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      03-23-2012, 07:52 AM   #1
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Vendors asking you to PM for pricing, advice and questions

This discussion came up on NAGTROC, MBWorld, and the Viper forum. What's with vendors asking you to PM them for best prices? Why can't the price just be put out in public and offered to all members? For me, when I see the "pm for pricing" thing- I simply go elsewhere. I know that vendors will claim that it's because their prices are so low, they can't advertise- etc etc. This claim has been disproven and burned down every time it's been claimed on the other forums.

The good thing that came out of these threads in other forums is that the vendors that started posting prices for group buys and specials realized that they were making a very significant number of sales as compared to their old practice of asking for PM's. This is business 101- consumers get an urge to buy and they want to buy, that urge disappears VERY QUICKLY.

There are some GREAT vendors here- can you guys speak up?
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      03-23-2012, 08:51 AM   #2
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i am a manufacturers sales rep in the consumer electronic industry.
there is something called MAP pricing, which is Minimum advertised price.
this is somewhat of a new policy since the rise of E-tail (internet retail)
Manufacturers set a MAP to even the playing feild.
You may see on some websites that you have to add the item to cart to see the price.
this is because of MAP.
it makes it so that the consumer cannot just go to price shopper or price grabber or nextag to find the best price.
if there was no MAP price, then consumers would choose the vendor on price alone.
MAP price makes it so that the customer has to interact with the vendor, and in many ways this helps make a customer a repeat customer for that particular vendor.
if the lowest price is out there for all to see, then every vendor would match the price, and then whoever is willing to work on the least profit margin will get the business.
what this does in the end is make it so no vendor can make any money on the product.
hope that answers your question.
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      03-23-2012, 08:59 AM   #3
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So to prevent free market competition, vendors make you contact them? I'm ok with this (as if I matter), just trying to get clarification.
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      03-23-2012, 09:20 AM   #4
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Most of the time when I see "PM for pricing" I just close the thread and go buy (often for higher price) at other vendor/site that has prices listed.
I'm too damn lazy or busy to write PM's, and often it's not worth my time anyway.
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      03-23-2012, 09:25 AM   #5
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onebad, I do the same thing. I have pm'd vendors before, only to wait days for a reply or to get a reply with prices that are still higher than just searching with google. I find that the pmng thing rarely, if ever leads to lower prices and in fact- what it does is protect vendors from competing with other vendors.

This is what I mean by preventing a free market economy. Same thing as a dealer posting an ad and asking you to "call for pricing information". This common sense analogy shows how easily a consumer is dissuaded. Group buys work and sell out quickly because vendors KNOW that they are offering the lowest prices and not messing with consumers so, therefore, they post low prices and sell sell sell.
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      03-23-2012, 10:14 AM   #6
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PM for price = FAIL. I don't even bother looking at whatever the product is.
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      03-23-2012, 10:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cleaner View Post
PM for price = FAIL. I don't even bother looking at whatever the product is.
+1

When i just joined the forum I would do this but it gets so frustrating dealing with vendors that eventually i stopped. If all vendors just posted their rock bottom price in their listing it wouldnt give customers time to rethink their purchase or shop around. It would also encourage more competitive pricing and would potentially attract more enthusiasts to the BMW scene. A lot of my friends in the import market stay away from modding german because its just way too much for no reason.

I smell a revolution, just saying haha
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      03-23-2012, 10:50 AM   #8
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Forum rules indicate you are not allowed to list pricing anywhere except designated for sale sections.

Manufacturers do not let vendors sell below "MAP" pricing guidelines. Which is usually retail price.

All these restrictions are in place by everyone else other then the vendors themselves.

For future reference there is no "rock bottom price" or "best price" or "lowest price" it just depends on which vendor wants to make the least profit.

Retail pricing is designed to allow businesses to make money and earn a living, just like everyone else here that is working. I'm sure you guys would love to keep your paychecks as high as you can just like all the vendors here.

If you guys are going to start a revolution I would suggest starting with higher price tag markets, like cars, homes and boats, you'd be surprised on the profit margins in those. Let alone your local grocery store or other retail markets like clothing. Shirts made for pennies being sold for $65, now thats crazy. Jeans for $100+.
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      03-23-2012, 10:51 AM   #9
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Good stuff, I just make it a policy to automatically disregard vendors that ask you to PM them. I mean- you're trying to sell us something, you're not doing us a favor. Post your prices and quit with runaround.

Jeff- I'm referring to the "vendor sale" sections. Many times- the vendors are priced ABOVE the MAP guidelines (PM's are a nice way of playing mind games), how about they post the MAP and then if they can beat it, state so. I'd PM then.

I suppose it's only a matter of time before this thread is shut down.
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      03-23-2012, 10:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmeek View Post
Good stuff, I just make it a policy to automatically disregard vendors that ask you to PM them. I mean- you're trying to sell us something, you're not doing us a favor. Post your prices and quit with runaround.

Jeff- I'm referring to the "vendor sale" sections. Many times- the vendors are priced ABOVE the MAP guidelines (PM's are a nice way of playing mind games), how about they post the MAP and then if they can beat it, state so. I'd PM then.
I can't speak for other vendors, but all my pricing is at MAP. The consumer doesn't know what the actual MAP price is as this is private information. Sometimes MAP is retail price, sometimes it can be a small percentage below retail. As the other person said, MAP is in place to give all the vendors a fair chance in the sale. Anyone can shop for the lowest price, but we hope you as consumers choose a place to buy because you trust the vendor, and or like the vendors customer service.

I ask all members to me PM me or call if they have any questions but all my for sale threads have a direct link to my site with the price.
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      03-23-2012, 10:59 AM   #11
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That's fair enough and makes sense to me. If your pricing is at MAP- this means you can post your prices on your thread, right? The internet has revolutionized shopping for consumers with clothes and other material items and forced prices down and quality up. This is kind of my point- asking to PM is counterproductive.
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      03-23-2012, 11:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmeek View Post
That's fair enough and makes sense to me. If your pricing is at MAP- this means you can post your prices on your thread, right? The internet has revolutionized shopping for consumers with clothes and other material items and forced prices down and quality up. This is kind of my point- asking to PM is counterproductive.
It's an unfortunate part of the industry but the only true solution is not to offer a PM route, and therefore you would be forced to email for negotiations or just buy from a site you trust as we should all have the same price if we are all following MAP guidelines. MAP guidelines are constantly being disobeyed by many vendors today, which makes this industry very hard for others who follow the rules.

As I mentioned previously there is no way to fix this. Get in touch with a vendor you trust if you want to negotiate price, or just buy off a website/vendor you like at MAP price.
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      03-23-2012, 11:10 AM   #13
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It's also worth mentioning that in 9/10 cases only the manufacturer can offer a group buy. For instance I cannot offer a group buy for ETS Intercoolers because I'm not that manufacturer and that would put my price below MAP, consequently all authorized dealers would be furious that I'm selling below MAP.
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      03-23-2012, 11:52 AM   #14
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Jeff-

I see what your saying, and I agree with most of your points. The thing that bothers me is the disparity in pricing between vendors. When I am interested in a product that multiple vendors are advertising, I would send a PM to each one asking for a price. The responses I would get would be incredibly varied as far as price goes and then you start the process of "vendor A sells it for this, can you beat that, blah blah blah" and it becomes frustrating.
A lot of vendors (and I am not singling any out) do not show customer loyalty because they are flooded with so many PMs and they do not want to take the time to look up whether you bought something in the past in order to price match something now. I see almost no point in paying extra for an item from someone I have already done business with who will not price match an identical item that a competing vendor sells.
At the end of the day, we are all just trying to get a good deal on something we are passionate about, but that doesnt mean there arent ways to improve the process. My 0.02
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      03-23-2012, 02:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BkNy3 View Post
Jeff-

I see what your saying, and I agree with most of your points. The thing that bothers me is the disparity in pricing between vendors. When I am interested in a product that multiple vendors are advertising, I would send a PM to each one asking for a price. The responses I would get would be incredibly varied as far as price goes and then you start the process of "vendor A sells it for this, can you beat that, blah blah blah" and it becomes frustrating.
A lot of vendors (and I am not singling any out) do not show customer loyalty because they are flooded with so many PMs and they do not want to take the time to look up whether you bought something in the past in order to price match something now. I see almost no point in paying extra for an item from someone I have already done business with who will not price match an identical item that a competing vendor sells.
At the end of the day, we are all just trying to get a good deal on something we are passionate about, but that doesnt mean there arent ways to improve the process. My 0.02
Excellent point, however, you have to realize 2 things, we dont all pay the same thing for an item, so one vendors lowest price might literally be the lowest he can do with minimal profit. You also need to keep in mind that between all the vendors we have different goals in profit margins. Some vendors like to push quantity over profit margin, while others are focused with profit margin and moving less quantity.

So combine the price we pay and how much we want to make and you will definitely see a disparity. A consumer should realize that this is not a personal attack if a vendor gives a higher price, it may be the best he can do or he may be looking to make a few extra dollars, after all as vendors, we plan on getting MAP, so any discount given should be realized out of good faith and goodwill.


We do sell items off our websites for full retail and full map too so we try to do you guys a favor by reducing the price a little if we can.

All of these problems stemmed from the ability to negotiate, if nobody had the opportunity to negotiate then everyone would simple by from the vendor they liked.

I shop online just like anyone else, and I dont do the PM game either. I buy from reputable vendors I like and I pay full price out of respect to business' trying to earn a living.

I think the consumer fails to realize any discount is a favor, we should be charging full price all the time. (no offense).

Last edited by Jeff@TopGearSolutions; 03-23-2012 at 02:21 PM.
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      03-23-2012, 02:29 PM   #16
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I agree with Jeff, we take for granted all these discounts and abilities to negotiate. The consumer has caused this problem, not the vendors. If you dont want to take the time to negotiate and play the "game", then just buy from the guy you like. I like Jeff from TGS cause hes active on forums and always helping people, that is good enough for me to buy from him.
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      03-23-2012, 02:54 PM   #17
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MAP was upheld in 2007 with the leegin decision. It's meant to protect hi end retailers from price shoppers It was called the "free ride". http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/20...e-leegin-.html .

Retailers have successfully broken MAP price policy in some areas by simply ignoring it. I don't sell or purchase products that play the MAP game. When retailers push back on MAP it can force manufacturers to drop the policy.
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      03-27-2012, 10:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@topgearsolutions View Post
Excellent point, however, you have to realize 2 things, we dont all pay the same thing for an item, so one vendors lowest price might literally be the lowest he can do with minimal profit. You also need to keep in mind that between all the vendors we have different goals in profit margins. Some vendors like to push quantity over profit margin, while others are focused with profit margin and moving less quantity.

So combine the price we pay and how much we want to make and you will definitely see a disparity. A consumer should realize that this is not a personal attack if a vendor gives a higher price, it may be the best he can do or he may be looking to make a few extra dollars, after all as vendors, we plan on getting MAP, so any discount given should be realized out of good faith and goodwill.


We do sell items off our websites for full retail and full map too so we try to do you guys a favor by reducing the price a little if we can.

All of these problems stemmed from the ability to negotiate, if nobody had the opportunity to negotiate then everyone would simple by from the vendor they liked.

I shop online just like anyone else, and I dont do the PM game either. I buy from reputable vendors I like and I pay full price out of respect to business' trying to earn a living.

I think the consumer fails to realize any discount is a favor, we should be charging full price all the time. (no offense).
Well said Jeff...

It a complicated issue but there needs to be a balance between vendors making a living and paying their bills and consumers getting a good deal. I think a lot of vendors on here strive to make that balance and do a good job but there will always be exceptions to that rule.

Mike
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      03-27-2012, 02:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmeek View Post
This discussion came up on NAGTROC, MBWorld, and the Viper forum. What's with vendors asking you to PM them for best prices? Why can't the price just be put out in public and offered to all members? For me, when I see the "pm for pricing" thing- I simply go elsewhere. I know that vendors will claim that it's because their prices are so low, they can't advertise- etc etc. This claim has been disproven and burned down every time it's been claimed on the other forums.

The good thing that came out of these threads in other forums is that the vendors that started posting prices for group buys and specials realized that they were making a very significant number of sales as compared to their old practice of asking for PM's. This is business 101- consumers get an urge to buy and they want to buy, that urge disappears VERY QUICKLY.

There are some GREAT vendors here- can you guys speak up?

I agree. Why do you need to get PM and all that stuff. We post our price the same everywhere. No codes or anything required.
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      04-05-2012, 04:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@topgearsolutions View Post
Excellent point, however, you have to realize 2 things, we dont all pay the same thing for an item, so one vendors lowest price might literally be the lowest he can do with minimal profit. You also need to keep in mind that between all the vendors we have different goals in profit margins. Some vendors like to push quantity over profit margin, while others are focused with profit margin and moving less quantity.

So combine the price we pay and how much we want to make and you will definitely see a disparity. A consumer should realize that this is not a personal attack if a vendor gives a higher price, it may be the best he can do or he may be looking to make a few extra dollars, after all as vendors, we plan on getting MAP, so any discount given should be realized out of good faith and goodwill.


We do sell items off our websites for full retail and full map too so we try to do you guys a favor by reducing the price a little if we can.

All of these problems stemmed from the ability to negotiate, if nobody had the opportunity to negotiate then everyone would simple by from the vendor they liked.

I shop online just like anyone else, and I dont do the PM game either. I buy from reputable vendors I like and I pay full price out of respect to business' trying to earn a living.

I think the consumer fails to realize any discount is a favor, we should be charging full price all the time. (no offense).

What Jeff says here hits the nail on the head exactly. It does get difficult competing for Shoppers' affections by offering the lowest possible price and cutting the profit margin down to a ridiculously small amount.

I too have had people accuse me of ripping them off when one of the big name vendors offers a much lower price, one that I can't possibly match because they are getting the products at a much better price than we are, simply because of the amount they buy. The small guys, like us, do have a hard time competing with a large distributor when it comes to the shopper who is willing to take his time to find the Rock bottom price.

Like Jeff said, its never a personal attack. We all have families to feed and we are trying to make a living doing something we love, which is, making your cars awesome!


I'd like to add that I always used to have "PM Me for Prices" in all my threads but after reading this thread I've started to change. I still get people asking me to PM them prices but we have links going directly to our store now so the customer can impulse buy at will!

I'm glad you started this thread though, because it gives us good insight into whats going on in the customer's head. Great stuff.

Thanks everyone for contributing!
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      04-05-2012, 07:56 PM   #21
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It's not a big deal on the cheap items (low margin). But definitely worth your time on expensive items (high margin). Often times you can buy for under MAP and save on shipping because the S/H charges are somewhat of a profit center.

You're already on this forum typing - hit them up and see how quick they are to respond and see how knowledgeable/friendly/customer focused they are.
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      04-06-2012, 01:28 AM   #22
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PM is fine but to only get a 5% off from the listed price is a joke or hugh markup on shipping
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