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Commonwealth.Net

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Per Aerotech only RETAIL Prices can be listed on any web site.
So when you purchase from us note the instructions at the top of the
Aerotech High Power listings. All high power motors are still on sale!

Please pass the word. All 29mm to 98mm High Power Reloads 15% of more off list prices!

Call Aerotech if you want "real" prices displayed once again.
 

MysticalRockets

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I'm wondering if there is a contract clause there. Most likely. because otherwise, they couldn't say a bloody thing about it.
 

JoeG

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This sounds similar to a major hobby distributer and their self operated web store that I deal with every day.

As a retailer I am not allowed to advertise a price on any of this supplier's proprietary items lower than the Manufacturers Advertised Price (MAP) or "Street Price". I can sell it at a loss if I want. I just can't advertise it.

This distributor says that their own web store, of a different name, is held to the same standard, which they are, but then they offer free shipping, a $20 to $50 discount coupon and those from everywhere but the state the warehouse is located don't pay any sales tax.

Then a customer comes in to my store and wants one item such as an R/C airplane and wants me to match their price. Markup on big ticket items is not that much, trust me, and if I match Tower's bottom line I lose money. If I sell it at the MAP price the customer ends up spending a lot more money with me than with Tower. Guess where they go.

This effectively makes my distributor not only my supplier but my competitor. It doesn't seem like a good way to do business.

Nothing I can do about it because they have the stuff everyone wants and if they see people wanting something else they just buy out the company.

My thoughts.
 

sunward

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.... advertise a price on any of this supplier's proprietary...... Tower's .....
Okay Tower's and Great Planes.

This story is so old. But it never seems to end.

What I don't understand is why hobby stores don't stand up to Great Planes? Why stores continue to use Great Planes as a supplier? Why no one has sued Great Planes yet. ( I thought American were lawsuit happy?) Why no one has involved government agencies?

No other industry I know would put up with this. Only the hobby industry.

( For the record - this is not about aerotech. I have no idea what their policy is)
 

JoeG

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Telling GP to take a hike might sound like and may even be a great idea if you are just in the rocketry business.

While not the only supplier of R/C supplies,which makes up the bulk of my sales, their advertising is everywhere in the hobby magazines. To not supply what they offer (proprietary) would be to shoot myself in the foot. They carry what everyone wants. There are loyal customers out there who will buy from me. There are others who will go to the shop with the lowest bottom line.

By not even offering what they have for sale I would be committing financial suicide to try to prove a point. Sounds good in theory but in practice it sucks.

Our store does OK in the grand scheme of things by being very diversified. We sell a lot of rocket stuff along with R/C cars, plastic models, games, doll houses, airplanes, helicopters, magazines, etc. The competition is stiff and you either do what you need to do or stay home.

Taking on a legal battle in the cutthroat world of hobby dealers sounds like a bad idea to me.

Back to the Aerotech issue. What is the difference in listing only retail prices one place on the website and then announcing that prices on "X" motors will be 40% off during the month of Jancember. Sounds more like a website maintenance issue to me than anything else.

My guess is that another dealer complained about the lower advertised prices.

If a dealer has a lower regular price on Aerotech motors why not let them say so? At least the rest of us will know. Or...maybe that's the point. Others don't want us to know.
 

stickershock23

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Any manufacturer that does things like that does not care who they hurt. even if it's the hand that feeds them. they have no loyalty to their distributors and dealers.

I understand that manufacturers are in business to make money but there should be some scruples in their too. If they don't show any care for the people that keep them in business that means they probably don't care about their final customer either.. thats just bad. that hurts people like Joe, Sunaward and commonwealth too.
 

JoeG

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Peartree

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Let's be careful and not pile on anyone in particular here.
 

stickershock23

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You got it, I was just saying ANYONE that does that. Hobby related or Not.
 

JoeG

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We happen to have a lot of manufacturer/distributors in this particular hobby.

Most of the manufacturers are here because they love the hobby and want to contribute. I believe they have a lot to offer. I think plans of getting rich and retiring to some exotic place by selling rocket kits are short lived in most cases.

I agree that manufacturers who sell to distributors and then undercut them with direct selling are not doing themselves any favors.

I fail to understand the reason for telling a dealer that they cannot advertise the price for which they sell an item. It might make more sense if everyone was held to the same standard including the manufacturer.

What am I missing?

not piling on anyone really. Just asking.
 

sunward

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Telling GP to take a hike might sound like and may even be a great idea if you are just in the rocketry business.....
Not just if you are in rocketry. It is not a good idea to be competing with your supplier. As the supplier gets bigger, they control you more.

....While not the only supplier of R/C supplies,which makes up the bulk of my sales, their advertising is everywhere in the hobby magazines. To not supply what they offer (proprietary) would be to shoot myself in the foot. .....
Yes, that may be true. But it doesn't mean you support them completely. You should also be looking at other distributors and their products.

....Taking on a legal battle in the cutthroat world of hobby dealers sounds like a bad idea to me.......
So don't do anything and then keep complaining and watch your business suffer.

...Back to the Aerotech issue. .... My guess is that another dealer complained about the lower advertised prices....
So a dealer complained? I don't think so.

.... I understand that manufacturers are in business to make money but there should be some scruples in their too....
( Not talking about aerotech here)
Just look at what happened with small power hand tools. The big block stores started ordering large quantities and demanding a much lower price. Not to lose the business, the tool manufacturers said okay and how high they should jump.

Lot of big orders.

But the small local hardware store now complains they don't want to carry the tools as there is no money in them. The tool suppliers now are in a bind. They put themselves at the mercy of the big stores and get terms dictated to them. On top of that, the stores bought and now carry their own brands (ryobi at Home Depot). All of a sudden, the stores don't need the tool manufacturers as much.

Let's be careful and not pile on anyone in particular here.
relax.
 

sunward

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....I fail to understand the reason for telling a dealer that they cannot advertise the price for which they sell an item. ....
It is called MAP - minimum advertised price or minimum advertised policy and there are good reasons for them.

For the record, Sunward has one.

One reason is to prevent "cheapening" the brand. If someone advertises a product much less than someone else, then the consumer may get confused and not want to pay the higher price in the future.

And then there is also the games retail stores play with specials. The trend is now to have a door crasher or limited quantities of a sale. Having the MAP policy would prevent a store advertising a product but only having say 20 in stock. In my opinion, manufacturers should not be allowing this. ( laws should also be strengthened)

Then there is the subject of inventory. Some stores will readily advertise a lower price but have it "special order." In other words, they don't have it. Having the MAP allows retail stores the benefit of knowing they can hold inventory and not have to compete with those who don't. The manufacturer will benefit by having more retailers carrying the product.
 

Peartree

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It is called MAP - minimum advertised price or minimum advertised policy and there are good reasons for them.
In many cases, the retailers are the ones who request that manufacturers have such policies.

In some industries (audio equipment, HVAC and others) a few vendors/distributors can be so large that they actually buy at such discounted prices that they sell for less than the wholesale price. Obviously, other retailers can be hurt if these prices are advertised and so they ask for some protection from the manufacturer.

At one point in the 1980's it was public knowledge that Rick Case Honda in Northern Ohio was moving so many Hondas that dealers from Texas were able to buy from Rick Case at retail (and transport back to Texas) for less than they could buy from Honda.

It can get weird, but I can see how it happens.
 

slogfilet

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I've noticed this issue with many types of products... some ads say "call for pricing" or some such. One approach I've seen (non-hobby) retailers use is the "add to cart to see price" option. The list (or whatever required) price is advertised on the site, but the "true" price is reflected in the shopping cart.

Is this a possible approach for hobby items?
 

JoeG

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It is called MAP - minimum advertised price or minimum advertised policy and there are good reasons for them.

For the record, Sunward has one.

One reason is to prevent "cheapening" the brand. If someone advertises a product much less than someone else, then the consumer may get confused and not want to pay the higher price in the future.

And then there is also the games retail stores play with specials. The trend is now to have a door crasher or limited quantities of a sale. Having the MAP policy would prevent a store advertising a product but only having say 20 in stock. In my opinion, manufacturers should not be allowing this. ( laws should also be strengthened)

Then there is the subject of inventory. Some stores will readily advertise a lower price but have it "special order." In other words, they don't have it. Having the MAP allows retail stores the benefit of knowing they can hold inventory and not have to compete with those who don't. The manufacturer will benefit by having more retailers carrying the product.
I understand what it's called and the reason for it. It is exactly as you described but it also seems a bit unethical for a manufacturer/distributor to require everyone else to follow the rules but doesn't see the need to do it themselves in their direct sales marketing.

Rest assured all of my eggs are not in one basket as I have several different distributors.

Another of the problems is that those of us who work out of B&M (brick and mortar) stores carry the inventory and the customers come in and fondle the merchandise and then order on line to save a couple of bucks.

Often then they will come back to the store and want us to help them if there is a problem with their online purchase.

Also,just so you know, I purchase Sunward products from another distributor and am not aware of any MAP pricing. Apparently they are not passing that information along.
 

darkhelmet

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Any manufacturer that does things like that does not care who they hurt.
A manufacturer's policies are completely up to the company's prerogative as long as they don't break any laws. They can have restrictive distribution and pricing rules. They can even post racial slurs on certain forums. It doesn't mean we have to buy their products.

:grinch:
 

stickershock23

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A manufacturer's policies are completely up to the company's prerogative as long as they don't break any laws. They can have restrictive distribution and pricing rules. They can even post racial slurs on certain forums. It doesn't mean we have to buy their products.

:grinch:
This is true, They can do what they want. I just said my opinion was that it was a bad choice.

And what racial slurs? do you mean because I said I did not like the president?
That too is my Opinion, and what does it have to do with Race? I don't like the his policies or the way he does things.. but that argument is for another thread.
 

Pantherjon

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I manage a hobby shop within a hardware store. Slaters Hardware is the name of the store and Slaters Hobbies is my particular section. I have about 2000 square feet of floor space dedicated to hobby related items only. You can come in and get all your hobby related items and stuff to fix your toilet all in one trip. :)

Here are some photos if you are interested.

http://s148.photobucket.com/albums/s20/joeG_album/hobby shop photos/
Good thing I don't live near Lancaster, Ohio! I would be a like a kid in a candy store! :happydeer:
 

Len B

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I manage a hobby shop within a hardware store. Slaters Hardware is the name of the store and Slaters Hobbies is my particular section. I have about 2000 square feet of floor space dedicated to hobby related items only. You can come in and get all your hobby related items and stuff to fix your toilet all in one trip. :)

Here are some photos if you are interested.

http://s148.photobucket.com/albums/s20/joeG_album/hobby shop photos/
Just a quick note. I really like the look of your setup. You've made good use of the space. I would love to walk into a hardware store and find a hobby corner. It just seems like a great idea. My local brick and mortar hobby store closed after one of the main proprietors passed away. I really miss it. There's nothing like it around here. Sigh.

Anyway, nice looking place. I hope you do well!
Len Bryan
 

powderburner

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I've noticed this issue with many types of products... some ads say "call for pricing" or some such. One approach I've seen (non-hobby) retailers use is the "add to cart to see price" option. The list (or whatever required) price is advertised on the site, but the "true" price is reflected in the shopping cart.

Is this a possible approach for hobby items?
Just my opinion as a possible customer, but I don't like websites that do that sort of thing because I don't like having to go through all the extra pages, time and hassle just to check a price. (Yeah, I'm lazy.) If you have a price, just put the darn info on the product page with the rest of the info.

Same thing with shipping info. If I have to dig for it, or if I have to log in to plow through the entire checkout process just to see how bad the hazmat will be or how much for priority mail, guess what? That website is gone from my screen and I'm shopping somewhere else.

My 2 cents. I just don't see why anyone has to make shopping any harder than it needs to be. Ever heard of KISS?
 

slogfilet

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Just my opinion as a possible customer, but I don't like websites that do that sort of thing because I don't like having to go through all the extra pages, time and hassle just to check a price. (Yeah, I'm lazy.) If you have a price, just put the darn info on the product page with the rest of the info.

Same thing with shipping info. If I have to dig for it, or if I have to log in to plow through the entire checkout process just to see how bad the hazmat will be or how much for priority mail, guess what? That website is gone from my screen and I'm shopping somewhere else.

My 2 cents. I just don't see why anyone has to make shopping any harder than it needs to be. Ever heard of KISS?
But the issue is that some manufacturers don't ALLOW the true price to be shown on the page... the options are "call or email for pricing" or perhaps "see price in cart." Either one is a hassle for the buyer, to be sure.

I agree that retailers intentionally making pricing difficult to find is a huge pain and a bit shady.
 

sunward

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....Another of the problems is that those of us who work out of B&M (brick and mortar) stores carry the inventory and the customers come in and fondle the merchandise and then order on line to save a couple of bucks. ....
One reason for MAP. Places everyone on a level playing field.

....Also,just so you know, I purchase Sunward products from another distributor and am not aware of any MAP pricing. Apparently they are not passing that information along.
Good to hear.

Sunward products that are affected by MAP generally are not carried by distributors. If they do carry something covered by MAP, they will know about it when ordering.
 

AndyC

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Good thing I don't live near Lancaster, Ohio! I would be a like a kid in a candy store! :happydeer:
Ditto - I'd be in real trouble if I had a local store like that!:hohoho: I know that times are tough, but I hope that folks with such resources nearby appreciate them!
 

Viperfixr

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Good thing I don't live near Lancaster, Ohio! I would be a like a kid in a candy store! :happydeer:
No joke--I would LOVE a hobby store like this where I live. It's such a shame to see small businesses like this shrink to almost extinction.
 

JDcluster

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It's unfortunate that this day & age all that people care about is: Price.
QC has taken a dive due to it & everyone suffers. I go to a hobby shop when I can, but there aren't that many out there where you can walk in & browse like the old days.

JD




No joke--I would LOVE a hobby store like this where I live. It's such a shame to see small businesses like this shrink to almost extinction.
 
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