A few years back, in an unfortunate and controversial decision, the Supreme Court made it legal for manufacturers to demand that retailers sell their products at a set price. This has mostly played out with ultra-fancy, high end goods such as designer clothes and watches. But now price fixing is happening in the regular consumer electronics market.
This week in a strange “coincidence,” four leading electronics manufacturers (Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic) decided to adopt a price fixing plan known as “UPP.” This means that if a retailer decides to sell a particular item for under the pre-determined price, the manufacturer no longer allows that retailer to sell any of their products in their store.
This move was likely caused by the recent rash of “showrooming,” something we’ve all probably done, where we check out a product in a real store, then shop for a better price online.
So what’s a consumer to do? Keep in mind we have the power. There are plenty of other manufacturers competing with these four Bigs. If you’re willing to spend your electronics dollar on a different brand (which will likely cost a good deal less), major manufacturers will feel the sting and cave.
On the other hand, if you are extremely loyal to one particualar brand, then you will allow price fixing to take hold and have a death grip on your wallet.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. Time will tell who blinks first in this game of chicken.