How do you shop audio gear? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : How do you shop audio gear?

Mr Peabody
11-09-2012, 10:41 PM
In my area we were down to one big box store, being Best Buy, recently another chain is selling basic audio, I think the name is Greg's, I haven't been in one. I was just wondering if you all have more stores or have gone more to the internet, and has the buying method changed in the past couple years for you? I was forced to buy some high end gear from the internet but I also have bought from a local dealer who is more of an installer than B&M type seller.

11-10-2012, 05:24 AM
All my research is done online; in-store is almost irrelevant, though I would prefer to listen to speakers before I buy. In general I decide based online info & opinions, (such as I get here for instance), then I source the equipment from the most convenient, competitively price location; this could well be a local b&m or electronics outlet, but is even more likely to the internet.

JoeE SP9
11-11-2012, 12:28 PM
I've been shopping for most gear the same way Feanor does. Lately I've been trying to actually get off my lazy "arse" and visit some of the local B&M emporiums. Visiting local retailers is actually better than web shopping and much more social. Instead of posting complaints about the lack of B&M stores to audition gear I'm trying to support the ones I have access too.

Here in the Delaware Valley area we're blessed with a double handful of good B&M stores. I want them to stay in business. So, when I tell people to go out and listen to prospective gear I want it known I'm actually trying to follow my own advice.

harley .guy07
11-12-2012, 08:49 PM
I have bought online the past few years with the exception of my speakers and I bought them used and went to listen before I bought but as far a B & M stores in my area there is only one that sells higher end stuff if you don't count the local Best Buy magnolia in my area which sells a few lines of receivers and 3 main speaker lines. The main high end store sells only a couple of brands that I would consider (rotel, martin logan) and they are a big Audioquest dealer but the main problem is that every product they sell they price it at the brands suggested retail price and will not budge at all from that. I know that they have more overhead than some of the on line companies but they still should be able to work with people on price a little and this problem is one that I have had with almost every store that I have been to the last couple of years which makes online purchasing that much more enticing. Its not that I want to see these stores go away or that I would rather always buy online but in today's economy price is a big thing especially with products as expensive as we buy from time to time.

Mr Peabody
11-12-2012, 09:10 PM
I wonder if Rotel has a policy to stick to pricing? I don't think I've ever seen Rotel for sale online which gives B&M stores an advantage. On the other hand think of how many sales may have been lost because they wouldn't deal a bit. One store here in town gives 10% off retail for their customers or those they know who have bought from them before. It's tough, limited selection forces you to the internet but how do you try everything you might be interested in? Luckily most offer a return period.

11-13-2012, 03:40 AM
I have a great dealer in the Netherlands were i can trade up. Been doing business for a long time with them. I usually get 85% of the price i paid in return, add some cash and go to the next level. Have been doing it for years. However this game only starts to work on a price level of aprox. 4k per piece. I cant remember the last time i was in a HIFI store.

Jack in Wilmington
11-13-2012, 05:56 AM
I have two high end stores that are maybe 1/4 mile from each other and 5 to 10 minutes from my house. One store carries Wilson Audio, Sonus Faber, Paradigm, Bryston, Ayre, Audio Research, Project and others. The other store carries Avalon, Classe, Focal, Krell, Magnepan, McIntosh, Meridian, Quad, VPI and others. It's really nice to have these two so close together.

11-13-2012, 06:16 AM
Like Joe said, we do have several stores in the delaware valley. There is still David Lewis Audio in northeast philly, World Wide Stereo in 2 locations, HiFi House in Abington and a few others.

Mr P, I have negotiated price on Rotel at World Wide as well as Integra.

I do my research online but if possible, try to buy and negotiate at a real store. Personal service is good that way as well as returns or problems get resolved and no return shipping costs.

Mr Peabody
11-13-2012, 06:32 AM
Flo that's a great trade in policy, you are lucky to get close to that percentage selling it ourselves.

I too prefer to buy locally if possible.

harley .guy07
11-13-2012, 09:10 PM
I agree that buying from a local store has its advantages and I would for sure if they had more than just a few lines in their store and they would at least come within a margin of what I could buy online for but the 1 store here I think feels like they have the market cornered in this area as far as audio which is too bad. I know it is from people that have new homes or doing a remodel and want a home theater and want someone to come in and do the whole thing and they do not want no part of the product picking or the install process that makes this particular store what it is and that is fine that has its place but it seems like people like me that come in there from time to time seem to get on their nerves because I have worked in the audio/ home theater world and have been there and they can't tell me anything that I haven't already heard before and their demos are more centered around people that do not know audio form a musicians or an audiophiles standpoint.