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Author Topic: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?  (Read 5101 times)

dilbert

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Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« on: October 19, 2012, 07:20:01 PM »
I can't help but feel Canon's move here is in response to both Beach and Adorama selling a lot of 5D Mark III's for a substantially less price than they normally do. This would quite likely led to lots of calls from Canadian (r)etailers bitching about how they are being undersold and can't do a thing about it.

It could also be that Canon (USA) is planning to reduce the cost of certain items to further selling more of them but this seems unlikely.

Be that as it may, I can't help but wonder if "MAP" applies to auction websites such as eBay and if it doesn't then there's a backdoor here that is still wide open.

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Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« on: October 19, 2012, 07:20:01 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2012, 07:52:10 PM »
Probably not to auctions, but most of the low priced bodies were not sold in auction format, they were sold thru a ebay store or fixed price listing.  Its a gray area.

PhotoPrice

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 08:57:14 AM »
I can't help but feel Canon's move here is in response to both Beach and Adorama selling a lot of 5D Mark III's for a substantially less price than they normally do. This would quite likely led to lots of calls from Canadian (r)etailers bitching about how they are being undersold and can't do a thing about it.

The deals only happened in eBay auctions, and in both cases, the cameras could only be shipped to the US. Shipping to Canada was not available. So this was probably not the triggering factor.

markbyland

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2012, 11:08:36 AM »
I can't help but feel Canon's move here is in response to both Beach and Adorama selling a lot of 5D Mark III's for a substantially less price than they normally do. This would quite likely led to lots of calls from Canadian (r)etailers bitching about how they are being undersold and can't do a thing about it.

It could also be that Canon (USA) is planning to reduce the cost of certain items to further selling more of them but this seems unlikely.

Be that as it may, I can't help but wonder if "MAP" applies to auction websites such as eBay and if it doesn't then there's a backdoor here that is still wide open.

MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) is part of the signed dealer agreement that the high-volume sellers have been ignoring. There have been some consistent offenders in MAP violation for years and it has put a lot of independent dealers out of business as a result.

For example, a small Mom & Pop shop gets the G15 the same day as the BIG retailers but Big & Huge blows 30 units out the door at $200 below MAP. Meanwhile, the Mom & Pop Store is just busy answering questions as to why people can find it else where for less, then that doesn't really mean every one is playing fair, does it?

Some one is violating legally binding terms of the dealership agreement and it isn't the Mom & Pop store. So, in order to give every one equal chance at a customer's business, manufacturers impose what is called a MAP, or Minimum Advertised Price. It's supposed to even the chances for customers to spread their hard earned dollar over the wealth of places from which to purchase gear. However, when some one likes to just open the semi trailer door and start a product toss at literally hundreds less than MAP, it makes a lot of people wonder why manufacturers tend to look the other way. It makes the smaller dealerships ask why the Big & Huge guys aren't being held to the same set of rules the little guys are.

Units, mojo. Units.

With diligence and repeatedly pointing this out to the Mfrs, it seems to be gaining ground that some thing is taking place and it needs to be dealt with.

As for shipping to Canada, I can, from personal experience, say that why would you want to? Regardless of size of box, the contents, or the way it's shipped, most, if not all people are subjected to Customs Fees upon pick up. Added shipping costs combined with major differences in market price means that one way or the other, some one is not paying the same price for the same gear.

Nikon can and does slap dealers on the wrist for even the simplest of MAP violations. As well, SONY will threaten to alleviate a dealer of their right to sell their products if they don't abide by their strict MAP policy. It was only time that all Mfrs have their feet held to the fire and enforce their dealership policies.

When it comes to auctions, if a product is an open box customer return item, it can be sold as such in the proper sales arena. It CAN NOT be sold under the premise as being new via a new product market and for a lower price, that's a major MAP violation. It has to be labeled as used, it has to abide by current market value, and it has to be backed up by the retailer in terms of honoring any warranty or other protected product status.

I look forward to the days of back door retailing to be over with. There's no need to maintain a monopoly on sales of any product. Or else we all should pretend its 1984 and there's only one retailer from which we buy our one type of camera. It's a free market system which has a set of rules for all to follow. It's a welcome endeavor seeing the Big & Huge guys having to play by the rules for a change.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 11:13:22 AM by markbyland »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2012, 12:07:01 PM »

It's a free market system which has a set of rules for all to follow. It's a welcome endeavor seeing the Big & Huge guys having to play by the rules for a change.
To me free market is one that does not restrict prices, I'd be free to sell below cost.  Restricting the price is not just protecting small dealers, its merely protecting the right of inefficient dealers to make a profit. Its the same complaint that small dealers have against wallmart when they think the government should step in and protect their "RIGHT" to charge more for the same thing due to their inefficiency.  If customers actually value their service so much, then they don't have to worry.
There is a much better reason to buy locally, and it comes when your local dealer provides good service.  I buy locally as well as from mail order houses, depending on the situation. (small local dealers do not sell all brands and models)
In the 1960's when I bought my first Canon SLR, prices were strictly controlled, you could not import a Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc camera.  Customs would seize it if they caught it.
A bunch of fellow workers got together and ordered cameras from T K Wood in Hong Kong.  The logos were painted out with black paint, or removed.  New logos were shipped in a separate box along with all the manuals and paperwork.
I bought mine locally.

markbyland

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2012, 01:04:04 PM »

It's a free market system which has a set of rules for all to follow. It's a welcome endeavor seeing the Big & Huge guys having to play by the rules for a change.
To me free market is one that does not restrict prices, I'd be free to sell below cost.  Restricting the price is not just protecting small dealers, its merely protecting the right of inefficient dealers to make a profit. Its the same complaint that small dealers have against wallmart when they think the government should step in and protect their "RIGHT" to charge more for the same thing due to their inefficiency.  If customers actually value their service so much, then they don't have to worry.
There is a much better reason to buy locally, and it comes when your local dealer provides good service.  I buy locally as well as from mail order houses, depending on the situation. (small local dealers do not sell all brands and models)
In the 1960's when I bought my first Canon SLR, prices were strictly controlled, you could not import a Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc camera.  Customs would seize it if they caught it.
A bunch of fellow workers got together and ordered cameras from T K Wood in Hong Kong.  The logos were painted out with black paint, or removed.  New logos were shipped in a separate box along with all the manuals and paperwork.
I bought mine locally.

In terms of being "inefficient" I can hardly call stacking up thousands of pre-orders on a camera they don't have in order to secure sales, telling people they'll be waiting for two months, good efficiency.

I know there were smaller retailers that were shipping major releases far faster than the "efficient" retailers you prefer.

As well, I'd rather go to an "inefficient" place that treated me like a person and not a member of the corralled herd.

It's never been any ones "right" to sell a product for more. But considering cameras only carry roughly a 5-7% margin over cost, blowing things out at $200 below MAP says some thing: they don't care what you do. That's not free enterprise, that's simply not giving a sh*t about any thing except numbers of cows parading through your winding barrier system. If a dealership can't abide by the rules that every one else is held hostage to, that means there is a problem. These days it's only a problem if both sides agree it's a problem. If, like in politics, one side says it isn't working, well there must be some thing "inefficient" about the other side, right? Meh.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2012, 01:26:15 PM »

In terms of being "inefficient" I can hardly call stacking up thousands of pre-orders on a camera they don't have in order to secure sales, telling people they'll be waiting for two months, good efficiency.

I know there were smaller retailers that were shipping major releases far faster than the "efficient" retailers you prefer.
Did I say I prefer the Larger retailers?  You might reread my post rather than making something up to fit your mindset. 
HERE IT IS AGAIN
"There is a much better reason to buy locally, and it comes when your local dealer provides good service.  I buy locally as well as from mail order houses, depending on the situation. (small local dealers do not sell all brands and models)"
I own and run a small business, so I know what efficiency is, and it has nothing to do with taking pre-orders.  It has to do with keeping my overhead cost down so that I do not have to inflate prices to survive. 
 

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2012, 01:26:15 PM »

markbyland

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2012, 01:49:08 PM »

In terms of being "inefficient" I can hardly call stacking up thousands of pre-orders on a camera they don't have in order to secure sales, telling people they'll be waiting for two months, good efficiency.

I know there were smaller retailers that were shipping major releases far faster than the "efficient" retailers you prefer.
Did I say I prefer the Larger retailers?  You might reread my post rather than making something up to fit your mindset. 
HERE IT IS AGAIN
"There is a much better reason to buy locally, and it comes when your local dealer provides good service.  I buy locally as well as from mail order houses, depending on the situation. (small local dealers do not sell all brands and models)"
I own and run a small business, so I know what efficiency is, and it has nothing to do with taking pre-orders.  It has to do with keeping my overhead cost down so that I do not have to inflate prices to survive.

I think I was more drawn to your impression of the "inefficient" smaller retailers. Which, if a person shops at smaller retailers and calls them "inefficient" while making the point, I would tend to lean towards thinking that person prefers the Big & Huge guys.

Sorry for the misunderstanding and thank you for clarifying your point.

Some thing happens to the Big & Huge guys when they get Big & Huge, they forget where they came from and will stop at nothing to crush the competition. Even if it means selling products below cost and extremely far below legal MAP pricing.

It's simple: People need to adhere to MAP (and there are a select few who don't.) However, no retailer that I've ever seen, unless they're willing to commit financial suicide, is selling things at an inflated price in the overpriced camera biz. It's more often the case that products are being sold well below dealer cost. Legally speaking: HOW?

If there are ever prices in question, check that particular retailers price and then check the price at the manufacturers website. If the two are different, one of two things have happened: 1) either they're violating MAP or 2) they haven't made the price adjustment to match the MAP set pricing. If you ever determine those prices are different, the dealership should be reported to the manufacturer in order to correct the situation.

Nostrada

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2012, 02:27:30 PM »
I can't help but feel Canon's move here is in response to both Beach and Adorama selling a lot of 5D Mark III's for a substantially less price than they normally do. This would quite likely led to lots of calls from Canadian (r)etailers bitching about how they are being undersold and can't do a thing about it.

It could also be that Canon (USA) is planning to reduce the cost of certain items to further selling more of them but this seems unlikely.

Be that as it may, I can't help but wonder if "MAP" applies to auction websites such as eBay and if it doesn't then there's a backdoor here that is still wide open.

MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) is part of the signed dealer agreement that the high-volume sellers have been ignoring. There have been some consistent offenders in MAP violation for years and it has put a lot of independent dealers out of business as a result.

For example, a small Mom & Pop shop gets the G15 the same day as the BIG retailers but Big & Huge blows 30 units out the door at $200 below MAP. Meanwhile, the Mom & Pop Store is just busy answering questions as to why people can find it else where for less, then that doesn't really mean every one is playing fair, does it?

Some one is violating legally binding terms of the dealership agreement and it isn't the Mom & Pop store. So, in order to give every one equal chance at a customer's business, manufacturers impose what is called a MAP, or Minimum Advertised Price. It's supposed to even the chances for customers to spread their hard earned dollar over the wealth of places from which to purchase gear. However, when some one likes to just open the semi trailer door and start a product toss at literally hundreds less than MAP, it makes a lot of people wonder why manufacturers tend to look the other way. It makes the smaller dealerships ask why the Big & Huge guys aren't being held to the same set of rules the little guys are.

Units, mojo. Units.

With diligence and repeatedly pointing this out to the Mfrs, it seems to be gaining ground that some thing is taking place and it needs to be dealt with.

[...]

I look forward to the days of back door retailing to be over with. There's no need to maintain a monopoly on sales of any product. Or else we all should pretend its 1984 and there's only one retailer from which we buy our one type of camera. It's a free market system which has a set of rules for all to follow. It's a welcome endeavor seeing the Big & Huge guys having to play by the rules for a change.

Few things that must be pointed out:
1. Any restrictions regarding the resale price might constitute an antirtust violation and the liable companies - which would include both the producer and the retailers - might be liable for extremely large fines.
2. Any restriction regarding the minimum resale price hurts the consumer. Yes, there is a point where the lower price is reflected in the lower quality of service, but I'd gladly pay 2500 USD for a 5DMk iii and agree to be treated like sh*t... I'm buying the product, I'm not paying the extra hundreds of dollars for a smile and a hand shake.
3. The Mom&Pop Store has no guaranteed legal right to be in a market. They stay in business if they are good enough to convince me and a sufficient number of other people that the extra $$$ paid for the same product is worth the extra quality of service. They have to earn their place in the market by either competing on price or providing something that the Bog&Huge do not provide.
4. A free market is just that - a free market where only the strong and proficient survive. You fail to notice that the Big&Huge guys invest in the market; unlike the Mom & Pop Store which has a somewhat knowledgeable sales person and a stock of 5 units, B&H and Adorama have huge investments in the logistics part of the business.

In conclusion, Minimum Advertised Prices are, as far as I'm concerned, illegal from an antitrust perspective and bad for me as a consumer. I sure hope they go away as fast as possible. Furthermore, it should be noted that agreements violating the antitrust provisions are usually considered to be null and void - as such, it would be funny to see Canon actually attempt to enforce such a clause in court and exposing itself to the huge liability deriving from a breach of the antitrust provisions.

markbyland

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2012, 04:18:17 PM »
I don't know if I would personally call the annual millions of dollars in sales of tangible inventory that a Mom & Pop that I know of a _minor_ investment in to 5 major companies.

If a certain Manufacturer doesn't want to be bothered by the little stores and only wants to ship product to a dealer who doesn't play by the rules set out for all to abide by then fine, they shouldn't even have opened the dealer account to begin with.

The small retailer (who carries every single model in numerous mfr lines - top to bottom) shouldn't be held responsible for trying to actualize the "American Dream" and be held liable for following the rules of the manufacturer.

Also, I find it incredibly difficult to blame the retailer when camera hardware margins are so small. Camera prices do not reflect the keystone 2.14xCost that every other aspect of retail is. Camera hardware margins are tiny compared to all other goods for sale in the marketplace. Some times as much as only 7%, once the credit card fees get paid, the light bills, etc, there is no room to move for sales. Which is why Mfrs control the instant savings programs. Those are prices set by the manufacturer for the dealer to abide by.

Can't blame the dealer for that. But many would like to try. It's the manufacturer's issue. If a Manufacturer places a set of rules on the table to abide by, then every one should be held accountable for that set of rules.

The point is: people who undercut MAP (because they order in quantities of hundreds and not tens - and therefor get larger discount percentages) should be held responsible for not adhering to the rules.

Rodknee

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2012, 04:39:15 PM »
I can't help but feel Canon's move here is in response to both Beach and Adorama selling a lot of 5D Mark III's for a substantially less price than they normally do. This would quite likely led to lots of calls from Canadian (r)etailers bitching about how they are being undersold and can't do a thing about it.

It could also be that Canon (USA) is planning to reduce the cost of certain items to further selling more of them but this seems unlikely.

Be that as it may, I can't help but wonder if "MAP" applies to auction websites such as eBay and if it doesn't then there's a backdoor here that is still wide open.

MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) is part of the signed dealer agreement that the high-volume sellers have been ignoring. There have been some consistent offenders in MAP violation for years and it has put a lot of independent dealers out of business as a result.

For example, a small Mom & Pop shop gets the G15 the same day as the BIG retailers but Big & Huge blows 30 units out the door at $200 below MAP. Meanwhile, the Mom & Pop Store is just busy answering questions as to why people can find it else where for less, then that doesn't really mean every one is playing fair, does it?

Some one is violating legally binding terms of the dealership agreement and it isn't the Mom & Pop store. So, in order to give every one equal chance at a customer's business, manufacturers impose what is called a MAP, or Minimum Advertised Price. It's supposed to even the chances for customers to spread their hard earned dollar over the wealth of places from which to purchase gear. However, when some one likes to just open the semi trailer door and start a product toss at literally hundreds less than MAP, it makes a lot of people wonder why manufacturers tend to look the other way. It makes the smaller dealerships ask why the Big & Huge guys aren't being held to the same set of rules the little guys are.

Units, mojo. Units.

With diligence and repeatedly pointing this out to the Mfrs, it seems to be gaining ground that some thing is taking place and it needs to be dealt with.

[...]

I look forward to the days of back door retailing to be over with. There's no need to maintain a monopoly on sales of any product. Or else we all should pretend its 1984 and there's only one retailer from which we buy our one type of camera. It's a free market system which has a set of rules for all to follow. It's a welcome endeavor seeing the Big & Huge guys having to play by the rules for a change.

Few things that must be pointed out:
1. Any restrictions regarding the resale price might constitute an antirtust violation and the liable companies - which would include both the producer and the retailers - might be liable for extremely large fines.
2. Any restriction regarding the minimum resale price hurts the consumer. Yes, there is a point where the lower price is reflected in the lower quality of service, but I'd gladly pay 2500 USD for a 5DMk iii and agree to be treated like sh*t... I'm buying the product, I'm not paying the extra hundreds of dollars for a smile and a hand shake.
3. The Mom&Pop Store has no guaranteed legal right to be in a market. They stay in business if they are good enough to convince me and a sufficient number of other people that the extra $$$ paid for the same product is worth the extra quality of service. They have to earn their place in the market by either competing on price or providing something that the Bog&Huge do not provide.
4. A free market is just that - a free market where only the strong and proficient survive. You fail to notice that the Big&Huge guys invest in the market; unlike the Mom & Pop Store which has a somewhat knowledgeable sales person and a stock of 5 units, B&H and Adorama have huge investments in the logistics part of the business.

In conclusion, Minimum Advertised Prices are, as far as I'm concerned, illegal from an antitrust perspective and bad for me as a consumer. I sure hope they go away as fast as possible. Furthermore, it should be noted that agreements violating the antitrust provisions are usually considered to be null and void - as such, it would be funny to see Canon actually attempt to enforce such a clause in court and exposing itself to the huge liability deriving from a breach of the antitrust provisions.

+1

In my experience, paying more is no guarantee of better service (sometimes it is the opposite), so Mom and Pop need to extol their virtues not complain about the virtues of others. I have to earn my money the same as Mom and Pop so I want to get the best value I can. We pay more in the UK for the same gear and that is nothing to do with protecting Mom and Pop - it is to do with Canon charging what they can get away with - so Canon are not big on levelling the playing field when the field gets bigger.

markbyland

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2012, 04:49:20 PM »

+1

In my experience, paying more is no guarantee of better service (sometimes it is the opposite), so Mom and Pop need to extol their virtues not complain about the virtues of others. I have to earn my money the same as Mom and Pop so I want to get the best value I can. We pay more in the UK for the same gear and that is nothing to do with protecting Mom and Pop - it is to do with Canon charging what they can get away with - so Canon are not big on levelling the playing field when the field gets bigger.

It still sounds to me like people are willing to blame the Mom & Pop store for having to abide by the rules instead of walking away from the guy who [is supposed to] but doesn't.

Funny thing, this world. People define themselves through their actions, I guess.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 04:53:58 PM by markbyland »

Nostrada

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2012, 03:14:00 AM »

+1

In my experience, paying more is no guarantee of better service (sometimes it is the opposite), so Mom and Pop need to extol their virtues not complain about the virtues of others. I have to earn my money the same as Mom and Pop so I want to get the best value I can. We pay more in the UK for the same gear and that is nothing to do with protecting Mom and Pop - it is to do with Canon charging what they can get away with - so Canon are not big on levelling the playing field when the field gets bigger.

It still sounds to me like people are willing to blame the Mom & Pop store for having to abide by the rules instead of walking away from the guy who [is supposed to] but doesn't.

Funny thing, this world. People define themselves through their actions, I guess.

The rule is that you cannot impose the resale price of your products, because the dealers must compete against each other. Competition will a) separate the efficient from the inefficient; b) give customers a lower price and c)determine the value of a product.

As such, Canon would be violating the rule of not imposing a minimum resale price if they try to impose one. Does that make sense? There is no legal rule that says that a dealer must abide to the minimum price rule set by Canon. NONE. Most of the agreements that would enforce such a rule are illegal.

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2012, 03:14:00 AM »

Pag

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2012, 10:24:49 AM »
When corporations send our job overseas, it's described as the free market at work, improving efficiency. When citizens want to purchase in foreign countries to get better prices, it's described as an unfair problem that must be stopped (also happens with region locked movies, video games, etc.) Double standards everywhere...

To be honest, I don't really care about the retailer, be it a large chain or small store. I get information online, I order from the cheapest place I can find and if there's a problem I talk with Canon directly. The retailer is just a middleman that takes money for being between me and the product I want to purchase. If I could order directly from Canon for cheaper, I would. Why should I care about making the middleman survive?

andy

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Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2012, 11:52:44 PM »
Today, I put in a formal complaint to the Canadian Federal government agains't Canon for breaching the Free Trade Agreement.  They can not block the sale of goods to Canadians in the United States just as we can not block the sale of goods and services to US citizens or companies in Canada.  I believe the intent of the free trade agreement is that they have to treat us the same.   

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Does Minimum Advertised Price apply to auctions?
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2012, 11:52:44 PM »