Charging A Fee To Demo An Amplifier In A Brick & Mortar Store

I Saw a pair of pre-owned tube monoblocs for sale on an onlline forum for around $17k.
The seller has a retail store for hiigh end audio. The seller mentioned that there will be an up-front fee for the demo if a prospect comes to the store the amps are not purchased. The demo fee may also be used for credit towards any purchase in the store.

This is the first time I’ve ever heard of this. Is this now a common occurance in high end audio stores? I sent a note to the seller asking what the demo fee amount was....two weeks and I didn’t get a response.

Does anyone know what amount of fees are charged for a demo?
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I could understand it if the item is not on display and the seller has to perhaps acquire the product first or even just set it up just for that.   

Even then, one can just say no whenever vendor terms are not acceptable.
Ok I looked at the gear. That’s not going anywhere for a demo without something, someone being pretty serious. THAT is a serious pair of amps... NO KIDDING... Probably cost 20-30 dollars in Electrical charges to get it warm enough to listen to.

To be real about it, you should go there to do the deal or NOT go at all.
I dealt with a WAREHOUSE in South SF, that was that way, wasn’t a demo fee as much as a, I had to open the shop fee. HUGE discount, demo and trade in stuff only. You went there knowing if you were gonna buy it or not.
I picked up a pair of VTL Wotans, for 6.5K, they had 3 pairs. They were taken in on an estate sale. 3 years old, a little under 40k a pair.
It was a 300.00 fee, just to look and make sure the valves were all there (another 3k from VTL factory for a set). AND use their forklift to load the heavy suckers. 3 sets of VMPS RM40s, at different times. 1/4-1/3 the price.

The VTLs were never taken out of the crate, never used..

Worth it for me..They have had some killer deals too, BUT not always a fee either. At least 4-5 sales people, different times, over a 10 year period. I guess they are still there..

I also remember, there were different areas, too. Different vendors, were staging their, used stuff or demos in a kind of Consortium, to save HIGH dollar floor space in the cities, SF central, Redwood City, ect. One stop shop, if you knew what you were looking for. This was South San... A lot lower rents.. and easier to load the REAL heavy stuff. NO HILLS!



I'd like to come to your store for a look around, but it's gonna cost you.
Even after you confirmed in-store demo that I gleanwd from your well worded post, multiple replies assume otherwise.
Personally the only demo I would consider valuable enough to pay for is in-home. Otherwise you can''t hear source, speakers and room synergy.
This dealer is really reaching.
Those types don't get any of MY money

Back when I was in the industry, and even more recently since then, I have experienced and heard stories of people going into shops ( by both the shop staff and the listener ), listening for hours, and then, the listener leaving, only to buy the auditioned products, elsewhere, likely for less, either new or used ( off of the internet, or another store ), leaving the store who did the demo, without a sale. This goes on...we all know it. The policies are there for a reason. And, it does rid of the actual tire kickers. Knowing the policies before you enter, will determine what you do. I feel bad for the brick and mortar stores today, as they are up against an invisible enemy, the internet. In this case, it was product that was packed up and boxed ( what I understood ). Should be no different than a restocking fee, as per Tekton, Schiit, and others. Not worth getting angry over. Make up your own mind.Enjoy, have a good day, and stay safe.