What is Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP)?
Minimum advertised pricing is a method upon which manufacturers dictate to retailers the price which must be advertised for a given product. Many times, this advertising is restrictive to the point of ensuring the consumer pays too much for a given product. This site is meant to educate you, the consumer, with an invitation to reach out to manufacturers and tell them you're not in support of overpaying for their products.
Also note, Minimum Resale Price (MRP) policies are a close cousin to MAP policies. The difference is that MRP policies dictate the minimum price at which an item can be sold vs. advertised.
Myth: MAP Policies are Good for Consumers
Fact: MAP Policies are Bad for Consumers Due to Potentially Higher Prices
Mininum advertised pricing (MAP) sometimes causes consumers to pay higher prices than if MAP did not exist. This is often times due to restrictions in place where a customer has to take additional steps such as calling a retailer to determine the best possible price. If the consumer doesn't know they need to call, they may end up paying more than necessary for an item.
Myth: MAP Levels the Playing Field
Fact: MAP Supports Inefficient Businesses
Mininum advertised pricing (MAP) is often referred to as a mechanism to level the playing field between competitors. This is nonsense. Inefficient business models shouldn't be rewarded for the unwillingness to change with the times and become leaner organizations.
Myth: Manufacturers Always Disclose Their Policies
Fact: Some Manufacturers Want to Keep Policies a Secret
While many manufacturers do in fact disclose their policies, others are much more restrictive. They may restrict a retailer from disclosing that such an anti-consumer policy is in place. If you're going to have a Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policy then own it and disclose it. We can disagree on opinions as to the merits of MAP, but "hiding" it makes me lose respect for you.
Myth: MAP Policies are Enforced Equally
Fact: Manfacturer's Sometimes Pick and Choose Enforcement Actions
We've seen it time and time again. A large retailer breaks a MAP policy with little or no reprecussions, yet when a small business does the same thing immediate action is taken against them. It's not only unfair, but it's also illegal.
Myth: MAP Policies are Implemented to Protect the Value of the Brand
Fact: MAP Policies are Implemented to Appease Whining Dealers
Ask any manufacturer why they've implemented a MAP policy and they'll tell you the legal answer is to protect the value of their brand. Ask many of them "off the record" and they'll often times admit that it was due to pressure from traditional dealers to help "protect" their interests. Legally, this is not a sound principal. I guess I'm here whining too... the only difference is I'm whining to try to protect the best interest of my customers.
Myth: Dealers "Win" by Making More Money with MAP Policies
Fact: Dealers "Lose" When they Don't Serve Their Customers Interests
I've had numerous conversations with manufacturers where they've asked why I'm opposed to MAP - more specifically, why I'm opposed to making more money from my customers. The answer is simple: I win the trust of my customers by always providing them with the lowest possible price for a product every single time. No games, no hassles, the best price and the best service every time. That's a real long-term winning strategy in my opinion.
Myth: MAP Policies Are Enforced Both On and Offline
Fact: Many MAP Policies Are Often Only Enforced Against Online Advertising
Most manufacturers only enforce their MAP policies against online advertising - print, in-store and other mediums are either ignored or exempted from the rules. There are exceptions, but those are far and few between. If we're talking about fairness and equality in "leveling the playing field" as some manufacturers claim, then they're failing miserably at this goal. Instead, they're putting internet dealers at a distinct disadvantage putting handcuffs on their operations while others can wheel and deal freely.
Myth: Manufacturers Never Use MAP Policies as Sales Tools
Fact: Some Manufacturers Allow for Lower MAP Prices Based Upon Volume
Legally speaking, MAP policies are supposed to protect the value of the brand. Some manufacturers however have discovered that they can be used as lucrative sales tools as well. If you're a dealer who buys X amount of product your MAP price for a product might be $1,000. If you buy a little (or a LOT) more, your MAP price may only be $900 - giving you as a dealer a competive edge over the dealers who didn't buy in at the higher tier in the program. My question to you is this, if the policy is meant to "protect the brand", how is it okay to thereby "diminish" the brand when a dealer spends more money with you? Silence. Silence because there is no justifiable answer aside from the fact that the MAP policy is really a wolf in sheeps clothing being used as a creative sales too.
Myth: The Views Expressed on this Site are Anonymous
Fact: We're Transparent and Proud of Our Views
This site was developed by Restaurant Equipment World, a leading foodservice equipment and supplies dealer. We are proud to stand up for the benefit of restaurant operators and consumers everywhere to give a voice to those whom may be overpaying for products based upon ill-concieved Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policies in the industry. Our customers are our #1 priority, without them our business wouldn't exist. While we are opposed to MAP policies and point out numerous flaws with many of them, some of our vendor parters actually have done an honorable job of implementing and enforcing them. We still don't agree with the fact they're in place, but we do respect those manufacturers and their decision to continue their policies.