My shopping experience

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Larry*S, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. Larry*S

    Larry*S Agent

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    Ok, after a month or two of researching, asking questions .... I finally decided to take all my knowledge to the stores and see and hear first hand to help me make some decisions. My ultimate goal was not to purchase anything today, but more to 1) see what was in my price range 2)hear things 1st hand 3) test the knowledge and honesty of the sales people. Basically I wnet to 3 different stores and asked the same question. I am setting up a HT and I am looking for a sound system. My budget is $1000, what are my options.

    Store #1

    In the first store, The home audio salesman asked the dimensions of my room. Started drawing out schematics on a piece of paper. Then asked what kinda tv I had. I told him I was in the process of selecting, most likely going with a FP due to size of pic, and the inability of being able to get a lrger tv into my basement. (this is when it gets funky) He then asked how much I wanted to spend on a tv, I told him about $2000. He then took me out of the audio section, to the tv section, and started pushing a $3300 tv on me (it wasnt even FP, and $1300 over my tv budget). I swear, he spent about 45 minutes on the tv, and then I got a, 'by the way, for under $1000 you can get that panasonic 5.1 surround sound system over there for $599. He then turned his attention to the Monster cables and power center. Politely I took his card, and some of the monster cable literature, and went on my way to store # 2. (Oh yeah, the tv section wasnt even his dept. he had to call his boss on the intercom to let them know he was leaving his station)

    Store #2

    Same question, I have $1000 to spend on audio, what are my options. This guy took me into an audo room, pointed to a yamaha system up on the shelf. He said that that was the model he sells the most of (yamaha yht 940 6.0) He said its one of the few packaged HT systems that comes 6.1 he called me over to the computer toread me more stats about the system. When I asked if he could give me the model #, he said he's not allowed to do that. Didnt let me listen, and handed me his card and that was it. I was in and out in about 10 minmutes (5 of them waiting for someone to help me).

    Store #3

    Same question presented. Young guy takes me over to the speaker section, recommends a few diff JBL speaker packages (he personally likes the JBL speakers. Takes me over to the receivers, recomends Yamaha 5660. Lets me listen to difference inf speakers thorugh the system. Brings me over to the HTIB, shows me a few ,but doesnt recomend them because he doesnt think the receivers in the pre pakcaged systems offer enough inputs/ outputs & other options. He also suggests that the HTIB usually come with a dvd component, but strongly recomends getting a separate dvd, better quality, options .....He then brings me over to the DVD's, and recomends the samsung HD931 dvd, points outHigh definition aspects, DVI. Then asks what kinda TV I have, I tell him iim interested in FP. He seems excited about it, they dont sell them there, but recomends DLP over lcd. When I told him I had to do more research, and can I have his card. He said that he doesnt work on comission, but would be glad to help me out anytime i need it. (so i did take his name & hours down)

    I just think how amazing it is, that you can go into 3 diff stores with the same questions, and be treated so differently. I dont know If Im more educated, or more confused from this experience,


    larry

    ps. I was just going through my pockets to look at all the literature.. that i picked up. It turns out that the guy from store # 2 gave me a brochure explaining current sales, IN SPANISH. Now if i remember correctly, we were speaking in AEnglish. not to mention, I almost failed Spanish in 8th grade, whatever,
     
  2. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    thats kinda funny. i am a salesman for AV, and all those guy should be fired (well, except for the last guy, he did alright. the first guy was on the right track... you cant match an audio system without first knowing the video system or the room, IMO. however, if you are there to buy audio, sell the customer audio... what an idiot.

    the second guy was just an idiot too. going for the power close instead of just respecting your wishes...

    the problem is, most salespeople have no idea how to sell. they only know how to read their little handbook about "getting the customer out the door with less money".
     
  3. Larry*S

    Larry*S Agent

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    I hear ya,

    The first guy did seem very knowledgable, and I did learn alot about the tv i didnt have the money to buy, and nothing about the audio system I had $1000 in my pocket to spend.

    Realistically, I wasnt spending any $$ today anyway, it was just my first trip out to educate myself, but The whole time he was talking, I was thinking when is he going to get to the audio.

    Second guy = putz

    Third guy, did ok presenting me with what he had, and giving his personal opinion, working with me... I respected the honesty and effort.

    larry
     
  4. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    sometimes salespeople just HAVE to understand that you arent interested in buying just yet, but you WILL someday. thats one thing i regard myself as good at. i know you have to look around a bit first, you arent just going to get the first thing you see.

    when i shop, i let them know that upfront... sometimes you just have to be firm.. like "im not getting a tv".
     
  5. Jack Shappa

    Jack Shappa Second Unit

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    Usually the first thing I do when dealing with salesmen is let them know I am shopping around, and their store is one of the first I've looked at. This established that I'm probably not buying anything THIS TIME, that I need information, and that they're in competition and need to win my business. When I've made my decision, I'll typically buy from the guy who treated me the best (all other factors being roughly equal)...

    - Cryo
     
  6. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Unfortunately I have seen this type of thing not only in A/V stores but also in sporting goods, hobby, and plain old department stores. Before I buy any high ticket item, I research the heck out of it, usually using Internet sites like this. It is amusing to get a good working knowledge of what you want to buy and then go into a store where the salesperson has no clue and in some cases actually lies to you. Once I catch the salesperson in a lie, I stop right there and just say "Ok, thanks, I'm just looking."
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Those three stories sound like they came from chain/big-box stores. Usually better shops treat you well, I find that to be the case most of the time, but sometimes unless you drop big money numbers, a good way to get good service is to establish right off the bat that you know what you're talking about. I am also bothered by over service, the A/B tests where the guys switch every 5 seconds, and turn it off to point out things. I want my questions answered well, and my auditions left alone. Most places are very good about this, but sometimes you have to let them know what *kind* of buyer you are, and what you want from them.

    What I consider good service of being unbothered in an audition, a newcomer might think of as being ignored, and the sales guys have to try to read what kind of service you want. You have to make it obvious, and go to good stores, and you will be treated well.

    I also am bothered by the "I just want to hear these, I don't intend to buy right now," and they run into the back and come back and say they only have one or two left, so "you have to move fast because these are so popular!"

    And....what did I just get done saying? That I was NOT buying today, maybe down the road. Get out my face. [​IMG]

    I as a young person have walked into a couple foreign shops, and look at some of the nicer stuff, and get the salesman standing next to me with the attitude that I'm going to steal something, trying to corral me into the cheap rooms. That REALLY pisses me off like no other, the assumption that somehow I am gonna swipe something. Ok so what, it's winter retard, it's cold, that's why I have a big jacket on. You really think ima be able to jam a 100lb mono-block in a pocket and just stroll out? [​IMG]

    I also hate best buy for this reason. They have their little "loss prevention" greeter, and they check off your receipt as you leave. This REALLY pisses me off. Not only do they not know s**t, and ignore you/don't care, they ASSUME the minute you walk into the store, that you are a THREAT, instead of a customer. [​IMG]

    Anyway, I hadn't intended this post to be a rant...so I'll stop.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    What gets me is the salesman who said he wasn't "allowed" to tell you a certain model number. Since when has the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security become involved in A/V sales techniques?

    Another type of store you'll have fun with is the high-end boutique specialty shop. Some are notorious for their snobbishness and their unwillingness to help you unless you're dressed in the Brooks Brothers' finest threads.

    Your best bet is to continue your education here at HTF and reading the better home theater-hobbyist magazines. Then, armed with knowledge, go to the stores that carry what you want.
     
  9. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    If someone immediately takes you to the equipment and recommends a unit, it is a bad sign. They should ask you alot of questions up front, provided you didn't tell them exactly what you were looking for or supply them with alot of information initially, before they recommend a product.

    They should be courteous and answer all of your questions, but in the case of commissioned salespeople, they make their living and support their families by selling stuff, so you should not be offended if they try to close you on a sale even if you mention up front that you are not purchasing today(as long as they are not rude about it and they did find something that met your criteria).

    You never know--if they are good at listening they might be able to find something. There have been times when I've gone into stores with no intention of buying, but the stars aligned and I was shown something that was exactly what I was looking for at the right price and terms.

    It can be tough shopping for A/V gear though, because all too often the salespeople either don't know what they are talking about or are too pushy. It's really the company's fault for not training their salesforce properly.

    DJ
     
  10. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    I'm with Chris on this one, I'm a youngster myself, and a few Fridays ago went "high-end home theatre shopping"...basically touring high-end dealers around the city I'd never been to. It was raining, it was a Friday afternoon, there was noone in the shops (customer wise). In one particular high end shop, the sales people were moving boxes around, and seemed to be more interested in doing that than talking to me. And even in the absence of other customers, those that did were usually intent on selling me something or not talking at all.

    There was one particular exception to this...was when I was shopping for my Pioneer Elite receiver, I went into an upscale store in upscale downtown where I was nicely greeted, struck up a conversation, and while he didn't have the 53TX hooked up, he let me listen to the 45TX for about 15 minutes, talking about this that and the other thing. Since I'd never been there before, after we were done, he gave me a tour of the place, even demoed some Martin Logans for me with I think Krell equipment powering it. In any case, it was evidently far out of my league, but in my entire time there, I didn't at all feel pressured to buy anything. In the end, I ended up getting a great deal direct from Pioneer on my receiver, but to me, that was the ideal shopping experience.

    If being young has one perk though when you're shopping, it's that 9 times out of 10, it means that you don't hear the bullshit extended warranty speech when you're at Best Buy/Future Shop (among other places) [​IMG]

    And if I'm correct in assuming that the last place Larry mentioned was Best Buy, then I'm glad that the sales person at least had some competency...here, it seems that ability to sell lots (including the aforementioned warranties) supercedes product knowledge, which is sad. I tend to think that if through your product knowledge you're able to help the customer to whatever would suit their needs best, then the sale will create itself.
     
  11. Larry*S

    Larry*S Agent

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    For those who were curious

    store#1 = circuit city
    store#2 = pc richards
    store#3 = best buy

    In all cases, Im blaming more the sales person than the store itself (I dont want to black ball any stores)

    Im off tomorrow and will probably step up my caliber of stores. My main goal is to see what $1000 will get me.My theater is almost complete, so I got to buy something soon. I just dont want to rush into it, yet, I really want something SOOOOOOOON. Im becoming impatient!

    larry
     

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