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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is my Fujitsu story.


A few months ago after reading this forum daily, I decided on the Fujitsu P50. After deciding on this unit I naturally tried to find the "best" price.

Lucky for me there were 3 authorized dealers within 20 miles (N.Y is a very concentrated place).


You would think that with three seperate dealers who have no relation whatsoever, at least one would try to compete or edge out the other by dropping its price to get the sale.


I was wrong. Not one of them would budge. I was extremely frustrated and it made no sense whatsoever. So I asked one of the sales reps this simple question. Why were they competitive with a Panasonic or Pioneer but not Fujitsu.


He said of the record, all Fujitsu dealers were afraid of loosing there authorized status if they were "caught" selling off the list price.


If that is not anticompetitive then what is.


I ended up buying the ES (European model) in the Axis of Evil (Canada) I found a dealer there who was willing to negotiate.
 

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You should report that to the Federal Trade Commision. I am not sure if it is illegal, but it should be. I know that the recording industry finally got busted for price-fixing, so maybe it is.


Tim
 

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Although I am a lawyer, I am not going to begin to delve into the anti-trust, unfair trade practices, etc. issues that could be raised here.


What I will say is that I contacted 3 dealers near Philadelphia about the SD 42" Fuji. One dealer wouldn't move off of MSRP, one dropped it about $250 and the third went down another $250. If Fuji is threatening its dealers, the Philadelphian's haven't gotten the word. Couldn't the dealer who told you what he told you just have been yanking your chain, hoping that you would just throw up your arms and give in?
 

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This is probably legal. Price fixing is where 2 or more sellers get together and colude to keep their prices level. This is a situation where one manufacturer contractually requires that all its vendors use the MSRP or else lose the right to sell. I believe that is legal.


Fujitsu is abnormally paranoid about one segment of its vendor network undercutting another. My guess is that they are particularly concerned about any vendor who might undercut chains like the Good Guys that are major contracts for Fujitsu. Thems the breaks...
 

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I think trainerbob is being sarcastic, ie: trainerdave a fuji rep, trainerbob a troll.


mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ferky,

$250.00 is chicken feed (you probably charge that for a 1/2 hour). If you compare what MSRP is for Panasonic and Pioneer, and then compare it to what you can find it online or locally, that is the kind of savings I am talking about!
 

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I agree this is an objectionable practice, but AFAIK it is not illegal and you would probably be wasting your time complaining to the FTC or any other government agency. A few other companies, such as Marantz, do the same thing.


Such companies have evidently decided that their product is thought by prospective customers to be so superior to the competition that they can afford to charge stiff premium prices and restrict their distribution to dealers who are willing to "play ball" with them and gang up to screw the consumer.


As the supply, prices, and quality of plasmas continue to improve, I suspect sooner or later Fujitsu will see the folly of its ways and decide to compete fairly in the marketplace. Meanwhile, about the only defense a plasma shopper has is to buy another brand, and avoid entirely patronizing stores which carry Fujitsus. If Fujitsu wants to blackball dealers who won't dance to its tune, no reason buyers can't reciprocate against those who will.
 

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Trainerbob - I think it's unfair to blame Fuji's pricing on some 'big brother' watching over the little authorized dealers and slapping them when they get out of line, especially when you made it up. Fuji's lack of discounts, as I'm sure you know, is a direct result of the company's ban on internet sales. You don't get Pannys and Pios $1000 or more off MSRP at B&Ms, you get those great prices on the net (saw the 42" SD Panny at CC for $4500 this weekend - pity the poor guy who pays that).


Unfortunately, Fuji took a different approach to internet dealings and it has kept their prices up and pissed off lots of consumers. But I think that it's unfair to insinuate a price-fixing scheme or other anticompetitive behavior on behalf of a large corporation because you want to "poke fun" at an employee who frequents this board. Fuji doesn't authorize internet sales, so B&Ms only have to compete with other B&Ms who's prices are generally higher anyway. Sucks for the knowledgeable, savvy consumers like the ones who frequent this board, but let's face it, CC has probably sold bunches of those $4500 Pannys because most consumers aren't that savvy. You know better, so vote with your wallet.


Sorry if this got preachy or heavy-handed. For some reason it ticked me off to find out that your story was made up, especially when it was the exact opposite to my actual experience 2 weeks ago.

FYI- I have been offered $600 off MSRP for the SD 42" Fuji. $600 ain't **** if you're talking about a Panny or Pio, but it's going to get me into the Fuji, smiling.


last thing.... QUESTION: I was told that Fuji has the highest share of the plasma market. I have a hard time believing that for all the reasons discussed above. Is that true?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ferky1


My AVS forum name may be made up to poke fun at Trainerdave. My story is real, & not made up. I have the P50ES hanging in my library and the receipt to prove it.


Whether the salesrep was just making it up or whether he was telling the truth is pointless. The fact is that the three dealers that I visited did not budge on price.


Bare in mind I was shopping for the much sought after P50. Your experience was with the not so sought after 42SD model.


In N.Y JandR and CC will sell and compete with Sony Panasonic & Pioneer at very close to INTERNET prices. The local boutiques that carry Fujitsu will not.


It is obvious to me based on my experience that Fujitsu stifles competition.
 

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trainer"bob", yes trainerdave works for Fujitsu, but what is the point of making a parody of his username? That doesn't mean he sets the pricing policy or that it should make him a personal target because you are unhappy with the company as a whole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
deeann,

Your'e, it was not wise for me to do that. I am sure trainer dave is a swell guy, he provides valuable information to this forum and I apologize for using the word trainer in jest. I'm a New Yorker I cant help being an idiot.

But, my story is true.
 

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This happens with appliances also and it is legal. Manufacturers set a minimum price and autorized retailers are contractually prohibited from selling it for less. I was told this by a dealer while remodeling our kitchen. Several appliances we purchased were priced exactly the same at every dealer that carried them. None would (or could) bargain.


Steve
 

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Ok Bob, I misunderstood you when you said "poke fun." I thought your whole first post was made in jest.


Nothing really else for me to say except it sounds like you had a real crappy experience and I don't think anyone can blame you for your negative feelings about Fuji. As I said before, I had a positive experience and did not find it too difficult to get some of the dealers to start a little price war. As for the SD 42 vs. HD 50, I know for a fact that the dealer that offered me the best deal on the SD was willing to work out some good pricing for the 50, but I told him up front that I wasn't considering anything over $5k. That ended that.


Finally, as for your local B&Ms coming near internet prices, well you have me beat there. I haven't seen one local store that can come close to what people are getting from reputable internet dealers. At a neighborhood CC, they weren't even in the same ballpark in their Panny and Pio prices.
 

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a bit off topic for this thread but today i found an authorized Fujitsu dealer 30 SECONDS from my house!?!?!?! ive been driving by it for a year now and thought it was just a home security type place....then i read the small print under their sign and DAMN!...said home theater on it. they are an authorized Paradigm dealer also...and Klipsch dealer!! it was like finding a buried treasure chest in the back yard while digiing holes for shrubs:) Anyway, i got to see my first fujitsu(42 ed). those panels are as nice as people say, though the dvd player they had hooked up to it did it no justice.
 

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if NY is known for anything, it is for finding the discount, You can get your fuji here for less than MSRP.
 

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Trainerbob,

All I can say is that for a New Yorker you don't seem to be a good/ shrewd shopper. I had three local authorized dealers here on LI quote me $8,500 to $8,600 for the P50. Another dealer in B'klyn (not authorized) quoted $7,800 but I wanted the warranty. I wound up buying it for $8,100 total expenditure, installed (by me, hehe) from an authorized dealer. Sooo, I guess you just went to the wrong places and/or didn't read the goings on here on the forum or you would have known. Doesn't sound like price fixing to me. Also, Fujitsu charges the dealers quite a bit for the P50, depending on the volume they do, so there is only so much room for them (smaller dealers) to move. When you have a superior product you can get away with it. I bought it because I wanted the best.

What would happen if Sampo only sold at MSRP or MAP?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by trainerbob
He said of the record, all Fujitsu dealers were afraid of loosing there authorized status if they were "caught" selling off the list price.
I'm afraid you fell for the oldest line in the book. Fujitsu dealers are free to sell the product for whatever they want. I have heard this line used repeatedly by "used car type" salesmen (hope there aren't any used car salesmen out there that I am offending). It's a common tactic to convince a customer that "I can't sell it for lower or I lose my dealership". It's pure BS.


If you visited 3 dealers within a 20 mile radius and couldn't get one of them to budge on price (you never say what the price was), you're either exaggerating or your negotiation skills need serious improvement.
 

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Slb: It is not legal. It is called "retail price maintenance" and it is per se illegal. In other words, do it, and you are breaking the law.


So how do people get away with it? Tumi luggage, Calphalon pots, and some other lines of products are literally sold with these very rules. To wit: If you sell it for less than we want, we will deny your right to sell it.


They get away with it because it's very hard to get people to pursue the matter even if it is illegal. Minimum advertised price, or MAP, is not illegal. And that is enforced by denying co-op payments to anyone who violates it.


Most manufacturers understand that retail price maintenance is illegal and no longer require it. Fujitsu is among those, although I do believe they have MAP requirements.


MARK
 
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