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peterleyenaar
Feb-17-2004, 3:06pm
I enjoy perusing the classifieds, I am always surprised when individuals or (especially) dealers don't include pictures, don't include a price , or say "make me an offer" or say "call me"
(usually long distance).

I understand that not everyone has a digital camera, but there is always a friend who has one, not including a price or saying "make me an offer" immediately looses my interest.

I do appreciate those who do include nice pictures, they are a pleasure to look at.

Marc Darrow, among many others, always does a great job # and he is not afraid to tell you what it is going to cost.

Mandobar
Feb-17-2004, 3:11pm
many people find it hard to get a picture to fit the space allowed for the ad and if you have ever listed or sold anything in the classifieds 9.5 times out of 10 people ask for additional pics anyway. #i have listed four or five mandos on the classifieds and have never sold any mandolins using them, (which i find odd). #all have sold via ebay or consigned at shops. #personally i'd rather sell them to cafe members, but the deals never pan out. #i had one fellow ask if he could make "payments" over a few weeks as he had a guitar on ebay that he was selling to partially finance a new mandolin. #i thought about it and told him that if he could complete the deal within 2 weeks i would agree. #never heard from him again.

go figger. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif

mandofiddle
Feb-17-2004, 3:14pm
I think (but correct me if I'm wrong) that dealers aren't allowed to advertise mandolins they deal under a certain price, therefore they put the "Call me for a price". Maybe they aren't allowed to advertise under retail???

BenE
Feb-17-2004, 3:19pm
I think mandofiddle is correct in a lot of instances...

Feb-17-2004, 3:19pm
That's right, it's called MAP (minimum advertised price) & a dealer cannot put a price below that in print without violating his dealer agreement.

jlb
Feb-17-2004, 3:20pm
I've advertised two mandolins in the classifieds with photos and a price listed, and both times got flooded with e-mails the first 2 days asking if I would greatly reduce the price I was asking for...never heard word one back if I said I was firm or only went down a little bit in asking price. #I can kind of understand why one wouldn't want to post a price, because many assume that it is a barter price, and at least then you'd get some sort of idea from the customer at what price they're willing to pay. #I understand the "list price game" is how it works in the retail world, but I don't have the time or energy to play that game. #E-bay, as much as I really do dislike it, has proven a more effective selling ground. #Like mandobar said, myself, and probably everyone here, would rather sell inside our community, but a fickle community we are http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

I can only imagine the headaches dealers put up with playing the MAP game.

LilCreekster
Feb-17-2004, 3:40pm
That's right, it's called MAP (minimum advertised price) & a dealer cannot put a price under that in print without violating his dealer agreement.

Sorry if this a bit off topic, but I've always wondered why that was so with some buliders? Is there a specific reason?

Feb-17-2004, 3:44pm
It's to keep the "printed" playing field level between dealers.

jamman
Feb-17-2004, 3:51pm
Lil Creekster,

It can harm the image of the brand and dealers if there is no MAP.

Say Musician's Friend buys 100 Gibson F9's and can afford to make a minimum profit. If they were able to advertise it substantially lower than their smaller competitors they would be able to corner the market and basically fix the price. This is bad for Gibson, bad for other dealers, and bad for consumers in the end.

Lee
Feb-17-2004, 3:52pm
I would think it's also to avoid the general public associating the printed low price with that builder's name.

Ted Eschliman
Feb-17-2004, 4:17pm
Maybe I can wax a bit more eloquently on the topic of MAP (Minimum Advertised Price)
The Manufacturer/Dealer relationship depends on both parties not only to provide its customers with optimum quality product, but the best "buying experience" possible. This means the Manufacturer does its very best to maintain its own quality control, and deliver a NEAR ready product to its dealer.
This can be nearly impossible with shipping "jostling," with adjustments made to each individual customer tastes (especially in high end product)--these are virtually impossible right "out of the box," so the dealer is responsible for picking up the slack, and the Manufacturer will try to protect the dealer enough to make a "reasonable" margin. This also allows the "better dealer" to provide for a pleasant buying experience, be it a nice show room, a wider selection of product, uncompensated warranty service (paid by the dealer) after the initial sale.
Now, there are laws which prohibit controls over selling price. However, when a customer purchases an instrument, there are many more factors than just price. An unsophisticated consumer might not know the difference between ACME mandolin purchased from a dealer who puts the extra investment, quality control mechanisms prior to the sale, a smooth line of communications to the dealer (who doesn't want to be a showroom), and ACME mandolin purchased from a dealer that just gets a forklift full of instruments and fills orders without taking the aforementioned precautions.
The premium dealer frankly, can't afford to sell at the same price as the forklift/telephone operator business. Math dictates there's overhead that has to be recovered to continue to offer the customer the best service. The MAP policy does not control pricing, it just makes the customer go the extra step to communicate, to find out what is being offered in addition to the price. This not only protects the dealer, it protects the manufacturer.
This is kind of like a safety on a rifle. It's only annoying if your getting ready to shoot a burglar, but it can be a lifesaver if your 4 year-old-son decides it would be fun to play soldier in your gun cabinet while you're taking a shower.
This is even more an issue in the current days of aggressive "import" product. What many of my customers never see is the 2 or 3 instruments A DAY that go back to the factory, before a customer even saw it in our show room. It's our hassle, not yours, and it shouldn't be yours either! I won't go into what we do to our instruments before they make a showroom hook (this is not the place for an advertisement), but suffice it to say, a good dealer has a responsibility to his customer to provide an instrument that's player ready. Unfortunately, this dealer is forced to compete in price with others who might not care that much.
The MAP is a speed barrier. Hopefully it prevents some "crashes."
(Disclaimer: My signature doesn't reflect this, but those how don't already know, I co-own a music store chain.)

J. Mark Lane
Feb-17-2004, 4:28pm
MAP plans are suspect under federal antitrust law, and may be unlawful. Under certain circumstances, they are considered agreements in restraint of trade (violation of the Sherman Act). The law on this is pretty complex. In general, depending on the manufacturer's advertising programs, and/or on how the plans are presented to dealers, MAP plans can be legal. Whether they are good for competition is a perpetual debate. They exist.

Whether that is what motivates the failure to post a price or not is something only the seller knows (mostly). In general, I don't like (a) ads without a price, or (b) dealers posting in the "For Sale" section (as opposed to the Dealer section). But I understand there are arguments both ways, and Scott has struck a balance. Let's live with it.

Mark

mrmando
Feb-17-2004, 4:52pm
Hm. Well, I did put "street prices" in my latest Rigel ad (Rigel having told me they didn't mind if their dealers did this), but we'll have to see whether that works against me or not. I can't sell for any less than the prices I posted, per the terms of the dealership agreement.

I don't think the Cafe itself has any policy about dealers listing prices. If I learn that I have broken any of Scott's rules I will take the prices out of the ad.

Feb-17-2004, 5:14pm
"or (b) dealers posting in the "For Sale" section (as opposed to the Dealer section)."

I think most folks click on the "Browse all ads" anyway, so if a Dealer uses a header (as below) I can't see why anyone should complain.

#
Dealer: New & Used Mandolins

mandofiddle
Feb-17-2004, 5:21pm
Yeah Dale, I just hit "Show photo ads"... Similar method. Personally I don't mind if a dealer is selling under the "For Sale" category. Afterall, aren't they selling something? The only ones I don't care for are the vague and general ones that don't list specific models that the dealer has in stock.

Mandobar
Feb-25-2004, 9:14pm
well, i have to admit, i had my first classified sale and it was a good experience. (although i had several people e-mail me, after the buyer and i came to an agreement, that they would have been interested if it were not on hold- what's with that???)

but, i must say, after i put up a picture and a link to even more pics, there was a lot more response.

Greenmando
Feb-25-2004, 10:14pm
I sold one of two on the classifieds and no problems. I had the one pic several people asked for more pics. The third person agreed with my price and done. Just like ebay, a pic makes a difference.

If I could not take my own pic, I would borrow one from a website and explain why. Thankfully this has not been my problem.

mpeknox
Feb-26-2004, 12:59am
(although i had several people e-mail me, after the buyer and i came to an agreement, that they would have been interested if it were not on hold- what's with that???)

i think what probably happens in this case is that people would still like for you to know they are interested in case something happens to the original deal...personally, i think "on hold" is kind of vague. is it for sale or not? if you really don't want anyone else to contact you regarding the item you should remove it from the classifieds or at least mark it "sold".
just my .02

Greenmando
Feb-26-2004, 1:26am
i think what probably happens in this case is that people would still like for you to know they are interested in case something happens to the original deal...personally, i think "on hold" is kind of vague. is it for sale or not? if you really don't want anyone else to contact you regarding the item you should remove it from the classifieds or at least mark it "sold".
just my .02

I tagged mine as "on hold" when I had a email agreement and I was waiting for the check to arrive. When the check appeared I changed it to "sold". I have been stiffed too many times on ebay and other types of sales to trust a phone call or a email as sold.

mpeknox
Feb-26-2004, 4:59am
I have been stiffed too many times on ebay and other types of sales to trust a phone call or a email as sold.
amen to that...i'm just saying that when an item is listed as "on hold" some buyers (me for example) might want to express their belated interest in the item in case the original deal doesn't go down.

Mastersound
Feb-26-2004, 7:21am
Here in Australia it's more about getting a dealer to buy stock in quantity. I wanted to buy a particular guitar from the local guitar shop I'd been supporting for 30 years. This shop has a dealer agreement with the maker, but they have to buy a minimum number of instruments to be able to buy any. I rang around the "authorised" dealers who keep stock, and they were happy to beat each other down in price. In the end I got the guitar and case for about 30% less than "list price", then took it to my usual guitar shop to be set up to my liking. This manufacturer (and several others) demand purchase of a minimum number of units, so to move those units the shop discounts them. It really had nothing to do with protection of the name or making sure dealers were on an equal footing.

The sad thing is that I would have bought the guitar from my regular shop for retail price. He and his son have always looked after me, so I'm happy to pay the price they ask for a good product properly set up and presented. I want them to be in business for next time I want advice, help, a repair or just somewhere cool to play some instruments and have a chat and a coffee.