Do You Need To Take MAP Policy Warnings Seriously As An Amazon Seller?
Amazon is one of the most welcoming eCommerce marketplaces for complete newcomers. Amazon selling simplifies many of the most difficult steps of finding customers, making the sale, and delivering goods. But it is not completely foolproof either. Many new resellers are scared and shocked the first time they receive a delisting email from Amazon. These threatening emails are over something called a minimum authorized price (MAP) policy. Many are frightened into taking down your listings by a strongly worded email. Rather than do that, learn what MAP is and whether it applies to your selling situation first.
MAP Policy Basics
Manufacturers of retail products set a minimum authorized price for their items. Amazon requires all resellers and other outlets to stay above that price in advertisements. Nothing prevents sellers from further discounting products with coupons, sales, and other deals. Amazon enforces MAP policies for sellers who sign a contract regarding it. However, most manufacturers are worried about price control for brand management. Therefore, they require a MAP contract before shipping their products to retailers or online sellers.
What’s Really at Stake
MAP policy violations are a major problem for full-time Amazon sellers who order hundreds or thousands of products at a time. Even if you’re selling products from dozens of distinct brands, losing one manufacturer’s products can still put a major dent in your sales figures overnight. The manufacturer petitions Amazon to have your product listings removed. Amazon complies if the manufacturer can show proof you dropped below the MAP after signing a pricing contract. Once your listing is restored, you need to repair your supplier relationship. If you don’t, you may find yourself selling the very last of your products.
Amazon generally takes a hands-off approach to MAP policies. But they enforce them when there is clear evidence in the manufacturer’s favor. This can sweep up resellers who are only selling a few yard sale type items and not a steady supply of products directly from the supplier. These sellers are often caught in the new product trap. In order to legally sell a product as new, you must have the permission of the manufacturer in the form of a transferred warranty. If you’re selling something as new below the MAP, the manufacturer can still have the listing removed. This even applies when you’re just getting rid of an unwanted gift from the holidays. Only items sold as “Like New” or some variety of “Used” can fully escape the effects of a MAP policy violation report.
In the end, everyone selling items as “New” should take MAP messages seriously. Most manufacturers don’t bother to file actual complaints against small sellers with no established contract or supply connection. But it’s not worth the hassle of relisting all of your products just to test how serious a company is about their claims.
Don’t let the race to the bottom in pricing lead to MAP headaches and other listing problems. Stand out with optimized, high-quality product pages instead. Hound Dog Digital team transforms each page to drive higher levels of traffic, perform better conversions, and keep customers coming back for more.