Smaller Audio/Video stores- Free delivery service


Hi all,

I hope this is the place to write this discussion. I just want to know if your dealer offers free delivery when you purchase speakers, amps, preamps etc. I am not talking about Bestbuy and bigger box stores I am referring more to high end audio/video shops or mom and pop shops that sell high end audio. When purchasing your gear are you required to pick up from the dealer or do they deliver it free of charge for you? Is it a courtesy or good business relations they offer this service? For my situation, I have no vehicle and not too many people I know who have a vehicle and my dealer is located an hour and some away from me. I have a long standing relationship with them around 10 years but it seems difficult sometimes to get delivery when I ask, as its usually the a/v installers who will do the delivery. So I wonder if the majority of smaller audio/video shops do not offer delivery services due to high overhead cost of offering this service. I mean if I am trading in something then yes they will deliver my goods and pick up the trade in items when he can schedule it. How do BB and bigger box stores offer free shipping if you purchase over a certain price?

Dont get me wrong my dealer is great to work with as they provide good prices and have did some other stuff for me as well at no cost to me and provided great support. I guess delivery is something they dont really do at all and would prefer you to pick it up. I may need to consider buying stuff from them that I can pick up via local transit thats small enough to purchase like cables, power cables etc and get gear from another dealer that is a bit closer where its only a reasonable cab fare away. I dont know. 
Anyways, any thoughts would be appreciated and could educate me too on this subject. Thanks all.

2007audioman
2007audioman
If you have an active license and a credit card, you could rent a car and drive to dealer to pick up.  I would never expect a dealer who is an hours ride from me to give free delivery or any delivery at all.  
Hi stereo5...thanks for the practical advice. As I stated earlier they do it when I am trading in stuff. Do you have a dealer close by that delivers to you or do you pick up your gear directly from them?

2007audioman
My dealer drops demo units by my house and sets them up. When I decide to buy, I keep the demo unit until my new one is delivered. He brings it over and installs it… meaning making sure all components are working correctly together. I am 35 to 45 minute drive for him. 
I suspect that the amount of $$$ spent determines free delivery. I can tell you from experience that the customer's expectations have increased a lot since I  first entered business. Reasonable requests are not the norm. Often, the lowest price and the highest tier services are expected by the customer(s) today. I'm not saying that is whats going on here. But it happens ...a lot

Consider the cost of delivery over a hr away. What does it cost the business owner? First, there is the vehicle and all its costs. Then there is the gas @ $3.50-$4.00 gal. Then there is the payroll. You will tie a man up for nearly 4 hrs making the delivery. Maybe more if traffic is bad. If you pay the guy $10 hr (cheap) he actually costs $16 hr just to pay  taxes, Soc Sec, insurance, etc. I figured a MIN of 60% overhead. 

Ok so what do we have? Mileage allowance @ $0.57 x 120 = $68.40
Labor allowance 4 hrs x $17  = $68. Total delivery cost = $136.40 That's $136.40 out of the Dealers pocket. Thats what free shipping costs him. Knock an hr off the trip and it still costs the dealer  $102.

Artemus--  Exactly!   "Free delivery" means "we make up for this by making unnecessary profits elsewhere."
Great points there artemus from a business perspective and the actual costs associated with delivering free to the customer. I guess if you brought a unit in for repair then we can expect a drop off and pick up by the customer citing the reasons you mentioned above in your post.

ghdprentice- you have a one of a kind dealer and rare nowadays with the type of service he provides his customers. I bet he has a lot of repeat customers for sure.

I like consistency and if I am being told that yes we can deliver it then thats a fair expectation and then the next time I hear its better for us and faster for you to come and pick it up then to me its a mixed message cause I dont know next time what to expect if they will or wont deliver the goods. I have had another dealer who did deliver and charged me a small fee to bring it to me. That I am ok with cause its their time and gas costs which is ok for me to accept. But I do get it too that sometimes the cost of free doesnt justify it in the end for the business and businesses are in this to make money and not to lose money. I guess it comes down to the customer on what they are willing to handle and assuming most are ok with picking up their gear and those who like delivery are in the minority. Yes?

Great words of wisdom so far from some forum members. Much appreciated. Keep them coming.

It's always a cost plus issue. If you deliver the goods and there are no issues that's great. The first "I hurt my back" and probable did for the 8th time and finally reported it, is a WHOLE different story.

I've had 3 different businesses over the last 50 years.

I worked for other people the whole time along with the businesses I ran. I never competed with the businesses I worked for.  I can honestly say I've seen all three sides. The owner, the buyer, and the poor grunt that has to deal with (usually great) customers, traffic, and 10.00 dollars an hour (GEEZ). 

Is 10.00 dollars an hour ok? For delivering 10k worth of speakers that actually cost 1500.00 (MAYBE) to make. And a dealer get for 5k. 
Who's making the money?

I feel for ALL sides. A 2x4x8 just tripled in price over the last year. So the pandemic hit all the TREES in the world or the GREEDY SOB charging 3 time the price. Nothing has changed. Not one darn thing.. Just the amount of GREED.. Supply and demand? Supply chains?
CRAP the federal government less police agencies are still not seeing US citizens ONLY non registered or needing to get on the rolls. BUT citizen, OH HELL NO..

This pandemic helped it's self to everyone's pocket book more than anything.. Greedy practices of our fellow county men.. THEY should be ashamed, they want to call it capitalism,. It's CRONISUM at best.. It's a really broke system.. FUEL and certain thing need to be regulated, NOT what is going on in this country.. Same with all needed consumables.
Ground beef 3-5 dollars a pound.

Where the HEL# is the "I'm GOUGING the heck out the consumer police?" SAME with fuel.. It's the same price per barrel as it was when Clinton was in office. .99to 1.99 per gallon.. NOW 4.50 per gallon in the bay area. It can change .50 cents in a day.. TOTAL BS..
my first good system in 1978 came with delivery and setup,  none since