Minimum Advertised Price // Nitecore - what do you guys think?

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jmpaul320
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Minimum Advertised Price // Nitecore - what do you guys think?

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Minimum Advertised Price is an agreement between suppliers and retailers stipulating the lowest price an item is allowed to be advertised at. If you’ve ever tried to shop around and keep nosing up against the same number, you may have just discovered that good’s MAP. This is why sometimes you see signs that say “price too low to advertise!” Or why when shopping online, sometimes the price doesn’t show up until further in the transaction process. Retailers can incur sizable fines and/or penalties from their suppliers for violating MAP contracts.

MAPs skirt closely to price-fixing, which was, up until recently, illegal.

source http://consumerist.com/2007/09/26/what-is-minimum-advertised-price/

I have known about this for some time – up until this morning I really didn’t pay attention to it too much. In fact I bought a 50” TV in 2008 from amazon which had an advertised price of “to low to show! see price in cart” for this reason.

I got an email from illumination supply to remove my thread from the “good deals” forum with their promo code to get “X” nitecore flashlight from their site for “Y” dollars. Apparently this promo code would result in a sale of “X” flashlight for LOWER than the “MAP” price. Since I made it public on this forum that “X” flashlight could be had for a price lower than the “MAP”, it sounds like illumination supply caught a lot of flak and complaints from Nitecore. (Has Nitecore even seen the facebook post?)

Now before I continue on my rant here – I would like to apologize to Illumination Supply – it was not my intent to “advertise” and price that would get them in trouble. I have had nothing but good experience in my purchases from them, and the dealings I have had with Craig here on the forums have been nothing but positive. I will be buying items from them again for sure.

I understand that Nitecore is a business and they are trying to make money. Fine. I understand setting a “MAP” so that dealers can’t undercut each other. Even after reading more into “MAP” and other more insidious ways manufacturers set prices to make money – I am truly willing to just forget about “MAP” and all the other crap and go back to my hobby of buying and modifying flashlights, because it really doesn’t matter to me.

BUT, I believe Nitecore crossed a line with their actions today. Complaining about posts on BLF that advertise a price below their “MAP”, to put it politely – is NONE of their business. If illumination supply violated some rule or contract with Nitecore, then that is between illumination supply and Nitecore. I only removed the thread at Illumination Supply’s request, because I feel like they have given us a number of good deals on nice items and are all around good guys. Nitecore has no place (as far as I know, maybe the admin can correct me if I am wrong) to tell us what we can and can’t post here. This is not their forum. If they don’t like this post they can jump in a lake.

As far as Nitecore is concerned, they are on my crap list now. They really only care about making money and the bottom line. I was planning a full review and comparison between the EA4W and the EA4 XML2. Not anymore. There are plenty of other friendly companies whom I have dealt with who I will buy and review lights from.

What do you guys think? Am I out of line here? If this post offends anyone – I apologize… I’ve been stewing about this all day and just had to vent.

sb56637 – if you feel this post is too argumentative, please remove it and I will not say one more word about this.

Would you mind keeping the wrong flashlight?
Best wish, May
Tmart service team

 

Soumil wrote:

PLEASE HELP ME GEARBEsT! IM LITERALLY CRYING!

 

Edited by: jmpaul320 on 02/26/2013 - 16:23
gords1001
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Given that my i4 crapped out on the second charge cycle, I’m done with nitecore, I would have given them the benefit of the doubt but watching this unfold, stuff em!

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I like the “jump in a lake” part. :bigsmile:

Totally agree.

jmpaul320
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just hearing a few of your supportive opinions makes me feel a lot better… i thought i was being stuck up and getting worked up over nothing… im not usually one to get mad at things on “internet forum land” but this just really set me off

Would you mind keeping the wrong flashlight?
Best wish, May
Tmart service team

 

Soumil wrote:

PLEASE HELP ME GEARBEsT! IM LITERALLY CRYING!

 

Pulsar
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kreisler wrote:

time to bash nitcore!!!


im not sure if this is sarcastic or supportive…

but we will count that as supportive here, and a copy in case it goes MIA Wink

dthrckt
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no interest in nitecore

too many reports of problems relative to price

for me, the price fixing is a secondary reason – but if it weren’t for the former reason, i might get over it

kreisler
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Pulsar wrote:
case it goes MIA ;)

had to look up what mia means Wink

 

hehe

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
jmpaul320
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dthrckt wrote:
too many reports of problems relative to price

i agree – the ea4 was fairly priced at around 50-60 (46 from fast tech)

but the tiny monsters are insanely priced… i bought a tm11 on a promotion for 150 and I got a light with HORRIBLE green tint. then i bought a sr king for $49 and i like it more than the tm11…. not as many features, not regulated, gets hotter… but it puts out light that DOESNT make me want to vomit!

I briefly was considering a TM26 for the price illumination supply was offering it – but decided against it last night after going with a terminator for less than HALF of the “super secret illegal rock bottom” price the tm26 was being offered at… after this mornings event, my decision has been solidified

Would you mind keeping the wrong flashlight?
Best wish, May
Tmart service team

 

Soumil wrote:

PLEASE HELP ME GEARBEsT! IM LITERALLY CRYING!

 

tatasal
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Hey buddy, you are not Nitecore’s employee, they have no right to even suggest that to you. They did that to FastTech too, but in all fairness we don’t know what’s the agreement between them. Considering the rash of Quality Complaints (mis-alignments, clearances, etc. on the new models) maybe, us consumers, should try to expose such anomalies, including this price-fixing.
What if I give a very-low price closing-out sale, do I have to say “PM me, price too low to advertise”?

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Same old story ! Once company becomes successful, small customers are not important anymore. Steve BTW. that reminds me of XTAR, this forum helped them to make a good reputation and apart of that 18700 battery/charger deal no further promotions were offered to us…

Society is like a pot full of nuts and bolts, finest pieces always end up on the bottom...

 

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Is the minimum ad price a contract with suppliers or can the retailers tell the suppliers to jump in the lake.Or then the retailers would not b supplied with goods from the suppliers Big Smile .It was meant to sound like this just to show how ridiculous it all is :Sp

let there b rock (i mean light)

jmpaul320
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jakey wrote:
Is the minimum ad price a contract with suppliers or can the retailers tell the suppliers to jump in the lake.Or then the retailers would not b supplied with goods from the suppliers Big Smile .It was meant to sound like this just to show how ridiculous it all is :Sp

i dont know what kind of agreements nitecore has with its vendors…. but it sounds something like this to me:

ill sell you 50 lights for $99 a piece
the msrp for these lights is $199
the map for these lights is $139

the seller would probably agree not to sell the light below 139 or risk not being resupplied

Would you mind keeping the wrong flashlight?
Best wish, May
Tmart service team

 

Soumil wrote:

PLEASE HELP ME GEARBEsT! IM LITERALLY CRYING!

 

Old-Lumens
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I think it's not as simple as it looks. I believe they (manufacturers), enter into agreements with larger retailers, that they will freeze the price, so those retailers can compete. It's a lot more involved than the average person gets to see.

Bottom line I don't like price fixing, no matter how compelling the reasons. Canon used to do that with their photographic equipment, to protect the big retailers. It didn't work and they gave up. They gave up because they simply realized that they were loosing millions and millions of dollars, because they would not sell at a lower price, to the Wal-Marts of the world.

In a forum like this, Nitecore can go to hell, thinking that they can control what we say and I believe they will probably realize that by the time this is through.

My PayPal address: oldlumens (insert the @ sign here) gmail.com

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jmpaul320
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Old-Lumens wrote:
In a forum like this, Nitecore can go to hell, thinking that they can control what we say and I believe they will probably realize that by the time this is through.

i seriously hope we get some kind of a response from them

Would you mind keeping the wrong flashlight?
Best wish, May
Tmart service team

 

Soumil wrote:

PLEASE HELP ME GEARBEsT! IM LITERALLY CRYING!

 

Pulsar
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jmpaul320 wrote:

i seriously hope we get some kind of a response from them

i doubt it, but i like to be surprised…
FMS
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Nitecore is doing nothing wrong IMO.

If a retailer enters into an agreement with distributor that includes a MAP, then clearly that retailer knows upfront what is required of them. If said retailer decides to break that agreement then I see no reason why a company like Nitecore shouldn’t pull them up on it.

If a retailer does not like a MAP, they don’t have to stock the product, simple as that.

MAP’s in general are there to protect a brand and all retailers of that brand/product from being price r****d, for certain products it would be the end of them if margins kept getting cut to the point where most retailers dropped the product due to not being competitive, bad for us also as this can lead to no competition and prices can go up…

The other advantage is if certain retailers are (very roughly in general here..) able to gaurantee at least a stable profit margin then that leads them to want to champion that brand, meaning better service for us etc etc. Also the manufacturer should be able invest more into R&D which should mean higher quality products.

I realise this varys greatly across industries and can work to the average consumers detriment (eg Canon and big retailers), but for the most part is part of running a business.

I have no affiliation with Nitecore, and the only product of theirs I’ve owned was an Intellicharger which arrived DOA lol, however I appreciate that they are trying to provide a product a step above the usual cheap crap pumped out, accepted, and lapped up by todays consumers. Sure they may not get it right all the time, but compared to some it seems they are trying to be a bit more professional?

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I seem to remember Sunwayman posting their “Regional Sales Policy and Retail Price” on CPF – post #42 a year ago, which was basically a price fix policy, that seemed very odd to most Europeans, where such things are frowned upon. Indeed, there are huge fines available to Regulators (up to 10% of turnover).

I just find it funny that Nitecore are so brazen about it – Fasttech even published their threats. I’m pretty sure many light manufacturers have a similar policy, but most are more subtle, or, maybe, have better leverage over their dealers. The fact is that they don’t actually see the problem – certainly Sunwayman didn’t “get it”.

Bottom line for me is that it happens, it isn’t good for consumers, but no action will be taken by regulators because the market isn’t big enough (and enforcement impractical).

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Was looking at the TM 26’s. Think I’ll just look at some others. While I understand both sides of the discussion. Just not into Nitecore & even a bit of controversy just puts me off these days. Especially when it enters BLF.

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FMS wrote:
Nitecore is doing nothing wrong IMO.

If a retailer enters into an agreement with distributor that includes a MAP, then clearly that retailer knows upfront what is required of them. If said retailer decides to break that agreement then I see no reason why a company like Nitecore shouldn’t pull them up on it.

If a retailer does not like a MAP, they don’t have to stock the product, simple as that.

MAP’s in general are there to protect a brand and all retailers of that brand/product from being price r****d, for certain products it would be the end of them if margins kept getting cut to the point where most retailers dropped the product due to not being competitive, bad for us also as this can lead to no competition and prices can go up…

The other advantage is if certain retailers are (very roughly in general here..) able to gaurantee at least a stable profit margin then that leads them to want to champion that brand, meaning better service for us etc etc. Also the manufacturer should be able invest more into R&D which should mean higher quality products.

I realise this varys greatly across industries and can work to the average consumers detriment (eg Canon and big retailers), but for the most part is part of running a business.

I have no affiliation with Nitecore, and the only product of theirs I’ve owned was an Intellicharger which arrived DOA lol, however I appreciate that they are trying to provide a product a step above the usual cheap crap pumped out, accepted, and lapped up by todays consumers. Sure they may not get it right all the time, but compared to some it seems they are trying to be a bit more professional?


Am i wrong that the retailer pays for the product before selling it, so if they sell at a loss, nitecore would still get the agreed upon price?

The Journal of Alternative Facts

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of Alternative Facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists."

 

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maybe FT and IS should say whether or not they had agreed to a limit to how low they sell them before nitecore came bullying them. when the FT incident happened, it seemed like FT was unaware of the price fix. which would lead me to believe that certain retailers are fixing the price

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In the UK we have RRP (recommended retail price), so the manufacturer/distributor can say to a retailer: you can buy item X for £50 and we recommend a sale price of £100. Most retailers stick to that or £99.99. But the retailer can sell for what he wants, its just that if other retailers complain then the retailer is unlikely to get any more stock from the manufacturer/distributor.

Price fixing in Europe tends to get the Manufacturers arse kicked.

Talking of which every item has a personal A.R.S.E : Acceptable Retail Sales Envelope – $300 is way out of my envelope

I think you were right to take down your post, Illumination Supply would probably get aggravation from Nitecore. In the future however you could do what kreisler has done in the past, if someone express’s an interest in a discount price PM them details. There is nothing retailer or manufacturer can do about that.

Candlepower (abbreviated as cp) is a now-obsolete unit which was used to express levels of light intensity.

Candlepowerforums (abbreviated as cpf) a website, also obsolete.

FMS
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Bort wrote:
Am i wrong that the retailer pays for the product before selling it, so if they sell at a loss, nitecore would still get the agreed upon price?

Normally yes

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Squidboy wrote:
In the UK we have RRP (recommended retail price), so the manufacturer/distributor can say to a retailer: you can buy item X for £50 and we recommend a sale price of £100. Most retailers stick to that or £99.99. But the retailer can sell for what he wants, its just that if other retailers complain then the retailer is unlikely to get any more stock from the manufacturer/distributor.

In the future however you could do what kreisler has done in the past, if someone express’s an interest in a discount price PM them details. There is nothing retailer or manufacturer can do about that.

It’s been a long time since I looked at competition law, but RRP is supposed to be just that – recommended. If the competition regulators find evidence that retailers are being discriminated against because they “breach” a supposed agreement to sell at a certain price , then the manufacturer might find life very difficult.

The legal theory in Europe is simple – manufacturers cannot ask retailers to sell at any particular price. And really, what is the problem?

FMS’s argument – that if the retailer doesn’t like the “agreement” to fix prices they can walk away, is completely bogus, and has been used for years to artificially inflate prices. Manufacturers use all sorts of spurious arguments – the sellers don’t understand the complexities of selling their product (from jeans to beans) – that have been rejected by the European courts over the years.

As I said earlier, nothing much will happen, so vote with your feet (and wallet) if you don’t like it.

But I agree with you that the more practical route might be the “Kreisler Method” (hey, I like that as a concept) –
Bort
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FMS wrote:
Bort wrote:
Am i wrong that the retailer pays for the product before selling it, so if they sell at a loss, nitecore would still get the agreed upon price?

Normally yes


In that case i assume nitecore is looking to maintain their cachet

The Journal of Alternative Facts

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of Alternative Facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists."

 

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Patrickbateman wrote:
I like the “jump in a lake” part. :bigsmile:

Totally agree.

Alternatives:
Make it a shark infested lake, or a hike in the Sahara followed by a chilled out in a snowstorm in Siberia.

Anyway, priced it too high and nitecore should self destruct. No ill will here. It’s market forces at work.

I say vote with your dollars. It will be extremely telling when they are on the receiving end.

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I’m a little torn here. And maybe confused. Is the problem that the MAP exists, or that they came after the vendor when a third party advertised a lower price?

Or both?

Home-brew is mastic.

indenial
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MAP is a weird concept.

Evidently it’s okay for a retailer to advertise that they have a promo code for a particular item that will provide a certain percentage discount as long as they don’t state what the final price will be.

I’ve noticed that several well-known flashlight merchants (especially during Black Friday, etc.) have been doing this for years without having any supply problems. I mean, really, who’s being fooled by this scheme?

My name is indy, and I've been a flashaholic since 2004.

Bort
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indenial wrote:
MAP is a weird concept.

Evidently it’s okay for a retailer to advertise that they have a promo code for a particular item that will provide a certain percentage discount as long as they don’t state what the final price will be.

I’ve noticed that several well-known flashlight merchants (especially during Black Friday, etc.) have been doing this for years without having any supply problems. I mean, really, who’s being fooled by this scheme?


apparently it increases profits

The Journal of Alternative Facts

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of Alternative Facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists."

 

jmpaul320
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BorisTheSpider wrote:
I’m a little torn here. And maybe confused. Is the problem that the MAP exists, or that they came after the vendor when a third party advertised a lower price?

Or both?

They are really two separate issues…

MAP which i wanted to throw out there to get other members viewpoints on…

And second, nitecores actions

Would you mind keeping the wrong flashlight?
Best wish, May
Tmart service team

 

Soumil wrote:

PLEASE HELP ME GEARBEsT! IM LITERALLY CRYING!

 

BorisTheSpider
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jmpaul320 wrote:
BorisTheSpider wrote:
I’m a little torn here. And maybe confused. Is the problem that the MAP exists, or that they came after the vendor when a third party advertised a lower price?

Or both?

They are really two separate issues…

MAP which i wanted to throw out there to get other members viewpoints on…

And second, nitecores actions

Gotcha. Well, I guess I’m not a fan of any kind of price fixing. I mean, shouldn’t each vendor be allowed to choose how much profit he/she wants to make? Maybe it’s not that cut-and-dry; I haven’t really researched it myself. But I think that’s what it boils down to. Maybe the other vendors will complain until the manufacturer no longer supplies to that one, for fear of losing their other business. That sounds an awful lot like a mob mentality and it never works out well for anyone. My two bits there.

As far as what they did, that’s clearly wrong. The vendor (who presumably has some kind of MAP agreement) was not advertising any price. They were not contradicting any part of their contract because they did nothing. It was all a third party. Of course, as a consumer of that vendor, you don’t want them to suffer because of your actions, so you did what you had to in order to stop the bullying.

I don’t know how common price fixing is, but I infer that it’s a very common practice here, in a lot of areas. I’m wondering how Nitecore would fare when faced with those “extreme couponers” blogging ways to get their product for free, or even for a profit. I wonder how they would deal with any actual legal action if they did pull their line when a third party advertised a price lower than MAP. And I’m wishing that we, as consumers, could pull together enough to give them the “Wal Mart treatment” and force on them a maximum price for their products.

Again, just my two cents on it.

Home-brew is mastic.

Pulsar
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like i said before. the manufacturer sells them for x amount for y quantity. like the ea4. they sell them lots of 100-200 for $40 a piece. one company wants $69.99 for it to maximize profit per unit. the next company wants $47 a unit for faster return. nitecore still gets their $40. the company who is trying to almost double their profit gets their panties in a wad and complains to nitecore.
thats how i see it

nitecore, let them whine. if people want to sell them at little profit for themselves, so be it. quality light at a cheaper price will move more units faster. i know at $69.99, i probably would not have ended up owning an ea4.

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