Dealery Snobbery.....

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Jeff Weight, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. Jeff Weight

    Jeff Weight Stunt Coordinator

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    After 10 years with the same speakers, I'm considering upgrading. Anyway, I visited a local dealer who use to carry many brands. Now they only carry Dynaudio. Long story short, they start off by telling me my electronics aren't good enough! My receiver is an Integra 7.4 that they happen to sell, just isn't up to the task of making the Dynaudio's reproduce at their full potential. I brush off this snobbish comment and continue looking at the speakers.

    The salesman goes on to show me a discontinued pair of bookselves on clearance for $2,500 a pair. I explain that I have kids and really desire a floor standing speaker. So he shows me the floor standing models. I find a pair in my price range ($1.5 to $2K) and sit down to listen. They sounded nice for the five minutes I was able to audition them. As we are discussing them, I asked about the matching center channel. He says, you'd buy this one for... get this $1.5K. I said is that that the least expensive one they offer in the lineup? He says no, the one that matches the pair your listening to is JUNK. I tell him he must be kidding, why would I spend as much on a center channel as I would on a pair? He says, because it's the most important speaker in the system. Therefore you'd want it to be the best one. I ask him about timber matching to the left and right, and why I shouldn't buy the center that matches the mains I'm looking at? He says timber matching doesn't matter.

    I'm still blown away by the BS I heard today. Needless to say, I'll let the dealer keep his speakers and his attutude while I shop elsewhere.
     
  2. MikeHU

    MikeHU Stunt Coordinator

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    Run. Run fast...[​IMG]
     
  3. Jeff Weight

    Jeff Weight Stunt Coordinator

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    That was exactly my thought.
     
  4. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    You are doing the right thing. These dealers are the ones that are scaring away potential audiophiles.
     
  5. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    In the famous words of King Arthur:

    Run away! Run away!

    Not only snobbish but downright rude.[​IMG] Might even be worth a call to the owner telling him just why you not only won't be a repeat customer but why you don't think he'll be in business much longer.
     
  6. Peter.P

    Peter.P Auditioning

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    That's the way the sales people at my local Goodguys *were* like...
    Hmm... I wonder why they went out of business
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    There's one dealer around here that I used to like, but the last few times I've been in there (becase I like the stuff they carry), I *really* was put off by the salespeople and how they didn't seem to actually want to talk to you unless they thought you were going to spend a large chunk of cash. It's like they couldn't be bothered to talk to someone who looks younger like me. The funny thing was, I WAS ready to drop a couple grand, but they missed out... I've heard more than a few people say the same thing about their store.

    This guy is just trying to up-sell you. I've never heard a GOOD dealer say timbre isn't important.
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    OK, what was the store?
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Me or the original poster? Mine is a local, independent shop; not a big chain.
     
  10. Jeff Weight

    Jeff Weight Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd rather not say. If you want to research it, they are in Newport Beach, CA
     
  11. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Wonder what the jerk would have said to someone like myself who is an advocate of a phantom center, lol.
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Actually, the good guys! has been folded into CompUSA.

    As for dealer snobbery, back in the days of so-called "high-end audio," dealers with attitude were something of a problem -- particularly those major non-chain dealers such as Sound by Singer and others in the larger cities. If you were not dressed a certain way (i.e., as though you had a wad of cash), such people basically ignored you.

    There was a major high-end dealer in Santa Monica that I went to back in the mid-1980s. I was looking for a good tone arm to replace my Infinity Black Widow arm, plus a good phono pickup. But I arrived at that store on my motorcycle, and I was dressed in sport-riding attire.

    Too bad.

    I was looking at a turntable set up with one of the tone arms I was interested in. I had the cash. Ready to make a deal. But no one -- no one -- even so much as thought to maybe approach me and, you know, make a sale.

    So I ended up ordering through a mail-order house that advertised in the back pages of The Absolute Sound magazine.

    In the world of home theater, such problems are rarer.
     
  13. Jeff Weight

    Jeff Weight Stunt Coordinator

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    Jack, was it Christopher Hansen?
     
  14. Dan Keliikoa

    Dan Keliikoa Stunt Coordinator

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    I was in a/v retail from 1985-2003, working in sales, customer support, and service/repairs. I worked for four retailers in those years, including 11 wonderful years at Magnolia Hi Fi (now known as Magnolia Audio Video).

    When I read horror stories like this, it really chaffs my hide. A sales person like that is VERY bad for the business, and I think a well-worded letter to the manager of the store is in order if you like the place at all. If you really no longer care, then say nothing, sit back, and watch it disintegrate slowly, customer-by-pissed-off-customer for as long as he remains with them.

    Getting the customer into what fits THE CUSTOMER'S needs is the most important thing you can do. Provide info on differences in gear with minimum of bias (unless an opinion is SPECIFICALLY requested), and my own rule is never bad-mouth a piece of gear. If asked about a brand I personally dislike of speaker, for example, I merely point out that there are people that like their such-such characteristics and this or that feature, and then do some compare and contrast with what my store offers that would be comparable or better. Smacking down gear to a customer is unprofessional to me...and it's CRAZY when you're smacking down gear YOU sell!
     
  15. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    I went into a newer home theater type store here in Tulsa this summer, and couldn't even get the time of day. Must have been because i was wearing shorts, and a t-shirt. I walked around for 15 minutes and didn't even get an "i will be with you in a minute." I couldn't tell who was a customer, or sales person, so i didn't go up to anyone and ask for help. I wont walk in the place again. The kids at Best Buy are more helpful to me.
     
  16. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Hey John,

    A possible explanation for poor salesmanship is that it is a by product of the internet age. I know many people, including myself, that do all of their research on the net (because most of the great information is here) then go into the brick and mortar stores just to "touch" what they've concluded has potential from their research. They may buy the product from the store, but most likely will find a cheaper price on the net.

    I can tell that salesmen are frustrated with helping people who have no intention of buying from them. Your salesman may have pegged you for an internet HT guru (and been right!) and not recognized you were serious about buying. Not saying what the "ethics" are of shopping or selling are or should be, just what the reality is. The market is still trying to find itself.

    I try to not take up a whole lot of salesman time if I am just going into a store to look.
     
  17. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    The salesmen target the customers who look like they are serious about buying. You say yourself you were dressed down. Believe me, I get ticked when someone makes a judgment based on how I look, but looking at it objectively, can you blame them? They probably see a ton of kids coming in to ooh and ahh but not buy and concluded you were not in there to buy.
     
  18. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I would have tended to agree with that, but I called them on the phone and prety much got the same attitude. I do a fair amount of my buying online, but when it comes to a $1600 receiver, I kind of prefer to buy local. I know, they don't know that, but if they want to sell me something, they could make an effort to make me feel like they're at least interested in selling me something. I had exactly the opposite experience at a few other stores.
     
  19. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Seems you were right to be ticked then. You certainly gave them the chance. Maybe I'm just getting mellower in my old age, but I try not to get offended as easily. I had a similar experience while shopping for my first HD display (before I found this board). When I finally got the salesman to talk to me and professed to having no knowledge about HD or current tv technology, he just started telling me about all the things I "needed" to have without bothering to explain what they did, or even to tell me what all the acronyms meant. Then he took a 10 minute phone call while I waited. I was really ticked that I couldn't learn anything from him and that he did not respect my time.

    I understand some of the attitudes of salespeople but I never want to feel like that again. So I only ask specific questions and try to do as much research ahead of time. Seems to make me (and the salespeople) happier. [​IMG]
     
  20. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    Typically salespeople love me. I walk in, grab a salesperson, walk to what I want and say, "one of those, please". Then leave.

    I've just learned to expect indifferent treatment by sales people who know less than nothing about the products. There are a few exceptions to that but too few. (Tweeter being the only sorta mass-market retailer that has sometimes been an exception). Personally, I won't pay a lot more but if I find a store than treats me decently, has what I want in stock, and the price isn't hugely inflated then I'll buy from them. I prefer it that way but its getting harder and harder.
     

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