Why are there so many unopened amps, ect for sale?

I've noticed a lot, lately, especially McIntosh, ads for new amplifiers, preamps, ect in boxes never opened by non-dealers, just "regular" people. Are people hesitant to buy these. I myself was looking at a new McIntosh MC352 amp from a private seller. He said it's new and the box has never been opened. I'm rather hesitant to buy it, because why would someone buy it, never open it, and then turn around and sell it? I'm just curious. If it is truly new, would McIntosh warranty it; I'm assuming not since it's not coming from a dealer even though the warranty cards are supposed to be inside the unopened box. I truly would like to buy this amp, but am hesitant, and I'm wondering if anyone else has wondered why there are so many unopened boxes of stereo equipment for sale by non-dealers. Usually when we buy equipment from this site we know it's used equipment, unless it's coming from a dealer. Just a curious question and wondering if anyone had feelings on this subject. Thanks.
I have always been suspicious of this myself. I imagine people have opened the box, or maybe not, but then decided for whatever reason to sell before using. My best guess is they bought on impulse, then when confronted with the real cost (dollars, WAF, etc) they decide to get rid of it.
Why not ask the seller? They should be able to account for how they acquired the item. If they can't or won't I think I would be inclined to pass on the deal. If a deal (something) is too good to be true.....
In most cases people carefully unseal the box and than seal it back if they need to sell. Certainly they have to maintain the unit's cosmetic condition as new. By default, the unit that left the territory of audio dealer is used even if it was never used.

I don't know about Mac but most of the companies will not transfer the warranty. The only company I know is Bryston but truly, since it produces the high mass products for pro- amplification movie-theater amplification they don't realy care about home audio/video consumers in terms of loosing or gaining the business as much as other manufacturers that solely produce home audio/video products.

If I were the small manufacturer such as Unison Research or EAR I wouldn't ever give a warranty on the used product because I would ruin my business.
I have no idea why people would do such a thing, nor will i fathom a guess. Whether they are legit or not could only be found out by buying them and finding out. You can pay your money and take your chances...

As to warranties being covered, Bryston and Sunfire are the only ones that i know of that would do such things. Sunfire goes by the serial number, which has the production date on it. As such, they warranty their product and not who owns it ( much like Bryston ). THAT is how it should be. Sean
Good question, but be aware when buying ANYTHING not from a dealer -- the warranty card is meaningless. It is really just a marketing tool. Whether you send it in or not is irrelevant. The only thing that counts, when you need warranty work, is that you have a receipt from a dealer to show that you bought it new. Also, many high end companies DO allow the warranty to transfer. Mark Levinson is one, there are many others.
As a rule new, used, 10/10, 9/10 whatever. If it's at least 50% off retail, and the guy has decent feedback just buy it. You really can't lose at that price point.
If the original buyer got a "closeout" or "firesale" price buy on the product (maybe a dealer that needed cash etc.), he may just see an opportunity to make a few bucks in re-sale, and of course an "un-opened" box would imply "brand new" and therefore worth more. I don't see anything wrong with that-- it's american capitalism at its best-- still as a buyer, I'd be asking the same question you are.

I bought a McCormack amp with supposedly less than 50 hours on it (not broken in yet-- if true), and the seller more or less admitted that he had gotten an excellent buy on it, tried it out, then sold it to me for a small profit. We were both happy as it was a good amp. Cheers. Craig
I have a friend who purchased an amp in an unopened box here on Audiogon. Turns out it was stolen from the manufacturers warehouse.
Budrew, what came of that situation ? While i can understand the manufacturers point that they want their product back, i can also understand that it puts them in a helluva situation in terms of customer service / satisfaction. Even if the guy didn't buy it from an authorized dealer, the fact that he bought their product and brand should tell them something. Sean
Theft does seem a likely explanation. I would definitely check the serial numbers with the manufacturer or distributor. I, for one, want nothing to do with supporting thieves by helping make a market in stolen goods, which is also a crime in itself. Yikes!
I've always been a little concerned that a lot of these "new in box" offers may be B-stock items that have been blown out by either a dealer or the company. B-stock can mean anything from a minor blemish to a unit that was defective and had to be refurbished(or, at least, we hope it was refurbished).

Has anyone bought an item like this and had warranty service refused because it wasn't bought from an authorized dealer? I'm not aware how closely the service centers check or care about this or how closely the manufacturers police it.

I am glad this has been brought up as I look at certain Mac gear when it goes for sale and I too wonder about NIB units. A C42 preamp just sold on eBay that was "Brand New...still in the box". I asked the person if they were a dealer, being it was new, they simply replied back, "No, I am not a dealer". I e-mailed near the end of the listing and by the time I could reply back, it was done, so I never carried the conversation further.
In case of McIntosh many people bought in order to sell again later for higher price - esp. with the Millennium MC2000 of which only 555 have been built. But as with many "collectibles" it turned out that nobody is willing to pay more than the former list price minus a decent discount. So since those people never intended to use the gear themselves they are in a hurry to sell it. Maybe they should wait another 10 years and prices would go up? Anyway, I was a HAPPY seller because of this and I only can encourage you do go for it. With a MAC you never can go wrong!
Best of luck
The one instance I know of where I could have sold an item NIB was when I got a replacement from Mission for a continually malfunctioning CD player. Since it was a new model replacing a discontinued model, I paid dealer cost (Mission was more than fair, my older model was a couple of years old), and could have sold it right then as NIB and made a profit. Other legit reasons I could think of might be the person who took equipment in trade for services (photography, marketing brochure) but didn't want the item, or the person who speculated and bought the item as an investment (for example, the Mac 275 reissues). I would be cautious in buying such equipment, though, as I'd have the concern that it was like Budrew's friend's situation. A box should have a serial number on it, though, you could ask for it and then call the manufacturer.
Just for your info, all of the Madrigal product lines: Levinson, Proceed, and Revel come with transferable warranties. You just call them on the phone and tell them your name, address, and the serial numbers. They are very nice about it and stand by their products.
That's a good point to ask for the serial number and email the manufacturer and ask if it's valid.
In any case it's OK to grab a chance for a great discount for NIB product except if it's stolen as mentioned by Budrew. So I guess that the buyer has to ask for serial number first and than call manufacturer(that's what I always do) like a lemon-check.
I received a post card from McIntosh that my C42 would not be warranteed since it was not bought from a recognized dealer. I bought it from audiogon from a salesman that used it as a display model in dealers showrooms. They will not warrent it. So Mac is tough on that one. Make sure you get a good enough discount when you buy equipment that way, in case something goes wrong under the normal warrent years of service.
How can a dealer get new equipment if they are not a "recognized" dealer?
I have wondered about this myself. If a person bought something new from a dealer and did not open the box then could he not return the unit? Worst case I would think that he would only be out shipping costs.

I guess this isn't always true as I just reviewed an ad where the dumbass made an impulse buy that later on was shot down by his wife. He is now offering the X600 amps for sale at a $6k loss. I bet wifey is really pleased with him. Forcing the dealer to refund his money at gun point might have been a better option.
At this level, I don't understand why a dealer would not accept a return if unopened, this doesn't add up.
Some guys with NIB are acting as sales around the Mac policy for some dealers who are trying to unload stuff in an otherwise slow market. Since they cannot advertise Mac through the net for mail order they go around the system and sell to these guys at discounts while doctoring up the sales slip a bit such as trade ins that do not exist to account for the discount. These guys then make a few bucks offering them as NIB.
All salespeople get deals on the equipment they sell. Used to be, you could get Mac at 50% off list if you were a salesperson for a dealer. I'm sure there are other deals like that for the store's employees. Sometimes (usually) you're supposed to keep it for a certain length of time (a year?) before you sell it. I'm kind of surprised that with all these posts, I'm the first to tell all. I know I ain't smart or lucky. Hmmm.
I've recently helped a dealer friend sell some NIB items[w/o warranties] to free up some capital for other inventory purchases,as well as reduce inventory for his fiscal year end. Many of the the manufactures DO NOT allow dealers to market over the net. As a result some buyers are getting INCREDIBLE DEALS on new items which dealers want to move! Check with the seller and you may find this to be the case on some NIB items.
There are some GREAT DEALS out there!!
Just for the cause, an old dealer trick is to invert the sealed packing box, open from the bottom, and then reseal. In the case of inner/outer box configurations, sometimes the outer will be opened in a conventional manner but the inner "apparently" remains sealed. Hence, "factory sealed".

Also, for great warranty service, no hassles, transfer issues, paperwork, etc. don't forget Pass Labs.


Quin Greenville
The seller likely is a dealer, perhaps even an authorized dealer. But he is selling out of his sales territory and therefore is masking himself as private.
I purchased a NIB Conrad-Johnson pre-amp at half the retail price from a private individual who turned out to be a dealer trying to unload excess and discontinued stock. He even included a sales receipt from his store so I could get warranty coverage.
Be sure to ask questions and make sure the seller is legit before you send funds. Get serial #'s and verify them with the manufacturer.
I was inquiring about an 'as new sealed' item that just didn't sound right. I asked for the serial # and for info on where it came fom and he said "somewhere in Asia" - right - a Linn product? He couldn't supply the serial # because the box was sealed. Linn prints the serial #'s clearly on the outside of their boxes.
But oh, it was not a factory box.....Anyhow, this guy was a completely fraudulent Mo%*erf%3cker - soon after he was 'not a registered user' - ie., nailed, or running.

Hopefully this is not the case and he is in fact a dealer clearing out inventory as the last few entries described... :-)

...but be careful!
There were several large scale break-ins of high end audio and home theatre dealers in the Northeast USA this past winter and spring. As I am told the ring is well-organized and professional, so who knows how they distribute their ill-gotten items. Getting a serial number sounds like a good idea in any case. If it sounds too good it probably is, esp. from a member (0).
I've wondered about this myself, and about 6 months ago I purchased a NIB, unopened C15 preamp on Ebay. Turns out it was just as advertised and I got a heck of a deal on it. Mac does not warranty anything sold on the Internet, however. As it turns out, I was able to re-buy my old C37 back from the guy I sold it to at the same price I sold it to him for. I should never have sold the C37, it's a great preamp. I sold the C15 and made a nice bundle on it, so I guess everybody won!
what happened to me when i was looking for a preamp. a guy out of state was selling a well known $3000 preamp for $1500. he stated that it was a year old and never taken out of the box. nervous, i decided to see if he would ship it to the manufacturer, have him check it out before i paid him then have the manufacturer ship the preamp to me.
when talking to the manufacturer he knew the guy that was selling the preamp. come to find out it was a dealer selling through one of his employees so he could sell into another dealers territory. great deal for me.
Just to alleviate 'some' of the fears about this; I had a new CD player that caused me some troubles during the warranty period . After several attempts at repair the company finally sent me a new upgraded model.

As I was not enamored by the old unit to begin with , I sold the replacement for a reduced cost from new . As a result , somebody got a great deal on a NIB CD player with full factory warranty from the manufacturer .

Happy tunes .
I've read a few posts in the past where people have sent their gear in to the manufacturer to be fixed or refurbished and when it comes back gets put up for sale. It is " in an unopened box" but really not at all new.
I'm also suspicious of anyone who suggests the box has never been opened. How hard can it be to open a box, try it then put it back and reseal it. I purchased a reference Audio Research preamp from a pastor that was supposingly factory sealed, it wasn't. Found out later from Audio Research that the tape that sealed the box wasn't theirs.
Gotta watch out for those pastors,reverends,rabbis,etc.,etc.,etc.!!!!!
Tpreaves, right, especially if you looking for an unmolested factory sealed carton.