Warning: Canon to Enforce Minimum Advertised Price Beginning April

Unfortunately, we can now confirm the price change rumor we posted earlier this week. Canon will strictly enforce their “Minimum Advertised Price”, or MAP, starting April. We expect to see the listed price at all stores go up to MAP. We’re told that the usual “add to cart” trick will not be permitted.

This would explain the recent spike in great deals as stores rush to clear inventory at low prices.

MAP does not prevent a retailer from selling below the advertised price. However, in our experience, it keeps prices high as retailers are not openly offering deals and competing against one another.

This is the third attempt at MAP enforcement from Canon. The previous two lasted several months each, with good deals being extremely rare during those periods. We don’t know how long this new strict MAP enforcement will last.

At this time we recommend purchasing at the current low after-rebate, refurb, or deal prices.

If you purchase something through a link on our site, we may get a small share of the sale (at no cost to you). Please read our disclosure for more info.

51 comments on “Warning: Canon to Enforce Minimum Advertised Price Beginning April

  1. March 26, 2014 at 8:49 pm EDT

    as much as i’d like to believe this, it could be a ploy to bolster sales. in any regard, there are some great deals going on, thanks CPW.

    1. March 26, 2014 at 8:53 pm EDT

      I can’t really get into details, but it is causing a deep panic in the industry right now — every store is acutely aware and afraid of what this will mean to them. If it’s a ploy by Canon to bolster March sales, it is an awfully short-sighted one at that.

      1. ER
        March 26, 2014 at 9:02 pm EDT

        Even if it is a ploy, Canon can simply eyewash by enforcing the MAP for another round of months/weeks.

      2. Jay
        March 26, 2014 at 9:21 pm EDT

        If they weren’t just trying to boost quarterly sales figures then why would they be running a 20% off sale on refurbs

        1. CanonPriceWatch
          March 26, 2014 at 9:26 pm EDT

          Keep in mind that in the *distribution channel* Canon books sales when retailers (stores) order merchandise and Canon ships it wholesale to them. If they were trying to boost quarterly sales they had to get stores to place orders a month ago.

          As far as I know they aren’t changing dealer net so there is no incentive for stores to “bulk up”.

          Canon’s refurb sales have been totally piddly in the grand scheme of things. We track their inventory so we know exactly what’s been sold. That sale was like 0.05% of their Quarterly revenue, if at all…

    2. March 26, 2014 at 8:54 pm EDT

      interesting. keep us posted.

    3. AH
      March 27, 2014 at 10:46 pm EDT

      I’ll be honest. The price wars have become insane. A friend owns a small camera retail store here in Phoenix, and over the last Christmas period, B&H had the 24-70 f/2.8 II listed for sale BELOW what his wholesale cost was. I think everyone understands that Canon does lower the wholesale cost as bulk order size increases, but it was completely absurd that the Christmas sale retail prices were below the wholesale price for smaller businesses. I have a feeling his business was not the only authorized retailer to complain about what just happened last holiday shopping season where nobody could compete with the prices Amazon, B&H, Adorama, and a number of other online retailers were pushing. I think enforcement of the Minimum Advertised Price is Canon’s way of helping out the smaller businesses that took a hard beating when they couldn’t come close to matching the price of a retailer that gets such steep discounts on their bulk orders.

  2. March 26, 2014 at 8:54 pm EDT

    this would not be a smart move on Canon’s part with all the competition they now face and in this economy.

    1. March 26, 2014 at 8:58 pm EDT

      Yes. Sadly their model appears to be Nikon, which has even stronger price enforcement. Nikon doesn’t allow any dealer to sell lower than their mandated price.

  3. March 26, 2014 at 8:59 pm EDT

    Taylor Perrault

  4. March 26, 2014 at 9:05 pm EDT

    Nikon has a model like Apple, and as a result, I’ve always stayed away from (both of) them. Part of the reason why I like Canon so much (besides their great products) is their culture. Perhaps they are feeling overconfident now that the threat of mirror-less is not as pronounced as initially thought. In any case, I’ve been racking up my glass since Nov. Only thing I’m missing that I really want is the 16-35. I’m curious about the 24-70 II, but since I have the Tamron equivalent, I’m not dying to have it. Anyway, great job on keeping us posted on everything!!

  5. Mly
    March 26, 2014 at 9:13 pm EDT

    CPW – do you think the 24-70 II will be around the current price after rebate around the holiday season?

    1. CanonPriceWatch
      March 26, 2014 at 9:20 pm EDT

      No idea. I try not to predict prices. 🙂

  6. Mly
    March 26, 2014 at 9:31 pm EDT

    Darn it.. Debating whether I should jump on the current deal. Just jumped on the eBay 5d3 deal and bought a Sigma 35mm 1.4 art…. Very happy so far thanks to CPW!

  7. Ken
    March 26, 2014 at 9:32 pm EDT

    Wheres the deal for the 85L? I need one before April.

  8. Matthew
    March 26, 2014 at 10:16 pm EDT

    How can we find the MAPs for each product? Is there a list somewhere? I’m specifically looking for the MAP on the 6D. Thanks!

    1. CanonPriceWatch
      March 26, 2014 at 10:22 pm EDT

      I don’t know of a public list. What I normally go by is the price outside the cart at B&H, or the price at the Canon Direct store. (A third way is regular priced refurbs are 80% of the MAP price.)

      So it looks like MAP is $1899 for the 6D (as per all three methods).

  9. JT
    March 26, 2014 at 10:27 pm EDT

    Anticipating any other good deals before this comes into effect?

  10. Mark J.
    March 26, 2014 at 10:58 pm EDT

    Good time to look at the Fujifilm X-T1 I’ve been wanting. Not much left on my Canon Wish List except a used 500mm f4 IS.

  11. John
    March 26, 2014 at 11:05 pm EDT

    Although it may just be the beginning of the fiscal year, the increase in sales tax from 5% to 8% happening on 4/1 in Japan is most certainly a major point of public awareness (and a reason lots of special sales are happening at this very moment) and possibly a focus for policy changes.

  12. March 27, 2014 at 7:06 am EDT

    Is that really legal?

  13. Eric
    March 27, 2014 at 7:41 am EDT

    Ian you can go buy Nikon Sony Tamron Sigma Olympus Pentax etc they do not have a monopoly on cameras. MAP pricing is extremely common.


    1. March 27, 2014 at 9:31 am EDT

      That, and the FTC article therein linked, suggests that its legality is rather borderline. Be interesting to see how this plays out and if it simply shifts sales to the unauthorized/grey import segment.

  14. Jim
    March 27, 2014 at 9:13 am EDT

    I wonder how this will impact prices on bid and ask sites like Greentoe?

  15. Shane
    March 27, 2014 at 10:48 am EDT

    This is a plus for the used market, for what that’s worth.

    1. Shane
      March 27, 2014 at 10:50 am EDT

      Oops didn’t mean to put email there. Can we moderate this?

      1. CanonPriceWatch
        March 27, 2014 at 11:07 am EDT

        Done. 🙂

  16. March 27, 2014 at 11:01 am EDT

    This sucks I’ve been saving up to get on one of these deals now it seems like when I’ll have enough i won’t be able to

  17. john cho
    March 27, 2014 at 1:47 pm EDT

    CPW, does MAP affect eBay or grey market?

    1. CanonPriceWatch
      March 27, 2014 at 2:14 pm EDT

      eBay yes. Grey market, not directly, but we have seen grey prices be higher during times of MAP.

  18. Mark
    March 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm EDT

    I’m a little surprised to see so few double-dips as we near the end of the rebate period? At the end of last year, double-dips running multiple days through-out the whole rebate period seemed to be the norm. I’ve been watching for a double-dip on the 70-200 f/4 is for 3 weeks now.. Any idea if/when more deals might be announced?

    1. CanonPriceWatch
      March 27, 2014 at 2:15 pm EDT

      Today would be the day (if from B&H or Adorama), as most camera stores will close tomorrow at noon and stay closed until Saturday evening.

      There’s always a chance BuyDig might run some insane special on eBay, they could do this as late as Saturday.

  19. Mark
    March 27, 2014 at 3:35 pm EDT

    I’m curious if there will be another CPW group-buy now that this MAP policy issue has come up? Was the previous group buy a success, any issues?

    1. john cho
      March 27, 2014 at 4:01 pm EDT

      Yes! Group buy on 1Dx pls 😀

    2. CanonPriceWatch
      March 27, 2014 at 4:38 pm EDT

      Yes, we will have future group buy deals.

      I’d say the previous group buy was a mixed success — we took too many orders and there are a few people who still haven’t received their lenses.

      We’ll more aggressively shut it off in future group buys.

      But the vast majority of people should are happy 🙂

      1. Aron
        March 29, 2014 at 10:49 pm EDT

        Please do let me know when, I really want to get the 85mm f1.2 and 16-35mm ii. I missed all the deal, and was hoping to get the refurbish one, but no luck. Please do it soon CPW!

  20. March 27, 2014 at 6:17 pm EDT

    Where’s the “DISLIKE” button?!?

  21. Brian
    March 27, 2014 at 6:46 pm EDT

    CPW, you mentioned that “MAP doesn’t prevent a retailer from selling below the advertised price”. How do you think they will do that without the “add to cart” trick?

    Also, will MAP affect bundled pricing, where retailers charge MAP pricing but throw in other accessories, or bundle kits at a discount?

    1. Shane
      March 27, 2014 at 9:41 pm EDT

      In my experience of MAP, if a dealer sells below it, then they can have their dealer status revoked. No more supply from Canon. (This happens with EcoTech product in the aquarium hobby). It’s basically never on sale, and no retailer has incentive to since all other retailers abide by the same price regulations to maintain dealer status.

      As far as the bundle thing goes, that’s interesting. Couldn’t they offer extra rewards like amazon and B&H do? Never thought of that.

  22. March 28, 2014 at 2:20 am EDT

    I don’t buy vast quantities of gear but having ‘no discount sales events’ happen in any of the stores here from the end of March through until roughly school-is-out-time, has been “the norm” for at least the past five years. Everything manufacturer is on-sale over x-mas season then the boxing-day and post-boxing sales events, then zip, all the sale-pricing disappears for a few months. That has happened consistently here for Five years, this doesn’t appear to be anything different. They wouldn’t try it at x-mas, they’d be spitting into the wind.

  23. Sly
    March 28, 2014 at 11:19 am EDT

    Do you think Canon will have restock 16-35 L on refurbished sale

  24. aron
    March 29, 2014 at 11:58 am EDT

    I been waiting for the 85mm f1.2 ii and 16-35mm ii restock at their refurbished store, it never in stock, been constantly checking it every hour for almost a week! I wondered they would take the lens out before they even announce the refurbished sale. Hopefully they will today, really want to get those two lens..

  25. Rosanna
    March 29, 2014 at 12:55 pm EDT

    I hate the fact that they want the UPC symbol off the lens box. Why? Isn’t proof of purchase via a receipt enough!

  26. Billy
    March 29, 2014 at 3:36 pm EDT

    Really wishing I had gotten in on the Christmas sales now…

  27. March 29, 2014 at 9:55 pm EDT

    F canon. I’m switching to Sony or Panasonic. They’re making more progress technologically anyway. Canon is stupid and this is a straw that is breaking the camel’s back

  28. Jay
    March 31, 2014 at 11:22 am EDT

    All B&H prices seem to be at the minimum advertised price now

  29. Alex D
    March 31, 2014 at 9:47 pm EDT

    Here is what SBA.gov (Small Business Administration) has to say about MAP and price displays in shopping carts:

    What Does this Mean for Online Businesses?

    Under typical MAP agreements, online retailers can’t “display” any prices that fall below the MAP price. But which part of an online store actually represents advertising display space has caused quite a bit of controversy. For example, say a product is listed on a site for $10. Once a coupon code or other incentive is applied, the actual shopping cart price could come down to $8. Is that still considered “advertising” since a transaction technically hasn’t yet occurred, or is it a commitment to buy and outside the scope of a MAP agreement?

    The difference between an advertised price and an actual price that you may be charged has come under scrutiny by U.S. Circuit Courts and FTC rulings, which tend to agree that an actual price displayed in a secure/encrypted shopping cart isn’t subject to MAP – because it’s technically not advertising space, but represents an actual storefront. So in an online world, an actual price may legally end up being a lot lower than the MAP-required advertised price.

    In fact, manufacturers are often advised to focus their MAP policies on advertised prices in paid search ads, shopping comparison ads, and internet landing pages but not in shopping carts or other point of sale interfaces.

    Read the whole story on MAP here: http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/how-minimum-advertised-pricing-impacts-your-retail-or-online-store%E2%80%99s-marketing-effor

  30. RDW
    April 24, 2014 at 7:18 am EDT

    Well I have all the Canon gear that I’m going to have for awhile anyway. As far as all the other accessories, I just get the Yongnuo version, much cheaper and works just as well. Good luck with that Canon.

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