What's the deal with Sweetwater MSRP prices?

Rod

Tone is Paramount
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The only price that matters is the one you pay. Everything else is BS.
It’s not bs. There is the list price, and then the selling price. It’s that simple.....many years ago (the 60’s) many dealers tried and succeeded in selling Fender and Gibson guitars for list price... 48th Street Mannys in NYC started discounting 30 to 40% off of the list price... there was only list price and the dealer could sell the item really for whatever price he cared to sell it for........this is where discounting all began in the MI industry.....and there was no MAP pricing back then. That is basically price fixing and legally the mfrs have found ways around this to coerce dealers to maintain “equal” pricing between stores.. can you imagine if the car mfrs tried to do this?
 
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Rod

Tone is Paramount
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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.
Boy, that’s for sure
 

Papanate

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19,876
it's still a very shady way to advertise "savings" .
What? Are you kidding? There is nothing shady at all about having a MSRP and the MAP on the same page. If you don't like the price - ask for a better deal. If for some reason you have a problem with the way they show their gear for sale - then stop looking at Sweetwater pages and prices.

I don't understand this level of concern over things that have little to no effect on people.
 

LikeAMotherF

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2,630
It's been done for a long time, I understand that, but I also empathize with the OP; why bother in this day and age? The MSRP is basically meaningless. You can pull up a search and see the same MAP across the board.

And it's also my understanding that many retailers have a stipulation in their contract that they can't actually sell most things *below* a certain threshold, or they'll risk losing their dealership privileges. I remember trying to negotiate with a reputable seller on a particular Gibson, and they said basically they were bound by contract to not go any lower than whatever the advertised price was on the particular guitar.
 

LikeAMotherF

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No man I'm not saying they should eat nor am I negotiating on the sales tax, that money goes right to the State not them I understand that & business.

My point is for me (it's different in every State or County) everything I buy is now 10% more. I think that they should go a little deeper on their discount & I'll also pay a little more which I have no problem with & I understand. To me that makes sense - everyone gives a little, it doesn't sound fair or reasonable to you?

The store I bought from was more than happy to split the difference with me so I paid $300 more instead of $600 & they made $300 less. I've never dealt with this place so on top of that they gained a new customer that buys a lot of gear. It makes sense to me but that's totally cool if it doesn't make sense to you - people see things differently & there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Only eat half the sales tax amount; got it.
I know what Gibdog is talking about- I'm the past I've used a similar tactic in negotiating a price on a (used) guitar. I was buying from GC and whatever it was cost about $960 after shipping. Then the sales tax would've taken it up to around the neighborhood of $1050; so I told the GC guy that I had a strict budget of $1000 and asked if he could give me a small discount to help offset the tax. He gladly gave me a 5% discount to get the final price in right around $1000, and we both walked away with what we wanted.

I don't know if that tactic will work going forward, but up until very recent history, States and local municipalities had been having a hard time collecting tax from online sales. GC was one of the few music retailers who had to deal with this because the law was such that a retailer had to have a physical shop in said state to be on the hook for collecting the tax. If GC didn't want to play ball, I could wait and find another shop that didn't have a physical presence in my state and buy from them without worrying about paying taxes. This has all changed, as I said, but up until very recently was a consideration when buying online.

So I get it. He's not asking them to shoulder the tax burden. But it's not crazy to ask for a small discount to help counterbalance the taxes. Particularly when you used to be able to take your business elsewhere and not worry about it at all!
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
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And it's also my understanding that many retailers have a stipulation in their contract that they can't actually sell most things *below* a certain threshold, or they'll risk losing their dealership privileges. I remember trying to negotiate with a reputable seller on a particular Gibson, and they said basically they were bound by contract to not go any lower than whatever the advertised price was on the particular guitar.
That’s actually bs as well. The dealer could legally sell you the guitar for under dealer cost, and there isn’t a dam thing Gibson could do about it.....and honestly, they don’t care! They just want their product sold.. I was a Gibson dealer for many years....so I’m not making these statements up.. that dealer fed you a bunch of bull.....
 
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LordThurisaz

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2,950
So I get it. He's not asking them to shoulder the tax burden. But it's not crazy to ask for a small discount to help counterbalance the taxes. Particularly when you used to be able to take your business elsewhere and not worry about it at all!
He is asking them shoulder half the tax burden, though.

That’s actually bs as well. The dealer could legally sell you the guitar for under dealer cost, and there isn’t a dam thing Gibson could do about it.....and honestly, they don’t care! They just want their product sold.. I was a Gibson dealer for many years....so I’m not making these statements up.. that dealer fed you a bunch of bull.....
Pretty sure they could cancel the partnership, though.
 

John Mark Painter

Supporting Member
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8,566
Absolutely, they have the ability to come off their prices a little to help out. I'm a long time customer that's spent tens of thousands of dollars, I NEVER negotiate I always pay whatever they say they can't go below. This was $6,000 & the sales tax here is 10% - I expect a retailer to help out on something like this. If they won't I'll take my business elsewhere.
In many cases, their margins are low and there are strict price controls from the company.

I have gotten “artist pricing” from companies before and saw the same item in guitar for almost the same price. Once, a guitar I got (Epiphone) was cheaper at Mars Music than artist pricing
 

motokev

Member
Messages
4,192
Since everything is NOW being sold ONLINE, why can't the manufactures skip the middle-men and give us the price retail stores pay.

Do we really need these places like Sweetwater and GC and...…

Especially when it comes to car dealerships. Yeah, we can try one. BIG DEAL, I rather get the dealers cost.

This is why I only buy USED. I refuse to pay new for anything. I also refuse to pay TAX. I see GC and SW are now charging TAX. So, I'll never buy from either one.

Scamming the consumer must come to an end.

Oh wow, that felt good......
 
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therhodeo

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9,883
That’s actually bs as well. The dealer could legally sell you the guitar for under dealer cost, and there isn’t a dam thing Gibson could do about it.....and honestly, they don’t care! They just want their product sold.. I was a Gibson dealer for many years....so I’m not making these statements up.. that dealer fed you a bunch of bull.....
MAP is in because places like Prymaxe exist. They go out and take a loss and sell stuff at cost, price other dealers out of business then without other options to turn to they squeeze manufacturers to lower prices.
 

T92780

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,077
Since everything is NOW being sold ONLINE, why can't the manufactures skip the middle-men and give us the price retail stores pay.

Do we really need these places like Sweetwater and GC and...…

Especially when it comes to car dealerships. Yeah, we can try one. BIG DEAL, I rather get the dealers cost.

This is why I only buy USED. I refuse to pay new for anything. I also refuse to pay TAX. I see GC and SW are now charging TAX. So, I'll never buy from either one.

Scamming the consumer must come to an end.

Oh wow, that felt good......
Manufacturers do sell direct, but at same price to increase their margins, not sell at dealer cost. This alone is killing retailers and more store fronts and websites will go down. Soon, only way for retailers to survive will be by offering unique sku's nobody, including manufacturers sell direct. The end is near for many retailers.
 

Jack DeVille

Member
Messages
2,380
MAP is in because places like Prymaxe exist. They go out and take a loss and sell stuff at cost, price other dealers out of business then without other options to turn to they squeeze manufacturers to lower prices.
There is some fancy word for that strategy/tactic, but like any sales transaction: it takes two to tango. ;)
 

Jack DeVille

Member
Messages
2,380
Manufacturers do sell direct, but at same price to increase their margins, not sell at dealer cost. This alone is killing retailers and more store fronts and websites will go down. Soon, only way for retailers to survive will be by offering unique sku's nobody, including manufacturers sell direct. The end is near for many retailers.
Yes, I agree with your perspective.
The internet and broad availability of information has changed many aspects of commerce.

It's really pretty wild to watch it unfold in real time!
 

Jack DeVille

Member
Messages
2,380
Since everything is NOW being sold ONLINE, why can't the manufactures skip the middle-men and give us the price retail stores pay.

Do we really need these places like Sweetwater and GC and...…

Especially when it comes to car dealerships. Yeah, we can try one. BIG DEAL, I rather get the dealers cost.

This is why I only buy USED. I refuse to pay new for anything. I also refuse to pay TAX. I see GC and SW are now charging TAX. So, I'll never buy from either one.

Scamming the consumer must come to an end.

Oh wow, that felt good......
Great question! Even if rhetorical in nature.

I believe a major shift in B2B and B2C sales/commerce is on the horizon.

There are, of course, many reasons retail stores exist, and will continue to exist, but I think this is only the first layer of the proverbial onion which is commerce.

Really fascinating stuff, to me as an individual and businessman. (I can call myself a "businessman" right? I mean, I own and operate a business?)
 

Vaibhav Joshi

Member
Messages
2,374
Since everything is NOW being sold ONLINE, why can't the manufactures skip the middle-men and give us the price retail stores pay.

Do we really need these places like Sweetwater and GC and...…

Especially when it comes to car dealerships. Yeah, we can try one. BIG DEAL, I rather get the dealers cost.

This is why I only buy USED. I refuse to pay new for anything. I also refuse to pay TAX. I see GC and SW are now charging TAX. So, I'll never buy from either one.

Scamming the consumer must come to an end.

Oh wow, that felt good......
Used is great value & a service to all of us by recycling something that would've been kept idle.
 

Vaibhav Joshi

Member
Messages
2,374
That’s actually bs as well. The dealer could legally sell you the guitar for under dealer cost, and there isn’t a dam thing Gibson could do about it.....and honestly, they don’t care! They just want their product sold.. I was a Gibson dealer for many years....so I’m not making these statements up.. that dealer fed you a bunch of bull.....
Wow. On a guitar as expensive as a Gibson, the dealer is lying to his face.
 




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