The answer is simple, but misunderstood: MAP policies.
What is MAP?
In its simplest form, minimum advertised pricing (MAP) is the lowest price a retailer can advertise the product for sale. To clarify, this does not refer to the lowest price they can sell it for in their store—just the lowest that they can show online or in an advertisement.
For example, XYZ wheel brand may have a MAP price of $10,000 on latest and greatest 3 pieces motorsport wheels. If you put it in an ad, you may not show a price for sale lower than $10,000.
It doesn't matter if that ad is online, on a Facebook group, on Instagram or in an email newsletter, or in print, the rules are the same.
Why a MAP?
MAP is mostly used by large, global brands and their reasoning is simple. These brands took decades to build through hard work, dedication and passion for their crafts.
They have dealer networks spanning the globe that have supported their product and the community for far longer than EuroConnex has.
What do you feel like their initial reaction is to EuroConnex?
"But my dealer network!"
It's a normal, reasonable answer.
How EuroConnex gets around this with big brands is by putting together exclusive product offerings for the community: think special fitment, colors, options, and bringing discontinued products back to life specifically for the community.
Whether it is through great deals on Group Buys, year long Specials or exclusive product Partnerships - EuroConnex is about creating value for the Global BMW M community.
Is MAP Legal?
Before you ask, yes, this is perfectly legal under U.S. antitrust statutes. Since minimum advertised pricing only relates to “advertised” pricing and does not tell the Connex what we can sell it for, this practice is legal and serves as a protection for brands.
If non-members of EuroConnex begin to see they can buy XYZ wheel brands' 3 piece wheels for 5,000$ versus the 10,000$ MSRP, they quickly surmise that the MSRP is inflated or too high.
And when that happens, no one will ever pay 10,000$ again - and the brands' dealers will drop the products. Thus, making the value of the brands' products much less which then leads to brand erosion - aka we all perceive it as cheap and low quality.
EuroConnex is limited when showcasing MAP-protected products, but we can create factory direct connex on these products at any price we agree with the brands.
The Penalties for Advertising Below MAP
What are the repercussions of advertising below MAP? Quite simply, the Connex will get dropped by its current brands partners, and no one will ever create another Connex for us from any of the big brands we are looking to get.
This isn't what I'm here for. This isn’t what the community wants.
I value and respect brands' commitments to the Connex. Please understand EuroConnex is an entirely new thing for them, it's never been done before. I need to do a lot of initial convincing to get brands on board to support us.
Posting prices on Facebook groups just because you don't want to take a minute to fill out an account yet will gladly spend 15 minutes trashing what I do is pointless, useless and destructive to the BMW M community at large.
This isn't about you - we are a community.
How the Connex gets around MAP policies: Members-only
I decided to not play the MAP politics on the website and simply put everything away behind a members-only wall.
Yea, it'll take a few minutes to get your account setup and approved - yet those few minutes will have you saving thousands over the next few years and give you exclusive access to parts and services specifically developed and offered to EuroConnex members.
That is value.
If your 5 minutes are worth more than thousands - pay retail and spare every one of us the online rage posts!