I have shopped all over the internet and every website has the chandelier that I want at exactly the same price. I mean to the penny! Isn't that price fixing? I thought price fixing was illegal.
Wikipedia defines price fixing as "an agreement between participants on the same side in a market to buy or sell a product… only at a fixed price, or maintain the market conditions such that the price is maintained at a given level by controlling supply and demand." And yes, in the United States, price fixing can be illegal.
So, have all of the retailers on the internet conspired to sell your chandelier at exactly the same price? No. That is not what is going on.
It is sort of like price fixing, but it is a type that is allowed. It is known as resale price maintenance or retail price maintenance.
So, what is resale price maintenance?
Back to Wikipedia, resale price maintenance is defined as "the practice whereby a manufacturer and its distributors agree that the latter will sell the former's product at certain prices (resale price maintenance), at or above a price Floor (minimum resale price maintenance) or at or below a price ceiling (maximum resale price maintenance). If a reseller refuses to maintain prices, either openly or covertly (see grey market), the manufacturer will stop doing business with it."
Setting UMRP is becoming more and more common. Manufacturers set minimum prices for a number of reasons:
UMRP is supposed to protect manufacturers. A manufacturer spends years and millions of dollars building their brand reputation. They want to do everything they can to protect this investment. UMRP protects the manufacturers from having the perceived value of their brand diminished.
UMRP policies also protect retailers. Increased competition can lead retailers to lower and lower prices until there is not enough profit to pay overhead. This discourages good customer service and drives smaller companies out of business.
UMRP can also benefit you. You may have noticed that it is now difficult to find some of the better quality products that you have looked for since manufacturers sometimes just try to make things as cheaply as possible.
But you probably don't really care about that. You just want the best price on your chandelier. If it is the same price on every website, they have set a Minimum Retail Price or Minimum Resale Price (MRP), Unilateral Minimum Retail Pricing or Unilateral Minimum Resale Price (UMRP) or a Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) for your chandelier.
So how do I get a discount on my chandelier?
That really depends on the chandelier. Call and talk to us in person and we will see what we can arrange. If the price is a Minimum Advertised Price, that means we can sell the chandelier at a discount, we just can't advertise it at a discount. Even if there is a Minimum Retail Price, we can still offer discounts for quantity or other excuses. Call Brand Lighting Sales 800-585-1285.
Not all products qualify for all discounts. But ASK! Your lighting probably qualifies for a discount.
Call us at 800-585-1285 to order securely
Ask about Discounts or Sales
Brand Lighting recently recieved this from one of the brands we sell. This might help explain MAP, Minimum Advertised Price Policy.
Effective January 1, 2011, Craftmade International, Inc. has instituted a Minimum Advertised Price ("MAP") Policy for all Craftmade retailers located in the United States ("Retailers" or "You"). Below are answers to questions that Retailers may have about the Policy. If you have any further questions about Craftmade 's MAP Policy, you are encouraged to contact Craftmade 's Minimum Advertised Price Policy Administrator.
Q: Is MAP Policy legal?
A: Yes. The antitrust laws give a manufacturer latitude to adopt a policy regarding the ways in which resellers advertise prices for its products and to refuse to deal with retailers who violate that policy. Similarly, the antitrust laws allow retailers to decide independently to honor such a policy. In some circumstances, it would be permissible for Retailers and Craftmade International to agree upon resale prices, price quotes and advertised prices. Craftmade International, however, has chosen to implement this MAP Policy unilaterally; Craftmade International will not request or accept your agreement to this MAP Policy or to the resale prices of Craftmade International products.
Q: Why has Craftmade International adopted this Policy?
A: Craftmade International products are prestigious, premium ceiling fan and lighting products. Selling Craftmade International products involves a sophisticated understanding of ceiling fans, lighting and home design. Because of this, Craftmade International chooses to deal with retailers that have invested meaningfully in promoting Craftmade International products and in educating consumers about the unique features of Craftmade International products. While many retailers make investments in the Craftmade International brand, this Policy was implemented to prevent other dealers from "free riding" on these investments and offering Craftmade International products at prices that are inconsistent with XXXX's reputation for superior quality and craftsmanship.
In addition, Craftmade International has become concerned that some retailers may advertise Craftmade International products at artificially low prices in an effort to build overall customer traffic. Such advertised prices not only undercut dealer profit margins on Craftmade International products, they also create negative quality images for consumers, who naturally assume that another brand advertised at a higher price must be of higher quality. Craftmade International is concerned that artificially low prices on Craftmade International products will make it difficult for Retailers to fulfill their service obligations on Craftmade International products. Craftmade International's objective is for its products to compete with other brands in the marketplace on the basis of quality, features and price and for its brand to be on a level playing field with other brands.
Q: If a product is listed with a MAP price on Craftmade International's Price List, may it be sold at a price less than the MAP Price for that product?
A: Yes. This Policy applies to "advertised prices," as that term is defined in the Policy. It does not apply to "price quotes" or "sales prices," as those terms are defined in the Policy. Retailers may sell a product listed in Craftmade International's Price List at any price they wish without violating the Policy.
Q: If a product is listed with a MAP price on Craftmade International's Price List, may it be included in an advertisement announcing a storewide sale or discount (e.g., "X% off all products in the store")?
A: It depends on the nature of the advertisement. If an advertisement specifies an advertised price for a Craftmade International product and includes a reference to a discount, rebate, coupon, free tax, free gifts, etc., the advertisement may violate the Policy. Specifically, if the discount, rebate, or other promotion announced in the advertisement would result in a netted-down price on a Craftmade International product that is less than the MAP Price for that product, then the advertisement violates the Policy.
Q: What about advertisements that do not announce a specific price for a Craftmade International product?
A: Importantly, an advertisement that simply announces discounts, rebates, coupons and other promotions does not violate the Policy. Such an advertisement only violates the Policy when (1) an advertised price for a Craftmade International product is specified in the advertisement and (2) the value of the discount, rebate, coupon, or other promotion results in a netted-down price that is below the MAP Price for that product.
Q: What about websites and other communications that are restricted to contractors, designers and purchasing firms?
A: Websites or other communications that may only be accessed by bona fide contractors, designers and purchasing firms are not advertisements to the general public. Prices communicated to bona fide contractors, designers and purchasing firms through such restricted-access websites or communications are not "advertised prices," as that term is defined in the Policy.
Q: Does this mean that a Retailer has to agree to advertise or sell at the MAP Price or above?
A: No. Craftmade International is not requiring Retailers to agree to any aspect of its MAP Policy. Rather, Craftmade International is implementing its MAP Policy as its own policy and is advising Retailers that there will be certain consequences if they violate the Policy. Retailers remain free to follow the MAP Policy or not.
Q: Do Retailers need to have all of their ads pre-approved?
A: No. But if a Retailer has a question about whether an upcoming ad will conform to the Policy, he should contact Craftmade International's Minimum Advertised Price Policy Administrator in writing.
Q: Will an honest mistake or inadvertent error constitute a violation of the MAP Policy?
A: Craftmade International will consider the circumstances of each possible violation on its own facts and will unilaterally determine if a violation of the MAP Policy has in fact occurred.
Q: How will Retailers be notified if they have violated the MAP Policy?
A: In writing, by Craftmade International's Minimum Advertised Price Policy Administrator.
Q: What if a Retailer believes that a competitor has violated the MAP Policy? What is Craftmade International going to do about it?
A: Any question about Craftmade International's MAP Policy can be submitted to Craftmade International in writing. But Craftmade International alone is responsible for determining if a violation has occurred and, if a violation has occurred, enforcing its MAP Policy. The details of Craftmade International's enforcement decisions will be strictly between the Retailer that has violated the Policy and Craftmade International. Furthermore, Craftmade International's salespeople will not be allowed to discuss these details with Retailers and Craftmade International will not reply to Retailers that complain about the practices of competing retailers.
Q: Can Craftmade International change the MAP Price on a product during the product year?
A: Yes. Craftmade International reserves the right to change the MAP Price on a product, remove a product with a MAP Price from the Price List altogether, and add a product with a MAP Price to the Price List at any time and for any reason. Any changes in MAP pricing or to the Price List can be found at www.Craftmade International.com.
Q: Can Craftmade International decide to list a product with a MAP Price on its Price List but then decide that the product will not be subject to the MAP Policy for a certain period of time?
A: Yes. On occasion, Craftmade International may elect to suspend its MAP Policy requirements on specified products for a specific period of time. Any suspension in Craftmade International's MAP Policy requirements can be found at www.Craftmade International.com.
Call us at 800-585-1285 to order securely
Ask about Discounts or Sales