What is an authorized distributor, and does it really matter if I decide to buy from a non-authorized distributor?

Mar 16 2023 Sophia

Let’s use 3M Singapore (the manufacturer), Jestac Pte Ltd (3M’s authorized distributor) and 3M Solar Films (the product) as a case study:


At Jestac, we always highlight to our potential customers that we are the only authorized distributor of 3M Singapore products (see letter below). Why is this important? You may be thinking “If I buy a 3M solar film from a non-authorized distributor, isn’t it the same? After all, it is the same exact film from 3M and it is even cheaper!” Well… we will explore together why it can be risky to do so.

Authorization Letter by 3MTM Singapore

Authorized distributor vs. non-authorized distributor

What is an authorized distributor?

An authorized distributor means that the manufacturer – 3M Singapore – and the seller – Jestac – have made an agreement that allows Jestac to sell 3M products.

Being an authorized distributor means the following:

  • We have an established contractual relationship with 3M Singapore;
  • we have the official rights to sell 3M’s merchandise;
  • our installers are certified and regularly trained by 3M Singapore;
  • we have a good reputation since 3M Singapore has verified that our merchandise are authentic;
  • the products we sell to our customers are covered by 3M’s warranty on top of Jestac’s very own workmanship warranty.

What is an non-authorized distributor?

Non-authorized distributors who sell 3M solar films have not been given the official rights by 3M Singapore to sell their products. Being an non-authorized distributor means that:

  • The company or individual does not have the authorization or approval of 3M Singapore or Jestac to sell 3M products;
  • the products sold may be counterfeit, stolen, or defective and do not meet 3M Singapore’s standards or warranty;
  • the non-authorized distributors may engage in price gouging or other unethical practices, which can harm both consumers and 3M’s reputation.

Benefits of buying from an Authorized Distributor

Quality assurance

3M Singapore always ensure that Jestac obtains the best of their products so we can in turn offer the consumer market only the highest quality products. For instance, when you purchase 3M solar films from Jestac, you can be absolutely sure that the solar films you receive is 100% genuine and is of the best quality out there. In an event you have issues with your purchase, you have the backing of a reputable company who will ensure that your issues are solved.

Warranty support

When you buy 3M solar films from Jestac, the solar films come with a valid warranty. If there is an issue with the solar film, you can bypass Jestac and directly contact 3M for support. Why is this important? Well… 3M is a long-standing company with a 121-year history. 3M Singapore has been around for more than 50 years. Let’s say after 14 years, you would like to claim your warranty for the Presitge Solar Film – which has a 15-year warranty – how sure are you that the non-authorized distributor will still be around? If you try to claim that warranty from 3M Singapore, your claims will be denied since you did not buy it from their authorized distributor. On the other hand, if you had bought your solar films from Jestac, and if Jestac is not around after 14 years, you can still claim that warranty from 3M Singapore.

Technical support

Jestac has direct access to the 3M Singapore’s technical support team, which can be very helpful if you have questions about the product or need assistance with installation or troubleshooting. Unauthorized distributors may not have the same level of support.

Knowledge & Training

Jestac’s staff receive special training from 3M Singapore on a regularly basis to ensure that our staff are skilled in using, distributing and installing 3M’s products. Thus, our customers can be put at ease and trust that we provide only the highest service and quality products. On the other hand, a non-authorized distributor does not have the luxury of having this connection with 3M Singapore.

Product availability

We have access to the 3M Singapore’s entire product line of the products stated in the letter, which means we can offer a wider selection of products than unauthorized distributors.

Legal protection

Buying from an unauthorized distributor may put you at risk of violating intellectual property laws, which can have serious legal consequences. In contrast, buying from an authorized distributor ensures that you are purchasing products that are legally and ethically sourced.

Risks of buying from a Non-Authorized Distributor

Invalid Warranty
They may get genuine 3M films from overseas and then ship them to Singapore to sell. However, this means that your film’s warranty is only valid in that country and not covered by 3M Singapore. In an event you face issues with your film and want to change it, you will have to go through the overseas manufacturer and even then, it may not be guaranteed that you can be covered.

Lower quality

They may have acquire the solar films from unreliable sources, which could mean that you are receiving used or stolen goods. Although these films are priced lower, the quality of the film is questionable.

Counterfeit goods

There is no way to know if the solar films are genuine or fake since 3M Singapore did not authorize the product and you can only be left guessing.


Although buying from a non-authorized distributor may be cheaper, there are many conditions and risks attached to this lower price. For one, the product may not be authentic and its quality may be subpar. There is no way for you to tell the quality of the product with your naked eye. The product may not hold up long but by the time you realize it, it is too late. Buying from an authorized distributor may be a little pricier, but the assurance tied to it is undeniable. Even after a decade has passed since you have purchased the product, you can still claim its warranty (if it is within the warranty period) and know that the manufacturer will be there to honor that warranty. 

Considering everything, it is important to purchase products from authorized distributors to ensure quality, safety, and authenticity. It is important to research a company’s past customers to hear about their positive reviews about their solar film installation before committing to a purchase


Got any questions about solar films that haven’t been answered here? Feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help home owners in their home solutions journey.

At Jestac, we distribute world-class 3M Solar Films for customers across Singapore. If you are shopping around for window films and other interior solutions, feel free to take a look at our prestige solar films, visit our blog, or request custom pricing by contacting us.

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