• 03-05-2005, 08:05 AM
    Internet Pricing on A/V Receivers

    Can anyone tell me why the pricing on internet web sites is so much cheaper than at local retailers? Can anyone personally recommend a good place to buy Yamaha HTR-5790.

    Thanks, Mark
  • 03-06-2005, 06:47 PM

    Originally Posted by markelworthy

    Can anyone tell me why the pricing on internet web sites is so much cheaper than at local retailers? Can anyone personally recommend a good place to buy Yamaha HTR-5790.

    Thanks, Mark

    I think the biggest reason is that most of the Internet stores do not have a lot of overhead to deal with (building in a mall or other expensive location, advertising in local pubs, a sales staff, other things to make you want to come into the store), willing to take less profit on each sale because of the larger market available to them and, depending on the size of the seller, a lower cost basis per item if they are a large seller of an item.
    The difference in price gives you some idea of the huge markup we pay to purchase certain items. These stores are not losing money on things they regularly sell.
  • 03-07-2005, 04:54 AM
    I think I would stick with one of the larger on-line stores if going that route...
    jandr.com is good, and there's always etronics.
    J&R is an authorized dealer, so you get a legit warranty...with Etronics, you'll probably want to buy an extended warranty or something. But they back their stuff with an in-house guarantee, so there's some protection there...try www.pricegrabber.com or www.resellerratings.com for some more stores.

    My take on the on-line retail model of business is a bit different. Every time I've been about to buy something from on on-line store, I've always got the local brick and mortar store to come down in price. Factoring in the service, and no shipping charge, the local deal was actually much better and cheaper in the long run. No comparison. On-line stores have an advantage in that they show their lowest price right away though. I find many consumers don't like (or just aren't any good at) negotiating a better price. The on-line model certainly helps them.

    Many online retailers buy their products in such large supplies from unauthorized distributors. This can cause problems with servicing, warranty etc...but the tradeoff is a lower price sometimes.

    If you're comfortable with taking a chance on a purchase, I think buying on-line can save some money for some items. I like having the option, I've only bought a few things on-line, but if nothing else it gives the consumer a bit of bargaining power when dealing with the local b&m store.
  • 03-07-2005, 04:55 PM
    Sure, unauthorized dealers on the Internet will offer their merchandise at very enticing prices, but when you purchase AV gear from an unauthorized dealer, you don't know what you are going to get in return for your hard-earned money. In your case, depending upon the integrity of the dealer, you could get a genuine, brand-new-in-a-box Yamaha HTR-5790, albeit from questionable distribution channels. Or you could get a counterfeit product made in Outer Mongolia. Whatever you get, it will NOT be warranted by the manufacturer. So, if you have a problem with it, it will be your problem -- not Yamaha's and not the dealer's.

    I'd stick with one of the authorized online dealers. J&R, OneCall, Abt Electronics and Vann's all have good reputations. They may not have the best prices on the Internet, but when you buy a Yamaha from them, you will have the peace of mind that they and Yamaha will stand behind it if there's a problem with it.
  • 03-07-2005, 05:06 PM

    Originally Posted by markelworthy

    Can anyone tell me why the pricing on internet web sites is so much cheaper than at local retailers? Can anyone personally recommend a good place to buy Yamaha HTR-5790.

    Thanks, Mark

    Pretty simple. With Yamahas, the majority of web vendors are not authorized to sell their products. Until the unit arrives at your door, you have no idea how the products were obtained, what condition they're in, or even what country they were originally manufactured for. Whatever the case, if you buy through the wrong vendor, Yamaha will not honor the warranty. They make that policy pretty clear on their website, and they advise anybody who wants to buy their products online to check on the dealer's status first. If you look at the prices charged by the authorized web vendors, you'll note that they're typically close to what retailers charge.
  • 03-07-2005, 07:25 PM
    Warranty Issues with Regard to Internet Resellers.

    That's a tough one. At first thought, the notion that (for example only) Yamaha can wash itself of all warranty issues simply because a product was purchased from a non-authorized retailer stikes me as a bit fishy. I did a little looking around. I looked at the Yamaha warranty disclaimer. This is how I read it. Check it out for yourselves.


    First of all, the warranty essentially says at the bottom that some or all of the paragraphs above may not apply to you. All warranties are goverened by State and Fed regulations. Not all states are the same. Thus, the catch-all statements in the Limited Warranty are bogus as hard facts that apply to everyone. Your warranty rights are determined by the State in which you live and by the FTC rules, not the text on the paper or the website.

    Second, no manufacturer can deny the principle of Implied Warranty. That is, the product they manufactured has the value they claim. No amount of disclaimers can negate the fact that an AV receiver is an electronic device that processes and amplifies sounds to the stated specifications. The manufacturer implies that such a value is inherent in the product when they build such a device for sale. If that value is not present, the manufacturer must remedy. If a manufacturer presents a written warranty, he may not restrict the implied warranty to less that that of the written warranty.

    A manufacturer may choose to limit warranty to authorized retailers. A manufacturer may specify that a "warranty registration card" be filed. However, I do not think either is going to get him out of a clear implied warranty situation. If the product was indeed produced by the manufacturer, not a fake... If the product was clearly new, not used by an end-user... If the product was not damaged or abused, as in shipping. It seems to me the manufacturer has to remedy a defect in material or workmanship. (If the product is fake, used, or damaged you have a problem with the seller. That is where credit cards come in handy.)

    I fully understand that manufacturers want to manage market channels and get their arms around potential warranty arrangements. They want to handle consumer issues at the point-of-purchase. That is the best place, after all. Clearly, purchasing a product at an authorized retailer would make the return process nice and clean. However, if a product is DOA or is a real "lemon" (note, this work has legal meaning now), the manufacturer cannot get away from its warranty obligations.

    I would not want to have to push a warranty issue with product purchased from other than an authorized retailer. It might be an ugly PITA. For $300.00 it is probably not worth it. I bet one would have to mention small claims against the company or its Registered Agent. However, in the end I think he still has to honor warranry.

    Buy retail or be prepared...

  • 03-08-2005, 08:18 AM
    Audio shops....
    A friend of mine who works for Tweeter says that audio shops often sell some of their stock to online e-tailers in mini-bulk because of the quantity they need to order to get their best price.

    For instance, Tweeter may need 5000 Denon 3805's for their warehouses but to buy 5000 from Denon would cost them, say $700 per unit...if they bought 10,000 they could get them for $625 per unit so they would buy 10000 to save money. They would then turnaround and sell the extra 5000 they don't need to etailers for $650 per unit just to get rid of them.(500 here, 500 there, etc.)

    Of course Tweeter will sell it to you for $1199 and make a huge profit while the etailer is happy selling if for $899 because of the aforemention lower overhead. But because those units are not registered to that e-tailer that voids the warrantee.

    Don't know how common this practice is...but I've heard it described a few times before.

    My example was purely hypothetical...I'm not suggesting Tweeter (or anyone for that matter) actually does this. But it sounds plausible.
  • 03-08-2005, 08:48 AM

    You've really nailed it in your last post. I have a friend who bought his Yamaha RX-V640 from an etailer who bought it from a large authorized outfit. We found this out the hard way. When he needed warranty work done to fix a faulty volume control unit, he first had a hard time. When he contacted the etailer, they got involved and within a few hours the tech had a warranty claim started. All Yamaha needed was to trace the distribution through an authorized retailer. I think Yamaha may have found themselves in a tough spot here. We're not sure because we also found out that most states (and I've since found out provinces in Canada) have consumer/business laws that over-rule a manufacturer's ability to say "we will only honour warranties bought from these distributors".

    Refusing warranty would tick off the etailer who we think then contacted the authorized retailer, who sold a ton of units for Yamaha. A few e-mails or phone calls later everything was settled.
    But Yamaha probably wants to protect its distribution network as well (and their desire to charge higher prices) so maybe they made a judgement call.

    I'm sure the same goes for other brands like Denon, H/K, Onkyo, etc...
    These brands only have themselves to blame for using bad dealer-to-distributor "push" incentives/offers...those worked fine in the 1980's and 90's but the world's changing". If they want to sell more units, make them all authorized dealers provided they buy a reasonable set minimum, stick with one universal fixed price. Bottom line is there's less margin on mass market electronics these days, you have to make it up in volume.

    In the meantime, I still recommend buying from authorized dealers if it's a large ticket item...an insurance policy if nothing else.

    <i>EDIT: Just saw Jocko's post about warranty claims...looks like I'm not the only one who's thought of this </i>
  • 03-08-2005, 10:10 AM
    I don't think anyone is out to stick anyone, the manufacturers just want to manage their marketing. By putting that disclaimer on their website, they probably deter a whole lot of warranties and push a lot of business towards the higher-priced retailers. More power to them. However, if I buy a product ANYWHERE and that product is not what it was supposed to be, I expect to be remedied. I will be reasonable and try to find an effiecient way to get it done. I won't expect them to fall all over themselves, but the work will get done. The law will back me up on that.

    If you want your hand held during the process, do not buy online. If you want warm-and-fuzzy, don't buy online. I think a lot of problems arise when people buy cheap and then expect to be treated like royalty.

    BTW, I did buy a DLP HDTV retail. That is not a product to mess around with.