Trade in value to a dealer

I have some items I would like to liquidate and reinvest the proceeds into upgraded equipment.  I have no feedback on Audiogon and wouldn't enjoy selling if I did.  I am interested in experiences you have had with trade in value to a dealer.  Let's say I have an amplifier which I would normally sell for $3,000 and a set speakers which would sell for $1,500 if I were to sell them to an individual.  What expectation might one have if trading these items in on more expensive pieces? 

I have no experience in this area, but in comparing it to the automotive market, I would be getting a wholesale trade in value.  Do most audio dealers operate on the same basis, wherein they feel they must make a profit on the inventory they receive via trade in, or might they allow a fair market value if they are making a profit on the item I am buying from them?  I am sure it varies from dealer to dealer, but am interested in other's experiences.  Should I expect to take a big hit?  Or maybe just a slight cuff?  Thanks.
about half of what the dealer would sell it for
If you like getting ripped off this is certainly the way to go.

My best guess is your retailer is not going to offer you a high trade in value for your equipment regardless of what you buy.  You might ask your retailer if they would accept your equipment for a consignment sale (fees could be 10-20% of sale price).  I also do not feel comfortable selling my used equipment on Audiogon.  I have used both retailers listed below to sell my used equipment with success:

Echo Audio
Sometimes they will buy the equipment from you or accept it for consignment.  They are very selective on what they accept and I suggest you call them to discuss.

The Music Room
Depending on the audio used market, they might pay cash for your used equipment or accept it for consignment.  They will tell you if they feel your equipment will be hard to sell.  Once you agree on terms, you ship the equipment to them and they handle everything.

Consignment sales might get 50% of retail minus the fees charged plus PayPal, etc fees. The price you get really depends on the brand you are selling and how marketable it is.  I sold a well know interconnect cable and was luckily to get 30% of list.  The successful selling of used audio equipment depends on the brand, model, condition and age. Timing is also important and you cannot be in a hurry.  For example, it took me over 5+ weeks to sell my Luxman 590ax integrated amplifier and we had to lower the price.  On the other hand, my Ayre QB-9 DSD DAC sold in 2 hours since it was in high demand.     
I have never used Audio Solutions listed below but you might want to ask them if they are interested in your used equipment (cash or consignment).

We BUY anything HiFi, Reference, Two-Channel/ Multi-Channel, Sources, Speakers, Speaker Cables, Interconnects, etc., etc.....!!!
Ouch!  My fears are being confirmed.


Thanks for the info and links.  I will check with those people.  I might just have to do some selling myself.

If the equipment is in decent shape, it would behoove you to sell directly.
Just be honest about condition and price accordingly.
Retailers, especially those with a brick-and-mortar store, have to support their overhead which includes staffing, rent, cost of goods, advertising, and all sorts of other expenses. That’s why you would typically get about 50% of what your trade-ins would sell for. Also, I gather from perusing listings on Audiogon and similar sites, retailers will tend to have slightly higher prices than individual sellers, as it is necessary to cover the above-mentioned expenses. The rest of us only have to contend with Audiogon and Paypal fees, and negotiate who pays for the shipping, all of which is a lot simpler/cheaper than supporting an ongoing business. I agree with the consensus here that you would do best to sell as an individual. Just like the real estate market though, look for comparables so you have a realistic idea what you can expect. Getting the price right can be tricky.
I would think that it would depend on the retailer, what you are looking to buy, and how much you are willing to spend.

If you were looking for a pair of speakers and amplifier that listed for say $15,000 total, you may have the dealer give you $4,500 off for your gear.

Now keep in mind, that if you had nothing to trade in on the same items, the dealer may just knock of $3,000 to make the sale. So in essence, you would only have gotten $1,500 for your amp/speakers.
You will never get what your equipment is worth if you trade-in with a dealer.
It's the same as trading in a car when buying a new one.
I contacted a company that buys used audio gear for resale.  I understand they have to sell at a profit so I was sort of figuring on 25% of the retail price - But the offer was about 10% of retail.  I just let it go at that point.  Unless you just want something out of your house, trading it in to a dealer is not the way to go.  
It all depends on the value you put on your time and effort.
It all depends on the value you put on your time and effort.
Agreed. Frankly, I don't have the patience to deal with tire-kicking audiophiles. I expect businesses that I deal with to make a profit, and that includes audio stores. When trading equipment, I certainly don't expect to receive retail value for the trade.

While shopping for a headphone amp least year, I was astounded to discover that Stuart's Audio in NJ wouldn't accept in trade some fine used equipment that I had - at any price. Steven told me if they hadn't sold me the gear in the first place, they weren't interested in a trade. So I bought the Moon SHA-430 at Audiolab, who was happy to take the trade. Go figure.

At Audio Connection, Johnny was happy to list my trade on consignment. He sold it and gave me a store credit, which I haven't yet used.

As the old maxim goes - of quality, service and price, you can only choose two. Price is usually not the most important consideration for me. Of course some others choose differently.

Dealers aren't called dealers for nothing.  Also, the only dealer near me charges 40% commission for consignments.  You'd be better of to sell whatever you have on ebay or some local craigslist or such.  From what I've learned, stereo gear is much easier to buy than to sell, so make sure that when you buy, you buy at a good price.
I do have some first hand experience in this regard...

Generally speaking an authorized dealer for any particular manufacturer can discount the MSRP of a brand new item by no more than 20% (and sell as new for MSRP-20%).

If you then wish to sell an item (in excellent condition and within two years of newly released) back to the dealer, the dealer will typically offer about 45% less than MSRP.  

If you look to sell privately, expect to get around 30% less than MSRP.

If the gear you're looking to sell is in poor condition and/or is very old (with respect to when it was manufactured), all bets are off and other variables such as vintage, market demand and phase of the moon come into play.
I typically just buy/sell on here but I have done a few trades with The Music Room in Colorado.  Rob there is great and all my deals with them have been stress free and met or exceeded my expectations...

Selling to a retailer will always intail a loss. For me it's not worth, though their are some great people to deal with. I suggest if you want to work with a dealer, find something you like they have for sale to negotiate your trade against. 
Great thread here. I agree that selling used gear to a dealer is usually not the best deal, especially if you have a relatively new, in-demand component. However, I've had wonderful experiences selling/trading with Echo Audio in Portland, Oregon for older stuff or when I just want the deal done right away. It's true that they can be selective and sometimes decline to buy/trade based in their current inventory. But they are phenomenal people to work with and they pay better prices than any other dealer I've come across. I wish I still lived there. A great place to visit. 

Im curious why the original poster and another commenter feel they "wouldn't enjoy" selling on Agon or "don't feel comfortable". Why not? Is it a fear of not getting paid? I've had nothing but positive encounters with folks in this "community". Often times I'll chat with the other person on the phone and realize they are much like me. Friendly and knowledgeable enthusiasts. 

I used to enjoy, buying, selling, trading, bargaining, dickering, etc.,  but somehow I have lost the urge to do so.  If I find that I am going to take too large of a loss on a trade in, I will either swallow hard and do some selling or keep the equipment and enjoy it in a second system.  Or, I could take a road trip from Indianapolis to Portland to visit inlaws and just happen to take my old gear with me.  I love the left coast in the summer.
Im curious why the original poster and another commenter feel they "wouldn't enjoy" selling on Agon or "don't feel comfortable". Why not? Is it a fear of not getting paid? I've had nothing but positive encounters with folks in this "community".
That's a fair question. As a buyer, I've had mostly excellent encounters here on A'gon. It's a great resource. But as a seller, I'm really not interested. Yes, I'm sure there are many pleasant buyers here ... after all, I'm one of them! But as a seller, I really don't want to hassle with the tire-kickers and bottom-feeders, who are also here. It's just not worth my time. By the same reasoning, I trade my car at the dealer when I buy a new one - rather than trying to sell it privately.

Dealers don't want the hassle especially if they do not represent the product line.  They don't know the actual condition and they don't know if they can warranty the unit say for 30 to 90 days, etc.  Figure 20% of the retail price.  In general and in the past I have had very good deals on Audiogon but a few clunkers also, more good than bad experiences.  I learned that your ad must state everything very clearly and leave nothing for interpretation.  Once you have established that, you should be good to go.  What's wrong with a few tire kickers, you can ignore them or send them a funny response back.  Just explain in your advertisement that they will be ignored.

Happy Selling!

Dealers don't want the hassle especially if they do not represent the product line.
Many dealers happily accept trades. Those are the ones most likely to get my business.

Audiogon is good, but of course they charge for their service. I just sold a Parasound amp after 4 weeks.  Lots of people looked at my ad.  Remember, it has to be priced reasonable, and don't try to make a little extra on the shipping cost.  Also, I just sold an Earthquake amp two days ago on US Audio Mart.  They also have a lot of lookers, and the listing is free, because they have ads on the website.  Reasearch what you are trying to sell, and use Paypal to buy and sell.  If you have your PP account linked to your credit card, you are protected by the same rules of the credit card company, in case of non delivery, or a DOA piece of equipment.  Good luck.