written policies that you follow.

    Just my opinion, based on what I've seen over the years with resellers.
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  4. #4
    I believe that support is a very key issue along with bandwidth.

  5. #5
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    Like what David said.
    I too believe that most resellers won't ask silly questions or else how do they even resell?
    New site: www.talkutas.com

  6. #6
    I beleive support is a key aspect, it helps to encourage people to trust you and it allows you to support people and impress them.

  7. #7
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    I tend to find that resellers in general need very little support. Its there if they want, but they dont seem to use it.

    But there are so many hosts charging rediculously low prices for reseller plans, as we charge sensible prices maybe we only get the customers who actually know a bit of the background of hosting and have experience with cPanel etc instead of the ones who are just out to make a quck buck...
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  8. #8
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    If you're asking this question from a business planning point of view, ie "what should you be offering resellers" then i think your best bet would be to try and offer something that nobody else does.

    Aside from that, fast support is probally one of the priorities, as the quicker they can get something fixed by you, the quicker they can pass the fix onto their customers.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by Sash!
    I tend to find that resellers in general need very little support. Its there if they want, but they dont seem to use it.
    I think that depends on how you market yourself, you can either end up with a bunch of newbies who themselves have hardly ever used cPanel (using cPanel as an example) let alone have the knowledge to answer general questions from their own customers on it, or you can have a bunch of resellers that like you say, hardly ever need support, they just need the servers up and running and trouble free, or you can have a mixture of both.

    I know i'd prefer the more knowledgeable ones, but they will also be more demanding if or when things do go wrong.

  10. #10
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    thanks guys....

    no one has mentioned overselling, toll free numbers, datacenters, etc etc

    interesting!
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  11. #11
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    An UNBRANDED support area is or at least SHOULD be essential for resellers. They're just getting themselves into the business and really have no idea of what questions they will be getting early on so it's always nice to equip them with a support area to cut down on the emails they end up sending to the network provider.

  12. #12
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    im sorry, unbranded support??

    you lost me!
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by LaurenStephens
    im sorry, unbranded support??

    you lost me!
    Generic end user site that they can offer to their customers. Pre-built for the platform they are on, with no company marks anywhere.

    It's a good idea, one that not enough reseller providers implement.

    Simon
    EIRCA Ltd, home of The Genius Network.

  14. #14
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    most that i know of require a per domain license for that.
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by LaurenStephens
    most that i know of require a per domain license for that.
    Yes, true, but still a good idea if the backing is there to provide it.

    Simon
    EIRCA Ltd, home of The Genius Network.

  16. #16
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    ok, that just isnt something i think i would consider...

    i mean come on... they have to have some idea on how to run a business and give some means of support!

    they could certainly invest a little bit in their own business
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by LaurenStephens
    ok, that just isnt something i think i would consider...

    i mean come on... they have to have some idea on how to run a business and give some means of support!

    they could certainly invest a little bit in their own business
    I totally agree, but the thread is about 'what resellers want', not what they should have, right?

    I know a reseller who 'threatened' Dean (a diy tech), that he would "post on wht" about the fact that we wouldn't give his customers free toll free support. He actually called it "f*****g ridiculous", and that's a quote

    Simon
    EIRCA Ltd, home of The Genius Network.

  18. #18
    I think a reseller needs help w/ marketing advice and staying in business.

    When I was a reseller, I would have been willing to pay a lot more to do business with a host who had marketing/business experience and was willing to answer my questions.

    Wouldn't it be nice to offer customers business consulting and say, "80% of our resellers are turning a $20/month profit after three months"?
    If the bigger hosts are fancy French restaurants, consider my service the friendly small-town diner.
    HostMidwest.com- you deserve honest, helpful, and reliable service!

  19. #19
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    $20 a month, is that anything to shout about

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by Loon
    $20 a month, is that anything to shout about
    im sure he was being sarcastic
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by IHSL
    Generic end user site that they can offer to their customers. Pre-built for the platform they are on, with no company marks anywhere.

    It's a good idea, one that not enough reseller providers implement.
    Problem with that is that it's too easy to blow a reseller's cover, if they use the unbranded helpdesk, by folks googling that helpdesk url, and seeing that other hosts use it too. We thought about that ages ago, but if you have hundreds of reseller clients using that helpdesk as their tech support, google reveals that.

  22. #22
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  23. #23
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    thanks! thats a great thread!

    let me ask you this...

    twice ive had reseller accounts with whm and neither time was i allowed to delete my own accounts or do a cpanel transfer. isnt that stuff that is available?

    ive never set up a reseller account so i do not know
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by LaurenStephens
    twice ive had reseller accounts with whm and neither time was i allowed to delete my own accounts or do a cpanel transfer. isnt that stuff that is available?
    We deactivated that feature, because if folks did not let the domain deletion process complete, they would crash apache. We did domain deletions on the helpdesk. It's more work for us, but saves apache dropping all over the place.

  25. #25
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    You can allow the deletion (we do), but not the moving of accounts. (wouldn't be at all advisable if you could do it)

    What I see resellers wanting, or rather demanding is not only support, but competent support. They want to know that they can, not only get a response quickly, but that the response will be thorough and have a solution to their problem.

    If you are not technically proficient with your platform (and I mean on a high level, not just knowing how to push buttons in WHM) or have several staff members who are VERY knowledgeable, you really should think twice before placing the businesses and maybe livelihoods of others in your hands.

  26. #26
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    ewwwww....

    i had no idea!

    (replying to bob)
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  27. #27
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    Originally posted by LaurenStephens
    ewwwww....

    i had no idea!

    (replying to bob)
    Same thing can (and does) happen on account creation, as well as addon domains, so it's only a partial help to stop the terminations. We haven't seen a huge problem with keeping termination enabled. If there is, we remove the feature on an individual basis.

    I'm hoping Nick fixes this whole problem and has the script run in the background like it should. He's doing a bunch of bugfixes at the moment, and I hope that's one of them.

  28. #28
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    Originally posted by Andrew
    . . . I'm hoping Nick fixes this whole problem and has the script run in the background like it should. He's doing a bunch of bugfixes at the moment, and I hope that's one of them.
    Gee, they've only known about that bug for about 3 years now!

  29. #29
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    The bad thing about that bug is if the reseller clicks off at just the right time it erases the entire httpd.conf file with it.
    Have had it happen 4 times in the last 3 years using WHM. Nick even spent some time on one box looking at the issue. Just had it happen last week on a a server.

    We have enabled account deletion again on our servers but it does sometimes cause problems.

    I think your question is a little broad, it is like asking what do Republicians want. Depends on which faction of the party you look at.

    Same with your marketing, seems the younger crowd wants gigs of space and bandwidth for low prices, the older more serious designers want stablity and communication. Ones concertrating on hosting only want overselling and good pricing but are willing to pay more for stablity and expertise.

    I think you have to define your market segment then ask the question again, if you try and be all things to all groups you are bound to fail.

  30. #30
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    Yes, we've had the whole httpd.conf go several times like that. It's quick to fix, but shouldn't happen at all. Why this script can't continue in the background if the user leaves the screen is beyond me.

  31. #31
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    so whats the overall concensus of allowing resellers to do cpanel moves?
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  32. #32
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    You can't even give them option if they wanted it, it is a root thing.

    I thought you had a VPS, why not setup a dummy reseller account and test what you can / cannot give for reseller permissions, it may help you understand it better.
    Regards,
    Eric

    __________________

  33. #33
    I'll take a shot at this, as I'm actively searching for a new hosting provider.

    About me...
    I'm probably a typical reseller client - I'm a web designer. I look to provide hosting for my clients both to add a recurring income stream to my revenue and to better serve my clients. I work in a small city and the local hosting providers are not that service-oriented or professional. I don't recommend them. My current host (Cedant) is very good. Great support (toll-free phone& 244 hour email), minimal downtime, not the most sophisticated control panel, good prices. So what's the problem?

    I'm busy. Taking care of the support and mailing bills for 30 - 50 sites every month got to be not worth the trouble and interfered with my real work. I started referring clients directly to Cedant. Now I have maybe a dozen or so sites that I take care of.

    What am I looking for...?
    I'd like a host that will handle things for me - billing, support (at least second tier support - 24 hours - I don't care if it comes from India, as long as it's competent and in fairly good english). I set the prices. I do not try to compete on price, so my clients are with me because I have built trust with them. They go with what I recommend. I'm able to say "Yes, I cost a bit more, but I provide the best service possible. Your site won't go down. If it does - I refund your money - no questiojns."

    I'm looking for a host who will do this for me. I'll pay for the service, as long as I can make a profit. It does not need to be a reseller deal - it could be an affilliate program, as long as there is a recurring monthly commission for the business and it's worth my while (30% is worth my while. 5% is not).

    Can anyone do this?

  34. #34
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    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  35. #35
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    Re: Re: what do resellers really want?

    Originally posted by thedavid
    Love, money, fast cars, and beautiful spouses.



    Ohh, that stuff.

    Well, support-wise *most* resellers I've been in contact with fall into two groups (after the initial setup questions that occur, of course):
    1) Gimme my account and I'll never talk to you again (except to upgrade, cancel, etc)
    2) Those that contact once per month or so, asking questions about TOS policies, requests for software upgrades ('I want php extension X'), that sort of thing...

    Then, like any group, you'll get the 'vocal minority'. There're very few who belong to this group. They'll put in a new ticket, daily, about how to do things with their reseller account. Or how to explain how to setup OE to a customer. Or any number of other things that really they could figure out on their own, if they try.

    Now, the vocal minority folks aren't *bad* per-se. At the least, they're trying. With proper guidence, you can usually get these folks on the right track. Teach a man to fish, etc. They're also often ones that end up growing their business, I've found; and as such, grow with you.

    In *general* it's like any other group of customers. Specifically though, the resellers are going to rely on your technical knowledge and know-how as a support for their success. As such, a lot of their questions are more low level than a regular customer. For example:

    Joe businessman from Main street isn't going to care that you have a bgp, multihomed connection to the internet. It's a flashy term that might put some confidence in your product, but Joe doesn't know or care about bgp. He just knows his site is up, working, and happy.

    Joe reseller on the other hand, is likely to have a lot more knowledge about these things. They're likely to know about the value of a multi-homed connection, and ask you about it (or even make it a pre-requisite for their business)

    Best advice I could give, is this:

    If you have the technical side down pat (or hire/have someone who does), offer reseller accounts. If not, don't until that point in time.

    If you go for it, have written policies that you follow.

    Just my opinion, based on what I've seen over the years with resellers.
    You forgot about the extremely vocal group that calls your emergency voicemail every five mintues leaving incoherent messeges about how they accidently deleted one of their sites (among a dozen other misc. things that fall into the "Okay, sorry?" catagory).

  36. #36
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    Originally posted by Esr Tek
    You can't even give them option if they wanted it, it is a root thing.

    I thought you had a VPS, why not setup a dummy reseller account and test what you can / cannot give for reseller permissions, it may help you understand it better.
    getting a dedicated this week, but it is all with whm anyways i guess... i dont have anything left to set up a dummy account with, sold all my domains you want one??!!
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  37. #37
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    Originally posted by Aussie Bob
    Problem with that is that it's too easy to blow a reseller's cover, if they use the unbranded helpdesk, by folks googling that helpdesk url, and seeing that other hosts use it too. We thought about that ages ago, but if you have hundreds of reseller clients using that helpdesk as their tech support, google reveals that.
    Very true, that's the block we ran into too.

    We're figuring that it could work if resellers used domain masking, as a rule, but that's still nowhere near fail-safe.

    Simon
    EIRCA Ltd, home of The Genius Network.

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