What Is Map Pricing?

What Is Map Pricing?

Maintaining your brand value has never been more crucial or difficult than it is now, given the state of the economy. Amazon’s growth has made it easier than ever for buyers and sellers to find the best deals on products.

You don’t want resellers to get their hands on your new Amazon products right after they launch so they can undercut your prices. This is why the enforcement of Amazon’s Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policy is vital.

The term “minimum advertised price” (MAP) is probably familiar to you if you’ve ever sold something on Amazon (or another marketplace). However, there may be more to this policy than meets the eye. For your convenience, we have provided a detailed guide on map pricing policies below. Read on to find out what map pricing means.

What Is Map Pricing — A Quick Overview

Minimum Advertised Price policies, or MAP regulations, are federally regulated retail laws that affect retailers both online and offline. Brands establish the lowest acceptable price (MAP) for their products. While MAP policies have been around for over a decade, the rise of online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay has made them a common language for many businesses.

To combat the development of counterfeits, knockoffs, and imitations sold at low prices, MAP policies are now a standard operating procedure for online retailers. Your business can sell its items securely on the internet and still meet its revenue targets with a solid MAP policy in place.

Acquiring this knowledge is crucial for doing well in the Amazon Marketplace. The intellectual property owner has the right to sever ties with a retailer who repeatedly advertises counterfeit goods at prices lower than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MAP). In most cases, that means losing the ability to sell any products bearing the brand in question.

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Learn as much as you can about the MAP policies in your nation. It should be noted that these relate to the advertised price and not necessarily the final selling price. Therefore, according to US antitrust laws, MAP policies are legal.

How Does Selling on Amazon Affect MAP Guidelines?

You give up full control of your online brand when you collaborate with various third-party sellers, like Amazon. No one can tell you for sure who is selling your product and at what price unless you have a close working connection with a single seller.

Amazon can easily undercut its rivals on price when it’s competing with itself. To a large extent, brands that sell to Amazon or a variety of third-party sellers acknowledge that they have little say over the prices at which their items are sold. Sellers on Amazon and elsewhere will do whatever to secure the buy box, including breaking their MAP policies.

MAP Pricing: Why Is It So Important for Your Brand?

Since up to 92% of online buyers always or sometimes check competitors’ pricing before making a purchase, MAP is a big topic.  Like the product catalog, stock level, pricing, tax, etc., this fundamental policy must be kept up to date. Failure to do so could hurt business if you’re a retailer or the reputation of your company if you’re a wholesaler.

Using MAP pricing policies can help businesses compete more fairly with their counterparts on Amazon and elsewhere.

To safeguard their image and revenues, most Amazon sellers adhere to MAP policies. For brands, enforcing MAP has become a huge burden because marketplaces like eBay and Amazon do not.

Some of the advantages that MAP pricing might provide to your business are as follows:

No price-cutting competition from unauthorized sellers

When all resellers are under MAP mandates, there won’t be one or two competitors undercutting the others.

Prevents price erosion

Price erosionoccurs when a seller must cut their price to compete with unauthorized sellers who don’t follow MAP.

Strengthens distributor relationships

Successful partnerships require developing and sustaining connections with authorized dealers. MAP shows distributors you’re a dependable approved seller. Therefore, distributors are more inclined to continue working with you, and they may even prioritize you when it comes to selling new products.

Levels the playing field

When complying with a distributor’s MAP, small and large stores can compete equally. MAP promotes business fairness.

Safeguards product value

MAP policies ban products from being promoted at different prices in different markets. The purpose of MAP is not to regulate the actual selling price of the goods, but what it’s advertised for.

Does Amazon Have Any Interest in MAP Policies?

No, Amazon is not concerned about enforcing your MAPs or stopping resellers from dramatically discounting your products.

MAP pricing policies are not recognized by Amazon, and Amazon will not participate in the enforcement of such policies. You, the seller, are responsible for drafting these contracts and gaining the approval of your resellers.

Most e-commerce platforms do not give much thought to MAP because they are primarily concerned with driving sales.

What If I Don’t Have a MAP Policy?

Without a MAP policy, your options for responding to resellers who lower their pricing on your products are more limited. You’ll need to provide Amazon with substantial evidence that the reseller violates the terms of service; investigate the specifics of the reseller’s warranty processing, for instance. If you want to contact Amazon, here’s what you need to know:

  • The name of the product, its listing, and any related ASIN or ISBNs
  • The company or company’s name you’re providing feedback on
  • Your order ID

If Amazon looks into it, they may decide to revoke the reseller’s ability to sell on their site. On the other hand, the reseller might not be breaking any laws and be able to keep undercutting you. The safest and most effective method to avoid this is through a MAP policy.

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Ways to Make Sure Amazon Honors Your MAP Policies

Here are a few crucial things you can do to make sure your MAPs are being honored by Amazon.

Express Violations Clearly to Any Amazon Seller

Some Amazon Authorized Sellers may still not adhere to the MAP policy that you roll out to them. Regrettably, companies are responsible for enforcing Amazon’s MAP price standards, as Amazon does not take action against resellers that do so.

If you want to stop widespread MAP violations on Amazon, one effective strategy is to send a clear message to every seller who sets prices below your MAP. When you find an offender, you can send them a letter demanding they stop what they’re doing. The letter’s focus should be on the breach of policy.

Do not hesitate to put a delay on distribution or cancel their approved seller status if the problem is not rectified.

Join Amazon’s Brand Registry

Signing up for Amazon Brand Registry is another effective tactic for Amazon MAP enforcement. Brand registration on Amazon grants access to extensive data analysis tools and brand security measures.

When trying to deter counterfeiters and unauthorized sellers from disobeying your MAP standards on Amazon, you may find that some of the strategies that work for authorized resellers are ineffective. Because of this, registering your Brand on Amazon is crucial.

Amazon Brand Registry is useful for trademark protection but not for avoiding violations of the Amazon MAP policy.

By using the registry, you can control who is permitted to sell your brand and who isn’t, as well as identify any resellers who are illegally using your trademarks so you may take appropriate action.

When it comes to trademark infringement, registered brands often enjoy greater protection than non-registered businesses.

Additionally, using an automated price monitoring technology to keep tabs on the entire marketplace, brands can ensure that their MAP pricing is being adhered to across Amazon. When resellers break your Amazon MAP policies, a price monitoring tool can notify you.

Monitor Sales Channels for MAP Violations

Brands lose track of their supply chain, leading to MAP violations and unlawful reselling on Amazon.

MAP violations amazon easily occur if you don’t keep checks on your major retail partners and methods of distribution. Knowing who you are selling to and who they are selling to in the supply chain is one of the most efficient strategies to stop these violations.

You can identify if a wholesaler or retailer is undercutting pricing by observing the volume of business you conduct with them. You may want to investigate any sudden and unexpected spikes in purchase volume and frequency to see whether your sellers are breaking your Amazon MAP price policy. In such a case, you might want to do some additional research to see if they are selling for below MAP.

Furthermore, if a distributor is breaking your MAP selling standards, you may find out with a quick Google search. You can use Google to find a seller’s website or product listings on another marketplace if you feel they are selling below the MAP policy. If you want to go for it, you can even purchase from them.

Unmasking Amazon MAP offenders can be difficult, especially when dealing with more complex cases where you don’t know who the seller is. In these cases, hiring a private investigator can be an excellent idea.

Incorporate serialization into your products

To keep track of products and determine if a reseller violates MAP policies, it is a good idea to assign a unique serial number to each item. If you find someone selling your goods at a discount from the agreed price and your products are serialized, you can conduct a test buy.

You will know for sure which distributor is to blame thanks to the serial number. This is useful because Amazon doesn’t always require sellers to reveal their true identities, which is useful for those who sell under false names.

Final Thoughts + Info on Venture Capital

In the online retail world, protecting your brand might feel like a constant uphill struggle. If you and your channel partners are on the same page, you have a fighting chance. It’s about more than just the price; it’s about your business reputation. It is always worthwhile to put time and effort into obtaining that.

Hope the above guide helped you understand what is a map violation on amazon and aid in your Amazon brand regain pricing power for a prosperous future. By establishing and strictly implementing an Amazon MAP policy, you can prevent your brand from becoming associated with lower-quality alternatives.

Get in touch with PIRS Capital right away if you need a loan for your Amazon business. We are seasoned professionals at partnering with e-commerce businesses and boosting their owners to new heights of success.

Written by: Mitchell L.

I work with companies that sell products on platforms such as Amazon, Shopify, Walmart, Ebay, Etsy, etc. I understand that every business is unique and thats why I form genuine relationships with owners so I can help them reach their goals and find success through our working capital solutions.

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  • Owner or majority owner must be a US citizen
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