Charge for TT setup?

I'm upgrading my TT and am looking at a VPI Classic 3 which retails for 6K. The dealer wants another $100 to take the cartridge off the old table and put it on the new one.
I'm thinking at 6K set-up should be included but I'm not very knowledgeable. Is this a standard practice? Or is it free only if I also buy a cartridge from him?
IMHO, the setup should be included in the price of a $6K table. I would have never charged you for this back when I had my stores.

OTOH, what's an extra $100 when you are spending six grand?
I would find another dealer.
IMO, when you buy a new tt and cart from a dealer at retail, they should include setup. I can't believe that your dealer is charging you extra to install a cartridge that you purchased from him. One dealer tried to charge me $500 to set up a new turntable, which was never discussed at the time of sale. They eventually backed off, but I washed my hands of them after the transaction.
The dealer is making 40% on the table, offer him the $6K less 20%, including the setup. Fair is fair.
..but as for ME.....I know the setup of a turntable is time consuming and requires patience and care. I only trust me to do it right.
That's like charging for a tank of gas after buying a new car. Just squeezing you for a mere bag of shells! Just on principle I would walk right out the door.
If this is being done in the store that's outrageous. Now if they have to come out to your house then that's fair.
The very fact you are questioning this says it all--clearly you're not delighted by the prospect, and you shouldn't be! Were I a retailer, I'd be thrilled to have this dealer as my competition. Their lack of common sense is stark--they will jeopardize the long term potential of a customer that can afford to drop $6 large in order to collect another $100? I would be tripping over myself to please a customer with your demonstrated purchase power so that it would never occur to you to shop anywhere else in the future.

I understand the outrage but I'm curious about what constitute a retail price. Is the price just for the physical item or that includes the set up service. If one retailer does it, does that mean all others should do the same? I don't trust other people setting up my gears so I never expected set up to be included. Maybe I should. It's something I never thought of before so I'm curious too. Since I know how time consuming it is to do a QUALITY set up, which is part of the fun, I wouldn't dare to ask someone to do that for me for free. If, for example, this dealer or technician makes $25/hr and spends 4 hours on it, paying him $100 is fair. No? If a friend does it for me, I would buy him a dinner. It's just a hypothetical question because I don't know the audio business behind the scene, plus I haven't bought anything at a shop in years!

On a $6K table there WILL be ample margin to at least include free setup. And if they're at all competent, it won't take much of their time to do so, and do it properly. The dealer sounds rather stingy to me, unless they've got those $6K tables flying off the shelves, and are utilizing every minute to fill the next order.

This is one of the services that a good local dealer should provide (along with GREAT systems you can audition in person), in order to build strong relationships that will withstand the onslaught of temptations from e.g. audiogon and online discounters.
I agree with the majority here who feel that the dealer is being petty, especially when it seems like you are paying full retail price for the table and arm. I could somewhat understand the dealer's price gouging if he had cut you a 20% price break on the new VPI table, but paying full retail he is just being petty about $100 fee.
I'd buy from someone else just to show him the power of the consumer.
This dealer is making over $2k profit on the table. He's being a chazer. And you knw what they say about pigs? They get slaughtered.

In the county where I live there no longer are any hifi dealers. We had one- carried excellent gear too. But he nickel and dimed customers, collected sales tax on magazines (not taxable in my state) lied to at least one customer i know who had a cd player ( bought from this store for $2k) that needed repair (he said it was not repairable) and offered to sell him another cd player (the cd payer was fixed by a tech who found one bad solder joint) and drove himself out of business. I was glad to see his store go.
Tell the dealer you think you found one for 5700.00 then wait and see if they still want the sale.
Who's the dealer? Gotta know who this guy is.
If you are paying full retail then free setup should be included. I guess i can see the logic of the dealer, he is taking the cart off your table and setting it up properly and testing will take a couple of hours.
VPI is a very popular TT and available in many stores. Find another dealer.
You may get a better price and a dealer that appreciates your business. I know that some on line dealers offer to install your cartridge for FREE if you send it to them. And most will give you at least 10% off the table. Call Seth at, and see what he will do for you. One good thing about the Classic TT's is the arm is easily removed and replaced for shipping.
I wonder what your dealer will charge you if you have a warranty issue! Does he charge to answer questions too? Just my opinion of course.
Polk432 is on the right track. To make a good deal, you always have to be ready to walk away. In a very nice, very friendly sort of way, simply tell him that if you have to pay for set-up, its a deal breaker and be ready to walk. Find a dealer who will work with you and not try and grab every single dollar out of your pocket. Don't burn any bridges with him, but simply ask for it. These days a customer plunking down full retail on a 6K turntable should have his ass kissed!
These days a customer willing to pay 6k for a TT should have his ass KICKED, or at least have set up charges dropped. Walk away, you can always walk back. If the dealer is in a hurry, tell him to be patient...or become one. Best of luck, and I hope you get the TT that you like.
I agree that the dealer is simply trying to make an extra buck at the expense of loyalty, so post the name of the dealer in this thread so others can know their policies.
Expecting your ass to be kissed is ridiculous, no matter the margin. That's not a good way to live life or conduct business. Be a reasonable human being. However, in this case you can expect to have the upper hand in bargaining, and use that to your full advantage. A discount plus free (quality) installation can be had from other dealers; prepare to walk if this one won't budge.
I purchased a table from my dealer and they sent their set up tech over to my home to install it and set it up. He took his time and did a great job. A year or two later I purchased a new cartridge and they handle it the came way. In both cases, I chose to compensated the tech what I thought was pretty well, but I was never charged by the dealer for the "service". Which in my opinion is the very definition of the word.

In my world its simple. If someone does something for me I always insist on paying something for it. Even when the other party does not feel it is necessary. My logic is, we all need to make a living, I think people will almost always do a better job if their time is shown to be valuable and lastly, if I don't pay this time, I cannot feel good about going back for a similar "service"

I think the dealer's position is foolish and short sighted, but that is just one opinion.
Dont buy the $12k table, setup is $200 for that one. LOL, this is ridiculous.

This does not sound like a good dealer, but you might be dealing with someone new or junior to the company who knows that the fee for "cartridge setup" is normally $100, but might not know that the fee is waived for guys buying a new deck. If they want to get you into the deck they should make it easy for you to transition. Give them the benefit of doubt, talk to someone who has been there for a while I am sure he will see it your way.
It's negotiable. It's a business transaction not armed combat, so don't take it personally. I assume you're talking about in-home steup. If this is the turntable you really want, don't be so quick to walk away in a huff. You're talking about $100, less than 2% of the transaction price. Between the in-home service and some analog accessories (cleaning brushes, VTF gauge, etc.) the two of you should be able to come to a mutually satisfying agreement. The dealer makes a nice profit and you will have years of analog happiness.
In the late 1980's, I bought a Sumiko Bluepoint from Overture Audio in Ann Arbor, MI. The cartridge cost maybe $250 and they mounted it for free as was typical at that time. They spent about 2 hour doing it because my they had to have alignment templates faxed from Magnapan for the discontinued Unitrac arm I was using at that time.

Not surprising, with that level of service, that brick and motor store is still in business.

If your buying a $6000 turntable cartridge setup should be included. Even the online retailers will set up the turntable for you prior to shipping.

Now if they have to come out to your house, I think that's a different story. I once paid $100 for someone to come out my house to repair a broken phono lead and he also setup the cartridge. At the time, I had a VPI TNT which is not a turntable you just put in your car and carry into the dealer.
The OP's dealer is either begging to go out of business or agorant enough to think he's the only vpi source.

Doesn't a 40% profit margin mean you are supposed to receive value for that money? Isn't the argument that brick and mortar stores is that they provide service? This guy isn't.

Walk away and watch him come after you.
Given the typical disposition of us audiogon forum goers, "years of enjoyment" is much more likely to be: "days of bliss, followed by months of tepid satisfaction, giving into doubt, followed by days of increasing upgrade urges, finally culminating in a new 'what should I buy' thread" ;)
03-11-14: Mulveling
Given the typical disposition of us audiogon forum goers, "years of enjoyment" is much more likely to be: "days of bliss, followed by months of tepid satisfaction, giving into doubt, followed by days of increasing upgrade urges, finally culminating in a new 'what should I buy' thread" ;)

LOL! I see that we are all cut from the same cloth. ;^)
finally culminating in a new 'what should I buy' thread
Which is exactly why the dealer should provide a high level of service.
How did the story end?