I love the term “Value subtracted reseller” - that has been my experience of them as a software provider / seller. I only sell 2-3 units a month through resellers (value ranging from $100-$5000 the latter more rarely than the former sadly), but it always involves more work that the customer just buying directly from me (for both myself and the customer).
In my experience it is typically larger corporates who have an agreement with SHI, Insight or someone else that all software much be purchased through them. The benefit for the purchaser is that the reseller deals with most of the paper work (W8-BEN-E for example), for paying a premium on the product.
The benefit for the seller? Yet to see one (the sale happens I suppose).
Of course sometimes the reseller manages to get a discount (when Microsoft sort of volumes are involved), but whenever I get an e-mail from a reseller asking for a discount I know its going to involve more work and am very tempted to give them a marked up price (haven’t yet).
There are also the odd small reseller (and small companies pretending to be big ones by using a reseller) who say things like “please don’t send the customer the invoice”, to which I typically reply “sure, but my prices are clearly shown on the web-site, your customer will see them…”).
Anyway, for value subtracted resellers, unless they can provably increase your revenue (and you have a contract to go with that), I’d tell them to get stuffed when they ask for a discount
(I’m bitter about it as I’ve got two low value purchases going through resellers atm)