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  1. #1
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    Online or In store purchase

    When it comes to placing our hard earned stacks of cash on the counter for the purchase of new equipment, we usually want to get the best price. The internet offers prices well below those of retail establishments but the store gives you the experience. I completely understand why retail establishments must charge more but are the advantages of a retail establishment worth the large price increase?
    In my situation I could get the yamaha rxv2400 a little cheaper online than a rxv1400 in the store. Same equipment, warranties etc and tax ends up equaling shipping. I know it all comes down to what i'm comfortable with but i've done high dollar purchases in both situations and i've had no problems. Just wondering how things have gone for you in the world of home theater.
    The main point of my post is for a little story telling. For all of you that have bought equipment in store or online please relate your experiences to me. The good the bad & the ugly

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    If you buy the RX-V2400 online, you're not getting the same thing as a RX-V2400 bought from a retailer, because the online purchase will come with no factory warranty. NO models in the RX-V series are authorized for mail order sales. If you see one of them listed on a website, then that means that the online retailer did not acquire it directly from Yamaha. You have no idea if it's a bona fide new in-the-box North American model, or a grey market unit, or an open box unit until it's delivered to you. Yamaha's one of the stricter companies out there when it comes to enforcing their warranty policies. I heard that their repair centers will not work on any unit purchased from an unauthorized vendor, even if you offer to pay for the repairs out of pocket.

    The main advantage of a retail store is that you have a place to go if something goes wrong or you simply change your mind and don't want the unit anymore. At stores where my friends worked, if a unit was dead out of the box, a customer just had to bring it in and exchange it. And most Yamaha dealers have generous return policies.

    The advantage of the online store is that they typically do provide a much lower price, and if you don't ever need aftersales support and your unit is reliable, then you saved yourself some money. However, if anything goes wrong, then the advantage goes to the retail sale. It's really a matter of risk and reward.

    Value is what we're really after, and in economic terms, price is NOT the only component in value. The things that the retailer brings to the table, like the warranty support and the aftersales presence, adds value to the product. If those extras are things that you're willing to do without, then price is the more dominant component in value, and the retail option might not work for you.

    But, if you want the best of both worlds. Get the price quote and take it to the retail store. See if they'll bargain down or at least meet you halfway. At the very least, most stores should be authorized to knock about $100 off the price of something like the RX-V2400. When I bought my Yamaha receiver, it was at my local dealer's warehouse sale, and the price that I got was lower than any online price that I saw. And with closeout models, I've seen stores selling them for less than half off. So, it is possible to get what you're looking for and minimize the risk if you're willing to haggle and/or be patient.

  3. #3
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    Short answer is if I were to be buying new, I'd probably bring in an online quote and get them match or come down in price a bit. However, I'm quite convinced now that buying new is the sucker's way of getting A/V equipment. I know a ton of you will disagree with me, but that's my thought on the subject.

    With prudent shopping and buying online, you can get used products for as little as 25%-40% of the original retail price. And this is for 1-2 year old equipment. That's a ton of depreciation in such a short period of time. I'm not such a picky audio/videophile that I need to have the flavour du jour of equipment, but I do enjoy a high end product as much as the next guy.

    Examples of my most recent purchases (prices in CDN) including shipping and applicable taxes:

    2 year old Audiomat Solfege Reference: New price $6500; used price $3100.
    4 month old Audio Note One.1x DAC: New price $2000; used price $1000.
    1.5 year old Integra Research RDV-A: New price $4500; used price $1400.
    30 hours use on YBA Multi-5: New price $4000; used price $1600.

    As I said in another thread, sometimes the deals that can be had online are remarkable. If you happen to be unhappy with the purchase, if you've done your research and have made a good buy, you should be able to easily rid yourself of the equipment at little or no loss - and you might even make a bit of money sometimes.

  4. #4
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    As a college student...I'm always on a budget. So for me...it's eBay all the way, and I'm almost always 4 or more years behind the market. For example, if I buy receiver today, it's probably 4 - 5 years old, and I get it off some guy on eBay who just bought a brand new receiver to replace it because the new one is Dolby Pro Logic II instead of Dolby Pro Logic on the old one. I like good sounding gear, but I'm poor too. So I have to sacrifice and deal with what I can afford. The poor can't be too picky when it comes to new technology.

    As for online versus brick-n-mortar stores...

    I know NAD is the same way when it comes to online retailers (or I know they USED to be). If you buy new NAD gear online...it doesn't come with a factory warranty, as NAD does not authorize the online sale of their gear. And the last time I asked the local NAD dealer if he could repair my "eBay NAD gear" even if I payed everything out of my pocket...he basically told me to stick my thumb up my ass and get out of his place. Good thing I was just asking for reference, as I hope by the time I have to get any of it repaired, I can just afford new stuff.

  5. #5
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Talking This is how I do it as well....

    Quote Originally Posted by magictooth
    Short answer is if I were to be buying new, I'd probably bring in an online quote and get them match or come down in price a bit. However, I'm quite convinced now that buying new is the sucker's way of getting A/V equipment. I know a ton of you will disagree with me, but that's my thought on the subject.

    With prudent shopping and buying online, you can get used products for as little as 25%-40% of the original retail price. And this is for 1-2 year old equipment. That's a ton of depreciation in such a short period of time. I'm not such a picky audio/videophile that I need to have the flavour du jour of equipment, but I do enjoy a high end product as much as the next guy.

    Examples of my most recent purchases (prices in CDN) including shipping and applicable taxes:

    2 year old Audiomat Solfege Reference: New price $6500; used price $3100.
    4 month old Audio Note One.1x DAC: New price $2000; used price $1000.
    1.5 year old Integra Research RDV-A: New price $4500; used price $1400.
    30 hours use on YBA Multi-5: New price $4000; used price $1600.

    As I said in another thread, sometimes the deals that can be had online are remarkable. If you happen to be unhappy with the purchase, if you've done your research and have made a good buy, you should be able to easily rid yourself of the equipment at little or no loss - and you might even make a bit of money sometimes.
    Almost all my gear was bought used online except my upstairs HDTV. I've never bought a speaker or receiver from a reltail establishment unless it was an "open box" or scratch and dent. I just can't see paying all that money for ir. I've been in this hobby for 5 years and have only had one bad experience and after the receiver was repaired I've not had a problem with it. Still made out on the deal even after the repair. No, I agree with you used is the way to go and the way some audiophiles treat their stuff... you barely know it's been used.

    Da Worfster

  6. #6
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    Just make sure when buying gear online you buy it from an authorized dealer. Print out two price quotes, one with shipping, one without. See which one the store will price match. If they refuse you just have to wait a few days to get the item.

  7. #7
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    If you do enough homework on-line buying can be just as good as the good ol' fashion way of going into a real-life store. Sometimes you can purchase extended warranties from reliable providers that will still make the online deal more attractive and provide some security for you. But there are some added risks in buying online. What access to factory parts does the warranty provider have? Is there a "3 strikes and your money back" rule in the extended warranty? Will there be shipping costs for warranty service? Is there shipping costs for an authorized dealer purchased unit to get repaired under warranty.
    I agree with Worf and r3dline. You can do much better buying used equipment. Buying used takes warranty worries out altogether, since there usually is none. You can also upgrade in shorter intervals because there's less depreciation on the equipment the older it gets. I like to find blow-out or factory blemish sales on my equipment when possible, unless there's absolutely something incredible I need in a brand new item.
    I recently bought an RX-V1400. I think the YPAO feature and the deal that I got on the unit combined with a left-over Sub-woofer and my confidence in the retailer to continue to look after me was worth the price to go with the new stuff. My mom and dad are getting the HTR-5760 from J&R.com, also with YPAO, but less bells and whistles, and a smaller amp section. However, they're paying about half of what I paid for the RX-V1400 and J&R is an "authorized dealer".

    Long story short, I don't think there is a "best" way to buy. Ultimately, your comfort level and expected satisfaction should determine where and how you purchase.

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