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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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  • Patrick

    POS pricing? Someone at Nikon needs to clear this with an English speaker before oking their acronyms!

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

      this is coming from a retailer, not from Nikon

      POS=point of sale

      • Jimmy Lamont

        Sounds like Patrick has never worked retail… LOL

    • Mike

      oking ???

    • Caleb

      Not to mention the Nikon specs list:
      An 18-200mm that starts at f/2.5 ??
      If such a thing existed I’d have got it yesterday!

    • Iris Chrome

      This wasn’t Nikon. It was the dealer.

  • http://www.photographik.ca Andrew

    I am not surprised, seems like good business practice. Also interesting to see what SLR’s and flashes are excluded from the list…probably a good indication of whats to be replaced in the near future.

    • Banned

      Of course they are fully supportive of this new policy, their retailer profit goes sky-high at the expense of us the customers!!! I for one are fully supportive of unauthorized vendors!

      • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

        If you ever have a chance to see the margins on these pieces of photographic gear, you’ll not speak on this subject again if you have even the slightest spec of intelligence.

        Deep discounting on the bodies/lenses is what leads to companies selling the crap filters, lens cloths, open box items, and grey market gear while claiming, nay, promising that this is an “unopened item manufactured from Nikon direct from the factory with full 5 year USA warranty blah blah blah…” How many folks have purchased cameras that are not eligible for repair from Nikon? Or even worse, how many of these cameras have all of the accessories (batteries, chargers, cables, manuals, etc) stripped clean out and either omitted from the box or replaced with the cheap chinese knockoffs?

        The retailer is 100% correct: keeping the playing field level on price is good for Nikon. It’s good for the retailer. It’s good for you. And, most importantly, it’s good for competition.

        Again, if you don’t like it, it’s probably because you don’t understand it, plain and simple.

        • Jacob

          Are you out of your freaking mind? You might have been ripped off by one of these low life scam shops in New York before, because you did not do your homework first and checked their reputation, but places like B&H and Adorama don’t do the kind of shit you are talking about and they were selling this stuff for $100-$300 cheaper than MSRP. Yes, the idiots are “protected” now, in the sense that now everybody’s screwed.
          You are evidently the one that does not understand it.

          • Jason

            I love it when stuck up blow hards get their comeuppance, you’re welcome ron ;)

          • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

            Your faulty assumptions are almost as entertaining as your daft reasoning. I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid, nor have I had the pleasure of being ripped off by these scum. That said, I’ve heard more times than I care to count about how someone has found “an amazing deal on this camera or that lens”, “half the price of retail”, etc.

            The conclusion? People are idiots. Case in point, look at the gambling auction sites that seem to be everywhere these days. Those things are a ripoff for 99 out of 100 bidders, but apparently there are enough morons in the world that will help perpetuate the problem, simply because they’re blinded by an unhealthy appetite to save a buck. Thanks, walmart generation. You’ve made the world worse for everyone.

            And since you bring up B&H, tell me again how long it took them to switch to the MAP pricing? Yeah, these reputable shops were dragged along with this new policy kicking and screaming. :rolleyes

            They’re not sad about the leveling off of pricing. And they shouldn’t be, nor should buyers who can legitimately afford the gear. Most consumers are too lazy or entitled to even call up these internet sham site to find out whether a deal is real or if the shop is reputable. They just whip out the credit card and expect their bank, VISA, the state AG, BBB, or some other government agency to step in and patch up the fallout from their boneheaded rush to get an impossible deal. And B&H can’t compete against this kind of idiocy without doing whatever they can to make sure their gear looks as attractive as possible (price-wise) compared to the scam artists out there.

            The fact is that Nikon can’t sell their gear below a certain threshold and expect to make a profit. (If you don’t think Nikon is entitled to a profit, then A) you’re an idiot, and B) you should go start your own NOT-FOR-PROFIT camera company and operate at a loss (hell, you could even go for break-even), and see how long that works out for you.)

            If Nikon just sit by and allow the few bad players in the marketplace to selfishly erode the value of their product (through axing the price it will fetch in retail settings), then Nikon dies. First, they lose all reputable sellers (the value no longer exists for them to carry the gear), then the dwindling sales of their gear go to the sharks. Finally, the sharks pick the bones clean, the manufacturer dies, and off goes the leeches to find the next victim.

            But hey, if you want these scam artists to be able to continue ravaging the marketplace, and in turn are eager to trumpet the death of one of the most reputable camera companies in history, then go ahead and keep spouting off your ridiculous notions of haughty entitlement.

            If you can’t afford the gear, maybe it’s a sign: don’t quit your day job.

            • Nick

              So Ron.. Not allowing retailers to compete on price is good for competition? I think you better go back to retail school buddy.

              Thom Hogan, you ain’t.

            • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

              It’s so easy for people to only come up with personal gibes and attacks (and so difficult and time consuming to think through a logical thought response), that I shouldn’t be surprised when it happens. And yet, I am — every time.

              Why do so many CONSUMERS today (I use that term disparagingly) believe the only way to compete is on price? There are literally thousands of ways to stand out from your competition, and the WORST one is price. Just take a second and think about where you eventually end up when you start down the path of falling prices. Tell me again, what sits at the bottom of the hole? Right. ZERO.

              Nikon is PROTECTING their earnings, and they are PROTECTING their legitimate resellers. Additionally, they are PROTECTING their customers from being scammed, or (maybe even worse), from being treated poorly when they purchase gear from fly-by-night retailers who only care about making a quick buck. Duh.

              Price is the least impressive differentiator in the marketplace, yet it’s the easiest one for the attention whores to go to when they want to show off their dirty legs and tobacco stained teeth. Nikon is just trying to help keep their product out of the proverbial red light district. And you guys complain because you will have to pay a fair price for cutting edge gear. Again, if the weekend warrior shtick isn’t working for you, maybe you should take it as a sign that you’re better off at your day job.

            • Zeke

              Take it down about a thousand notches, or at least have the sense to post anonymously.

            • soap

              As a former dealer of high-value items let me explain how you are totally wrong, Ron.

              You appear to be under the impression this will help the likes of B&H (legitimate dealers) and protect consumers from themselves. You are wrong on both counts.

              What Nikon is doing here is anti-dealer AND anti-consumer.

              Nikon (and this is not unique) is attempting to use their dealers as a wholly unowned subsidiary of Nikon. Nikon wants the dealers to act as a buffer, a warehouse, and a free first-tier customer support service. Instead of creating back-end programs which help develop this amongst their dealer base they are tying the dealer’s hands, telling Amazon how to run their business, all the while saying “this will increase your margins.”

              As a dealer it is my right, my need, to judge the market and fill the niche I choose how I choose. If I am able to abide by the laws of the land and make a profit I am doing just fine, TYVM.

              What Nikon is doing is stepping in and telling me how to run my business. And much like an unfunded mandate from the government they are placing demands on me without giving anything in return.

              This isn’t about the strawman arguments of shady dealers you brought forth either. The “Authorized Dealer” status comes with serial number tracking. Shady dealers selling at a discount will still exist and continue to sell products acquired through back channels. What this does is limit the ability of a legitimate dealer to react.

              Your disparaging comments on uninformed consumers speaks loudly to your PoV. It appears poppa Ron knows what is best for all of us and we should be happy to have you, or Nikon, as benevolent dictator for life.

              “Attention whores” “Dirty legs” “Tobacco stained teeth”? This is how you describe a dealer who dares to compete on price?

              Again, this move will do absolutely nothing to keep Nikon products out of the “Red Light District” as you so colourfully say. If anything it will increase profit margins for those dealers willing to bend the law and INCREASE pressure to do so.

              Let’s see, what else is wrong with your understanding of the whole issue?

              1 – Nikon isn’t protecting their earnings as you claim. Unless you can produce the document showing where they are charging dealers more. This price increase is 100% after Nikon in the chain.

              2 – As I said they aren’t protecting their consumers from being scammed. They are encouraging more back-channel dealers by increasing their margins. You protect consumers with an “Authorized Dealer” incentive program.

            • Jeremy

              Not for profits don’t mean that you cannot make a profit. You absolutely can, but you must re-invest in your own company.

              In America, there are a TON of healthcare companies that are not-for-profit, and their board members take home millions a year in bonuses.

              Not-for-profit is bad for the man, but GREAT for a company. Nikon and Canon could easily make a killing with a not-for-profit.

            • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

              Soap —

              Actually, I’ll turn this back around on you: prove that the eroded price in the marketplace doesn’t have eventual repercussions for the manufacturer.

              Your contradictory statements claim that A) this will hurt legitimate dealers by allowing shady sellers to keep being shady, because B) shady dealers will make more profit, apparently from adhering to the price increases (thereby exempting them from the shady classification?). Uhhhh….

              And what were the repercussions for the companies that continue to sell Nikon’s gear at a loss so they can selfishly deflate the value of the real stuff and inflate the price of their ‘idiot items’? Oh, that’s right — they don’t get product shipped to them.

            • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

              @Jeremy

              NFP. It’s an interesting title. The first thing I learn about your business is what you’re NOT. My experience with NFPs has seen two distinct scenarios:

              A) The CEO of NFP calls you into their lavish office space wearing fancy suits and driving expensive sedans so they can perform their sob story and ask you to work for free since they ‘don’t make a profit’, despite the fact that they are receiving a healthy 6-figure income which I’ve confirmed through their filings prior to the meeting

              B) The hospitals that line their own pockets, likely through shady or illegal bookkeeping practices and executive payouts (as you point out) while inflating the cost of their services, something they can get away with because they are entrenched in the marketplace.

              From my experience, NFP usually means ‘better at begging than competing’.

            • soap

              No conflicting claims.

              1 – Legit dealers will be hurt by Nikon preventing them from being flexible.

              2 – Illlegit dealers will be helped because the price difference between legit and illlegit products will increase. NOT from following the price increases. Reading comprehension needs some work.

              As far as “turning it back on me” – you made claims counter to everything taught in my business classes- it is not my place to defend them.

              Once again you make claims of dealers selling at a loss. I’d like to see proof of this claim. Your argument rests upon it – yet you provide no evidence.

            • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

              @soap

              Legit dealers are making more per sale under this plan, and are therefore more incentivized to sell the gear in the first place.

              Where are these “illlegit dealers” getting the stock of gear to sell at a discount when Nikon cuts off their supply, the first stated consequence of not adhering to the policies? And selling at a loss in higher volumes just makes for a bigger loss. They don’t become enriched, as you insist. They die.

              Finally we both agree, your reading comprehension does need some work.

              As for proving the existence of internet companies who choose to sell at a loss, there are plenty of examples which we’ve all seen where lenses or bodies are listed for 20%-50% off retail. And we’ve all seen how well that’s worked out for the folks that go onto public forums to decry these abominable companies with whom they willingly CHOSE to do business.

          • soap

            +1

            • Ken

              Coming from a sales guy of consumer goods to retailers like Wal Mart, Best Buy, Target, etc.:

              This program is usually known as a M.A.P. Minimum Advertised Price. Programs like these are essentially a legal form of price fixing. They usually start with a powerful (major market share) retailer complaining about their profit margins because the competition is beating them on price.

              This type of policy benefits only retailers who play by the rules. If Nikon continues making the same great products they will still sell the same quantity of those products regardless of a MAP program.

              The despicable retailers who strip stuff out of the box to sell it as an add on to the product will do so for any camera manufacturer Nikon, Canon, Pentax, etc. Thus the argument that they hurt Nikon is null as these guys hurt Nikon as much as they hurt Canon and Pentax. As for the argument that these guys and their tactics will disappear for the products in this pricing policy…. not going to happen. It should also be noted that these sellers represent a very small portion of the overall market.

              More notes on this policy:
              1) Grey market product will continue to be sold by retailers like B&H, Adorama and others. I do appreciate that B&H and Adorama call out in their postings that these are grey market products and what that means to the consumer. a) Nikon still makes it’s profit on the grey market products sold. The company that gets hurt by grey market is Nikon USA which is owned by Nikon. b) Those despicable retailers will sell the grey market products without warning to consumers.

              2) These pricing programs are only as strong as the punishment allows. If Nikon holds back advertising funds from a retailer for adverting a camera below M.A.P. that retailer will respect the rules if they do major advertising. If that retailer chooses to sell below M.A.Ap. and is a major player in retail it could start a war between them and Nikon where Nikon withholds funds then the retailer refuses to purchase a product that Nikon “needs” to sell. An example: ABC promotes the D300s below M.A.P., Nikon does holds advertising funds. ABC will continue to purchase the D300s from Nikon but will not purchase other Nikon products that Nikon needs to sell but do not sell as well at retail. More often than not the retailer wins because the manufacturer has overall sales numbers that it needs to achieve.

              Caveat Emptor.

            • soap

              Holding back advertising partnership funds only hurts the brick-and-mortar stores Ron is claiming this helps. ;)

              Amazon, B&H, and Joes-Fly-By-Night-Etailer don’t need Nikon’s store-specific advertising. They need Google shopping to scrape their prices.

              Midwest Photo Exchange, THEY need the cooperative advertising agreements. Best Buy – they need them. B&M stores need the advertising to drive impulse purchases. Anyone who chooses to shop on price will ignore local advertising and google it.

              So what do we get in the end? Nikon wielding tools inappropriate and ineffective at the job Ron believes needs done.

        • Andrew

          “if you have even the slightest spec of intelligence.”

          Ron Adair,

          You always grieve me. Make your point, don’t insult, bash, talk down on people.

          • Keen Rockwheel

            I totally agree with Andrew. Furthermore, it is quite ironic that, in the same sentence in which Ron Adair is criticizing people’s intelligence, he misspells the word “speck”.

            • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

              Ironic indeed! Stop the presses, Ron made a spelling boo-boo. For the first time in the history of the internet, someone misspelled a word. He must be loosing his mind. Maybe now he’ll stop all his whinging. This is proof that your not as smart as you think, Ron.! No way that was a simple oversite, it is definately a profe of your lak of intelagints!!

              But pleas, guise, do knot stop. I <3 the format heer:

              I make a terably snarkie albee-it logikly sound rebuttole, usuelly two a statmeant that dosent pass mustar, followd bye anonymous commenters (half of them Canon or Sony shmukks) who sling mud in my generul direction as they run a way with their pantees between they're teath (all the while not a dressing my basic arguemunts), and then I peek with a classic post askign theese drive buy commentors to calm down or check there facts. I ad a smilee :) or whinking smiele ;) and than finely get 2-3 sopporting commants frum folks that appreshiate lodgical falofsafies or classik zeengurs.

              You win some you loose sum.

    • Iris Chrome

      The reason for the exclusions is because that dealer does not usually carry those particular models, not because the models might potentially be upgraded. Remember this communication was from the dealer itself sending it to their stores.

  • low

    fstop on that 18-200 might need a little edit

  • http://www.brandonburtner.com/ Brandon Burtner

    Interesting that the SB700 is listed but not the SB900… Puts some more stock in the rumor that the SB-900 is headed out.

  • AM

    POS pricing, could not be defined better.

  • Been there guy

    For the knowledge, we can find out anything and everything online in our JPs.

    For the service, they all deliver to my place in nice packages and on time. Is there anything else I missed by getting a 10% discount?

    We ought to boycut Nikon… buy Canon, they release their 1D4 early this year.

    • Iris Chrome

      See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya…

  • Markus

    “….to us”..you should have written “to US” I’m not living in the US, it does mean nothing to me.

    • Been there guy

      How clumsy of me. I meant our U.S. buyers.

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

      this is an internal email for a major US retailer, that’s why they say “us”

    • Iris Chrome

      “us” here does not mean you or me or NR readers or even U.S. “us” here refers to the dealer itself.

  • The invisible man

    What’s next ? No combo deals anymore ?
    :(

  • http://www.jpgmag.com/people/markwjr Mark

    Nikon doesn’t make an 16-55mm, 16-105mm, or an 18-200 with the specified aperture. Edits are needed! :)

    Booooo for Nikon.

    Mark

    • http://www.4togadget.com/ HotDuckZ

      Arghhhhh!!!! 16-55VR, 16-105VR is my dream lens.

      • Stefan

        then buy a nikon 16-85 vr. Swell lens! I love 16mm! You can easily take non-shaky pictures at 1/15 sec

  • Jim Dandy

    Yes, this is a horrid policy because dealers are not allowed to make <10% on their merchandise. They need to sell it below cost to stay competitive. I hope all of you practice these biz ideas, buy it for $800, sell it for $750 because you will sell more of them! Idiots. Use some common sense, you all seem to think there is such high margin on products, think again. Just because someone sells it for less, that does not mean it really costs less.

    • Banned

      I don’t give a shit to be honest, it’s my hard earned money and I want the lowest price, I couldn’t care less about the family you have to feed and that you have to pay your mom’s hospital bills because she has cancer. Are you people selling used cars?

      • Iris Chrome

        Reciprocating, why would Nikon care any more about you and how hard you slaved to earn your money?

        Btw, is “Banned” the actual nickname or is that what appears when someone gets banned?

  • Gilbert

    So, does that mean that all retailers must sell the listed products at the minimum advertised price? I am thinking of buying the 70-200 f/2.8. Does this mean I should buy the lens before 10/16 to save myself a few hundred dollars?

    • broxibear

      Yes !…just make sure the price is the pre policy price, as Peter/admin posted some retailers have already raised their prices…and if you can find it in stock ?

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

      By all means if the discounted price is less than MAP and the retailer is reputable, buy now!… I just bought my 70-200mm that I had been putting off for some time because I ultimately want it and the price IS going up. Unless customers vote by not buying Nikon products and Nikon reverses their anti-customer pricing then you ARE going to pay more for the same product. My sentiments are that if retailers cannot complete in a free-enterprise market they deserve to go out of business. Remember the operative phrase is “free enterprise”.

  • dgsphoto

    This means be prepared to pay higher for Nikon gear.

    For Ex. Earlier, one could get the 70-200 for $21xx before rebates. Not be prepared to pay $23xx or even $24xx for the same lens before rebates.

    To me, this sucks big time.

  • billy

    Most Nikon products are marked up about 10% over cost.
    If someone is selling a Nikon product more than 10% below MAP chances are they are loosing money.

    If you sell on Amazon they take about 7%

    do the math

    • Jim Dandy

      Exactly, and don’t forget about the credit card fees at 1.5-3%! We wonder why the U.S. economy is screwed up. Sell it for a loss so we sell more! Let’s see, if I am losing $100 per sale, no matter how many I sell, I am always going to lose money.

      • Been there guy

        COMMENT DELETED – the religion of a store owner have nothing to do with our discussion here

        • Rob Ueberfeldt

          Loss leaders. They lose money on star items to bring on the customers.

          • soap

            There are few-to-none “loss leaders” in online retail. That is a practice of B&Ms.

            • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

              @soap

              I challenge that assumption.

            • soap

              Ok. Show me some.

            • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

              Kindle Fire

              Best-seller books

              Camera Lenses

              GeniusCameras (now out of business)

              Printers.

              to name just a few of which there are no doubt thousands. What difference does it make whether its retail or internet?

        • iris chrome

          I’m not a jew but would rather prefer people keep religious remarks out of this discussion. Such remark only serve to degrade the quality of your own statements.

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

          I deleted that original comment – see my comment above

          • Iris Chrome

            Thank you Peter. The last thing I’d want to see happen to NR is for it to turn into a place for anonymous posters to spread hate messages. I know that you’ve said before that you don’t want to force your readers to sign-in in order to comment on the main blog, but have you given more thoughts to incorporating a service like Disqus?

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

              I still think the situations with the comments is not so bad. Adding a new comments system will require some serious testing and probably another hardware upgrade.

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

      I thought the markup was 20%, or this was maybe for Leica

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

        In the US, the typical dealer discount runs somewhere near 15% on Nikon products. There are things you can do to bump that a percent or two (up front cash, commitment, etc.) and there are things you can do to lower that a percent or two, but 15% is a good figure to use and most of the camera/lens gear from other companies are also in this range.

        As I’ve written before, in terms of cash, it makes no difference whether a dealer sells something at MAP or under MAP or even under the dealer cost. Nikon gets the same amount from the dealer. But it does make a difference to Nikon in terms of customer perception, especially given the likelihood of a continued dollar slump versus the yen. If Nikon wants the price to be US$499 but you see it everywhere for US$399, then customers think that widget should cost US$399. When Nikon has to price the replacement widget at US$549 because of dollar devaluation, the gap between perception and reality widens and causes worse problems.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending this policy, I’m just trying to explain where it might be coming from. Personally, I think this is just trying to micromanage market pressure, and that rarely works long term.

        • http://www.createdbylove.com/ Lewis

          +1

          I’ve never worked in retail but with the price of entry level DSLRs going down, the photography market is becoming saturated with photographers who set their prices so low that they can’t sustain a successful business because they A) think they have to to compete in the market and B) don’t really understand how much it costs to run a photography studio.

          Although these business probably don’t last very long with these prices it does alter a lot of consumers perception of how much a photographer should cost. This means as a photographer with profitable pricing you have to work a little harder at times to reset your customers perception of how much good photographic services and products are worth.

    • Been there guy

      No one sales to lose money, you have been hoodwinked!

      The big online stores are playing the volume bonus game! The more they sell, the more bonus they will get from factory.

      It could be called volume bonus, or stair step money. Factory does that all of the time.

      Retailers never would sell at a net lost.

      • Jason

        It’s nice to know at least one person here understands how sales work.

      • so so

        So nikon doesn’t want to give “volume bonus” because they can’t produce higher volume.

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

          No. Nikon doesn’t want volume bonuses to redefine price.

      • http://nikonandye.wordpress.com NikonAndyE

        Don’t know about US, in Europe retailers do regularily sell items at a loss. Of course not all items and not throughout the year, but individual items – yes they do.

        Manufacturers regulary try to impede the dealers rights on what they can do, but regulation is rather preserving the dealer’s right to run his business according to his decisions.

        If a retailer can run it with 1% margin, fine. If he decides that instead of an incredible expensive advertising campaign to use the money for a price reduction – fine, it is his right to decide, where he even want to spend his “get the customer” money.

        Manufacturers have a problem with this liberty. The other retail partners usuall get very upset, when one of the “authorized dealers” does this, as they usually have to follow the price leader. And here goes the inteded 15% margin of the retailers down to the usual 3-5% for commodity items – lenses and cameras are commoditiy items – many customers changed the way how they informed themselves before a purchase (web, fora, search engines, facebook,…) and don’t need a serious retailer explanation about the benefits anymore.

        IMHO, Nikon was pressured by their broad dealer channel to protect their margins (or they will be delisted). As Nikon still does its majority of revenues via the partner channel they are more dependent than other companies (like Apple) – so this is the attempt, at least temporarily.

        just my 2 cents,
        Andy

  • Greg

    Isn’t price fixing illegal, in the USA?

    • Yagion

      Check your understanding of price fixing
      Hope this helps. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing

      • yakker

        Lead sentence from that article:
        “Price fixing is an agreement between participants on the same side in a market to buy or sell a product, service, or commodity only at a fixed price, or maintain the market conditions such that the price is maintained at a given level by controlling supply and demand. ”

        Umm…?

        I realize it’s not price fixing because apparently they’re allowed to do it, but it certainly seems to be according to that article. By agreeing to Nikon’s mandatory terms and conditions, how are they not in an agreement to sell these products at a fixed price?

        • Andrew

          I think that think kind of think is called ‘retail price maintenance’ and I’m pretty sure it is illegal in Australia. If not they are are walking a fine line down some loop hole in the law.

        • Iris Chrome

          It’s not a formal agreement between Nikon and the dealers. In fact, the dealers are allowed to sell the lenses at whatever prices the deem fit. However, their would be consequences if they do. The punishment is severe enough that the dealers wouldn’t want to violate the policy but not too severe that it would be seen as a violation of US commerce laws.

          Is this a sort of a loophole in the law? Maybe. Is Nikon walking a fine line? Probably. But until someone brings this to court and sets a precedent against it, it will continue to happen, for better or for worse.

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

            Personally, I thought the law was pretty clear. Unfortunately, there are court decisions that have muddied the waters and allow that there are some cases where the law wouldn’t apply as we used to interpret it.

            Nikon’s (and the other makers) interpretation of the court decision is aggressive. The court did not say you could always enforce price, it said that there may be situations–including the one they decided upon–where it was permissible.

            I don’t think this is over. I doubt that Nikon will be the one who gets sued–not a big enough market or target–but I bet you that another maker that tries to enforce things the way Nikon is will get taken to court and we’ll get another court decision. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict how that decision might go, though the more we load up the courts with business-friendly justices, the more we can guess which way it will go.

            • PHB

              Nikon will be sued by Costco.

              They have been very aggressive on their suppliers. BJs are the same.

              Amazon, Costco and BJs together represent a huge fraction of sales for almost any major manufacturer. If they don’t want to play with this program they will end it.

              My Costco has several pallet loads of D5100 and D7000s in stock usually and they don’t hold more than a couple of weeks stock on anything.

              Nobody is going to buy from Costco if they can’t discount.

        • Abaham Collins

          The retailer is free to sell at a lower price, they just won’t have their inventory replenished for several months with each offense.

        • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

          For all of the folks screaming “PRICE FIXING!!!”:

          agreement between participants

          E.G. Canon, Nikon and Sony formally, secretly agree that they will start charging $10k for their flagship camera body and neither of the three will drop their cameras below that price. This is NOT price fixing.

          • PHB

            No Ron, you are wrong.

            It is a form of price fixing that Congress intended to make illegal and was prosecuted in the US for sixty years until the judicial activists of the Renquist court changed it.

            • http://Www.eltonsaulsberry.com Elton

              Technically this is retail price maintenance, not price fixing.

  • Nicolò

    Happily in Europe these cartels are strictly forbidden by law.
    But in the free US the consumers get nailed by price agreements I understand.

    • NyconNeoColonialsist

      One company does not make a cartel. Unless you’re DeBeers.

      If you want to be a Nycon dealer then you must agree to the terms. Simple contractual obligation.

      • Nicòlò

        Instigated by Nikon the retailers and Nikon form the cartel.
        Agreeing to term does in Europe not include the forbidden price fixing.

    • Banned

      You must be dreaming dude. Are you in Greece or what? In Europe you have the same kind of crap policies from many electronics companies such as Nintendo, Apple, etc.

      • Nicolò

        Greese is a beautiful country and its people are already laughing at the world for ages and for ages to come. The IMF just donated (not lended because in reality they will never pay it back) another 8 billion euros.
        And by the way, Apple is hated for price fixing.

        • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

          “Apple is hated for price fixing”

          Price Fixing: “The maintaining of prices at a certain level by agreement between competing sellers.”

          I think you meant “Apple is the most successful company in the history of technology because they refuse to differentiate on price alone.”

          Brought to you by my MacBook. Sheesh, I feel like the Times fact-checker today.

          • Nicolò

            Price Fixing: “The maintaining of prices at a certain level by agreement between competing sellers.”
            Understood: the Nikon and Apple retailers are the competing sellers who are maintaining the prices at a certain level.

            • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

              Come on. Where is the agreement between competing sellers?

            • 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.

            • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

              “for all we know”

              Indeed. I say we burn the shops on this premise alone. More has been done for less in the world’s history, after all.

          • Anon

            Jesus, this must be the winner of the apple’s most gullible customer competition. And we know that is a tight one.

            • PHB

              Actually Apple does not ‘fix’ prices, they just sell at such thin margins that there is no opportunity to discount.

              The non Apple stores typically sell for a few bucks off the MSRP at most and hope to make up the lost margin on the machine or iPod with sales of accessories.

            • http://www.createdbylove.com/ Lewis

              @PHB

              If I were Apple I would use that pricing technique too. There online store is really easy to use and they have retail locations all over the US with well trained personnel. For just a few dollars more why not buy from apple directly.

              Nikon on the other hand doesn’t have the same direct sale footprint that apple does. Nikon has no B&M stores in the US and their online store (which I think is fairly new?) doesn’t even offer all their products. Maybe the new pricing policy is designed to increase direct sales.

  • Adam

    As a long time Nikon shooter and active consumer, I am appalled by Nikon’s pricing new policies. It’s sickening to read all of the whining posts from small-box retailers about the downward pressure on retail. Don’t have a viable business model, and can’t compete on a free market? Good riddance. Laissez-faire economic policy is the only long-term solution.

    “Bait and switch” e-tailers will continue to exist. Fools and their money will still be parted over “extended-life batteries” and “special lens cleaning kits”. Non-authorized re-sellers will still make a profit advertising at below MAP/MSRP. The only thing that happens is that B&H, Adorama, Central Camera and the like will sell FEWER cameras. Why shop with a high-volume guy (who, by the way, has the freshest stock, largest warehousing, and is most likely to not become insolvent or shutter their doors…) when you can walk to your local mom-and-pop shop?

    Fixed pricing is unfathomable, and suddenly puts Nikon in the (uncomfortable) company of Bose, shi-shi cosmetics, and the US Postal service. The latter is a great illustration of the stupidity of Nikon’s new strategy, and the long-term consequences thereof: it doesn’t cost the same to mail a letter across town as across the country. Fedex knows this, and charges accordingly.

    It also doesn’t cost the same (per dollar of product sold) to have a one-man storefront in Podunkville, OH as it does to run an efficient mega-centre. I’m a long time customer of B&H in both brick-and-mortar and online sales. There isn’t much retail space that’s more expensive than midtown Manhattan. How does B&H offer lower pricing? Volume, supply chain optimization, and an army of intelligent, informed sales and support folks. B&H (and the like) price their products where it makes sense to do so — an intersection of profit margin and ability to attract customers.

    Nikon is stepping into VERY dangerous territory to heavy-hand pricing. If MAP prices don’t drop (significantly), Nikon will lose price competitiveness in face of Canon et al. Folks on the ground don’t compare MSRP or MAP, they compare “cost to me”, which is calculated after discounts, taxes, etc. There is no guarantee that customers will flock to local resellers — even with flat prices, taxes are only sporadically collected for online sales (legally due or not).

    Nikon needs to focus more on making cameras that sell themselves by their intrinsic quality and value. I would imagine that P&S market is going to falter in the next few years due to ever-increasing integrated camera quality of phones and the like. It would be a shame if Nikon mis-allocated resources on flash-in-pan (no pun intended) products such as the obviously dead-end 1 series, or continue to beat the dead horse of coolpix models.

    I have a ton of glass that would love to see many more years of service on Nikon bodies, but I’m a bit scared that Nikon is making the first steps toward putting itself out of business…

    • Chase

      You might want to add Apple and Sony to your list of “price fixers”. I mean, they are pretty close to going out of business too.

      • NyconNeoColonialist

        hehe.

      • Foolishcfo

        Speaking of Apple, got my iPhone 4S today. It does what Nikon’s D300 line can’t do, shoot 1080p!

        • http://www.mirceaciuca.ro Mircea Ciuca

          :))

          Nikon’s are not for video! ;) We love photography! :P

          • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

            Mircea,

            You’re wrong — Nikons are GREAT at video. That said, you do some great photographic work (nice shots on your blog), so I can’t fault you for not caring about video features.

            But don’t hate on us hybrid guys — the stuff Nikon is doing in video has been great, and it keeps getting better. Plus, despite what the uninformed say, Nikon has been keeping Canon on their toes. (yes, even in the video dept.)

      • Erik Cartman

        Sony has bled a LOT of money in the last decade.

        As for Apple, if you want to run Mac OS there is no other out of the box solution other than to buy a Mac — consumers have no where else to go. In sharp contrast, there are other options if your goal is to capture RAW images. I think Nikon is on dangerous ground here. Remember when hordes of pro shooters dumped their Canon gear? I guess Nikon is convinced it can’t happen to them. We’ll see.

        • Rob

          Can’t run Mac OS except on a Mac? You seem to be unaware of OSx86 (Hackintosh pcs).

          • silmasan

            By “out of the box” I think he also meant “legal and official” solution. The days of legal, official, out of the box Mac clones have long since gone…

            • Erik Cartman

              You are correct, and I thought anyone who knew about Hackintosh systems would know better than to try a “gotcha” on my post.

        • DFive

          Which is why they are the most valuable brand in the world……. I THINK USD $ 360 BILLION !!!
          So someones smart….. Woz and Steve.

        • Iris Chrome

          If you’re talking about 1984, then this is too different. As for Apple, you can apply the RAW argument there. Why would I want to buy a Mac OS when I could just buy a cheaper PC that could do exactly the same things?

          • Jason

            “exactly the same things?”

            And finally you show the limits of your intellect. Bravo Iris.

            • Iris Chrome

              I guess you’re having trouble understanding the context and the meaning of my seemingly simple and intellectually limited rhetorical question. Although, instead of the pinpointing the limits of my intellectual powers in this useless manner, why don’t you go ahead and educate me as to why I’m so limited?

              PS: This comment was typed on a MacBook.

            • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

              I think you meant to say:

              “Why would I want to buy a [Wintel machine] when I could just buy a cheaper [Mac] that could do [so many more] things?”

              But don’t worry, I fixed it for you. Oh, and challenge that assertion, I dare you.

              I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic — I don’t think you are — so forgive me if I’m mistaken. But for being the guy that alluded to the irrelevance of 1984′s rules today, you seem mired in the same old tired arguments from the past.

            • Iris Chrome

              @Ron

              You really should follow your own advice, you know, and I quote:

              “It’s so easy for people to only come up with personal gibes and attacks (and so difficult and time consuming to think through a logical thought response), that I shouldn’t be surprised when it happens. And yet, I am — every time.”

              Now, if you had bothered to read both my posts above and what I was replying to in the first post, then I don’t think you would have made that comment. My first post was in reply to Erik Cartman’s post above (http://nikonrumors.com/2011/10/14/the-new-nikon-us-pricing-policy-explained.aspx/comment-page-1/#comment-174625). Erik was saying that the only reason Apple is not going out of business is because consumers have nowhere else to go if they want a Mac OS. Then he went on to make a point about how RAW is available from many companies and not just Nikon.

              I had two points from my rhetorical question in my first post. The less obvious point was that comparing Mac OS and Windows is just like comparing different RAW formats from different companies so his comparison was flawed.

              The other and more obvious one was that although Mac OS was only available through Apple, there has always been another option that did the same things for an even lesser price, which is true (build your own PC for $600 to $700 and you can even upgrade whatever part whenever you want), yet Apple nowadays is doing better than ever and their Macs and Mac OS have only been increasing in popularity.

              The correct answer to that question was because Macs do most things better! And I say most things because there are things that Macs just don’t do.
              I know that because as an engineer there are many essential software that are, for whatever reason, only available on a Windows platform.

              I thought it was obvious where I was going with my first post given the post I was replying to… and then I thought I made it even more obvious in the second post when I said that I was typing on a MacBook. Though, it’s nice to see that there are people out there who are married to their technologies…

              As for 1984, I had actually meant to say 1987 (which is the year when Canon switched to their EF mount).

            • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

              Thanks for clearing up your position, Iris Chrome. Due to a combination of your typo (1984) and my mistakenly reading your comment as a response to one comment higher than Erik Cartman’s (posted by Chase: http://nikonrumors.com/2011/10/14/the-new-nikon-us-pricing-policy-explained.aspx/comment-page-1/#comment-174602 ) I misread the tone and point of your comment.

              The statement on RAW only served to confuse me further, and of course, I still stand by my assertions against your question “Why would I want to buy a Mac OS when I could just buy a cheaper PC that could do exactly the same things?”, though given your more detailed explanation, it probably would have been an irrelevant rebuttal, at least in the context I made it. My point in disputing the cost issue is that despite paying less up front for a PC, you pay more over time for a variety of reasons, the least of which is NOT resale value. For instance, try selling that $700 machine 4 years later for anything at all, and then compare that to the $800 resale price you can recoup from a $1,200 machine on the Mac side after 4 years of use. Clearly, the user experience advantage on the Mac side, coupled with the return of investment from resale, and you have a definite advantage on the Mac side.

              As I indicated in my post, something didn’t seem right, but given the circumstances I couldn’t pinpoint where my confusion was coming from. Please accept my apologies. You are correct that I jumped to conclusions based on my misreading of your posts. And thank you again for setting me straight. I appreciate your clarifications.

    • Mark J.

      @Adam,

      What Nikon is doing IS Laissez-faire economic policy… There is no state intervention/ regulation involved at all. This is a corporation, allowed to do whatever it wants that it believes is the best for it’s business.. That’s pretty much the VERY definition of Laissez-faire capitalism.

      If this wasn’t allowed(like it wasn’t pre-2007 supreme court ruling) Then it was be the polar opposite of Laissez-faire economic policy in that there use to be government regulations in place to prevent this type of thing…

      Or to put it simply. Your complaining about something caused by Laissez-faire economic policy, while saying Laissez-faire economic policy is the answer to the problem…….

      • Adam

        Nikon is acting as the “state” in this context of laissez-faire. Nikon is dictating final sale price to reseller. Nikon is NOT permitting the value of its resellers’ goods (equipment PLUS reseller value adds) to be determined by the end buyers.

        Nikon has every right to price their products as they wish, to require that buyers stand on their heads before being sold a D800, etc. I don’t feel that anyone is entitled to a D(x)00, and you’re right, there’s case law stating that price “standardization” is legally up to snuff. Having said that, I believe Nikon has made a major blunder.

        I don’t understand what Nikon is trying to accomplish with this move. Resellers do a fine job of “price optimization” given quantity on hand, market elasticity, and market demand. As an end user, I feel that Nikon has taken away a simple, yet critical, component of microeconomic self regulation.

        At product EOL, what happens to stock on hand? Are resellers going to be refunded for unsold product, will Nikon permit discounting, or will last-gen equipment sit on the shelf, price unchanged, to rot? Nikon is gelding the resellers’ ability to control inventory.

        What are the underlying reasons for this change? Amazon charging less than the 10a-6p Mon-Sat corner store? Best Buy fire-selling D200 bodies?

        The terrifying dark side of this is that Nikon now has ABSOLUTE control over the margins of its resellers. “Want to sell Nikon? You’ll do it at our price, and we’ll charge you what we want for the inventory.” Is anyone here naïve enough to believe that Nikon has similarly standardized the cost of this gear to its resellers? With “charge what you want” pricing, the reseller has the ability to determine what margin they’re happy to walk away with. No more.

        A few notes on the above: Apple certainly DOES NOT price fix. Look at Macmall.com and Amazon. These retailers’ prices undercut Apple.com, don’t collect tax, and ship just as fast (or faster) than Apple. Apple sets up little wiggle room for resellers, as margins are slim — there’s not much room to move, although resellers clearly move within the available window.

        • Iris Chrome

          Have you taken a look at iPad 2 prices on Amazon lately? Or the latest MacBooks? Amazon itself doesn’t sell any Apple products anymore. The only iPads sold there are by 3rd party sellers and the only ones priced less than Apple’s own prices are by sellers with questionable credibility (too new, not enough ratings or too many negative ratings). The rest are all sold above Apples’s prices.

    • pjs

      Bose has used this pricing model since 1964 without problems. I’ve used both Bose and Nikon since the ’60s and don’t expect either of them to go away anytime soon. Its a pita that discounts may go away, but that makes my used stuff worth more, so I win. What’s wrong with that?

  • Ben Dover

    I don’t know that I’d read too much into inclusion or exclusion from that list. There are several new lenses that aren’t listed and they’re not going away any time soon.

  • hlshcd

    it’s US pricing policy, so it does not affect the nikon price in canada?

    • Banned

      No, prices are already outrageous In Canada so you’re good.

  • http://www.laraluz.com Lara

    What does this mean for non U.S. retailers? Will we be seeing a similar thing in other countries or is this just a U.S. thing?

    • broxibear

      Hi Lara,
      It’s just the U.S.
      I know you can’t do this in Europe as it’s illegal, the only way they could do it in Europe would be to open Nikon stores and stop supplying all their other retailers…that isn’t going to happen.
      I do expect Nikon to increase their recommended retail prices in early 2012 across Europe though.

      • Greg

        Europe already has just about the highest Nikon prices in the world, especially when you add taxes so it makes no sense for Nikon to raise it more.

      • http://www.laraluz.com Lara

        yeah,

        here in Australia its quite easy to get a great deal online. Our retail stores (at least in Melbourne) are useless and quite rude so its better, cheaper experience online. Because of this though there are a heap of imports from Asia. Pretty sure this sort of thing would fall under price fixing though here so prob not possible.

  • Nicolò

    By the way, didn’t anyone inform Ken Rockwell about this pricing policy.
    Ken was always keen for the lowest prices, why didn’t het got furious?

    • NyconNeoColonialist

      help feed his growing family.

  • http://www.jsturr.com JSturr

    Adam — totally agree — this is a defacto price increase – everyone is equal now — I’ve heard that before… what a mess.

  • http://www.jpgmag.com/people/markwjr Mark

    I bet Sigma and Tamron are going to LOVE this.

    Mark

  • broxibear

    There seems to be a perfect storm brewing for Nikon.
    Their stock levels before the earthquake were low, since the earthquake many lenses and FX bodies have been impossible to find, the Thailand floods have knocked out their DX plant for possibly the rest of the year and now this pricing policy means higher prices of everything in the U.S.
    When people go to buy a mirrorless at Christmas are they going to pay for a J1/V1 that can’t be found any cheaper than the RRP, or are they going to buy an Olympus or Sony that started off far cheaper, and is now even cheaper because it’s on sale for Christmas ?
    The other camera manufacturers will be rubbing their hands, if I were Canon or Sony I’d be jumping on this and making the most of it through marketing…no Nikon retailer will be able to use the words “sale, discount or offer” in relation to Nikon products…it’s madness.
    There will be a knock on efect for used equipment which will go up in price, if you bought at the right time you could make a good profit on some lenses even after a year of use.
    No point in waiting a few months for the price of a new product to come down as it’s not going to come down…infact it’s more likely to go up. Nikon could raise the prices as much as they wanted and whenever they wanted, the retailers would be forced to obey.
    When the global economy is in freefall, people are spending less and less (yes, even us professional photographers have a budget) I don’t see this policy encouraging people to buy Nikon instead of it’s competitiors.

  • BayCity

    I don’t think this is a big deal. IMO it won’t be very hard to make the money back over the life of the product with very little impact to clients. If I spend 4K on glass and have to come up with another $400 or so, then so be it. If I can’t make it pay for itself then I don’t buy it.

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

      Exactly. Would I rather pay the extra $400, or let the price erosion cut into the overall quality of my long term investment? Look at all the junk you can buy today at walmart compared to 50 years ago and you have my answer. I’m not buying a ‘cheap’ microwave that I expect to replace in 18 months. I’m investing in a highly specialized piece of gear upon which my business relies.

  • Chris

    Like I said in another post, Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina will be getting a lot of my business now. Nikon will be getting none, I just can’t afford it.

    • http://www.jpgmag.com/people/markwjr Mark

      +1. I will be buying their bodies, and perhaps their flashes, that’s about it, I’m afraid. And it really is sad. I wished I could afford the Nikkor glass over the justification of buying Sigma before, I’m even further from that now..

      Mark

      • Yagion

        I think good lenses is just as important as a good body…

        • Greg

          Good lenses are more important than good bodies

          • silmasan

            Put into another analogy:
            “Good lenses (photographers’ eyes) are more important than good bodies (hot models)”

            so yes, I think I agree with you.. :D

          • http://www.mirceaciuca.ro Mircea Ciuca

            Why Nikon does not came with the NEW lenses like they promise? I always said 135/2 need a new AF, after 16 years. If it comes with the AF of 24,35,50,85 new lenses I will sell my D3s and D3 and run on Canon. Lenses are more important, but what lenses? Zoom lenses?! Come on…
            Nikon improve the mirrorless cameras market, but not the lenses market for professionals photographers, under 2000$ bugget. I live in Romania and here lenses are more expensive with 40+ % than US! :( Why?!

    • http://www.createdbylove.com/ Lewis

      Good. What we really need is more competition between manufacturers rather than between the retailers. That’s the kind of competition that’s going to really drive down prices.

  • d70

    I’m glad I have all the lenses I need and that FX bodies are not on the list. Does anybody know who would have access to the Nikon’s Personal Purchase program?

  • F8andGo

    Question is: What does Nikon care about how much profit the retailer is making?
    Answer is: None. If they did, then they would have one price for all products and not major discounts on those big companies who can afford to buy a pallet of camera at a time. If they’re “so concerned” about the retailer, then they should have one price no matter the quantity purchased.
    Nikon makes the same amount of profit regardless of what their products sell to the public.
    It appears that in part, Nikon is trying to prevent their products from being discounted, which (in the eyes of Nikon) may lower their reputation. For example, when was the last time you saw a Rolex or a Cartier on sale – YOU DON’T. Also, if Rolex was to sell the same $10,000 watch at $2,999 then consumer would automatically believe it inferior in some unknown way. If Nikon can keep the price of their product high, then the Nikon brand becomes more exclusive and in the mid-to-long term more expensive. That is to say more expensive for the retailer and for those non-Canon users.
    I’ve been waiting for the new FF top-end models from C/N to come out before making a decision about which brand to go with. I’m waiting for the D4/1D + full line of lenses since i currently have nothing. Thank you Nikon for making my decision easier. That’s $10k of my hard-earned money that you’re not going to get.
    The market needs to be open and free of constraints. This policy stinks of big brother. Those of you of think Nikon ought to be boycotted, may want to add nikonrumors.com to your boycott list as they “fully support” this hideous policy.

    Signed,
    A former nikonrumors.com visitor and future Canon user.

    • silmasan

      Umm, IMHO, you wouldn’t be “A former nikonrumors.com visitor” until you actually stop visiting this site at all…

    • Iris Chrome

      Wow… I don’t even know where to begin but for someone who doesn’t even own a camera or a lens (by your own admission), you sure talk a lot of crap.

      …and just to set the record straight NR did not say they “fully support” the new policy. This was from the dealers letter. Learn to read.

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

      Yeah, right. Can I see all your money? Iris is correct, you’re full of hot air. You belong with Canon. Or better yet, buy Sony. You’ll love them!

  • Greg

    I don’t know what everyone is complaining about. There will still be Nikon sales, it is just that all sellers will have the same sales price. Nikon will still be competitive with Sony and Canon except now all sellers will be just as competitive as the other. Nikon will still make some of the best technology and glass in the world for photographers, it is just that each retailer will have to sell it at the same price. What’s the big deal.
    My gawd, every time I see a rumor, everyone believes the sky is falling. Just wait and see.

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

      +1 (10^6)

  • FussyBob

    I have no problems with a standardized across the board pricing, but Nikon lower the prices 10-15% to begin with and we will all be happy.

    I do belive that this will definitely hurt Nikon sales, part of the fun buying was looking for the good deal. On-line purchasing is still going to reduce the cost by saving the sales tax, this is not good for local sales.

    I will be shorting Nikon stock, it will just tumble in the next few months….

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

      I think people have way more fun buying the gear than they do using it. I also think they spend more time on the former. Hence the whining here.

  • OitaJP

    Here is Japan, prices on several models I usually buy for my business are being increased, for example, the D5100, D3100, increased by 3 to 5 thousand yen ($30 to $65) on major japanese retailers. A few small stores still have the old average prices. I just don’t know if it is related to this or not, or it is just because of the flooding in Thailand.

  • Nick

    Sounds like illegal price fixing for me, eliminating competition. Japan has been using the same for car prices in Japan. I hope someone is going to take Nikon to the court for this in the USA.

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

      Oh, Robin Hood, where are you? Save us, please, someone, and do it fast because my T.V. show is about to start and I can’t be bothered to miss it!

      • Nick

        Are you a Nikon paid comment troll?
        Time for disclosure.

        • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

          Are you a paid Canon or Sony troll?
          Time for disclosure.

          And yes, I created a fake website with a fake portfolio so I could pretend to be a photographer, filmmaker and designer, when really I just get paid by the evil corporation that wants to own your soul. You?

  • atsux

    this sound good to me, when everybody buy sony and canon because you can get a discount, nikon had no choice but drop their official price in the future.

    • Bjrichus

      Ah… A good comment. It is indeed all about the OFFICIAL price.

      I wonder how long it will take for the official prices to come down?

      The cynic might also say that such a move might be due to sales crashing as a result of Black Friday and Christmas, not least the January sales, all of which will see Nikon crucified in the consumer/retail channel, and losing out to everyone else due to poor stock levels and higher than market prices in the consumer space…

      My employer purchased 30 bodies ‘at trade’ this year and don’t plan to buy more until the second half of 2012, so we can afford to wait, but the average retail buyer who wants a Christmas present will be price comparison shopping and I wonder what the other brands will be doing?

      Just speculation, but I wonder if this is designed to LOWER short term demand? Next quarter, will the Nikon USA board say: “for the first time in x quarters, we have at last managed to get our supply in line with demand. Aren’t we good? Now we’ll take a nice big bonus.” No. It never works that way in business, does it? ;-)

    • Kevin

      very excited about the nex 7! :)

  • Eric

    Now, this policy seems only to cover parts of lens and cameras. Will it include all the Nikon glasses in the future? There may be still some rebate program from Nikon after this policy.

  • Kevin

    :(. looks like i won’t be getting any pro lenses for the next few years

    this sucks big time because i live in canada and the only thing that’s driving the prices down are the competition in US

    i foresee canon following suit very soon

  • Emw

    To a retailer, eliminating all competition is a dream come true, unless, you were one who got a lot of business by discounting.

    I avoid Sony, and now Nikon. A free market and competition is good. Nikon wants to keep losing businesses like Ritz camera going, lest they lose a ton of money once again.

  • http://daveshowalter.com Wally

    I’d just like to be able to buy a body. The policy timing is strange with so little inventory and I prefer to buy from the few online retailers that I trust.

  • gobsmacker

    I posted this question before in an earlier discussion on the same topic but got no answer: with this new pricing policy by Nikon, should buyers in the US think about buying their Nikon gear from reputable Hong Kong camera dealers, who might be willing to undercut the new US pricing points? The only issue for me would be the service warranty, i.e., would Nikon USA honor the international service warranty that is offered by Hong Kong retailers?

    • Iris Chrome

      gobsmacker, your questions sound rhetorical but I’ll answer them. If the price+shipping+import duties are cheap enough they yeah sure, why not? But if all it would save me is $50 to $100 off a $1000+ lens, then my answer is no. It’s just not worth the risk of getting the lens shipped half way across the world from a dealer that’s not %100 guaranteed. Not to mention 5 yr warranty vs 1 yr warranty that may or may not be honored.

  • Cuius

    Give it 6 months before the cracks appear.

  • Went to school

    First off I am not just blowing smoke. I worked for the company in this article for 15 years before I left in 2006. If you dont know the company they have a squad that fixes your computer. Not hard to guess the company. Some stuff you also need to know. I have a bachelors in international business, minors in advertising, logistics, marketing, a master in business admin, and for fun I got my PHD. I traveled the world and worked in almost every money market and in a good and bad economy.

    Let me tell you why Nikon is doing this. How much do you think the damages cost Nikon to fix in the earthquake? For people that don’t know they moved to Thailand. Now, look at the building in Thailand. It’s under water. How much will that cost? So do some math. Add two and two together. Where is Nikon going to get the funds for the loss? Ding, Ding, Ding! Us. The users. Nikon knows people will be a bit mad but they will still buy their products.

    On top of it Nikon is releasing new cameras soon. Which they know people will be buying a lens with their new camera or some kind of Nikon item. Overall it will be harder to get a hold of used gear because more people will be buying items used but people will still buy new.

    • Abaham Collins

      “Went to school” yet you clearly lack common sense; $0 of this increase is going to Nikon. This policy only restricts each retailer’s ability to reduce margins to sell en masse.

    • http://blackbeardben.smugmug.com Blackbeard Ben

      Wait, what? Who is going to pay for the loss?

      All that business school and you don’t think that Nikon just might have INSURANCE for its manufacturing plants? Another win for the engineers’ stereotype of business majors…

      The sales losses due to insufficient inventory will be lost, sure (and low inventory may be a major driving force in this price fixing), but disasters like this are exactly the reason why people and businesses buy insurance in the first place.

      If anything, this is a blow for just-in-time manufacturing more than anything else.

    • I shoot Nikon

      You have minors in advertising, logistics and marketing? Impressive…

      Mine are in psychology, carpentry and rocket science. Don’t have a major though- I skipped it in favor of a PHD, which happens to be in truck-driving.

    • Greg

      And your comments just go to show everyone how valuable your education really is. Pity. Nikon did not say it was increasing its prices. I guess they went to a different school.

    • Jabs

      @DID not go to school – LOL

      Perhaps you went to School (or skool) but learned little except to TALK or spout off.

      Business disruption Insurance
      Natural Disaster Insurance
      Product or Stock Destruction Insurance
      Government Tax subsidies or Incentives to move to their Land in an Enterprise Zone dedicated to entice FOREIGN Manufacturers to OFF-SHORE Zones which are often Duty-Free and make components that are shipped and assembled in OTHER lands, blurring the line between WHERE it really was or is manufactured!

      Business 101 = you are a fake!

      All these supposed qualifications and NO common sense or even an understanding of Business Procedures and reality – LOL.

      PHD = Pig headed Dummy or Post Hole Digger then to you.

      Get real —–>0<—–, less than zero but greater than -1 = nothingness as in a stupid claim with a premise that does NOT add up.

      They must have fired you from the Stock Room for tilting over the Lift Truck and dropping the Refrigerators that you tried to stock on pallets so high that you dinged the roof and dropped their precious stock.

      LOL – nice story for suckers, eh.

      True baloney!

  • David Duncan

    SB-900 not included in the list, replacement soon with no more overheating issues

  • http://www.lgphotoart.com LGPhotoArt

    Reading all this makes me want to hug my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 :)

  • D. Enault

    Humm, it seems that Nikon is following their favorite outlet…Best Buy, high, high prices!

    I love price fixing, another reason to go Canon or Sony…along with lack of video capabilities!

  • Matthew

    Ok, professionals probably wont care that much.

    Also, neither will people that already own a lot of glass.

    This hurts, and seriously hurts the amatuer looking to get into photography. I’m sorry if some store is ripping people off. But n educated consumer should be able to get the best deal they can do. If I didnt already own a bunch of glass, and like Nikon, my next DSLR might be a different brand. If I was starting out, you can bet i would try to find the best deal out there. You want to protect your consumers? Set a max price that something can be sold for, not a set price.

    Another industry for example: Barbecue Gas Grills. Not as expensive as cameras, but they can be expensive. Who is the king? Weber. Weber has a max price, not a set price. You learn about the grill you want, research, read, talk to people, and then search for the best price. When I purchased mine, I went to a bunch of reputable retailers, and eventually found a price that was 15% cheaper than the most expensive one. Saved me almost 200.00 on an 1800 investment.

    Does Nikon either think the consumers are stupid, or do they not want people to do their own research and reading? I personally hate this sort of thing, and in my opinion, Nikon is doing their consumers a big disservice. And you know what, they are doing the retailers one as well. B&H (the storefront, not the online) is a large store. Businesses should be allowed to compete. And if competing meansunderselling the competition, thats a valid business strategy. I dont want a company holding my hand. I want them treating me like a responsible consumer.

  • F.Nikon

    I thought that price fixing was illegal.

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

      look. up. price. fixing.

      • Nicolò

        Ron,
        Read all the posts:
        Price Fixing: “The maintaining of prices at a certain level by agreement between competing sellers.”
        The Nikon and Apple retailers are the competing sellers who are maintaining the prices at a certain level.

        • Jabs

          Earth to YOU.

          Price fixing has to go on between similar categories usually.

          Sellers to sellers

          Manufacturers to Manufacturers

          Industries to Industries

          Price gouging is NOT price fixing

          Attempting to corner the Market is not the same as Protection of your Company’s reputation or goods from harm or a reduction in residual value – is also not price fixing.

          LOOK at the Apple versus Samsung spat all over Earth

          Deciding WHO and how they sell YOUR gear as a Manufacturer is NOT price fixing.

          Ever heard of the Intel -vs- AMD fiasco and lawsuits all over the Earth?

          Read up on that and then perhaps educate yourself, please.

          I ‘swear’ there are more Canon-Sony ‘activists’ roaming here like insane agents trying to provoke Nikon users to come to their zone or way – OUT of spite, perhaps.

          WHEN either Canon or Sony makes PRODUCTS as good or better than Nikon, then we all can talk – for now – get real.

          Nothing new here as BOTH Canon and Sony do the exact same thing, so BUZZ off!

          Nikon’s LATE to the ‘party’ as BOTH Canon and Sony have been selling their own gear ONLINE for way longer than Nikon = facts.

          Sorry to get rude to you, but people need to be told about themselves and their lies here!

          I promised to be nicer here, but some of you posters tell too many TALES here while ignoring the obvious facts like we all are stooopid.

          Find excessive fault with Nikon and then perhaps drive people towards Canon or Sony = maybe your mad game here and YES, we know this too.

  • Claude

    Nikon prices in South Africa are far higher than in the USA and they never offer Cash Backs / Rebates but dictating to the retailer what the minimum price is would be considered monopolistic in SA law and severe penalties would be imposed.

  • Iris Chrome

    I think it’s safe to say the just about everybody here loathes this new price policy. I think most also wouldn’t want to hear what I’m going to say but I think this new policy will make Nikons sell like hotcakes.

    How many here really read the dealer’s email? Did you feel the excitement about the new policy? And it’s not just this dealer that’s excited about it. Why is that? Because they’ll make a higher commission on Nikons from now on. What does that mean? Dealers and sales people will be pushing more Nikons on buyers. Anyone who ever worked as a salesperson knows this; it’s all about the commission. I used to work as a “cruise vacation specialist” for a major US travel agency. When we had the bonus commission promotions, it didn’t matter how good was one cruise line vs another as long as it was good enough. And you bet that made a difference between which cruise line took had the most sales. Exactly the same thing here.

    • Mark V

      Yeah but many of the people working the floor at the big box retailers really don’t care about the fact that they are making more money for their company. They still make the same money in their paycheck. I didn’t read excitement in the dealers email, I read fear… fear that the new signage won’t get out, fear that someone will give a discount and they will have to eat the loss. Small stores, I can see being excited (see below)

      I think it will hurt sales a bit because they won’t be showing that they are offering a sale price. Psychologically, people in the US like to be told they are getting a discount rather than haggle the price. If we didn’t, you wouldn’t see the type of advertising that you do in the U.S. Based on what I can see right now, I don’t think this helps Nikon in their advertising or positioning themselves against canon, sony, or any other camera maker.

      Now, it may help win points with some of their dealers, especially those that have seen their sales drop due to big box retailers. In this respect, it may be a very good thing and it may allow people to go back to their local stores and it allows those stores to be able to get the margins they need to run their business. I personally don’t care because while I like to support local business, the people who work at my local camera store have made it very clear to me they are about sales and don’t care about me helping to solve problems. At that point, I’d rather just save some money because the service I’m getting isn’t any better.

      • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

        The point here is that by Nikon enforcing their (already existing) MAP policy, it encourages companies to focus on competing on factors other than price. It actually opens the door for these companies to incentivize their employees to spend more time helping customers solve their problems. This doesn’t mean it WILL happen, but it makes it easier for those the companies that care enough to make the effort.

        For example, Pictureline is a GREAT retail shop, and I’m guessing they can now worry less about razor thin profits (and even losses), and spend more time doing what they do best: incredible customer service. Their prices won’t change drastically because they’re probably already pretty close to MAP. But they WILL sell more gear, since the only price differentiator from the online shops will now be tax. The reason they’re so successful even in this internet era is because they provide loads of value beyond price. Additionally, they have some of the best employee retention I’ve ever seen — these guys are among the sharpest people I’ve met, many of them having been there for more than a decade. This is the potential future I see when retailers get away from a ‘dumb’ differentiator like price.

        • Nicolò

          Ron,
          If you want incredible service, pay for it and pick your favorite local shop.
          If we want the lowest prices, let us pick internet-retailers who offer the lowest prices.
          But don’t allow Nikon to force us to pay for “incredible service” we don’t ask for.
          Please, no cartels.

          • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

            The two are interrelated. You cannot separate the two as your comment suggests.

            And please, research the terms like ‘price fixing’ and ‘cartel’ which you’re using incorrectly.

            • http://Www.eltonsaulsberry.com Elton

              As long as we’re on using terms incorrectly, the old policy was MAP, the new policy is not.

      • Iris Chrome

        @Mark V

        While it’s true that the floor salespeople at Best Buy (not sure about other places) don’t make money off of sales but Best Buy itself does… so does CircuitCity (are they even still in business?), Adorama, B&H, Amazon and many other big name dealers. When there is more commission going into the pocket of the retailer, how do you think the retailer will respond? The retailer will probably have more product (Nikon) specific advertisements in their Sunday fliers or they might push their salespeople to sell more Nikons. Even online retailers like Amazon might try to boost sales by featuring more Nikon products on their homepage or in the recommendation sections. After all, why not? The retailers are the ones who will benefit and will end up with the higher commission payment.

        …anyway this was how the travel agency I used to work at ran things. I realize that these are two different products but I would think that the sales “motivations” would be the same. Only time will tell if Nikon made the right move or not but from their most recent numbers (5 million Nikkors within 6 months), it sounds like their doing plenty good and demand has been higher than ever.

  • ILLEGAL POLICY!

    You say: “We are FULLY supportive of this program.”!!!
    You should be ashamed of this position, as this Nikon policy is probably illegal in many ways, as it prevents retailers from competing against each other!!!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewroos/ Andrew Roos

    In South Africa this would be illegal. According to the Competition Act,

    5. Restrictive vertical practices prohibited

    (2) The practice of minimum resale price maintenance is prohibited.
    (3) Despite subsection (2), a supplier or producer may recommend a minimum resale price to the reseller of a good or service provided –
    (a) the supplier or producer makes it clear to the reseller that the recommendation is not binding; and
    (b) if the product has its price stated on it, the words “recommended price” appear next to the stated price.

    Of course, this doesn’t really help us since the volumes are so low that prices are about 25% higher than the US online retailers anyway.

    • Danny

      This is illegal in the Netherlands, and – in fact – most european countries. It is against commercial and competition laws to make these kinds of pricing agreements and penalties for this kind of activity can be extremely high. I don’t know what Nikon is playing at here, but this could seriously damage their sales, their reputation and even their company.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewroos/ Andrew Roos

    Of course, South Africa is where that well known advocate of competitive markets, de Beers, has it’s headquarters :)

  • Peter

    Friend who has nearly all Nikon ever made, glasswise, since the 70′s said they did this before. EPOI owned them back then. Anyone know more about how long this is likely to last. My overall impression is that Nikon needs to fire a few people in their Risk department or watch this whole policy very carefully and be ready to yank it out at a moments notice. Oh wait, this is Nikon. “Turn on a dime” is not really part of their vocabulary.

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