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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OP, perhaps the dealer will throw in a foot massage and a bottle of single malt while you listen.
Dealers are actively trying to find solutions for showrooming.  Showrooming is very common now and accepted as a normal mode of shopping.  You experience the product at the brick and mortar and then buy it at the cheapest price you can find on the internet.  The choice then becomes to do the "hard sell" when you are there or to find a way to offer full service, allow you to take time auditioning, and be cordial because their valuable time is covered whether you buy or not.   Many times customers decide on a product and then go down the street to fall for the other option.  You get a "deal" from dealers that sell products that are already marked up to then mark them down and make you think you are getting a deal.  Many customers buy a product they didn't really want because you get 30% off which seems to be the tipping point.  Mark up product 30% so you can mark them down and sell something that is not a long-term solution.  Buyer beware when you are offered 25% to 30%.  Real dealers and honestly priced products cannot survive this way.
If you really want those amps and the store has opening hours, bring cash ! It has never failed me, if you take out a big enough stack you will get your demo for free, and if you tell the owner of the store you don’t need a recipe for the full amount you can probably walk out of there with the amps for 15K. This works with cars too.
Well theres your snswer.... its s CA dealer 🤦‍♂️
I spoke with this retailer sometime ago regarding a different item and decided not to deal with them because he seemed very dubious.