Originally Posted by Lefisc
I suppose it is because of the anonymity of the web that people feel that they can be rude and express their anger in uncivil way. Frankly, that just ends the discussion. We can continue this but in a civilized manner.
1. No one here posted anything about internet sales and specifically, Crazy Eddie who I did not know about. But as for internet shopping, welcome to the 21st century. The people who have internet sites also have families. But so do I, and I do what is best for us.
2. Internet shopping has not displaced anything; rather it has replaced mail order catalogs. Until the 1980s, stores like Lafayette, Radio Shack and Chushfield have sold stereo equipment without stores. Even Sears sold electronics over them mail. Both Mail order and Internet stores can offer products to parts of the country that simply do not have dealers, or dealers with the brands the consumer wants. Americans have always traded “full service” for lower prices. Many internet stores have great and easy return policies and tech support over the phone. My brother just bought a Blu-ray player for $225 from Amazon, when the local store priced it at $300 and would not take a penny off. He has a family too and would like to spend that $75 on them.
3. Why get mad at the consumer if he is doing what you do when you shop for a car, gasoline or anything else. Don’t you look for sales or lower prices? I shop at Costco for lower prices on food and, honestly, do not stay awake at night worrying about my local supermarket.
4. I wish that all salespeople were informed. I go into store to be greeted by a part time person who does not know very much, and gives me incomplete or wrong information. (I love it when they tell me that they have the exact model of what they are trying to sell me at their own home! But often don’t know how to use it.)
5. Price fixing is generally illegal, but dealer often do that. They even check up on each other to make sure that the “expensive and exclusive” brands are not sold at a lower price. This is America, competition is good. Haven’t you gone to two different dealers to get the best price on a car, stove, refrigerator or anything else.
6. I buy virtually of my equipment from the local dealer and I would not want to sacrifice service for a little money. Except a lot of dealers have bad service and no real tech support (meaning no one to answer my questions. But why would you complain if someone opts to buy a different product somewhere else. Your implication, of course, is that your opinion is the only one that is correct and people could not prefer Oppos (which I have never heard of) to Pioneer.
7. That gets into another issue. If a dealer cannot convince you that his stuff is better they often go to the “there all the same” route. I have actually, twice, been insulted by a dealer for wanting a different product than he sold.
8. Finally, just last week, I wanted to buy a “Y” cable using balanced connectors and not the traditional RCA ones. The local stores wanted $300 and $600 for them. I got them at an on-line place my friend uses for $25. I’m happy. So is my family.
I will apologize for getting agro and letting out a bit of a rant. Certainly not all deserved it. However, if you seriously wanna play the civility card, the title of the thread is "I have given up on dealers...".
I'll address your points one by one....
1) Yes, the guy selling gray market gear out of his apartment may indeed have a family and we certainly don't want him and his gray market gear to clutter up the living room when they're trying to watch Judge Judy thru the piles of stuff he hopes to pawn off on unsuspecting people who think they're getting manufacturer supported gear.
2) Internet sales have too impacted retailers. Price hacking, and selling volume in place of margin with no support required. Buyer beware and when all is said and done, did you really save that $75?
3) I find a good business to buy from and then buy from them and usually go by their recommendation, since they do it for a living, and an hour of internet research does not make me or anyone an expert. If you base your purchases exclusively on price, then I've no doubt you've saved money, but have a nagging doubt that you have the right things in any given product category.
4) Go into better stores. Quit going to big box stores and go to your local specialty retailer instead. Most offer price matching for products in common with other local dealers and are more price competitive than you might think. Just don't expect them to match the Judge Judy watching guy wearing sweat pants in his apartment hoping he made his website look credible enough to convince people he wasn't a crook.
5) Better brands do not allow dealers to sell outside their market. They want their dealers to be able to offer local support and service. But as you mention, most just don't seem to care.....until they need service.
6) My opinion is not always correct. But I am a professional and I don't make recommendations without doing analysis. People can look and decide for themselves and if they decide on something other than what appears to me to be the better product, that is indeed their perogative.
7) Again, go to a better dealer. You'd probably get fired for doing that here. You never sell against what you carry by bashing the other guys stuff. You lose all credibility. You should be aware of it and knowledgeable about it, so that you're a true consultant and not just an ideological zealot.
8) Where the ef are you shopping at? Any reasonable dealer will not recommend a $600 Y-adaptor unless the system warrants it. And it'd have to be a heck of a system for a $600 Y-adaptor.
Point being, a lot of people use their local dealer for demonstration, promising to come back, and then go buy online. These same people then want/expect service as if they'd bought from you. It's insulting. Frankly, the internet has hurt brick and mortar dealers and audio/videophiles may soon find that most if not all of their choices are only available if they buy online because they're running dealers with nice showrooms out of business. Now go have fun with your family and that $75 you saved and go buy something from Amazon. Then drive by and lament that book dealer that just went out of business. You know, that cool one that let you read for hours without buying anything and had local authors and poets come by to read their stuff. That one.