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Armor/AFV
For discussions on tanks, artillery, jeeps, etc.
How much does it cost??
joepanzer
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 01:00 PM UTC
I'm a modeler on a budget and wondered what happened to the MSRP on Kit reviews? It was an important bit of info for decision making on purchases.
Thanks
russamotto
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 02:29 PM UTC
My guess is that with the broad price ranges you can find on some kits, the MSRP wasn't helping much. Plus, different sites often stated a different MSRP.
KurtLaughlin
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 02:43 PM UTC
If you like the review check out the price on your favorite hobby shop site, or look around for the best price. That's going to be more reflective of the actual budget number anyway.

If the review says it's something you don't want, it's not going to matter what the MSRP is anyway.

KL
panzerbob01
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 03:56 PM UTC
Joe;

I think that some reviews do still provide an "MSRP". But that number actually means very little to me and has no import to whether I eventually want that kit or not.

In general, if the kit under consideration is a pretty new release, you will be able to find it "for sale" at various (mostly) e-vendors by doing a quick Google search. Probably if it is a new kit, count on it being pretty highly-priced about everywhere. Whatever highest price it appears at is likely to be your "MSRP".

If it's an older kit (and "older" may mean a few months to a whole year out!), that same kit will be showing up at many more e-vendors, and will likely be seen on the eBay.... And some vendors and some stores may well be "blowing them out" at much lower prices.

The real point is that "MSRP" means about nothing - other perhaps than the likely highest price you would find yourself looking at "early on in its debut".

I'm sure that most of us never pay near "MSRP" for a kit - I always wait the several months for it to appear somewhere for a much lower price after its appeal has mellowed and other kits are the new "new kids in town". My decision-making considers what lower prices I see it appear at, followed by self-assessment as to whether I think I want to go that much for it.

There are a number of recent kits that greatly interest me. But I'm sorta lower-budget, and I'll just wait until I see one or another at a substantially reduced price.

Bob
d111298pw
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 05:18 PM UTC
I used to add an MSRP with my reviews. But, with such a wide range of actual prices out there, it was a meaningless number and stopped including it. There was also the question of what currency to use. We have a global membership. So, list USD, UKP, Euro, Yen...

If you are interested in a reviewed kit, then your best bet is to check the places you normally order from.
Scarred
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 08:13 PM UTC
I just did a quick check with 6 online shops I do business with for the price on the Meng Smerch. Big kit, big price and big price difference. The price ranges from $105 to $148 from shops in the USA and China so $40 plus or minus. I did the same with the AFV M60A3 at the same shops and there was an $8 difference between highest to lowest. The other thing you need to watch is shipping. Save $10 on a kit only to pay $15 shipping and handling or go with the company that has free shipping but a slightly higher kit price. Your choice.

So I don't think putting the price of a kit in a review is much help, the price range is just too broad vendor to vendor.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 02:48 AM UTC
I disagree with most of you in believing Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is a waste of time for the consumer. Having worked in a LHS for several years after retiring, I have some experience with hobby product pricing. The MSRP is a guide used by the seller to base his/her final price, and keeps him "honest" when pricing a product. What it means to the consumer is that it's an index to use for determining fair pricing. If the manufacturer recommends a $10 price, then the vendor is probably making at least a 20-40% profit. In other words, the vendor bought it between $6-$8 from the distributor (who bought it at an even deeper "discount" from the manufacturer). What does that mean to you? It means you should NEVER pay more than MSRP, and hopefully less than MSRP. If you don't know what the MSRP is, how can you tell you're getting the best deal and not overpaying? There are distributors out there who overprice beyond MSRP in the hobby market. Indeed, you can take the time to "shop around" for the best deal-- but you really don't know what the "best deal" is unless you have a baseline MSRP. In this world of "supply and demand" there are always vendors who mark up (or mark down) based on what other vendors pricing is, or what they think the demand for an item is. MSRP is a way of "leveling the playing field". And as Patrick mentions, you must figure shipping if you are buying on line. If you know the MSRP, you'll know what a fair shipping price "mark up" is. So I think it's important for consumers to know the MSRP-- and it's important for vendors to know that consumers know MSRP, otherwise the consumer is handing the vendor "carte blanche" to charge "what the traffic will bear". Just my 2 cents worth.
VR, Russ
brekinapez
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 04:28 AM UTC
Russ,

You still run into the problem of not everyone here being on the U.S. dollar, so do you include all currencies in your review or just the most common? If you only include a couple, then people have to go online to use a converter--and since they are online anyway it is actually possible to look up the MSRP for these kits a lot of the time.

Like many people here I don't even look at the MSRP as I never pay it, and I have a general idea of pricing since many companies tend to slap the same price on all their kits. For example, I can count on Dragon to release the majority of their new kits at the $74.99 mark, or Revell to release fighter planes at about $29.99.
KurtLaughlin
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 04:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I disagree with most of you in believing Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is a waste of time for the consumer. Having worked in a LHS for several years after retiring, I have some experience with hobby product pricing. The MSRP is a guide used by the seller to base his/her final price, and keeps him "honest" when pricing a product. What it means to the consumer is that it's an index to use for determining fair pricing. If the manufacturer recommends a $10 price, then the vendor is probably making at least a 20-40% profit. In other words, the vendor bought it between $6-$8 from the distributor (who bought it at an even deeper "discount" from the manufacturer). What does that mean to you? It means you should NEVER pay more than MSRP, and hopefully less than MSRP. If you don't know what the MSRP is, how can you tell you're getting the best deal and not overpaying? There are distributors out there who overprice beyond MSRP in the hobby market. Indeed, you can take the time to "shop around" for the best deal-- but you really don't know what the "best deal" is unless you have a baseline MSRP. In this world of "supply and demand" there are always vendors who mark up (or mark down) based on what other vendors pricing is, or what they think the demand for an item is. MSRP is a way of "leveling the playing field". And as Patrick mentions, you must figure shipping if you are buying on line. If you know the MSRP, you'll know what a fair shipping price "mark up" is. So I think it's important for consumers to know the MSRP-- and it's important for vendors to know that consumers know MSRP, otherwise the consumer is handing the vendor "carte blanche" to charge "what the traffic will bear". Just my 2 cents worth.
VR, Russ



That whole argument ignores the consumer's ability a) to research prices, b) to select from a large number of sellers, and c) to refuse to buy a non-essential luxury item if the price isn't to their liking.

The only "fair" price is the one the consumer is willing to pay; the MSRP is meaningless. The "best deal" is the lowest price under your buying threshold. No sensible person says "I'll buy this kit because it is $10 under MSRP but not that one because it is $10 over MSRP." They say "Only 50 bucks!?! Here's my money!" or "Eh, I like their stuff, but I can't see paying $50 for that kit."

Let's say you know the MSRP as you suggest. Everyone in the market is selling it for $15 over that. You are perfectly happy to pay that price to get the kit. Should we sit on our wallets because the price is above some arbitrary threshold, set by someone else, that has no meaning to our desires or resources?

The reality is that if a kit costs more than you want to pay, it does not matter whether it is above, at, or below the MSRP: you are not going to buy it. If a kit is being sold at a price you are happy to pay, it does not matter whether it is above, at, or below the MSRP: you are going to buy it.

KL
bill_c
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 04:49 AM UTC
I think you can guess that the average new AFV is going to come in north of $60. Larger kits and the rarer offering will be more. But MSRP is so useless most of the time, since online prices are often waaaaay less.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 04:57 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I disagree with most of you in believing Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is a waste of time for the consumer. Having worked in a LHS for several years after retiring, I have some experience with hobby product pricing. The MSRP is a guide used by the seller to base his/her final price, and keeps him "honest" when pricing a product. What it means to the consumer is that it's an index to use for determining fair pricing. If the manufacturer recommends a $10 price, then the vendor is probably making at least a 20-40% profit. In other words, the vendor bought it between $6-$8 from the distributor (who bought it at an even deeper "discount" from the manufacturer). What does that mean to you? It means you should NEVER pay more than MSRP, and hopefully less than MSRP. If you don't know what the MSRP is, how can you tell you're getting the best deal and not overpaying? There are distributors out there who overprice beyond MSRP in the hobby market. Indeed, you can take the time to "shop around" for the best deal-- but you really don't know what the "best deal" is unless you have a baseline MSRP. In this world of "supply and demand" there are always vendors who mark up (or mark down) based on what other vendors pricing is, or what they think the demand for an item is. MSRP is a way of "leveling the playing field". And as Patrick mentions, you must figure shipping if you are buying on line. If you know the MSRP, you'll know what a fair shipping price "mark up" is. So I think it's important for consumers to know the MSRP-- and it's important for vendors to know that consumers know MSRP, otherwise the consumer is handing the vendor "carte blanche" to charge "what the traffic will bear". Just my 2 cents worth.
VR, Russ



Kevin. Not to be disrespectful or argumentative, but... Sounds a lot like complex rationalization, to me. I do not need to know in any way what the "MSRP" is to ensure that I got the item for the lowest price. I simply shop around until I find the LOWEST price for it. EVERYONE else's price is, by definition higher, and the highest may be at, or even over, the "MSRP". The motto for sellers is "get what I can for it" and "I know what my goods are worth". The motto for buyers is (or should be) "pay the least for what I want" and "I know what it is worth TO ME".

Consider Patrick B's post regarding the Meng Model Smerch kit. He surveys 6 online shops - for a range of $105 - $148 (no info regarding shipping costs). That range MAY include at the top some "MSRP" - or not. And if one wants it NOW and is constrained to buy it from among those 6 vendors, $105 is what one should pay for it. Right now, I can order that kit from a Chinese e-vendor on eBay for $79.49 SHIPPED. Whether Meng put an MSRP on its Smerch kit of $148 USD or $105 USD or any other number does not matter. Someone looking to really PAY LEAST would automatically select that $79.49 shipped vendor for his/her business. Even if the MSRP were actually $69.00, that Chinese vendor is STILL THE LOWEST PRICE AROUND for that item. The MSRP doesn't mean anything - if EVERYONE is selling the item at a marked-up "premium" above it, there is no other response an interested buyer can make other than to decide either to buy it at the lowest marked-up price (regardless of MSRP), or simply NOT BUY IT right now - electing that the lowest price is still TOO HIGH FOR ME.

MSRP don't keep sellers "honest". They are guidelines for vendors to try and set prices around. When and where vendors can sell it for more, they will - unless the maker has some rule saying "not". In model kits, MSRP tries to set a price high enough so that early sales will pay some good profit to retailers and the maker. Everyone knows that demand will almost always soon fall off, and acceptable price along with.

Just a thought!

Bob
barkingdigger
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#013
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 08:10 AM UTC
Regardless of philosophy, most of us reviewers aren't in the hobby trade, and just don't have access to the MSRP figures! Sure, I can see what folks are charging on line, but that doesn't necessarily reflect MSRP. So, if I don't know it I can't quote it.

The major exception is books, where the MSRP is usually printed on the back. These don't have much in the way of reductions - every vendor charges the same price. And any reader can go to the publisher's website to see the price.
d6mst0
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 09:16 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I disagree with most of you in believing Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is a waste of time for the consumer. Having worked in a LHS for several years after retiring, I have some experience with hobby product pricing. The MSRP is a guide used by the seller to base his/her final price, and keeps him "honest" when pricing a product. What it means to the consumer is that it's an index to use for determining fair pricing. If the manufacturer recommends a $10 price, then the vendor is probably making at least a 20-40% profit. In other words, the vendor bought it between $6-$8 from the distributor (who bought it at an even deeper "discount" from the manufacturer). What does that mean to you? It means you should NEVER pay more than MSRP, and hopefully less than MSRP. If you don't know what the MSRP is, how can you tell you're getting the best deal and not overpaying? There are distributors out there who overprice beyond MSRP in the hobby market. Indeed, you can take the time to "shop around" for the best deal-- but you really don't know what the "best deal" is unless you have a baseline MSRP. In this world of "supply and demand" there are always vendors who mark up (or mark down) based on what other vendors pricing is, or what they think the demand for an item is. MSRP is a way of "leveling the playing field". And as Patrick mentions, you must figure shipping if you are buying on line. If you know the MSRP, you'll know what a fair shipping price "mark up" is. So I think it's important for consumers to know the MSRP-- and it's important for vendors to know that consumers know MSRP, otherwise the consumer is handing the vendor "carte blanche" to charge "what the traffic will bear". Just my 2 cents worth.
VR, Russ



Russ,

I can't agreed with you more. Anyone with a degree Business understands the purpose of the MSRP and how it is used in business.

Mark
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 09:34 AM UTC
Am I totally wrong in thinking that MSRP is a recommendation for a specific market? An MSRP given in USD for the market in USA would be totally irrelevant for Sweden, or Iceland/Nigeria/China/Japan/Taiwan/Australia et.c Different VAT-tarifs, customs, shipping, labor cost and rent for shops would impact the price the customer gets to pay. Even if the review would state the MSRP for Sweden it would be irrelevant since I get my kits from internet shops. Cheaper in from e-bay vendor in China but shipping will be higher and the handling fees for import tariffs would add a significant amount to the original price (too many consumers in Sweden have bought too much from Alibaba and similar vendors in China so the Swedish postal services are adding around 10-12 USD to the import tariffs to cover their costs for handling all of those packages). A large scale importer to the EU pays a lot less in handling fees per kit so the price to me could be lower.
MSRP's tailored for specific markets becomes less interesting/relevant when we can shop on a global market.
/ Robin
panzerbob01
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 11:34 AM UTC

Quoted Text



Russ,

I can't agreed with you more. Anyone with a degree Business understands the purpose of the MSRP and how it is used in business.

Mark



So, Mark... Curiosity bells this cat! Do YOU buy kits which have no "MSRP" stamped on them? Most do not have such. But, given Russ's postulation and your apparent support for his spiel, you should avoid buying stuff which has no "MSRP" printed on it - as YOU cannot actually KNOW what a "fair price" for that good is!

It should be clear to all that "MSRP" really has little intentional import or meaning for the buyer - Why? Because buyers generally do not KNOW what that MSRP is for most goods. Because it is not ALWAYS available, that "MSRP" is meaningless to most buyers - he or she can only make cost-based decisions based upon available price information, and having no "MSRP" seldom stops people from making those decisions. Furthermore, the FACT that most model kits do not have any "MSRP" printed on them so that a buyer can see what it "should cost, per the manufacturer (and w/ respect to Robin's sage remarks - what market that kit is actually IN)" CLEARLY INDICATES that "MSRP" is something between manufacturers and retailers - and NOT actually intended to INFORM BUYERS of ANYTHING.

Car dealers, for instance, use "MSRP" as a tool to con buyers into paying MORE for a new car - by saying things like "Wow! Today ONLY!, 12.5k BELOW MSRP!". They would actually gladly sell that car for 15K below that supposed "MSRP" - because they would still pocket a nice profit while managing to move a car along sooner. But hey! If I can get 2.5K MORE...! NOBODY is going to pay that "MSRP". The buyer didn't learn ANYTHING from the posted "MSRP". He doesn't even know IF the mfgr actually issued that "MSRP". But boy does seeing it affect how much he / she may be willing to PAY for that car- through simple behavioral manipulation!

So what DO "business schools" actually teach their clients about "MSRP"? Or is that some sort of "insider (guild property?) information"?

Bob
Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 11:47 AM UTC
Robin, et.al.,
How do you know if you are getting a "good deal" if you don't know the MSRP? In the old days, all the US domestic manufacturers priced thier kits right on the box with the MSRP. Internet aside, you can "shop around" all you want, but you still won't know what the manufacturer thinks the kit is worth. Factor in all the taxes, shipping, etc., and you are left with an inflated price. It's true, if you want it, chances are you'll buy it anyway. But as anyone who's been in the retail business will tell you, it's far better to have a starting price than to have to "guess". Here's the deal-- the manufacturers are still doing MSRP, wether or not you see it in a review or on a box. But the vendors don't like it because it can literally cut into thier mark-up. Especially the on-line vendors which will invariably add in shipping charges, and taxes in some cases. If I know the new Tamiya M3 Stuart has a $42 MSRP, I might buy it, or I might wait to see if someone is selling it cheaper. MSRP is your key to doing that. If you take the time to "shop around" you'd better be taking the time to figure taxes and shipping too. As for the currency issues, there are many on line converters that are easy to use. In the past, depending on the kit, lots of manufacturers (and vendors) tell you the difference in GBP, Yen or USD-- if you're "surfing the net" for the best price, why wouldn't you be able to convert currency? There may be many folks who don't care about the price-- I'd say those folks are the same ones who don't care about MSRP. Also, don't forget that as far as distributors go, many of them have control of the market in their various countries, or are the "only game in town" (Dragon USA for instance). They can set prices within thier market-- wouldn't you like to know if you are being "skinned" or not? Maybe not-- it might not matter to some but there are others to whom it does matter (which by the way, is why I don't buy Dragon kits anymore-- as I've seen them operate from both a retail and consumer perspective). By the way-- do not confuse "manufacturers" with "distributors" with "vendors". Only in rare cases are they the same-- as someone above has said, anyone with a knowledge of business understands that. There are a lot of folks who are confusing the issue with "what a kit costs" vs. "what a kit is worth"-- and that's called "inflation". I like to know (as do many others") what the rate of inflation is.
VR, Russ
joepanzer
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 01:24 PM UTC
Jiminy Christmas!!!

I didn't mean to open this can of worms....

But I will say that it seems like a COP OUT that someone is willing to take the time to review a kit, but won't take the extra 2 minutes to find those price ranges, in USD, EUR, and YEN and put that range WITH THE REVIEW AS AN MSRP????

(Sorry, not yelling)

brekinapez
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 02:16 PM UTC
Actually, finding prices RANGES would take more than two minutes as the reviewer would have to sample quite a number of vendors to see what that range truly is, especially if you're asking for the same in the other denominations. Just the MSRP is all you'll get or even need; the range you'll have to determine for yourself.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 04:46 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Jiminy Christmas!!!

I didn't mean to open this can of worms....

But I will say that it seems like a COP OUT that someone is willing to take the time to review a kit, but won't take the extra 2 minutes to find those price ranges, in USD, EUR, and YEN and put that range WITH THE REVIEW AS AN MSRP????

(Sorry, not yelling)




Amen.
VR, Russ
Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 04:48 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Actually, finding prices RANGES would take more than two minutes as the reviewer would have to sample quite a number of vendors to see what that range truly is, especially if you're asking for the same in the other denominations. Just the MSRP is all you'll get or even need; the range you'll have to determine for yourself.



Amen again.
VR, Russ
Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 05:08 PM UTC
Just one last note, and then I'll shut up. Most manufacturers supply the MSRP to major reviewers when they supply the kit as a review sample. The evidence is found in the major modeling pubs like Fine Scale Modeler here in the States, or in Scale Model, Tamiya or Airfix magazines overseas. I suspect they do the same for on-line review sites as well. It usually comes in the sample kit info (I've seen a lot of these packages in my LHS days). If not, it's usually in the manufacturers catalog. So there is no reason not to mention it. But, if it's an independent unsolicited review, the reviewer may not have access to the MSRP without doing some research. By the way, I just bought my Tamiya M3 I mentioned earlier at the MSRP price of $42 as listed by Tamiya and sold by my LHS. When I did the research, I found the MSRP price was cheaper than ordering the kit and paying for shipping. But, I'm sure if I'd waited for a few months, I probably could have bought the kit cheaper at a place like Hobby Lobby with a daily 40% off coupon-- or on a special sale my LHS often runs. Or from some overseas vendor, but I would rather have the latitude to decide if I want to wait for the price to fall. That's the value of MSRP-- it gives the consumer a decision point to start with. Ok-- I'll shut up now.
VR, Russ
d111298pw
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 05:50 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Just one last note, and then I'll shut up. Most manufacturers supply the MSRP to major reviewers when they supply the kit as a review sample. The evidence is found in the major modeling pubs like Fine Scale Modeler here in the States, or in Scale Model, Tamiya or Airfix magazines overseas. I suspect they do the same for on-line review sites as well. It usually comes in the sample kit info (I've seen a lot of these packages in my LHS days). If not, it's usually in the manufacturers catalog. So there is no reason not to mention it. But, if it's an independent unsolicited review, the reviewer may not have access to the MSRP without doing some research. By the way, I just bought my Tamiya M3 I mentioned earlier at the MSRP price of $42 as listed by Tamiya and sold by my LHS. When I did the research, I found the MSRP price was cheaper than ordering the kit and paying for shipping. But, I'm sure if I'd waited for a few months, I probably could have bought the kit cheaper at a place like Hobby Lobby with a daily 40% off coupon-- or on a special sale my LHS often runs. Or from some overseas vendor, but I would rather have the latitude to decide if I want to wait for the price to fall. That's the value of MSRP-- it gives the consumer a decision point to start with. Ok-- I'll shut up now.
VR, Russ



Russ,
You make a good point. Professional review sites/magazines are provided the full marketing package with the kit to be reviewed and can include the MSRP information.

I'm not a professional reviewer, nor does any vendor provide me kits for review. I do reviews on kits I purchase with my own money. If no review is listed on this site, then I will try to add one, in my free time. I probably put more than 15 hours into my last posted review. I care more about the accuracy of the information I provide, than finding the MSRP.

I'm going to guess that the majority of you have never looked at the review submission form.
http://armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=submit&req=write_review

There is no field to separately identify MSRP. Many of the manufacture's sites don't list the information as well. If I had the number, I could add it to the end of the review. Since I don't have it, I don't include it.

If I am really interested in a kit, I will do my own research before I buy.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 05:59 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Robin, et.al.,
How do you know if you are getting a "good deal" if you don't know the MSRP? In the old days, all the US domestic manufacturers priced thier kits right on the box with the MSRP. Internet aside, you can "shop around" all you want, but you still won't know what the manufacturer thinks the kit is worth. ...



Russ; And WHY, exactly (or even vaguely!) does any buyer care about what the manufacturer thinks his/her/its kit is worth? If the mfgr says his kit is "worth $100" and I don't agree, my recourse remains to not buy it at that price - and if I cannot find it for some lower price I find acceptable, to not buy it, period.

And how does knowing this "MSRP" relate to someone knowing if they are getting a "good deal"? If I shop around and find the apparent lowest or lower price (at least among the "universe" of all retailers / vendors I have surveyed), I have by definition found the LOWEST PRICE - the BEST DEAL - in that universe that I can get the item for. A "good deal" is always relative to all the deals offered (and known about by buyers). ALL of the offer prices may be above some "MSRP" - but the lowest price I can find is the lowest price that I can get that item for, regardless of any "MSRP". The "best deal" I can get on the item is to get it at that lowest price (where, to avoid "apples and oranges comparisons", "price" must always mean ALL the costs associated with that purchase - the sale price plus taxes, fees, handling, vigorish, shipping, currency-exchanging, etc.). The lowest total, all-up price to my door is always the "best deal" I can get, regardless of "MSRP".

PS: Over 1000's of kits over 50+ years of buying , I have seldom ever known what any "MSRP" on one was. I have never knowingly paid near any "MSRP". I have simply always sought the lower price. And having consistently bought at the low end, I am sure that I've pretty much got "good deals" on almost all. I have no idea what the "MSRP" is of over 95% of my sadly over-large stash!

But of course, folks should pay whatever price they believe to be "fair" or "good" - pay no more than what YOU believe that kit to be worth TO YOU- regardless of what mfgr's claim its "worth" to be!

Just my opinion, of course!

Now, go buy a kit (at, I hope, a GOOD DEAL price) and get building!
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 08:23 PM UTC
Hi Russ,
I checked the price for Tamiya 35360 at my favourite plastic pusher. When I converted the price in Euros to USD with the 'Universal currency converter' I ended up with $38.34 which is a few dollars below the MSRP for the US.
Since I am a "frequent flyer" with that "airline" I have a 10% discount which means another $3.83 off and since the shipping is free when I order for more than 200 Euros (buy kits in batches a few times per year) I would be getting that Stuart at almost $ 7.50 below the US MSRP. Going by the MSRP I should have been "happy" for being skinned by over 7 bucks (1/6th of the MSRP ...)
A Swedish internet shop has it listed for slightly less than the original price at my favourite but still higher than my discounted price ...
Wonderland models in the UK is cheaper but then there is the shipping, a larger order might even that out a bit.
Ebay is the cheapest but then there is the risk of Swedish customs and handling fees (legalised robbery )
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tamiya-Plastic-Kit-35360-US-Light-Tank-M3-Stuart-Late-Production-1-35-scale/113142606284?epid=10019254253&hash=item1a57d329cc%3Ag%3AM8EAAOSwsZJbREuT&_sop=15&_sacat=0&_nkw=Tamiya+35360&_from=R40&rt=nc

It would seem that my favourite vendor would be giving me a good deal. Now the question remains if I really want that kit at that price. MSRP doesn't help me at all in this decision making. I would compare the price for the Stuart against other kits that I might want to buy instead. Maybe the Trumpeter M142 HiMARS at more than twice the cost?
My decisions are based on what I really want to buy and how much modelling "mileage" I can get out of it. Call it "cents per part" or "cents per hour" and then weigh in the joy of having a specific model.

Kit "cost" vs "worth": Yes and No.
The MSRP might tell me what the manufacturer or distributor thinks/hopes that the kit might sell for in a specific market.
My decisions on "cost" vs "worth" will most likely be completely different since I am in another market and have my own opinions about the worth. Dragon kits is a good example ... MSRP for one of the Black Plague kits? Call me again when the price is down by at least 50% and I might possibly consider thinking about it ....

As for the distributors controlling their markets: I have experienced that twice:
1. Italeri re-released their RSO sometime in the late 80's or early 90's and the Swedish distributor didn't bring them in

2. Tried to get the 1/35 kits made by Heller.
LHS recommended me to talk with the distributor and the answer was that they had decided not to bring them in since those kits would compete with the Tamiya kits they were bringing in...
The only direct competition would have been the Willys Jeeps since this was before Tamiya released their 2.5 ton GMC truck. Models of French tanks were supposedly a threat to Tamiya .......

The internet means that I can give the distributors and the MSRP the "one finger salute"
The internet also provides me with an enormously well stocked LHS rigth here on my desk with unlimited business hours and quick deliveries and a chance to discuss modelling with others all around the world

/ Robin
drabslab
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 10:03 PM UTC
Just amazing how such an emotional discussion can arise about a theoretical price suggestion made by a manufacturer

An MSRP is suggestion to shop owners what the price should more or less be when they sell that kit to the end customer.

It used to be that local conditions and competition determined to what extend the shop owners took this into account. (yes, I have been working in a shop as well). A shop without comptition could charge more than one in a street full of modelling shops.

Today, many people live in a street, called the internet, full of modelling shops. One would expect that this would lead to bottom and identical prices accros all shops but surprisingly people buy kits that are available a lot cheaper in the next on-line shop.

Why: habit, service, bulk buy, transport cost ... ?

I would not dissmiss the MSRP concept just yet, even when largely theoretical, it does indicate (also when looking at an on-line website whether the price asked is reasonable, or not. What anyone concludes from that is a personal matter.