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Author Topic: MAP - Minimum Advertised Pricing  (Read 4325 times)
Mark Damien
STEAM'S the DREAM


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« on: May 06, 2007, 07:33:26 AM »


Hi all,
 Just a question about MAP.

Seen on a website :
BLi & PCM now have MAP pricing Minimum Advertised Pricing. 20% off RRP.

Does this mean dealers are no longer allowed to "free trade" in the US?

 
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Even if the prototypes never existed, someone would have created Model Trains anyway.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Steams the Dream
Cheers.
Mark
ebtbob


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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2007, 08:14:15 AM »

Mark,

       One could assume your assesment is correct.  I work partiime for Lin's Junction in Lansdale, Pa and was in the store when Linda got the notification from BLI.   Basically,  she is furious.   BLI,  over the past year has become one of the most unethical operations in the hobby.   They have estabilished a process where you,  the buying public,  can buy direct from them for prices that are less than what they charge the stores.   That is why,  if you come into the store,  you find next to nothing in the engine case from BLI.   Right now there a total of three pieces from BLI there and they are engines that were ordered for customers and then never purchased.   Linda will order anything from BLI that she can get her hands on thru a distributor,  but that is all.   This situtation smacks of BLI forcing a pricing policy on the stores to protect their buy direct program.   A program that, very possibly, would not be necessary,  if it were not for  poor manufacturing planning that left them with too much production over runs.   C-16 is a perfect example.
       However,  the problems with BLI do not end with pricing.   Our store has a three man staff that does repairs and dcc/dcc with sound installations.     BLI will not let them do any repairs to their equipment.  They force us to make our customers spend the money to ship to and from BLI for repairs,  which at last check,  the lead time is now up to 8 weeks.
       But.....what is the buying public to do?    Go on a buying embargo?
In the end,  this will only hurt the small store owners and the buying public will really not feel any benefit in the wallet.  I fear we are headed to a future of buying via the internet or from the hugh entities such as Caboose Hobbies - a company that I have not had a need to deal with and have no feelings for one way or another.  I like the convienience of the local store and being able to see my merchandise,  before I pay for it.

Bob
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Bob Rule, Jr.
Hatboro, Pa
In God We Trust
Not so much in Congress
GATSME MRRC - www.gatsme.org
cmgn9712

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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2007, 08:44:24 AM »

Gees guys relax. MAP is legal; in the US. All it means is you can't ADVERTISE at a price below what the  company specifies. You can sell it for whatever you want. If you are st all awake, you will see ads saying "call for price" " too low to print here" and all sorts of like.  Many large companies have such a policy.
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r0bert


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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2007, 02:05:40 PM »

It's very common, and all it means is the the vendor cannot publish an actual dollar amount price for an item below the map price.
most allow sale percentage ads.
example;
msrp $100
map floor 20% or $80
if I want to advertise a lower price, a percentage off only  is listed.
Sale widgets msrp $100, now $80, or
Sale widgets 60% off
, both OK.
Sale widgets, msrp $100 now $40, or save $60 off retail
not OK
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r0bert


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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2007, 03:04:26 PM »

       However,  the problems with BLI do not end with pricing.   Our store has a three man staff that does repairs and dcc/dcc with sound installations.  BLI will not let them do any repairs to their equipment.  They force us to make our customers spend the money to ship to and from BLI for repairs,  which at last check,  the lead time is now up to 8 weeks.
       
What about it seems odd to you for a manuf. to require that warrentee service be preformed by their trained personal at an authorized service center, to maintain the warrentee.
several companies just won't send out warrentee parts, they don't know if you are a qualified tech. or some billy-joe-ray-earl with a 400 watt soldering gun and a hammer. I know several repairmen the are setup to do warrentee work for BLI, after they ceritified their qualifications and abilities.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2007, 04:24:14 PM by r0bert » Logged

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MBB


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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2007, 04:01:03 PM »

 

Hi all,
 Just a question about MAP.

Seen on a website :
BLi & PCM now have MAP pricing Minimum Advertised Pricing. 20% off RRP.

Does this mean dealers are no longer allowed to "free trade" in the US?
MAP been around for years.

No, it does not mean dealers are no longer allowed to set their selling prices in the US.


ebtbob,
You are drawing conclusions on uninformed hearsay. r0bert has touched on a few points.

Linda needs to educate herself about MAP. Has nothing to do with MAP; but still, as a model train retailer she should be furious about the BLI buy direct program.

Not so sure information about BLI’s business policies is fair game under the rules of this board.
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Atlantic Central

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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2007, 04:07:05 PM »

The business policies of BLI/PCM may or maynot be fair game under the rules of the board, but there is no question that their business polices are very poorly thought out, to say the least.

I think Ken has misread the mainstream market based on his prior experiance in the brass market. That's apples and oranges.

Sheldon
« Last Edit: May 06, 2007, 07:09:41 PM by Atlantic Central » Logged
ebtbob


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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2007, 07:16:57 PM »

Good Afternoon All,

       You all make good points,  and I,  indeed may have reacted too quickly,  but I can tell you that I have worked for the store for 12 years and know how hard they have tried to service their customers only to have organizations like BLI make things very difficult especialy with things like the buy direct program.

Bob
       
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Bob Rule, Jr.
Hatboro, Pa
In God We Trust
Not so much in Congress
GATSME MRRC - www.gatsme.org
Mark Damien
STEAM'S the DREAM


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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2007, 01:27:47 AM »


Thanx very much for your responses.
It obviously pays to "Read between the Lines".
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Even if the prototypes never existed, someone would have created Model Trains anyway.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Steams the Dream
Cheers.
Mark
jsmvmd

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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2007, 07:55:42 AM »

My two cents, not related to MAP.

Paul at Lin's Jxn has been very helpful with me on the telly when I had newbie questions. He offered at any time to answer all questions, even for me who lives far away. Seems like a very nice man. So, he will have my business.

Not being in retail, I do not understand MAP. However, I do know customer service, and therefore have filed your comments re: BLI.

Best. Jack
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Atlantic Central

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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2007, 08:23:37 AM »

Bob Rule,

I understand your feelings on this having worked in the retail side of the industry years ago myself. However I must ask a question - does the shop you work in sell Bachmann? And if so at what prices?

I ask this because of the general pricing structure that is now common in the industry. I feel BLI/PCM has been very wishy washy in deciding how to price/market its product, and that is bad for the industry and the hobby.

Bachmann on the other hand makes no bones about selling to anyone qualified, who inturn may then sell as low as they are comfortable with. Micro Mark, Trainworld, and even many local shops like Star Hobby in Annapolis, MD or Peach Creak Shops in Laurel, MD sell Bachmann at very low prices.

Example: I have 5 Spectrum Heavy Mountains, all purchased for less than $110.00 ea, new in the box, most from "brick and mortar" stores. MSRP $200.00, that's more than 40% off. That's my guide line for Bachmann, if it's not at least 40% off, I keep shopping because Bachmann has established this as the "real" price based on their discounts to those who by direct. And many shops do buy direct.

I support my local shop with lots of business, but I don't buy Bachmann, BLI/PCM or Proto2000 from him. I buy those things from those who buy them direct and sell them at a big discount, be it a larger local shop or a mailorder outlet.

Sheldon
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ebtbob


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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2007, 09:04:37 AM »

Sheldon,

        The answer to your question is yes,   the store sells Bachmann equipment.   The price is discounted the same as any other manufacturer of engines.   
        Listen,  like I said before,  I over reacted.   So that is it.  I am out of this converstation. 
       
Bob
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Bob Rule, Jr.
Hatboro, Pa
In God We Trust
Not so much in Congress
GATSME MRRC - www.gatsme.org
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2007, 04:41:54 PM »

Bob,

I didn't really think you over reacted, except maybe about the repair thing. These days Lin's is the exception not the rule when it comes to having in house repair people. I remember when that was common place too, its one of the jobs I did years ago.

Personally I think the hobby would be better off if the distributor network went away and all manufacturers just decided to sell direct in reasonable quanities direct to shops of all sizes. Many have done this. Kadee, Precision Scale, Bowser, Athearn, Branchline and Intermountain are just a few of the lines available to shops of all sizes through direct buying or their own exclusive distribution network. And I would bet all would say it has helped their business.

And the prices of all these products are more stable with less range between the highest and lowest "street" prices. Also better for everyone.

And, if BLI/PCM did not have adequate capital or a workable business plan, maybe they should have not gotten into the diecast/plastic loco business. As I have said before, it is obvious they miss judged the sound/DCC future as they quickly retreated from the position of only offering locos with sound and DCC. Apparently that is not all they miss judged.

As for Lin's, if her Bachmann prices are only 15% to 20% off retail, I wouldn't buy them there. As I said, Bachmann has made it too easy for their product to be sold at lower prices than that. I don't care how good a stores service is, I'm not paying 20% more for an expensive item than what I can pay just down the street.

Bob, again, I don't think you over reacted, BLI/PCM has bad policies, no question. I know lots of shops that don't sell their stuff for the same reasons.

I don't buy much BLI/PCM for the following reasons:

Not into sound/DCC and not everything they offer is available stealth.

Most of their diesels are lacking in detail compaired to Proto2000, Atlas, Genesis or Intermountain and cost much more, even without sound/DCC.

Not to mention this "lashed up" non sense on the newest diesel offerings.

Not enough of their line is offered unlettered - I freelance.

Generally high priced, even when heavily discounted. Why pay even $395 for Y6b when Proto2000 Y3's can be bought all day long for $250.00?

Just my thoughts after 40 years in the hobby and about 10 working in the industry.

But what do I know, I'm just a hick with a pickup and a gun.

Sheldon
« Last Edit: May 08, 2007, 04:58:31 PM by Atlantic Central » Logged
jsmvmd

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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2007, 05:55:21 PM »

Sheldon,

Howse about a new song title: "A Pickup and a Hick Up on the Hill"

Best, Jack
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