JL Audio Opens eBay Store With MAP Pricing

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JL Audio is opening an eBay store this month that will fulfill orders through its retailer partners.

The company will sell its products only at the Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) so there will be no unusual discounting. The aim is to create an online location where many consumers like to shop, as eBay is the second largest Internet retailer, said JL Audio. At this point, eBay has become less of an auction seller as 70 percent of its sales are “Buy it Now,” JL Audio told retailers.

The JL Audio eBay store will offer both car and marine audio products and will “Dramatically increase our exposure to consumers nationwide,” as millions of consumers shop on the site at any given time, said the company

The sales will be handled much the same way as the JLaudio.com web-store sales where Shopatron directs any order to a nearby JL Audio authorized dealer to fulfill.  The dealer then gets the full profit margin for the sale.

“We are hopeful that this move to offer JL audio Mobile and Marine products legitimately through the eBay marketplace will benefit all dealers and help us serve Internet customers the right way,” said a letter to retailers signed by  JL Audio VP Sales Carl Kennedy.

The target date for the store opening is November 25.

JL Audio VP Marketing Manville Smith said, “We want to take charge of our ecommerce and we want to make sure we direct as much business as possible through bricks and mortar.  Getting a deal from an online sale into a JL Audio store gives the retailer an opportunity to make that customer a client.”

The company has also stepped up enforcement of its Internet policies this year and has terminated “many” dealers, including long-time accounts “for engaging in unauthorized distribution,” said Smith. For that reason, discounting on the web is less dramatic on the brand, he claimed.

Under the Shopatron program, a participating dealer logs on in the morning to see what transactions he can fulfill.  The eBay store will be added to that list.

There is some training required to participate in the new program and JL Audio is holding a training webinar on Wednesday, November 20th at 2pm EST (11am PST) or Monday, November 25th at noon EST (9 PST).

Source: CEoutlook

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  1. Interesting comments.

    I don’t really know who some of you are, since some of you are not posting under your real names, so I will assume you are not completely familiar with the details of what we are doing, or what we are really all about.

    If you know JL Audio, you know that we don’t follow the lead of recent converts to limited distribution, or those deploying desperate strategies to market exhausted brands. We like to chart our own course… always have, always will.

    We certainly don’t claim to know everything, but we put a lot of thought into this program and are confident that this is a very positive move; one that supports our vital bricks-and-mortar channel while helping us take charge of our e-commerce.

    For the benefit of the open-minded who read this, I will share that the vast majority of our dealers are very happy about the fact we are including them in our e-commerce strategy, and excited for the sales it will bring in. We think this excitement is well-placed.

    Thanks for reading, and feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments.

    Best regards,

    Manville Smith
    JL AUDIO, Inc.

  2. M.A.P = Maximum Allowed Profit. Why not sell at list on Ebay and drive consumers into the store for deals. My store gets MSRP on most of the lines I sell, and I come down to MAP for wiggle room. Why should I start at MAP and work my way down from there. With this mess why will people buy JL from independent stores ever? Lets face it, when someone can buy manufacturer direct they are going to. Look at Apple products, you can buy them all over the place and you still have to get an appointment to do anything in their store. Not only has JL decided to strip money from our pockets, they also have motive to start controlling the flow of product. ie. New products on backorder, but readily available on their Ebay store. Does anyone remember when they went into Crutchfield and cut their warranty in half? Or, when they decided to go into Big Box Stores like Bryn Mawr and Tweeter regardless of how close they were to a store. How about their dip into entry level gear with TMA audio under the guise of it being another company. This way, if it failed it didn’t tarnish the JL name. Once they got comfortable with the lowly entry level consumer they offered JX and Wx product. Meanwhile, how many versions of sub par coax and separates lines did we have to sell to keep up our volume programs? Other than riding on the achievements from 10 years ago it seems like their main goal is to squeeze the specialty retailer out of the loop. Anyone who says otherwise has worked for a manufacturer for too long!

  3. WOW. Lots of opinions. Pardon the lead up and word count but I think this stuff is important for the entire supply chain.

    I think that JL has been doing business for many many years. Many retailers were/are very happy and proud to be JL dealers for many of those years. There is one constant about business that does not change or stray from course: business people gotta pay attention.

    If you are a retailer and surprised by this course of action; shame. If you are shocked by this action; shame. If you don’t like it or you do like it and you are prepared to deal with it from a position of strength; then good for you. You have been paying attention.

    Is this course of action good or bad for retailers…? I will refrain from making such an observation.

    BUT, IF JL maintains their MAP promise and if JL compels all other authorized on-line and brick & mortar dealers to maintain MAP and IF JL fulfills its promise to resolve the “un-authorized” dealers selling below MAP or at dealer cost…

    Than it seems to me that JL will be helping to secure at least one of the three (Profit, Identity and Predictability) important covenants of a real business partnership; the Predictability part.

    With Predictability in place, surprise is largely avoided. I contend that avoiding surprise in business is a good thing. It makes planning a lot easier.

    Don’t like it. OK. Offer a heartfelt THANK YOU to JL for all of the good stuff they have done, pay attention and do what you gotta do.

    Don’t care one way or the other. OK. Offer a heartfelt THANK YOU to JL for all of the good stuff they have done, pay attention and do business.

    Perceive it’s a good thing. OK. Offer a heartfelt THANK YOU to JL for all of the good stuff they have done and be a vocal advocate for the current course of action.

    ABOVE ALL ELSE; pay attention and don’t be blindsided.

    Ray Windsor
    German Maestro

  4. Yes J Mehoff these companies do make product in China but I will not buy that product for price they are charging. Like I want to buy Armani shirt if it says hand made in China and they want $200.00 for the shirt or same shirt says made in Italy for $225.00 I will buy the Italy made shirt.
    If Ferrari came out with made in China one and charged only $55,000 for it some would buy it but not the same heritage.
    In my Mind JL is not Hi-end we will agree to disagree. I do not care if it is built in US are you using top line parts. This I know about we had small subwoofer co. I’m not dumb to this.
    Certain things you need from China but that is where it stops. We Got Voice Coils(US made)
    US Made Glue US made bolts US made Cones out of WI to our specs cost more but far superior to what we were getting from China. Spiders(US made) Tinsel lead (US made). Our entry level sub was tested in performance audio & sound Sept 2011 and review was very good. We talked to him personally he kept the sub for his personal use. He said it was one of best subs he had tested in last year which was over 200 subs
    and we were in top ten. I talked to lot of dealers and they wanted product not sold on internet and can make money. Our Subs performed over what we said they could do. The owner got into financial problems and closed. Our return rate was less 2% we only sold about 500 subs but of course we were small. Then we were going to Italy to have our comp sets built and the dealers were in love with the limited sets we brought in.
    When I was Zapco Rep they had a plan for Internet sales they would sell only off their own site at full MSRP if there was a dealer within 20 miles of zip code or even 2 dealers they would split down the middle as a credit to be used to buy products. The dealers did not have to sign up for anything it was just done.
    I know a lot of dealers they don’t stock JL 13w 7A subwoofers because of price so when it sells on ebay only one making money is JL because chances are the closes dealer will not have inventory to ship it..
    JL saying we will give it to the dealer to ship product to customer how does dealer get money for shipping and how long does dealer have to wait for money. What do they consider a close dealer so dealer can get money to make from install. What happens if consumer installs then brings it back to dealer for warranty issue because they shipped it to them.
    JL is following the lead of MTX in different manner.
    MTX started this crap and it just now will get bigger. MTX program is MTX ships direct from them and dealer makes like only 10 to 20 percent of sale of item that is if they are registered with MTX and have a portal to MTX website.

  5. About Time (15+ years) Some of the Manufacturers decided to take control of stuff being sold online at a huge discount and letting anyone show about what dealer cost is.JL Audio VP Marketing Manville Smith
    I don’t know how many times you got e-mails about deals being done online for and or showing below MAP Pricing so much for a contract if the manufacturer won’t back you up on what profits should be and you wind up matching an online price to save face and get at least part of a sale.
    Best Buy’s not a major player in car audio anymore, you manufacturers can stop the eroding of profits! Pay attention Kenwood, Alpine. Jl Audio
    you can make sure dealers have enough Margin to make a profit.
    Its funny An old friend of mine decides to take action and hardline on this issue and the rest of you fallow suite! Thanks Rob Wimmpy over at Heart for getting this ball rolling!
    Markup on some of kenwoods product was so low whats the point of putting it up on the display???
    Do a search for JL Audio I just did JL’s got a long way to go before fixing the problem they let get out of hand.
    PS. Not all the JL subs are made in China. A lot of its still made in Florida.
    BEN JL’s Always been High End.
    If you don’t think so Perhaps its the box you heard them play out of thats 50% of the subwoofer system. Tuning the system also plays a big part of it buts thats on the installer.

  6. Would this make me upset if I owned a brick and mortar that was a current authorized JL Audio dealer? Yeah, it probably would. The only way that being an authorized JL dealer even makes any sense is if a shop were to try to carry multiples of every SKU. How many independents can feasibly do that? Not many. The primary reason to even attempt to do that is so that you can say to a customer, “I have the product right here, right now”. Even then, guess which JL products customers will gravitate toward on eBay? The ones listed as NIB and below dealer cost. I thought the goal was to draw customers to the brick and mortar, not eBay. Am I missing something here?

  7. We used to be JL dealers. The substantial buy-in order kept us pretty well stocked for quite some time so we only needed to reorder the most popular speakers. It was difficult enough to sell the high-end product in our “frugal” market, but then shortly after we became dealers they started whoring it out all over the Internet at prices well below our cost & it became nearly impossible to sell. One day when I called to reorder some speakers I was told our account had been closed because we weren’t buying enough product! I told their sales rep what I thought of that & sold out the rest of our JL inventory below cost just to be rid of it. Maybe their online strategy wasn’t working too well because recently I had a JL rep from a reselling distributor call to see if we’d like to carry the line again (at costs only slightly above what I paid when we were direct with JL!). I declined the offer. Next I expect to hear from MTX.

  8. I sent an email to the vice president (carl) of JL telling him thanks for selling out the little guy and he sent me one back saying I didn’t understand the program…..warrantied JL product sold on ebay, orders filled by their largest dealers….seems pretty clear to me unless your a JL signature dealer your SOL.

  9. Who said JL Audio was hi end (lol)
    most of the stuff made in China and charged arm and leg for it(does not make it Hi End)
    Really this will be the way MTX started it JL is doing the same but different way of doing it.
    JL next move is cut reps Like MTX I think Maxxsonics has done this already no reps only Dsit. Bottom Line big boys are running themselves into the ground and taking the whole industry with them For $$$ you small shops don’t matter anymore. But in the end the small shops will be in better position. By offering other brands with better build quality/more profit / better sound and happy customers

    1. Is Fort Lauderdale part of China? Last I checked they made the majority of their woofer, marine and home products in-house. I’m defending anyone in particular but I can’t think of any recognized brands that don’t make something in China.
      Focal, Audison, Hertz, Morel all make something in China.

  10. How is an Ebay store selling at MAP going to “benefit the dealers?” It seems there is no love for the small retail store anymore

  11. I’m glad I’m not a JL dealer. Having them compete with dealers using Ebay is tacky. Ebay is supposed to be that place nobody sells high end exclusive equipment on.

    1. If the Ebay sales are fulfilled by JL AUDIO retailers, then why would you think that it comets against dealers? Manufacturers selling direct to consumers is tacky, having dealers fill the orders directly with the possibility of adding an install doesn’t seem anti-dealer to me. Maybe I’m missing something.

    1. MSRP has become a myth used to magically demonstrate “value” when a consumer buys way below MSRP. In other words; Kiss gross profit goodbye.

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