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MAP is good and not going away
MAP is good and only going to get stronger
Cactus Pools



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 10:15 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
I decided to sign up for this site just to put in some real truths to this discussion. Do you really think MAP can go away? NO.... Do I think Map is legal price fixing? YES.... The problem with on-line retailers is the fact they don't know how to retail. What happened to good old-fashion customer service? The warm fuzzy you get from a one on one conversation with a sales pro that knows the product. Listen...... You can cry and be bitter and do your best to get around map. BUT WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT YOU? WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS PRACTICES? First off if you are a person that spends every waking moment trying to get around map so you can make 3 dollars ten times selling this widget, then go find a job, because the product you are selling, the manufacture doesn't want you selling it.
You need to take a look at the big picture here. Map is not designed to be a pain in your rear end. It is there to protect the price and value of their product. It makes their brand more valuable. The manufacture is going to sell the same amount of product with or without you. On-line stores have spun out of control "whoring" the product to the consumer.

This is the wave of the future Map isn't going away. Map is only going to be getting tighter and stricter. The manufacture will always win the argument.

Here is what is coming, so have a back up plan to make money for your family. Manufactures are going to downsize their "dealer" status. Like some car manufactures gm and Ford. You will have to have a certification to be a dealer. A certifiction to be a dealer you ask? Yes you will need to be a certified dealer to service supply sell and warranty the product. With this anual certification you will be able to use the manufactures pictures with their copywrite for that year. That picture will be the only one in commerce. Your authorized competitors will also have the same picture. If you play by the rules then next year you can also recieve a certificate to be an authorized dealer. You want to break map? You will not be on the list.

Here is what is coming part 2: Absolute uncompliant Map violaters will be served with copy-rite lawsuits. The manufacture has the trump card. You may ask yourself "Well thats my picture, how can they sue me over a picture that I already copy-writed? Oh yes they can! Would you like to know how? OK I will tell you.

A picture deemed to be in a proffesional state all copy-rites may be subject to property of the manufacture. Why you ask? Because the manufacture has had pictures of your product way before you. Your only defence is if you had a picture and sold the manufactures product before the manufacture even produced the product and sold it to you. Yes you didn't and you can't its impossible.

If you take a picture of you and your friends in front of your Toyota jumping up and down because it hit 300k miles. If Toyota doesn't like you Totyota can take your picture and possibly get damages.

Is map going to hurt your business? Yes it will. But the pressure from Brick and Mortar goes alot deeper than your blahblahblah.com site. The internet isn't going anywhere and they are still nuilding retail space. An average e-comerce industy standard is 8-20%. Retail sales from brick and mortar are 80-92% more than e-commerce. It's a natural progression to protect Brick and Mortar.

Look the situation is becoming loud and clear for e-commerce sites. Play by the rules or go get a job.

You may think I don't have an internet site. I have over 100 domains and 5 active e-commerce sites. I sell to make money and a good margin. I would rather sell 1 widget and make 100 bucks than 10 of them to make the same.

I would like to hear feedback on this....

 

SevenCubed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 10:42 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

With over 100 domains and 5 active e-commerce sites how did you find time to write this? And what is MAP, for the uninitiated?

briggidere

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 10:45 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

feedback on what? it was just a rant.

piatkow

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 10:54 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

From the context and a few minutes in a wiki disambiguation page it doesn't appear to refer to Motorcycle Awareness Program or the indie band of that name from Riverside, California. I would guess he is ranting about "minumum advertised price".

Do I think Map is legal price fixing?

No, I know that MAP is illegal price fixing but then, unlike me, the OP may live in a country that permits price fixing.

StoutFiles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 11:13 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm confused because I was expecting some sort of sales pitch near the end about MAP. Now I don't know what to think...

dickbaker

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 11:19 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't know what to say that wouldn't be insulting, so I'll just leave it at this: it's "copyright" not "copy-rites". Or is copy-rites the brand name for some product that sells only at MAP?

SevenCubed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 11:20 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Each day I count my blessings that I don't live in a litigious society.

arieng

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 11:32 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

MAP has its places, but I personally think it is overused by manufacturers.

I will say this --> if you are going to implement a MAP policy for your products, make sure that is is both enforceable and thoroughly enforced. We've seen a lot of MAP policies over the years that were utterly unenforceable, and distributors are very good at finding loopholes that you never would have thought to address.

We've also encountered strict MAP policies with serious penalties for violation that when you submit violations from a larger distributor (I'm looking at you big 'A'), all you hear about is how it was an internal procedural problem and their working closely with the distributor to resolve it. No penalties assessed.

So, is MAP good or bad? Who cares. Just make sure its fair and its enforced or you'll be looking for new distributors.

Greenbeetle



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 4:47 pm on Dec 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Our ecommerce site LOVES MAP items. They are higher margin and generally higher quality. As long as the manufacturer keeps the playing field level MAP is king.

If we have to choose between selling ten non-MAP widgets for $3 profit each or selling 1 MAP widget for a $30 profit, the choice is crystal clear. We have been on both sides of this coin and MAP is the obvious winner for us.

We view it as the manufacturer looking out for their dealers and taking care of us. Several of the knife makers we deal with don't have MAPs and you have never seen such a cut-throat, bloody, low-margin mess.


We were going to sign up with Sn****k as a dealer but saw they did not enforece their MAP. We sent them links to 7 sites selling their items under MAP. They said they were working hard to address this. Several weeks later when prices on most of the sites did not change we walked away and quickly. That is all it takes. The economy stinks and for now manufacturers are desparate for opening orders. Low cost competition for identicle Chinese items is rampant. We have the power, so use it.


I don't know what this guy is on about. We envy B&M in alot of ways. No shipping hassles, fewer disputes, better chance to interact with customers. Overhead is more as you're typically in a more expensive lease and there's more POS costs but many of our demographic would rather do business with B&M.

dickbaker

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 11:40 pm on Dec 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't charge MAP, and I don't feel like arguing for or against it.

What makes me very angry is when a company allows an online retailer to display prices below MAP after forcing the rest of us to hide our below-MAP prices. I've contacted the manufacturer several times to complain about this, but the site still has below-MAP prices showing.

The site is almost a complete copy of the manufacturer's site, right down to the logo, and is breaking the MAP rules, and nobody does anything about it. They had my distributors cut me off completely until I hid my prices.

jwurunner

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 3:03 am on Dec 16, 2010 (gmt 0)


What makes me very angry is when a company allows an online retailer to display prices below MAP after forcing the rest of us to hide our below-MAP prices. I've contacted the manufacturer several times to complain about this, but the site still has below-MAP prices showing.

The site is almost a complete copy of the manufacturer's site, right down to the logo, and is breaking the MAP rules, and nobody does anything about it. They had my distributors cut me off completely until I hid my prices.


We have the same issue. We are for MAP pricing and follow the rules along with many of our competitors. However, our larger competitors don't follow the rules and seem to be exempt from them. If we go below MAP, we are cut off but the "big boys" can do as they please.

Manufactures should either enforce for all or drop it all together.

RhinoFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 3:54 pm on Dec 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

> Manufacturers should either enforce for all or drop it all together.

Amen to that!

Rugles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 4:43 pm on Dec 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

An average e-comerce industy standard is 8-20%.


Not sure what gives you that idea. We don't have any products selling at a 20% markup.

I am not suggesting it is not happening somewhere but suggesting it is standard practice is not correct.

The original poster is obviously angry about some of his competitors.

Maximus1000



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 12:03 am on Dec 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Strict MAP enforcement is very beneficial to my business. I have a few brands that I sell that are very strict with their pricing and work to take down unauthorized sites or sites that are breaking the rules. Unfortunately there are few brands that say they have MAP pricing rules however they do not enforce them. I have found that we make a much larger profit margin on the brands who enforce MAP pricing, and much less on those that do not. I would rather sell 1 item at the MSRP map price rather than 3 at a discounted price.

I had a big problem about a year ago with a particular manufacturer whos products we were selling on our site. We had just negotiated with them to buy 30K of inventory and we would receive 10K free. It was a good deal for us as sales of this companies products were going well. Just a week after we made this large purchase a competitor opened shop offering huge discounts on this same brand, well below MAP. I reported them, and the manufacturer said they were aware of this site and said they are no longer selling to them. However they are still up and running, and we had a very difficult time selling through this large batch of inventory. The problem is that we had to abide by the MAP rules even though the other site didn't putting us in a very hard situation. Thats why I fully support MAP policies as long as they apply to everyone and are strictly enforced.

lorax

WebmasterWorld Administrator lorax us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 1:59 pm on Dec 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld Cactus Pools!

You make some good points about possible future of MAP. I think you've leaned towards the harsher side of how it could be played out. I like to think that while manufacturers will strive to control their product sales and profits online, they will need online outlets to sell those products. And the ones that are good at selling are the independent salespeople/sites - at least until a manufacturer reaches critical mass with their own online presence and sales. It makes little sense for a manufacturer to play hardball. That's not to say they shouldn't attempt to control their pricing. I just hope there will be more tolerance.

ssgumby

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 6:28 pm on Dec 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

What happened to good old-fashion customer service? The warm fuzzy you get from a one on one conversation with a sales pro that knows the product.


This sums it up ... eCommerce is thriving BECAUSE this isnt as important as it use to be. People may have use to like that back in the Leave it to Beaver days, but now people are in such a rush they want in and out and they want eCommerce so they can click and shop from home and have it sitting on their doorstep in 5 days.

As for MAP, it is a joke .. MAP is used to force certain retailer out of the market while letting the bigger good ole boys price as they wish.

Kind of funny you mention copyright images. We got a letter from a manufacturer lawyer saying we were selling below MAP and needed to cease retail sales. I checked and found we were below MAP but well above other etailers AND brick and mortar stores. I wrote back and explained this and said I couldnt raise to MAP or I would be out of the market for this one product unless EVERYONE listed at MAP. Lawyer then fires back and says we are in copyright infringement as we have their product images on our site. Ok, so I fire back and explain I got the images FROM the manufacturer on disk. They respond with I need to stop selling, as only authorized retailers can sale this product. I respond that if they would go to their own site, use the handy search tool they would find my business under the list of authorized retailers. Lawyer comes back with apology saying they must not have gotten the full list of authorized retailers but I still need to get to MAP. I response back with I do not want to work with the manufacturer and they seem to be a wreck, I tell them I want my site removed from their authorized retailer list and in fact they have my copyrighted logo on THEIR sight illegally and they have 30 days to remove it. Bottom line is I dont sell that product anymore, it hasnt hurt me and in fact I sell a more competitive version of it and make way more on it.

lpiracing



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 2:48 am on Jan 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

MAP is very common in my industry. The gripe I have is the Manufacturers selectively enforce it. They call us, and tell us to raise our price. We show them Google Shopping where the entire first two pages are below map. Their answer is we need to raise our price. We comply and sales drops to literally $0. Then they call as and wonder why we are not selling their products. If it was just one manufacturer I wouldn't be upset, but when you have 5-6 playing the same game it pisses me off.

I'd love to sue the manufacturer for it somehow. I'm all for MAP, but it needs to be enforced across the board.

gpilling

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4228218 posted 6:20 pm on Jan 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have been a manufacturer with a MAP program, a ecommerce seller that has to deal with MAP from my suppliers, and I have had to get lawyers involved to protect myself from a manufacturer that wanted to sue me over MAP. For ecommerce, I am pro-MAP because I would rather compete with other sites based on SEO, better ads, knowledgeable phone support etc and still make some money. From a manufacturer's point of view I am pro-MAP because my dealers can spend a lot more on Adwords and the like which ultimately increases the exposure of my brand by a lot.

I learned a lot about the concept of "first sale doctrine" during my adventure with the lawyers. Essentially, if you bought something it is yours. No manufacturer can tell you that you can sell a widget for half price if you already own it. The manufacturer can never sell you one again, but he can't remove your rights to dispose of it how you please. Exceptions to this rule have been seen with Amazon and kindle books, but in cases like that the purchaser has signed an agreement. I personally have never had to sign an agreement like that for wholesaling product, and it would fail the logic test anyway (you could never have a bankruptcy sale for less than retail price, for example)

If you take a picture of you and your friends in front of your Toyota jumping up and down because it hit 300k miles. If Toyota doesn't like you Totyota can take your picture and possibly get damages.
This is not true. I can take all the pictures I want of my Toyota. I could even light it on fire. It is MINE. What I can't do is pretend that I represent Toyota.

I have been told by manufacturers reps who deal with Amazon that the big A has bots that scour the internet for pricing information and automatically lower their pricing to match - even if it violates MAP or goes down to cost. This has caused the manufactures a lot of headaches, especially in two-step distribution (manufacturer->wholesaler->dealer) since they can't effectively control the dealer through the wholesaler. If the wholesaler cuts off the dealer then the dealer gets it somewhere else. It becomes a game of whack-a-mole, and the end result is that the wholesaler loses the dealer business for that line, plus all the other lines that they bought from them. Thus, a wholesaler has a large disincentive to enforce a manufacturers MAP program.

In the end, I will re-state that I am pro-MAP. It can become quite a sticky mess in some cases though.

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