What's up with Soundstage Direct?


They have been my go to source for new music for years. In the past 8 months, orders have been very slow. E-mails and calls are very sketchy. Anyone else have thoughts here?

slaw
I've had a few small orders with them over the last six months or so without any issue at all.
I've only ordered once from them...about 3 months ago.  I agree with @slaw that communication was odd.  I was notified that one of the two LPs I ordered was a German import so there would be a delay until they received their shipment from Germany.  Then I got an email about cancelling that LP.  I took it to mean that it wasn't coming in, but then received a subsequent email notifying me that it was on its way to me.  

Again, this was my first order with them so I had no expectations from past performance.  I am also willing to buy from them again.
I've been buying for SSD for years and have had absolutely no problems. Seth is a straight up guy and their 20% off sales come around frequently.
On a few occasions I've had to return a defective disc and they have replaced it with no hassle. I did have to pay for return shipping, but I believe that's also the policy at Acoustic Sounds and Elusive Disc (not 100% sure on this)......though not at Amazon. They can be a little slow to deliver sometimes if a title is not in stock, but I've never had trouble finding things to listen to in the meantime.
I have had really super service from Sound Stage Direct.  Their products are excellent, pricing is very competitive-- and the owner is "in the store."

If anybody is on the fence, I would encourage you to give them a try.  I know that I'll be back because I have been so happy with the products, service and pricing all along the way.

Happy listening.
Glad to hear the positives.  I don't live that far from the brick and mortar location so I am going to plan a visit there this summer.  Ah.... to be around so much vinyl!
I agree with slaw. Almost 6 weeks ago, I ordered Willie Nelson Stardust 45 rpm from them. At the time, the website said it would ship in 4 days. After several weeks, having heard nothing, I wrote to them. I had to write several times before they responded. They then told me they were "having problems with their supplier" and it would be several more weeks. After another week I wrote and told them to cancel the order. Several days later, I received an email saying I would get my refund in 5-7 days. Two weeks later I still have not received it. I wrote to them again and now 3 days later, I have still not heard from them. I tried calling them during their posted business hours and just got a recording that would not allow me to even leave a message.

I won’t ever buy anything from them again. They are way too flaky and unresponsive - and I still don't have my money back.
I've been to their physical store a half dozen times in Doylestown PA, the last time they exchanged my Ortofon MC cartridge for an upgraded model and did the initial setup on my VPI turntable.   Great guys & gals there.   It's not a "storefront" type place, it's on the 2nd floor, but they've got tons of LP stock and I've never had any issues ordering anything not in stock.   Also a solid VPI & Rega TT dealer.   Seth, the owner, is often there, he's a true vinyl devotee...I think when he was just a kid he cut his teeth at the old Princeton Record Exchange in NJ (a magical place).   Hopefully your interaction recently was a one-off...keep us posted.   
Funny, I've never had a problem with them until just recently. I received a defective record, emailed them on the 19th and received no response. I called the next day in the middle of the day and the message said to call during "normal business hours". Weird. I resent the email and will call again on Monday.


It sounds like there are issues at Soundstage Direct right now.  Hopefully they can get things ironed out before they frustrate and lose prospective customers.  Hate to have things go south for a vinyl source.☹️
I "used" to be a SSD customer and I "use" to get excellent service and communication but things have change for the worse this year.  A lot of their products are back-ordered when their website indicates in-stock.  Huge delays in order fulfillment and huge delays in getting a refund on cancelled orders.  SSD does not respond to email nor telephone calls.  Unfortunately, SSD is circling the drain and I wouldn't put my hard earned dollars at risk with them. 
I called them this morning at 2:45 their time. Same recording "send us an email or call during normal business hours".
It is now 5 days since I sent them an email regarding my overdue refund. I still haven't received a response.  Has this company closed up shop?  Fortunately I'm only out $55 - I hate to think that some people might be out a lot more money.
I have called them weeks ago and took like three days to get through as their backup answering service was answering all the time. Then on July 3rd i cancelled an order for $150 and still as i write this i have NOT received any refund and i have called multiple times today and yesterday and their message bascially states to use an [email protected] to get ahold of them and no answering service now ??? WTF is going on.....is this company going out of business or what the hell and where is my money ???
@slaw   I'm glad you started this thread!  It seems apparent that something unfortunate is going on in Soundstage Direct's world.  That's too bad.  We don't need to lose what has been a good source of vinyl. It might be best for A'goners to steer clear for now.
I quit using SSD about a year ago due to the same issues. 
@tpreaves  Wow.  I didn't realize their problems began that long ago.  Bummer!😔
Sound Stage Direct is not answering their phone or emails. Vinyl I ordered states ships in 4-7 business days. I have 2 open orders of 9 weeks old. Will be disputing my credit card today. I'm done giving them a chance. This is simply disrespectful.
yeah i have been seeing for about year or so as well
that their shipping was very sloooow. I personally think that they dont have the stock like we all think and they are ordering from other and then drop shipping it to each and every client OR getting orders in to their location THEN shipping it out themselves to us. I feel like this is happening cause it doesnt take over month to ship something that is in supposedly and for sure something is very odd and/or they are just closed today and yesterday which i highly doubt ??
SH forums have a couple of threads discussing this. Paypal and credit card disputes are the only known solution. They used to be my go to place...service was unacceptable for the last year or so and didn’t improve over time.
are those SH forums new ones or recently ??
The disputes are primarily in the last few months.  There have been several orders, including high priced turntables, that have not been fulfilled in which customers credit cards/paypal has been charged.   It has been advised from multiple sites to dispute the charge immediately and get your money back.     Not sure what is going on specifically, but it is clear from multiple sources it is best to file a dispute with your method of payment.
Their brick and mortar store is very close to my extended family and was planning to check out the place sometime soon.  One observation, they have no photos in the online gallery showing rocks filled with LPs.  Seems odd that if that is your thing, you should have some visuals visible.  Ugh!

Hope all of you with outstanding, unfulfilled orders get your money back.  When you contact your credit card company or PayPal you might reference this thread in your conversation or correspondence with a link as verification that you are not just an isolated case. Good Luck all!🍀
So after reading SH forums and last few pages I did file claim with PayPal but unless soundstage has funds in their account then I might have to call in my credit card company ...what a god dam hassle and I just talked with someone on July 3rd on the phone. Have no idea what happened but they must be running to the next beach on our dime .. Good luck everyone 
Wow ! And I thought it was just me.  Guess it’s some relief knowing I’m not alone - but not enough relief as these scumbags stole about $2,000 from me on an unfulfilled order for a new mc cart.  Anyone have the owners contact info or even better his personal physical address ?
@flyingeff if you paid by a credit card you are protected, but you need to file a claim asap!
I have had numerous delays with my orders from SSD, but they always delivered until recently.  I have an undelivered ordered from mid-June.  No records and no refund.  They aren’t answering the phone and aren’t returning emails.  I filed a claim with PayPal.  I’m only out about $60.  I’m sure others are out a lot more money.  I read yesterday on another site that Seth is no longer with the company.  WTH? I thought he was the founder/owner?
 So it's not just me. I've had an order in since May and have only received two shipments. If things are backordered thats fine but don't charge my credit card and hold onto my money for 2 months or more. 
 Giving the phone one more try and then I'm disputing my charge to my credit company. I think they are falling apart. I never had this problem with them in the past and it's sad what they are doing. 
I gave up using SSD a few months ago. Ordered some vinyls for Christmas. One of them was supposed to ship in 2-3 days, the others were in stock. Received them just before Easter. They did not even bother shipping the vinyls that were in stock... for months. They were very unresponsive on emails. Tried them one more time after that. All records were in stock, but it still took them 2 or 3 business days to ship. Amazon delivers same day, so my standards for good online shopping service are way up high. SSD lost me as a client, and I shop elsewhere. Acoustic sounds, Music Direct, and Elusive Disc are my go to places for vinyl. They always ship very fast and their customer service is excellent.



I noticed my last order from them was REALLY delayed, also. At the time I didn’t think much of it because I wasn’t pressed for time. I just assumed that one of the records wasn’t in stock and they waited to ship the whole order until they had everything. As a general rule, however, my go to is Acoustic Sounds. That place may have less frequent sales but they are a fine tuned machine. Love doing business with them. 
There have been issues with them noted on several audio forums lately; the latest rumor is that they are forming new management.

My last transaction went ok several weeks ago, but I have noticed lately that their frequent emails have come to a total halt for the last week or so.

Hopefully this is not the end, but weirder things have happened...

Good luck to all that have pending transactions! As for me, I would hold off until I receive some info and proceed with caution if I do order through them.
@deecee "the latest rumor is that they are forming new management."

I've watched this happen enough to see that's so often the statement that swirls around before a high-end audio entity goes under.  SSD always seemed like a highly profitable entity, one that would stick around.  Even a bit harder for me, as since I'm also in the Philadelphia area, it was a local business.  REALLY sad news...
1. Order from Music Direct and/Acoustic Sounds
2. Stop saying "Vinyls"
FYI:  Well it does not look good for SSD, I just talked to my CC company about getting a refund on a TT that I had ordered on May 4th, 2018 it was a VPI Prime, money taken from CC that same day.I still have not received said TT and for the past 2 weeks have been unable to get in touch with SSD by phone or email even Seth's phone is not answering it just states that mailbox is full and not taking any further messages.So at this time I have a claim in with my CC company and if you have placed a recent order with SSD I would suggest that you be careful and keep an eye out for your orders.My bank Chase says they are getting several requests from customers about SSD lately.
Lots of updated info on the Steve Hoffman forums.  Latest rumor/update is that SSD has been sold to the company that owns importcds.com and popmarket.com.  Word is they fulfilled outstanding PopMarket orders after the buyout so hopefully the same will happen with SSD. 
They owe me 4109.00- On April 4- I was upgrading my VPI Prime to a Prime Signature Rosewood. After about 6 weeks after inquiring about it being shipped Seth told me its a production issue with VPI.

I talked with VPI today and they are being bombarded with complaints about SSD. They told me they haven't had any production issues, and they are fully aware of the fraudulent practices recently with SSD.
To make matters even worse for me...in June while waiting for my Prime Signature I decided to upgrade my cart to a Ortofon Cadenza Bronze. They promptly took my payment minus my trade in (Quintet black)
I had my suspicions especially in the last month....but I've dealt with these guys for years. Long story short I filed a fraud complaint with my CC company today.
Seth lied through his teeth multiple times to me, and encouraged me to upgrade my cartridge knowing full well he was never going to deliver anything.
I have a string of texts in the last weeks with more complete lies. After talking with VPI today it became quite clear I had been stiffed.
I'm not suggesting VPI is responsible...but they certainly had a very cozy relationship with Seth. After talking with them today they seemed pretty concerned with their culpability. Not their words....but that's the vibe I got.






I’ve turned my issues over to my cc company.

Sad.

Just wondering...do major equipment companies like VPI have a responsibility to inform if their dealers are going under?
I had 7 LP's thay I was waiting on thay I ordered that never were delivered. I had to call and at least was refunded for 5 of them. I ordered from Amazon and Discogs with no issues. R
Leason learned! So never ordering from them again !!!
I shopped with Soundstage Direct for years, without issue. Then, when I did have a problem with a $50 defective album, I spent months trying to resolve the issue. Emails were prompt, but follow-ups from them were non-existent. A couple of weeks would go by, and I'd have to prod them again. I'll never send them another nickel.Glad it wasn't a $4000 turntable, ouch.
Color me gullible ! Placed an order for rather expensive cart. on May 22. Was told by Seth would have ’week to 10 days’. That goes by, get apology from Seth though then told: ’as per website 2-4 weeks’. Give it past July4th. Seth wouldn’t respond to texts..... finally get live person at SSD who did call me back with: ’it will be another 3 weeks’. While that would be 7/31 & now seeing all the issues piling up out there, I’ve filled claim with CC. Funny (not) , I did ck on forum after first delay & only prior problem was with Seth posting his cel & appeared resolved. Also had a few record trans. over the years with one no-problem refund about a year ago.
I stopped doing business there after my third "take forever and call Seth several times" order. In my experience it started during Christmas. Bad timing. I waited a month and finally got the order when I threatened Seth with a bad Google review. He sent my order that day and gave me a $100 gift certificate for doing a nice review. I waited another month for the order using the gift certificate. Then one last time because they claimed to stock a record that I couldn't find anywhere else. I have since updated my Google review and laid it out as it is.

I've spoken to Seth on several occasions and he is always apologetic and promises better service in the future. First he claimed that he tried to expand last year and couldn't find anyone to run the satellite warehouses, so he pulled back. Plus, Amazon is killing him.Then he was having trouble getting the stock back from the satellite warehouses. Then he didn't have any people, but he hired a new crew and they would be trained and everything would go back to normal.

I imagine the story has changed, but I believe as many of you do, he is going under. Too bad, he is a nice guy.

I would be very careful if you order from them. I believe they are buying stock as cash comes in. It most likely is not your stuff. Note, they take the money at the time of the order from PayPal or CC. Then most likely use it to pay the distributor for their most recent record order for customer orders that were ordered weeks ago, not yours. The same with hardware.
Also, everyone is recommending other shops. Try Elusive Disc. They ship immediately, have the same pricing structure with coupons. I'm very satisfied with their service and selection. They stock Speakers Corner, no waiting for German shipment like if you buy them from MD.I also notice that when MD has a 15% or higher coupon, their posted prices are $5 higher. I haven't seen that at Elusive.
I finally got my money back from PayPal so hope everyone else got their money back as well.

GOOD LUCK :) !!!!
I ordered records in April and May and they still have not been shipped. I have sent 5 emails and made 9 phone calls. None of my emails have been answered. Every time I get a message to call back during business hours. I have been buying records from SSD for some time and I have never had any issues until recently. I had asked on LP & Turntable Enthusiast on facebook if anyone had experienced issues and I got a slew of answers. One sent me to this discussion. Posting because it would appear that there is something going on.
I ordered a bunch of new records from SSD for my first time a couple months ago.  Was taking forever.  Email, phone inquiries not returned (what a surprise, huh?).  Finally stumbled on the SteveHoffman threads detailing the obvious death spiral of this company.  Immediately launched PayPal dispute.  Got my money back from PayPal about 10 days after launching the dispute.
Whew!

It appears that they might have taken their website down.  At least nobody else can get ripped off like the rest of us!

Unfortunately, their website is back online.  Buyer beware!

I had an order in dating back to early June. It has never taken this long to get LP's from them. I first tried emailing them, after waiting a few days and not getting a reply, I tried calling them. I just keep getting a recorded message telling me to call back during normal business hours (WHAT?!?!). Anyway, had to file with PayPal from 2 of the open orders I have with them. I have read that the original owner is no longer in control of the business, that someone else has purchased the company, and that the company is bankrupt! I don't know which is accurate, but regardless one thing is for sure is that they're being unresponsive and my orders were never received. So I recommend if you have any orders with them, you file with your Credit Card Companies and or PayPal while there's a slim chance of getting your money back!! So irresponsible and disappointing.
I just got an email response from one of their customer service reps who I reached out to directly after weeks of trying other methods.

Here's what she sent me, but I'm not sure how much faith I have:

Very sorry for delay, we have a new company coming in and they will be filling all vinyl orders

The transition has taken longer then everyone expected..There is a very happy ending
Hope what @crasher was told is true. That would be good for those with outstanding orders and maybe for the rest of us if a new company puts its best foot forward and becomes a reliable vinyl source.

I have contacted them for weeks now all i get is back up answer and auto reply emails I have preordered 8 albums release date July 27th and nothing I have filed a case thru paypal against them I have noticed that you cant place an order either so I take it they have shut down! I will get my money back thankfully have a protection plan. Credit card people need to go to their bank and file a claim as well doesn't sound like they are coming back i have been trying for over 2 straight weeks to get in touch with them and only automated replies email and answering machine voice recording