So I was wondering around eBay and couldn't help but notice a number of auctions listed by "GMS Customs" (one of the bigger Revell eBay retailers and a Brick & Mortar LHS out in Central PA had this notice on their new Revell auctions --
BUY FROM A LEGITIMATE AUTHORIZED REVELL/MONOGRAM Preferred PARTNER RETAILER.
EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 1, 2014 ANYONE SELLING NEW RMX PRODUCT AND BEING SUPPLIED WITH THIS PRODUCT LINE IS SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENTS AND PUNISHMENT FROM THE MANUFACTURER
Dear Valued Customer,
As you know by now, GMS CUSTOMS HOBBY OUTLET located at 600 East Penn Avenue Suite 1 Wernersville, PA 19565 is committed to bringing you all of the Revell and Monogram Model kits. We are a proud Revell Preferred Partner. Revell/Monogram has implemented a MAP pricing policy. This stands for Minimum Advertised Pricing. Basically this policy is to weed out non-Authorized sellers for their products as well as retain a fair and level playing field for all legitimate retailers who have an investment at stake. Our commitment to the industry means we will be complying with Revell/Monograms wishes and will be proactive in identifying and reporting non authorized sellers of these products. If you see listings that are less than ours in price we would appreciate if you would let us know. Be confident that GMS CUSTOMS HOBBY OUTLET will always give you the LOWEST price allowed at all times for these products and we will stay committed to discounting whenever allowed. We hope you become proactive with us to improve your experience of enjoying the quality product line from our partner Revell/Monogram.
As I began to poke around I noticed that the prices on kits listed after 2/1 had shot up "overnight" by about $5. If you strip out the "sale price" (10-20% off) on the auctions, the listed prices just so happen to "magically" MATCH THE REVELL ONLINE STORE!
Something is rotten in Denmark here...Brett or Scott want to chip in here? I mean it all sounds warm and cozy, keep the hobby shops in business by implementing price controls over the product with the threat of legal action, basically forcing retailers to squeal on each other with the loss of your ability to be a Revell "Authorized" Retailer looming over their heads, but these new higher prices don't seem to apply to Tower Hobbies (again magically), and in the end force the consumer to pay more for a product of dubious quality control. If any of the kit companies had the ability to mandate everyone raise their prices to match the corporate pricing system - in the process ending the competitive advantage those retailers had over the Revell Corporate Store - with the various malformed kits, shoddy chrome and other problems they've had in 2013, Revell is really the LEAST in the position to pull this kind of a fast one.
How is this going to effect 3rd Party Vendors at the shows who buy their kits through the "middle-men" distribution channels like Stevens Int'l and HTUSA? Will they still be able to sell their kits below shelf prices, or will they be forced to charge the MSRP "Street Price" to avoid litigation. Or will they be forced out of business (or at least Revell's business) all together? If I go buy kits at Hobby Lobby for 50% off and then sell them on eBay is the Revell Goon Squad going to come after me for being an "unauthorized retailer" for selling kits cheaper than anyone else can?
Heck are we one step away from getting a "NOT FOR RESALE" sticker slapped on the sides of models kits. Once you buy a kit from who Revell tells you you may purchase one from, for the price Revell tells you that you have to pay, you'll be forever stuck with it.