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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Glubson....luck was with you that you didn't get involved with Mitsubishi...
stringreen,

You are certainly right, but that was the only car around I could fit in, had a trunk, and could hold the road as good as any (Evo, I think it was IX but may be wrong about it as it was a while back).
Had I’d walked into a hifi shop unaware of this practice and a guy told me there’s a $500 fee for an audition, I would’ve been offended and felt insulted.

Let’s be honest. The OP did not walk into a dealer and ask to listen to some gear on display. It has been said more than once that these amps are boxed up and in storage. These amps weigh 170 lbs each. They have 16 power tubes each that need to be biased.

Does anyone really expect to walk into a store and tell the owner that he would like to give the amps in storage a listen because he’s never heard them, and he might be interested, and then expect the owner to say sure, come back tomorrow because it’s going to take me a few hours to get them out and set them up? Really?

I’m sure you can go to Sunny Audio and listen to the gear on display for free, even if you’re obviously not a serious buyer. 

I would love to see all you outraged people open up an audio shop. I’d love to come and talk audio with you and do some listening, maybe 2 or 3 times a week. Of course you’d be cool with that, right?


"... walk into a store and tell the owner that he would like to give the amps in storage a listen because he’s never heard them, and he might be interested, and then expect the owner to say sure, come back tomorrow because it’s going to take me a few hours to get them out and set them up?"


That is exactly my experience when looking for a bicycle. Except that the salespeople insisted on doing it and I was trying to dissuade them.
tomyc6,


When I think of the hoops sales people have done to sell me $17,000 of equipment in the past (and me to others), what you describe really does not sound excessive since quite frankly, that is the job.