Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why do I have to put an item in my shopping cart on your website to see the actual price?

“I’m really, really annoyed at Adorama; you are clearly pulling some kind of scam. Why is it that I see a price, but when I put it in my cart the price drops?
You should be honest about your pricing”.

I guess sounds strange……….when you put a chosen item into your cart the price DROPS! If we were pulling a scam, wouldn’t the price go up?? Here’s why:

Many of the manufacturers we represent have a Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) policy, which does not allow us advertise their products on our website below a specific price.

While in the past there has been considerable disagreement in the past regarding what part of an online Store represents an advertisement and which part is actually a commercial transaction, the US Circuit Courts and FTC rulings both agree that MAP agreements do not apply to a customer’s shopping cart on a website, as this forms part of an offer to buy - and is therefore a commercial transaction.

Within the limitations of Adorama’s agreements with the manufacturers who supply to us, there is no way that we are able to display the lower (in many cases MUCH LOWER!) pricing in the open on our website.

However, once you have placed an item into your online shopping cart it becomes a “commercial transaction”; you are no longer responding to an advertisement, and are therefore able to view the actual discounted price that you would be charged.

MAP regulations also affect printed advertising materials, therefore it is entirely possible that an item in one of our sale flyers may appear to be at a higher price than an item on the website; again, you would need to enter the SKU number of the item into your basket to see the correct LOWER Adorama Camera price!

You are probably aware that we offer a number of camera bodies and lenses etc as kits; these are covered by slightly different regulations – but again, once added to the basket the true discounted cost will be revealed.

We appreciate that this isn’t ideal; we do understand that it can be frustrating, as we try to meet our legal obligations alongside our contractual obligations to our suppliers - and of course, provide the lowest possible cost to our customers.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you ever have any questions regarding our MAP pricing policy.

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador

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