What's the deal with Sweetwater MSRP prices?

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

  1. Vaibhav Joshi

    Vaibhav Joshi Member

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    Good point.
    That's why I prefer to go to smaller shops even if I have to pay more, not just for guitar gear. At least things are more flexible.
    I don't buy strings online for the same reason.
     
  2. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Silver Supporting Member

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    You can't be mad at them for doing business the way they want to.
    Did they yell at you for asking?
    That wouldn't have been nice.

    The place that gave you a better deal probably needs the business.

    I was mad at Sweetwater because they helped put my favorite local music store out of business.
    Specifically with expensive recording gear.
    They were able to sell it with free shipping and no sales tax (TN has about 10%).

    Then I had to buy from them so I wouldn't have to go in the Guitar Center that opened up here :)
     
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  3. LordThurisaz

    LordThurisaz Member

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    The only time I've bought from GC in recent memory was to get a VFE that, even with shipping/tax, was still quite cheap. I thought it had arrived DOA, as I had clicked it on first before hooking anything up to make sure it is getting power, and no light. Then I remembered that all of their pedals can have the LED brightness adjusted (I've never adjusted mine, and was not aware that it would not light at all when set all the way down), and all was good. Not sure why anyone would turn the LED all the way down, but I have a feeling it is why I got the pedal so cheap.
     
  4. muku

    muku Supporting Member

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    What about the 99 invariably the last numerals in retail?
    Here we say Suhr 2100 shipped.

    there it would be 2099.99 ADD TO CART
     
  5. bschultzjames

    bschultzjames Member

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    First time buying literally anything?
     
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  6. Sam Xavier

    Sam Xavier Member

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    Marketing. Just like Save Up To 75%!!!
     
  7. Bogner

    Bogner Member

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    I wish it was that way again. I know I saved a lot more money then than I do now. This idea of "deep discounts" that actually now amount to covering half of your sales tax is a joke...but the "double bonus points" once a year make up for it I am sure. ;)
     
  8. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 Member

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    It's a marketing tool that has been around since cavemen sold rocks. Seriously. This is not new. It's been around so long that it's pretty much archaic. But it's still common enough that you see it almost every day.

    Ever buy a new car? Ever see a product sold through a TV commercial or infomercial? Etc....
     
  9. musicallyinclined81

    musicallyinclined81 Member

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    Exactly! End of discussion.. Thread can be closed now..
     
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  10. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    It is just marketing.

    The manufacturer sets a selling price, MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price). Dealer costs works as a percentage reduced from that price. In return, the manufacturer also tells the dealer, "you can't advertise any lower than this price", that is called MAP. Minimum advertised price.

    If Sweetwater says you save $x because that is the difference between the MSRP and the MAP...well...what is the harm. No one ever pays MSRP. This is just the way the world works.
     
  11. SirGilmour

    SirGilmour Supporting Member

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  12. Miroslav L

    Miroslav L Member

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    What old ad on TV use to say, "An educated consumer is our best shopper." ...? :)

    With the internet...it takes like 2 minutes to check the price on something at 20 different places, including Sweetwater...and sort for lowest price first.
    Oh...if you have a Sweetwater Rep that you use regularly...he can usually give you a lower price than the one shown on their website.
     
  13. Madsen

    Madsen Member

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    I first noticed MSRP when I was a teenager & I went to Mervyns to buy my own clothes with my paper route money. They had a cool button up shirt that was full MSRP as it had just come out & I wanted to buy it. Mom suggested we wait a couple weeks til the Labor Day sale. I came back & saved $20. Every time I noticed the shirt after that it was "on sale".

    I noticed similar patterns with products in most industries in the years since. I worked tech distribution for a while & some companies bill distributors for a product at a price higher than the "street price" & then pay them a "rebate" to make up for the loss. It seems to be about keeping as much imaginary $ as they can on the books for as long as possible.

    I used to wait for things to go on "clearance" at the end of the product run or season where they sell things at close to cost but even that seems to be more & more rare these days. Maybe they're getting better at forecasting demand.
     
  14. Ron

    Ron Supporting Member

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    You get candy every month from Sweetwater!?!?!?!? Oh geez.
     
  15. msnes335

    msnes335 Supporting Member

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    There is a comma there, should it have been a semi colon? It's a long time since I attended school, and grammar were not my strong smoot.
     
  16. cmloeffler

    cmloeffler Member

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    It’s not as insidious as you think-

    MSRP doesn’t have to be listed, most retailers use it to reflect their discount over what a retailer claims it is.

    MAP isn’t a legally enforceable thing, but if a retailer violates the policy they may find themselves with less favorable terms or even being cut off by the manufacturer.

    MAP doesn’t mean a retailer cant sell something for less, it means they can’t advertise it as such outside their store (email, website, catalogs, mail).

    MAP is enforced because retailers will only pick up a line/product if they believe they can make enough money on it to be worthwhile. MAP evens the playing field by ensuring little Johnny doesn’t walk into a small local shop with a flier from Sweetwater blowing out a guitar for less than what the store paid.

    Music instruments aren’t cars; no sales person is getting a $500 commission for selling one. I wrote up a cost breakdown if you want to see where the money is spent, and realize there really is only one fat cat, and it isn’t the retailer or manufacturer. The final piece, on manufacturer pricing, is due to publish in a week or so, FWIW.

    Spoken as someone who has been a retail buyer, merchandiser, manufacturer, and customer.
     
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  17. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    Please send me the link when it's published. I'd love to read it. :aok
     
  18. coltonius

    coltonius Señor Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I get where you’re coming from- the tax doesn’t go away, the retailer just eats it from their profit margin. There’s a saying that goes, “Not all business is good business”, and I’m afraid that even buying a lot of gear doesn’t auto-magically save you from falling into the bad business category. I’m not saying you do, but maybe your Sweetwater rep sees it that way.

    When I worked at a high end privately owned auto shop, some customers used to complain about prices as compared to the dealer and try to negotiate for discounts, etc.. I’m not saying we never caved, but it was always clear they didn’t see the value in the service we were providing- twice the dealer warranty, immediate shuttle service, high quality parts, ASE master technicians, etc... And if they rolled over on their previous shop because of a discount here, what’s to keep them from rolling over on us when the next shop comes along with a shiny discount instead of building a relationship with someone you can trust? Some customers are only loyal to saving a buck, and hey I get it! That’s okay.

    Sure, you can go to Prymaxe and get a discount any day of the year. Or you can go to Sweetwater and get top notch, unparalleled customer service and more attention than you’d ever want. Again, neither is better- you just have to decide which is best for you. I don’t know if Prymaxe’s sales people draw commission off internet sales, but it seems Sweetwater reps do. (It’s pretty obvious you prefer to wheel and deal, so I don’t blame your Sweetwater person for cutting you loose by not caving; you were trying to reach into his pocket..)
     
  19. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    You're going to cut out a lot of retailers. Federal law changed this year and retailers are now required to collect sales tax if they sell $100k yearly in a given state, even if they do not operate in that state. The blame here isn't actually on Guitar Center or Sweetwater. It's on the Supreme Court.

    Sorry if that's political, but that is the actual reason why sales tax is being charged now on interstate purchases.
     

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