|Re: 15c finally available from HP for $129.00 US|
Message #5 Posted by Howard Owen on 16 Sept 2011, 5:49 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Jake Schwartz
Past is prologue, I suppose. But as of now, HP is not undercutting their channel with the 15C LE.
Companies that have a retail channel often try to ensure their partners have a crack at selling their wares at a profit, however slight. That is, if they want to retain the channel. Sometimes companies decide to forego, or deemphasize a retail channel for various reasons. HP clearly hasn't gone that route with calculators. The 12C, for example, sells in lots of brick and mortar stores, and on the web. Taking a look at one giant discount retailer, Amazon currently has the 12C for $61.19, whereas HP is charging $69.99.
Here's a table of price comparisons between HP and Amazon. These do not take shipping or tax into account. All prices are below MSRP.
Calculator HP Price Amazon Price
HP-12C 12C#ABA $69.99 $61.19
HP-12C Platinum $79.99 $67.39
HP-12C 30th Anniversary $79.99 $68.66
HP-17BII+ $99.99 $78.99
HP-30B $49.99 $23.95
HP-35S $59.99 $51.15
HP-50G $149.99 $99.99
I took the prices from HP's Home/Home Office site and from Amazon search. Some of the calculators are from Amazon stock and some are from retail partners. In either case, the third column figures should represent valid street prices. As far as MSRP goes, obviously the real benchmark is what HP charges customers directly. The higher MSRPs don't count for much, except they give retailers a large number to claim large discounts against.
So it appears HP isn't systematically undercutting its retailers. The 15C LE is interesting in that regard. The business site still lists it at $129.99 in stock, while the Home/Home Office site has it at $99.99 "coming soon." The latter price might undercut some retailers, except HP isn't actually selling it for that price.
I'm not saying that HP never undercuts their retailers. I'm just saying that they seem to be happy having a retail channel, and aren't currently going out of their way to destroy it, at least with calculators.