Another Dealer sets the Bar LOW

Just wanted to post my most recent experience with a dealer and new speakers. Went to get a pair of speakers and got talked into (my fault) what must have been the last new pair of a now discontinued speaker. Great deal (I thought) but got them home and their size and requirement for more power caused me concern. They are great speakers just a bit LARGE for some set-ups.

I went back to the dealer less than two weeks later (the earliest I could make the journey) and asked if I could trade them back in. I explained they were not working in my set-up.

Mind you I have purchased several things from this guy - I have been a good customer (again I thought). His idea of a deal was he would give me $700 less than what I paid for the floor model speakers against full retail for another set that would work better in my home.

The good news is in the end it all worked out and I am happy with the speakers and a new integrated I bought on Audiogon (more power). Thanks Audiogon and all the members for re-engineering the market and idustry to make it better. Retailers like this guy need to adapt and offer a higher level of service to survive.

I agree that a lot of high end dealers have become akin to snake oil salesmen. I understand the need to make money, but the way some dealers conduct business makes me wonder how they stay in business. The only issue i have with your transaction is that you should have stipulated that the speakers may not work in your room and that you would like to try them first before paying for them. I feel this is pretty standard practice for speakers. Speakers are the most finicky part of a setup and you never are quite sure how they will sound in your room until you hear them. Next time leave your credit card number as collateral and try a in home demo before comminting to buy speakers.

Hope this helps,

Definetly learned a few things and one of them is I won't be supporting his business anymore. My big issue was the physical size and I knew they would be hard to bad. I just thought given they were floor demos he would try to help me out since I have spent $$$ with him before. In the end all is well and the music goes on. Thanks for writing.
The other thing is this, if you bought them with a credit card you can easily call your credit card company and dispute the charges. Presuming you don't abuse this benefit, cc companies will side with you 100% of the time. I have only needed it once and it was on a $5K laptop from VoodooPC. They refused to exchange my unit after I reported dead pixels.. No problem, I called my Visa bank and sent the laptop back the next day.

Something to keep in mind and one reason I always shop with CC when dealing with anyone short of the Stop & Shop...
I am not a supporter of some dealers, but would you have bought these same speakers from the guy if he had told you they were demos and a customer also had it at home for two weeks and returned it?


ps. glad it all worked out :-)
Patriot, can you please tell us more about the big speakers that you took back to the dealer?
There might be a law against this practice. I suggest you check with your local city/state as to your legal rights of return. Don't be intimidated by signs, reciepts or contracts that waive your legal rights. No store owner has the right to usurp the law. That you were not looking for a full cash return, were simply looking for an exchange and were subjected to a $700 loss is dispicable. Why bother with a brick and mortar when you can get the same service (probably for considerably less) right here on Audiogon?
"There might be a law against this practice."

Please site the law that requires a retailer to accept a return. I don't believe there is one. A good dealer will do his/her best to satisfy a customer but they are not legally obligated to accept returns.
I think after having been in this hobby for some 30+ years----I just know what to expect from a dealer. That translates to : expect the worst and maybe,be suprised, if that doesn't happen. With the internet sucking away a good part of their business these days, they have to have a good strong local base from which to operate. Good,to great service is a must. By now you know you should have discussed what-if's. Then, you need the terms of the 'what-if's" written on your reciept.(With this kind of dealer).Two weeks without a phone call is a long time. Sometimes,repeat buisness means different things to this type of dealer,(it seems).There are MANY online dealers,here, where one can expect this very same type of (dis)-service. Money is important to EVERYBODY,including you; and this dealer,or should I say all dealers. One shouldn't play this game without a program. These are just general comments, directed at mostly all new uninitiated members.
Unsound you are right I should have stuck with Audiogon. The fact is I paid $2400 plus tax for these speakers which I do love, they just overwhelm the room I have them in.

Didn't want to go into to much detail but I the actually deal was I traded in a pair of speakers with a Bluebook value of $1300 (no flaws a solid 9 on the scale but I did not have boxes) and gave him $1575 cash for the demo speakers. When I went back and he offered me the $1700 which was just $125 more than I paid in cash. I should have taken my speakers and my cash back but that was not put on the table.

There is and was no doubt he wanted to get ride of the demo speakers that have been discontinued for some time (they have a Bluebook value of $1300 also and routinely sell on Audiogon for between $1300 and $1500).

There is also no doubt that Audiogon and its members despite a few (very few) bad apples is a wonderful place to buy, sell and learn about audio. All of you make this site what it is. For me it really is a place to unwind escape and enjoy the hobby (music and hi fi equipment).
So you got "talked into" buying something that was not appropriate for you, got a "deal" on the price, used it for two weeks and then wanted to be made whole. And now, of course, you want to whine about it. My advice is to accept the responsibiiity of your actions and to stop blaming others. If you wanted to try out the speaker, then you should have made a deal for a in home test. Instead you bought the speakers. Question - how does the $700 "loss" compare to 1) a 15% restocking charge, or 2) how much you would have lost selling the speakers on Audiogon?

Also, how come when people come to Audiogon to whine, they never name the dealer and invite that person to tell their side of the story?
Patriot, For your future reference;

Good deal is TWO four letter words back to back, and the cause of more audiophile pain than just about any other entity on the planet.

"Why bother with a brick and mortar when you can get the same service"

Its called being able to hear the product Unsound [like your advice? :)], CRITICAL to deciding what you want. Without it I have what to go by....reviewers? please the second most painful entity on the planet to audiophiles.

Onhwy61, direct and correct, as I like to say THIS AIN'T err is human and is not rewarded!
I'm not sure there's a customer service isuue here either. It was an adult choice/transaction with unspoken expectations from the buyer attatched. I don't expect others to fix my mistakes. It's called personal accountability.
LOL, we love to denigrate the dealers in these forums, but this is the type of folderol that THEY have to put up with. I don't think that they make enough money to have to deal with this stuff. Substitute "car" for "speakers" and see how far you get. I'd say, "Another audiophile sets the bar low."
I think maybe I have caused several people to misunderstand my comments. What does diferentiate a "bricks and mortar" store from the internet...I would think that it would be the service they can provide. I want the local retailer to survive and thrive.

Unlike when I go to Wal Mart when I go to an audiophiIe store I go to not only make a purchase but to seek their advice. I must trust that they will put my system and needs ahead of their own.

However, in the end as I stated before, I accept the transaction as my "bad". Let me say it again for you Onhwy61 I agree I need to deal with it and move on, and I will apologize if you felt I was whinning.

I appreciate your insight and value your comments. It is people like you that make this a great site.

Thank you for your time.
Here's a ''dealer'' story. I purchased a Sim Audio integrated amp a couple of years ago, on the dealer's word that the unit was a demo, and that it was current year production, with no technical issues whatsoever.

Could never get used to the Moon sound, so I sold it on the used market 3 months later.

The new owner checked with Sim Audio ( something I should have done myself but did not as I trusted the dealer), turns out the amplifier was over 2 years old, a traded-in unit (not a demo) and had been in service several times.

The guy I sold the amp to wanted his money back and was furious. It took it up with the dealer asking him for a partial refund, or a full refund - his choice. I made it clear that it was like I was sold a current year car with 10,000 miles on it, and it turned out to be a 3 year old car with 60,000 miles on it. Keep things simple with dealers, always.

He just would not do anything. I took it up directly with Sim Audio, A certain Mr. Kosta (or Costa). He would also not do anything,refusing to help me, not even curb his dealer that had taken me to the cleaners with this amplifier, on false information. He just defended his interest. I remember the Sim guy laughing at me when I told him that the dealer had confirmed current-year production - he said that the serial numbers on the units do not show production date, so I must have made this up.

So, I was left in the cold by the dealer. That's current practice. But to be left out by the manufacturer too, that qualifies for a lifetime membership in the avoid-at-all-cost club.

Never again for me with this dealer. Never again with anything with the Moon or Sim Audio badge on it. Talk about a Mickey Mouse operation.
If you don't have it in writing YOU DON'T HAVE IT.
Patriot, the only way brick and mortar dealers can survive is if they do provide superior service and advice. From your original post I did not take away that your complaint had to do with the advice the dealer gave you. At least it worked out in the end.

No need to apologize about me thinking you're whining. I'm whining about you whining.
I have never seen a situation where a sale made during inventory clearance (eg. selling the last pair of a discontinued model) allowed for a customer return in any industry. Blows me away that anyone would think they could return something like that.
Fatcrider you make a good point, I will stay away from the "bluelight" specials at the local high end stereo stores. Thanks for your input.
store policies(even posted ones) ultimately have to comply with consumer laws in any state. these discussions need to happen before you purchase anything.
"I think after having been in this hobby for some 30+ years----I just know what to expect from a dealer. That translates to : expect the worst and maybe,be suprised, if that doesn't happen."

I'm sure that this is the case with many dealers - but there ARE some great dealers out there who will bend over backwards to make their customers happy, and provide excellent service and support. One of these such dealers is Goodwins High End in Waltham, MA. At Goodwins, expect the best, and be surprised when they exceed your expectations.
All dealers should back up their products.
If you take the speaker home, and you don't like it, they should give you back a 100% refund, WITH NO FRIGGIN HASSELS!!!
IOW if I were going to buy a speaker at a local dealer. I'd say at the end of the demo, "Ok I'll take them provided you give me back 100% of my money" AND GET IN IT WRITING IF YOU DON"T KNOW THE GUY WELL.

I believe Tyler offers a money back guarantee. Which to me is UNREAL for a Inet dealer.
From my 30 yrs experience, I believe Ty is the only dealer I've seen offer a full money back policy.
The guy is a champ for giving a trial period and refund.
The thing is he knows well, that once someone hears the Seas, its love at first hearing. So I expect his returns are less than 1% of sales.
PaulBurke, the experience you had with the SimAudio people (not the dealer) reflects very closely something I went through with the AudioAero NorthAm distributor. And, as was your reaction, I will never touch anything from those guys.

I have also experienced good to great dealer service and there is no reason for these other jokers to continue to exist. A dealer local to me, who is also on Audiogon but not frequent, let me buy a brand new item (admittedly not very high $$) and return it for full cashback when it did not work out. No hassles whatsoever.
From my 30 yrs experience, I believe Ty is the only dealer I've seen offer a full money back policy.
Zu Audio, Decware, and others do the same thing. Many of those advertising re-stocking fees will also wave them if you have verifiable references & feedback.
Ohm also offers a home trial/full refund period. At 120 days it's the longest that I know of. Outstanding!

There is a BIG difference between a company offering a money-back-guarantee when selling a new product, and a retailer offering a non-returnable discounted price on an inventory clearance item.

On a side note, the dealer I work with most does not accept returns, but he gives me 1-2 weeks of in-home trial with demo units prior to purchase on everything.
I never buy anything from a dealer without a home demo. No demo, no sale, under any circumstances.

If the dealer requires money, either a deposit or full price, I require him to write on the receipt that this is for a home demo, to be refunded if the item is returned by an agreed specified date (usually up to 5 days). Only a few dealers have refused to go along with this, so I've made it clear that they've lost not only the possibility of this particular sale, but also my future custom.
Now Maclogan is a very smart fellow. And you would be wise to take his practical advice.
"written on the home demo receipt, to be FULLY REFUNDED at time of return". No demo/no deal.

btw who are ZN audio, Decware and OHM.
I guess dealers correct?

But Ty is the only one I know of (I believe VMS(sp?) line of speakers also gave a home demo trial), but Ty's speakers can be quite large and expensive to ship. Which other speaker manufacture grants this offer?
Ty knows he can afford to offer this policy, as he knows there will be few returns if any, once you hear his speakers.
Besides I can find many more reviews of the Tyler's than any other speaker line. That alone tells me something.
I never ever buy a speaker when the dealer pumps the hype. , on line or in store. Red Flag.

But Ty is the only one I know of (I believe VMS(sp?) line of speakers also gave a home demo trial), but Ty's speakers can be quite large and expensive to ship. Which other speaker manufacture grants this offer?
Decware, Zu, Ohm and others. Yes, they are manufacturers. And no, Ty is not the only one to make this offer.
As Patriot has learnt, it is always good to agree to such arrangements in advance. Also let's all be aware that rules can always be different for sale, demo or specially discounted merchandize.

The post, by not naming any names, speakers involved or the dealership, leaves an uncommfortable impression that the poster is trying to hide something.

I wish the dealer or other customers who have dealt with him also had the option of presenting their perspectives.
Aktchi I think if you read the post you will see I have given all the facts of the transaction at what appears to be at my own the only thing I am hiding is the dealer's identity so as to not cause any negative feedback for him because in the end this is only my opinion. If you read my post I do not even mention the speaker manufacturer.

I was looking to post an experience and get both feedback and in a way some advice. If that makes me a bad guy in the eyes of my fellow Audiogoners then so be it. I love this site and appreciate people like yourself who take the time to post their opinion. Thank you.
Patriot: If a purpose is served by hiding the speaker name, I am not clever enough to spot it. As for the dealer, I can see you not wanting to publicly accuse individual a specific person or business, but then you *are* accusing and as you can see from responses it sticks to dealers as a group. But no big deal, learn your lesson and move on.