Bowers & Wilkins - B&W

I am trying to buy a set of CM9's with the matching center but paying full retail really isn't my idea of a deal. Any idea of how I can get a better deal?
Go to your local big box store and buy whatever is on sale. it will be a ''deal'.
The audio specialty store may or may not offer a 'deal' on thier products. It depends on what the have, what is a problem to get rid of.. etc.
And by deal are you asking for 5% or 10%, maybe 15%?
Or do you dream big and expect 35%?
Depends on the dealer and the market.
Otherwise, if you have no confidence in working with a dealer. Buy used here on Audiogon. You will get a deal by buying used.
Some folks claim they can get spectacular deals anytime. well, those are far and few between. And mostly depend on the place and time, and not on the 'talent' of the buyer.
My best purchase from a local dealer was a warehouse blowout sale and was for Canton CD series speakers. Four $1,000. each Canton CD300 for $350. each in the box. Added in three Canton CD300 retail $750 each, For $200 each, in the box. They were quitting selling Canton, and just wanted to get rid of the entire stock.
I have bought stuff discounted like from that deal, up to just paying full retail. All depends on the situation.
So if you want a certain speaker from a particular company and no other, you are over a barrel. If you would buy any decent deal, and shop around, you can find a good deal, just not the one you expect. I did not go there expecting to buy the surround system speakers I will keep for the rest of my life. But I did buy them.
Blackmsport, Elizabeth is spot on. I think over the years I've put together an enjoyable system, but I haven't bought anything brand new at a hi-end audio store.

My concern about buying from hi-end audio stores is that they try to sell what they have or the brands they are authorized to sell. So the problem is, IMO, that if you are looking for a particular model and your favorite audio store doesn't carry it, what are you going to do; what do you think the store is going to try and sell you??

Suppose after doing research and/or listening to a couple of models at friends' houses, you've narrowed your choices down to two models, but your favoriate audio store only carries one model, how are you going to A/B the two models you're interested in??

OK . . . another problem I have is spending hours of time in a store listening to equipment. On principle, it's really a great way to listen to equipment. My concern is that if I spend a lot of time in a store, I feel uncomfortable because I've taken up a salesperson's time, I've picked their brains, and if their product is carried by other stores that are willing to discount, I might be compelled to buy for price.

So, given my personal buying biases, I read as much as I can on line and in places like A'gon. Then, as Elizabeth says, I'll buy a equipment used, generally on A'gon. As I said before on other posts, I'm pretty careful about what I buy and who I buy it from. So far, I've been lucky.

A real advantage of buying used is that if your dealing in top end equipment, there's generally a good resale market. So, in the case of preamps, I bought and sold 3 pre amps before I settled on my current model. In the case of my amp, I flipped only one model before settling on what I have now. Did I take a hit on the flips?? Yes . . . but not that much.

One other variation is that I will also buy either dealer or factory demos. My current line stage is a demo from a hi-end audio store. I paid $5800 for the unit 2 years ago. Guess what -- I can sell it on A'gon for the same money today. My amp is a factory demo unit that was refurbished and sold as new. I bought the amp about two years ago and it works great, and I can sell it for maybe $500 less than I paid for it. Not too shabby.

And finally, I agree with Elizabeth that I don't consider a 10 to 15% discount a deal. But if I buy used, maybe I'm one model back from what is ccurrently the top model, so what. I bought my stuff for 40% less than MSRP retail.

FWIW -- good luck in whatever you decide.
Thanks to both of you for the response. I see your points and agree with exactly where your going. The unfortunate part is that I do think I am slightly over a barrel since I have fallen in love with the B&W line/sound. I suppose looking at some other stuff can't hurt.

I will take your comments to heart and see what I can pull off.

Do you know any industry affiliates? A rep? a manufacturer?
I am still an electronics buyer as a living, way back when I own my own store and way before that worked for a manufacturer/retailer... If I contact manufactures direct, I can usually still squeeze a nice discount as an industry affiliate. Good Luck, Tim
The advantage of not being offered a price less than retail is that you don't have any pressure to make a quick decision. The price won't change so see what else is out there.

When I purchased my Focal speakers the I would have paid retail for them, but was offered the MAP (minimum advertised price) that was about 10% under retail. The salesman told me straight up that if I opted for a Cambridge Audio receiver there was some flexibility, but if I chose an Integra product the MAP was the same as retail. I know a dealer can sell for lower than the MAP price, but I'm sure very few do unless there's more to the story.

I don't know how MAP compares to retail for B&W products.

If you really love the sound of the B&W speakers then a few hundred dollars won't matter as soon as you pay the credit card bill at the end of the month. If you pay cash you won't care the minute you set them up at home. I'd suggest finding a Focal dealer for a listen, but if you love the B&W sound you might not prefer the Focal sound.
blackm, this may be a blinding glimpse of the obvious, but why not buy used? there's a number of cm-series speakers listed here on agon at deep discount off SRP; you could also run an ad in the "wanteds".
I will eventually be listing a pair of CM9s as a normal for-sale item in the next few days if you're interested?

I'm interested in selling my B&W CM9s through audiogon, but as a new user to Audiogon, what's the general practice for establishing one's self here before selling a higher-priced item?
Halserad: I have been a member of Audiogon for ten years plus. I look for forum posts from folks with zero feedback. (this means they are actually an audiophile) An ad has to be well done, and the payment needs to be PayPal for most buyers to ever consider a first time seller, so the buyer is safe, though you should also accept USPO money orders.
as a seller, you should not allow use of the buy it now feature. Then you can look at the prospective buyer's feedback and decide if you want to sell. If you use the buy it now, anyone can make the offer you must accept, even if they are running the Nigerian scam... Unless you are willing to jump through a pile of hurdles to get out of the sale.
And remember packaging the product and getting it to the buyer is your responsability. (i just had ANOTHER bad experience with a seller using a UPS store shipper, where the UPS store deliberately broke an expensive toy Wowwee Roboraptor, to fit it into a box at hand!! what crap service)
Anyway you should consider all yor options, like email when selling a product. contacting the potential buyers and discussing the sale is one extra way to have a great sale. If you just do the minimum, errors and problems can arise. Think of the buyer or (if you are buying) a seller as a family friend, and get to know them at least enough to feel like the deal is more than just an exchange of money.
Thanks for the feedback Elizabeth.
Before you become completely swamped by B&W's listen to as many speakers as you can within your price point so that you will be sure of your purchase. So many "audiophiles" get stuck on a brand only to find disappointment in the end. thing to keep in mind when you talk about 'deals'--the best deal is the one you're happy with.
Sounds trite? Not really.
In my 30 plus years of audio--I've, in tough times, practically given away the farm in terms of discount, only to have a dissatisfied customer, conversely, sold many times at full retail, and been blessed with eccstatic customers.
Do your due dilligence, find out which 'sound' makes you happy...then find a place that will service you, take care of any issues--ask them for a good price. If they, as Elizabeth indicated, will give you something off retail, AND you like the sound, AND are convinced that they'll be there after the sale, make the plunge. Then take them home and listen to MUSIC, not sound effects. (ReneƩ Olstead's music will do just fine).
The best price does not make for the best deal--the best deal is satisfaction. IMHO.

Good listening.

Everyone that has responded, Thank You! I hope I will be able to use your advise in one way shape or form to get what I call a deal. I agree with the used comment that was made but either I am a lousy searcher or I just haven't found a set on here as of yet.

I suppose I will keep my fingers crossed and hope something comes up.

I'd like to apologize to Blackmsport and to industry people on this forum. It seems that Blackmsport understood me to say that I would get him a discount from B&W. I don't know anyone at B&W and As most of you know, to get a discount, you typically have to sign something that the item is for your personal use and you will not sell the item for 1 year or more. I shouldn't have mentioned this as I could not tell a manufacturer that it was for me nor ask someone else to jeopardize relationships for me.
Sorry to all, Tim
Part of the 'deal' is that the store is still there next year to support an active customer base.
People shopping price kills margins and can eventually run a store out of business.
For the small amount I buy, I'm quite content with the 'deal' I get at my local guys. And boy, do they have a selection in no less than 9 rooms.
Just don't expect 15% or even less, as a reduction.
But they'll be there for years to come.
Magfan, I hear ya and I appreciate what you're saying. That's why in my post above, at least I'm honorable enough NOT to be a schnorer and have the chutzpadic to take up the valuable time of an audio salesperson and then go elsewhere to buy for price.

I am also sympathetic about the tough marketplace, especially when equipment as a stand-alone item is fungible. Let's face it, an ARC Ref 5 is the same Ref 5 regardless of where you buy it. However, as you said, and I agree, a good store supports their customers. And part and parcel is the service and advice.

Unfortunately, I have Cadillac tastes but can't afford the latest and newest best stuff coming out. For example, all of my electronic gear is late model ARC, from Phono Pre to amp. The stuff sounds great! Believe me, if I could, I would love it if I could swap out my current stuff and drop in a Ref 5, Ref Phono 2 and new Ref 150.

So . . . what I do, as I said above, is pick the pre owned and demos of the next to most recent top of the line models, like the Ref 3, PH-7 Phono Pre, CD-7 Ref CDP, and so forth. Through careful shopping, I estimate that I'm able to source my gear for about 40% off original list.

In short, the gear sounds great. And, because it's high quality stuff, so far I've been very lucky as far as reliability and sonic performance. Well, at least I have a method to my madeness.

BTW, sorry to wax philosophical, but IMHO, people who buy like me DO support high end RETAIL audio stores. Think about it -- because of people who share my buying appraoch, there is an active secondary market for used equipment. Heck, I've bought and sold 3 preamp before settling on my Ref 3. I was only able to do that because of on line forums like A'gon.

The same applies to retail. If I was inclined to pay retail or maybe retail, minus 10%, I personally would be incentivized to take the leap knowing that if I wanted to bail and move up to something else, there's a secondary market created and supported by people like me to help that retail customer effect the next sale. So, both the customer and the high end audio store benefit.

My 2 cents worth.