Nikon Prices May Increase Next Week Due to New Unilateral Pricing Policy

According to Nikon Rumors, Nikon has introduced a new Unilateral Pricing Policy on DSLR gear sold in the US that will take effect on October 16th. Saying that the policy is “designed to allow customers to make purchasing decisions based on service provided and not have to worry about hunting for a better price”, Nikon plans to withhold sales to any store caught pricing equipment below “national prices” that the company will set for each product.

Unilateral Policy is a method by which manufactures can control retail prices in the US. While forcing resellers to agree upon specific prices explicitly would constitute illegal price fixing, companies do have the right to refuse sales to any reseller caught selling products at prices below what the manufacturer wants.

For photographers in the US, this new policy means that there soon won’t likely be much difference in price regardless of where you shop. It’s something that’s terrific for small business owners struggling to stay competitive against larger stores, but bad news for photography enthusiasts looking for a sweet deal.

(via Nikon Rumors via Photography Bay)

Image credit: Nikon D200 @ Henrys by

  • Anonymous

    This is confirmed. I actually just had my manager come into my office to let me know for our pricing. Sad face.

  • jon campbell

     Trying to be the apple of cameras I guess.

  • Lis Bokt

    Were there really that many variations in pricing to start with? I went DSLR shopping last year and found that no matter where I shopped the prices were within $50 of each other (on a $3k item). Not exactly a sweet deal.

  • Renee Besta

    This is very unfortunate indeed. Companies who sell higher volumes of Nikon products should be able to pass that savings on to the consumer. This means the local yocal who knows nothing about photography (and has poor service) will now sell Nikon cameras at the same price as great companies such as B&H, who are awesome. This is a very wrong-headed decision by Nikon. Meanwhile, where is the D800? Instead we get a mirrorless camera we don’t want.

  • Guest

    Funny that you use a photo from a Canadian retailler for a story about US prices. Readers north of the border might recognize the Henry’s price tags.

  • Anonymous

    This will hopefully also mean a more agressive campaign-cycle from Nikon, to make sure they still get on the good side of the larger stores and chains.

  • Jim

    easy win for grey importers and ebay.

  • Jim Mullen

    Wow!  Bad news!  Glad I just got my 55-200mm lens.  It was about $50 off at Best Buy.  Got my D3100 at Staples a couple months ago with a 25% off coupon.  Price was definitely a factor for me.  If I can’t find any deals on Nikon equipment in the future, my future purchases will probably go to another manufacturer.

  • Tran-Shawn Yu

    service provided?!?! hahahahahaha

  • Anonymous

    The difference between forcing a dealer to sell at a price, and denying
    them access to more stock if they don’t comply is quite minute.  I don’t
    understand how denying them stock isn’t forcing them to sell at a given

  • lukeBme

    This might turn into a sticky situation for Nikon.  It obviously works out just fine for other companies such as Apple but I’m not aware of other camera manufacturers doing this.  Time will tell I guess. 

  • John

    Actually illegal in the UK (Retail Price Maintenance) so they could be in for an interesting time if they try to implement it globally. Having said that, it is surprising how closely aligned the pricing from suppliers in the UK can be at times.

  • Ranger 9

    I doubt if it will actually make much difference; prices now already are pretty close. My local dealer tells me he more or less HAS to match prices with B&H, Adorama, and Amazon anyway, to avoid losing sales to people who otherwise would come in, get a demo, ask some questions, and then go home and order online.

    I can’t recall any equipment I’ve shopped in the past two years that was significantly less expensive at a reputable online retailer. Buying locally, you do have to pay sales tax, but don’t have to pay shipping, so it’s often nearly a wash — especially if you need the item right away and would have to pay for overnight express shipping if ordering online.

    Because of this, I usually make my buying decisions nowadays based strictly on availability rather than on price. That doesn’t 100% favor the online e-tailers, either; for my most recent purchase, a 45/1.8 Olympus Micro Four Thirds lens, my local dealer had two of them on the shelf while B&H, Adorama and Amazon still were only accepting pre-orders.

  • Tran-Shawn Yu

    shipping is nowhere near the cost of tax…  especially if you use Amazon and have Prime.

  • dzad

    NIKON SUX!!!

  • Travis

    As a camera retailer I cannot tell you how happy I am to hear this, the best thing we have going for our company is product knowledge, where as big box stores hire people to tend the register and do not relly know about stock.  Maybe now people will focus more on retailer-customer relationship rather than cheapest price.  (btw, most people dont even understand price matching, so this will help a lot.)

  • Richard

    Even though I do frequent Amazon quite a bit (Prime customer) if I go into your store and you help me, you get the sale (if your price isn’t too jacked up).

    Same with B&H: If I use their store, they get the sale.

    It sucks for retailers when customers spend time at the counter knowing full well that they’ll order from Amazon when they get home, or, buy the same product at Best Buy.

    If camera stores like yours are helping people we owe it to you to give you business.

    I’m not sure all of the reasons Nikon is doing this but no doubt routing people to full service camera shops is one of them.

    The one thing that Amazon, Best Buy, Costco and many other big discounters have going for them that’s very nice is a very liberal return policy. I know it’s a hassle for smaller camera shops to have this but it would do them a lot of good to do it. It builds customer loyalty.

  • Ranger 9

    Depends on tax rate where you live, what you buy, etc.

  • Ranger 9

    The equivalent of UK “retail price maintenance” (aka “price fixing,” as noted in the article) is illegal in the US as well. However, a manufacturer can’t be FORCED to sell to a particular dealer (which I would think is the case in the UK too.) There always have been ways for manufacturers/importers to influence dealers’ pricing — such as control of advertising co-op funds and allocation of scarce products — so as I noted earlier, I don’t think that in practice this is going to change the actual prices that customers pay very much, if any. It’s just something new for forum posters to whinge about.

  • Anonymous

    It might not make a difference between dealers, but the “big guys” will have to raise their prices to list price if Nikon actually follows through, raising the prices everywhere.

  • ceebeee

    Nikon needs a haircut.

  • gb

    Bose has had the same policy for years.  Sony has had it for some time also. Last I saw Bose and Sony are doing just fine. Nikon is just trying to protect their image and not have their cameras whored out on Amazon and B&H.  If the small retailers go out of business where do we as camera consumers go to see the stuff before we buy it?
    The higher prices will be around a 5% hike.  Is that amount enough to not make you buy a Nikon?

  • gb

    D800 will be introduced Oct. 26th, shipping in November.

  • gb

    With the dollar to the yen it may not be a good deal for grey marketers.
    Also they would have to be individuals, not stores selling the stuff.  The pricing includes grey market cameras and lenses as well.  Also Nikon USA will not touch and grey market item for repair.  Even if you pay them.  Do you want to buy a $2,999 camera and have to send it to Japan for warranty?

  • gb

    If a dealer cannot get the stock he cannot sell it.

  • gb


  • jds

    If you live in the US keep your eyes on what your state is doing to collect taxes on internet purchases.  States are starving for revenue and they are going to be more aggressive in collecting use tax that individuals have been ignoring to this point.  To claim that you don’t have to pay tax, in most states, to illustrate how much better it is to shop online is to publicly admit you are ignoring a tax for which you are responsible.

  • Steve E

    I think that you will find that the pricing policy also covers dealers that sell grey market goods below specified US pricing. If it says Nikon they want the price to be correct no matter the source.

  • Vlad

    Well, I had a Nikon camera bought in Canada fail while on a trip in Eastern Europe. Nikon authorised repair shop fixed it for me under warranty, no charge. It was grey market to them. How come they fixed it?

  • InfiniteBlue

    I’m all for customer loyalty to a store that treats you right.  My local mom and pop shop typically gets my business no matter what.  But one major chain made me feel horrible about buying from them, and since then I’ve had no qualms about using them to check out a product before buying it from another store that does treat me right, but just might not carry the product on a regular basis.

  • Butcher

    I want to be 5% percent better photographer, so.. of course I could pay 5% more

  • Jason Heilig

    On the D3x that’s $400 price hike. Ack.

  • leno brookins

    Im going Canon now

  • leno brookins


  • Mike Novack

    Canon will follow as soon as they see it work for Nikon.

  • Easybc

    Uh …