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Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)


The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) refers to the recommended selling price of a product set by its manufacturer. It serves as a guideline for retailers to determine the cost at which they should sell the product to their customers. The MSRP helps in maintaining standardized pricing across various sales channels and ensures fair competition among retailers.


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Key Takeaways

  1. MSRP serves as a benchmark price: The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is the price that the manufacturer recommends retailers sell a product for. It is not mandatory but serves as a guideline for retailers to establish their selling prices.
  2. MSRP doesn’t always match the final selling price: Retailers have the freedom to set their prices below or above the MSRP. It’s common to find products being sold at discounts or higher prices due to factors such as demand, competition, and location.
  3. MSRP can be helpful in price comparison: When shopping for a product, customers can use the MSRP to compare prices across different retailers. By knowing the MSRP, customers can identify if they are getting a good deal or not based on the selling price.


The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is an important term in business and finance because it provides a standard pricing benchmark for both retailers and consumers in the market. This suggested price is determined by the manufacturer based on production costs, market research, and profitability goals, thus helping retailers to avoid price wars and maintain consistency in pricing across various sales channels. For consumers, the MSRP serves as a reference point to evaluate the fairness of the asking price and make informed purchasing decisions. Ultimately, this strategic pricing concept promotes a transparent, competitive marketplace, where retailers uphold the perceived value of goods and consumers reap the benefits of a balanced price landscape.


Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) serves as a vital communication tool between manufacturers and retailers, which assists in maintaining transparent business practices. The main purpose of the MSRP is to create a consistent pricing framework for a product across all retail channels. This strategy helps manufacturers protect the value and perception of their brand by avoiding extreme price fluctuations among various distributors and sellers. Furthermore, it allows customers to make an informed comparison between brands and products when evaluating their purchasing options, as the MSRP sets the expectation for what the standard price should be.

When setting the MSRP, manufacturers take into consideration the costs associated with producing the product, distribution fees, retailers’ margins, and competitive factors in the market. Retailers can use the MSRP as a reference point to set their selling prices, though they still possess the flexibility to price items differently based on store needs and targeted promotions. In some cases, retailers may choose to sell below the MSRP to appear more competitive. However, excessive undercutting of the MSRP might lead to brand value erosion and strained relationships with manufacturers. Ultimately, the MSRP works to strengthen the retail ecosystem by fostering informed pricing strategies and promoting fair competition in the marketplace.


1. Automobiles: Car manufacturers, such as Toyota, Ford, or Honda, provide an MSRP for each of their vehicle models, which includes the car’s base price and can also factor in added features or upgrades. This helps dealerships when setting their own retail prices for cars, as well as gives consumers an idea of the fair market price for a specific car model. For example, the 2022 Toyota Camry has an MSRP starting at around $25,045, but dealerships may offer incentives, discounts, or other promotions to persuade buyers to choose their location for the purchase.

2. Consumer Electronics: Electronic companies like Apple, Samsung, or Sony give an MSRP for their products, such as smartphones, television sets, or gaming consoles. For instance, the iPhone 13 has an MSRP of $799 for the base model with 128GB of storage. Retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, or local electronic stores may use this suggested pricing to determine their own retail price, may offer sales or bundles to attract customers, or adhere to the MSRP to ensure a relatively consistent price point across different sales channels.

3. Home Appliances: Appliance manufacturers such as Whirlpool, GE, or LG provide MSRPs for their products, ranging from washing machines to refrigerators. For example, a GE French Door Refrigerator may have an MSRP of around $2,799. Retail businesses and home appliance stores use this pricing suggestion to establish their own prices, which may differ depending on factors like sales promotions, inventory levels, or regional costs. This helps consumers get a sense of what a fair price might be for a specific home appliance and allows for comparison shopping across different retailers.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)?

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, or MSRP, is the price recommended by the manufacturer for a product to be sold in retail stores. It serves as a guideline for retailers to set their selling prices, though they are not obligated to follow it strictly.

Why do manufacturers provide an MSRP?

MSRP is provided by manufacturers for a couple of reasons. One is to help establish a uniform price for their products across different retailers, promoting fair competition. Additionally, it helps consumers recognize the standard value of a product, allowing for more informed purchasing decisions.

Are retailers required to sell products at the MSRP?

No, retailers are not required to sell products at the MSRP. They may choose to sell at higher or lower prices depending on factors such as regional pricing trends, market competition, and outlet operating costs.

Can a consumer negotiate a lower price than the MSRP?

Yes, consumers can negotiate prices below the MSRP, particularly for items such as cars where pricing can be more flexible. However, negotiation may not be applicable for all products or at all retailers.

How is MSRP determined?

Manufacturers usually determine the MSRP by factoring in the cost of producing a product, desired profit margins, and an allowance for retailer markups, ensuring both the manufacturer and retailers can turn a profit on the sale.

Does the MSRP include taxes and other fees?

No, the MSRP does not typically include taxes, handling fees, or shipping costs. These additional charges vary by location and retailer and are added during the final purchase transaction.

Is the MSRP the same as the invoice price?

No, the MSRP is not the same as the invoice price. The invoice price is the cost a retailer pays to the manufacturer or distributor for the product. This price is typically lower than the MSRP, allowing the retailer to make a profit on the product sale.

Related Finance Terms

  • Retail Price
  • Invoice Price
  • Wholesale Price
  • Dealer Markup
  • Price Negotiation

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