Rule of thumb for GSA pricing?

I know this risks contributing a real life example of “Thread titles that will have 0 replies and 0 views,” but I figured I’d kick it out Dopers for insight nevertheless…

I’m trying to figure out how prices listed in General Services Administration (GSA) schedules generally compare to prices charged at different points along a product’s distribution chain. I know the only truly accurate answer would be, “it depends,” but are there any rules of thumb? Generalities?

Maybe I should define a few things, as I conceive them (and feel free to correct me!). In a classic three-step distribution system, we have three escalating prices:

ManufacturerPrice A—> DistributorPrice B—> Dealer/ContractorPrice C—> End User

If a large ($1 billion+ in annual revenue) manufacturer directly lists products on a GSA schedule, how are these prices likely to compare to Prices A, B, and C, above? I’m guessing that GSA prices would represent a ceiling for Price A. (That is, a manufacturer would not generally sell to the Feds at a cheaper price than they would sell to their distributors.) But this is just a guess.

Does anyone have any idea for where GSA prices generally fall?

I do not, but at least you got past 0 views, 0 replies

If memory serves, GSA Multiple Award Schedule (i.e., for low-dollar purchases) pricing is best value, not best price. Vendors (who are not necessarily manufacturers) are required to disclose their best discounts to the government but not required to offer them. This is because MAS contracts are indefinite duration and indefinite quantity.

What this generally means is that someone who is buying predictably (fixed quantities at fixed intervals) is more valuable to a vendor and can probably negotiate a better deal. Otherwise, GSA MAS pricing ought to be comparable to the better prices available on the open market.

If you’re buying more than (I think) $500,000 worth of stuff, you’re past the MAS and into a different buying realm, of which I know little offhand.

Thank you, Tread! That’s mighty kind and most definitely appreciated. I’ve skirted the (dubious end) of SDMB history… for now.

Thank you, also, Tom Tildrum. Your post is helpful to orient me. I’ve got some more research to do, I see.

Does anyone else have any insight?