What's the deal with Sweetwater MSRP prices?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by tofudoom, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. tofudoom

    tofudoom Member

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    This is something that has always bothered me about Sweetwater. Whenever I look at a new pedal (or anything else), it will be listed at Sweetwater for whatever the prices is everywhere else. For example, the Boss RV-6 is listed for $149.99. Below this price Sweetwater also lists an "MSRP" and "Sweewater Savings" based on that MSRP. For the RV-6, it lists an MSRP of $224.99 and, so, a "savings" of $75.

    Every time I've looked at anything on Sweetwater, the MSRP is always some price much higher than what the pedal sells for anywhere. I've never seen a US seller sell an RV-6 for $224.99. This seems like a very misleading way to advertise a "savings." I noticed this again with the SY-1, which is listed as having an MSRP of $299.99 on the Sweetwater site, so you "save" $100 by buying at Sweetwater.

    This can get especially ridiculous with more expensive pedals. According to Sweetwater, the HX Stomp has an MSRP of $839.99!

    Do these pedals really have such high MSRPs--even though every retailer sells them at the same price (e.g. $149.99 for the RV-6)?

    Either way, it seems like a very misleading way to advertise the price of these pedals.
     
  2. cap10kirk

    cap10kirk Member

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    It's just something Sweetwater does to try to make you think you're getting some kind of deal from them. Music gear is generally advertised at MAP, not MSRP, which is why the actual price at Sweetwater is the same as pretty much everywhere else.
     
  3. DewieCox

    DewieCox Supporting Member

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    Basically every store in the history of the world does this.
     
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  4. GeorgeNada

    GeorgeNada Member

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    if you’re really that curious about this you could just email the manufacturers and ask what the MSRP is on their product. In many industries retailers price well below MSRP so in the case of Sweetwater my guess is yes, those are the real MSRPs.
     
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  5. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Silver Supporting Member

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    MSRP comes from the manufacturer, not Sweetwater. They put the M is MSRP.

    With MAP and "street price" the MSRP is fading a little in use, but it's been around a long time throughout all retail.
     
  6. kimos55

    kimos55 Follow your dreams turst your heart Silver Supporting Member

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    MSRP pricing is what the manufacturers what everyone to list there products at. Anything less then that is a Deal, wink wink. When a unit is already reduced below MSRP, it;s a deal. The best you can do is just find the best price and let your sales person know what you found. If you don't look you could pay top dollar.
     
  7. tjontheroad

    tjontheroad Just Wanna Be Misunderstood Silver Supporting Member Vendor

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    The only price that matters is the one you pay. Everything else is BS.
     
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  8. JackfromAK

    JackfromAK Gold Supporting Member

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    MSRPs are marketing tools.
     
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  9. tofudoom

    tofudoom Member

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    Sure, I get that the MSRP is simply a suggestion. But if these are the actual MSRPs for these products, because Sweetwater is the only music retailer I see do this kind of thing. Sometimes, they even list an MSRP higher than what the actual manufacturer sells the product for. For example, the Eventide Space has an MSRP of $579.99 on Sweetwater, but sells for $499.99 on Eventide's own store. And, as far as I know, this has always been the price.

    Regardless of the whether these MSRP are legit, it's still a very shady way to advertise "savings" and, no, not every retailer does this (Musicians Friend and Guitar Center don't).
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  10. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    It's only shady if a person is wholly oblivious to retail as a whole. The manufacturers determine MSRP. That $579 came from Eventide. All it means is that Eventide sells direct, below their own determined MSRP.
     
  11. msnes335

    msnes335 Supporting Member

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    Someone has to pay for all that free candy, and giant catalogs that stuff my mailbox every month.
     
  12. tofudoom

    tofudoom Member

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    I appreciate all the clarifications. I like Sweetwater, but the way they advertise their prices always kind of rubbed me the wrong way. It just seems like it boils down to some retailers being more manipulative, so to speak, than others.
     
  13. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    In the musical instruments industry, MSRP determined selling price for many years. Dealer cost was usually 50 to 60% of MSRP. Retailers listed high and would wheel and deal.

    In the 00s, with the popularity of the internet, MAP, or Minimum Advertised Price was developed. It was intended to provide a 30% margin, which of course favored bigger dealers like Musician’s Friend. Manufacturers would still have an MSRP, but instantly the prices customers saw became MAP. A dealer can still sell below that, but the margin is much slimmer.

    More recently, Fender switched to only posting MAP pricing. There’s no more MSRP. But not everyone in the industry has followed.

    I wouldn’t view Sweetwater negatively over posting MSRP. There are plenty of other reasons.
     
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  14. GeorgeNada

    GeorgeNada Member

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    Every company markets, all marketing is a form of manipulation, some are more obvious than others, some even market themselves as good companies because they don’t do manipulative marketing, but in the process they are still trying to manipulate you into buying from them and not the other company with the obnoxious version of marketing, but it’s inescapable, I just try to buy from reputable companies with good prices and customer service.
     
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  15. coltonius

    coltonius Señor Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Guitar Center very much does. Look at the back of the pop tag next time you pick up a guitar- it’s written in small print below the barcode. They’ve been doing it for well over a decade, long before I did a brief (3 month) tour of service there in college. ;)

    I was just at a GC last night; there was a brand new amp with the MSRP at $280 but no “real price” attached to the tag. I inquired and found out it’s actually selling for $170- what a deal!
     
  16. tofudoom

    tofudoom Member

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    Thank you for the additional clarification. It's pretty interesting to learn about these terms and how they're used (which I'm obviously pretty ignorant of!). I just think it's pretty misleading to label something "Sweetwater Savings" when literally every other retailer is selling for the same price new as Sweetwater. It makes it sound like you're getting a "special" price at Sweetwater, which is false. But at least you get candy.
     
  17. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    TONIGHT AT 6: Local man visits car lot. Car lot employee attempts to manipulate him into buying a new car. Local law enforcement wants answer!
     
  18. T92780

    T92780 Silver Supporting Member

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    Manufacturer creates MAP and MSRP. Some retailers like to merchandise MSRP and MAP, others, just MAP. It's not misleading or otherwise. Don't be micro sensitive. If you don't like it, don't buy from those retailers... but, no need to call those retailers out... that's not fair.
     
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  19. tofudoom

    tofudoom Member

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    Ah, yes, I've seen this too. I forgot about that. I was just referring to their website, where they don't seem to do that (at least not for effects pedals).
     
  20. Quad4

    Quad4 Member

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    Usually a retailer gets "advertising credits" (otherwise known as $) if they agree to certain terms regarding what prices they display online or in ads. These credits more/less are so appealing that almost everyone sticks to standard pricing.

    It's a legal way to quasi-fix prices by making it hard for a retailer to come out ahead by deep discounting published prices.
     
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