Well, MAP stands for Minimum Advertised Price.
You know when a retail shop has a STORE-WIDE-SALE-!, but then the asterisk says “except for ____” brands. In the sex toy world, Fun Factory, Jimmyjane, and Crave (and soon Lelo) are usually mentioned. These companies have a MAP policy set in place. Toy manufacturers can make MAP policies that give shops a MINIMUM price to sell the product for. There is no limit on how high the price can be, just on how low it can be. Lets say a shop wants to carry Fun Factory products, the shop must agree to and abide by all the Fun Factory MAP regulations. If this shop does want to have a that store-wide-sale-! we talked about, they totally have the ability to ask for the manufacturer’s permission about whether or not the sale could include to their toys.
The MAP policy is actually a really great system, especially for small brick and mortar shops, because then customers can’t necessarily use the shop as a show room and then simply find the item online for much cheaper. But still, I know we have all seen $100+ toys reduced to half price on Amazon, but we can’t be sure that these aren’t knock-offs. For this reason, I always recommend buying from a reputable retailer. And because, ya know, the idealist in me loves supporting a company that has a meaningful sex positive mission statement.
Basically, MAP policies levels the playing field and reduces crazy competitions for shops. So we should all thank MAP for keeping our favorite quality sex shops (See: Right side bar) alive and profitable. It also doesn’t hurt manufacturer validation. Shops support MAP because they know the product is priced at its worth – or at least at the price people are willing to pay.
“Because MAP policies exist, it is less risky to carry a new product or brand. You are protected from undercutting prices by other retailers who are willing to make less profit.” - Entrenue
I’m thrilled to sign MAP (min. advertised price) policies ‘casue they help protect small businesses from being undercut. #supportsmallbiz