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Fender Eliminates MSRP

...that the step is being taken to eliminate consumer confusion. “MSRP within the context of advertising and promotion has taken a secondary role to MAP, and at this point it’s really become an extraneous number,” he said. Specifically he referred to increasingly common instances where a potential guitar buyer is reviews advertised pricing in a store with a smart phone in hand, checking a variety of websites where a product is presented at MAP pricing that is commonly inconsistent with MSRP. “This is the confusion we want to get rid of,” he said. “We have a broad and complicated product line. Adding an extra level of pricing makes it more confusing and dilutes the perceived value of the brand.”

Although Fender will stop referencing MSRP as of July 7, the company is working with its retailers to phase out MSRP references by the end of the year. McDonald says, “We understand that with catalogs, websites, and other promotional materials, there is a lot of work involved in removing MSRP references. We are committed to helping our dealers work through this process with as little inconvenience as possible.”

MSRP prices have been quoted in the music industry for decades, even though few if any consumers, have ever actually paid them. Despite this long-running practice, McDonald noted that getting rid of them doesn’t require a revolutionary transition. “Premium brands in the watch and camera industries gave up MSRP long ago and made the shift to advertised prices,” he said. “Their experiences have been very positive. We’re just following proven practices.”

Fender’s new pricing policy is part of a larger effort to, in McDonald’s words, “look at everything we do through the eyes of the consumer. Fender is a brand that excites passions around the world, and our customers have high expectations about how the products should be presented, serviced, and sold. Our job is to work with our retail partners to make sure those expectations are met, and hopefully exceeded.”

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