List Price

The price that is advertised as the official price for the product. Usually called the original price or often referred as the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

The list price is a retail price that is suggested by the product manufacturer. This price -which is also known as the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP)- takes into consideration the different costs that are added to the products’ total cost.


Most of the time, the list price is the maximum price that the product can be sold for. Due to competition-related reasons, adhering to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price can be difficult. In most situations, products end up being sold for less than the price suggested by the manufacturer.

In some rare situations, retailers might need to go above the suggested price. However, since the retail prices are usually 2.5 – 3 times the wholesale price, this is uncommon. What makes the manufacturer’s suggested retail price so helpful is that it gives you a good idea about a product’s price, without having to do any pricing-related work.

Important Considerations

It’s true that the manufacturer’s suggested retail price is helpful when pricing your products. However, to make the most out of this suggested price, there are important points that you need to consider.

Keeping these things in mind when assessing a suggested retail price will help you make a sound judgement.

Do You Buy the Products in Bulk?

Buying a product in bulk helps you get a better price per product. When it comes to assessing the profitability of a list price, this is a major factor.

If you buy your products in bulk, the profit margin that you get for selling a product for the list price is higher than another merchant who buys the product in small quantities. Whether you should keep the higher profit margin or lower your prices depends on the market that you’re in. In case of a product that competes mainly with its price, getting a lower price per product allows you to outsell your competition while maintaining a solid profit margin. If that’s not the case, you can use the recommended price while having a higher profit margin, which is also great for your long-term business success.

Does Your Business Incur Additional Expenses?

The retail price that the manufacturer suggests takes additional costs that the retailers incur into consideration. This, however, is calculated based on the average. Since expenses can vary significantly from one business to the other, this isn’t always as accurate as it should be.

In some cases, your business might incur additional expenses that aren’t applicable to most other merchants, which is something that you must pay close attention to. Additional costs mean that the MSRP gives you a lower profit margin than your competitors. Additional costs might be due to having a store in a location that’s substantially more expensive or having to pay higher taxes. When assessing the list price that’s proposed by a manufacturer, make sure to calculate all of your costs carefully.

List Price: Advantages and Disadvantages

Despite not being a pricing “method” in itself, the list price is a key piece of information when you’re pricing a product.

Easier Pricing

One of the great things about the list price is that it doesn’t let you start your pricing process from scratch. You already have a suggested price that’s based on the research done by the manufacturer.

After you price your products, you can compare them to the MSRP to make sure that they’re relevant. Having a profitable price that’s lower than the manufacturer’s suggested price is a good thing to remain competitive in your market.

Less-Than-Optimal Pricess

While not that common, some retailers apply the MSRPs directly without proper assessment. Doing so have a major downside, which is poor prices. This can be either because the price that you’ve set is much higher than your competitor’s so you can’t compete or substantially lower, which leaves you with smaller profit margins.

In both cases, it’s bad for your business. The only way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to asses your prices compared to your competitors’ and to the list price with a tool like Sniffie.

How can Sniffie help?

The list price -or the MSRP- is great for giving you an idea about how much you should be selling a product for. In order for this price to be useful, you must be aware of how much other merchants are selling the same product for.

Knowing this will help you asses whether sticking to the suggested manufacturer’s price is the best option for you or not. Staying on top of all these variables requires an enormous amount of work. And that’s where Sniffie can help. Check out our services page and our features to find out how it can make checking your competitor´s prices easier.

Want to learn more about pricing?

Are you keen to learn more about pricing? Head to our Pricing Academy, from there you can find our latest articles about pricing and other free resources related to pricing, be sure to check them out!

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