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Full Version: 15c finally available from HP for $129.00 US
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Here is the link:

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF05a/215348-215348-64232-20037-215351-33532.html

I wonder if the online stores will raise the price to match.

HP usually charges full price in order not to undercut their retailers. Of course, at $200.00+ on eBay, they may undercut them anyway!

Actually, I think this will put a stop to the gouging - for now.

edit: clickable link

Edited: 16 Sept 2011, 1:37 a.m.

That's the business store, where prices seem to be higher. It's still listed as $99.99, but 'coming soon' on the home/home office one. Although I imagine this means that HP has them in stock, and whoever's responsible for managing the home user store just needs to update the site.

Quote:
HP usually charges full price in order not to undercut their retailers.

I beg to differ. Back in the early-to-mid 1990s timeframe, Jim Lawson, a member of our local Philadelphia Area HP Handheld Club (founded in 1978 as the Philly chapter of the PPC club) had a one-man HP dealership called "Handi-Calc". He was an avid HP fan and put out his own 2-to-8-page newsletter periodically over several years, explaining how to use HP machines and announcing new ones. When HP began undercutting his prices by discounting below their own MSRP, Jim couldn't compete and had to fold up shop. We complained to the new head of HP's ACO (Chris Wallin) and only got useless answers. This told us that despite his plea at the 1997 British HPCC Club's 15th-Anniversary conference in London (which I attended and videotaped) that he was interested in our concerns, this was merely "lip service".

Moving to the present day, Eric Rechlin (from hpcalc.org) mentioned recently that the prices of the HP machines from the distributors which he would resell, are not as low as the price that he can purchase them RETAIL from Amazon.com, and thus he can't really compete domestically with the large Internet retailers in the U.S. I'm not sure what HP can do, but they didn't consider their small dealers 15 years ago and I don't think they are taking care of them now either.

Jake

Past is prologue, I suppose. But as of now, HP is not undercutting their channel with the 15C LE.

Companies that have a retail channel often try to ensure their partners have a crack at selling their wares at a profit, however slight. That is, if they want to retain the channel. Sometimes companies decide to forego, or deemphasize a retail channel for various reasons. HP clearly hasn't gone that route with calculators. The 12C, for example, sells in lots of brick and mortar stores, and on the web. Taking a look at one giant discount retailer, Amazon currently has the 12C for $61.19, whereas HP is charging $69.99.

Here's a table of price comparisons between HP and Amazon. These do not take shipping or tax into account. All prices are below MSRP.

Calculator                 HP Price          Amazon Price
---------------------------------------------------------
HP-12C 12C#ABA $69.99 $61.19
HP-12C Platinum $79.99 $67.39
HP-12C 30th Anniversary $79.99 $68.66
HP-17BII+ $99.99 $78.99
HP-30B $49.99 $23.95
HP-35S $59.99 $51.15
HP-50G $149.99 $99.99

I took the prices from HP's Home/Home Office site and from Amazon search. Some of the calculators are from Amazon stock and some are from retail partners. In either case, the third column figures should represent valid street prices. As far as MSRP goes, obviously the real benchmark is what HP charges customers directly. The higher MSRPs don't count for much, except they give retailers a large number to claim large discounts against.

So it appears HP isn't systematically undercutting its retailers. The 15C LE is interesting in that regard. The business site still lists it at $129.99 in stock, while the Home/Home Office site has it at $99.99 "coming soon." The latter price might undercut some retailers, except HP isn't actually selling it for that price.

I'm not saying that HP never undercuts their retailers. I'm just saying that they seem to be happy having a retail channel, and aren't currently going out of their way to destroy it, at least with calculators.