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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WOW ! This is amazing. To make things clear this is a $60,000.00 pair of Amplifiers. This has been put into storage. We have to setup a complete vignette and connect everything. This is the reason we asked the customer who was interested to call us. We could set them up with Vandersteen, Vivid Audio, Martin Logan, Stenheim, Egglestonworks etc. To do this custom for a proper audition that makes sense, we need to be compensated. Simple as that. Hope this makes this clear.
It's easy to say rude things to dealers. Try running a store, be profitable and have people who request you to do 6 hours of work and then purchase product that is 1/10th the price used from ebay. In this case we have policies in place.

Imagine going to a car dealer for a look see and test drive and being told, "Nah, it’s gonna cost you to test drive this rust bucket."


Not exactly that, but something parallel to that happened to me. I wanted to test drive a Mitsubishi (roughly $30 000 or 40 000 car at that time, I do not remember anymore). Dealer asked for $5000 deposit before test drive he would be present at anyway. So I have never driven a Mitsubishi.

Speaking of judging the seriousness that the dealer from our amplifier story is talking about, I was very serious about buying that car on the spot. Now, the difference is that it was a new car and these are old amplifiers.
Point of clarification, you want to be compensated.


While I would accept that COVID times are different, certainly in normal times, your staff, the equipment you have on hand, etc. are sunk costs. You are going to incur them whether you have a demonstration or not. 

It is also a $17,000 amplifier, It is not a $60,000 amplifier. 
If they were gonna charge me for an audition, I’d probably gleefully unleash torrents of abuse on them. Just because. It would take a lot to keep my dander down. Then again. Were the sellers lovely folks? Was I absolutely smitten by the components? Was the seller offering to sweeten the deal a tad?