Price paid for top end equipment


I looked at a premium Audio Research preamp lately and it lists for about $13K. Max discount avail is 5%. Is that normal?

Also for other premium manufacturers is list price expected by dealers? (Rowland, Simaudio, etc).

Seems like 5 to 20 years ago 10% or more was readily available. Have times changed? Am I missing something here? Or do they need to charge list or near list (5% discount) to stay in business?

Or does the dealer want to off-put me so I don't bother buying there anymore?


Some dealers feel that they provide a level of service that is only offered at full suggested retail. Rather than see the value in a customer, especially if they are repeatedly buying there. I understand and agree that a good profit is required to survive in any business. But sometimes 50% of a normal profit margin is far better than 100% of nothing, unless its a limited production item.One last thought in defense of the dealer is the if the customer is a repeat customer, but a "high maintenance " customer, he may inclined to collect a little more as compensation. Either way we ultimately choose where we spend our money based on perceived value.
I dunno, is it greed or perceived value with these companies and dealers? Or do they live in a plastic bubble? The prices are through the roof, and they seem to care less...this might be an unpopular opinion, but so be it. I mean who is buying this stuff. Where do they get the money?
Each Dealer can offer the Price he wants to have. At the moment the Business is super dead what some Dealers told me. The economic crisis hit the mid class income extremely. Expensive High End is pure luxury, some may live in a bubble, but sooner or later they wake up.
Normally when they have to pay the Rent for their Shop.
In 2004 I bought a Cary V12R stereo amp from the owner of a local store for 30% of list,He told me he marks up around 40% and gives deals like this to larger purchases. A year later I went back and got another one (because of the discount)at the same price. Visited the store a few years later for a sony sacd player and found it was sold to another owner and now discounts were very small. So bought the sony 5400 for a better discount somewhere else, everytime I go past this place no one is there. So you give people some kind of deal and sell more or no discount and sell less.
Dave_72 you are right dealers will wake up soon with the rest of us in the unemployment line if they think they can make 100% margin (and with cable lines even more!) if they do not give "normal" discounts. I've said it before and will repeat, there are dealers that give a standard 20-25% discount and even more if you but several items at once.
I fear that the disposable cash that some would have used to buy equipment will
instead be going to pay higher capital gains taxes or other increasing expenses.
There will be those who don't need to ask what a product costs and the rest who
will find it increasingly difficult to justify the high prices. Value added taxes may
also someday hit the US like in Europe.
I paid list price for my vandersteen 5As last summer, was okay doing that, dealers have a tough row to hoe these days.
Yeah, I was a bit frustrated there, don't mind me. I do appreciate and respect high end equipment. And I do have the money for the most part, I finally just bought a set of $10000 speakers. But it takes most audiophiles months and years to save up, leaving most of us in constant debt.