MAP vs. MSRP Pricing: What They Mean, How They Compare

Some manufacturers also use the term 'street price'

golf ball with Ben Franklin's image from the $100 bill
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"MAP" (or M.A.P.) is an acronym for "minimum advertised price" and is a term you'll find on some golf equipment manufacturers' websites, in their news releases about new equipment, and in articles about new golf equipment in the marketplace.

Likewise, "MSRP," another pricing acronym, also shows up in those places. In fact, MSRP is probably more common. (Both terms are used in all segments of manufacturing and retailing, not just in golf, of course.)

What Do MAP and MSRP Mean?

You know that MAP stands for "minimum advertised price." MSRP stands for "manufacturer's suggested retail price."

Manufacturers are not allowed to require retailers to price products at a set amount. So many manufacturers give retailers a suggested price (MSRP) along with a minimum advertised price (MAP).

The MAP is not a minimum price for the product - the retailer can still price an item lower than the MAP. The retailer just can't publicly advertise any price lower than the MAP.

And while manufacturers can't require retailers to price, say, a putter at a set amount, they can certainly suggest a price to the retailer. Which is what MSRP represents.

But again, whether you see MAP or MSRP cited by a golf manufacturer in promotional material, or within an article about equipment, retailers can price an item any way they like.

Including the MAP or MSRP is just a way to give readers and consumers an idea of a product's price before they actually start shopping.

Is MAP or MSRP Lower?

Some golf companies cite one or the other; others prefer to cite both. And sometimes the MAP and MSRP are the same thing. Typically, however, the MAP is lower than the MSRP.

The important things to note:

  • Both MAP and MSRP represent pricing levels/suggestions by the manufacturers to the retailer;
  • The retailer is not bound to use either price, and can go higher or lower than either;
  • But both MAP and MSRP are useful to consumers who are considering what new clubs or other golf equipment to purchase.

And Then There's 'Street Price'

Since retailers are free to price an item any way they want, there is a third term that sometimes shows up in place of (or in addition to) MAP and MSRP: street price.

The "street price" of a product represents the manufacturer's best guess — or its actual knowledge of — the average price of a product in retail outlets; in other words, what, for example, a driver is actually selling for in the stores.

The street price is commonly lower than MSRP, and might even be lower than MAP (although the retailer wouldn't be able to advertise a price lower than MAP). In some circumstances, however, street price might be higher than MSRP. For example, if a product's popularity skyrockets and supply isn't keeping up with demand, street price might rise above the MSRP.

Most commonly, however, street price falls somewhere between a manufacturer's MSRP and MAP; or is closely in line with MAP.