Ever wonder why some e-commerce sites make you add an item to the shopping cart before showing you the price? I’ve seen this a lot on the Best Buy site, but I learned about this while reading a book about Amazon.com.
One way for a manufacturer to force a reseller like Best Buy or Amazon.com to sell their products no lower than a certain price, to maintain their margins or their prestige of being a high priced brand, is to force the reseller to advertise their price no lower than the Minimum Advertised Price (MAP).
E-commerce retailers have found a way around this by not displaying the price until you show them you’re looking to buy the product, i.e. placing the item in your cart.
While annoying to the consumer (I’ve even left websites that have done it) it’s in fact good for the consumer. You’re getting the product for below even what the manufacturer wants the retailer to sell it for. Someone’s profit is being eaten into when you to buy the product.
The games manufacturers and retailers play for consumers to get the best price. It’s also the games retailers play against each other to offer the best price to get your purchase. Fascinating.