Effective Strategies For Enforcing MAP Pricing During Holidays

Effective Strategies For Enforcing MAP Pricing During Holidays
Prasanna Dhungel |
map holiday price - map policies

Manufacturers and wholesalers often permit resellers to reduce prices during major promotional periods such as Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas in the United States and Canada. Additionally, MAP price holidays may be granted in the US for holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, Father’s Day, or Mother’s Day and holidays such as Canada Day, Victoria Day in Canada. During these periods, and for a few days before and after, retailers can lower prices below the Minimum Advertised Price (MAP). This strategy aligns with shoppers’ expectations of getting bargains on the holidays, and helps brands attract new customers, clear inventory, and make room for new products.

What is a MAP Price Holiday?

A MAP Price Holiday refers to a temporary reduction of the Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) allowed by manufacturers and wholesalers during specific promotional periods in the US and Canada. During these holiday seasons, and for a few days before and after, resellers can lower prices below the designated MAP to attract shoppers looking for a deal.

Challenges Brands Face Through MAP Holidays

While MAP holidays offer sales advantages, they also pose challenges for brands. Resellers are allowed to reduce prices for the holiday and revert to MAP pricing after the holiday period. However, three issues can disrupt this process:

  1. Early Price Reductions: Reseller pricing analysts may intentionally reduce prices earlier than the MAP holiday start date to capture early holiday demand or may make errors in pricing.
  2. System Errors: The reseller’s pricing system might experience technical issues and wrongly offer a different MAP price or start or stop the lower price.
  3. Delayed Adjustments: Pricing analysts are humans also. They may take extended time off and fail to reset prices on the end date. Likewise, on the day back after a long holiday, their email may be flooded with emails and they may be overwhelmed with tasks upon returning. This could lead to forgetting to reset MAP price, or doing it after the MAP holiday end date.

These challenges can frustrate compliant resellers who see their sales drop due to unfair competition, resulting in complaints to manufacturers or wholesalers. This dissatisfaction can lead to threats of non-compliance or even dropping out of reseller programs.

Solutions to Allow Great MAP Holidays Without the Hassles

To effectively benefit from MAP holidays but not get overwhelmed with MAP pricing challenges through this, manufacturers and wholesalers should consider a three-pronged strategy:

1. Get a Good MAP Monitoring Software

  • Utilize good MAP monitoring software that tracks the prices of your SKUs sold on platforms like Amazon, Walmart, and D2C e-commerce sites in the US and Canada.
  • Ensure the platform captures map violations with visual evidence at the SKU level, facilitating direct communication with resellers who are not adhering to MAP policies.

2. Deeply Understand Your MAP Violation Issues Working With Your Solution Partner

  • A good solution partner will give you advice on how to manage your resellers causing issues. Learn what has worked with other brands like you.
  • Avoid sending automated emails from the first issue you find, and avoid annoying your top sellers. Instead, remind resellers of the MAP holiday duration at the start and end. Make it easy for them.
  • Personalize and customize your communication, collaborating with your MAP solution manager who understands reseller nuances and product specifics.
  • Obtain custom reports (weekly, monthly, and for MAP holidays) from your MAP solution provider to identify trends and tailor your outreach campaigns.
  • Understand your good resellers who follow the rules, and bad resellers who cause issues. Incentivize compliant sellers with trade promotion dollars, early inventory access, and more.

3. Customize Your Outreach

  • Customize your approach based on the reseller’s compliance history. For example, a minor infraction by a top reseller should be handled differently than repeated violations across multiple SKUs and marketplaces. Aggregate issues in a single email to avoid overwhelming the reseller with multiple messages.
  • MAP monitoring and enforcement for MAP Holidays is an art than an exact science. You need high quality precise data on violations at a SKU level. You need summary reports to easily get an eagle’s eye view on what’s happening. However, you must use your intuition when you reach out and engage with your sellers. Remind them, make it easy for them, incentivize them and only penalize them if they are a repeat offender making big problems. Use a carrot and stick model to effectively police your MAP pricing program during and after your MAP holidays.


If you are seeking a MAP enforcement solution that is personalized for your business and offers MAP monitoring and enforcement through MAP holiday periods, please contact us. We will be happy to discuss your specific needs, share best practices of what has worked and hasn’t with other brands, and support you . Our goal is to offer you accurate and customizable MAP monitoring and MAP enforcement bringing our experience serving many brands and wholesalers in the US and Canada that are selling across digital channels.