Minimum Advertised Price

 

What is a MAP or a Minimum Advertised Price?

A MAP is a minimal amount of money resellers are not going to advertise below. For example, if a company sets a MAP price of $30 for their best selling product, resellers have to advertise this product at $30 or more. If a reseller advertises the product ar $20, this will be a violation of the MAP agreement which is part of the whole brand protection on Amazon.

 

In fact, implementing MAP agreements across a competitive marketplace is not a piece of cake. Making such agreements clear and understandable for your partners and resellers is essential, especially on Amazon.

 

Let’s discover more details about Minimum advertised price and see how it works.

 

What Are MAP Agreements For?

This kind of agreements are aimed at:

  • Promoting fair competition.
  • Maintaining brand value and identity.
  • Preventing underpricing.
  • Allowing small sellers to compete with large ones.
  • Protecting margins.

 

Still, not looking at the fact that MAP agreements protect sellers’ margins, this is not the only concern. Keep in mind brand identity. A product of a cheaper price can be assumed belonging to another brand by customers. Consistent pricing is what tells customers about brand value, as people are ready to pay for the brand and high quality. Low price is associated with the counterfeit. Amazon can’t allow counterfeiters to sell on the marketplace, as they have customer experience on the top on their values. So, MAP violators can suffer the same sanctions as counterfeiters.

 

How to Stop MAP Violators

Is a supplier or a manufacturer finds out that resellers violated the MAP agreement, they can contact this reseller and learn more about why the reseller does that.

To address a minimum advertised price policy violator, a manufacturer should:

  1. Make a list of all MAP violations by the specific reseller.
  2. Send a message to this reseller and state that MAP will be enforced.
  3. Remind these people of their obligation to respect MAP and tell that they can be banned to sell products from your brand.
  4. Give just one warning before banning the reseller who has violated the MAp agreement.
  5. Monitor MAP and pricing further.

 

If a former violator does the same thing once more, you can contact Amazon regarding this problem.

 

Don’t You Have a MAP Agreement?

Manufacturers usually require sellers to sign MAP agreements with them. Still, if there is no signed agreement, they have little power and can’t influence resellers’ pricing. With MAP agreements, retailers can protect themselves against any price violations and can shut down all unauthorized listings. In some cases, manufacturers can remove such listings even without a MAP agreement, if the case is important to Amazon.

For example, if a reseller can’t provide the same warranty that a manufacturer does, Amazon is likely to terminate such listing.

 

If you have faced such a situation, collect the following data and submit it to Amazon:

  • The ASIN of the product.
  • The business name (or the store name) of the violator.
  • The order ID.
  • Your explanation and details of the violation.

 

MAP violators will receive notices based on law and their selling privileges will be completely terminated.

 

How to Protect Yourself from MAP Violations

If you come across MAP violations in future, here is the list of things you can do to protect yourself.

 

  1. Learn everything about tricks of unauthorized resellers. Be ready that there are resellers who want to trick you or other manufacturers. You should know how they do that to prevent them from violating a MAP policy. Look for some tactics they use on the Internet or on social media to know what to be ready for.

 

  1. Keep an eye on your distribution channels. Unauthorized selling or so-called grey market is a well-known sellers’ issue. So, you should know all your distributors and be sure that they are authorized.

 

  1. Contract reviews. All brands usually have a MAP policy for retailers which sell their products. Brands should limit the distribution and sign an agreement with every authorized retailer.

 

  1. Use product serialization. Resellers often open a store under a different name to sell products illegally and violate MAP agreements. Serialization is recommended to prevent this. This is done for tracking each sale.

 

  1. Work with ‘Trap buy’ programs. A brand has to make a test buy first. If the item is serialized (see point 4). The brand can track the sale, so if there are some violations, measures can be taken.

 

  1. Don’t let resellers compete with your brand on Amazon. The price must be fixed for everyone. Prohibit them any competition and write that down in your contract.

 

  1. Create enforcement plans for MAP with your retail partners. Start open dialogues with retailers. Clear your brand guidelines to them and let them know that violating MAP policies won’t be good for them.

 

  1. Register your brand on Amazon. After you become a participant of Amazon Brand Registry program, you get the privileges of using premium content, reporting tools and be protected by Amazon.

 

Learn more about Amazon brand registry from our article. Amazon protects registered brands more precisely and this includes protecting minimum advertised prices too.

 

Final Thoughts

In addition to everything mentioned above, we recommend you being consistent. You can always act along MAP pricing agreements no matter whether someone violates them or not. Knowe Amazon guidelines, follow the rules, play fair, and keep an eye on your resellers.