Ebike market - pricing and customer-centric business.

calvin

Active Member
Thereisnoprivacynorrespecthere. Link the forum post. Blame it on me. MAP pricing (Manufacturers Advertised Price) means not competing on price but on service, me thinks.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
There was a discussion here about showrooming a year ago. I think the general impression I got back then was that CL was the online source where you could buy after you showroomed a retailer. It seems to me that there is enough competition in ebikes that people are better off finding the deals, which often leads to the question "Where can I buy this thing"? A lot of times it is online, like Amazon. Amazon doesn't offer test rides, and returns are a pain. So we should all go to dealers to get that test ride? Where's the threshold on that, where the price of walking through the door is too high? You may reduce your margins, but I don't think that is standard. Once you know what you want, price is very high on the priority list.

I just don't understand the pricing in ebikes. If you just check off the features, the parts that stuff the frames, the final prices don't add up a lot of the time. Some brands have high margins, and I assume they want MAP pricing? Some products have a mystique. Some products are basically out of China, not much more than that. The importers don't have promotional budgets, they won't buy a Super Bowl ad. How does anyone know they are there? There is every reason for brick and mortar retailers to stock the highest margin lines and try to make the most money. As a buyer, that makes me very uneasy.

Modern retailing seems to go way beyond MAP and showrooming, the hot topics. I notice a lot of cameras are really hard to get sometimes. If there is no supply and people want the cameras, they end up paying what I call the 'full list' price. And these days manufacturers have websites that compete with their retailers. Retailers get around MAP or other pressures with store credits, free extras, whatever.

I had an interesting discussion with the gentleman who owned the ebike shop where I bought my X3. It was clear what he had to sell every month to make money. He was locked into margins, but it seemed to be working. I asked for a real discount on a Neo and no dice. You could start to rub people the wrong way doing that, drive them online. There's always a tension.