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Clarification on my last Nikon price increase post

Several readers have emailed me about my post from Friday on the upcoming Nikon price increase starting on October 16th. I just want to clarify that Nikon will not be raising their prices. They will just start enforcing their MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) policy which will lead to a price increase for certain products in some online retailers in the US. The idea is to have identical prices on Nikon equipment in your local store and on Amazon for example.

For example, the Nikon D3100 kit is listed for $699.95 on Nikon USA. The MAP on the D3100 kit is $599. Even after the current $50 instant rebate, Amazon is selling it for $533 (same price with B&H after you add it to your cart, Adorama sells it for $599).

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  • The invisible man

    It’s too late, from now, there will always be a difference on DSLR and lenses between a local retail store and online “stores” (B&H, Adorama, etc).

    Why ?
    Because if I’m buying a Af-s 200mm f/2.0 VRII I already now what I want and I don’t need any “professional” advice, so why would I pay $1000 more + state taxes at my local photo store ?

    When I owned a store (before the internet took over) I had all the Nikon DSLR line, because the pro who wanted a F4 could not found it cheaper anywhere else.

    (check your Waltmart store, the best Nikon they have is the D5100, because they know they won’t sell any D700 of D3s)

    So, get use to it, buy your Coolpix at Bestbuy and your get 14-24mm from B&H.

    • cpm5280

      > “so why would I pay $1000 more + state taxes at my local photo store”

      I think the point here is that the price at your local store and the price online will be the same, since Nikon will be enforcing this is their distribution channels.

    • PJS

      Actually I bought a D700 through Walmart.com for under $2000 when the Bing cash discounts were being offered. Looks like its resale will be more! Love the policy…

      • The invisible man

        @PJS
        Yes you’re right, from Waltmart.com not at the store itself, Waltmart stores then don’t carry the D700

    • Tranceme

      > “so why would I pay $1000 more + state taxes at my local photo store”

      I agree with you. However, my local showpis not doing this and the people there pretty damn knowledge. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones. And, their prices sometimes better than online. Also, if something is wrong, I don’t have to pay shipping back and wonder if the next unit will work correctly or if it is grey market.

    • http://test test

      It’s too late, from now, there will always be a difference on DSLR and lenses between a local retail store and online “stores” (B&H, Adorama, etc).

      Why ?
      Because if I’m buying a Af-s 200mm f/2.0 VRII I already now what I want and I don’t need any “professional” advice, so why would I pay $1000 more + state taxes at my local photo store ?

      When I owned a store (before the internet took over) I had all the Nikon DSLR line, because the pro who wanted a F4 could not found it cheaper anywhere else.

      (check your Waltmart store, the best Nikon they have is the D5100, because they know they won’t sell any D700 of D3s)

      So, get use to it, buy your Coolpix at Bestbuy and your get 14-24mm from B&H.

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

      Technically, you still owe sales taxes on Internet purchases. It’s called Use Tax, and people who live by the law actually pay it (I do).

      • http://www.EltonSaulsberry.com Elton Saulsberry

        Joyfully, here in Georgia they got rid of the personal use taxes on everything except cars bought out of state. It still exists for businesses but they threw in the towel for individuals.

        • http://www.EltonSaulsberry.com Elton Saulsberry

          Spoke too soon. They dropped it from the income tax form but the tax is still there. Rats.

      • pjs

        Tax law varies widely state to state in reference to sales tax on internet purchases. A “you owe taxes” statement is somewhat shortsighted. Check with your CPA, not Nikon Rumors :-)

  • Jabs

    @Administrator

    Thanks for the clarification and Nikon indeed has done this same exact thing in the past when the US ‘gray market’ got out of control and started to run over or adversely affect Nikon USA in sales – lol

  • BFS

    Price-fixing is legal in the US?

    • Yagion

      This is within ONE vendor, not the entire industry among competitors. It’s NOT price fixing.

      • Joe Jaro

        It all depends on who you see as vendor here. B&H, Adorama, etc are all competitors purchasing from Nikon. Not a lawyer but if they agree to stick to the MAP this indeed may lead to interesting interpretations…… Just my 2 cts.

        • Mark

          Correct. The retailer can’t agree to follow MAP pricing. If they agree then it’s price fixing. If they follow the MAP pricing because they believeb it is in their own best interest, then it isn’t price fixing. It is usually in the retailers best interest to follow the MAP pricing because of advertising coop funds thatcher from the maamufacturer only of they follow the MAP pricing policy. I am not a lawyer but I am a buyer for a large retailer and this is the advice our legal dept gives us.

          • Not Surprised

            Right. We distribute a certain product in the US only — to about 20 stores in our “network”. But we CANNOT legally force them to sell for the price that we want them to sell for.

            Even though that’s the case — we can “punish” them by not giving certain incentives, etc, as a matter of business practice.

            Generally speaking the Distributor (we) shouldn’t get involved unless some of our stores are suffering, because that hurts our distribution (if 2 or 3 stores die off then it can have a profound effect, even if in the beginning only some of their customers were going to the other sites). However, our products are specialized in a way that quality is ensured generally in-store (so we need all those stores alive).

            Quite frankly, I understand why Nikon wants to do this — but as a consumer of ELECTRONIC equipment, I don’t think that this is the right way to go. If Nikon wants to fix prices — which is what they are doing if they enforce it — then they should distribute ONLY through Nikon.com.

            If Nikon wants mass distribution, then the usually sites are perfectly fine to compete as is their legal right. And if Nikon punishes certain stores for competing legally, then Nikon should be sued for discrimination and price fixing.

            • Tranceme

              All your comments are valid. But, here is something to think about. And, I have seen this happen. A retailer with deep pockets could advertised a below cost price or so low there is no money in it. Then all the other retailers stop selling your product. The retailer that drove the others out of the market comes back to manufacture and says “lower you prices and give special discounts” Wh? “Because you need us know to push your product” Sure, you could back to the other guys. But, they not too happy with you and don’t want to sell your product.

              Anyway, this does happen. So, as a manufacturer, you need to protect your brand. This is nothing new. And, done by every big manufacturer. Don’t get me wrong, I want a discount as well. But, Nikon is a business. Not a charity.

            • Jabs

              @Not Surprised

              One reference for you!

              Ever heard of Crazy Eddie of NY infamy or fame?

          • Margaret

            a retailer may follow MAP because of stories that retailers who don’t, somehow get less stock, delayed stock, promos don’t cover their stock, no free gifts, etc

            • Not Surprised

              Exactly my point.

              Its not legal — but they can do it in a “sideways” manner. Which is pretty crummy if you ask me.

              The market knows the price of these products MUCH BETTER than Nikon (consider D3X and V/J1– Nikon doesn’t know how to price at all — the market should decide; afterall, Nikon takes its cut in advance).

              If Nikon wants to FIX PRICES — then it should shut up and sell only through its own stores and its own website. If Nikon wants to use OTHER PEOPLE’s stores, then it should allow those stores to find the best demand points.

              Even if other dealers “sweeten the deal” or have deep pockets, they won’t do better than what can be managed vis-a-vis HIGH MARGIN products. Contrary to popular belief, retailers hate expensive products (especially technology that gets squeezed). So they won’t sweeten the deal too much. They’ll just go until they find the right balance of profit and demand.

              There is no Evil Corporation which just sells Nikons dirt cheap to kill off the other stores. The lowest price always annoys their customers with shitty up-sells (3rd rate crap websites for example), or they keep right at the level of their competitors (2nd rate), or they just give a very modest discount (top tier), and some even ask a premium price (service-oriented stores, brick and mortar, etc).

              They do not give away the product. Its always developed around a basket or services or specials (like xmas discount).

          • Worminator

            Mark, thanks for the cogent explanation, I always wondered why stores agreed to follow pricing schemes since “forced to” is illegal. So it’s the “deal you cannot refuse” cliche then – a combination of bribery (co-op money) and unwritten threat (will be last to get stock etc, basically get booted to the bottom of the supply chain) if you don’t play along.

    • Jabs

      @BFS

      It is merely Minimum Advertised SALE price in Print or even the Internet.

      Not price fixing.

      Usually Companies usually then respond with – come to our Store physically to get the PRICE (and then lower it there).

      Happened in the past and still does today in America, at least.

      • Tranceme

        Exactly. This is why places like Amazon and Best Buy don’t show you the price until your checking out at times. For sales purposes.

        • Not Surprised

          Its still anti-competitive, which is why consumers hate this nonsense. No body should justify it. “Oh the hidden price — its fun, like searching for easter eggs!” Riiight, give us a break. We are adults, and this is big business. Publish the prices and knock-off the intimidation tactics against normal businesses just trying to serve their customers.

          Nikon wants to be a mafia, it can use its own exclusive brand stores and its own weak website. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this action is being taken because after investing a mere $10,000 in its own online US store, a Nikon internet sales manager complained that they aren’t making enough sales “because of the other stores not playing fairly.”

          So for NikonUSA to deliver Nikon’s manufacturing margin PLUS the wholesaling margin AND now the distributor margin, they need to push their thumbs down on the stores/consumers.

          Stores hate this stuff and some won’t want to carry Nikon as many products, especially if Nikon punishes through favoritism. Take the manufacturing margin, take the wholesaling margin — but unless Nikon has its own pure brand store and websales strategy, it should not harass the distributors who serve their customers through excellent pricing.

          The distributors competition has always helped us. If we bought off of Nikon’s site, we’d be paying even more ungodly amounts.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/meeseses/ El Stevo

      Ever buy Bose? Same exact thing.

      • Justin

        Apple is probably he most well-known example.

        • http://www.modifiedphotographics.com Jason

          Both are great examples of this “policy”.

          The MAP also doesn’t limit the HIGH price a store may charge. Nor does it limit the price that their competition may set their prices at. If Nikon got with Canon, Sony, Pentax, etc, etc and all set the same prices on equivalent gear, then we might have something to complain about.

          As it is, I don’t see the downside. Two things this does that are POSITIVE, it gives smaller, local camera stores a fighting chance vs the huge online resellers. (This also helps Nikon because then they have less equipment “sitting” on shelves in retail shops while their is a backlog of orders waiting at the big-name online stores. And to get rid of that, they have to run promos to sell off those leftovers.)

          The other positive thing is that LEGITIMATE Nikon dealers will stand out against the “fake” and/or “gray market” only dealers. After all, when buying online, it’s hard to tell WHO you are dealing with and if they are an authorized dealer or not. Before, the price could be “too good to be true” but who was to know for sure. Now, they will either conform to MAP or they will stand out like a sore thumb. (Granted, that’s not to say people won’t still fall for the trickery, but at least Nikon has a leg to stand on when it comes to declining their dealer status if they even had one.)

          Yes, in the end we won’t get such great deals from B&H, Adorama, Abe’s of Maine, etc, but I think in reality it will help in the long run.

          • Not Surprised

            How will it help? How? You didn’t explain how the consumer will benefit at all. Do you really think we need to support more mom and pop shops for camera gear?

            Why not give your money directly to that mom and pop shop you support, instead of supporting taking away our options? Its irrational, and you know it.

            How many people here would be IN FAVOR of Amazon.com collecting state taxes equivalent to California’s average sales tax? Who argues that it “supports photography sales, in the long run”? Anyone?

            So the tax man is going to start making Amazon charge state taxes… and Nikon will start pumping up prices. Double hit during a double-dip economy.

            Great timing!

    • TJ

      Yes, per a recent Supreme Court ruling companies have the ability to enforce minimum price requirements.

  • Matt

    Where can you find out what the MAPs are?

  • Banned

    I think everyone got it right the first time around, the prices will increase for people shopping at Amazon, B&H and others.

  • Jabs

    @Administrator,
    Your servers seem to be not syncing again.
    Gone wacko – one minute you see a few posts and then another minute, you see all the posts in the Category.

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

      Is it just the post or the comments as well? Sometimes the browser’s caching can cause that as well. Try to refresh the page.

      • Jabs

        @Administrator

        BOTH – it is like you have two different web sites – lol

        One minute you get one site and the other, another web site.

        There is no apparent concurrency in the Data between Servers – seems to be the problem to me.

        One seems to lag behind the other at times, maybe!

        I believe that they call the problem – CACHE coherency (or a lack of it in this case) if that is where the Data is stored first, if I remember right.

      • http://www.lhp-online.com Leroy

        @Admin,

        It sounds like your hosting company is not keeping your servers in sync on content

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

          let me test that

  • Lars Hald

    It is price fixing and that would be illegal in my country. To fix pricing like that is almust like buying a Pratica in Eastern Germany. I really hope that Nikon suffer badly

    • http://modifiedphoto.wordpress.com Jason

      WHY would you want Nikon to suffer? Unless of course you DON’T want them to stay in business… I for one DO want Nikon to stay in business. I think this will do very little to hurt them in any way.

  • George

    The Nikon 16-35mm f:4 list price is $1,510 on Amazon and their price is $1,129. What Amazon calls “list price” is actually the MAP??

  • broxibear

    You can describe it any way you want but the reality will be higher prices.
    It also means that retailers can put away their “sale” signs because under this contract from Nikon it will be impossible to have a sale…no point in shopping around as the price will always be the same.
    If I were Canon marketing I’d jump on this and make a big deal about the fact that they don’t fix minimum prices…unless of course they’re going to do the same thing ?

  • BFS

    So, it’s de facto price-fixing: if you don’t follow Nikon’s price list you might, for example, experience ‘supply difficulties’; we had something like this back in the UK – price-fixing is illegal but there are ways for a supplier to get round the legislation…

    • broxibear

      Under UK competition law & consumer rights it’s illegal to force minimum prices on retailers.
      Nikon’s RRP (recommended retail price) of the D3s in the UK is £4382. I don’t know if Nikon Europe B.V (the Nikon supplier for Europe) give retailers a minimum sale price, legally they’re not allowed to.
      Prices of the D3s range from Amazon at £3406 and an independent retailer like Carmarthen Cameras selling it for £3654.

      • BFS

        You’re quite right, but it does still happen; companies aren’t investigated very often and it’s quite hard to prove (price fixing can benefit retailers too, plus a retailer that cooperates with such an investigation will certainly experience ‘supply difficulties’)…

      • BFS

        You’re absolutely right, of course. Having said that, it still happens in the UK…

      • SkintBrit

        Nikon are not alone in wanting price conformity. How many times have you seen your local jeweler having a sale on Rolex? No one wants to pay more for their gear, but once you’ve bought, most people would be pleased not to see lower prices.

  • http://hodnick.net nick

    So will the price of the 14-24 go up from 1800 on B&H and Amazon after Oct 14th? Because it’s listed as 1999 on Nikon’s SRP from their site.

    If so, I should just buy it now instead of waiting for my income tax check in the winter.

  • zeke

    In the US, we’re forced to deal with Nikon USA, who refuse to honor international Nikon warranties, or even transfers of their own warranty, and who are generally surly to deal with.

    It’s a testimony to how good the SLR line is that Nikon does so well despite their lousy US importer, not to mention terrible customer service, forgettable point-and-shoots, and fourth-rate application software. I hope they realize that.

    • Leroy

      +1

  • Stone

    In many instances, Amazon will not show the price until the item is placed in the Cart. Bh Photos also does this.

    Will Nikon enforcing its MAP affect this practice by Amazon and BH Photo and force it to increase its price?

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

      Yes, it should. If it doesn’t, then there is no new policy ;~).

  • Johan

    For some items, many online stores already only show the price once the item is placed in the “basket”, or discounts are given at checkout. Will that still be possible? Could B&H list all Nikon stuff at MAP, then give discounts last minute at checkout? Or do they have to implement an electronic system that mimics face-to-face haggling where you have to press “give me your best offer” to get the “only for you, my friend”-price.

    • http://wysim.wordpress.com WooYoung Sim

      I was wondering the same thing. This is Minimum Advertised Price, read advertised, so couldn’t they just advertise it with “Too Low to Show” or “Add to basket to see price” like these retailers have been doing for quite some time?

      • Steve Hagensieker

        No, the new policy specifically forbids changing the price in the cart or using the “too low to advertise” verbiage. The violation supposedly will be treated the same as if the price were below MAP before going into the shopping cart.

  • Nikonuser

    Does the extra money go into the retailer’s bottom line or Nikon?

    • http://www.modifiedphotographics.com Jason

      I believe that depends. Not all “dealers” get the same price from Nikon (largely based on volume). This may be part of the change here, but I didn’t read the whole thing to see if that was affected or not.

      Odds are, the dealers will end up making out a little better, but I suspect that Nikon will also make out a little better from the changes as well. (With the exception of the lost business from the 100 people that can’t stop complaining about it here.)

      • Not Surprised

        Maybe if Nikon didn’t charge $4,000 for the D800 — people wouldn’t be complaining.

        Here’s an idea, Nikon: $2,600 for a 24MP D3S ISO camera — charge full price. Full price at $4,000 for D800 and no discounts = FAIL. Nikon just lost about 3/4ths of its D700 buyers. At the same time they undercut their top tier.

        Very strange. Unless Nikon comes out with a $2,500 D3S style D700S, then its going to lose business. No question.

  • Jabs

    The bottom line to me:

    I think that Nikon is about to enter the online Direct Sales of their own gear in a bigger manner like how Apple has their own Apple Stores, so they probably are bringing rules and order before they expand.

    At their USA web site, they have already began doing this and not sure at other locations worldwide. It’s often called leveling the playing field as a Manufacturer competes with its’ own Dealers and does not want to be accused of trying to run them out of Business or such!

    Look here:
    http://shop.nikonusa.com/store/nikonusa/DisplayHomePage?resid=TpIEUwoBAlUAACr5@C8AAAA4&rests=1318192211256

    • Not Surprised

      It doesn’t level any playing field — it drowns the field workers in a flood. (The field stays low, where it should have been — but the manufacturer drowns everyone buy raising an artificial line).

      The manufacturer will take more margin and keep prices high. They never offer the lowest price under this model. They always have terrible/high prices.

      A truly GREAT distributor (which NikonUSA is definitely not) would make the strategic decision to KILL OFF all its online competition and become the central hub of websales at dirt cheap prices, which no other vendor could afford. And supplement that with extremely effective marketing. (Consider Android store or Amazon’s Kindle Fire or the iFruit store).

      But that’s not Nikon’s strategy, because cameras are far too tangible. Nikon loves having its cameras in Best Buy and out there for people to hand-hold before purchasing.

      So Nikon is going to have lame online prices, and enforce lame rules. And the field will rise — it will not level — under a flood of bureaucratic policies, to supplement un-needed programs, rather than actual consumer benefit.

      • Jabs

        @Not Surprised

        There seems to be an abundant difference between Nikon and Google

        1. Google seems to be on a path to catalog and rule the the online world plus be in every aspect of your life.

        2. Nikon seems to be trying to SELL equipment to us and not rule us, perhaps.

        3. Learn the differences,, maybe!

      • SkintBrit

        Very true, in the UK the most expensive place by far to buy Sony stuff is from a Sony store. Why? Shouldn’t they be the place to go if you want the very best deal?

  • coco

    they want to increase their market share but they don’t make their product more affordable, and they think mirror-less is the problem……

  • Svadle

    I don’t think this will affect the pricing at places like B@H or Adorama. For example, look at the D7000 right now for sale on B@H. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/735002-REG/Nikon_25468_D7000_DSLR_Camera_Body.html
    They don’t advertise a price. When you add the item to your cart they show their price with a disclaimer about MAP and how they are not allowed to advertise their price. If this article is true, I think you will see more of this type selling.

    • Not Surprised

      Exactly — it just causes consumer confusion.

      That’s why this is so lame. Who benefits, except off of the ignorant? Who suffers, except for the vendors who actually serve their customers well?? Just let them advertise what they are really selling it for.

      We are all adults. Why are we forced to play “peek-a-boo” like morons?

  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    Amazon and the other internet shops still have the advantage because they do not charge sales tax. Also, scarce items get delivered to local stores in disproportionate quantities to support them.

    • PoBoy

      I bought my D7000 from Amazon and had to pay sales tax. And I’m in NY. I believe the county has a law that they must be paid their sales tax for online purchases.

      • Not Surprised

        Make a friend in New Jersey. haha

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

      Let’s be clear: Internet sellers are not required to collect sales tax. It is still due, but the customer is required to pay it via the Use Tax line in their income tax (or in some cases for businesses as in PA, in their Sales and Use tax forms). The tax is still due, it’s a matter of who you pay it to.

      We’ve got a problem in this country. There are hundreds of tax jurisdictions in this country. We also founded it on “no taxation without representation.” Neither a person nor a business can be beholden to a government entity for which it has no say in (i.e. a distant government). It would be shear lunacy and it would essentially violate fundamental principals upon which the country was created. Are you sure you want oh, South Dakota, to be able to file charges against you for something you did or didn’t do in Georgia? It’s a very slippery slope once you allow cross border laws to be enforced at the local level. That’s what a federal government was for.

      There are two solutions: (1) Local governments actually get serious about collecting Use Tax; or (2) Local governments agreeing to a single, federally run sales tax system. States seem to think it’s easier to go after non-residents (Internet businesses) than residents, probably because if they really told their constituents that they owed a big chunk of money, they’d get voted out of office (another example of “doing what gets you re-elected and not doing the right thing.”). States don’t want to agree to a federally-run system because they’re afraid they’ll lose control over a revenue stream (that they’re not currently getting ;~).

      It’s a silly, sad situation. Let’s just all agree that we owe sales tax on what we buy and do #2. I personally agree that I owe sales tax on what I buy and do #1.

  • Anonymous

    Right or wrong, manufacturers imposing minimum resale prices is legal in the US as of 2007. See Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc. To quote Wikipedia: “In Leegin, the court resolved the tension by overruling Dr. Miles. Citing Bork, Ronald Coase, and others, the Court held that manufacturer-imposed minimum resale prices can lead retailers to compete efficiently for customer sales in ways other than cutting the retail price.”

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

      This is true, and businesses are interpreting this ruling as an absolute ability to do so. If you read the case decision, though, you get a different impression. The case was decided somewhat narrowly. It did not mandate that all MAP price policies were legal, it decided that a particular MAP policy was legal. But until someone overdoes it, gets sued, and a court decides that Leegin doesn’t apply, we’re going to get this onslaught of everyone trying to control prices.

  • Smithy

    Is this a global MAP? If so, Nikon users in Australia might even come out better off.

    We currently pay a big premium compared to the US and Asian markets.

    I was pleasantly suprised when I recently bought an X100 and found I paid the same price as the US rrp. Love to see this with Nikon.

  • OitaJP

    I think this is related as well to the yen being strong, with the yen going so high against the dollar, right now prices – earnings- in $ translates in less yens for Nikon Tokyo headquarters. An increase in $ prices, means more ¥ or at least an increase in foreign earnings to compensate for the strong yen when those $ earnings are converted to ¥.

    Prices in Japan are currently showing huge differences, a D7000 body costs $977 (¥75.000) on a few Akihabara Tokyo stores but Amazon.co.jp is charging $1.238 (¥95.000), or $261 more than other stores

  • Molesworth

    @ Administrator
    Thanks for the clarification, but you’re still a bit off base. This is not about a MAP program, this is an implementation of “unilateral” pricing which goes beyond advertised price alone. Unilateral pricing also effects floor pricing, in store promotions (like offering gift cards), etc.

    If a retailer breaks a MAP then the manufacturer may cut off advertising funds, make less inventory available or whatever. Penalties are not usually pre-defined. Breaking unilateral pricing, in the worst case, could mean a dealer may lose the product line altogether. That’s why the email spells out the penalties so specifically. A manufacturer using unilateral pricing must be consistent with all their dealers. So Best Buy and the Mom & Pop store get the same treatment if they break a price.

    El Stevo was correct in mentioning Bose. They have maintained unilateral pricing for years. I’m sure Apple has similar policies and Sony moved to unilateral pricing in certain categories a few years ago.

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

      You are correct, with one caveat: I don’t think Apple has a minimum selling price. They seem to rely upon very small discounts to control pricing.

      • Molesworth

        Thanks for that. Certainly razor thin margins can have the same effect.

  • vinman

    I’m guessing the most likely result is not going to be as much a “price increase”, but an increase in the number of websites requiring you “add to cart for price”. This is how vendors get around the whole MAP requirement. Numerous manufacturers have done this for years and it’s just made it a little more of a hassle to shop online. You have to go through the additional steps of adding the item to check the price. HOPEFULLY that’ll be the result, anyway.

    Thanks for the clarification!

  • Some guy

    Well, I am not sure this MAP policy is going to be completely effective, at least not for long. I cannot believe that some supply ‘penalty’ can be done to a company like Amazon or Walmart without those companies putting a serious hurt back on Nikon in some commerce/corporate way. Either that or a retailer like those two could put a hurt on Nikon in Washington with lobbying groups.

    Nikon is getting a little big for its britches I think…..

    • Some guy

      And I bet that unless Canon and the others implement the same policy, they will get to laugh all the way to the bank while Nikon enforces this.

  • SayWhat

    OK, Nikon has to do what they have to do….they can and should be able to run their business anyway that they see fit. Will this affect me….I don’t know yet.

    I will say that if the super duper (think big and long ;>), somewhere in that 600mm range) lens that has been in my wish list at B&H for a year and a half, while I’ve been saving,saving,saving on the purchase, suddenly rises in price by a K or two,then fuggetaboutit.

    Now that won’t affect me a great deal but if enough of us are in the same boat,Nikon’s bottom line could suffer a great deal!!

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/joe_i/ Joe

      Agreed…
      I don’t see what the benefit is here for Nikon and I agree also with some posters above that most likely this scenario will mean that Nikon will keep it’s prices high in an effort to maintain supplies at all retailers and keep it’s profits stable. The problem with that is if Nikon’s competitors do not do the same and offer incentives (including a lower price on similar products) then watch out – there go the profits while the competitors take away the market.

  • PeeJii

    Big LOL to Nikon USA and the “free” markets.

  • Gb

    Bose has had hard MAP prices for years. Have you ever seen a Bose product discounted heavily?
    Sony started the same program on cameras and high end TV two years ago.
    Look on Amazon and B&H for a Sony DSLR, same price as your local dealer.
    Nikon is trying to protect their product. A retailer can sell Nikon for what ever price they choose. And Nikon can choose whether or not to sell to whom ever also.
    If someone breaks MAP, Nikon may not ship to them anymore.
    Should be good for the local stores, you know the stores we look at the stuff for an hour then go buy it online to save some money. If the local stores go away, it will be tough to see camera equipment before we buy.

  • http://www.EltonSaulsberry.com Elton Saulsberry

    This doesn’t look like MAP to me, but RPM – retail price maintenance. A good write up is here: http://www.steptoe.com/news-298.html

    Whether a minimum resale price agreement passes antitrust muster under federal antitrust law now depends on a variety of factors. As the Court recognized, vertical price restraints can stimulate interbrand competition among manufacturers by encouraging retailers to invest in point-of-sale services. Vertical restraints can prevent “free-riding” – for example, when a consumer takes advantage of product demonstrations by knowledgeable employees at a showroom, and then buys the product at a lower price from a retailer that sells only over the Internet. On the other hand, the Court expressed concern that retailers might agree with each other to fix prices to consumers, and then pressure a manufacturer to support this anticompetitive agreement by setting minimum retail prices.

  • http://www.lhp-online.com Leroy

    Well, I am tired of stressing over waiting for the new FF cameras to come out.

    I just purchased a D7000 to get my new gear fix (I have a crappy D3000 right now) for a while and will wait for my birthday next July to see how the dust settled on not only the pricing strategy but I should also have my pick of the entire next gen FF series with DXOmark and other reviews to make a good decision with.

  • billy

    I’ve been able to read the full policy. The language is REALLY strict, and if it works the way it should it will put an end to ALL sellers selling below MAP. It may put an end to grey market altogether as the language even covers that.

    There is NO exception for “add to cart prices” or other ways dealers currently get around this.

    The other posters are right about it being illegal for Nikon to force a seller to sell a product at a certain price, however the way they got around this was by saying in the policy “A seller may sell a product at any price he wishes, however Nikon may then choose to no longer sell product to that dealer” …Basically meaning that if you choose to violate the policy you will lose your dealership. If you are selling grey market below MAP (like the way B&H sells both) you can lose your dealership.

    The items this policy apply to are mostly SLR’s and high end lenses. Not every Nikon product is on the list.

    • http://www.lhp-online.com Leroy

      What about high end lenses like the 200-400 and the 500 and 600mm lenses? Are they under the new policy?

      If anyone can give any examples of what products are and are not covered by this policy that would be a big help to some of us. :)

      Thanks in advance!

      • Wayne

        Any Nikon product. Visit any official Nikon site that hosts a Nikon store. Check out the Nikon store price vs any reseller site price to know the answer.

  • Wayne

    Although Nikon’s price enforcement is not illegal it IS anti-consumer. The bottom line is that the consumer is going to pay more. Nikon’s move is opposite of the premises of free-enterprise: Allowing the market (cost of production vs consumer demand) to set the price and therefore the sellers profiit. If a seller wants to make less on each product to entice consumers to buy then that SHOULD be the sellers right. Nikon is free to set the wholesale cost of selling to its distributor’s/resellers. Equally, in a free-market and free society the distributor’s/resellers should be free to set the retain cost of their goods.

    To anyone who says it does not matter think about this. The retail price of a Nikon 70-200mm VR II is $2,399.95. Most online sellers are selling the lens for $2,169.00. The difference is $230.95. So whose pocket do you want the $230.95 to go to? Your pocket or the seller’s especially when the seller was willing to allow you to keep the $230.95 in the first place and was happy with their profit! In today’s economy how many of you have $230.95 to throw away!

    Will the price increase matter? No, because unlike the Netflix cost increase not enough “little” guys are willing to walk away and buy another product.

  • Neil Eschenfelder

    I work in the photo retailing field. Some of the previous posters came right to the point. We are tired of serving as a showroom for the big online retailers. Nikon’s policy is welcome because it will level the playing field.

    On line customers should look at the true result of their purchasing policies. newrules.org. show the losses to states where residents take a free ride on their local neighbors’ tax dollars. One of the reasons the on line guys are so big and command big concessions from manufacturers is the sales tax dodge. Once tax rules apply evenly, business will return to local stores, employment to the local community and quality employees to local retailers.

    The big on line guys will take a hit. They may become the best source for hard to find accessories and they’ll still sell run of the mill merchandise but likely take the path of Adorama selling their own unknown low cost, unknown quality brands agains more well known gear. They won’t have the market share they do now. Manufacturers will see the benefit of their product being on local shelves where customers can see and touch them. Backroom deals currently offered to big on line guys will become less lucrative and have only a modest effect on margins. This policy will help save Nikon money in the long run.

    I applaud Nikon and others for trying to uphold the value of their brand, removing it from rampant bait and switch and crappy add ons.

    • http://www.bobbyshakes.com bobby shakes

      AWESOME POST……SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL STORES

  • Bob

    I find this discussion really interesting on a variety of fronts. I am in my fifties ( am a very avid photographer) and so have dealt with many, many photo stores in several states. In general, I find the staff pompous and taken with themselves. They are not in business of really helping or educating you but rather think with their many times limited knowledge they are entitled to belittle the customer. Of course, I have encountered some wonderful staff but in general I do not look forward to going to my local camera store mainly for that reason. I do my homework and they don’t seem to care or know.

    In general I buy on the internet because of two reasons. I do my research on the products on line (get used to it local business man as it is a fact of life that photographers share info on line and review the products on line) and I like the no hassle return policy of the merchants I choose to buy from. My local camera stores either have a no return or a store credit only policy. If the product is not what I expected or wanted then I want my money back.

    Finally there are the questions of inventory, price and taxes. The stores on line win almost always on all three. They are generally very fast and are interested in my business or else I will move on.

    Small businesses give me the impression I am taking the dollars in occasional sale pricing right out of the mouths of the children of the owner and his staff. They need to be really customer focused and understand I have choices that do not include them for good reasons.

    • http://www.bobbyshakes.com bobby shakes

      you must live on mars…if your camera doesn’t have a great return policy

  • http://www.gjvig.com Gregg

    Hey Admin,

    Anything new cooking?

  • http://www.bobbyshakes.com bobby shakes

    Love it….equal playing field for the local camera stores and those punks over at amazon. support your local camera store and stop bitching

  • Bob

    I live in Los Angeles. You Bobby?

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