I have devoted my Saturday afternoon to the purchase of a brand new bass guitar. After a few ramblings in downtown Brussels, I eventually spot a Fender Jazz Bass (Mexican version) which both sounds and looks perfect.
Problem though, its official retail price is €600, far beyond my reserve price, approximately €500. Since discounts are customary in the market for music instruments, I try my luck and asks for it. The guy in the shop tells me he must "check" and starts typing on his computer. I ask him what he is doing and he explains that he is typing the serial number, because for each Fender instrument, the discount is apparently set in the system (I infer from what he tells me that the system is designed by Fender itself, but that would deserve a check). Unfortunately, the mininum price for my Jazz Bass is €600, and the guy tells me he "cannot" go lower.
I ended up buying an Ibanez bass guitar from another shop... and thinking of potential unlawful RPM practices on a Saturday afternoon (a Commission decision from 2003 found Yamaha guilty of RPM practices on the market for music instruments).
Picture source: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/