As many manufacturers, OEMs and brands have learned the hard way when they discover retailers violating their policies on Amazon.com, Amazon itself typically takes a hands-off role when it comes to policing who’s selling what, and for how much, on its marketplace — unless a retailer violates Amazon’s own selling policies.
Topics: Amazon Brand Registry
As a manufacturer or brand, that moment when you discover a reseller is advertising your products below your Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) can be worrying, frustrating, even infuriating.
You know how important it is to maintain consistent pricing of your products across your sales channel — to protect your brand’s reputation and your relationships with the hardworking resellers who play a vital role in your company’s success. But you also know how difficult this can be, given how many marketplaces and websites across the web — a mixed list of authorized, honorable resellers and gray-market retailers — are advertising your products every day.
Without it, You Risk Turning Your Brick-and-Mortar Retailers into “Showrooms” — and That Leads to an Even Greater Risk
As strategically important as a minimum advertised price policy is to a manufacturer or brand—for protecting the interests of resale partners and guarding the brand’s own reputation, to name just some of the benefits—it’s also important to understand that not all MAP policies are created equal.
Topics: Minimum Advertised Price Policy
If you are a manufacturer or brand owner, chances are high that your products will eventually be listed on Amazon — whether by your company directly, by authorized members of your resale channel, or by resellers who have no affiliation with your company and whom you can’t control at all. In other words, your products are bound for Amazon whether you like it or not.
Manufacturers don’t have many opportunities to win awards or trophies. But getting your product line carried by a large brick-and-mortar retail chain — a Walmart, a Target, a Best Buy, or a major department store — can feel pretty close to winning the big prize.
Most discussions of minimum advertised price (MAP) policy are centered on the sticks — effective ways to threaten and punish resellers who violate the policy by advertising products below the manufacturer’s MAP-approved levels.
Let’s do a thought experiment. One day, without any explanation, people shopping online at marketplaces like Amazon and eBay start seeing Apple products — iPhones, iPads, MacBook Pro laptops — advertised for far less than they’ve ever seen them available before. Half off. Two-thirds off. These items aren’t marked as “used” or “refurbished,” either. The ads and sales pages look identical to the ones the shoppers have always seen for Apple gear at these marketplaces — the only differences are the eye-popping, head-shaking discounts. What would happen?