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Can you really trust hi fi dealers

  • Thread starter QuestForThe13thNote
  • Start date
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

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This is a story which I think of, in thinking of trustworthiness of hi fi dealers. I was intending of doing an amp upgrade. Units were reprocessed and cheaper than new items, which had gone down the production line again and had passed all tests.

So I was about to buy one, a considerable price in the thousands, and I call the dealer. I want a straightforward honest answer and I ask 'have any of these reprocessed units ever gone wrong quickly?'. I'm assured never. I then look on a forum and it turns out one chap had just bought one two weeks prior from the same dealer. His speakers had be blown up by the same reprocessed unit and is arguing between multiple parties over where to get it sorted. He did speak to the same guy I spoke too at the dealer and had told the dealer about the problem as soon as it happened, so it meant at the time of me speaking to the dealer and the same member of staff, the staff member basically lied to try and get a sale. Eventually the dealer did capitulate I learnt and sorted out the speaker repair and repaired amp. Thankfully I didn't buy one.

So my question is, shall we expect this? And are all dealers trustworthy? I'd bought loads of stuff with this dealer before hand and had a good relationship with them, but doubt I buy from them again. In fact, no I'm sure I wouldn't. I confronted them with it and the md had nothing to say. Sadly I've come to the conclusion they would do anything to get a deal. I'd like to see them not then bothering with the reprocessed stuff and sticking up for customers, rather than just keeping relations with manufacturers to sell, but they still sell reprocessed kit. Shall/can I name them?
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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No.

You weren't personally inconvenienced.

Also you were reading second-hand testimony (or 'hearsay' in other words) with that other 'chaps' account of his situation and - presumably - only getting one side of the story.

If you tell it here it becomes a third-hand account of events, even more detached from reality (and my willingness to care).
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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Here are a couple of stories I was thinking of.

Customers taking up dealers time listening to product that they have no intention of buying from them.

Ordering product by mail order that they know they can return having played with it at home for a week or two.

It is hardly surprising that some dealers have a 'show me the money' attitude which I feel is very sad. Sure, many customers and their dealers have a great relationship, one that is built up over time and in my experience these are usually the people whose systems give them the most enjoyment.

Such a level of trust and commitment used to be quite normal and I suspect in many instances it still occurs, but I am dissapointed by the 'us and them' attitude that seems so commonplace these days.
 

Andrewjvt

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Jun 18, 2014
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QuestForThe13thNote said:
This is a story which I think of, in thinking of trustworthiness of hi fi dealers. I was intending of doing an amp upgrade. Units were reprocessed and cheaper than new items, which had gone down the production line again and had passed all tests.

So I was about to buy one, a considerable price in the thousands, and I call the dealer. I want a straightforward honest answer and I ask 'have any of these reprocessed units ever gone wrong quickly?'. I'm assured never. I then look on a forum and it turns out one chap had just bought one two weeks prior from the same dealer. His speakers had be blown up by the same reprocessed unit and is arguing between multiple parties over where to get it sorted. He did speak to the same guy I spoke too at the dealer and had told the dealer about the problem as soon as it happened, so it meant at the time of me speaking to the dealer and the same member of staff, the staff member basically lied to try and get a sale. Eventually the dealer did capitulate I learnt and sorted out the speaker repair and repaired amp. Thankfully I didn't buy one. 

So my question is, shall we expect this? And are all dealers trustworthy? I'd bought loads of stuff with this dealer before hand and had a good relationship with them, but doubt I buy from them again. In fact, no I'm sure I wouldn't. I confronted them with it and the md had nothing to say. Sadly I've come to the conclusion they would do anything to get a deal. I'd like to see them not then bothering with the reprocessed stuff and sticking up for customers, rather than just keeping relations with manufacturers to sell, but they still sell reprocessed kit. Shall/can I name them?
No dont do that
This ain't the place. It carries on and on and is not healthy and just creates bad blood
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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I use 2 dealers...both have treated me very well and both are small independent shops. One of them I have used since the early 80s. If they don't treat their customers well, they won't survive.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
I use one called ripcaster and another called hi fi lounge ATM who are brilliant but on my past experiences of other bad dealers, of whom there are many, I wouldn't trust dealers per see.

On Chebbys point I wasn't inconvenienced, but it's not as if I needed to read between the lines on facts that were likely to lack credibility. One the timing of the speakers being blown up, the fact the speakers were apparently blown up, and the model of reprocessed unit. The dealer being unresponsively sheepish when I confronted them, confirmed things.

but the dealer that davedotco describes is one I'd not buy from. If I walked into a hi fi shop and they were not busy and didn't demo something, if only to be enthusiastic about products they sell, I'd doubt I buy from them. In fact I want my cash to go to people who are enthusiasts like people like paul at hi fi lounge. In fact I remember a dealer who had a set up which he didn't put on because he said he was busy, even though it just warranted pressing play and leaving me to it on his sofa, because he said it was already plumbed in. I just left. I'd never go back. The willingness of dealers to demo a system is not one they can choose in this day and age of good service, expectation of same, and when some people are actually loaded and may not appear so.
 

Andrewjvt

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Jun 18, 2014
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QuestForThe13thNote said:
I use one called ripcaster and another called hi fi lounge ATM who are brilliant but on my past experiences of other bad dealers, of whom there are many, I wouldn't trust dealers per see. 

On Chebbys point I wasn't inconvenienced, but it's not as if I needed to read between the lines on facts that were likely to lack credibility. One the timing of the speakers being blown up, the fact the speakers were apparently blown up, and the model of reprocessed unit. The dealer being unresponsively sheepish when I confronted them, confirmed things. 

but the dealer that davedotco describes is one I'd not buy from. If I walked into a hi fi shop and they were not busy and didn't demo something, if only to be enthusiastic about products they sell, I'd doubt I buy from them. In fact I want my cash to go to people who are enthusiasts like people like paul at hi fi lounge. In fact I remember a dealer who had a set up which he didn't put on because he said he was busy, even though it just warranted pressing play and leaving me to it on his sofa, because he said it was already plumbed in. I just left. I'd never go back. The willingness of dealers to demo a system is not one they can choose in this day and age of good service, expectation of same, and when some people are actually loaded and may not appear so. 
Hifi lounge
Closed for renovations
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
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19,570
QuestForThe13thNote said:
So my question is, shall we expect this? And are all dealers trustworthy?
Yes. If the original goods are 99% reliable and 1% break down, then the odds will be the same on reconditioned items. The broken part will be removed and a new one fitted, of which 99% will work and 1% won't.

No. not all dealers are trustworthy, same as every other goods and service industry personnel in the UK. Some surgeon's victims have just been paid £37million, while 25 deaths are being investigated at North Essex NHS trust. Hi-Fi dealers are better than most. They rely on repeat business more than most, so need to be.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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One of the very nice things about owning your own shop is that you can decide who you want to deal with.

It is very rare that you come across such people, but trust me, they do exist. Most people who come into the shop are fine, even ones that take their custom elsewhere, you have a shared enthusiasm for hi-fi and music and usually that is enough.

We went to some lengths to have a modest but nice sounding setup we could play on the shop floor and a decent mid priced system available in the small dem room. If we were not too busy we were happy to play them to all comers, most were quite appreciative and the real RSS's rarely listened so that was fine.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
davedotco said:
One of the very nice things about owning your own shop is that you can decide who you want to deal with.
that sounds like a recipe for getting bad reviews and people's backs up.

If I had a shop, I'd deal with people the same and if they were idiots I'd still try and keep them on side unless damaging to business, as they could be further customers. I do get the impression lots of hi fi dealers make it a personal thing with their customers which is absolutely the wrong way in business. Customer is king and all that, and they are the ones who feel comfortable and I'd be pliable to them not the other way around. Not some kind of status trip some hi fi dealers give a vibe of.

That said I'd imagine it would do my head in being in hi fi sales or having a hi fi shop. Just selling stuff is not my idea of a career.
 

Macspur

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May 3, 2010
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It's a bit of a generalisation to say you can't trust dealers... like all business's there's good and bad. The knack is to find the ones you like, cultivate and good relationship if you can and stick with them.

When I first started seriously buying HiFi I found a dealer in Brighton, he knew I was serious and passionate about the hobby, bought from his on a regular basis and it was never a bother if I wanted to listen to something and didn't end up buying... that store no longer exists in name, it was taken over by Audio T and the same guy is still there and I know if I were to pop in tomorrow and asked to hear something, it wouldn't be a problem.

I tend to now just deal with Guildford Audio and Audio Emotion... not particularly local, but again nothing is too much trouble for them.

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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I seem to recall the OP fairly early on in posts here set out several grievances about a couple of dealers, one in Guildford, the other I can't recall.

You can't please everyone, or like everyone. I'd not want my money invested in a Hi-Fi retail business, but I am full of admiration for those who have done so and made a success if it. And as a customer, I think to a large extent you reap what you sow - and one might say the same of a dealer.

EDIT:- here it is https://www.whathifi.com/forum/theres-shop-near-me/avoid-future-audio-east-grinstead-and-pj-hi-fi-guildford
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
They seem to like you and are pleased to see you when you go into some richer sounds with some great staff and go above and beyond. I'd buy from the best people in rs every time if they have the stuff I want, unfortunately not all the time, and make sure that person got the commission. Also same with some decent dealers, but Not other dealers.

Being in these hi fi dealerships is not about liking people, it's about putting their issues aside and dealing with customers properly and running it as a business. I don't feel a customer when I buy from some independents as they don't add value or go above and beyond. So I don't tend to go back. Actually mostly all of them don't add value, they are just a conduit for sales. Considering sums spent, They maybe need to come up with something to do more to add value, for me, other than demoing their stuff they sell. I suppose in some respects maybe they can't as its just a sale, but I suppose this is their problem, if they **** that up even slightly it means you go elsewhere, or I do, like the trust issue with the reprocessed item. But I can remember spending thousands with a service business, and the service I got was amazing, so this makes it difficult for those that are just in a sale.

i maintain good relations with dealers I know but I'd still maintain I wouldn't trust them because most of them are in a hard business and will do what they like to get sales, unlike some other more trustworthy companies doing better.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
Macspur said:
It's a bit of a generalisation to say you can't trust dealers... like all business's there's good and bad. The knack is to find the ones you like, cultivate and good relationship if you can and stick with them.

When I first started seriously buying HiFi I found a dealer in Brighton, he knew I was serious and passionate about the hobby, bought from his on a regular basis and it was never a bother if I wanted to listen to something and didn't end up buying... that store no longer exists in name, it was taken over by Audio T and the same guy is still there and I know if I were to pop in tomorrow and asked to hear something, it wouldn't be a problem.

I tend to now just deal with Guildford Audio and Audio Emotion... not particularly local, but again nothing is too much trouble for them.

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
is that Julian in brighton macspur. Looks a bit like Donald Sutherland. He is a nice guy and I have had a great relationship with him, and the other two guys there , although don't tend to find their prices fantastic unfortunately.

Also reminds me of this guy does Julian https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Thewlis

the employee guy at Guildford audio is a bit lazy and was the one who couldn't even be bothered to put a rigged up system on. They are real cash grabbers there and not for me. The two guys at audio t Southampton are very good and friendly and like Julian, give you time. I avoid future audio in east grinstead, terrible service and give you the run around. Chasing and chasing and chasing. No way.
 

Andrewjvt

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Jun 18, 2014
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QuestForThe13thNote said:
davedotco said:
One of the very nice things about owning your own shop is that you can decide who you want to deal with.
that sounds like a recipe for getting bad reviews and people's backs up.

If I had a shop, I'd deal with people the same and if they were idiots I'd still try and keep them on side unless damaging to business, as they could be further customers. I do get the impression lots of hi fi dealers make it a personal thing with their customers which is absolutely the wrong way in business. Customer is king and all that, and they are the ones who feel comfortable and I'd be pliable to them not the other way around. Not some kind of status trip some hi fi dealers give a vibe of. 

That said I'd imagine it would do my head in being in hi fi sales or having a hi fi shop. Just selling stuff is not my idea of a career.
Its dealing with idiots that dont think the same way as you.
You poor soul
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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If anyone wants to buy from a dealer, that's up to them. I might think and comment that they are acting in a sub-optimum way. But as an adult person every one of us is entitled to act in sub-optimum ways.

I rarely buy from dealers. For a combination of reasons. Some of them already covered in this thread.

1. Honesty and integrity issues - as covered in the opening post of this thread.

2. Price. Why buy from my local dealer if I can buy the same product cheaper elsewhere?

3. Choice. Most dealers stock nothing that I would be remotely interested in buying. With the World Wide Web, there's thousands more items I can buy than at my local dealers.

4. Dealer ignorance. When I was shopping for an Atmos receiver a year ago I got into a conversation with the manager of a local hi-fi shop during which he displayed a quite laughable ignorance on audio equipment including him describing my main AV speakers how he imagined them instead of how they actually are.

5. Depreciation. Buying new hi-fi, in general, sucks. Too much depreciation. Taking advantage of depreciation curves and buying equipment that has a reasonable chance of appreciating makes financial sense.
 

jonathanRD

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2011
177
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18,670
For hifi dealers, I can imagine it is very difficult to treat every customer with the same high level of customer care and interest in engaging with them.

The opinionated pain in the ar** types that rarely purchase anything are not likley to get the same treatment as other customers.

We all know someone in the office, down the pub. or on this forum that we woud rather avoid, I bet it is the same in a hifi shop *smile*
 

grimharry

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Aug 2, 2015
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On the same note to get on good terms with the staff one must be a relatively frequent visitor which implies buying lots of stuff or doing a lot of tyre kicking.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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grimharry said:
On the same note to get on good terms with the staff one must be a relatively frequent visitor which implies buying lots of stuff or doing a lot of tyre kicking.
Not really. It is simply about attitude, most hi-fi dealers, particularly the independant ones, are enthusiasts and have plenty in common with the vast majority of their customers. A bit of a 'get to know you' chat (works both ways) and with most people you get along pretty much straight away.

You do get 'wrong 'uns' though, usually argumentative types who want your opinion on the latest whatever, just so that they can argue the toss, get two or three over a short period and it is genuinely wearing.

Doing a bit of a dem is usually the clincher, those who see playing some music as a distraction from the arguement they are determined to have are the ones you get rid of as quickly and as quietly as you can.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
I think the people you speak of that appear to get argumentative are probably those that want any opinion, just a personal opinion of what the dealer likes, and where they go in with a set idea which contrasts, they want to scrutinise the dealers thinking on their preference, which is maybe fair enough. I've done that before. Sometimes I think dealers don't give personal opinions for commercial reasons, or maybe not to get into this type of scrutiny, which I do understand, but when you go into a store and a dealer says 'just listen' it becomes wearing on the buyer too.

Another annoying thing is when you go into a dealer and they haven't thought of what a system or speaker etc sounds like against the competition with x brand of amp they have in the shop and can't describe a pmc from a rega etc. They should pretty much know this instantly (after doing lots of trials of their own stuff) and be able to give you the blurb for selection purposes.
 

grimharry

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Aug 2, 2015
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Maybe it's me then, but I remember looking for a new amp a couple of years back going into local dealer, trying a Yamaha, Rotel and Roksan tried one then the other and back again and very patient he was to. None fitted the bill at the time, soon after he had a Cyrus in yet again tried it, this cd that cd but still not right. Popped in from time to time to see what they had but always felt guilty for wasting his time. Still bought my tt from there as it helped salve my conscience.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Just want an arguement.

Like some of the posters on here.

Sorry, reply to post #20, should have quoted.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

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It's just some people don't take to debate and argument well and start seeing it too personally. reply to post above should have been quoted.
 

grimharry

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Aug 2, 2015
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And then you decide you happy with what you've got and say " that's great I'll have to think about it, I'll be in touch"
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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I want 5 cartridges demo'd on the same TT I have now (but 5 of them at once so I can do intantaneous comparisons).

There are also three different TTs I want to consider as upgrades and I need to listen to all three each with 5 cartridges and be able to instantly and randomly pick between all 20 combinations.

I will need to upgrade my phono pre-amp to one of four possible options (two from another shop) with every single permutation of the above.

Oh and I need it to be done in my home where I am used to the acoustics.

Oh yeah, once all of the above has been opened and tried (with the appropriate run-in periods), I expect a big discount for the fact they are now used/ex-demo items!
 

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