Own Business?

If you were starting your own audio business,which products would you carry?Three choices from low,mid,and hi end gear.One company for each level of gear or mixed.From amps, cd players or turntables and speakers.For instance the mid you could sell Rega to cover everything,NAD for the lower end but use like maybe Wharfedale to sell along with them since they do not sell speakers.

Better idea would be to open a coffee shop across the street from a Starbucks.
Wasn't thinking about opening one,was just curious about different individuals favorite audio components.YES,there is money to be made with a good coffee shop but not across from a Starbucks.
PSB speakers seem to offer good value for the money. Maybe Paradigm
If you're just starting out, there's no way you will get all the brands you want. Most of the bigger, successful names, make it very difficult to become a dealer. There's many requirements you need to meet, and there's no way a small start up will be able to handle it all. As you build your business and reputation, the big names will start to talk to you, but it takes time.
NO,NO,NO!Not wanting to start a business guys,trust trying to see what people liked at different price ranges is all.JEZZZ!
I cary vintage gear only at my Vinyl and vintage gear shop.
ZD542 nailed it.
The major brands first screen distributors who in turn screen their dealer applications and very few are accepted ... That is further limited by available sales territory opportunities as dictated by the existing distributors (who import the product from the manufacturer)
Add to this that if you carry Brand X, that frequently kills any opportunities to carry certain other competing prime brands .... The competing distributors and brand mfgs just won't sell to you

As pointed out new retailers rarely -- if ever -- acquire prime brands upfront unless that they have been successful dealers in the past
In the latter case, yes.... The distributors and brands come to you .... Not the other way around .
Another reason I don't like to brainwash. I like to sell real stuff.
"09-25-15: John421
NO,NO,NO!Not wanting to start a business guys,trust trying to see what people liked at different price ranges is all.JEZZZ!"

You have a unique way of asking questions.
Zd542,if I'd asked what was everyones choice of audio equipment most people would have responded with answers pertaining to $5000 per piece of gear!Asked question in this manner so people like myself could gauge value of different audio gear,price compared to performance in case of need or wanting to upgrade.Did not mean to confuse you.Sorry for that.
"PSB speakers seem to offer good value for the money."

I think they do overall as well, but when I go to my local B&M store these days, I notice the entry level speakers by the big makers like PSB, B&W, Totem, etc. are shockingly small. And small is small when it comes to speakers...a real bottleneck no matter how good otherwise. Lesser knwon brands like Goldenear are larger and sound uch better to me for the price, which is not trivial.

Its like the big companies provide entry level lower cost models to help get new customers, but they are certainly not offering any great value there compared to the options unless small is what you want, which nowadays is often teh case I suspect.
I wasn't confused, I just answered your question literally. Others did the same. If you strip away the NO's and JEZZZ's you get something like this.

"Not wanting to start a business guys,trust trying to see what people liked at different price ranges is all."

If that's what you're looking for just ask. Actually, I would like to answer, but if I'm honest, I think you'll be upset because it will fall out of the structure that you lay out.
Business? That implies you want to make money. Years ago I was providing financial services to some audio stores, mainly in financing their inventory. Also provided factoring services to some manufactures to fiance their invoices. Got to see many of their financial statements. All of which proved they were not in business to make money. So, if you want to 'Own a Hobby', a costly one, take the plunge. The pluses will be the ability to deduct your losses on your tax returns.
Zb542,I along with a few others I've read from this forum think you need a hug!
Sorry, but that's not going to happen. Stick to audio.
The real question is who's going to let you sell their equipment. You must look around at the stores in your area as most audio stores have exclusive rights in that area. That is unless you are only selling entry level equipment.
OK? ????
Practically, I would only sell services, not stuff directly.

Like an interior designer or house flipper does.
This is a hypothetical and still no real answers. The best answer is Czarivey's vintage gear and vinyl shop.
"09-25-15: Hevac1
The real question is who's going to let you sell their equipment. You must look around at the stores in your area as most audio stores have exclusive rights in that area. That is unless you are only selling entry level equipment."

Thats true, except for the last part. You can get some very high end, expensive brands, but they won't be any one of the big names. There's plenty of smaller companies trying to build their brands that know they cant be so strict in the beginning.

"Got to see many of their financial statements. All of which proved they were not in business to make money."

There's a good reason for that. Its done on purpose. The last thing a small business wants to do is show large profits because they'll have to pay more in taxes. Things are structured in an attempt to show as little profit as possible.
If I had to choose one unique high value product line to
build around, it would be the OHM speakers. But they only
sell direct in the US these days. Also prices have gone up
in recent years. Still good value though.

I'd also like to offer mhdt DACs and Bel Canto and ARC
amplifiers. I'd do well selling Dynaudio and Triangle and
Sennheiser headphones as well. Maybe toss in some Martin
Logan and VAC and DCS just for variety. Atmasphere and
Audiokinesis as well. Maybe also mbl. I'd
focus on computer audio sources.
Mapman understands!I DO NOT WANT TO START MY OWN BUSINESS!Just trying to pick members brain on there choices for good audio equipment.
So have you given any thought on where your store is going to be? If you plan on selling heavy items that are above UPS and Fedex's upper weight limits, you need to make sure you're in an area serviced by heavy freight companies.

What about a name? Have you come up with anything?
Zd, you don't let up, but your posts are becoming hilarious.

My store would carry the Rega line of TTs, CDPs, and speakers.
For entry level electronics; Cambridge Audio (with CDPs, DACs, Amps, and Streaming). Jolida for entry level into tubes.

BAT, McIntosh and Hegel.

PSB, Monitor Audio, Nola, B&W.

And I would move heavily into music servers.
Zd542,hows the name AHOLE sound for a name?
Thanks for you sensible and mature comments Lowrider57.Is Zd542 still in high school?Thought you had to be 18 or older to be a member?
To further discourage you I offer the following. In my small city, 22,000 in population, a B&O store front recently closed after being here for over ten years. Yes, we do have a high end audio/video store and it has been here for over forty years. That store does not have a ground floor store front, its located on the second floor of a building they own that has many other tenants. I am sure if they did not own the building they would have left long ago. Their location discourages 'walk ins', yet they seem to do a good business. I have never purchased anything there, finding on many visits they have a 'Lyric' attitude when it comes to sales. Over the last twenty years I have spent about $100,000 on my audio needs. Why they could never reach out to me for some part of those purchases has always been a mystery, and also a cautionary tale of anyone that is thinking of going into the retail, bricks and mortar, audio business.
At one time in my career I found out how to make a small fortune. I started out with a large fortune and opened a real estate business. Same thing with audio businesses.
For the high end, I would carry Audio Research electronics, Magneplanar and Harbeth speakers. For electrostatic speakers; Soundlab. For ultra high end speakers; Venture and Vandersteen.
Q- How do you end up with 1 million dollars in the audio business?
A- Start with 2 million.
Amazing how few people have read the question. Or is this an example of our literacy decline?
"09-26-15: John421
Zd542,hows the name AHOLE sound for a name?"

Great name for the store.

"Come to AHOLE Audio. Our systems sound so good you leave with AHOLE in your wallet every time."
I forgot that I would sell rogue gear also.
Here's why most retail stereo business fail. The owner either forgets or never even realized that he is not in the stereo business ... he's in the people business. Retail is all about SALES and customer service. How many audio "clerks" (I refuse to honor them by calling them salespeople) have you talked to who make your eyes glaze over with talk about slew rates, distortion levels and other technical BS? Hey ... the customer came into your store because he/she wants MUSIC, not an MIT dissertation on electrical engineering. Here's the deal ... last year there were approximately a quarter million quarter inch drill bits sold in the United States. The purchasers didn't want quarter inch drill bits ... they wanted quarter inch holes! After more than a half century in 100% commissioned sales, I've picked up a little knowledge here and there. I've seen so many lost opportunities because of inept salespeople its a national shame.
Timrhu your right.I guess some people pretend to enjoy home audio?Maybe they just vent frustration of everyday life on the forum?Just wanted a simple view of different people's favorite audio equipment and it ended up being a circus!
I know a guy that always wanted to open an audio shop. It was his hobby since he was a teenager. At the age of 45 he finally had the money to do it. He found a location where 50,000 cars drove by each day and he had a large sign and huge window space. Like one of you previously stated it is very hard to get the prime lines. He bought what he could ( all high end gear but not any lines really well known) he built 6 great sound rooms and had systems as cheap as 2000.00 and as much as 100,000.

As much knowledge as he had about audio he could not convince people to buy his gear. He offered fair trade ins and would even take gear on consignment with reduced fees. He offered free home consultation and free turntable set up. He gave better service than every other store in town and still could not do business. He closed 2 years later and never pursued audio again.

(7 years later) a guy opens up a shop in a commercial warehouse carrying high-end audio. It's a location with no walk in traffic or drive by traffic. Somehow he manages to get the best lines and starts doing business right away. He even stocks a lot of pieces. His knowledge about audio is limited. The majority of people on here know more than he does.

The moral of the story is if you can't acquire great lines don't bother doing it.
Or ended up being a conversation between friends with some humor thrown in.
Hello John421, have to agree with Oregonpapa, it is a fun read, and a circus is a lot more fun than some of the normal train wreaks. Over time I think you will get your answers.

I don't hang out at the audio stores, only music stores, so I cannot help you.
High low end to low high end: Rotel and Ayre
High End Solid State: Pass Labs
High End Tube: Audio Research
Speakers: Have no clue anymore.