What's your experience with snooty HiFi salesmen?

I began my Hifi journey in 1976 at a shop in Birmingham MI called Audio Dimensions. He was a Magnapan and ARC dealer who was kind to a 15 year old kid who bought a set of MG 1s with paper route money. The ARC amps he carried were about $4K back then- a LOT of money in 1976. In the beginning I drove my MG 1s with an old Fisher Studio Standard integrated amp. Since those lovely innocent days I have encountered some real buttholes. They act like they are doing me a favor as they quiz me about what gear I have and if I'm listening to "approved" recordings. Needless to say I don't buy from those guys. Several wives and businesses later I'm back into the hobby with a much vengeance as a 61 year old  can muster given only so many free hours in a day and only so much cash to apply due to my other vices: Classic cars and salt water fishing. 

Have you ever encountered a really good or really bad dealer (or employee) that changed your buying actions?

Darko posted a video on this topic which I found really enjoyable. Many of you have already seen it but for those (like me) who discovered it much later here's the link: 


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I've given up on the dealers in my town since I've had some bad experiences. The most recent was a few days ago. From now on I'll probably buy from other dealers online who are more copacetic. 

The market today is very different to when I started this obsession as a destitute, married undergraduate in the early 1970's. The larger retailers sold almost nothing like hifi, some factory warehouse outlets had started but basically sold cheap rubbish. Then the UK got stores like Superfi. Many lunch times spent there as a student. Staff were quite well informed and genuinely interested, hi fi mags were rather bookish and for enthusiasts. As the marketing and literature got more market orientated the consumers got more knowledgable. The great hifi store scene on "Not The Nine O'clock News" was actually not untypical. As engineering students, oddly with a design professor who had been an audio designer and a hifi freak, we had design assignments for linear tone arms, direct drive turntables, transmission line cabinets and all manner of hifi things. Of course we now knew rather more than most hifi salesmen.  The hifi enthusiast opening his (always his I'm afraid) own store was now a rarity, a member of staff who sold radios and tv's last week  was now trying to sell hifi. It still happens.I remember meeting a barman of my acquaintance working in a hifi store, I was looking for a turnable.  He pointed to a Garrard 401 with SME arm and said, "best in the world, direct drive". I said isn't it an idler drive", "yes the little rubber wheel drives directly onto the turntable" he replied.  Only recently in a multi chain national supposed specialist store I enquired about an amplifiers power output and he went onto the internet and I was told with disdain, "40 watts", I asked into 4 or 8 ohms, "what's the difference", was his reply even more disdainfully. 

I think 'snooty' is where a dealer is disdaining or dismissive of a customer, particularly a young customer, who hasn't much money to spend.

This happens quite a lot.