Originally Posted by BajaPete
Face it, Sony is pretty shrewd - If you've noticed, for at least the last few years they have kept the PJ's to themselves at product launch, selling them exclusively through the Sony stores for a period of time and then slowly allowing them to trickle out to distribution. In this model they capture market share and maximize their profit margin while excitement is high. why not get MSRP for themselves before they sell to distribution at half that!?!?! Conspiracy theorist? Maybe...... but sure makes sense, doesn't it?
It isn't really shrewd, it is good business in terms of price discrimination especially when your product has value that may be perceived at or above MSRP. Nearly every business that is actually successful does this. If you want it "right now", you pay a premium. If you can wait a few weeks, you pay a few $100 less from an authorized dealer. AVS isn't waiting months to get your order. Sony has no moral obligation to give more PJ's to their vendors either. Their vendors are in a relationship where Sony is trying to generate more profit by expanding their coverage without direct cost to them. No big conspiracy....just smart business. If Sony could sell every single PJ they manufacturer at full MSRP off their website they would. But they can't, so they don't, and give other businesses, like AVS, a chance to make a living by selling Sony's products in ways they can't execute efficiently.
Now, if Sony was charging above MSRP and there was lack of supply...well, that is worthy of a conspiracy theory.
Side topic: Also, sometimes a middleman makes real sense as well since devices in this price range usually need some sort of fostered relationship to make the transaction happen. My guess is the sales team here probably puts more effort into each sale that we think they do. I mean sure, some are probably "order me a 55ES" but some might be months of a person waffling back and forth, asking for information before they settle in on one. This forum is indirectly sales arm for AVScience, do not forget that. Part of the reason they can offer the prices the do is we, as forum users, act as crowd source advertisers giving very valid opinions but also can act as a voice of reason when helping people decide between products in terms of value proposition. This place is amazing in all reality. Could you imagine going to a Best Buy and seeing 100's of people, at any given time, there where the customers all talked to each other about the good and bad of an item and only used the salesman on a selected basis? It would be mind blowing...and that is what AVS is.