Stihl Price Fixing

How are Stihl able to implement their so called safety policy of not allowing online sales for chainsaw equipment ?  It's just price fixing.  It means that you can only buy from your local dealer thereby removing the competition.  Husqvarna  has no such issue & as far as I am aware, neither do any other manufacturers. Several online retailers have banners apologising about Stihl & pointing out that Husqvarna don't implement such a policy.  Obviously their saws are safer !  It apparently makes them a lot cheaper.

I am amazed that this is allowed under EU competition law.  Has anyone found a way around this problem ?

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  • PRO
    I've heard that if you go in face to face and get registered as a trader you can then buy online from that shop. Not sure how true it is though!?
    • PRO

      Most of the online shops will hand over to you if you're within a certain distance. There are at least two (forest & arb and Radmore & Tucker) near me that do so.

      • Don't out them :)  Stihl might be reading this

    • Wouldn't surprise me. But if you are visiting then you might as well buy it direct.  I have always used Stihl but this really puts me off because it's so underhand.  It reminds me of when BMW & Mercedes unsuccessfully tried to stop non dealers selling their cars.  The EU soon stopped that.

      • PRO
        Allegedly for further purchases. Like I say not sure how true it is.
  • PRO
    Is it price fixing or protecting their dealers who have actual premises and will be the ones who deal with issues with breakdowns/warranties vs online price shagging that puts the actual shops out of business. It's in our interest to keep local dealers going so they are there to fix our machines.
    • The last person I would take my Stihls to would be my local dealer. Protection is supposed to be illegal
      • PRO

        The opposite for us, other than for minor faults. We've access to a really good Stihl Tech at our dealer who understands how important contractors gear is to them.

        Ive no desire to spend my work or social time fixing faults when we could be earning.

        However, I don't fully agree with Stih's stance re: online sales but if online sales totally won out, we'd end up being the losers with no access to real dealers.

        Perhaps build a better relationship with your Dealer?

    • PRO
      Where do you think the online retailers store the stuff? All of the cheap ones are actual shops as well, they have to be as part of stihl rules so why is their such a disparity in prices of the stuff?
      That's what bothers me.
      As for using local dealers I've got parts from them (that you can get online too) i can't recall ever taking something in to get fixed as it takes far too long!
      • PRO
        Online retailers don't pay business rates so there is a huge difference in cost there and puts the shop at a disadvantage. That's a shame you can't get things fixed locally. My local dealer who I bought all my kit from prioritises my repairs as he knows the kit is needed back in service asap.
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