If you are not safeguarding your brand and you are a step slow in controlling map enforcement on Amazon, you may start bleeding out money at a rate that might be too difficult to manage. One of the more usual examples of Amazon violations is the so called Minimum Advertised Price or MAP pricing violations. Controlling Map Enforcement on Amazon will be able to save you from losing a lot of money and keep your distributor’s trust on you.
If you are worried about not having a head start in your enforcement policies, you have to be circumspect. Although it would be better to have it set up as soon as possible, it is never too late to start and is still better than not having it at all. As your business begins to scale and grow, the utilization of MAP will be able to help you optimize and maintain your revenue and stop a downward spiral race just to win the buy box. In this article, we are going to talk about MAP and understand just how important it is to have this in the forefront of your plans. We will also throw in a few tips and recognize the best ways to deal with whatever may come.
How Controlling Map Enforcement on Amazon can Affect You
MAP is the scheme set up by Amazon that intends to make the sellers of brands and the manufacturers to require a distributor that they have to adhere to. This has been put in place so that they can create contracts with the distributors of their products. Using the same policy, manufacturers can decide what the lowest price the reseller or distributor can tell its clients. However, this only applies to individual or small groups of online buyers. If, for instance, the seller wishes to distribute their products to brick and mortar stores, then this policy need not be in effect. The pricing scheme that third party sellers applies to their wares is distinctly different from MAP pricing. Whereas the price management agreements of Amazon and their third-party suppliers have to adhere to a certain range for their products, MAP pricing is dictated primarily by the manufacturer.
Take a manufacturer contracting a reseller or distributor for instance. To give more clarity to the matter, let us say that both parties have agreed to a MAP policy and are bound by it. If the manufacturer says that they can only advertise the product at a minimum value of $30, then the resellers and the distributors will have no further say in the matter. Without a choice, they have to abide by the MAP policy set forth or they risk having their contract terminated. Amazon can no longer intervene in these situations as they recognize that the manufacturer has the product and they can always take their investments elsewhere if they feel that they are not being sufficiently treated.
On the other hand, brand owners will have a completely different experience in dealing with MAP pricing. Sellers at Amazon, almost all of the time, are indeed unaware about the existence of MAP policies in the first place. This can be quickly remedied however if you are in close contact with your manufacturer. Such an important aspect of Amazon business should not be left out. Another important point that should be remembered is that MAPs are not always encompassing policies. This means that there may be only certain situations where the manufacturer opts to set standards. This way they can give other buyers a bit more room to maneuver compared to other buyers. Of course, how they handle this is completely up to them and they may have varying reasons on why they set their policies as they do. The brand owners perhaps get the brunt of the MAP policy headaches. Because they often repackage the products as if seemingly their own, manufacturers try to make sure that their product will not be taken advantage of in terms of branding and choices of manufacturers. On the other hand, manufacturers do recognize the value of putting reputable branding to their product. In which case, they may offer relaxed variations of their MAP policies for brand owners.
Distribution networks are a pain to deal with if it becomes large enough even with the well thought out Amazon management system. Manufacturers try their best to track their sellers to ensure that they will not fall victim to brand abuses or underhanded reselling strategies. But, as has been said, this may become an impossible task if the distribution base is large enough. Because of this, MAP enforcement may become an issue and could render the policy useless. That is why MAP enforcement has become a point of contention for most businesses that use the Amazon platform.
What Makes Controlling Map Enforcement on Amazon Difficult
If you are new to the Amazon selling platform, you may argue that the system may be flawed if it has become such a chore to manage MAP policies. But, the reason why the manufacturers are having a difficult time enforcing it is because Amazon basically leaves all the policing to them. And the worst part is that Amazon does not recognize MAP policies and will not penalize resellers who do not abide by them. This has made it difficult for manufacturers to work with Amazon. This left the manufacturers no choice but to form the contracts themselves, make their resellers agree to them and enforce it themselves. Adding to the difficulty is that businesses in the US need not disclose information about them. Thus tracking these companies and finding out if they violate the MAP pricing is near impossible. It is not the same in all countries however, such as in the UK where stores are upfront about their stores and the things that they sell. The legal information is available for anyone to see and should they be found in violation of the MAP policy, they can easily be reprimanded or have their contracts terminated.