Sony and Samsung Tell Retailers to Chill Out with HDTV Discounts

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yammerpickle2

Sony used to stand for quality and value. Then Sony stood for quality even if you had to pay a bit more. I can honestly say that I still look at Sony products, but consistently for the last several years have found that the quality has not really been there. They are being outperformed by competitors in both quality and value. It appears to me now that buying Sony is paying just for the name and bloated executives who do not care about their customers, but only their pocket books. This latest pricing policy just shows that they have lost the competitive edge. I bet Sony and Samsung hope they both keep to this policy. In the mean time I hope that the lovely Panasonic plasma sets eat up market share and give Sony another money losing year. Maybe then they will wake up and realize that consumers want value and quality and not some bloated brand that is living in a decades old past.

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TechLarry

Aka MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing). Sony does it. Apple does it. Samsung does it, a lot of MFR's do it.

It's barely legal price fixing IMHO and it should be illegal dammit.

The way they force the retailers to heed to it is by threatening to take away soft-dollars (advertising funds, promotions, special pricing, etc...). It's also kinda funny how stuff can become "low on stock" when you order it and haven't been heeding the MAP pricing.

Some will even remove brand reseller authorizations for not heeding the MAP rules.

It hurts consumers, keeps prices artificially high, and it's about GD time Congress looked into this.

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PhuxAche

Why should Sony and Samsung care? After all, they get their money when they sell stock to retailers. After that, it's up to retailers to sell as they please and at what price.

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maverick knight

Part of it is company image or perspective. Selling a Sony TV under its value is depreciation. If retailers keep doing that there will be a point where the consumer will expect the lower price forcing Sony to meet that demand.

Sony and Samsung TVs are among the best right now.

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Valor958

I'm not so sure I'd lump Sony in with the 'best TV' label. Sony, from my experience, has always been overpriced and undervalued for what you get. You're buying the name. People I've spoken with who've been Sony buyers for life will even openly complain about redshift issues the Sony has never fixed with several tv line-ups. Their LCD tv aren't really that great either. They're competitive for performance, but with higher price it comes down to expecting more since it costs more.
Samsung I do believe to be better than Sony, with LG right up there for LCD tv performance. Plasma, I'd get Samsung or Panasonic.
Since there's still, for some reason, no industry standard on measuring contast ratio, you get sets labeled with a 1million:1 contast ratio and others with a 100,000:1. With the average consumer still being a dolt and not using the interwebz properly... bigger number = better... right? NO.
Maybe I'm harsh, but I don't plan on buying anything from Sony that isn't a clear cut ahead of the rest since you'll pay more just for the brand. Kind of like Bose... meh.

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TechLarry

I agree. Sony USED to be a great TV and electronics company. Now, you can find better, less expensive stuff out there.

They are pricing based on their name, not by the true value of the products.

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tony2tonez

Too bad for them, their TV's suck a$$. Pansonic Plasma TV is where its at. Even their 1st generation 55" TV sell for about $1200 and still kick the crap out of Sony and Samsung in terms of picture quality, color, and viewing angles.

There was actually a article about this posted on Yahoo beginning of April, saying that if you wanted to get a TV to do it soon because Manufacturer's were about to make these kinds of changes. I dont remember 'which manufacturer's', but it was mentioned.

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j_j_montez

I'm with you on that. I picked up a 50" Panasonic plasma for $500. I love it. 600Hz means no streaking, unlike the $1000 lcds I just saw at the store yesterday. I only wish they had it in a matte finish, instead of a glossy.

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Valor958

Plasma is 'better' than LCD for most applications, but not good for a lot of consumers. Early models had burn in issues and you won't really find them under a 40", which is too big for a lot of people. The screen glare made them bad for bright areas, or rooms that had light shining where the TV would be. Some of these issues have been fixed for the quality TVs, and I definitely would put Panasonic on the top of my list for a plasma.

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j_j_montez

My plasma is in my theater room, so I'm not dealing with glare, just some reflection when we have the lights on. I love it for action and sports. I suggested a plasma for one of my clients' media room, but they went with an LED LCD. They paid $500 more for it, and they are regretting the blurring and "weird" display. Live and learn.

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bloodgain

Good idea. Because as everyone knows, when most of the market is more than happy to buy your competitor's inferior equipment at 25-50% less than what you charge, the best way to increase profits is to raise your prices. Now that retailers are forced to charge MSRP for Sony and Samsung, profits will definitely go up. There's no way this will drive more of the market to the cheaper models instead.

Of course, this is really going to hurt the retailers most of all. Someone will figure out a loophole to sell the sets cheaper than the MSRP, and other competitors just don't care and will dare Samsung and Sony to do something about it. Who cares if Best Buy and Target can't compete -- that's their problem. This is just going to hurt them more in the long run, and it won't help them sell more Sony and Samsung equipment.

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TechLarry

Correct again. Greymarketers (those that don't give a shit about authorizations, and thus MAP pricing), will undercut the retailer being forced to sell at list by large margins.

All a Greymarketer has to do is find an authorized company willing to sell them product on the cheap or even at cost (mainly, this beef's up reseller buy rates and allows them to negotiate better royalty rates with the prime distributers), and off we go. The same TV on the internet for a lot less money.

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sundropdrinker3

Also, if Sony and Samsung tv's being sold cheaper than they like is what is hurting Best Buy and Target, et al, then those stores are obviously not doing something right.

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EKRboi

ha.. poor sony.. maybe they have to drop the prices so low because people are not buying your crap anymore after the world has realized how they have an absolutely "ZERO f*cks given" mentality (policy?) when it comes to their customers.

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CaptainFabulous

Apple has been doing this forever. It's not price fixing and it's perfectly legal.

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BlazePC

Heading into this past Christmas holiday season, Sony LCDs were abundant at Costco and at a significant discount. It had been like that for a number of years. Just noticed recently that pretty much all Sonys are now MIA at the warehouse establishment. That is one BIG way to send a message about controlling prices/controlling the marketplace.

The times they are a changing...

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Happy

How is this legal?

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sundropdrinker3

Did you just ask how is it legal for a company to set a price for a product they make, and then tell a retailer how much to sell it for what the producing company said to sell it for? Seriously? Wow.

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LatiosXT

Did you know you can have legal action taken against you in the business world for charging too little? But at the same time you can have legal action taken against you for charging too much.

Business is Calvinball realized.

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bling581

"Business is Calvinball realized."

Lol! +1

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someuid

They should be investigated for price fixing.

"According to Mr. Abt, profit margins are sometimes as low as $10 on some $2,000 sets."

There is no way they could remain in business if selling a tv netted them an entire $10. There is something else they aren't telling us, like that $10 is above the cost of the set plus operating costs (which would include shipping, the building, and everyone's salaries to run the business.)

And that would be fine with me. I'm not interested in paying more to finance future business growth. They can go get a loan for that.

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sundropdrinker3

He said PROFIT, not REVENUE. Profit is what is left over after ALL bills and monies are paid. So yes, they COULD remain in business, they just would not be having a lot of money to throw around.

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Strhopper

Yeah and $10 on $2000 is not a lot of profit....You would be shocked to know what other industry's make per dollar

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