Your best Price can usually be found in a store! And NOT online.
Do you ever wonder why certain items are the same price no matter where you see them advertised? In a store, online? It doesn't matter...you just can't seem to find a deal! There is a simple explanation and this is the reason why you should still visit your bricks and mortar store for the best price..The reason MAP Pricing.
What is MAP and how to use it to get a better price than the big box stores and Amazon or any other website?
MAP (Minimum Advertised pricing) began in the US as manufacturing companies realized that the big retailers were getting out of control and continuing to lower their prices. They instituted MAP Pricing o ensure their products were not sold at too low a retail price and that their brands would have value. Why would they care? Let's take a coffee machine that costs a manufacturer $500 to build and has a retail of $799. If it is a hot item retailers (think Walmart etc) will drop the price to $749 to get people to shop with them. Then a competitive retailer sees that price and drops to $729. Eventually they drop to $699 and have sales at $599 which in today's e commerce world sets a new price as the "goto" price. Eventually the retailer comes back to the manufacturer demanding a better purchase price because the retail price is so low that they are not making money (which was their fault to begin with!!) If the manufacturer did not give a better price the retailer would kick the product out of the store and no longer sell it. So manufacturers, in order to protect their brands and shelf position in stores developed MAP pricing.
MAP stands for minimum advertised price and although it is legally a grey area in Canada it is legal in the US. If retailers advertise something below MAP they can expect a nasty warning letter from the manufacturer and potential marketing support taken away up to and including being cut off from product.
That is why you see certain items advertised at the same price everywhere. Think cell phones like the iPhone...
So how do you win?
Shop local and at the independents. You see MAP stands for Minimum ADVERTISED price NOT minimum SELL price. And unlike big box stores or the internet with associates with no power, your local independent store is more likely to play ball and give you a better price if you ask.
One caveat is that sometimes they cannot do any better because the MAP is often so low at key selling seasons that there is no room to move (usually around the holidays manufacturers lower MAP and some abandon it for a week for Black Friday)
But this does not apply to everything and you can definitely ask. So remember, Amazon and big box stores may have what appears to be a great price but they are much less flexible than your independent retailer. Plus the independent retailers are supporting your community, not a board of directors or shareholders in another country.
Get out and visit your local store, support them, try the products out and get a better price...everyone wins!
Happy Shopping everyone!