Japanese electronics company Sharp announced in a statement this morning that it’s decided to broaden its unilateral pricing plan (UPP) to include each one of its Aquos Quattron and Ultra HD televisions. Sharp has essentially decided to set standardized minimum prices for the TVs. While retailers aren’t necessarily required by law to follow the guidelines, selling a product for less than the specified price runs the risk of suspension and losing the right to sell the manufacturer’s products. In short, retailers are highly motivated to abide by agreements of this sort. Check out our guide to UPP for a deeper explanation of the relatively new tactic.
Until today, Sharp’s ensemble of high-definition screens sat under a minimum advertised price (MAP) agreement, a policy that TV manufacturers have begun to steadily phase out in favor of the more steadfast UPP agreement. Retailers eventually figured out how to work around MAP pricing – this is the reason that sometimes, when shopping online, you have to add an item to your cart and trudge halfway through the checkout process to figure out what you’ll actually pay in the end.
Here is a list of the Sharp screens, which includes the set suggested retail prices (SRP) and the UPP amounts for each model:
- LC70TQ15U — SRP: $3,599.99 / UPP: $2,899.99
- LC70SQ15U — SRP: $3,399.99 / UPP: $2,699.99
- LC70EQ10U — SRP: $2,599.99 / UPP: $2,199.99
- LC60TQ15U — SRP: $2,599.99 / UPP: $2,199.99
- LC60SQ15U — SRP: $2,399.99 / UPP: $1,999.99
- LC60EQ10U — SRP: $1,699.99 / UPP: $1,399.99
Right now, Sony, Sharp, Samsung, LG, and Toshiba have some form of UPP in place, while Panasonic is the only “tier 1” manufacturer holding back. Tier 2 brands like Vizio (which is on track to soon join the tier 1 ranks) and tier 3 brands such as Westinghouse and Best Buy’s Insignia imprint don’t use UPP programs.