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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Though I can understand the dealer's point of view, I can't accept it completely.
Given that the amps are used and fairly expensive, I see no reason to charge for an audition. Exactly how many people are wanting to audition these amps?
When I bought much lower priced merchandise on Audiogon from private sellers, they not only allowed me to audition, but invited me into their homes.
@OP, I think you should spend your money elsewhere, regardless of whether those amps float your boat.
Bob
A misconception here is that these are $60K amps. They are NOT! They’re $17K used amps with about 800 hours on them. It’s doubtful that anyone would tire kick these and go buy them elsewhere given the huge discount which, in and of itself, would give me pause in considering them. A B&M seller who charges for an in-store demo simply can’t compete with his internet colleagues ... and it is obvious to me that he knows it.
Yes in my serious search for an amp or amps to replace my Ayre, I have auditioned both the 650
and 750. They are sonic wonders w right speakers and imo a tube salesman dream. New with zero hours, home setup, etc they are in the realm of coin Sunil is talking - obviously less demo or used. Let’s be clear, a pair of these are exotic and not inexpensive- do some research on this family of amplifiers and ARC design philosophy and you will understand- minimal fusing - parts on the board are the fuses.... so this ain’t a deep market product. Now ( lots of years managing a 6 + high end showroom store ) if any of us are honest there are tire kickers. The guy here has a name, it’s Sunil - I don’t know him super well. Like all humans, he has his fans and detractors.  Btw that  price is right in line with values for the 650 when I was looking. Magic if you can stand the heat, tube bills and like soldering now and then...

Jim
One thing to consider, with 800 hours on the tubes, its going to cost a few grand to retube the units if you buy them from ARC.   I think why they have been sitting for so long is huge the price to retube them when it is needed.  It is a BIG expense.  I hope you live in Alaska or Siberia as those amps will probably keep your house hot year round.
I was also fortunate to run a high end store w no commission sales team...

when a customer came in and after asking them “
how can I help “? Sometimes they would reply “ no, I am just looking “
I always said in reply “ when I go to the bookstore I tell them no thank you I am just listening “

tended to break the ice, music was next !!!!