value-subtracted reseller
n. A store or distributor that resells another company’s goods or services, but with less value due to shoddy workmanship, extra paperwork, or lack of expertise. Also: VSR.

Example Citations:
One thing is clear: the resellers are not adding value. They are not VARs. They’re VSRs — value subtracted resellers. They offer they same services, but with more layers of red tape. They can’t answer a question about services, because they’re not offering them, they‘re just reselling them). They can’t offer service level guarantees, for the same reason; they’re contracts are filled with weasel words. They‘re adding nothing.
—Alan Zeichick, “Value Subtracted Resellers and the hunt for bandwidth,” Z Trek: The Alan Zeichick Weblog, August 21, 2008

Value-Subtracted Reseller
A company that buys components from other companies and puts them together in a system that’s less than the sum of its parts. Opposite of value-added reseller.
—Gareth Branwyn, “Jargon Watch,” Wired, July 1, 1995

Earliest Citation:
So-called integrators are caught in a vicious cycle, wherethey depend greatly for their revenue on hardware sales and box movement. Superstores and direct value-subtracted resellers move productsat or below cost to get certain kinds of business.
—Stan Levine, “Interview: Stan Levine: Vice President, Automated Design Systems,” The Local Area Network Magazine, December 1, 1991

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