As I’m sure many of you have noticed, there are certain products that pretty much every online store sells at the exact same price.  Despite what some may think, we do not all get together and conspire on prices.  Most manufacturers in the billiards industry have what are commonly referred to as Minimum Advertised Pricing policies or MAP for short.

In essence, manufacturers tell retailers that they can only advertise certain products at specific minimum prices.  For example, if you look at the Predator IKON series, you’ll notice that every IKON is priced at 15% off MSRP, down to the penny.

ikon2Predator IKON 2 Pool Cue

At the time of this writing, we have the IKON 2 priced at $551.65, which is exactly 15% off the MSRP of $649.00.  If you shop around, you’ll likely find that every authorized dealer has the same pool cue priced no lower than $551.65 as well (the key word here is authorized, as I’m sure there are some unauthorized, unscrupulous dealers that violate MAP).

Another example of this is with Aramith products.  Recently, Aramith instituted a 20% MAP policy, so all Aramith pool balls are now priced at 20% off down to the penny.

As retailers, we are required to follow these policies as a condition of selling a manufacturer’s products.  If we habitually advertise Aramith products under MAP, we will be cut off and won’t be able to carry those products any more.

The concept of MAP is not exclusive to the billiards industry.  Almost every industry has manufacturers that enforce MAP policies.  When I worked in the toy business, Disney, Mattel and pretty much every other manufacturer I worked with had MAP policies in place.  Same went for the video game business when I was doing that.  We would get a list of prices from companies like Activision and Electronic Arts telling us what our minimum advertised prices would be.

This is a policy that isn’t always popular with retailers and customers, as it limits the amount a product can be discounted.  That being said, it is a standard part of retail and is beyond our control.  Having worked on both sides (as I worked for a supplement manufacturer in a previous life), I personally understand all the pros and cons of this sort of program.  I personally don’t have any issues with it, but can understand why others might.

So now you know why pool cues are always marked at 20% off.  And as GI Joe said, knowing is half the battle. :-)

Tip Changes at PoolDawg?

On August 9, 2010, in About PoolDawg, by Michael Feiman

One of the great things about summertime in the billiards industry is that it gives us a chance to catch up and make changes to the website.  Over the next couple of months, you’ll be seeing a number of changes, some small, others fairly drastic.

Later this month, we’ll be offering something that our customers have been asking for – tip changes!  We’ve got the lathe, we’ve got a guy that knows how to do tip changes and shaft repair, so all we need to do is get the functionality built on the website.

The PoolDawg Lathe

The PoolDawg Lathe

The way it’s going to work is as follows.  When you buy a new cue or shaft on the PoolDawg website, you’ll have the option to stick with the standard tip or upgrade.  Moori, Kamui, Tiger, whatever tip you want, if we have it in stock, we’ll install it for you.  If you choose to upgrade your tip, it will take a couple of extra days for delivery.

Once we have that worked out, we’ll also be offering shaft tune ups and tip changes for customer cues.  Customers will ship in their shaft with instructions and we’ll get it cleaned up for you.  Look for all this to happen by the end of August.

In addition, we’re changing how we display our cues.  For years, we’ve shown our cues with a picture that looks something like this:


This did a nice job showing the work on the forearm, but it was confusing at times for customers.  So, we’ve decided to straighten it out a bit.  Our new cue thumbnails will look like this:


A small change, but we feel that it does a better job showing the entire butt of the cue.  As always, let us know what you think!

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What’s all this business about deflection?  The first time I heard about deflection I immediately pictured a circa 1970s Linda Carter bouncing pool balls off her magic silver bracelets.  After doing a little research though, I found out that when it comes to pool cues, deflection means something a little different.

Here’s the deal.  The idea behind the low deflection shaft is when you hit the cue ball with English, the shaft construction will work to decrease the cue ball’s deflection.  Different shafts go about reducing deflection in different ways.  Some of them take splices of wood and glue them together to make the shaft, others make changes to the end of the cue with adjustments made to the tip, ferrule and even hollowing out the end of the shaft.  There’s a bunch of scientific mumbo jumbo that goes with all this, but the bottom line is that low deflection shafts make it easier to sink your shots when you’re putting English on the cue ball.

Unique Features:

  • Hollow Bore Shaft
  • 10 Piece Radial Splicing
  • 6/10″ Ferrule
Lucasi Hybrid Low Deflection Shaft
Lucasi Hybrid Shaft
Unique Features:

  • Zero Flex Ferrule
  • 8 Piece Radial Splicing
  • 12.75mm 8 Layer Tip
Unique Features:

  • 6 Piece Stress Relieved Splicing
  • Wood Ferrule
  • Vibration Dampening Core
Unique Features:

  • 5 Piece Cross Grain Splicing
  • Sniper Tip with Red Fiber Backing
  • Extended 15″ Pro Taper

Still have questions?  Drop us an email or give us a call.  We’re not physicists over here, but we do know our shafts and we’re happy to help out wherever we can!

Get 15 Bucks From Predator

On December 2, 2008, in Billiards Products, by Michael Feiman

Just in time for the holidays, the guys over at Predator have authorized us to pass on a sweet little rebate.  If buy a Predator Air jump cue, all you need to do is fill out a rebate form that we’ll include in your shipment and Predator will mail you a check for 15 bucks.

Here’s how it works: If you buy a Predator Air Jump Cue between November 20th and January 20th, fill out the rebate form and mail it in by January 31st and Predator will send you a check for $15.00.  If you buy the Air Jumper and a Predator BK2 or a Predator Sport cue, fill out the form and you’ll get a check for $30.00.  You have to include your original proof of purchase with the rebate form and you’ll mail it all to the following address:

Predator Consumer Relations
11764 Marco Beach Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32224-7684

Pretty nice deal for one of the best jumpers and breakers on the market.

Predator IKON Now In Stock

On September 18, 2008, in Billiards Products, by Michael Feiman

Just a quick note to let everyone know that we now have the entire Predator IKON line of cues in stock and ready to ship.  Every IKON cue features a 2nd Generation Predator 314 shaft, the Leather Luxe cushioned grip and Predator’s new C4 technology in the butt.  You can find the IKON series by going to PoolDawg and clicking on the Predator Cues link in Pool Cues by Brand or by simply doing a search for IKON.  As always, if you have any questions just call or email.

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