February 21st, 2014 by Jacqui Blanton

The Importance of MAP Pricing

MAP pricing consists of manufacturers regulating the lowest price their product can be advertised. Several manufactures have decided to enforce MAP pricing to help brick and mortar stores survive the competition that online stores provide.

The policies must be enforced to be effective, which can be a challenge with thousands of retailers selling the same product. When an online retailer doesn’t comply, it’s up to the manufacturer to clamp down on the violators.

Different companies enforce the policy different ways. Policies vary from cutting off the retailer at the first violation to allowing a second or third strike. Pool Boy, a powered reel systems company, cut off ties with a large internet retailer that refused to comply. Unfortunately, that same retailer provided 30% in 2011.

Another issue MAP pricing is facing, is that it’s sometimes considered anti-competitive. However, depending on how the system is structured and what it’s effect is, courts have chosen to uphold it.

Regardless of whether you approve of MAP pricing or not, it is there to even the playing field for brick and mortar stores. Not to undermine internet retailers. The pool and spa industry is big enough for both to survive.

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