I might as well jump in here and explain why we have gone back to our policy of giving any AudioGon customer both a clear and EASY path for upgrades, after-market options, and warranty transfers for any of our used components purchased.
It is quite LONG, but WELL worth the read as it wil explain many things, and will also help you from getting "burned" when you purchase one of our used pieces here!
Actually, it should be entitled
"The MYTHS about Thor Audios resale value".....
There seems to be a REAL misunderstanding when it comes to Thor Audios resale value and I would like to clear up 90% of them right now
Unfortunately, three MAJOR mistakes that we ourselves made over the years helped to create the low resale prices, and the belief that we do not hold our value. However, it is also the sellers ad deception (knowingly or not) that is doing an equal amount of harm.
Our three mistakes were:
1) First mistake - We went for far too long without changing our model names/numbers.
A TA-1000 line stage preamp can be ANYWHERE between one to TEN years old! Of course, all the potential AudioGon buyer ever sees are the words Thor TA-1000 and a small price next to it. The seller is not going to admit to you in his ad that he happens to be the FORTH owner, and the fact that this particular preamp was originally sold as a show demo, review sample, or, worse yet, a heavily discounted B-Stock!
In fact, the seller may not even know this HIMSELF as it was really only the ORIGINAL owner that knew this (and he was probably not going to admit this in his original ad).
So, the preamp STARTED out being sold by a dealer for 25-30% off because of imperfections and/or audio show/review sample ware. Then, when the original owner sells it, he STARTS OFF with at least a 40% off retail price (based on the low price that he had actually paid for it). Someone then buys it for 50% off. (Unfortunately, all AudioGon people READ is that a Thor preamp was sold for 50% retail not good).
Then the NEW owner sells it the following year and starts his ad at 50 to 60% off. Now the AudioGon buyers are seeing the words Thor TA-1000 and 60% of retail. Again no one knows about the original discount, or the fact that the seller is NOT the original owner, or the fact that this preamp is now a few years old, because the seller does NOT mention any of this in his ad!
How would anyone know the difference now? Adding to this, if he does not mention the serial number, you are REALLY in the dark as to its age!
One year later, it happens again and is sold for less, and the next year, and the next year, etc. and still ALL we see when we search AudioGon for Thor is an ad that now reads TA-1000 with an over 75% off list asking price and, unfortunately, no real or obvious reason NOT to believe the seller when he says one year old!
2) Then we made our Second mistake
When we saw these preamps selling for a ridiculously low price, we had a few friends email ALL the sellers to find out the serial numbers of these too good to be true preamps. Sure enough, they were all four to eight years old, had never had the upgrades the sellers were claiming, and it seemed that almost ALL of them were the VERY SAME preamps that had started life as B-stocks demos, etc..
Of course, these days there will always be someone who lost their job and/or are in the middle of a divorce and have to come up with some quick cash for one reason or another and will need to make a quick sale, but for the most part it has ALWAYS been the same dozen or so preamps that were always/continuously for sale. Again, the buyer doesnt know anything of their drawn-out history, multiple owners or true version, and is frequently buying something less than what he thinks it is.
So, we decided to help any potential AudioGon buyers out and placed a post a few times on AudioGon and on our web site asking that anyone interested in a used Thor component to please CALL US FIRST! This way, we would be able to tell them about the components real history when it was built, about how many owners it really had in its life, did it ever have the upgrade the seller was claiming, and did it start its life as a discounted show demo/review sample, etc.
In less than two months, we were flooded with well over 100 emails from people praising us for taking the time to help out the buyers on the used market and how wonderful it was for a company to take the time to do this.
With each phone call and email, after we told them the REAL story/history behind each of the components for sale at that time, the potential buyer thanked us PROFUSLY and, of course, did NOT buy the component!
(I remember thinking that we were really providing a much needed service, and were making new friends along the way, and actually ending up with some nice PR for our efforts)!
HOWEVER, it was then that we began to realize that old adage that No good deed ever goes unpunished!
Because our truthful information had persuaded most potential buyers OUT of buying all the used Thor components for sale,, the NEXT AudioGon visitor looks at our ads and they now see words like Thor TA-1000 REDUCED!
So, NOW it looks like Thor components cannot even be sold for 75% of retail something that hurt us even more!!
Note: We will always support and service any and all of our components ever built, both now and in the future.
However, as we were now seeing preamps of up to many years in age appear very regularly, (but of course never disclosed as such), we once again tried to come up with something that would help protect the potential buyer.
So, we did away with the possibility of any and all potential upgrades, warranty transfers, and all after-market options for ANY and ALL components sold over the Internet. This then made it that much harder for the seller to pull a fast one. Why should we make it easy for the seller to lie and get away with it? Additionally, there was a real possibly that some new owner will say that the Thor he just purchased does not sound as good as he thought it was going to, AND post his thoughts publicly!!
Of course, how could he know that there are a multitude of reasons for the sound he is getting, or NOT getting? (He thought he was buying something recently made or upgraded, not an original version)!
And - How would WE to be able to explain this to the buyer and everyone who read his post, for that matter even KNOW about his comment unless we spent part of every day policing the used audio market and forums and then continuously upload posts as long as this one?
This would obviously be time totally unproductive on our part, (even though it could be yet another possible hurt for us regarding future resale pricing going forward).
Lastly, and most unfortunately, it was this FINAL attempt on our part at helping potential buyers that was the final curtain to our pricing on AudioGon, and cemented the perception that Thor does not hold its value. With absolutely nothing available in the future for the buyer any more, all of our prices went down even further - again with no one on AudioGon knowing any of the real reasons for it, (or again that was Thor Audio itself who has been hindering sales in the name of truthfulness)!
In order to counteract our mistakes and still help the used buyer (the reason we had taken all of our steps in the first place), we have once again put into practice our options for BOTH upgrades and warranty transfers!
This should both help the speed of the sale and the price of any and all future sales. We will also feel comfortable that we have actually seen and checked out the unit, gone over it to bring it up to spec, and have issued a NEW Five Year Warranty to the new owner. Hopefully, FINNALLY win-win answers for everyone! Please contact us for complete details, options and prices.
Please continue to call us for the real history of any of our used components, but rest assured that now if you DO purchase them, there is a once again a REAL upgrade/warranty path put in place for it, and Thor Audio will MAKE SURE that you get what you paid for!
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope it finally explains a few things,
P.S. Three final facts everyone should know:
1) For those who dont know, as of 1/1/06, we have an entirely NEW line of components (upgraded in every respect) with all NEW names/model numbers (please refer to our web site), and even the much sought after used FULL MKII versions of our components are now discontinued components! (However, they are only ONE step behind what is currently available so they are the ones to purchase first when they come up for sale).
2) Additionally, anyone saying that the used piece they are selling is the SAME thing as our new line in their ad is not being truthful.
3) If a seller claims that his component is the FULL MKII version, then it MUST have a yellow and black sticker on the back of it with a serial number of OVER 1000. If it does not, it is not the full version.