Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue July 5 2016 13:01:34

Should Amazon and Other Sites Ban MSRP Prices?

By: Ina Steiner

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Should sites like Amazon ban MSRP prices? The New York Times has sellers buzzing with a story saying Amazon is moving away from displaying Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. "The new approach comes as discounts both online and offline have become the subject of dozens of consumer lawsuits for being much less than they seem," it wrote.

The newspaper is referring to cases where shoppers accuse merchants of overstating deals and misleading consumers. It's not a new problem - a group of attorneys general sued Overstock.com in 2010, for example. The lawsuit had cited an example where Overstock allegedly advertised a patio set for $449.99 claiming a "List Price" of $999, but arrived with a Wal-Mart sticker showing the price to be $247. The complaint accuses Overstock of often making up "list prices" and "compare at prices."

Sellers began noticing changes on Amazon on May 6, and while many sellers were not happy, others were pleased.

In one thread, a seller who offers his own branded items said by offering a "list price" and putting it on sale, "it made people think they are saving money." When another seller said using list price in this way was "bogus and an insult to the buyer's intelligence," the seller replied, "I'm well aware that it is bogus but it is a common marketing tactic that works very well at boosting sales."

In another thread several sellers said they were happy to hear the news. "So glad you asked. Only now realizing MSRP is gone for health supplements. Happy to see this because they (most supplement sellers) showed inflated bogus amounts to make it look like buyers (they would have to be stupid) were getting a good deal. I didn't show bogus amounts so it always looked like my products were discounted the least. Playing field is now even."

We'll have more on this in Wednesday's Newsflash - in the meantime, let us know what you think about the way Amazon and online sellers display discounted prices. 

Should Amazon stop displaying MSRP prices, or do they help your sales? Do you think the change will prompt eBay to make a similar move?




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Perminate Link for Should Amazon and Other Sites Ban MSRP Prices?   Should Amazon and Other Sites Ban MSRP Prices?

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Tue Jul 5 15:05:05 2016

Discounted "manufacturer's suggested retail prices" have invariably been a sham; the only way to verify such discounts is to do your research across a range of retailers—on eBay if necessary ...

"Overstock allegedly advertised a patio set for $449.99 claiming a "List Price" of $999, but arrived with a Wal-Mart sticker showing the price to be $247."—and no doubt the item likely made in China ...

And now Walmart is promoting "Made in USA"—LOL ...

http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y16/m07/i04/s01

I wonder if eBay is ever invited to Walmart's Manufacturing Summits?—LOL

Perminate Link for Should Amazon and Other Sites Ban MSRP Prices?   Should Amazon and Other Sites Ban MSRP Prices?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 5 15:10:48 2016

MSRP is a figment of someones imagination in the board room....Very rarely does anything sell at MSRP.

MSRP is Overstated and Overrated. Has no effect on any sales. Just makes the customer think that they are really really getting a good deal, which in most cases is just hype.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Jul 5 15:19:47 2016

I hope so. Anything ebafia can do to actually improve seller integrity and buyer confidence.

But the changes need to go far beyond eliminating MSRPs. For example, several of my competitors sell phony merchandise and/or grossly misrepresent their merchandise, but this junk sells because it's cheaper.

Many buyers are initially unaware they're buying forgeries or misrepresented items. Some never figure it out while others do but well beyond the feedback window or PayPal's six month return window.

Pointing out these miscreant sellers to ebafia, however, is pointless. They do nothing and don't seem to understand that buyers who've been burned simply stop buying on ebafia.

The depth and breadth of mistakes ebafia's management has made over the years moving forward from Negged Meg Whitman and her successors would literally be a business textbook in itself of how exactly NOT to run an ecommerce company.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 6 07:43:30 2016

But if you are going to play/enforce the MAP/UPP game - then whats the point EITHER WAY (showing or not showing MSRP) ????????

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by: tango This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 6 09:36:45 2016

MSRP should be exiled for sure.  We have competitors that use it - BUT what they show is Incorrect and overstated in order to show % savings...  But they list the same item numerous times, making up a new MSRP for each of the same identical new item.  If Ebay doesn't take it off soon, since there is NOT BASIS for it, lawsuits will follow for sure!  It is misleading to consumers, consumer protection will catch them very soon.
:)  

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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Jul 7 01:13:30 2016

I'm going to vote ban. The price is the price. Can we also ban 'free' shipping?

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by: topdog This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 7 07:21:50 2016

While a number of MSRP's are completely made up (think of the product commercials on TV), others are both real and useful. Think of a new pair of Nike shorts - that $50 MSRP price is the actual price it is expected to be listed by the retailer. Now if the item becomes discontinued and goes off MAP, then having the customer see the original MSRP is very useful, as they can see what the discount from the original price is.  

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Jul 7 08:53:14 2016

Whether Amazon keeps the MSRP or not, I don't care. However, if they are going to allow it, then post the correct one. I sell a product that for the most part has the price printed right on it, but when I have gone to list it, the so-called MSRP is discounted 40% for items that are currently available on their websites. Well that is kind of okay, but when the items are discountinued, the price reverts to the MSRP on the package (on the manufacturers website until gone) but of course it isn't changed on Amazon so those of us selling the last available one for the MSRP look like we are way overcharging a customer.

What I wish we could ban is those customers that are dingalings that when they get a book or other items that is 20-30+ years old and they paid current value. When they get the item and see the price on it, are mad that we didn't charge them the 'cover' price. Like I'm going to sell a vintage Vogue designer pattern for $5! They choose to pay the price when they ordered the item. I know this happens to book sellers especially for paperbacks that have a price of 10 cents or so and the customer wonders why they were charged $50 for an extremely rare and highly desired book! DUH!

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by: IndyTom This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 7 09:22:42 2016

Ban MSRP. Like someone said, the price is the price.

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 7 09:43:01 2016

MSRP doesn't mean a thing anymore.  It is a fabricated number.

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Jul 7 11:38:15 2016

What on Earth do you have against MSRPs to the point that you're encouraging these crooked venues to conceal yet more of the information required for a free market to function?

I know I'll catch flak for saying this but MSRP is useful in warding off the entitled and tight-fisted.  If they think they're getting on over on me there, then I may be able to preserve a little more of an already thin margin.  All that you will accomplish by removing MSRP is lowering the point from which the begging, pleading, crying, screaming, and threatening will start.

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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Sat Jul 9 23:00:13 2016

@RKTOYS

''All that you will accomplish by removing MSRP is lowering the point from which the begging, pleading, crying, screaming, and threatening will start.''

Based on that alone, I have changed my mind. In fact, inflate the MSRP.

Perminate Link for Should Amazon and Other Sites Ban MSRP Prices?   Should Amazon and Other Sites Ban MSRP Prices?

by: funkygrrl This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 22 08:46:04 2016

MSRP/MAP should have been banned long ago.  It's just price fixing.



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