Author Topic: Why some test gear mfgs. list no prices?  (Read 1146 times)

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Why some test gear mfgs. list no prices?
« on: June 21, 2016, 03:48:17 pm »
Some test gear manufacturers (especially the higher-end ones, like Keysight) have no prices listed anywhere on their websites.

You have to ask for a quote specifically for the item you are interested in.

Why is that?

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Re: Why some test gear mfgs. list no prices?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 04:09:08 pm »
1. (Informally) If you have to ask, it's too much. :P
2. With quoted material, salespeople traditionally set the price, which lets them feel better about accomplishing something, I guess.  The initial price is high (maybe by 40%).

2a. If you don't want to spend the time negotiating, you can pay full price, and get a happy salesperson (for what that's worth).
2b. If you negotiate, you can talk them down through various methods or excuses.  For instance, the promise of ordering production quantities (say you're sampling components for a build) from a bends-over-backwards supplier can be lucrative in the end.  Huge discounts aren't usually going to come for free (i.e., "sign here to get 67% off the samples, and be contractually bound to buy qty 5000, of these or similar, over the next two years").
2c. You can tell them "best price".  A lot of people don't want to play that game, and may simply quote a few suppliers for their goods.  You might be able to negotiate a better price, but then you'd be spending a lot of time with each supplier to polish it as low as possible.  Likely, "best price" isn't actually best, but it is in suppliers' interest to at least price it lower than their starting/list price.

Speaking of, if they have a list or catalog, the price is again a suggestion, and usually negotiable.  I mean, I wouldn't expect huge suppliers like Digikey to give you a call back if it's just for a couple reels of parts, but if you're going into production and looking to spend >$10k at each supplier, they can be of some help.  DK, Mouser, Avnet, Arrow, etc., they all have salespeople on staff to see if they can get you something, and for cheaper if it's worthwhile.

As for smallish, local distributors, they almost always work by quote and negotiate, that's just the culture they all work in.

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Offline ajb

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Re: Why some test gear mfgs. list no prices?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 04:32:38 pm »
Companies that primarily sell through distributors may also avoid listing prices to keep their distributors happy.  Generally the manufacturer will set an MSRP, and may specify a minimum advertised price, but it's difficult and in some cases outright illegal to for a manufacturer to set an exact price.  That makes it tricky for a manufacturer to list a price--you could list MSRP, but nobody actually pays that, and if you list MAP, then you're effectively locking your distributors into selling the item at that price, and forcing them to accept minimum margin.  Or at least that's my understanding from what our sales folks have said.

Requiring you to submit an inquiry is also a tactic to get more information on prospective customers and look for additional sales opportunities.  "Oh I see you're interested in [oscilloscope], howabout a sig gen to go with it?"  Sometimes the intent is sincerely to make sure they sell you the product that best meets your needs, sometimes it's pure upsell.  Usually it's a combination.

Offline uncle_bob

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Re: Why some test gear mfgs. list no prices?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2016, 12:16:06 am »

I noticed you asked about our gizmo XYZ ... in order to best serve your needs, I need a little information:

1) How much money did your company spend in each of the last 48 months on the following 32 categories of stuff?
2) What are the names, email's, phone numbers, signing limits and responsibilities for all of those involved in each of the 32 categories (by category).
3) We have a presentation we would like to make, You need to arrange for all of those people to be available. We will be there next Tuesday at 9AM. We should make it to the quotation part by Friday around 3 PM. 

Yes, it goes on from there. No it's not as much of an exaggeration as you might think. Anybody with the *need* for something fancy likely is worth their time to get to know better.


Offline nctnico

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Re: Why some test gear mfgs. list no prices?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2016, 12:23:18 am »
Some test gear manufacturers (especially the higher-end ones, like Keysight) have no prices listed anywhere on their websites.
Once you log in you should be able to see prices or get an automated quick quote on Keysight's website. Unfortunately I have very little luck in getting better than list prices (generally speaking) so I guess it depends on how much you spend and whether you can build a relationship.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 12:26:00 am by nctnico »
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