Riddle - Q: When is a rebate not a rebate? A: When the price goes up
As some readers may have noticed, Canon have a new "instant rebate" program in operation right now (02/2011 to 03/19/11), offering a $100 instant rebate on an EOS 60D or a $200 instant rebate on an EOS 7D. Sounds great, but as some astute buyers have pointed out, the rebates are being given on the MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price). The irony is that before the rebate program the same cameras were selling for more than the rebate value below the MSRP, so the new price (MSRP minus rebate) is actually more than the old discounted price!
Instantly a cry of "rip-off" goes up of course, so what's happening here and who exactly is manipulating the prices and getting rich. Well, it appears to be Canon, or at least not the retailers. Not so sure who (if anyone) is getting rich...
The following is an excerpt from Helen Oster's blog (http://helenoster.blogspot.com/). Helen is the customer service ambassador at Adorama and she's the "go to" person for complaints and clarification of Adorama store policies.
To clarify things a little "MAP" in the text below stands for "Minimum Advertised Price".
At the same time if Canon decides to enforce their MAP program more aggressively, it leaves us no choice but to offer the renewed inventory at Canon “estimated retail prices”.
Manufacturers usually require retailers to meet MAP restrictions in order to participate in a rebate offer program, and many of Adorama’s regular list prices are frequently too low to be able to offer the rebates. If we don’t comply, we’ll lose our Authorized Dealership Status
When a manufacturer or US importer changes MAP parameters and enforces them vigorously, retailers are left with no option. Therefore when our inventory is exhausted, prices have to go up to reflect the new MAP. Nevertheless, prices at Adorama will at no time be raised above MSRP.
MAP restrictions mean that when the rebated lenses are marked up to the Canon "estimated price," the cost of the unit with the rebate applied will in some cases either be equal to, or in some case greater than the regular discounted price that we were selling them for before the instant rebate program went into effect!
The reason that you may find units pre-price rise at a smaller or independent retailer while prices at the bigger retailers have already increased, is simply a matter of scale; stores that carry & sell on from a larger inventory, will deplete stocks bought in at the pre-price rise prices far more quickly than smaller stores with a slower turnover.
Also, the price at smaller retailers is rarely as variable as at larger outlets, because they are generally unable to offer the same level of deep discounting due to their smaller purchasing power, so price increases are not as great.
As retailers who care passionately about the products we sell, I can promise you that we don't like it any more than our customers do.
So there you have it. According to Helen (and she should know), it's really Canon who are dictating prices. Retailers aren't just putting up the prices before applying the rebate and pocketing the extra profit. The same thing applies at Amazon.com, B&H Photo and J&R, as well as other Authorized Canon Dealerships. I've read responses from B&H and Amazon which effectively said the same thing. Canon have raised prices and or enforced MAP or MSRP so that the new price after rebate is essentially the same as the old price before rebate. Adorama, B&H and Amazon all claim that they are not the ones making extra profit. Basically, blame Canon. Of course Canon have a perfect right to put their prices up. In fact they issued the following statement to dealers on February 1st 2011 when they raised their prices on a number of lenses:
These are the rebated camera/lens kits. $100 on the 60D and kits, $200 on the 7D and kits
There are also a few lens rebates: The rebate is doubled if you also buy an EOS 60D, 7D, 5D MkII, 1Ds MkIII or 1D MkIV
You can also search the Adorama website for the current Canon rebates:
Tamron also have a current rebate program. It's a mail-in rebate, not an instant rebate, but the rebate is offered without any concurrent price increase of the lens. All these lenses carry a 6-year warranty. I believe they also all come with a lens hood, but don't quote me on that. Pretty good lenses, pretty good value.
|$50||SP AF90 F/2.8 Di 1:1 Macro (model 272)for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony|
|$50||AF28-200 F/3.8-5.6 XR Di LD (model A031) for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony|
|$60||AF18-200 F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD (model A014) for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony|
|$50||SP AF10-24 F/3.5-4.5 Di II LD (model B001) for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony|
|$25||SP AF28-75 F/2.8 XR Di II LD (model A09) for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony|
|$25||SP AF17-50 F/2.8 XR Di LD (model A016) for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony|
|$50||SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD (model A005) for Canon Nikon|
|$150.00||AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) Macro (model B003) for Canon, Nikon|
|$50.00||SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) (model B005 only) for Canon, Nikon|
|$100.00||SP AF60mm F/2.0 Di II LD (IF) 1:1 Macro (model G005), for Canon, Nikon, Sony|
|SP AF180 F/3.5 Di LD (IF) 1:1 Macro (model B01) for Canon, Nikon, Sony|