By Paul Pannone
The informal use of the word poach describes what China does to the American marketplace; it cheats in a game while our American manufacturers plays by the rules. But in an ongoing eWedNewz story we’ve discovered how China leverages the pettiness of some American manufacturers that fight each other, instead of fighting the real enemy.
In less than 24 hours since we broke the newZ of one American bridal company organizing a defense against the online sale of cheap, knock off goods, it becomes quite clear that all China needs to do is sit back and watch, as American competitors quarrel among themselves. eWedNewz is uncovering how internal fighting allows China to deceive the American consumer– the ultimate loser caught in the crossfire.
Nick Yeh of Impressions Bridal pledged his support to anything positive that can help the wedding dress business and denounced the ineptness at the IBMA and it’s members.
Steve Lang, of Mon Cheri, announced the formation of a collaborative dress manufacturer effort to wage war against Chinese forces that sell inferior imitation dresses online. Lang provided information about the campaign to this newZ source, wanting to take a leadership role on an issue that has reportedly been hanging in limbo for years. According to Lang he is frustrated by the inept qualities of the IBMA; an organization that is suspected by a growing number of sources in the wedding business.
According to Lang, his frustration led him to break away from the organization and strike out on his own to fend off some of the growing problems facing the wedding dress business, including internet selling of inferior products.
“I just got tired of listening to these people talk and talk and never really do anything,” Lang told eWedNewz.
Lang and a growing number of industry sources suspect the IBMA’s motives in how they manage the organization, questioning how they have the best interest of the industry in mind. Lang and others say the organization’s misguided efforts, using the group’s influence to negotiate better advertising rates and other self-serving interests they’re pursuing, leave much to be desired.
“Steve is right about that; they should be looking at more important issues like the one he (Steve) is talking about,” according to Nick Yeh, owner of Impression Bridals.
Yeh, Lang and other sources in the wedding dress business are becoming vocal about their frustrations, saying they’re tired of funding an organization that fails to act in the better interest of the wedding dress industry.
“You know this is not an easy task. What Steve is proposing will take years and a lot of funding and I would support him in what he’s trying to do. At least I know he would make an honest effort to really try and fight the knock off websites and not just talk about it, the way the people at IBMA have done for years now,” says Yeh.
According to multiple sources the IBMA has held on to about $250,000 dollars in their coffers for several years unable to decide how to spend the money. Since late 2011 the president of the IBMA, Alan Dessy, has refused to answer questions about the money or even return a single phone call. Dessy, known for his arrogant behavior, came under fire by constituents and other sources that say he is very difficult and at times impossible to deal with.
“They don’t talk to you because they are hiding. What are they going to say? What a great job they’re doing? Of course not. They talk and talk and never get anything done. What really needs to happen is getting together with government agencies and congress. It’s very simple to show shipments coming into the United States as “gifts” from China. OK, how many Americans have relatives over there? How is it that these shipments are able to get to their intended destination over here in the United States?” asks Nick Yeh.
According to Yeh the board members of the IBMA should be asking these questions, not trying to beat up wedding magazines for better pricing.
“I’m a business man; I run my business like a war. I am here to take out my enemy– not help him with better advertising rates that will make him stronger to fight me. Business is not like a war; business is war. Those people are like chumps, the way the act and run their own businesses. What do they know about helping me run mine? I chose to open my own stores in my market, so did many of the board members. I know fully what I want to do and that’s to help the people who buy my product,” said Yeh.
Mr. Yeah makes no apologies for how he chooses to run his business but did say a strong manufacturer is in a better place to service his accounts.
“I’m strong and have the will to succeed. I don’t need an organization to get me better rates; I can do that myself. I spend a lot of money every year and see the positive results. Whether I make mistakes or not it’s by my own decisions. But these people are really something else,” says Yeh.
Yeh told eWedNewz he feels there is an agenda within the group that includes some of the industry’s publications that are board members.
“I reached out to Vows and expressed my dissatisfaction over the IBMA. I spoke to others in the industry. Nobody wants to take a stand because they are afraid to speak up. But if someone doesn’t wake up and do something we won’t have an industry anymore– then what?” said Yeh.
Steve Lang and others in the industry acknowledged the lack of assertiveness at Vows.
A member of the IBMA– not Dessy– came forward to say Lang was several months late with his proposed campaign. Larry Warshaw of IBMA said the organization has a “sting operation going on and loose lips sink ships”. Warshaw also acknowledged the IBMA did not want to talk with eWedNewz.
According to Steve Lang, “I never saw letters from him and the guys we use in common as sales people said nothing. I even copied them on my response to him. I invited him to walk in my shoes and his feet are too small. He sees my education program as self promoting. I invest more in a year then he has invested in a lifetime in this industry.”
eWedNewz continues our investigation into this story and invites your views.
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