On-Line Buying Opinions Please

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BrianLund, Jul 8, 2002.

  1. BrianLund

    BrianLund Auditioning

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    I, like so many here, am in the process of auditioning HT speaker systems. Surprisingly I'm not asking for opinions on various brands or for advice on what's the best. I've already decided on a Polk LSi setup anchored by LSi 15's up front. My question has to do with where to buy them. I've auditioned at my local Audio Store (SoundScape in Baltimore) and I was very pleased not only with the speakers but with the people there and I don't mind paying some premium for having access to a knowledgeable person to work through the process and provide help if needed after sale. Here's the delima. With these Polks we are not just talking a premium to buy from them we are talking awhole lot of money. At the store the set up will be roughly $2800.00 (2 LSi 15's, The LSi Center and a pair of the LSi Di/BiPole surrounds.) At a internet site like Acoustic Sound Design I can do the whole thing for roughly 1900.00 plus shipping. Now I don't know what the shipping is (they say thay don't make a profit on shipping but they don't publish rates) but it would have to be a whole lot to level the playing field. For the difference in price I can afford the Denon 3802 I was looking out but bounced out of the equation because the budget wouldn't take the Polk's and the Denon. I've done a lot of internet buying so I'm not hesitant from that standpoint but at the same time you read all the dire warnings from the manufactureres about not honoring warranties from "non-authorized" dealers. As I said I'd like to buy from my dealer but it's hard to explain the difference to my bank and my wife...if you know what I mean.
    Any thoughts?
     
  2. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Is the $2800 that you will have to pay at your dealer just going off the MSRP or the Polks or is this the offer that the dealer gave you. I have found that if you purchase whole setups from dealers that they can give you up to a 20% discount on the entire setup. So if the $2800 is the MSRP quote, then try negotiating down to around $2400-2500 for the setup. In the end, if you can get this deal, this will only be about $300-400 more than what the final price of the internet site will be (shipping will probably run you between $100-200 for the set) and you will have the added convenience of having a dealer you can talk to face to face if anything goes wrong. If you are really looking into saving money, then I would look to buy used, as you can routinely find great speakers, already broken in and really well cared for up to 40% off retail if you buy them used. But if you are buying new, I would always try to get a deal from your dealer first, then look on the internet.
     
  3. Doug BW

    Doug BW Stunt Coordinator

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    I think $2800 already represents 20% off list, but I could be wrong.

    In any case, don't forget to add $140 in sales tax to the in-store price. That should roughly wash with the shipping charges. So assume about a $900 difference. The $900 buys you a five year warranty on a $1900 purchase (that's pretty pricey), plus a good relationship with your local dealer. Only you can place a dollar value on the latter.
     
  4. BrianLund

    BrianLund Auditioning

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    Thanks. The $2800.00 actually represents about a 10% discount from the MSRP and I hadn't even thought of the Tax issue (here in godd ole Maryland that is 5% or, as noted about 140.00 probably offsetting any shipping.) And your right only I can put a price on the dealer relationship. The warranty question is an interesting one because although Polk says that dealing with anyone other than their certified on-line dealers (the company I mentioned is not on the list) voids any warranty the e-business I mentioned says they stand behind the manufacturews waaranty and will handle it through their store. Of course the two big questions are, Are they a certified dealer of Polk through their store? and if not where are they getting the goods.
     
  5. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Everything I've ever heard about Polk with regards to their warranties is good. I've heard some pretty incredible stories of people get support and parts well after their warranty expired. However if they don't deal with online companies, that could be a real problem.

    I've checked out this online store, and one thing I'd consider before buying is will they still be around to stand behind their warranty in five years time? Look at what happened to a lot of the DVD vendors that tried to sell at to low of a price. Many outright failed, and some only exist now because they were bought by others. Definitely research this place a bit before you buy. If it seems to good to be true, it often is. MSRP is $3380 for this setup, your looking at a 45% discount, its wonderful, but it just doesn't feel right to me. This is just my opinion though.

    Check with your local store and see if they have a trade in policy. Many stores do, and they'll allow full credit of your current purchase if you trade up in one or two years time. That maybe something else to consider.
     
  6. BrianLund

    BrianLund Auditioning

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    Keith,
    Thanks that's kind of where I was coming from. If this guy can sell it for this much how come everybody else can't. Of course there are differences in overhead operating budgets, company policy set margins that must be met and volume discounts available to certain vendors. But as you point out none of this would explain a 45% discount from MSRP. But then again if you happen upon someone selling gold on the street for $1.50 an ounce and you know it's real do you debate how he could be doing it or take the proverbial money and run? I'm leaning towards the dealer if for no other reason than to have some place to go to talk audio with a fellow convert. Is it worth the money? Only time will tell.
    Brian
     
  7. Michael Lomker

    Michael Lomker Stunt Coordinator

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    I got a 35% discount from list on my PSB's by going with an online store. 45% does sound like a bit much but it's hard to say how much the manufacturer marks up their products.
     
  8. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    If you auditioned there and used their time, ethically you should buy from your local store esp. since you like them.
     

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