Buying hifi on Amazon

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robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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I've had some decent successes with Amazon in the past. Particularly from Az Warehouse when they have deals on and Az have a lightning deal on the new item.

e.g. Mint condition DM41DAB £144 . Described as box damaged (i.e. it had been opened) and some scratches, which I could not see. All the labels were still on the device and the cables still bound and the paperwork sealed.

I have had other such successes and not had to return anything other than one small item and they even had that collected.

However, I do agree there is no substitute to a good hifi shop experience.
Wow, fantastic deal on DM41, I love that mini box of tricks. Can be partnered with some much more expensive speakers too without being out of its depth.
 

Friesiansam

Well-known member
I bought a pair of Beyerdynamic T5P Gen 2s, from Amazon early in the first lockdown, when they were offering a longer returns window. Gave them a thorough try-out over 5 weeks, then returned them with no hassle. They were sold by Amazon.
 
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DCarmi

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Nov 15, 2019
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Wow, fantastic deal on DM41, I love that mini box of tricks. Can be partnered with some much more expensive speakers too without being out of its depth.
Yup, great device! It's in the bedroom where I work from home and I use it as my alarm. Can't fault it, for double the price, I paid.
 

Snooker

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Aug 5, 2011
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I think in todays modern world that using Amazon is absolutely brilliant, you can test an item for 30 days and if not happy return it with no hassle at all and have the item picked up from your home, this is how you buy things these days
 
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Witterings

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Sep 17, 2020
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However, I do agree there is no substitute to a good hifi shop experience.
Do agree with this althoug the problem is there's so few of them around now and even the ones that are closest often don't keep the items if it's something specific you're after.

I've recently bought an SMSL AO200, three WiiM Mini Streamers and some Elac B5.2's from Amazon for this exact reason,
I did ask RS about returning and they said there was a re-stocking fee which I was sceptical of because if the distance selling regulations which as somone's already mentioned give you a 14 day to notify return window when buying online but I don't think applies of buying instore.
 
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I did ask RS about returning and they said there was a re-stocking fee which I was sceptical of because if the distance selling regulations which as somone's already mentioned give you a 14 day to notify return window when buying online but I don't think applies of buying instore.
The Distance Selling Regulations are there for buying online because you can’t try anything before purchasing. A physical store has the facilities for you to look/listen/touch/taste/smell/rub (whatever it is you do!), so the ‘homework’ is done beforehand. This is one reason I don’t have a click-to-buy store. Because of the extremely one sided DSRs, anyone can buy anything and return it without even giving a reason - they could use something for a party and then return it. I like to deal with people properly in the first place, make sure they’re choosing the right product for their needs, and avoiding the need for returns. In just over five years, I’ve only had two items returned - both from distance selling. One was for some in-wall speakers for a project where the customer changed their mind, and one guy tried an amp out (as arranged) and wasn’t overly keen on it. Nobody I’ve dealt with face to face has ever returned anything.

I’d rather spend the time with the customer before the purchase, rather than after the purchase sorting out the returns - testing, cleaning, re boxing etc, then having to make a vastly reduced margin trying to sell it on. Having worked for a busy store that focused on online sales, I’ve seen the returns - badly damaged packaging, stuff not packaged correctly causing damage to the main unit, stuff missing, sometimes even the product itself. And if the customer has returned it because its “faulty” (sometimes the only description you get after paying for the return), you also have to spend time fault finding, usually to find there’s nothing wrong with it at all, it was just described as faulty because the end user didn’t want to pay to send it back. No thanks, I’d rather do less business.

In fact, I’ll go further and partly blame the DSRs on the decline of the high street.
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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The Distance Selling Regulations are there for buying online because you can’t try anything before purchasing. A physical store has the facilities for you to look/listen/touch/taste/smell/rub (whatever it is you do!), so the ‘homework’ is done beforehand. This is one reason I don’t have a click-to-buy store. Because of the extremely one sided DSRs, anyone can buy anything and return it without even giving a reason - they could use something for a party and then return it. I like to deal with people properly in the first place, make sure they’re choosing the right product for their needs, and avoiding the need for returns. In just over five years, I’ve only had two items returned - both from distance selling. One was for some in-wall speakers for a project where the customer changed their mind, and one guy tried an amp out (as arranged) and wasn’t overly keen on it. Nobody I’ve dealt with face to face has ever returned anything.

I’d rather spend the time with the customer before the purchase, rather than after the purchase sorting out the returns - testing, cleaning, re boxing etc, then having to make a vastly reduced margin trying to sell it on. Having worked for a busy store that focused on online sales, I’ve seen the returns - badly damaged packaging, stuff not packaged correctly causing damage to the main unit, stuff missing, sometimes even the product itself. And if the customer has returned it because its “faulty” (sometimes the only description you get after paying for the return), you also have to spend time fault finding, usually to find there’s nothing wrong with it at all, it was just described as faulty because the end user didn’t want to pay to send it back. No thanks, I’d rather do less business.

In fact, I’ll go further and partly blame the DSRs on the decline of the high street.
You could counter argue that the decline of the high street is partly due to the reluctance of retailing to initially embrace online shopping as a reality and those retailers that have survived realised it was now an essential sales channel.... John Lewis, Argos, M&S etc.....
 
You could counter argue that the decline of the high street is partly due to the reluctance of retailing to initially embrace online shopping as a reality and those retailers that have survived realised it was now an essential sales channel.... John Lewis, Argos, M&S etc.....
Plenty of retailers who did embrace online shopping have gone (like Debenhams), so I don’t see that as a valid point.

The decline of the high street is down to a number of reasons, including Amazon and it’s ‘next day delivery’ promise. If I was in charge, I’d abolish next day delivery. It wouldn’t exist. It’s not needed, and it’s not sustainable. Couriers are at breaking point because of the “I want it now” demands of the general public, who now expect everything next day (thanks to Amazon), so it is something retailers have to offer. And quite frequently, the promise is broken.

Again, the returns on clothing must be enormous, as lazy people now order several pieces of clothing in different sizes, and have collected what they don’t want or doesn’t fit. The only clothing I’ve ever ordered online are a certain brand of shoe, which I know fit - I don’t take the chance on other brands as the sizing is usually off. And as for clothing, I always try it on in a store where I can try different sizes to get the one that fits properly. Personally, I don’t see the time saving with ordering online.
 
The Distance Selling Regulations are there for buying online because you can’t try anything before purchasing. A physical store has the facilities for you to look/listen/touch/taste/smell/rub (whatever it is you do!), so the ‘homework’ is done beforehand. This is one reason I don’t have a click-to-buy store. Because of the extremely one sided DSRs, anyone can buy anything and return it without even giving a reason - they could use something for a party and then return it. I like to deal with people properly in the first place, make sure they’re choosing the right product for their needs, and avoiding the need for returns. In just over five years, I’ve only had two items returned - both from distance selling. One was for some in-wall speakers for a project where the customer changed their mind, and one guy tried an amp out (as arranged) and wasn’t overly keen on it. Nobody I’ve dealt with face to face has ever returned anything.

I’d rather spend the time with the customer before the purchase, rather than after the purchase sorting out the returns - testing, cleaning, re boxing etc, then having to make a vastly reduced margin trying to sell it on. Having worked for a busy store that focused on online sales, I’ve seen the returns - badly damaged packaging, stuff not packaged correctly causing damage to the main unit, stuff missing, sometimes even the product itself. And if the customer has returned it because its “faulty” (sometimes the only description you get after paying for the return), you also have to spend time fault finding, usually to find there’s nothing wrong with it at all, it was just described as faulty because the end user didn’t want to pay to send it back. No thanks, I’d rather do less business.

In fact, I’ll go further and partly blame the DSRs on the decline of the high street.
I think I would agree with that last sentence.
 
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Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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Plenty of retailers who did embrace online shopping have gone (like Debenhams), so I don’t see that as a valid point.

The decline of the high street is down to a number of reasons, including Amazon and it’s ‘next day delivery’ promise. If I was in charge, I’d abolish next day delivery. It wouldn’t exist. It’s not needed, and it’s not sustainable. Couriers are at breaking point because of the “I want it now” demands of the general public, who now expect everything next day (thanks to Amazon), so it is something retailers have to offer. And quite frequently, the promise is broken.

Again, the returns on clothing must be enormous, as lazy people now order several pieces of clothing in different sizes, and have collected what they don’t want or doesn’t fit. The only clothing I’ve ever ordered online are a certain brand of shoe, which I know fit - I don’t take the chance on other brands as the sizing is usually off. And as for clothing, I always try it on in a store where I can try different sizes to get the one that fits properly. Personally, I don’t see the time saving with ordering online.
Respectfully, successful businesses adapt to the way things are ... not how they would like them to be. You have to give the customer what he wants to survive.
 
Respectfully, successful businesses adapt to the way things are ... not how they would like them to be. You have to give the customer what he wants to survive.
In general, a customer’s demands are too high, and if shopping has to change to meet those ever increasing demands, no one stands a chance of surviving, not even online. Even Amazon are trying to put together their own courier fleet because they can’t rely on existing couriers to fulfill what Amazon have promised in the first place.

Like I said, even companies that embraced online shopping have gone to the wall, for many reasons. Some because of their own ineptitude and general service, but some because DSRs are making it too easy for buyers to just send stuff back without even needing to give a reason. Someone orders something, gets it delivered, then sees it for £10 less and ordered it from them, and arranges to have the delivered one collected for whatever reason is given. Others order several pieces of clothing for their own little fashion show to choose one item, sending several back. This in itself is adding to the stresses and strains on our courier network. Creating a “next day” society is killing retail. Imagine the amount of returned (and used) stock that goes back on a daily basis to large online companies - we’re talking thousands and thousands of items - clothing, electricals, furniture etc etc. and imagine how much of that you end up unknowingly owning, or how much profit retailers lose when having to offer them at reduced prices.
 

Gray

Well-known member
It's very easy to see both sides of the arguement -this thread gives both sides perfectly.
Amazon famously say that, to them, the customer experience is everything. (Most of) their customers know it's not an idle boast.

But those customers also know that, to get that experience, people have to suffer....those with a strong conscience and / or too much money might be willing to boycott Amazon, the majority will conveniently (or necessarily) not really care who suffers. Not an ideal situation, just a fact.
 
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Tinman1952

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Imagine the amount of returned (and used) stock that goes back on a daily basis to large online companies - we’re talking thousands and thousands of items - clothing, electricals, furniture etc etc
This is nothing new. Boots and John Lewis' January returns for example were legendary thirty years ago...they have survived. As I say, you adapt to what the customer wants to survive...
 
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Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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It's very easy to see both sides of the arguement -this thread gives both sides perfectly.
Amazon famously say that, to them, the customer experience is everything. (Most of) their customers know it's not an idle boast.

But those customers also know that, to get that experience, people have to suffer....those with a strong conscience and / or too much money might be willing to boycott Amazon, the majority will conveniently (or necessarily) not really cares who suffers. Not and ideal situation, just a fact.
Agreed. The returns are built into their business model...and look at the profits they make!
 
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Tinman1952

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Well, you still can’t buy a PlayStation 5 almost two years after launch…but generally, lack of stock usually happens around Christmas time and the run up to it.
That's mainly because of the shortage of the manufacturing components required and not the generally poor high street retail stock control. A different case entirely...
 
That's mainly because of the shortage of the manufacturing components required and not the generally poor high street retail stock control. A different case entirely...
You think retailers are controlling stock?! Retailers aren’t generally the ones putting themselves out of business. Sony are the ones controlling stock levels, and the chip shortage is no longer an excuse they can use.
 

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