Originally published on 3/1/2020
MAP Policy has changed 5/1/2024

What is MAP?

In case you didn't know, MAP stands for "Minimum Advertised Price." It basically means; we are not allowed to advertise in print or online, anything lower than the amount set for by the manufacturer. This does not mean that we cannot sell it for less, it just means we are not allowed to advertise a price lower than the set amount, where search engines like Google, can pick up, the amount and advertise it at their discretion.

For example, Bose may have a map price of $899 for one of their speaker systems. If you put it in an ad, you may not show a price for sale lower than $899. It doesn't matter if the ad is online or in print, the rules are the same. You cannot show the price that is lower than the map price, in this case, $899.

Essentially, we are limited when advertising map protected products, but we can sell these products at any price we choose.

You may be asking, is MAP legal?

Yes, this is perfectly legal under the US antitrust statues. Since minimum advertise pricing only relates to advertised pricing and it does not tell a retailer what they can sell it for in their stores, this practice is legal and serves as a protection for the manufacturers.

In order for a customer to know what they are going to be paying for an item, the price must be hidden, and the customer must intervene some how in order to reveal the discount price. There are many ways to do this, the 3 most common ways are:

  • Having a customer login into a secure site to see the price.
  • Having a customer first add the item to the shopping cart and view the price.
  • Reveal the discount price at the end of the checkout process.

These are the most common ways that are used today and will prevent the search engines from crawling into a site, in order to retrieve pricing. Since the pricing is hidden, the search engine cannot see the price.

Is Map Legal?

What about this site?

In order to view your discount price on our site, you can add the item to the cart, and the cart will pop up the discount price, at this point you are free to remove the item from the shopping cart if you wish.

An even easier way, is to click the "Show me the price of the item" located above the product SKU. This will add the price to a secure mini-cart where it can be reviewed, once you close the mini-cart, the item will be removed. If you wish to purchase the item at the discount price, you must "add the item to the cart" in order to continue.

We have tried to make it as easy for customers to view their discount prices. Please remember that the price shown is only the price for the radio, not any accessories or options that you have chosen. All added radio options will be shown at checkout.

If you are confused, and you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us.