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How Multiple Sellers Can Impact Your MAP Policy

Mario Formica
Oct 23, 2020 4:56:26 PM

Need help managing your Amazon listing?

Controlling the price of your products on Amazon and other ecommerce sites sounds easy enough. But, when you start selling to multiple sellers—some of them may break your minimum advertised price, or MAP policy. The impact of MAP policy violations and the consequences that may arise are critical things every Amazon seller should be aware of.

Let’s take a look at the definition of MAP policy, why MAP policy violations are a huge concern for Amazon sellers, and how to set a successful MAP pricing strategy.

Minimum Advertised Price

  

What is a MAP pricing policy?

To put it simply, MAP is the lowest price at which a seller agrees to have their products sold on Amazon or other ecommerce sites. Your MAP policy dictates how low you are willing to go in order to sell more products. This pricing policy is set by the seller and should be strictly enforced to ensure the product and the brand are not compromised.

Maintaining your MAP pricing gets tricky when you start selling your product to multiple sellers. Unfortunately, many rogue sellers don’t honor MAP policies, and Amazon does little to enforce MAP themselves. Sometimes even brands that sell direct to Amazon deal with the ecommerce giant breaking their pricing policy.

  

What are the consequences of a MAP policy violation?

At first glance, it may be difficult to see the issue with a MAP policy violation. After all, if you've already sold your products to the third-party seller and received your money, what does it matter how much or how little they sell those products for themselves? 

The problem that sellers run into, though, is that if they sell their products anywhere other than Amazon, then they have to compete with those low prices set by the third-party seller. For example, think of price matching offered by some stores. It can be very difficult to have success selling your products on your own website or from a brick and mortar location if a third-party seller is offering them on Amazon for a fraction of the cost. MAP policies, therefore, are an important part of protecting your brand, and it is vital to only sell to third-party sellers that will honor them.

   

Can you sell below MAP pricing?

Unfortunately, a MAP policy is not an ironclad agreement and is something rather easy for others to break without any real consequences. Rather than forcing sellers to avoid selling a product below a certain price, all that a MAP policy does is prevent them from advertising the product below a certain price. This loophole can make MAP pricing incredibly difficult to enforce and underscores the necessity of working with only trusted third-party sellers who will honor your MAP policy without being forced to do so.

   

How to enforce MAP pricing on Amazon

Amazon does not do much to enforce MAP pricing and doing so is a responsibility that mostly falls at the feet of the seller. Thankfully, there are a few strategies to follow to ensure that your MAP pricing is enforced on Amazon:

  1. Communicate any violations to sellers whom you work with and issue a warning that you will place a hold on their distribution or revoke their authorized seller status if the violation is not resolved.  
  2. If you have a valid trademark, register your brand with Amazon Brand Registry so that you can more easily spot and flag unauthorized sellers who may be selling your products below your MAP pricing.

   

Only partner with sellers who will honor your MAP pricing

At SupplyKick, we understand the importance of MAP policies to brand owners who decide to let a third-party sell their products on Amazon. That's why we welcome and even encourage all of our partners to put such policies in place—and we always honor the MAP pricing that we agree to.

Connect with us to learn more about how a partnership with a trusted Amazon seller can protect your brand on the marketplace while growing your sales.

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