Found a nice, but simple, article on slate.com talking about why iPods and other products are always sold for the same prices, regardless of who is selling them. Shouldn't the market determine the price of a product, allowing that price to fluctuate as supply and demand change? Not so when manufacturers artificially fix their prices. Isn't that illegal you say? Not with a tool called a "minimum advertised price" it isn't!
I noticed this problem at my old company. Manufacturers would force you to advertise a product at a certain price, or they would yank your dealer's license. Pretty lame! The genius that found that loophole must have gotten one sweet bonus!