"B" stock is product that for some reason has been factory re-furbished, usually sold with factory warranty "as new".
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It is a National Hot Rod Association class for drag racing. (I used to run A/Gas and A/Gas supercharged). But seriously, it is a product that has been returned to the manufacturer after being received DOA, dealer coudn't pay his bill, dealer dropped the line, etc. It is usually not a damaged piece. It IS USUALLY a very good deal. HCM sells a lot of B-stock gear at great prices. I am using a $2200 amp which I bought from HCM as B-stock for $899 many years ago. Never had slightest problem with it. Don
UnderwoodWally once gave me an excellent explanation of B-Stock loudspeakers. He may have a website that you can dig up with a search engine. In the case of the Soliloquy loudspeakers he described as B-Stock, they were physically perfect. The veneers of the 2 speakers did not have exactly matching grain patterns as an A-stock pair would. This may be a specific case, but it shows that details on the described B-Stock item are important.
A lot of times b stock has been repaired for some reason. I have tried many different pieces of electronics over the years that were b stock and have had a lot of bad luck with the b stock pieces breaking down. Another downfall is that if it is B stock usually they only give you a 30 day warrenty and if it breaks down you are stuck with it.
Really can mean almost anything. As well as what is posted above; some B stock is actually A stock that they have lower the warranty period, so they can then lower the price, in order to clear out overstocks. Not necessarily 30 days. I've seen many B stock items where the A stock's 3 year warranty is lowered to 1 year. Still a lot of time.
Be careful with "B" stock. I have got some really good deals but they are prone to breakdowns!! I won't even go into problems with a pair of Sony DAT's (forget about ANY help from Sony...too damn big...even getting the correct department/phone number was a one hour tooth-pulling procedure!) Warrantees are usually 30-90 days only. A Pioneer Elite "B" stock laser disc player died one day after purchase. However the warrantee replacement "B" stock unit has worked flawlessly for over 5 years! Speakers are your best bet! I saved almost 50% on speakers because the mounting holes for the grill cover on one was cut 1/16" off center (almost unnoticeable)!!! Good luck, and Happy Tunes!
I suppose it all really depends on the product you are
buying. In some cases - such as racks or speakers - it
may mean that certain parts don't have an exact color and/or
finish match. With electronics it can be a dealer demo
unit, a unit that had some type of problem (either mechanical and/or electrical) and was returned to the
manufacturer for repair and/or refurbishing, or possibly
a discontinued model that the manufacturer wants to unload
at a discount.
It should be clearly noted that most electronic items
tend to fail within the first 90 days of use - if they fail
at all. If an electronic unit has been repaired and then
sent out for sale as a "B" stock unit - it may often have
a new item warantee - and should function as new.
I personally DO NOT consider any item being sold as a
"scratch & dent" item - especially consumer electronics -
as a "B" stock units. Most of this stuff has been either
been damaged in shipping or by the dummy employees of an
electronics store. Save your cash and time - and avoid this
junk at all costs. In most cases - even if the item functions well - it's appearance will be a constant sore
point and make future re-sale a problem.