In the midst of the pandemic, Pentair quietly acquired Pleatco. Not sure why the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) didn't consider this purchase a bad thing for consumers. They should have blocked this purchase for the potential of giving Pentair the ability to fix prices in the replacement pool filter cartridge market. Fast forward to 1/1/2023 and that is exactly what they are doing. Effective New Years Day 2023, Pleatco is rolling out MAP (Manufacturer Approved Pricing) for the majority of their replacement filter cartridges currently being sold online by e-retailers like ourselves.
For the past 60 days we have been receiving hate mail from Pleatco telling us that we have many of their products on our website that are in violation of their proposed new MAP product pricing. Further, if we do not correct the pricing by 1/1/2023 we will incur a penalty.....not exactly sure what that is although I suspect it is like other companies that do this monopolist behavior....they will threaten to stop selling the products to my supplier if they continue to sell them to my company. This unfortunately, is American commerce today.
Manfacturers with too much power dictate what retailers can sell their products for by controlling the supply to the distributors.
Retailers do not buy directly from manufacturers in most cases. Distributors with big warehouse networks across the country buy directly from the manufacturers and then retailers purchase from the distributors. In the world of e-commerce this is a very familiar business model. When a manufacturer does this, we have no choice but to raise our prices to be in line with the new MAP product pricing, else potentially lose the ability to source the products from our suppliers which will stop sellilng to us rather than risk their relatioinship with the manufacturer.
In this instance, Pentair, the maker of quality pool equipment has purchased a company that makes generic after-market replacement cartridges for other pool equipment manufacturers, Pentair included. Pleatco provided a lower cost quality, alternative product to the original manufacturer, more expensive cartridges in order to allow consumers a choice for affordably maintaining their pools. What Pentair is doing by implementing MAP product pricing is dramatically closing the price difference between the original manufacturer pool filter cartridges and the after-market Pleatco brand pool filter cartridges. The list of price violations we were provided show that, on average, prices will be increasing approx. 20-25%. OUCH!!!!
Unfortunately, we are a small business that cannot possibly fight and win this battle, so we will be adhering to the new Pleatco MAP product pricing effective 1/1/2023.
Perahps if we all complain, something can be done. Click here to file a complaint with the FTC>Bureau of Competition if you would like to try to stop this type of monopolistic behavior.
owner/operator - www.allpoolfilters4less.com