Oct 12, 201887 views

I can't be the only one who's sensing hi-fi gear pricing shenanigans

Firstly: I'm not accusing (or even pointing fingers) any collusion or malice here.
Secondly: the only data (I would call it anecdotal at best) I have available is product pricing which is readily available to the public
As I shop for gear on massdrop, amazon and elsewhere for anything from DACs to headphones and everything in between, I've noticed a pattern in pricing: for any item certain range most, if not all, vendors sell a product at nearly the same price (be it ~$199 DACs or ~$350 amps or ~$500 speakers or ~$900 headphones). To me this raises red flags. In a competitive, efficient market vendors should try to compete and undercut each other, not settling on very tight price ranges. The fact presently there are several headphones at $899-and-change and at other other products at prices mentioned above scream of unintentional price fixing: w/o any malice or collusion among them, vendors choose to not undercut each other. i,e.: vendor A releases product P at price X, vendor B releases competing product Q at price X, then vendor C and vendor D follow suit whereas in an efficient market, vendor B would price Q at X - 5% (just as en example) in order to get customers looking their way. This lack of competitive efficiency hurts the consumer badly and if I'm right in my feeling/sensing we could be overpaying for the products we buy-- which are already quite pricey :(
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Tommy Liang, guccifer2, and 1 other
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There are a lot of hidden assumptions when talking about how a competitive market should be working. In the example you give, you assume vendors use pricing competition to gain market share which could possibly make up for the lost profit due to lower pricing. Perhaps it does not. Perhaps selling less but making more on it is better for sellers. Perhaps they all realize this. Perhaps fighting for market share is done in other ways. Or, perhaps there is collusion.