Demoing equipment at the store should be considered part of the business.
But I’m perfectly fine paying for in-home demos. That’s asking a lot having the salesman haul the equipment to my house and letting me have it for a while.
A local salesman hauled the Joseph Perspective speakers to my placefor an in home demo. I said I’d pay but he waved it off as part of his job. (However some other dealers charge, and I'm fine with that)
It turned out I really liked the Perspectives, but not quite enough to replace the speakers I already owned. And I needed to sell the speakers I owned in order to buy new speakers.
I told the salesman that the in home demo made me realize I couldn’t part with my speakers but also wanted the Perspectives. Therefore I would save up money and if I still wanted Perspectives by the time I had saved for new speakers, I’d buy them from his store. Later when I had accumulated enough money for new speakers and checked a few more out I decided on the Perspectives. So instead of buying them used for less second hand, I came back and bought Perspectives from the same dealer when I could. I want to support dealers to the extent I can.
Similarly, around the time I was contemplating the Perspectives I was also interested in Devore O/96 speakers that I demoed a few times at a local shop, a very nice salesman there.
At the time I demoed the O/96s a few years ago I had the money to buy them new from that dealer IF I decided on those speakers. I would not have demoed them if I wasn’t in a position to buy (or at the very least, if I’m ever in an audio store and there is some interesting gear set up, I"m up front if I’m looking to buy or not. It’s the salesman’s call then if he’s fine having me listen. It’s actually a smart thing to do - I’ve been led to purchases I didn’t know I wanted just by dealers letting me listen to stuff...in fact, that’s how I ended up buying the expensive Perspective speakers).
Now I find myself in a different spot. It’s a few years later, I still have the itch for the Devores, but at this time I don’t have the money to buy new.
And don’t see buying new as likely possible at this point.
But I could possibly stretch to buy them second hand.
On the other hand, they are very finicky speakers and it’s only an in-home demo that would let me know if they work in my room.
The Devore dealer offers in home demos for a fee, which as I said I’m good with. However I’d never ask for a home demo if I weren’t going to buy the speakers from that dealer.
I’ve sometimes wondered if a dealer would do an in home loan at higher rate of pay than he’d normally charge, if the customer acknowledges up front he wouldn’t be buying a new pair.
I’m interested in what a dealer would think of such an offer, as there is perhaps something I’m missing that makes it an unattractive proposition.
More likely route is just buying speakers second hand and selling if they don’t work out.