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MAP and MSRP practices of online resellers

Postby NoMilkToday on Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:25 pm

another_jim wrote:<snip>

I liked the Compak best of the ones I tested, since it had a slightly better motor than its rivals. It's good to hear that they've improved the flimsy on/off switch as well. Sadly, their US importer is currently not making this model available at even a remotely reasonable price, the US MSRP is about 60% higher than in the rest of the world. So I suspect that other commercial conicals grinders will be the norm in the US market.

Quite frankly, I don't understand how espresso manufacturers regularly end up destroying themselves like this here in the US. Cimbali and Reneka are two more examples -- they own large chunks of the market everywhere on the planet except the US, where they are not a factor, since their importers add medieval level markups.

Hi Jim,

Sad story. The price Chris Coffee asks is $ 1.417,50 for the K10 WBC. Calculated to Euros gives me 1.124,87. I paid Euros 1.129,= which is about the same amount.
Both 1st-line and Espressoparts ask $ 1.417,50. Weird though is that these two companies pretend they give a discount by quoting $ 2.025 as being the regular price ("You save $ 607,50"). Since several years, this cheating practice is outlawed in my country. These two companies should be ashamed about themselves. In what way Compak USA is involved in this pricing affair is hard to tell. Anyway, the grinder is great and that's the point, as is the real (competitive, I think) price to be paid.

Regards. Wilco



...split from Compak K10 WBC grinder - user report by moderator...
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Postby chris on Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:59 pm

Excuse me but BOTH companies DO NOT practice what you are referring to. I do not and NEVER have!
http://www.chriscoffee.com/produc...inders/compak10wbc I do however have to post M.A.P. pricing which is dictated by the manufacturer. All someone has to do is call and ask for a better price if they are really interested in purchasing one. We have them in stock as well as the shorter hoppers.
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Postby HB on Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:27 pm

NoMilkToday wrote:These two companies should be ashamed about themselves. In what way Compak USA is involved in this pricing affair is hard to tell.

As Chris said, some manufacturers require that the dealers display Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) in their ads. That's why you'll frequently see "Call for better pricing" on websites because they can sell for less than the MAP, but can't advertise a lower price.
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Postby edwa on Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:54 pm

I'm sorry I wasn't able to thank you sooner for posting that picture. It's hard to get internet, let alone a good espresso where I was today. :)
Image

The K10 looks about as high as your Duetto from the photo so if the hopper is anything like a short Mazzer hopper than the unit is somewhere around 21" high. It won't fit under my cabinets but its still an attractive looking set-up.

Do the ones in the US have the more reliable on/off switch?

PS: Kudos to Chris for cruising the boards and finding something he needed to weigh in on. You'd think he'd be cruising sites other than coffee on his weekend!
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Postby perstare on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:12 pm

MAP agreements were illegal (because of their inherent anti-trust aspect) until the conservative Bush Supreme Court ruled otherwise in a 5-4 ruling in 2007. In effect giving businesses additional pricing strength, ultimately driving up prices for the consumer. I'm not a lawyer, but I remember this well as I felt that big business scored another advantage over the consumer. (It's no secret that the Bush court has been very pro business).

I think many consumers are not inclined to realize that they can always ask for better pricing. They may not get it with every vendor, but it doesn't hurt to ask especially if you are serious about buying the product.

I have nothing but good things to say about the vendors who support this site.

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Postby wildbwilson on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:25 pm

I just checked 1st line and espresso parts web sites and they do indeed engage in the practice Wilco referred to, sorry Chris. You may not do it but they do. Personally I don't trust an online retailer who pulls that stunt.
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Postby another_jim on Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:01 am

I bought mine for $750 FOB from the factory, which was Compak's qty 1 price last year. After shipping and customs, it came to around $900. There were heavy discounts if someone bought more. When the import agreement went through, and the factory stopped selling at qty 1, I was emailed by several HK sellers offering the same price.

As far as I'm concerned, the whole distribution model these companies use is nuts. There's a very legitimate role for people like Chris and Jim P who offer terrific service and marketing, buy in quantity, and have low markups. But some clown who calls himself an importer, rents a U-store locker, buys 3 machines a year at qty 1 prices, then doubles their price before sending it to retailers, is simply putting the brand out of business. The 68mm Macap is available under $1k. The Compak is a slightly better grinder, but if it isn't priced roughly the same, it won't sell.
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Postby shadowfax on Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:03 am

HB wrote:As Chris said, some manufacturers require that the dealers display Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) in their ads.


I don't think that the case of the pricing for the K10 WBC on EPNW/1st-Line is an instance of MAP, but rather Manufacturer's (Importer's?) Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). The idea of such an unrealistically high MSRP does seem a little bit trite, but despicable? I think that some of us might need to get a grip on our sense of proportionality: Stealing someone's purse is despicable. Kicking a stranger in the crotch is despicable. Claiming a ridiculously high retail price, but still selling your goods at the going, fair market rate is silly, not despicable; it seems like a rather petty thing to outlaw, in my opinion.
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Postby NoMilkToday on Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:40 am

This morning I found a message in my mail from Chris Nachtrieb, who wrote "I think you owe me an apology on the public forum. That was a cheap shot and the worst part is that was not true".
My reply to him was that he had to become a more accurate reader. It was not him who has to be ashamed of himself but his competitors. They are the ones who fool their customers in letting them believe they got a huge discount.
So Chris, I think it is not me but you who need apologizing :)

Anyway, the above posts of Chris and Dan Kehn made me wondering about the consequences of MAP and the "Call for better pricing" statements on websites. My interpretation is that the quality of your negotiating talents determines the eventual price you pay. I associate this with buying products on the market of a third world country. Introvert types seem to be the victim of this practice. Let's hope your new president will rollback these super-capitalistic measures of the present president.

To EdWa: 1 inch = 2.54 cm. When I calculate this accurately, my outcome of the total height of the K10, including the 275 grams hopper, is 19 inch, not 21. And if this does not fit, then you seem to have extremely low hanging cabinets. Perhaps you could place the grinder on a side table?
Further you ask "Do the ones in the US have the more reliable on/off switch?" I presume the answer is "yes" but I am not shure. You could check with Chris Nachtrieb. And should you do this, then you can also check the real price to pay for a K10 and report this back to us. If Jim is correct, this could be (depending on your negotiating power) under $1k. And if that is true, man, than the K10 really is the deal of the century, so to speak. I hardly can believe that.

All this talking about prices can distract attention away from the real topic, the very significant increase in quality of your espresso by using a big conical like the K10. And perhaps a bit buried in my report: the La Marzocco single basket is truly wonderful! In comparison with other single and double baskets this thing results in a much better look, mouth feel AND taste. And to top it off, it is far less sensitive to little errors in dosing, distributing and tamping. Disclaimer: a convex tamper gave me better results than a flat one. For 15 bucks this a no-brainer. Buy it or ask Santa.
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Postby Stuggi on Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:41 am

shadowfax wrote:I don't think that the case of the pricing for the K10 WBC on EPNW/1st-Line is an instance of MAP, but rather Manufacturer's (Importer's?) Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). The idea of such an unrealistically high MSRP does seem a little bit trite, but despicable? I think that some of us might need to get a grip on our sense of proportionality: Stealing someone's purse is despicable. Kicking a stranger in the crotch is despicable. Claiming a ridiculously high retail price, but still selling your goods at the going, fair market rate is silly, not despicable; it seems like a rather petty thing to outlaw, in my opinion.


It's still a bad business practice, and should be outlawed since it implies that you get a HUGE bargain to make you spend money just to get it so incredibly cheap. It's designed to support impulse shopping so the buyer does not compare your business to other vendors that might be able to offer a better deal. It's not fair, it's deceiving and it's in the gray-zone of what goes under the terms of an open market, and should therefore be outlawed.

To you and me the above might sound silly since we understand concepts like MSRP and MAP, but does you average American?
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