Audio Equipment Pricing

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Prices – In the world of Pro-Audio gear prices fluctuate as much as the market. Pro Audio and Recording Gear pricing doesn’t follow the same rules as most other markets. A grocery store for example lists its items at retail prices, then they are marked down for sales and with coupons. Most of the time getting an item for 20% off retail is a pretty good deal, 40% is amazing, and 60% off means they are just trying to get rid of it. In recording gear buying something at retail is unheardof, 20% is kind of a rip off, and 40% off is a good deal. The crazy thing is that the grocery store probably makes a lot more profit on a $100 sale than the recording gear store. I don’t know why the recording equipment market has become like this, but the consumer often has the attitude that if the person selling the gear is making any profit, they are ripping them off. It is really kind of ridiculous, but that is the way it is. There are a few main terms to remember in Pro Audio pricing.

Retail: The list price of the item. This is also refferred to as MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price). Like I mentioned above if you pay retail for most anything in recording equipment you are getting ripped off. There are often accessories and other industry items (like CDs and books) that legitimately sell at retail, but everything else is marked down considerably.

MAP: This stands for Minimum Advertised Price and is defined by the manufacturer. This is usually between 20% and 40% off of retail. This price could realistically be called the Manufacturer Suggested Sale Price. Retailers are not allowed to advertise any lower than this price in fear of losing their right to sell that manufacturer’s products. What this also does is makes it so that no retailer can basically charge any higher than this price for the item.

Street: This is the average sale price of an item. Most of the time it is the same as MAP, but many times there is no defined MAP price or the street price is below MAP. Since MAP pricing is confidential between manufacturers and dealers this site will simply state the street price (which most of the time will be the MAP price).

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