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Did anyone see the story on white van speakers on Fox News in Philly last night?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Nov 16, 2001.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Fox News in Philadelphia did an interesting piece on white van speakers last night (Thursday). Fox News followed white vans from one speaker company around the Philly area to observe their sales tactics and to see what they were selling. This company was using teenagers to sell the speakers in parking lots (malls, convenience stores, etc.). They claimed that their speakers were worth $1200, but they were selling them for $400 (cash only, of course). Fox News bought a pair and had someone at a local audio/video company (DJ'ing, recording, editing, etc.) take a look at them. This person took the speakers apart and commented on the quality of the parts and the build quality. He said the speakers used $20 JBL drivers, and the speakers were worth no more than $150. It was quite obvious in watching this piece that the speakers were very flimsy in construction.
    Fox News then sent a reporter to the speaker company's office to discuss the quality of their speakers. The reporter pressed the owner about the bogus claim of the speakers being worth $1200. At first, the owner tried to use salesmanship to defend the quality of his speakers, but then he asked the reporter to leave. The piece was pretty funny. Anyone else catch this piece?
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  2. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    No but, i wish i did..lol I was channel surfing last night and had Fox news on for a few minutes but musta missed it. I would've liked to see them squirm under questioning. [​IMG]
    - Chip
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    [Edited last by Chip E on November 17, 2001 at 08:43 PM]
     
  3. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    No, I didn't, but I think its amazing that "Speakers from a Van" are such a common occurance. Once when I was a little kid, a van pulled up beside my mom and I at a stoplight and asked us if we wanted to buy some speakers. We said no of course. That must have been 15-20 years ago! The same thing happened 2 years ago when my co-worker and I pulled into a Canadian Tire (hardware/autoparts store) to buy rain gear for work. We of course looked at each other with that "oh my gosh, here comes the stupid sales pitch" look on our faces. We rolled our eyes and said "No thanks". This guy was insistent. He kept trying to sell them to use for like 5 minutes, all the while, leaning out of his van window.
    What are the best sales pitch lines? I think this is the most common one, and its the one I heard last in the parking lot:
    "We were given too many speakers for our delivery run and we have to get rid of them!"
    We were thinking like, "What, even if that did actually happen by mistake, doesn't he think they'll be missed?". Next time, I'll say that to the guy. Of course, maybe he thinks we don't care if he's stealing from his work. I never saw any "speakers from a van" up close, so I wasn't sure if they were poop or stolen.
    Next time I'm going to say "No thanks. I don't want your STOLEN or CRAPPY speakers."
    [Edited last by Chris PC on November 17, 2001 at 12:10 AM]
     
  4. Craig

    Craig Second Unit

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    This is a very old con, usually involves physically large speakers (hey they're big, they must be good!), and relies on the greed and dishonesty of the buyer.
    The main problem I have is listening to the "victims" whine about the fact they weren't really getting stolen speakers like they had been promised.
    File under the "Fools & Money" category.
     
  5. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Funny thing. I just remembered, i went to the bank to deposit my check about a month ago. Pulling out, 2 guy's in a "white van" almost cut me the hell off at the bank's driveway exit! ... gave me the line, lol.. i just shook my head and said no thanks.
    When i was a kid, i worked in a Mobil gas station so i new the gig. [​IMG]
    - Chip
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  6. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    About 10 years ago, a friend of mine actually bought 4 of these "white van" speakers. He called me to announce his "fantastic deal" so I went over to check them out. 2 of them didn't even work...... We took them apart only to find very poor construction and obviously very cheap components. I suggested he use them for a shield for his piss-trough at his club....LOL
    I had heard of this scam but he hadn't. I remember he paid several hundred dollars for them.
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  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I have never had the "pleasure" of dealing with these white van guys. Frankly, I've never seen one in a parking lot preying on anyone. Maybe I'll get my chance someday. [​IMG]
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  8. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I had one these vans approach me about 10 years ago. There were two guys in their early-mid twenties. The pitch was that they had an extra pair of speakers from their delivery and they couldn't go back to the warehouse with them or the boss would be mad. They said that they were liquid cooled speakers with polypropylene woofers. They wanted about $500 for the pair. I told them that I didn't have that much money and wasn't interested. They kept going down to about $200 before they finally left me alone. What a scam...
     
  9. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    I once was stupid enough to buy speakers from some White Van guys. It was more than 20 years ago and occured in a Pickwell supermarket parking lot, coincidentally, in Phila. They cost me $20 and when I got them home and hooked them up, I was very disappointed. I did open the box just after I bought them to make sure there actually were speakers in the box, and the walnut veneer looked pretty good. The weight also gave me hope. Unfortunately, I later found out that the weight was mostly due to a brick taped inside each speaker.... [​IMG]
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    merc
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    God Bless America!!!
     
  10. Mark Bates

    Mark Bates Agent

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    When I was going to Umass I was approached a couple of times by the white van. The guy made it seem so shady and such a great deal, but lucky for me I was broke and couldn't afford a sandwich let alone a speaker.
    Home Theater Mag did an article on these guys not to long ago. It seems this is a very common scam across the country.
    Mark
     
  11. joe goswami

    joe goswami Stunt Coordinator

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    This brings back memories :
    About 8 years ago a buddy of mine without my knowledge purchased a pair of "white van" speakers. Had already owned a very pleasing pair of Boston Acoustics A40's. When he asked me to check them out (the white van speakers), I was speechless. Then he told me he payed $400.00 CDN. at the time. It may have been more. The early 90's a still a blur to me.
    They sounded like cats on a chalkboard when cranked. What could I tell him? He then lent me his A40's for one year so that his parents wouldn't the notice new purchase. Hell, he was happy but I was overjoyed. I was looking for new speakers and had no money at the time to spend so the A40's did my ears justice. I built a subwoofer for just for the extra oomph!!
    So kids, JUST SAY NO TO GUYS IN WHITE VANS.
     
  12. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    I get hit up by white van speaker guys all the time! I think I can count about 6 occurances in the last year - the most recent being about two weeks ago in a bank parking lot. Once I made the mistake of telling the guys I owned an A/V store. They wanted me to buy the whole van load so I could sell them at twice the price! They kept asking me where my store was, but I wouldn't tell them. When I left the parking lot, they actually followed me! I had to drive past the store and lose them around the neighborhood.
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    John Golitsis
    Next Big Thing Electronics
     
  13. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I wonder if those guys live in a van down by the river...
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Bernard L

    Bernard L Stunt Coordinator

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    my dad bought LARGE speakers from white van about 10 years ago. it was in chinatown and he talked his way down from $250 to $50. Best thing is, I think it's worth it [​IMG]
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  15. William J Hudson

    William J Hudson Auditioning

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    ChrisMatson, ROTFL!!! That comment was perfect!
    (it's late, too, so maybe that's why I'm amused [​IMG] [​IMG] )
     
  16. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    I'd so wanna see these guys...
    I'd act like some ignorant kid with a load of cash... asking them questions and pretending to eat all the crap they spew at me... Then at the end, ill say some smart-ass technical remark (cant think of it right now, too late) and see what they say...
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  17. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    Oh yes...the boys in the bright white van cruise the streets of Canada too. Four years ago a friend bought some of these $2500.00 for $400.00. The company on the carpeted speakers said "Paragon". I looked up the name in my old Sound & Vision audio preview mag( the old canadian publication, not the current mag) and sure enough, Paragon was in there. Just found the magazine....1996 Sound & Vision
    PARAGON
    JEM (no price listed) bass reflex forward radiating 1 9" driver,(the "shielded for video?" column was left blank for all 3 speakers) frequency response 25- +3, sensitivity of 1, 8 ohms, 25-200 watts, not biwirable. 40" X 18" X 19". 118 pounds. *special notes* subwoofer for Jubilee Speaker
    Now if you liked that, wait until you read this
    THE JUBILEE(canadian suggested price)2690.00 bass reflex forward radiating with 2 drivers. 6.5" woof with 1" tweet. frequency is 70-20+3. sens is 85, 8 ohms, 25-200 watt, biwirable 16" X 9" X 9" 46 Ibs. *special note* Cardas rhodium binding post
    Now the last one:
    THE REGENT(4950.00) Tuned Ported forward radiating with 3 drivers. 6.5" woof, 6.5" mid and 1" tweet. Frequency 32-20+3 with a 91 sens. 4 ohms 25-200 watt(biwirable column left blank) 47" X 10" X 15" 145 Ibs *special note* none
    These are the specs given for Paragon speakers. The same paragons that my friend bought. Someone obviously did their homework and sent in these specs to sound and vision with nothing to lose by doing so. My friends Paragons has no model # on them or anything. Perhaps there really is a legitimate company called Paragon? I don't know...
    It is a business that operates in North America. They use a number of different names(like acoustic so and so) and pry on people where they are bound to have cash.
    There was a write up here on ITV news(now Global) where some young guys bought these things for 400 beans and figured they were getting screwed. They took the speakers into a electronics shop and they took them apart and said the value was more around the $100-150 range.
    Be wary of the white van!!
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    you lose it here and your in a world of hurt...
     
  18. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Yup, a long time ago I had an interesting conversation with the men in the white van. Didn't buy anything, and didn't get close. I did have a very brief encounter about 4 months ago in a store parking lot. If I didn't have to rush to get home, I would have milked the encounter. Instead, I just made a single comment with a lot of laughter.
    Doug
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  19. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Here's what had me baffled:
    WHY DON'T THEY ARREST THESE PEOPLE?
    They're selling illegally in a parking lot, no buisness license, scamming people (I don't think "The SRP is $1200" is good enough guys) I've only met the white van once, and at the time I figured they were stolen. Now I know they just clear for some crappy manufacturer, probably written off as defective. Apparently they had had their stock confiscated TWICE in the past month, but they seemed to get more. I bet they're buying them for no more than $50 a pair
    Jeff Kleist
     
  20. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    Jeff, for the most part this is a completely legitimate business! I talked to a couple of police officers about these guys and they say there is absolutely nothing illegal about what they are doing (at least the 'white vans' in these parts). They do get a lot of phone calls about it though!
     

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