Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Primer on Current Legal Context for Sellers of Windows and Doors

As the construction industry shows some signs of turnaround and the ARRA (Stimulus) energizes window and door sales, The Window and Door Dealer Alliance (WDDA) has emerged as a valuable resource for window and door dealers/distributors wanting to be at the forefront of their industry. At The Gary Law Group we have invested special attention to national issues facing the fenestration industry for quite a number of years. As a result of the experience, we have and continue to develop “Best Practices” for the consideration and use by those who sell windows and doors. But, it all begins with some “context.” From this, you can strike the balance between risk and reward that is right for your company. Window and door dealers need to appreciate their importance in the marketplace as being in direct contact with (“controlling”) consumer/purchasers. Without purchasers … well we have just been through that. At the same time, dealers have to understand the risks inherent in their position in the distribution channel so they can be managed. In 2005, there was so much business the details of risk seemed hardly to matter. I think we all have a sense it will be different now.

We plan to work with WDDA in support of its members. Over the course of the coming months we will delve into various legal and best practices issues that impact your business. Let’s start with what it is that window and door dealers/distributors/installers actually do, their importance in the stream of commerce, and some “Legal 101” flowing from those factors.

Whether operating out of a storefront, on the web, and/or by canvassing neighborhoods; the goal is to sell. Dealers sell their products, services, and themselves to customers in need of need new windows and doors. In doing so, distributors and dealers form a linchpin in a complex legal relationship reaching from product manufacturer to the end consumer. The opportunities for error and exposure in such relationship are substantial. So too are the positive opportunities for business development and growth. The balance of these is reached when a company understands its position in this regard – remember it’s your business.

The first item in the WDDA Legal Corner touches on a couple essential points—points that may bear expansion in the future: warranties and sales practices. Read it today!

Paul Gary is principal of The Gary Law Group, a firm dedicated to the management and defense of legal issues facing members of the fenestration industry across the country.

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