Internet Sales vs. Brick and Mortar

James Edward

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 1, 2000
Messages
855
It has occurred to me, as I await my new Monitor Audio RS8's, what an idiot I am for trying to support my local dealer.
If I were to order something online or by phone, I would have a tracking number or verbal assurance as to when it would arrive.
Instead, I overpay at my dealer, then get told- "I'll call you when they get here." That could be a week or a month, they don't know.

Part of the joke of all this is that Monitor Audio does not allow internet sales, "so as to provide better service to our customers." I have a better chance of seeing Bigfoot than actually being able to audition their speaker lines. In the end, their so-called dealers are glorified order takers.

Protected lines aside, one would think that with all the online competition, a local store could perhaps get a better handle on when they can get a product into the store.
They should have some sort of working relationship with the distributor so as to be able to deliver a product promptly.
I suspect that maybe they could do better at 'riding herd' on ordered products, but just dont.
So I wait. And I sense an attitude when I call to see when said product might arrive.
This is definitely the last product I buy locally.
BTW, in an 'owner's thread' on another forum there were two dealers willing to take orders and ship product. Instead, I took what I thought was the high road by supporting a local dealer.
Never again.
 

Alon Goldberg

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
1,131
Real Name
Alon Goldberg
I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with your local retailer. Personally, I would choose a local specialized retailer (hifi store) over a Big Box store or Internet retailer any day of the week. Of course you will pay a price premium, but with a local retailer:

1. I can spend hours over several weeks with their staff, auditionning new speakers, receivers, seperates, cd players and dvd players, all with my own source cd's and dvd's

2. I can trade up my equipment over years, and build a relationship with the store and staff

3. I am able to purchase very high quality second hand and demonstration gear

4. I can purchase products from very specialized brands that are not available online. Would you honestly expect to purchase $4,000 Monitor Audio speakers from a 18-year old kid at Best Buy? (actually I take that back, Costco was selling $7,000 Martin Logan's not so long ago)

5. I can take gear home to demo speakers or seperates

6. I will get a call when a new line comes in or when a very special product becomes available

7. I will get expert advice, custom installation, and many services not offered by big box stores and internet resellers

8. I have no problems with returns or upgrades on malfunctionning gear, with or without a warranty

9. And last but not least, I am supporting small business in my community.

As a consumer, I educate myself on market prices and have no problems negotiating a fair deal at my local hifi store. But I don't mind paying a small premium for excellent service.
 

ThomasC

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2001
Messages
6,526
Real Name
Thomas
I ordered a NAD phono preamp a few months ago from a high-end B&M store on a Tuesday or Wednesday. When I ordered it, they said, "It should be here by Friday, and we'll call you when it arrives." Sure enough, it arrived on Friday, I got the call and I picked it up. There was only one employee there when I picked it up, but I was the only customer there. He demoed some of their equipment for me, and we had a conversation about the hi-def war. He's the only person I've had a face-to-face conversation with about the war (since he's the only person I know that cares), and it was nice.

Your experience was unfortunate, and one of the other local dealers may provide better service. Maybe Monitor is the problem.
 

James Edward

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 1, 2000
Messages
855
"But I don't mind paying a small premium for excellent service"

Neither do I. That was my whole point. But I got far from excellent service on each occasion.
But, as usual, my fellow HTF members have set me down the righteous path. I will find another local dealer and see how it goes.
Rant has now concluded.
Please see my eventual comparison between the MA RS6 vs RS8- whenever the RS8's finally arrive...
 

MarkHastings

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2003
Messages
12,013
Yeah, it's always nice to order locally, in case there are any issues, but sometimes that can backfire on you.

I actually have a story that turned 360...

I order a SONY WEGA from a local place. I had just moved into my new condo and since I needed a new washer/dryer and my dad needed a new stove, we figured we'd see what kind of deal we could get out of the guy if we bought everything there.

He gave us a pretty decent deal. Not as great as if I really did a ton of searching through the internet, but since I hear horror stories about net purchases (from "cheap deal" companies that don't deliver) I figured it was good to buy from a real person.

Anyways, the guy delivered the TV (somewhat) on time, but the screen had a big smudge on the back. After days of back and forth, the guy came out to try and clean it - it didn't work, so he ordered a new screen to replace it. After several weeks of excuses (I could only order it UPS, They didn't ship it, the shipment got lost, etc. etc. etc.) I finally got mad and told him he needed to fix the TV or I'm returning it.

So he finally just decided to replace it with a new set. When the kids came with the new set, it was the "better" model. I told the kids that this wasn't the same set, and the kid was like "Oh well" and just left it.

The guy let me keep it because he knew how upset I was with the whole process, so I guess (in the end) I made out.
 

Shane Martin

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 26, 1999
Messages
6,017
Alon,
Sadly I think dealers like you describe are going the way of the dodo bird. They just hardly exist anymore. I agree with you completely.

As far as this situation goes I think it is an MA issue. The dealer may be doing all he can to service you but how MA works maybe the issue. I'd discuss this with the dealer and see what kind of reassurance you can get. I don't think it would take much.
 

Clinton McClure

Rocket Science Department
Premium
Joined
Jun 28, 1999
Messages
5,896
Location
Central Arkansas
Real Name
Clint
I would but equipment at my local A/V dealer any day before buying at a big box retailer or online. I've been doing business with them since '94 and get treated very well.
 

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