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Another Nikon price increase in the US?

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Read also my update to this post.

So far, I have received two separate emails from two different major US retailers indicating a price increase on all Nikon products starting on October 12th (or 16th), 2011. I have removed the store names in order to protect my sources. If you have planned to buy something from Nikon, now will be a good time to do it. Check out the Nikon Buying Guide for some price comparison (the page will take some time to load because it has to collect prices from several different websites). Check also the current Nikon rebates.

First email:

On Sept 1, Nikon announced that there will be a new pricing policy going into effect on all Nikon DSLR, Lens and Flash product.  This will go live October 16, 2011.  What does this mean?  Any retailer that prices Nikon DSLR, Lens or Flash product below their National price will be in a violation of the policy (Unilateral Pricing Policy = Maximum Value Policy (MVP).

Benefits to the Policy

According to Nikon this policy is designed to allow customers to make purchasing decisions based on service provided and not have to worry about hunting for a better price.

Violations listed:  Any pricing discounts on Nikon MVP product outside of the approved national promotions, free promotional gift cards tied to a customer purchasing MVP product, company or category wide savings that discount MVP product, sales through *** for Business that include a bulk discount, and employee discount.

Not considered a violation:  Corporate generated bundles can be up to 10% value of the MVP product price (example given: D3100 at $649 could have a bundle savings value of $64.90 or less), category wide free shipping, category wide financing, open item and demo model sales as long as they are clearly marked as such.

What happens if we break the policy?

Violations are based on an accumulation of company-wide violations, not each individual store.  So if three different stores receive separate violations it equals our third violation.  First violation will result in Nikon canceling any further inventory and canceling -- Company wide -- all promotional funding on the violated SKU for 60 days.  Second violation in 18 months will result in Nikon canceling any further inventory and canceling all promotional funding -- Company wide -- on the violated SKU for six months.  Third violation will result in Nikon canceling any further inventory and canceling all promotional funding -- Company wide -- on the violated SKU for 1 year.  This is a major risk to *** business, make sure the importance of accurate pricing is communicated.  Any MVP violation by any store or online will be a strike against *** with a major impact to the business.

Second email:

Dear Customer,

Our records indicate that you have requested and received a quote from us which includes Nikon Equipment. As a loyal customer we would like to inform you that the Nikon equipment is due to be marked as "unilaterally" priced. This means that *** will not be able to honor the price on your Quote after 10/12/11 for certain Nikon items but instead will have to offer the new unilateral price. If you would like to purchase the equipment at the Quoted price please do so on or before 10/12/11. Moving forward we will be unable to discount some Nikon items beyond the unilateral price specified by the manufacturer.

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  • Matt

    Boo this, man! Booooo!

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/manarianz5/ manarianz5

      booo!

  • nofunben

    suxor

    • Ben Hipple

      i dont think this is legal ?

      • Ant

        Certainly wouldn’t be in Europe. No way you can fix the price that your reseller sells at.

        More importantly for Nikon this is potentially yet another PR disaster waiting to happen, seeing as how it’s potentially a very customer unfriendly policy. They won’t be happy this leaked. Dealers will be POd too. I wonder if the same rules apply to Best Buy.

        They have Yen problems, but just increase the price, that’s understandable to anybody. But stopping stores from being able to compete against each other on price to win business is anti-competitive.

        • Banned

          Wow this is very serious, if this is true. You basically fix the price of your stuff across the board, sort of like Apple does, and Nintendo, and many other greedy companies. I don’t see how this benefits customers:

          “According to Nikon this policy is designed to allow customers to make purchasing decisions based on service provided and not have to worry about hunting for a better price”

          WHAT A JOKE!!!

          This is a very bad time to be a Nikon owner for sure. How will I afford my lenses going forward? All I can do is sell everything for more than I paid since they keep bumping up prices, and go Canon, Sony, or whatever.

          • Ben Hipple

            we need more competition in camera makers

            • Lulz

              +1 I wish an American company would get into the market.

          • Andrew

            You can still afford your Nikon lens. Nikon’s last promotion on lens was very aggressive – up to $400 or $500 off. This policy sounds worse than it will be in reality.

        • http://modifiedphoto.wordpress.com Jason

          You’d be surprised to hear how many companies do this. It’s perfectly legal for them to “set” the price and limit discounts on a particular product. Bose, the home theater / speaker maker is well known for setting prices with resellers and limiting sales or rebates on their products. This is why you rarely ever see Bose “on sale”. (This may have changed in recent years, but last I heard that was still the case.)

          It’s not good for consumers because it limits what a reseller can do in order to get your business, however, it does HELP smaller resellers to compete with the big-name dealers like B&H, Adorama, etc as they will all be on a level playing field in terms of selling price.

          • http://modifiedphoto.wordpress.com Jason

            I should mention, I am referring to the US. Laws may differ in other parts of the world.

            • Richard

              It would be interesting to CC the NY State Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division to see just what they have to say about it.

            • http://www.modifiedphotographics.com Jason

              The consumer protection division is more concerned with buyers getting “ripped off” by resellers, not resellers getting “ripped off” by vendors. I doubt they could care less about a manufacturer setting a minimum price for their goods and in order to require resellers compliance to maintain their vendor status. It’s hardly uncommon.

              As I mentioned before, it will help the little resellers and hurt the big resellers more than anything. Customers will ultimately get fewer “bargains” from big-name resellers, but as the letter mentioned, searching for the best price will not be necessary since the pricing -should- be uniform across the board.

          • Abaham Collins

            I’ll tell you what they can do in order to get my business: Greet me warmly, ask if I need help finding something, treat me with respect and courtesy, and respond to my needs/problems promptly.

            SERVICE should determine who is the leading retailer, not some big corporate Walmart logistics giant with “live better” roll-back prices. Mom’n'Pop need to stay in the game and there’s no way for that to happen without help from the manufacturer.

            • http://www.modifiedphotographics.com Jason

              It’s sad, but true… As much as I’d LIKE to spend all of my money locally, big ticket items have too much of a price variance between a “local” reseller and an “online” reseller. Add in 7-10% tax on top of that and you could be talking HUNDREDS of dollars difference. It’s a no-brainer why so many small camera shops are going out of business. (Same goes with small photo labs that are run out of business by the big guys.)

      • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

        The changes in the courts over the past 20 years towards a more conservative, business-friendly bench, has produced a slow but persistent string of decisions that effectively have let companies set and police minimum prices again. Unfortunately, it’s likely to stay that way for awhile, because even if you voted “the other guys” into office and they started getting more “liberal” justices on the bench, it would take a long time for things to drift back to the original First Sale doctrine.

        Nikon isn’t the only one doing this, though they seem to be the heaviest handed so far. Within the dealer base, there’s actually a difference of opinion over this. The copy Admin quotes appears to have come from a chain. Smaller, independent stores may have a different interpretation, as it reduces the likelihood they lose a sale to a larger dealer a bit further away. It also means that dealers that are making bids to larger volume clients are on the same level pricing wise. A dealer doing a deal here in Allentown won’t be underbid by a bigger dealer in not-too-distant Philadelphia or New York, for example.

        But I have to wonder about Best Buy. My reading of Nikon’s policy (and this policy isn’t really new, it’s getting more meat on the bones and more threatened enforcement) is that Best Buy may not be able to let customers use Best Buy Rewards on a Nikon product. One thing that was happening elsewhere to get around the old policy was to sell the camera at cost, but give the customer a discount card for other purchases. But that’s exactly what Best Buy’s Reward program does, only without issuing an actual card with credit on it.

        • Mock Kenwell

          Alright Thom, help me out here. What is the main goal here for Nikon? If they’re getting their money regardless, what is the problem? Is it
          A) They want to maintain the perceived quality of their product by not having it reduced beyond a certain price point,
          B) They want to level the playing field by giving everyone a fair shot at selling their gear competitively, or
          C) They don’t want any major retailers leveraging volume sales so much that Nikon becomes dependent upon those sales?

          I’m not entirely sure why they care here, and I am frankly a little stunned by the blatant way they’re doing it. This doesn’t even seem like a loophole. It seems like out and out price fixing.

          • Eamon Hickey

            You’re right; this policy does not affect Nikon’s revenue. For any given product, Nikon gets the same amount from every dealer (within small variations), regardless of what the dealer sells the product for. (Note that this is not a price increase, as the title of the post says.)

            This policy is designed to prevent large discount dealers — B&H, Amazon et. al. — from driving other dealers out of business by undercutting their prices. (That process has been going on for 30 years, of course, and thousands of small dealers are already gone.)

            The benefit to Nikon is, mainly, they maintain wide distribution of their products — most manufacturers believe it is not in their interest to have 3 or 4 huge dealers effectively control their access to consumers. Wal-Mart has achieved this kind of control over retail distribution in many business segments, and they famously use their power to aggressively dictate terms to manufacturers. Nikon does not want to be in that position — i.e. B&H telling them what to make and what to charge for it.

            Thousands of companies have the same philosophy. In the U.S., until recently, it was mostly illegal for them to strongly enforce uniform minimum retail pricing among dealers. But in 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in a case called Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc. that made minimum price maintenance legal in the U.S. for the first time in almost 100 years.

            More and more companies in the U.S. are now taking advantage of that ruling to create and enforce minimum resale price policies; Nikon has now joined them. More and more will follow.

          • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

            I would guess the most compelling reason on Nikon’s part is fear of deflation. Eamon’s hypothesis sounds good, but fails when tested against reality: serving fewer dealers actually financially benefits Nikon. NikonUSA is not in the business of saving local dealers; it’s in the business of maximizing revenue for corporate.

            Think about things from Nikon’s point of view: you have two large forces acting against profit margin: (1) the ongoing devaluation of the dollar against the yen; and (2) the discounting of products through big box and efficient sellers.

            Let me use a completely made up example to illustrate: you’ve got a widget that sells for US$100 and you give a 50% discount to dealers on. The widget costs you US$25 to make. So, ignoring #1 and #2 above, you make US$25 per sale, or a 100% GPM.

            Unfortunately, #1 is a 10% or more erosion a year. The widget still costs you US$25 to make, but it’s now selling for US$90. Dealers want their 50%. You compromise and split the difference. You’re now getting US$22.50 in profit.

            But worse still, the US economy not only expects electronic gear to get cheaper over time, but the huge devaluation event we experienced in 07 through 09 is now driving prices even further down (and wages, housing prices, you name it except for food/gas). Let’s say that’s another 12% pressure. The widget is now selling for US$80. Split the difference again with your dealers (as Eamon notes, you don’t want them to go out of business as they do represent volume). Now we’re down to maybe a US$20 profit per widget.

            Okay, US$5 loss of profit doesn’t sound like much. But it is: it’s a 20% loss of GPM.

            So what can we do about this? (1) Lower production costs. (2) hedge currency shifts. (3) Stabilize selling cost.

            Nikon is certainly doing all of those things. Nevertheless, if you look at the trend curves on all those things, it’s getting more and more difficult to maintain, let alone increase, profit margin. A business is in business to build value for shareholders, and profit margin is one of the key measurements that contribute to that.

            All that said (I’m not really defending Nikon, I’m just trying to explain), I’m not particularly a fan of Nikon’s overall approach. Long-term, it’s likely a losing battle. You need to do something disruptive in order to get better control over the problems I mention. For example, Apple started selling directly–most of their volume now comes through online and Apple Stores. That takes out the distribution cost pressure (though it replaces it with other pressures–but right now retail real estate is not skyrocketing like it once was). Completely changing the fundamental design of the device is another (e.g. modular components would mask the overall cost of the product ;~). Finding a way to source and manufacture in the US would be another (which the car companies eventually realized).

            • http://Www.novumlucis.com Dr SCSI

              @tom, Nikon still needs products in brick and mortar stores where potential customers can hold the product in their hand. Fewer dealerships isn’t going to help with this, as they are replaced by online retailers. You did hint at a model that is used by Apple, direct sales! Nikon did recently start an online sales store, so maybe this price fixing is another way for their own store to garner more sales; the last time I looked, they charged MSRP prices while B&H was about 5-10% cheaper and they had free shipping quite often. Who knows, maybe we will start to see Nikon stores in the shopping malls, similar to BOSE, and Apple outlets!

            • PHB

              I think you have the economics wrong.

              Nikon faces a real risk that its bricks and mortar dealers will be put out of business by Internet retail. If that happens it will become rather difficult for people to get ‘hands on’ experience of using a Nikon before they buy.

              Sony has already seen this happen with their high end products which is why they have invested in their ‘Sony Style’ showrooms in malls round the country. Those are not really shops as the sales staff are not on commission and they have very little stock and nothing is discounted from MSRP in a business where everything is always at a discount.

              The purpose of those showrooms is to provide a place for comparison shoppers to kick the tires.

              Canon has a fairly large range and could afford to follow Sony if they need to. Nikon would find it much harder to play that game. I can’t see it working unless they partnered with a printer manufacturer or something of that sort.

              Eventually there will be companies that run showrooms for a clutch of different manufacturers. But that is not where we are quite yet.

            • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

              @Dr. SCSI, PHB: This notion that customers have to hold a product in their hand or else they won’t buy them is rather old school. LL Bean, Dell, HSN, Amazon, and quite a few others have shown that you don’t actually need brick and mortar to sell something, even something that can’t be found in a store somewhere that you can check out before buying via phone/mail/internet. In the first two cases, Bean and Dell, they now use brick and mortar to supplement and grow what they built in the sight-unseen business (I’m anticipating your comeback here ;~).

              Now, Nikon very well may face a risk if brick and mortar goes away, as they’ve shown no real ability to sell in any other manner than the one they’ve relied upon for decades. But it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a solution.

              @PHB: I quibble about the use of the words “purpose…is to provide place for comparison shoppers” in regards to Sony Style. Yes, you can fondle Sony products there, but you can’t comparison shop as you would at a Best Buy.

              Also, “companies that run showrooms for a clutch of manufactuers”–that was tried in Silicon Valley and a number of places many times. The notion was to take a “trade show” and make it a constant thing in one dedicated place where customers could go any time. Unless you sell at this place, it doesn’t work. If you sell at this place, you have basically a Best Buy (for electronics).

              As for sales volume, I have no facts to support this statement (yes, a Herman Cain reference), but I’ll bet you that the sales volume of Nikon products through Internet, Best Buy, and oh, say six key dealers, counts for way more than half their overall volume here in the US. Way more. Especially when you consider how much Internet sales many of those remaining brick and mortar stores you’re talking about are doing in order to keep their volume up to Nikon’s requirements.

            • Eamon Hickey

              > I would guess the most compelling reason on Nikon’s part is fear of deflation. Eamon’s hypothesis sounds good, but fails when tested against reality:

              Eamon’s hypothesis is actually an account of dozens of long conversations that Eamon had with Nikon USA’s regional and national sales executives during the 8 years when they were Eamon’s bosses.

              Price erosion is a concern but a far secondary one. There are other issues as well, but maintaning a viable broad retail distribution network is the biggest by a lot.

              > serving fewer dealers actually financially benefits Nikon.

              It is cheaper to serve fewer dealers but, as in all things, there’s a balance that needs to be struck between competing benefits. It was always possible for Nikon to have only 3 or 4 large mail order dealers if they chose to do so. They could have gone to that distribution model any time in the last 40 years. Instead, they have always tried to maintain several hundred strong pro dealers and a few thousand dealers overall in the U.S. They believe wide distribution and a broad dealer network is a bigger benefit than the cost savings they would realize from only having to serve a handful of dealers.

              Canon, the largest camera company in the world for nearly all of the years since 1975, goes even further in the wide distribution direction. When I was hired by Nikon USA, Nikon had about 2,000 dealers overall in the U.S.; Canon had more than 10,000 and sold basically to anyone — drug stores, appliance superstores, warehouse clubs. Anybody who wanted to buy. Canon, too, could save money by serving fewer dealers, but in their judgment they make more by having wide distribution.

              > The widget costs you US$25 to make. So, ignoring #1 and #2 above, you make US$25 per sale, or a 100% GPM.

              This is a 50% GPM. By definition, profit margin can never reach 100% (unless your cost of manufacturing is zero). Your figure is “markup”, which accountants don’t use exactly because it can be equal to or greater than 100%.

              > Unfortunately, #1 is a 10% or more erosion a year. The widget still costs you US$25 to make, but it’s now selling for US$90.

              I get your point here, but just to clarify for other readers, it actually happens in the converse way: The retail price stays at $100 but the cost of the widget to Nikon USA (what it pays to Nikon Japan) rises from $25 to $27.50.

              On the general question of price reduction pressures, it’s true that, over the years, Nikon USA has indeed swallowed significant profit reductions due to the ongoing slide in the value of the dollar vs. the yen. The rest of your thesis — i.e. price pressure from the other direction, the retail side instead of the wholesale side — is much, much more tenuous. Nikon rarely reduces wholesale prices to its dealers on any product that is selling decently; nearly all retail price reductions come out of the dealer’s pocket, not Nikon’s.

              > For example, Apple started selling directly–most of their volume now comes through online and Apple Stores.

              Sony, Olympus, and Pentax are already doing this with mainline products, and I expect that eventually Nikon will, too. Canon will probably be last.

              > Completely changing the fundamental design of the device is another

              This began in earnest in 1975, with Canon’s AE-1.

              > Finding a way to source and manufacture in the US would be another (which the car companies eventually realized).

              I’ve long wondered whether, if the dollar’s fall vs. the yen continues, the camera and electronics companies might follow the car companies in this way. Here, Canon would almost certainly be the first to do it.

              As it stands now, they still believe it’s cheaper for them to cut manufacturing costs by moving production to China or elsewhere in Asia, although apparently spreading risk geographically is now an even bigger factor in Japanese corporate thinking. Canon’s newest factory just opened in Taiwan, for example.

            • Eamon Hickey

              I just realized more clearly what is bothering me about your theory: it can’t be the reason Nikon is doing what it’s doing because it would not have the effect you’re saying it does. The new policy doesn’t change Nikon’s ability to maintain it’s profit margins in the face of retail price pressures.

              Your scenario:

              > Unfortunately, #1 is a 10% or more erosion a year. The widget still costs you US$25 to make, but it’s now selling for US$90. Dealers want their 50%. You compromise and split the difference. You’re now getting US$22.50 in profit.

              Under the old policy, Nikon could (and almost always did) simply say, “No. We won’t cut our wholesale price. It’s still $50.”

              The dealer at that point has a choice: a) lower the price to $90 anyway, and make less money or b) leave the price at $100, and accept lower sales.

              The only thing the new policy changes is that now Nikon would simply tell the dealer “No, you can’t lower the price to $90.” It’s exactly the same net effect. The widget stays at $100, everybody’s margins stay the same, customers don’t buy as many. If Nikon is worried about lower sales and wants to keep them from falling, they can allow the widget to be sold at $90, just as they do now. And the dealer can lower the price and accept making less money. If Nikon wants to let the dealer still make the same margin at $90, they’re right back to lowering their wholesale price to $45.

              Nothing has changed; Nikon has gained no new ability to maintain its margins.

              What it has gained is the ability to enforce uniform minimum margins among its dealers.

              You are, of course, absolutely right that Nikon is not doing that out of concern for brick-and-mortar dealers. It’s a business decision based on the belief that a reasonably broad dealer network is good for Nikon.

        • gobsmacker

          I have to agree with Eamon Hickey’s long reply to this post by Thom Hogan. I’d be surprised if Nikon’s manufacturing costs are fixed in US dollars. They are almost certainly fixed in Japanese Yen or Thai baht, depending on where Nikon’s manufacturing plants are located (i.e., outside the US). The US Federal Reserve’s efforts to deflate the US dollar therefore do not alter Nikon’s manufacturing costs. What they do is to reduce Nikon’s earnings from US sales when they are repatriated in Yen back to Japan. To compensate for the falling value of the dollar, Nikon’s US prices would have to increase in order to maintain constant (or constantly rising) annual earnings in Yen. Bottom line, the outcome is the same as you (TH) have written, but EH’s analysis is the correct one, I think.

  • rhlpetrus

    What? Nikon is selling too many dslrs and lenses ….

    • NikonD80Still

      Yes! I just ordered 24 1.4

      Can’t wait before the d800!!

  • JorPet

    I guess I don’t see this as particularly surprising. As the USD continues to drop against the JY, prices have to go up to cover that difference. I’m sure Canon and every other Japanese corporation will have to be making the same adjustments over time. If they don’t, any profit is eroded away.

    • Ben Hipple

      read the letter, more then a price change this is limiting what selling prices can be. taking away the stores choice of a selling price. one fixed price.

      • http://snailartphotography.daportfolio.com/ benjamin

        i believe this is already implemented in asia(at least Singapore). however, the stores may still give you a lower price(but record at actual price) if you buy in person from the store.

      • JorPet

        It has already been this way in the US!

        Look at the Sunday circular in your paper. I get two or three from different camera stores. The only thing different between them is the name of the store and the address. Nikon creates the creative and pays for it and probably for the distribution too.

        In the case of a mom and pop shop, or the Adoramas and B&H is that they may not take Nikon ad money and may not be bound by the same contract. Plus there are negotiated deals between bigger companies (read Costco, Best Buy) that allow them to make creative bundles that are lower than “standard”

        The only thing I see in this is the price increase, and that is to be expected.

  • venancio

    i think it’s another way of saying that they want to say this again on the next roundup:
    “Nikon’s April-September sales and operating profit beat its expectations thanks to a healthy performance from its camera division, and advance orders for a new model are also better than expected, the company’s president said on Wednesday.”

    • ELK

      I prefer the dirty version!

  • Dizzy

    Don’t you just love ‘free market’ policy? As for the dollar falling against the yen … is the same true for the euro too? Very short-sighted move if other manufacturer’s don’t follow suit, especially with the shrinking of disposable income we all have. Looks like I may live to regret moving to Nikon on my change from film to DSLR.

    • Andrew

      Look at the facts… The Nikon D7000 at $1200 could have been priced at $2,000+ based upon its specs. Most people were shocked at its extremely low price. But now, we are taking it for granted. So Nikon’s MSRP for the D7000 is what matters, and not some dealer restriction.

      Also look at the D800 – at $4,000, many people agree that it is the upgrade to the D3x which sells at $8,000. The D800 comes with a higher MP (36MP versus 24MP) and speculatively higher ISO than the D3x. This also is a substantial price reduction. So I do not agree that Nikon is being short sighted. At the end of the day the person that determines whether you are getting a good price is the manufacturer and not the dealer.

      • silmasan

        Yesterday, I bumped into a Nikon page in Japanese to check out the 105 DC which I’ve bought recently.

        I checked the price (!)
        140000.0 Japanese Yen = 1825.29335072 US Dollar
        (as of 8th October 2011)

        I don’t know elsewhere, but in my country it has always been retailed at the equivalence of ~$1,000 new, official warranty. That’s a lot of difference! (I got mine at $900)

        Some others I checked are consistently in the range of about 1.6-1.8x local price (I’m using the bracketed price which is lower):

        14-24
        272000.0 Japanese Yen = 3546.28422425 US Dollar

        24-70
        260000.0 Japanese Yen = 3389.83050847 US Dollar

        70-200 VR II
        300000.0 Japanese Yen = 3911.34289439 US Dollar

        50/1.8G
        27000.0 Japanese Yen = 352.020860495 US Dollar

        Here go check it yourself
        http://www.nikon-image.com/products/lens/af/fx/zoom.htm

        I don’t know, maybe it has always been that way …? Japan’s own prices are much higher than the rest of the world (not that I have never heard of it before–very expensive new, dirt cheap used as the new one comes)? Or is it because of the earthquake?

        Does that mean the rumored D800 price of 300000 yen (same as 70-200 VR II above) will actually be closer to $2500-2900 in other countries?

        If so, then it IS the D700 followup. And if it turns out to be 36MP with improved DR then it IS also the D3x followup in a smaller package.
        Sort of like the F6 was to the F5 (of course F5 was also the fastest camera then).

        If my assumptions above were right, then we get:
        + “D4x” sensor in advance, in a smaller body, AT D700 price
        - much slower than D3/D3s/D4/D4s, no insane clean high ISO (but is it ever meant to be in the same class?)

        OR, the worst thing about my assumptions above is that the REVERSE would happen: that the prices of new models post-earth quake in other countries will follow the Japan’s (rised?) price… e.g. $3,999 is the new $2,999 and so on…

        (D7000 was a pre 2011 earthquake model) (V1/J1 are post-earthquake and are priced higher than expected by many people) OMG :/ go get your lenses ASAP!

        >> In that new scenario, there probably will be NO need for a $8000 D4x at all in this new pricing scheme, only for a $5500-6500 D4 and D4s followup (everyone loves the D3s so you should pay more next time), and… something in the $2000-2500 range… D300/s followup which HAS to be something much more to be worth the new price

        BUT hmm, my mind is kind of :&%^$ up now, because 50 f/1.8G is 2011 release and local price is still much cheaper than Japan’s…? Cross-subsidy? Sliding scale? Oh screw it up what am I doing here it’s Saturday…

  • nofunben

    I just ordered a 70-200 vr ii
    I want a 14-24 too but i dont know if i will use it much.

    • Lukasz

      Buy it, and i’ll use it for you :)

    • DarkNikon

      Buy and I’ll borrow it and make good use of it :)

  • Cloke

    Could they be raising prices in preparation for new FX cameras, knowing some people may be wanting to upgrade lenses and such?

    I have started gathering up some FX lenses but still need the 24-70. Would you guys advise for me to go ahead and just order it now from Amazon?

  • http://eleventhphotograph.com elph

    Thank God I live in Canada…

    • NyKonNeoColonialist

      We’re glad too.

      • texasjoe

        Blame Canada.

  • TommyTomTom

    This would be completely be illegal in Australia, even the manufacture publishes the Retail Price, it is heavy discounted by competition. And that’s what how it should be.

    I can’t see why and the logic of a manufacturer interferring with the Retail’s pricing policy.

    • Grhhhh

      Hahaha!!! In Australia nikon distributes it’s products using US RRP. I have not seen any retailer in oz to beat price of any retailer in USA, UK or HK.

    • Andrew

      Here is the logic: Big retailer prices small retailer out of the market. Big retailer has no more competition. Big retailer raises prices.

      • Sahaja

        @Andrew

        What you say is all too true.

        Exactly what the big supermarket chains did in many countries.

  • The invisible man

    cool !
    Now I have an excuse to get my Af-s 200mm f/2.0 NOW !
    :)

    • Ben Hipple

      +1

  • broxibear

    I posted the new price list for the UK days ago (obviously no one reads my posts lol?)
    http://www.europe-nikon.com/en_GB/service_support/Price_List.page?lang=
    I don’t have a copy of the last price list marked February 2011 to compare the prices… maybe someone out there in www land has it ?
    Good job the world economy isn’t falling apart too ?

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      I noticed it but I have not idea what the UK prices are.

    • rome2807

      broxibear,

      I have the feb11 uk price list (would share but don’t have your e-mail). Checked a few high cost items (d3s,d3x,200-400,70-200). No change. Also no change in D700 and D300S ! But the D7000 (and kit) has gone down by 100GBP, about 8%.

      • broxibear

        Thanks rome2807,
        Send it to Peter/admin.
        The only thing I noticed was the inclusion of the new mirrorless cameras, I suppose it’s easy enough to change the prices if this US price increase is actually a worldwide change.
        Thanks.

  • http://www.robertbalala.com Robert Balala

    Nikon better make sure their products are worth the money… and provide the service to back that shyt up…

  • David Marset

    This is not legal in the US.

    • Dave

      Never seen the price on the back of a book is fix, There’s also minimum price on many product such as milk and gas… Apple did this too and so many other… A company can ask for their product not to be sold under a certain price, this is completely legal… And if someone say it’s not legal and try to stop them, it would be easy for the company to sell at higher price to their reseller, which would be even worst for the costumer because big chain will be able to sell cheap but some smaller one won’t… It’s obvious that they do this not to piss off customer, but to make sure some store don’t sell it at a lower price they have paid from the company… Don’t tell me such thing don’t exist, I used to work in Tv shop and many big company were selling TV with a loss, and trying to make people buy insurance or complementary product (like a crazy high price HDMI cable in HIFI sound cable), this is were they were making their benefit… In Canada there’s 2 major electronic company that did this to try to kill the market from smaller shop and it have work, now they are almost alone in some place in Canada and can now put their price much higher since the competition is gone… Market 101

      • NoFunBen

        “price on the back of a book is fix”
        lots of places sell below this price for books, i have several on my desk right now.

    • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

      > This is not legal in the US

      Actually, it is (again). There was a period where First Sale doctrine prevented a manufacturer from dictating price. Once a dealer had “bought” inventory from a maker, the dealer was free to sell it at whatever price they wanted. Manufacturers don’t like dealers selling for under MSRP, because it starts a long slide of “perceived value” by the customer: “MSRP = US$999, dealers are selling it for US$899, it must be only worth US$899. Oh, wait, someone has it on sale for US$849 plus I get a 5% coupon for my next purchase. It must be worth US$799.” There’s already a perception that you should get more for less money in consumer electronics over time as it is. This just makes the maker’s job harder.

      Unfortunately, the old way First Sale worked has slowly been eroded by the courts. For awhile it was “makers can limit the price at which something is advertised at, but can’t dictate what it is actually sold at.” Now even that is gone.

      • venancio

        makes one try to remember again what you said before on why B&H has an “imported” price on a nikkor and a higher “USA” price for the same item…

      • PHB

        The law never changed. All that has changed is that some corrupt judges have misinterpreted it.

        Thomas openly takes bribes through his wife’s ‘political consulting’ group. Over $800,000 last year. All from people with interests in the cases he hears. The money goes directly into his pockets, how is that not a bribe?

        His impeachment is long overdue.

        • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

          Actually, some of the underlying “laws” (more like clauses) have changed. I really dislike the notion of riders, as we get these non-related single purpose statements tacked onto other bills that often introduce disparities in the original law and then require a court to figure out.

          Unfortunately, our Justice system is a very slow sine wave. You get long periods of it slowly being moved one direction, then eventually the two-party system correction sets in and it slowly moves the other (I hesitate to use the words liberal or conservative; if you’ve studied history, you’ll know that the definitions of these labels have flipped 180 degrees more than once).

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      Many companies have similar policies (Leica for example doesn’t allow any discounts or bundles). Please note that those emails were sent by retailers and not by Nikon.

  • http://www.robertbalala.com Robert Balala

    … or Maybe they are just doing this to get an additional boost in sales and see if threats like this work…

    • R R

      +1

    • R R

      True, maybe they want to get rid of avery D700 and D300s left in stores , cause of new probable products coming.. so they scare us in to buying them, this would be a great time to TURN the tables on them.. boycott Nikon see how that feels for them, is not like they have released a D700 upgrade like everybody wanted when we wanted it.. no.. this time we have to spend $ 4 grand plus new computer, and is not like the current lenses are at good price compare the 35mm f1.4G vs the 35mm f1.4 L for example..

      we have been put to a lot of strain and now this? mmm it would be nice if we could all Boycott them for a while.. buy sigma instead or just dont buy anything yet , buy what you need in January.. lets put the stress on them for a change huh?

  • nb

    Every store offers price-matching. Everyone can already shop at the store that offers them the best service, and have that store price-match. Nikon’s reasoning is obvious bulls–t.

    Hopefully this is a PR disaster. I feel like it should be illegal.

  • ELK

    I prefer the dirty version.

  • gobsmacker

    Given this announcement, I expect the champaign will be flowing freely at Sony headquarters in celebration. IMO, Nikon would be foolish to try to put the squeeze on a big retailer like Amazon, say. Nikon needs Amazon more than Amazon needs Nikon. Sounds like illegal price fixing to me, but IANAL.

    • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

      Sony has the same policies ;~)

      • NikonD80Still

        And most of other companies too ;)

      • Eamon Hickey

        And how. Sony did it even when it was illegal. Back in the 1990s, I was peripherally involved in a situation where a (rather large and important) dealer put a Sony camcorder on sale, and Sony (through their regional sales manager) verbally threatened him with cutting off his product supply. He wrote them a letter of apology, and they freaked out — they didn’t want anything in writing.

        They were aggressive about enforcing minimum prices but were careful to make sure nothing was ever in writing. Many companies did this. Minolta lost a huge lawsuit over it in the 1980s (because they weren’t careful about keeping it secret.)

  • Sly Larive

    I believe this has more to do with protecting large or pro retailers rather than actually doing a price hike. Glad I live in Canada. Hopefully we’ll avoid getting such a silly policy and American friends will buy from Canadian retailers instead…

    • Lulz

      Canada. Americas hat.

      • http://eleventhphotograph.com elph

        We’re on top?

      • toecutter

        Or America-Canada’s butt

    • NyKonNeoColonialist

      I don’t recall seeing any NyKons in Canadian Tire.

      • Sly Larive

        Lol yeah. Canadian Tire has those silly brands… Wonder why they carry those!

        Anyhow, I shopped extensively for my 70-200 VRII and my 24-70 and they both came up the same or cheaper in Canada, even considering the longer warranty.

    • UncleSam

      Canada, the 51st state…

      • PeterO

        Ha, you wish. Thanks but no thanks eh?

  • Michael

    Never thought I would be saying this, but maybe it is time to switch to Canon….

    • Foolishfo

      That would actually be a stupid reason for switching. The U.S. Dollar continues to decline which means Canon will have to eventually increase their prices as well.

    • BartyL

      Novel.

  • kongqueror

    I guess this explains the over-priced Nikon 1s.

  • Luis Gonzalez

    Already sent a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. Suggest you all do the same.

    • NyKonNeoColonialist

      While your at it you should file a complaint against Apple.

      • Yagion

        and Sony, and many other major electronic manufacturers

      • Foolishcfo

        Go ahead. Teach Apple a lesson. Get rid of your iPod and get a Zune. What? Microsoft discontinued it this week? Good products can command fixed prices. Apple gets the price it charges because it produces good products. Same with Nikon, etc.

        • paf

          There is always an alternative -voting with your wallet is the best thing you can do to greedy companies. As good as the products can be, there is always an alternative!

  • ben

    This is perfectly legal in the US. What is illegal is if the competitors selling the goods agree to sell the products at a certain price. That is price fixing and illegal. Many companies require their products to be sold through licensed dealers and many of them make the dealers agree to the same minimum price. It is a way of insuring that all buyers get a good deal, not just those in major cities, or those buying online.

    • http://www.modifiedphotographics.com Jason

      BINGO! At least a few people understand.

      It may not sound good from a consumers perspective, but in reality it will ultimately help keep those important, small-time camera dealers down the street in business. You know, the ones that actually hire experts and understand photography and will help you without being snotty because they were supposed to go on break 10 minutes ago.

    • http://www.amanochocolate.com Art

      This is correct, Nikon can in fact control the price it is sold at. This is done contractually and the courts have decided (about 10 years ago as I recall) that they can do this. Besides, there is nothing that says that Nikon must continue to sell to anyone.

      I know for my company, if I find a retailer selling our products at a price low enough to hurt our perceived value, first I’ll talk to them. After that, they get bumped to the bottom of any priority list we may have and the retailers who represent us well take first priority. So far because we have a premium product, our retailers have been great and I haven’t had to deal with this.

  • M!

    why do people feel this is illegal?
    if Nikon, Canon and Sony came together and set the price of their 70-200 to be $5000 then it would be illegal. if Nikon tells their dealers they cannot sell it below a certain $, it is perfectly fine.

    as a consumer, i feel much better knowing everywhere i buy would be the same price. so any stores who have shitty customer service would be out of business.

    the businesses should feel better not having to undercut their profits.

  • Foolishcfo

    Well at least we know how Nikon has been wracking up huge profits. It wasn’t from their crappy coolpix cameras. Hit the high-end consumer. Actually, the US Dollar buys 7% less against the Japanese Yen than a year ago. Blame the US Government, not Nikon.

  • Lulz

    Now the price at my local store will be the same as advertised on band h. Cool. Libtards are getting bent out of shape here for no reason.

    • NyKonNeoColonialist

      +1

      Libtards. LOL!

    • Ant

      Seems odd that conservatives, who place so much value in free-market economics are so happy about a restriction (albeit legal) in free trade. Seems paradoxical.

      • Lulz

        It’s good for small business. Now the giant evil corporations like b and h won’t be able to undercut the little guy. You libtards should appreciate that.

        Lol

        • Ant

          Lol at you that you don’t answer the point. Unless you use Libtard as shortening for Libertariantard of course Chairman.

          • Lulz

            Answer what point? What are you talking about? Liberals are the ones who hate corporations. It’s pretty simple B. If nikon sets their prices too high they won’t sell anything and go broke or get bought by someone else. That’s capitalism B. The big diff I see is that apple can get away with it because they are the only ones who do what they do as good as they do. Nikon and canon are so much alike nikon better be careful with this.

            • Ant

              As a liberal (or libtard in your parlance) I’m not hostile to corporations / companies. The basic tenet of free-market economics is that the market sets the price, based on a combination of supply, demand and the psychology of the people in the market. Here you have a company manipulating market economics and a “conservative” judiciary allowing them to do so. To me it seems to fly in the face of traditional liberal economics (now referred to as conservative economics in the US for some reason that I don’t understand). If the service offered by the small businesses and mom and pop shops represented good value against the lower prices of the faceless corporations, wouldn’t people pay for it anyway? I’m all for small businesses, but I’m also all for getting a good deal if I don’t see the additional service offered by smaller outlets as representing good value for me.

            • Lulz

              So what you are saying is that we should not allow a company to do this for some reason. This is what makes you a libtard who can’t see that we are for a free market. If the choice nikon makes causes them to fail it was because of a free market.

            • Ant

              All I’m saying is that by allowing anybody to fix the sale price of their channel, rather than allowing the market to do this is in favour of control over markets. This means that your view has more in common with Karl Marx than my “libtard” view.

              We don’t disagree that Nikon will live and die on the commercial decisions it makes, and this isn’t a fundamental threat to capitalism – you can breathe easily I promise. However, as a result of this decision and more importantly the courts’ support of it, consumers who do their own research and search out the best deal will be denied the advantage that their work and knowledge should give them in a true market economy. It is in a very small and insignificant way anti-capitalist.

            • vinman

              People who use made-up words like “libtards” and “Obamacare” are ignorant asshats who should learn to read actual news reports and proposed legislation instead regurgitating what their talking heads tell them to think. Yes, it takes some effort, but it’s quite liberating once you can see the people trying to screw you out of a chance for what used to be the achievable “American Dream”.

              For the record, while I do lean towards the liberal end of the political spectrum, I’m not narrow minded enough to believe the current administration on either side of the aisle are responsible for the hole we now find ourselves in. It’s taken decades to get us here, and the current political non-cooperative agendas in Washington aren’t going to allow any progress to be made any time soon.

            • Lulz

              Whatever libtards. Why you can’t see that what is going on is all part of the free market system is beyond me. Vinman. We know eachother from ppot so give it a rest.

            • Mock Kenwell

              Libtards and asshats. My vocabulary is growing by the minute.

              Lulz, buddy. You’re sounding incredibly ignorant. Ant is spot-on. Republicans are not hardcore for the economy. Nor are Democrats. Libertarians are. The true definition of a free market economy would allow no such price-fixing restrictions. It’s supply and demand all the way. It places all the onus on the buyer. It’s short-sighted and ignores fundamental human tendencies toward greed and avarice, but it’s unrestricted. Learn your politics, boy.

  • NyKonNeoColonialist

    That’s the last straw NyKon.

    I’m switching to de-caf. :-)

  • Lulz

    Watch canon follow this model within a year.

  • vinman

    This does not bode well for the US price of the hypothetical D800. Or any other high end bodies or lenses.

    Good thing I’m so heavily vested in their gear or I might be tempted go the other way…

  • The invisible man

    I remember when I was a teen and started photography in France, the cameras/lenses was VERY expensive with a 33% sale tax, compared to USA (at that time) it was 2.5 times more expensive.
    So I won’t complain too much if Nikon need to ajust his profit in order not to loose money.

    ** It was soo bad that at that time it worth the saving crossing the Atlantic and get your 300mm f/2.8 in NY

  • jon D

    What is up with the Apple Logo in the NR header?

    • venancio

      it’s to show respect to steve J. as in iphone 4S is 4Steve…

  • The invisible man

    Thumb up if you think Obama called Nikon
    :)

    • silmasan

      No. Obama was too busy calling Shakira

  • broxibear
    • silmasan

      Love it!

  • R R

    having a Nikon is beginning to feel like owning a Mercedes Benz.. services and spare parts are crazy expensive. Still a great car though.. but ..

    oh man.

  • gt

    way to go nikon. no product announcements, and two price hikes. good job.

    I love how the 35mm 1.4G costs 2X that of the 35mm 1.4L too. Awesome job there too.

    I hope Sigma can fix this mess.

    • http://www.charlydiazazcue.com Charly

      o.O 2X (?)

      Canon 35 1.4L = u$ 1,500.-
      Nikon 35 1.4G = u$ 1,619.-

      Please do yourself a favour and go back to elementary school (and try to finish this time)

      Regards

      • gt

        I’m sorry I based this on the price my local camera dealer was offering for it: $1100. It could be a refurbished lens though.

        That being said, if the nikon lens is $1600, it’ll be $1800 come oct. 12

      • gt

        $1100 for the 35mm 1.4L that is

      • Peter

        In Australia this is also true. Canon gear is usually around $600+ cheaper from major retailers already (although not if you know where to look). If Nikon starts dictating their prices to retailers then dedicated Nikon users are going to have a tough time ahead.

        Nikon and the reputation they have built over the decades will not last much longer if they keep this up.

  • na

    I am really for sony

  • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

    Admin, one question. Will this price hike affect Nikon products only in the US, or will Asia be affected too?
    Thanks :)

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      for now US only, I have no info about other countries

      • TommyTomTom

        I can assure you such price fixing (or dictating the retailer’s sell price) will be highly illegal in Australia. Our government has also, openly allowed competition from overseas to put the pressure on the local imports. And in recent weeks, their has been some inquiries into price differences between the US (on Apple products and apps, and computer software). Since the Aussie Dollar and US is on par (if not stronger).

        The problem is with Australian retail prices are marked up about 25%-30% for the retailer to make, on top of the imported/distribution costs, and been a smaller market our purchases are more costly, hence we don’t benefit from the US prices. But what is rather ridiculous, is the retailer also get approx, 5 to 15% additional (hidden) rebate on sell-through. And add 10% tax on top… you sell why everyone’s is buying from overseas instead.

        I don’t like the fact most Australian’s has to purchase overseas, as it could kill the local workforce, and the fact it is already happening. Most retailers are crying foul due to the strong aussie dollar and the laxed importation laws and duties, and the US retailers such as BH and Amazon, are laughing all the way to the bank.

        I like a fair open competition market, and Australia has a good system for this, but it has a such a huge price markup that it even scares the hell out of the kangaroos.

        The single MSRP for most retailers, like those in the US and Asia is good in one aspect, as it makes the retailers work harder in providing a better service and experience, this is good, but think we should have a balanced system.

      • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

        Thanks for the reply! :)

  • AM

    How will this affect the gray market? Will the major retailers still be able to offer better pricing on gray-market products? I might consider give them a try if the gap is considerable.

  • Robin

    So now the likes of adorama and b&h will even more aggressively offer bundled price as a way of offering discount, which means customers will end up with discount in kind rather than dollar value with useless bundled merchandise such as: no name 8gb sd card, uv filters, cleaning kits, some useless bag, sunpak tripods, no name batteries, chargers, etc.

    Just peddling more chinese crap!

    Bah! I may as well take up lace knitting as hobby.

  • Judob

    I heard about this from my Nikon dealer on Wednesday. Pretty disappointing news for me as I was getting my lenses at cost because I do work for them. The reason Nikon is doing this however is because the dealers have been complaining. They are doing it because the small camera shops aren’t carrying their products because of the low margin against companies like B&H. I think it will hurt Nikon in the long run however as the prices at stores like B&H are going up and less people are going to be purchasing the higher priced items. Nikon themselves aren’t making more per item, just the retailers.

  • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

    This may not be a direct price increase but more like enforcing MSRP for all dealers, which will still lead to higher prices than we have right now. For example, the 24-120mm f/4 lens is listed for $1,299.95 on Nikon USA:

    http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Camera-Lenses/2193/AF-S-NIKKOR-24-120mm-f%252F4G-ED-VR.html

    Amazon sells the same lens for $1,145.97:

    http://amzn.to/q4JUrp

    If I understand this whole thing correctly, in ten days Amazon has to sell the same lens for $1,299.95 according to the new pricing policy, which in a way is still a price increase.

    • Jon

      whole….

    • Carsten

      I am worried about the MSRP they will be using – a while ago I found a used 24/2.8 for €300 – it sells for €400 new (roughly the same as the $400 when you account for the VAT). As the lens had been quite banged up I tried to haggle and burst out in laughter as he told me that it was a €650 lens – I stopped laughing as he showed me the printed price list from Nikon.

      I would welcome a fixed price policy if the MSRP would be adjusted to actual street prices. This would give small dealers with good staff a fighting chance against volume dealers. But I am afraid that the opposite will happen, the stuff will just get more expensive and differentiating by service will be even harder.

      I haven bought anything from Nikon in the last 18 months, mostly because I can’t see a clear route where they are going and it starts to annoy me. Yesterday I had the chance to test-drive the A77 … perhaps time to become less sentimental

      • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

        @carsten: note that this whole brouhaha only applies to NikonUSA. If you’re in Europe, the laws and policies are different there.

        • Carsten

          The laws are no different – vendors have the right to impose minimum retail prices here as well. Everything bad coming from the US is quickly implemented.

          One might have different views on price-discrimination, but a global policy renders all positives void.

    • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

      That’s correct. None of the Nikon prices to dealers changed that I know of. However Nikon is now taking a hard line on what dealers sell those products for. Again, note that not all dealers agree on the premise the dealers you quote do: some think it’s about time that everyone plays by the same rules and that the rules are enforced.

      • AnoNemo

        You are absolutely right Thom, on the other hand I can see one major problem. Namely, Nikon has to sort out the product shortages. To determine who receives what and how many will they receive will be a major issue for Nikon.

        • http://www.bythom.com Thom Hogan

          Well, a couple of things:

          First, under US law you can’t play favorites within the same class of dealer. You can’t ship two of something to Dealer A and none to Dealer B: you’d have to ship one to each. So dealers under the same contractual relationship with NikonUSA have to be treated equally. This is one reason why when supplies are short your best bet is to skip the big market dealers (e.g. Los Angeles) and look for a smaller market dealer (e.g. Sacramento). Obviously, B&H/Adorama, Amazon, Best Buy, et.al. are probably living under different contractual arrangements, but it appears that NikonUSA is trying to flatten the field with some of their contract clauses, including the selling price one.

          Second, it’s possible that rigid enforcement of the pricing might (and that’s a might, not a will) ease some of the shortage. If some bigger dealers are discounting short-in-supply products (and they are) it drives volume up and increases demand simultaneously. Flat, MSRP pricing should drive demand down, so if Nikon kept import volume the same, things should stay in stock longer. I don’t see how that helps Nikon, though.

          • AnoNemo

            Horizontal “price fixing” is illegal but vertical is legal in the US. It is hard to prove the first one (in this case) therefore Nikon takes care of that. I would not be surprised that Nikon, Canon, and Sony execs in Japan make so “co-planning” in advance.

            Again, selling the last unit to a dealer with the same contract others have is another question. Again hard to prove it…

            I think this Nikon could be a bit more creative when it comes to these pricing strategies. The bottom line is that prices will go up and the consumer will pay the difference. Will they receive the service is another question. Will the retailers invest that extra money to provide better service? Not likely because their vested interest is to maximize profit. So they will promote the brand that will do just that.

  • Abaham Collins

    Nikon is right; SERVICE should determine who is the leading retailer, not some big corporate Walmart logistics giant with “live better” roll-back prices. Mom’n’Pop need to stay in the game and there’s no way for that to happen without help from the manufacturer.

    • Robin

      So in the guise of subduing your “corporate Walmart logistics giant with live better roll-back prices” Nikon is placing the rifle on Mom’n'Pop’s shoulder and shooting the consumer.

    • Ant

      Isn’t it the consumer who gets to decide on whether they value the service offered by a smaller, local retailer higher than the lower price offered by one of the big boys, who benefit from economies of scale?

      I sympathise with the sentiment in your post, but anybody who knows what they want and doesn’t need the service support of a local mom and pop store can’t take advantage of genuine price-based competition in the market.

  • Mark J.

    Well, i was going to wait to pick up the 14-24mm that will be replacing my Tokina 11-16mm when i go Full frame with the D800. But this just changed things a bit, so i guess i’ll go snag the lens first.

    Thanks for the heads up NR, probably just saved me a couple hundred bucks :)

  • jerl

    Way to go Nikon! Another great example of great Nikon policies.

    Policies like this are reasons why I often tell people to shoot Canon or Sony, even though I uses Nikon. It’s not so much that they are doing this, as many companies like Apple or Sony are already doing this. It’s the way it’s handled: the way the policy is set out gives the impression that Nikon views its customers as resources to be exploited, and not as valuable income sources to be protected.

    I don’t think this would have been more difficult to handle gracefully: just send out a public announcement about retailers who are unfairly gouging or dumping and talk about their new policy to fix this, with maybe even some small bundle discounts to show goodwill. Having the retailers send out the message leaves a bad taste in customer’s mouths, and gives us the impression that Nikon knows they are screwing us over, and are unwilling to discuss it.

  • http://micahmedia.com Micah

    …this is nothing new. It probably just means MSRP will rise and they’ll offer rebates. It gives the illusion of getting a discount. They’re not threatening the retailers in any way. They’d only hurt themselves if they actually did. Amazon sells LOTs of merch and they wouldn’t want to hurt that situation.

  • enesunkie

    This is coming at a bad time for all the people holding out for a D400, D800 and D4.

  • gobsmacker

    With the price increase in the US, will it make any sense for someone in the US to buy Nikon gear from on-line retailers in Hong Kong? When I was there a few months ago and shopping in Kowloon, I priced out some of the pro lenses. The quotes were ridiculously low, so I got suspicious that they might be repackaged returns or refurbished copies instead of brand new. I decided to wait until I got home. When I later checked on-line, I found just one Internet HK seller who had an English version Web page and a good rep according to several posts I saw here on NR. However, the advertised price was very close to the price I finally got at Amazon. If I understand it correctly, the HK service warranty has a special international status that Nikon US would honor, unlike gray market gear.

  • One More Thought

    I agree with what Micah wrote…this may not be as severe as imagined; Nikon can always offer rebates along with the pricing to make consumers think they are getting a better deal.

    Also, whether we like it or not, this is the way all premium brands do business: whether Mercedes, Leica, etc…it’s the price of quality.

    I personally am ambiguous about this…on the one hand this protects the small dealer, and tries to protect the value of service…to avoid the Walmart type rush to the bottom. In the long run this may allow Nikon to better maintain it’s margins and keep quality higher.

    On the other hand, this would seem to keep prices higher for consumers…

    So like anything in economics, there is are trade offs…

  • Jeff Duska

    I suspect smaller Nikon dealers were complaining that they are losing sales to online stores, big box stores and etc. The complain I’ve heard is that local store has to do support, but rarely get the sale due to price differences. By forcing the MSRP for all dealers, Nikon is favoring these dealers a bit.

    Why? Nikon most likely has market research showing smaller store shoppers are more likely to purchase a Nikon camera, whereas online shoppers shoppers are focused on price. And smaller store shoppers are more brand loyal purchasing Nikkor lens and accessories, whereas the online shopper is not brand loyal.

    Before start worrying about larger retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Costco or BestBuy, remember, they have a lot of clout and aren’t afraid to us it. It is doubtful lower prices will disappear completely. Nikon will blink, the moment one of the big retailers threaten to drop their products. To keep key retailers, we’ll see exceptions and special promotions. The fact is “Nikon needs these large retailers more than they need Nikon.”

  • http://assuredphotos.com RRRoger

    My local retailer is going to love not being undersold.

    I may not be able to afford a new D400 or D800 if they go too high.
    It seems I have less cash left over every day as most everything else I buy is going up while the pressure is on to lower my wages (if I can even find work),

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