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How Do I Handle Pricing?

Protect Your Brand With MAP Monitoring and Enforcement.

If you're going to race, you might as well race to the top, not to the bottom.

E-commerce is full of vibrant and active retailers. This makes the industry alive. The competition can be a problem, too. Sellers can get too focused on achieving their own short-sighted goals, forgetting that their true mission is to build value for brands like yours.

Do you have an action plan to maintain a positive business environment for all your stakeholders? The most effective way of preventing a race to the bottom is to implement a policy for 'Minimum Advertised Pricing' (aka MAP).

MegaRhino's MAP Monitoring is a premium service offered to all of our Brand Partners at no cost.

What is a MAP Policy?

MAP policies set the minimum price for which retailers agree to advertise products. If you set MAP at $299.99 for Product X, all sellers of Product X who have signed the MAP policy are obligated to advertise Product X for no less than $299.99.

Benefits of MAP

Forge better partnerships with sellers and suppliers alike, by promoting a unified pricing strategy that is more profitable for everyone.

Improve your brick and mortar sales by discouraging showrooming. Showrooming is when your customers visit a brick and mortar outlet to research your product and then buy the product online at a lower price.

Prevent devaluing your brand. Controlling your supply chain and enforcing your MAP policy ensures that sellers race to the bottom, devaluing your product and brand along the way.

Writing a MAP Policy

Here are some pointers to help you write a MAP policy and take your brand to the next level:

NOT One Size Fits All -- Cookie cutter templates are a sure path to frustration. When crafting a MAP policy, you need a policy that is custom-tailored to reflect your unique customers, sellers and business conditions.

Make it Legal -- Hire a professional who knows MAP policies. A professionally crafted policy enables you to efficiently deal with MAP violations when they occur.

Enforce It -- Design a MAP strategy that can be enforced. Otherwise, you'll waste your effort, further devalue your brand, and alienate your sellers.

Implementing MAP

Failure to implement a MAP policy causes major problems. It devalues your brand and negatively affects sales. Short-sighted resellers abuse your trust and you suffer the consequences.

There is no better time. Start now. Create a MAP policy. Require all new and existing sellers of your product to sign the policy. For e-commerce sellers, document the names of their online storefronts as part of the process.

Monitoring MAP

Despite the fact that adhering to MAP is better for everyone, resellers use gimmicks to side-step MAP to get ahead of the competition. Here are some common tricks of which you should be aware:

"Buy One Get One" -- Sellers advertise your product at full MAP price, but then sell your product at a much lower price per unit.

“Add item to cart to see actual price" -- Online sellers ignore MAP policies with this method because the shopping cart is not considered an advertising zone.

“Contact us for a quote” Sellers then offer your product below MAP pricing. Since they're not actually advertising the prices, they think they can get away with it.

Price below MAP -- Sellers blatantly break the policy, hoping that you are too busy to notice or care.

These tactics enable sellers to increase their sales volume. Unfortunately, they are minimizing their revenue and devaluing your product and brand in the process.

Manual MAP monitoring is time-intensive and tedious. Hiring a third-party firm for your MAP monitoring is expensive. MegaRhino's MAP Monitoring is a premium service offered to all of our Brand Partners at no cost. It's a no brainer!

Enforcing MAP

As the brand owner, it is your duty to defend the integrity of your brand and products. Enforcing your MAP policy is one of the best ways to do just that. Confronting a MAP violator can be uncomfortable. Here are some steps to make it as straightforward as possible:

Gather Evidence -- After spotting a MAP violator, the first thing to do is document the activity. Grab screenshots of the below-MAP advertised price. Then, determine who the seller is and confront them regarding the concern. Remind them of your MAP policy and strongly encourage them to act in line with the agreement.

Take legal action -- If sellers do not comply with your request, send them a cordial and firm cease and desist letter. If the violator is an e-commerce seller, simultaneously open a case against that seller on the e-commerce marketplace.

Stop Supplying the Violator -- When all else fails, close the holes in your supply chain and establish an exclusive selling agreement with a reputable third-party seller like MegaRhino. MegaRhino will work hard to protect your brand.

MegaRhino MAP Monitoring

MegaRhino's MAP Monitoring is a premium service offered to all of our Brand Partners at no cost.

Becoming a Brand Partner with MegaRhino ensures that MAP violators will be quickly identified and dealt with in a professional and effective manner.

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