If you’re planning to purchase a big-ticket item like an appliance in the near future, understanding MAP pricing might just help you get the best deal possible, potentially saving you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
Read on to learn more about MAP price meaning so you can understand how this pricing strategy can benefit you.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What is MAP Pricing Strategy?
- MAP Pricing for Appliances – What You Need to Know
- How to Save Money on Appliances
- FAQs About MAP Pricing
What is MAP Pricing?
MAP pricing is an acronym that stands for Minimum Advertised Price policies. MAP pricing is used by manufacturers to specify the lowest possible price at which a product can be advertised.
When retailers agree to carry a brand's products, they must also agree to follow that brand's MAP pricing policy.
While products can be sold for less than a MAP price, these discounted prices can't be displayed in online listings or advertisements.
How does the minimum advertised price work?
MAP pricing sets a minimum price that retailers can use online and in advertising. It's designed to prevent price erosion and price wars between retailers. Since all retailers are required to follow MAP price guidelines, pricing is usually consistent from store to store.
Retailers can still choose to sell a product for less, but they can't use that low price to attract customers with advertising. For example, if a refrigerator has a MAP price of $1,999, a retailer can slash the fridge's price down to $1,499. However, that price can't be listed online, nor can it be used in flyers, commercials, or any other advertising or marketing campaigns.
Can you sell below MAP pricing?
Yes. It's acceptable to sell a product for lower than the MAP price policy, but again, it’s all about the visibility of that price to other potential customers. As long as the price isn't advertised by the retailer, there are no consequences.
If a retailer advertises prices that are less than a brand's MAP policy, that brand can legally withdraw its products from the retailer or refuse to provide the retailer with new stock in the future. To avoid such problems, retailers almost always stick with MAP prices.
What is MAP vs MSRP?
MSRP stands for Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. MSRP is designed to serve as a pricing guideline for both retailers and consumers. Unlike MAP pricing, an MSRP isn't legally binding, so retailers can choose to sell or advertise a product for more or less than the MSRP a brand has set without worrying about any legal repercussions.
As discussed, MAP is the Minimum Advertised Price and it is legally binding. Advertising that exposes large populations of people to a very low price for a given product can significantly damage a brand’s ability to demand a higher price. For that reason, violating a brand's MAP policy in advertisements can lead to significant penalties.
MAP Pricing for Appliances – What You Need to Know
Most retailers use MSRPs when setting prices for consumer appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines. However, it's common for stores to offer significant discounts on these items during seasonal sales and promotions. These low prices are typically advertised ahead of time to encourage customers to shop during the sale.
It's possible to buy an appliance for less than the MAP price during a sale, but that discounted price won't appear in any advertisements or promotional materials. To find an appliance sold for less than the MAP price online, always add the appliance to the online shopping cart as you can find discounts and promotions this way.
How to save money on appliances
These cost-cutting tips will help you get the appliance you want at the best possible price.
- Stay tuned for promotions: Newsletters are one of the first places stores will announce new promotions and opportunities to go to the store and buy below MAP. You can subscribe to Coast Appliances' newsletter here.
- Bundles are the best ways to save: MAP policies won't be applied if you purchase multiple items, so purchasing all you need in the same order can result in great savings.
- Choose a trusted brand: Instead of focusing on the sticker price, you should look at the overall value of the item you're purchasing. Aim to buy a high-quality product that was built to last instead of a low-quality one that’ll save you money in the short-term but likely cost you more in future repairs or when it fails and you end up replacing it.
FAQs About MAP Pricing
Even if you're familiar with MAP pricing, you may still want to learn more about it and how it works. You'll find answers to common questions about MAP price policies below.
Is MAP pricing illegal?
MAP policies are legal as long as manufacturers and retailers act independently. In fact, unlike MSRP, MAP price restrictions are legally binding.
What is a MAP in marketing?
In marketing, a minimum advertised price is the lowest price that can be used in advertisements, online listings, and marketing materials. Retailers can still sell a product for less than the MAP price, but that discount can't be advertised or marketed in any way.
How do you enforce a MAP price?
Brands can choose to withdraw products from retailers that are found to be breaking MAP policies. Manufacturers may also refuse to sell products to that retailer in the future. Other penalties for MAP violations may be specific to a brand's MAP pricing agreement.
Do coupons violate MAP?
Coupons can violate MAP by explicitly reducing the price of a product with MAP pricing protections. However, coupons with broad discounts that don't advertise MAP products specifically may be acceptable.
What is a MAP violation?
A MAP violation occurs when a retailer advertises a product for less than the price outlined in a brand's MAP policy. Retailers that violate these policies may be penalized by the brand.
What is a MAP discount?.
Due to MAP policies, you're very likely to see similar prices on appliances no matter where you shop. You may or may not be able to work a deal under MAP pricing, but you won’t see it advertised.
MAP pricing will keep the cost of most appliances very similar, but you can never go wrong by choosing excellent customer service and expert employees like those at Coast Appliances, who can help you find a high-quality appliance that meets your exact needs and price point!
Take the time to browse our full selection of refrigerators, dishwashers, washers & dryers and find the perfect new appliance for your home. Coast Appliances even offers delivery and set-up services and hauls away your old appliance, making the process as easy as possible.