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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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.
glupson, You don’t think there’s a difference between getting a bike out from the back and setting up a system with a couple of 170 lb amps?

dannad, Some details, please. Where and when did you request to see a couple of 170 lb used amps in storage that were being sold online and the owner spent the next few hours getting them out and setting them up for you?
Look, given the size and cost of those amps, the dealer should have them set up already for demo. If he can't because of space considerations, then he shouldn't have them in the first place. Certainly, he knew or had reason to know, whether he bought them from ARC directly or took them in on trade, that these could be difficult to demo/sell and that they would take up floor space in the store. It's the dealer's fault for failing to anticipate this in the first place, and customers should not have to pay to "hear" his mistake.
Most dealers do not sell trade in gear in their stores.  They sell it online.  The store is for selling new gear.

You guys have never tried running a retail store, have you?
It’s even worse if he bought those amps directly from ARC, and didn’t think through the impact they could have on his space. He now has realized that he can’t sell them quickly, so he’s put them in storage and is trying a fire sale, but the customer must pay for the demo. It’s ridiculous. The dealer made a big mistake, but the customer shouldn’t have to absorb that cost. Additionally, if the customer forks over the $500 and doesn’t dig the amps, then he is left with a store credit which may be useless to him/her currently or at all. That’s ice in winter.