What's the deal with Sweetwater MSRP prices?

tofudoom

Member
Messages
403
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.
 

GeorgeNada

Member
Messages
1,653
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.
 

kimos55

Follow your dreams turst your heart
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
569
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.
 

tofudoom

Member
Messages
403
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).
 
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therhodeo

Member
Messages
9,892
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.

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.
 

tofudoom

Member
Messages
403
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.
 
Messages
11,187
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.
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.
 

GeorgeNada

Member
Messages
1,653
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.
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.
 

coltonius

Señor Member
Messages
13,279
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).
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!
 

tofudoom

Member
Messages
403
I wouldn’t view Sweetwater negatively over posting MSRP. There are plenty of other reasons.
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.
 

T92780

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,112
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.
 

tofudoom

Member
Messages
403
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 since 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 or something but no “real price” attached to the tag. I inquired and found out it’s actually selling for $170.
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).
 

Quad4

Member
Messages
460
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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