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The new Nikon US pricing policy explained

I just received this internal email from a major US retailer about the new Nikon pricing policy (few sentences were removed in order to protect my source):

New Nikon Pricing Policy

Nikon has announced a new Unilateral Pricing Policy on many cameras and lenses for the entire retail market. This should clean up the marketplace from discounting and non-authorized sellers. We are FULLY supportive of this program.

Beginning, this Sunday, 10/16/11 the following models will be covered by this program:

  • D3100 all configurations
  • D5100 all configurations
  • D7000 all configurations
  • Nikon 1 – J1 all configurations
  • Nikon 1 – V1 all configurations
  • 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR
  • 14-24mm f/2.8
  • 24-70mm f/2.8
  • 55-200G VR
  • 16-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR
  • 16-105mm f/3.5-5.6 VR
  • 35mm f/1.8
  • 70-200mm f/2.8 VR
  • 18-200mm f/2.5-5.6 VR
  • 24-120mm f/4 VR
  • 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR
  • 50mm f/1.8G
  • 40mm f/2.8 Micro
  • SB-700

What does this mean to us?
NO DISCOUNTING AT ALL.
POS pricing only.

Low Price Guarantee should not be an issue; all legitimate Nikon dealers will be honoring these prices. But – just to be sure we are very clear, you cannot alter our posted prices on these products. Let us know if you believe a vendor is violating these pricing policies- but do not match the price. We cannot offer price match with these models in any form. This means you cannot work around these exclusions by offering the customer the Gift Card version of the price match, and later redeem it by purchasing one of the listed products. We need to honor Nikon’s “Unilateral Pricing Policy” completely and not try and work around them in any fashion. To do so could cost us much more than the few sales we may gain. This program has severe penalties for any dealer who violates the program. We need your help here!!! New 4x6 Price cards will be sent. New signs and brochures will be updated.

No Associate discounts will be offered, however, Nikon’s Personal Purchase program is available for all of these items. The reality is – Nikon’s program works to our advantage. You can look the customer in the eye and know they cannot get a better price from any legitimate source. Most importantly, they have you with the knowledge and service you provide, which separates us from all of the others.

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  • Ben

    Let’s see, the music industry was sued for MAP pricing schemes back in 02 and previously in 2000 had been fined by the FTC and told to stop practicing MAP for 7 years. Conveniently the supreme court decided MAP was “ok” in 2007. Interesting how that works isn’t it?

    http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2002-09-30-cd-settlement_x.htm

    Big business makes whatever benefits them the most legal. Nikon is just taking advantage of the scraps as they fall off the table.

    • grs

      This is my first post. I’ve been following Nikonrumors for some time for news on upcoming FX cameras. I feel I’ve got to jump in to correct a misunderstanding that has crept into this discussion. What Nikon is doing is clearly price fixing. The 2007 Supreme Court decision did not decide that MAP was “okay.” It did much less, as I believe Nikon may discover the hard way. The court held that vertical minimum pricing is not a per se violation of federal law. What this means is that now, district court judges will evaluate cases individually, applying the “rule of reason” to determine whether the vertical minimum price benefits or harms the consumer.

      There is an argument, made by advocates of the rule of reason, that vertical minimum pricing actually benefits the consumer because it encourages retailers to offer additional services to the consumer to distinguish themselves from other retailers. I find this argument to be specious, personally, but you can be sure it is the argument Nikon will be making if it is sued by the government for price fixing. What do you think? Will raising the price of Nikon products to a uniform minimum benefit the consumer?

      • Mike

        Not when the prices are unjustifiably high…

        • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

          By whose standards?

          • JD

            Nikon will not use the term “price fixing.” From their perspective, retailers have the rights to charge whatever they choose to charge on a product, but Nikon also has the right to choose to do business with whomever they want.
            Sony has done the same thing with their pricing for years. Look around — you’ll see the same pricing on Sony products all over the place. A few years ago, Sony stopped shipping to Best Buy for a short period, due to pricing.

  • The Man from Mandrem

    Wonder how much of this is motivated by Nikon’s goal of direct sales from it’s website. If it’s all the same, why NOT buy straight from the manufacturer? Takes out the middle-man, more profits for Nikon. An homage to Steve Jobs.

    • Jabs

      You’re catching on – lol

      Same exact thing Canon and Sony have been doing for a while, so Nikon is NEW to this – finally.

      Internet sales levels the playing field, perhaps!

      OR trying to level the playing field for their Internet Sales Arm – yup.

  • Greg

    Admin: Please bear with my ignorance, but what is the difference between MAP (minimum advertised price) and MSRP (manufacturers suggested retail price) My guess is the MSRP is the price that is advertised and the MAP is the amount any retailer can discount the product. If that is the case, will we not still get discounts from some retailers off the MSRP or are these both the same?

    • http://Www.eltonsaulsberry.com Elton

      I’m obviously not admin, but let me try. Minimum Advertised Price is a price a dealer cannot advertise below and remain in good standing as a dealer. They are free to sell below this price though. This leads to “add to cart to see price” and “call for price”. A dealer that advertises below the MAP may lose advertising coop dollars or be dropped as a dealer. MSRP is a suggested selling price that is a guide to dealers and buyers as to what the manufacturer thinks the product should sell for. It means nothing and usually has so much dealer margin built in most dealers discount from it substantially.

      What Nikon is now doing is neither of these. Nikon has established a minimum selling price. This is different from a minimum advertised price. A dealer can sell above this but can’t sell below this price. Previously a dealer set their own price and Nikon only restriced what was advertised.

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

        correct, thanks Elton – usually MAP is slightly lower than MSRP but not awlays

  • alon

    is it USA or are we back to the USSR ?

  • ivanaker

    amazon is a seller, adorama is a seller….. they are competing sellers. extra money americans pay is kept by those sellers. for all we know those competing sellers could came to agreement and ask nikon to do this thing.

    Read more on NikonRumors.com: http://nikonrumors.com/2011/10/14/the-new-nikon-us-pricing-policy-explained.aspx/#ixzz1asYvlF4M

  • NG42

    I can’t believe this is legal. I hope Nikon takes a BIG hit for this.

  • NG42

    We have a Supreme Court that is in the back pocket of big business.

  • piahi

    I’m still gonna buy from an out of state retailer just to avoid sales tax. Nikon has done nothing to change my buying patterns (no mom and pops stores for me), only now their dealers are forced to charge me more. FAIL.

    • JD

      You are still liable for your state’s sales tax. The reason you don’t pay when you order online/out of state, is b/c the retailer is not collecting tax from you for their state.

      • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

        If a tree falls in the woods…

        Though I wonder if we’ll see some Chinese Government Entrapment action in the future from this internet tax issue.

  • Ralph

    This is clearly price fixing whether it falls under the formal definition or not. I know in the US the only thing that is remotely important is corporate profit but there seems to be a whole movement out there that’s currently occupying Wall St that disagrees with this greed. Nikon have every right to sell their product for what ever they think the market will accept. Nikon should have no right to dictate what their product is sold for once they sell it. Competition is a good thing. The US being the best democracy lobbyist money can buy probably means this is unlikely to change in the near future. As for me, I was very happy with my last Sigma purchase, even happier with the increasing price difference.

  • Phil K

    So much ado about a relative non-issue.

    The PRIMARY determinant of the price you pay for a Nikon product is what Nikon charges resellers or distributors for it. Differences between one reseller and another are relatively trivial, especially if we’re talking about legitimate, officially imported items that aren’t accessory-stripped. Rest assured that Nikon will do whatever they need to do to adjust the wholesale price to remain competitive in the marketplace. (anything else would be business suicide, and they know it)

    I spent 10 years in retail including the retail camera business starting in the late 1970′s. (Including the kind of retailer that one might find in Brooklyn or 42nd St NYC, and could tell some stories that will curl your toes.) This is a very very old issue, something which I believe really became a big deal in the USA back in the mid 1970s during the rise of the mass-market hifi/stereo industry.

    Back then, there was no World Wide Web. There were mail-order companies, many of which had ads in the back of Popular Photography or Modern Photography magazines, etc. I purchased both stereo and photo equipment from mail order dealers back then.

    But in those days, retail margins were much higher than they are today – it was only in 1975 that “fair trade laws” in the USA were abolished, after all. Popular hi-fi brands like Pioneer learned only too late the perils of becoming a ‘commodity item’. Pricing pressure led to low or non-existent margins, and then increasingly to sleazy dealers who would stop at nothing to ‘one-up’ their competitors with ads for items below wholesale price. Of course that meant one of several things:

    A) Illicit goods purchased from sources other than the official importer, which could be counterfeit, used, refurbished, stolen, without warranty, stripped, damaged and so on.

    B) Bait-and-switch and other sleazy tactics, which anyone who has bought from one of those infamous resellers in Brooklyn can probably tell you about.

    C) Most of those resellers compete on price because there’s no other impetus to buy from them. In other words, they certainly aren’t attracting customers due to their superior knowledge, support and customer service.

    As a result, that sort of marketplace scenario often ends up permanently scarring the manufacturer’s reputation on a variety of levels, because:

    1) their products are being sold by ignoramus ‘box pushers’ who don’t give a leap whether the customers are getting the right product for their needs,

    2) the products are poorly supported because the resellers simply have no expertise or interest in supporting them if customer problems arise, and

    3) the manufacturer gets black marked because customers are often getting either fake products, damaged products, products without warranty, products without basic accessories included, etc etc etc.

    All of those things nearly put Pioneer out of business in the USA back in the 1970′s, and it took many years to recover from it. That is also the reason that for a very very long time, you COULD NOT buy an Apple product from a mail order vendor. Apple had no interest in ‘box pushers’ who were unable to properly market, support and distinguish Apple products from their competitors. (Apple eventually relented as the market became more commoditized in general, not to mention the rise of online resellers and the demise of brick/mortar stores)

    All of this is why many manufacturers instituted “minimum advertised price” policies, as a way to try to moderate the marketplace chaos that reigned when products were widely commoditized.

    Things have changed. As Ron Adair pointed out, the ‘Walmart Generation’ and the demise of traditional specialist retailers are hallmarks of an era where US citizens seem to be obsessed with saving a few dollars here-or-there, but often losing all the things that make a sophisticated product purchase a satisfying one.

    Various lawsuits and court rulings have either prohibited or given their blessing to ‘MAP’ policies, mostly pushed by either politicians trying to score populist points, or class-action attorneys with their own financial axe to grind. What should really happen (IMHO) is some sort of middle-ground, but stakeholders are too busy telling everyone the sky is falling for that to happen any time soon.

    All of which is to say that to me, what we have here is a sort of false controversy. People will argue endlessly about their right to be able to purchase from some parasitic reseller who saves them a few dollars up front, but is emblematic of the kind of organization that kills off the thriving ecosystem of a hobby or a profession in the process of stripping it all down to a few bucks here or there.

    I really miss the days when I could go into a local photo store and talk shop with enthusiasts and professionals, see something before I purchased it, take it back if it didn’t work out, discuss the options, and learn things from the whole process. I think we need to step back a bit and try to see that it’s not all about saving a few pennies here or there. As self-serving and hypocritical as Ken Rockwell can be, he’s right about one thing: the best equipment in the world is only a small element of what makes a great photograph.

    Cheers.

    • STRB

      Great comment! (Not just big)

      Where are the “Like” and “+1″ buttons? :-)

    • Hhom Togan

      You my friend said it better, people complaint the are no jobs on America but they go and buy walmart clothing… they want to retain their luxury salary but refuse to pay for the quality of american made goods…

      So f$ck this Sh·t about “boo-boo-bee-boo everything is expensive”, the biggest problem America is facing is that people refuse to save money to pay for goods they either want bad quality cheap products or swing their CC to buy (living beyond their means)… While Wall Street is guilty of many things tons of people were perfectly happy with the system as long as they could take 2nd, 3rd, 4th morgages, have 10 credit cards and live beyond their means.

    • Jabs

      @Phil K

      As a former Brooklynite, I know exactly what you are saying.

      I have been to most if not all of the Nikon retailers in NYC and know their methodology plus thrusts. I also lived amongst them in Crown Heights, so no more to say – if you get the hint.

      The former ‘Crazy Eddie’ is all that I care to elaborate on as an example of what you are trying to explain here – LOL.

      The problem is this ‘cartel’ becoming more important and stronger than the real Official Nikon Importers and Nikon reacted the very same way in the past and thus I understand it, but prefer to stay out of it, as don’t care anymore.

      I have also bought lots of gear from these same Nikon Dealers and dealt with them plus walked out of some of their Stores when they looked down on me or tried the old ‘bait and switch’ routine like I’m some schmuck or jimoke, so I buy where they respect me as it is my money which I work hard for.

      Rude people and liars plus frauds have invaded the Internet and this is bad for the whole Industry, so perhaps things will get better but being a long time photographer and videographer, I choose where I buy from and research before I go anywhere or make a decisive purchase as I don’t allow almost anyone to decide for me what I get, as am an independent thinker who loves to figure out things for myself and then decide with facts.

      Too many people refuse to use their own brain and thus their problem. One can learn from anyone but one has to learn HOW and then why people with agendas fool you, as there is no substitute for proper knowledge or understanding lest you be a victim of an eloquent salesperson and then suffer in ignorance or ignominy.

      Thanks for your post as I understand and actually have experienced similar things, thus wiser from that hopefully – LOL

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

      Thanks, Phil K, for sharing your perspective on this issue.

      You are correct on so many levels. The biggest factor here I think is society’s impetus to save pennies or dollars at the expense of long term value and to the demise of entire industries.

      There is no doubt that we’ve caught a vicious virus that has had and will continue to have many lasting impacts on our lives. The housing crisis, the jobs disaster, the debt burden, the national credit rating, the untrustworthy elected officials, the stock market crashes, the corruption on Wall Street, the shady executives, the salmonella outbreaks and corporate cover-ups, the impolite attitude of children and adults alike, the loss of values, the loss of rights, the loss of sensibilities….pretty much all of these can be attributed to one thing: our individual willingness to neglect the most important things, and instead get caught up in the trivial issues.

      If people want cheap, it comes at a cost. Plain and simple. And no, the cost IS NOT just ‘less customer service’ at the counter. It goes SO much deeper than this, even to the death of innovation, industry, and opportunity on a grand scale. And yes, this all starts with wanting to save a few pennies.

      A selfish decision for ourselves could have ripple effects for many. Every choice brings consequence, and as individuals we owe it both to ourselves and the society in which we live to assess for ourselves whether the short-term gains don’t in turn invite years of long-term disadvantages. I feel we have lost this skill as a society.

      • Jabs

        @Ron

        Well said!
        Penny wise and pound foolish – English money.

        Cent wise and dollar foolish – American money.

        Ya get what ya pay fer and then you kill whole Industries with cheap and shoddy gear when this goes mainstream – same for food, home life and the lack of accountability in Society.

        The me-first and damn everyone else, as in I want it when I want it NOW no matter what the consequences are.

        Divorced from reality then and selfish plus self-centered!

        OK – back to cameras for me – LOL

    • http://www.studiosolaris.com/blog Bogdan

      Greed and ignorance. We’re greedy and want more stuff for less money and we’re ignorant on the long term effects of our greed.

      Greed and ignorance, the roots of all that’s evil in the world.

    • Martin

      yes/but
      at least in the UK, the warranty is the legal responsibility of the SELLER, not of the manufacturer. It is not possible (legally) to sell a product retail and say that it has no warranty because the manufacturer has disowned the retailer in some way, becasue the warranty never was anything to do with the manufacturer.
      So if I buy a cheap Nikon and it turns out to be a dud it is the shop I will sue, not Nikon. Up to the shop if they then wish to pursue that with Nikon.

    • JD

      Thank you, Phil K.
      Well said.

  • Worminator

    “This program has severe penalties for any dealer who violates the program.”

    I’d love to know what they are, and if they are legal.

    • gobsmacker

      “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.”

      There it is in a nutshell: No inventory, no sales.

      As for this new pricing policy helping the local camera dealers compete against the big-box and on-line retailers on service rather than price, anyone want to bet that your local stores won’t be RAISING their prices now that the big guys won’t be selling at the huge discounts they’ve offered in the past? It would be nice to think local retailers would see this as an opportunity to reach more customers who would otherwise have gone on-line to buy, but I’m expecting them to act against self-interest and raise their prices even higher in order to increase their margins. In other words, I expect this new pricing policy will have a ripple effect of increasing prices across the board.

      • JD

        Interesting thought, but unlikely. Local stores are happy they won’t be nickle and dimed anymore.

    • Hhom Togan

      Rape by 10,000 rabid baboons.

  • Phil K

    I expect this new pricing policy will have a ripple effect of increasing prices across the board.

    That’s the point, at least in the short term.

    The question is, in the long term, whether that is going to have a real and noticeable impact on the prices customers pay, given all the factors.

    For example, the cost to Nikon of dealing with sham dealers and sham products, the cost to Nikon’s reputation from illegitimate sellers (meaning Nikon sells fewer products, which means their cost of production is higher etc), the cost to Nikon of going after unauthorized dealers, etc etc etc – all of these sort of things eventually add to the cost to customers somewhere along the line, ie it just gets added to the wholesale price of that lens you want to buy because it’s part of the cost of doing business under those conditions.

    For example, when I buy a Nikon USA product I don’t particularly feel like subdizing warranty service for some dude that bought a grey-market or otherwise illegally-imported product into my country. You don’t get your cake and eat it too.

    Re: “huge discounts” – I’ve yet to see them. Unless it was one of those guys in Brooklyn that pull all the accessories out of the box, sell refurbs as new, advertise ‘too good to be true’ prices and then creatively reneg on the deal when you fail to purchase inflated high-profit accessories, etc etc.

    I have a few friends who think of themselves as ‘bargain hunters’, yet they keep getting scammed by ‘too good to be true’ deals, and refuse to see how in the long run, they end up paying way more than people who just pay the mainstream price, through all their wasted time, disputes, inability to return improper merchandise, stripped merchandise, shoddy service, etc etc etc. (especially if you don’t value your time and aggravation as ‘zero cost’, like any reasonable human)

    Once I went into business for myself and started charging for consulting time, it became quite obvious how silly it is for people and businesses to think they’re saving money by ‘going cheap’ on something, only to pay 5x more than the savings trying to make the cheap thing work right.

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

      “especially if you don’t value your time and aggravation as ‘zero cost’, like any reasonable human”

      Indeed, I have to question how many people actually value their time and ease of life any more these days. Not many, I believe, is the appropriate answer.

      • JD

        I’m consistently amazed at how much time and energy some are willing to spend “saving” a few dollars by searching online/stores for hours/days/weeks… not to mention the cost of driving around, consulting with friends and retailers. If something is labeled as “on sale,” that’s all that matters.

        • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

          +1

          I don’t think people understand: all this time, we’ve been nickeling and diming ourselves out of house, home and quality goods for the last 30 years. It’s not the other guy alone we’re hurting.

  • G

    Working in the retail side of the market I actually see this new policy as a blessing because it levels the playing completely.

    Over the last couple of years I’ve been asked on countless occasions if I can price match the ads of online retailers, the customer holding the threat of ordering from an online low-baller against me like there’s something I can do about it. Over the same period, I’ve heard horror stories from almost as many people, folks who tried to save a few dollars on their purchases and were royally ripped off.

    Just to give an example – I had a German gentleman in my store not all that long ago, he came in to purchase a D7000. He had ordered one online from a retailer I won’t name. He received a phone call a few hours later from a clerk to discuss some of the extras he might need that weren’t included with his purchase. Those items included the battery, battery charger, neck strap, cables and get this – the firmware to run the camera. The total, including the firmware would have brought his final price to more than five hundred dollars over MSRP. At this point, he cried foul and asked for his money back. He was still arguing with his credit card company over the phone while he was with me in the store.

    Not two hours later, another customer came in and asked me to match the same retailers online price and left in a huff when I explained why I couldn’t.

    A unilateral pricing structure means I know my customers are getting the best price I can give them and levels the playing field for all resellers. If all our competitors are selling the same product for the same price then the service and experience they receive becomes the deciding factor.

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

      Thanks, G. Great points.

    • Martin

      Sure, it sucks when a customer helps himself to all the customer service, professional advice, hands-on product evaluation and in-store coffee and biscuits, and two hours of the store assistant’s expert time, and then asks you to price-match an on-line discounter. And two weeks later he is back in asking for your help on how to use the damn thing he didn’t buy from you after all. There are slime balls in this world!
      I’ve had the same in motor vehicle retail. But the only way is to build value with the customer, educate him and create some obligation along the way. You won’t win them all, but the ones you do win will pay you handsomely and generate sales for you. You have huge advantages over the on-line discounter. You actually have the customer in-store and can talk to them and get them to hold the product in their hands and make your pitch to them, persuade them, overcome their objections, and there’s the big draw of being able to take the toys home there and then. The on-line merchant has none of that, only price.
      So in retail as in the gladiator’s arena you choose your weapons. It’s up to each retailer to use their chosen weapons to best advantage.
      And if a store can’t do that then they need to change somthing about how they do business – but price fixing is not the answer.

  • Phil K

    Over the last couple of years I’ve been asked on countless occasions if I can price match the ads of online retailers, the customer holding the threat of ordering from an online low-baller against me like there’s something I can do about it.

    This is the kind of thing that infuriates me, because it proves 2 very important points:

    1) Customers WANT and VALUE the extra services, yet:
    2) They refuse to pay a dime extra for it.

    Worse – most of those people have no intention of buying from the low-baller, they just try to use them to grind a ‘legit’ dealer into selling below the price that allows them to stay in business.

    Back in the days when I worked at one of those shifty-eyed photo stores, we owned more than one store on the same street with different names. We had an intercom line between the stores. Some customer would come into one store to kick tires, tell the clerk “I’ll think about it”, then walk across the street to (unbeknownst to them) one of our other stores. The clerk notices the customer walk across the street, calls us and lets us know what items and prices they just discussed. Lo-and-behold, the guy comes in and tells us that the guy across the street (our own employee) quoted him $400, when we just got off the phone with him and we know for a fact he told the guy $500.

    It’s stuff like that that at the time, made it far easier to rationalize playing games with people when half the time the customers were just as sneaky and greedy as we were.

    I’ve seen online blogs and articles in recent years blatantly encourage customers to go in, bend the ear of retail staff, waste their time asking questions and playing around (and wearing out) their demo merchandise, with absolutely no intention of buying from them, because they’re going to turn around and buy it on Amazon for $10 cheaper. It always amazes me when people like that turn around and gripe that they don’t have local stores any more, or their prices are too high.

    We used to have one infamous “low price” camera store in the area back then, in an Asian part of town, that used to have a sign on their display case: “No Demonstration Today”. Thing was, that was pretty much the every day policy.

    People knew when they went there, they were going for price reasons, but many would try to ‘lookie loo” anyway. But the nice thing was that it was very clear that if you want to come and buy cheap, it’s a no-frills experience. And of course that didn’t stop people from trying to get some of my employers to match their prices all the time.

    If customers had a more realistic approach to retailers and were willing to accept the fact that service might be worth a slightly higher price, we’d have a better spectrum of purchasing options.

    But when it’s just all about the money, be careful what you wish for or you might just get just that.

    (FWIW – I’m not sure that the MAP regime totally ‘levels the playing field’ for resellers – since Nikon can’t really force everyone to abide by it, especially if the dealer isn’t buying directly from Nikon – but I do think it makes it less likely that sleazy and parasitic resellers will drive away most of the ethical dealers and generate lots of bad karma for the vendors.)

  • Not Nikon

    Sucks to be Nikon!

    grey import ftw.

    • Hhom Togan

      The same kind of “Walmart” attitude that made companies ship the job outside of America… Nice move buddy…

      • Not Nikon

        I’m not American, and don’t give a sheet about you guys losing your jobs.

  • Anonymous

    With two large factories basically washed away by mother nature, Nikon has a need to keep the money flowing without depleting their inventory. Think of the pressure on the executives! I wouldn’t want to be them. They must be wondering if some higher power is angry at them for something they did. Wonder how Nikon treats their employees. I hope they treat them like gold. The products I use seem well crafted. I like to think they were crafted with pride and skill. But why Malaysia? Or Thailand? What’s wrong with Japan? Too expensive? Skills cost. Made in Japan now says made by highly skilled ccraftsmen, who have dedicated themselves to their work. Maybe that’s a myth, built on the traditions of an older culture. Ever use a Duzuki hand saw? See a sushi chef work magic?

  • Lonnie Utah

    I see this as yet another victory for Sony in the camera wars.

    SONY! SONY!! SONY!!!

    Have fun with your overpriced gear Nikonions! LOL.

    • Jabs

      Conversely – have fun with your under priced and spec heavy gear while looking at the horrible files while being smug and clueless – LOL

      You get what you pay for too.

      Back at you too – Nikon does it better and for longer too – lol

      • Lonnie Utah

        Yeah, my A900 files are just AWFUL. I’m so dumb…

        • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

          “my A900 files are just AWFUL. I’m so dumb…”

          At least you can admit it. Good for you, Lonnie.

        • Jabs

          LOL – you started it Lonnie.

          OPEN mouth – carefully insert foot – aaaahhh – ecstacy!

          You come to a Nikon rumors web site and laugh at us here or extol the virtues of a horrible camera versus Nikon gear and then not expect a reaction.

          FIRE!

          lol – clueless indeed.

          OK – let me say something nice about the A900

          It is a full frame camera!

  • Arthur Wellesley

    Well the Nikon lens I was saving for has gone up $339. As a long term business plan, it doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe Nikon doesn’t want to be outdone by RedBox. I did notice they are selling direct from their website perhaps they are ramping up to one day just sell direct from Nikon. Whatever it is, I am getting sick of Nikon. I wish I did have to put up with their BS. I wish there was some better competition out there. This Nikon/Cannon Duopoly is getting old. Right now I really HATE NIKON. AS OF TODAY I REFUSE TO EVER STEP FOOT INTO A CAMERA RETAIL STORE EVER AGAIN! I deal with Nikon because I have to, NOT because I want to.

    • Anonymous

      Are you for real? Seriously? They make great cameras, great lens and have something for everyone. If you can’t afford that expensive lens, go for one that is cheaper. But don’t buy a piece of crap. Maybe a Tokina or Sigma. Sales will tell Nikon how well their policies are doing.
      But honestly, wow, some of those lenses are really expensive. What are we talking, $1600 for a 35mm 1.4 G prime? That’s ridiculous. Outrageous. But I really, really want one!

  • Ben

    People act like buying from walmart killed US manufacturing and it didn’t. A global economy, stringent EPA and legal hurdles, and employee costs killed US manufacturing.

    We want a giant safety net (Disability, free healthcare, social security, etc) and we want high wages and a safe, clean, pollution free, hightech work enviroment but we don’t want to spend 1500$ on that bluray player, we want to spend 50$. Can’t have both sadly.

    And made in china isn’t always bad. their smart folks and make plenty of high quality items.

    What sucks about all of this is nikon’s tactics. The funny thing is if Amazon B&H and Adorama all said “no, we are going to discount and your going to deal with it or we will just drop nikon from our product list” Nikon would instantly change their tune. Knowing that I can only assume it will help the retailers in some way.

    • PAG

      “…stringent EPA…”

      You obviously have NO idea what you’re talking about.

      I worked in the automated pollution monitoring business. I saw a major U.S. chemical manufacturer who vented a known highly carcinogenic chemical into a heavily populated area on a regular basis. We were part of a bird that would prevent the release and monitor compliance, but they turned it down because they decided it was more economical to treat the quarterly state fine as an operating expense. When the EPA came it and hit them with a quarterly fine nearly 20X higher for gross and long-term violation and told them they’d be back, suddenly they scrambled and desperately wanted the control system (which cost only a little more than their fine).

      When a company can decide that poisoning people is OK because not doing so would reduce profits, you need a strong EPA.

  • Simon

    Posted this as a comment on another news article but more relevant here.

    I’ll be casting my vote with my wallet on this one – I’m certainly not buying Nikon anymore.

    I was going to go for a D800 when released, and upgrade all my lenses to FX, but now Canon shall be getting my money.

    It was a tough call before but with Nikon so blatantly ripping off its customers I absolutely no longer wish do deal with these sharks.

    This amounts to nothing more than Nikon having complete disrespect for its customers and trying to eek out every last penny they can. I used to like Nikon as a company but will no longer support them after essentially giving their customers the finger.

  • Jeremy

    This is an easy one.

    I never buy anything that isn’t discounted. So no discount, no sale: No Sale, no profit: No Profit, no food on the table. Simples.

    And what is all this stuff about service? If they’ve got it they sell it; if they haven’t, they order it. If it goes wrong, they repair it. It’s not rocket science.

  • http://www.nikoncoach.com Nikoan Coach

    Without going into technicalities of what dealers can and can’t do, I just checked the price on Nikon D3100 (body + 18-55 lens) on amazon, adorama, and b&h and they are as follows (after instant rebates are applied):
    amazon: $549
    adorama: $599
    b&h: $549

    Clearly, as of 7.30 am PST on Oct 17, 2011, the sky hasn’t fallen…yet.

  • Phil K

    But the only way is to build value with the customer, educate him and create some obligation along the way. You won’t win them all, but the ones you do win will pay you handsomely and generate sales for you.

    Unfortunately with these sorts of retail products it doesn’t usually work that way.

    Cars are different – a person buys a car, it’s a long-time, critical relationship. They need maintenance, they need the car to work to conduct their daily lives. Most of the people who buy cameras (even high-end ones) are hobbyists or tinkerers, these things are not essential to their livelihood. It’s a luxury item, really. On the other hand, cars are like having running-water and a roof over your head.

    One of the retailers I used to work for was in the home electronics biz. They used to have annual or semi-annual ‘warehouse sales’. The cool thing about them was that they really had some true bargains there, demo or discontinued or refurb stuff that they would sell in some cases for way below original wholesale price. (which is a bigger deal in hifi/stereo in particular because the retail margins are much higher than mainstream camera equipment) People would camp out overnight and line up all the way down the block to be first in the door to grab some of those deals. (And this was in the 1980′s, decades before that sort of thing became popular at Apple stores)

    Anyway – the owner used to think that those warehouse sales were a great way of developing long-term customers, thinking that people would have a positive impression of the place that had those cool bargain sales and so on. But you know what? After 5 years of working those sales, it because quite obvious to me that that wasn’t what was happening at all. What the sale did was attract the bargain-hunters and bottom-feeders, and you would NEVER SEE those people darken your doorway all year long except at those sales. They came to get their loss-leader, and off they went until the next cheap deal came along. (Oh and if they had any sort of problem or issue? Those same people would make your life a living-hell griping and complaining about it too.)

    So this whole thing about selling a product at 5% over cost in the expectation of developing a long-term profitable relationship with customers? I don’t see it, by-and-large, at least not in this industry.

    When people think nothing of wasting 2 hours of your time playing around with merchandise and asking questions, only to turn around and buy from Amazon because they’re $10 cheaper on a $500 item, those are not the kind of customers that you want to develop long-term relationships with. Because those kind of customers COST you money, rather than give you an opportunity to make any sort of profit.

  • Iris Chrome

    Just one other point that needs to be made in regards to the new pricing policy. Now it’s already been mentioned but I don’t think anyone put it this way:

    What is important to realize here is that Nikon has two distinct type of customers when it comes to their cameras and I’m not just talking about differences between photographers. Photographers (pros, amateurs or casual shooters) are one type of customer and the other type are the retailers and dealers that sell (or resell) Nikon’s gears. Nikon needs to please both type of customers in order to succeed and sometimes what pleases one type will not please the other. For all of those who are crying that Nikon don’t care about their customers anymore just think about that for a moment.

    Another complaint that I keep seeing is that Nikon is just getting ready to take out the middle man and/or start competing with their own dealers. This reminds me of when the airline industry decided they did not need the middle man/travel agent and stopped paying commission out on the sale of domestic flights. This was the first (or one of the first) in a long series of cost cuttings that eventually lead to the rise of the “budget” airlines and we all know how well that’s going… and if you don’t, here is a dramatization; for $99 or less you get to fly across the U.S. carrying all you could stuff in your carry-on bag that you may or may not find a space for inside the passenger cabin where you will be greeted by an unenthusiastic attendant whose only job is to act out the emergency procedures and serve peanuts while your backside is glued to your seat with no in-flight entertainment or meals for 3 to 5 hours.

    My point is that if this was the direction Nikon was taking then they would have looked for ways to cut costs and lower prices not raise prices and make retailers happier.

  • David Bitton

    Hey, who remembers Uncle Steve’s on Canal St.?

  • Nikon Doubter

    Love my Nikon gear, but hate price fixing. As I live in the EU I hope this policy is illegal here. Don’t really care about the reasoning. Shame on you Nikon!

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