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Any advice, suggestions, concerns, or comments about buying new gears from retail stores?

direstraitsfan98

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#1
I'm kind of just going to ramble on for a bit here but I'm concerned about the way I am being treated by dealers I've been in discussions with in purchasing my first ever bit of hifi kit from a proper hifi retailer. I won't say the name or brand of the item in question, but for me, it is pretty big ticket, and it will be the first time I purchase something completely brand new in box, ie. not a demo unit, not a consignment, and not a used unit, with full warranty and all that is implied with buying brand new.

So, on to the meat of the post. I was in discussions with 3 different dealers who are the authorized retailers for said brand, two of them openly quoted me a price despite apparently not being allowed to, and none of them were willing to give a 10-15% discount or something that I've been told by others that I'm actually more than entitled to get.

Are the people telling me that 10-15% discount off of list price just flat out wrong? Granted, two of the people I have been speaking with are in fact americans, and I am Canadian, but since the gears are adjusted in price for the dollar difference, I don't think it matters.

So I guess what I'm asking is this: Am I crazy and/or entitled for thinking I should be getting a small discount? Or, is it in fact a reality that these people who are paying 10-15% off list are acquiring demo units/ b stock or are flat out lying?

My general gist is that because I'm not an older gentleman, that I'm a younger person, and that I don't have 3 decades of relationship with the dealer like some of these other guys do, I'm not being taken seriously, and they're taking advantage of me. I don't know. I hope I'm wrong. In this case, 10-15% difference in price works out to maybe several thousand dollars, so it's nothing to sneeze at.
 

LightninBoy

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#2
My last dealing with a "retail" hi-fi store was about 10 years ago. I spent a good hour with a salesperson auditioning speakers in my budget. I thought I wanted floorstanders and went through a couple (low end Dynaudio and B&W) and wasn't impressed. He said - "I think I know what you'll like, but keep and open mind". And he proceeded to bring in some mid-range Dynaudio stand mounts. Yep, that was it. I was sold, ready to buy. But then he quoted me full MSRP. Not a penny off. And the matching center channel is unimpressive and overpriced. Ok, now I have to think about it. So I go home and end up pulling the trigger on some used Revel monitors (M22s) off of audiogon and save about $800 from the Dynaudios. I feel kinda bad about this still today. Though I know I ended up with a better overall system for less money.

I don't know if its general practice to discount 10-15% from MSRP. But I would (and did) expect something off so I don't think you are crazy.
 
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direstraitsfan98

direstraitsfan98

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I guess I'll just say it, since I've already expressed my interest in acquiring one in another thread, but, yeah. It's a McIntosh MC462, and any discount, even a percent or two would be equal to hundreds of dollars at this price point! So you can't blame me for at least wanting some kind of accomodation.

I also get jealous when I hear about dealers lending out gear to clients. I guess thats a privilege I have to earn by being a long time customer?
 

RayDunzl

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#4
Unrelated, but a comment on Modern Retail, nonetheless.

I stopped by the local Popeye's yesterday on a whim coming home from somewhere. (this would be a rather rare occurrence for me)

I ordered two spicy breasts, and a large red beans and rice. I've successfully ordered ala carte in the past.

First the server couldn't figure out how to ring it up, since it wasn't a combo this or a combo that, whatever.

"What kind of drink do you want with that?"

"I want two spicy breasts, and one large red beans and rice."

After additional button presses and cancellations at the computer/register, and even assistance from the duty manager, the price quoted came to $14.64

I said "That's too much."

They just looked at me, and I just looked at them.

For a little while. They didn't seem to see the irony of two pieces of chicken being priced higher than a bucket of ten.

But, realizing I had encountered the immovable object, and me not possessing any irresistible force, nor wishing to unduly upset the assumedly upsettable patrons still waiting patiently in line behind me (after the time already wasted), I said "Thank You" and left, before the possibility of instigating some new viral video could occur.

Chickenless.

Oh well. I made something good from my stores at home.

Salmon patty sandwiches. Canned Salmon, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, egg, skillet fried in olive oil, toasted burger bun, mayonaise, tabasco. Good enough. Didn't set me back $14.64, either.
 

Tom C

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#6
I was just thinking about this very question earlier today, wondering if I’ve paid too much for what I’ve bought in the past. I have two McIntosh power amps and a pre, all bought new. The pre was a C2500 purchased when they were closing them out and introducing the C2600. That I found on line for about 40% off full retail, just pure luck and timing. The two power amps I could only get by walking into a brick and mortar dealer, and paying full retail. McIntosh seems particularly strict about how the retailers do business, with most models only available in store. I guess that’s part of the luxury experience, but I never felt I was completely getting my money’s worth. I really like the stuff and am happy I have it, though.
One good thing. One of the power amps blew up and had to be serviced about two weeks after I got it home. The dealer paid for shipping it back and forth. I had it back repaired within two weeks and didn’t cost me a dime, so that’s probably a major part of why they do things the way they do.
 
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#7
none of them were willing to give a 10-15% discount
I don't know what is common practice where you are but I would never expect any kind of discount on this kind of purchase from a retail store where I live. At least not unless the store was already advertising a sale or I had some long standing relationship with the store. Admittedly the amp you are considering is wildly overpriced – and no doubt their profit margins are pretty roomy – but still the shop can charge whatever they want for it. I wouldn't be surprised if McIntosh didn't keep a tight rein on their dealers. It would tarnish the brand image if they were too often sold at a discount. We all know a couple of channels of Hypex NCore, at less than a tenth of the price of the McIntosh, will sound every bit as good ...
 

TLEDDY

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#8
I prefer to buy locally... will ask for best price. If the difference in local vs. an on-line price is outlandish, I will explain that to the dealer and will usually get an accommodation.
 

restorer-john

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#9
and none of them were willing to give a 10-15% discount or something
You need to understand what 15% does to the profit. It basically obliterates it. Even back in the glory days of 30-50 points, a 15% discount took the GP$ to the point where doing the deal was not worth it on exclusive or desirable product. Where you are looking at a limited distribution and dealers stumping up a lot of money to sit on high value inventory, you can't expect discounts of that magnitude.
 
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direstraitsfan98

direstraitsfan98

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Thread Starter #10
I don't know what is common practice where you are but I would never expect any kind of discount on this kind of purchase from a retail store where I live. At least not unless the store was already advertising a sale or I had some long standing relationship with the store. Admittedly the amp you are considering is wildly overpriced – and no doubt their profit margins are pretty roomy – but still the shop can charge whatever they want for it. I wouldn't be surprised if McIntosh didn't keep a tight rein on their dealers. It would tarnish the brand image if they were too often sold at a discount. We all know a couple of channels of Hypex NCore, at less than a tenth of the price of the McIntosh, will sound every bit as good ...
I'm getting a lot of conflicting answers, but more people seem to be suggesting that it is uncommon to get any sort of discount at all.

Which, by the way, is fine, I think you absoloutely get a lot for your money with McIntosh, what with the premium resale value, the pride of ownership, and high build quality and craftman ship and gorgeous mcintosh aesthetics. The latter things are obviously quite subjective.
 
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direstraitsfan98

direstraitsfan98

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Thread Starter #11
You need to understand what 15% does to the profit. It basically obliterates it. Even back in the glory days of 30-50 points, a 15% discount took the GP$ to the point where doing the deal was not worth it on exclusive or desirable product. Where you are looking at a limited distribution and dealers stumping up a lot of money to sit on high value inventory, you can't expect discounts of that magnitude.
I'm understanding things better now. Since I made this thread, I came to the realization of something. The people who were telling me they recieved 10-15% discounts were almost defintely purchasing the older line of mac gear that was getting phased out in favour of the new gear. That makes complete sense now that I think about it. So for example, when Mcintosh announced the new mc462, the price for the mc452 immediately went down a bit in anticipation for preorders of mc462 coming in.
 

restorer-john

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#12
The people who were telling me they recieved 10-15% discounts were almost defintely purchasing the older line of mac gear that was getting phased out in favour of the new gear. That makes complete sense now that I think about it.
Rebates on already purchased run out stock allow the retailers to discount and quite often, suppliers will do excellent new purchase deals on discontinued stock.

Margins these days thanks to the online e-tailers, have shrunk enormously. The only hope for B&M retailers is exclusivity and range supply agreements. The days of floor-stacked loss-leaders to get people in the door are long gone.

It's an electronics landscape that only the best can survive and prosper. I admire any HiFi only dealer who remains in business through these difficult times.
 
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LTig

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#13
I'm understanding things better now. Since I made this thread, I came to the realization of something. The people who were telling me they recieved 10-15% discounts were almost defintely purchasing the older line of mac gear that was getting phased out in favour of the new gear.
Same here. At the local dealer the MC462 is available exclusively in store for € 12480, the predecessor MC452 is available also online with 19% rebate for € 9698 (instead of € 11980).
 

Sir Sanders Zingmore

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#14
10-15% discount or something that I've been told by others that I'm actually more than entitled to get.
I think "more than entitled" is a poor choice of phrase here.
That aside, my experience has been that bricks and mortar stores here in Australia will often offer a discount on full retail
 

Purité Audio

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Why McIntosh, they aren’t anything special in terms of measurement , they are a ‘pride of ownership‘ product.
Keith
 
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direstraitsfan98

direstraitsfan98

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they are a ‘pride of ownership‘ product.
Keith
Exactly why I am interested in them. I will feel nothing but pride owning it. A purchase I will be truly happy with. Same with my JBL speakers. I always enjoy looking at them.
 
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direstraitsfan98

direstraitsfan98

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Thread Starter #17
I think "more than entitled" is a poor choice of phrase here.
That aside, my experience has been that bricks and mortar stores here in Australia will often offer a discount on full retail
To be perfectly honest those weren’t even my original words, I was just parroting something someone said to me. I understand that it is not the right way at all to do things now.
 

Purité Audio

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Exactly why I am interested in them. I will feel nothing but pride owning it. A purchase I will be truly happy with. Same with my JBL speakers. I always enjoy looking at them.
In that case buy some original art, it will almost certainly be worth more in the long term.
Keith
 

Doodski

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I worked consumer electronics home audio retail for 9 years. The price tag mark-up ranged from ~24% to ~45%. The deals on the lower margin products went out the door at the same price as the price tag indicated but things like speakers and headphones could be discounted. Amplifiers, CD players, tape decks etc went out at about 32% mark-up. I averaged about 35-36% margins at the end of every month and I held the all-time record for highest margins in a company of about 700 people at about 38% after a month's sales. Some products have lower margins like Sony. The higher end product generally has a higher mark-up but as @restorer-john mentioned the sales volumes are lower and therefore the retailer needs those margins to ensure they are there next year to service you. I suggest instead of asking for a percentage discount the better method is to offer a cash sum and see how they react to that offering. It makes you look dead serious and they totally have the ball in their court to counter offer or refuse the offer. If you care keep in mind that generally a business needs about 22%-24% for surviving at the end of the year.
 

Tom C

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#20
Most of the pricey stuff I buy used. But the cost of used McIntosh is high enough that I’d rather have new.
 

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