MAP Pricing "Minimum Advertised Pricing" why is Strongly in Favor of it

Lately, there's been some controversy about Minimum Advertised Pricing – the practice whereby a manufacturer sets a pre-specified minimum price – in effect, a limit as to how low a retailer can go regarding the advertised prices of its products. Retailers who violate these guidelines may lose their status as an authorized reseller for said manufacturer.

There are those who maintain that such a pricing policy is tantamount to price fixing – but we respectfully disagree. The retailer remains free to sell the product at any price once the customer is in the store (or, for online stores, in the "shopping cart"). Retailers may still employ a variety of promotional tactics – freebies, free shipping, coupons, bundled "specials," etc. to spark a sale.

We'd like to take a moment to share why we are pro-MAP, because it really does speak to our business values – and, in fact, to the economic and social value of millions of small businesses across America.

MAP guidelines, in our opinion, are a welcome effort by manufacturers to prevent its resellers from competing strictly on price – so that they can survive to compete tomorrow. Let me explain. Certain "big box" stores, both online and in your nearby shopping center, can afford to keep lowering a product's price to near its actual cost, or even below that! Why? Because they know that some "loss leaders" will bring more people into the store (or site) . . . and maybe those people will buy other (more profitable) stuff. The bottom line is that these mega-stores can sell dozens of products at near or below cost and still make a tidy profit at the end of the day from its total sales.

Oh, and did I mention that the big stores are getting big volume discounts – so much so that they can sell products for less than the retailer’s wholesale cost? So, given that king-sized pricing advantage, how can the little guy compete? On price alone, he or she simply can’t. Sure, the small retailer can have sales and loss leaders – but they can’t go toe to toe against the big guys and survive for very long.

Fortunately, there are other ways to compete:
  • By providing sales people who know their products well and will happily take the time to explain them to you.
  • By offering a better selection of quality products that refuse to play the "big box" game.
  • By providing good old-fashioned service and less waiting in those long lines.
That’s what we do, every day, at, and many of our customers praise us for it, but here’s my key point: we could not afford to offer all that service and support if we were only making a few cents on the dollar. It just doesn’t compute.

Let’s say you went to a big discount retailer and had a specific question, about a ChiliPad, your helpful sales associate might try to find the answer on the package information – or not. My bet is that you’d be no better informed than when you walked in. And yet, my staff and I routinely spend ten minutes or more on phone calls providing product details, making specific recommendations, and taking the time to determine more precisely what a particular customer wants.  Do you think it would be fair that, after fielding such calls, the customer buys that product from one of the big box retailers? Well, we don’t think so either.

MAP is a policy that doesn’t guarantee a level playing field, but it does reduce the tilt. It doesn’t deprive the consumer the opportunity of shopping for the lowest price, but it does make it more possible for the smaller “online retailers” who support the smaller manufacturers, that offer us products that may not be found in a larger retail stores, to stay in business.

And if you deplore the juggernaut of the big box stores and all the closed storefronts in your neck of the woods, well . . . you have a chance to vote every day with your wallet. Shopping the lowest price is not the bargain it appears to be. Customer service, courtesy, knowledgeable staff for your every question or concern, follow up on your inquires, add value and ease to each purchase. We at BeyondBeds take pride in offering you high quality goods, and exemplary service that is but a call or an e-mail away.