How the 'Street Price' of a Golf Club Compares to MSRP, MAP

If you are shopping for new golf clubs and reading articles and reviews, or if you are just an equipment junkie and enjoy reading manufacturers' news releases about new gear, then you've probably run across the term "street price." Do you know what "street price" represents when equipment companies cite it? Is it higher or lower than the MSRP?

When a golf equipment maker debuts a new driver, a new set of irons, whatever, it makes an announcement. It sends out a press release, it adds information about the new sticks to its website. One of the data points it typically includes is the price.

But which price — the MSRP, the MAP, or the street price? Those three retailing terms are very familiar to golf gearheads. MSRP stands for "manufacturer's suggested retail price." MAP stands for "minimum advertised price."

Golf club companies can suggest any price they wish to retailers, and retailers can put a club on the shop floor at any price they want. But they cannot advertise that club for sale lower than the company's MAP. So MAP is typically lower than MSRP.

And "street price"? A golf club's street price is the manufacturer's best guess (based on surveying retailers in advance) of what a particular product will actually sell for in stores, or its actual knowledge of the average retail price of that item (based on sales data). To recap:

  • MSRP equals the manufacturer's claimed value of the product to steer retailers' pricing;
  • MAP is the lowest price the manufacturer authorizes retailers to advertise;
  • Street price is what the product is actually selling for in stores.
How does all this work out in practice? Let's say a whiz-bang new driver is released to the market. The company declares it is worth $500 and recommends that price to retailers. So $500 is the MSRP. The company can't legally instruct retailers what to price that driver at, though. But it can set a floor for advertising purposes. So the company tells retailers they can't advertise the driver lower than $350. That makes $350 the MAP.

And the street price is what that driver is actually selling for in stores. Typically the street price is lower than the MSRP but a little higher or very close to the MAP. But the market for that driver can change things. If the driver is very popular with golfers but supply is limited, that $500 MSRP/$350 MAP driver might be sitting in stores priced at $650. Or, if the driver is a bust and sales are terrible, the street price of that driver might fall to, say, $200 as retailers try to clear out stock.

But, as noted, the street price is mostly likely to be in-between the MSRP and MAP, although closer to — maybe even equal to — the MAP.

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