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B&W S3 deals?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Sweep, Jul 9, 2002.

  1. Sweep

    Sweep
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    Hi All,

    Anyone know of any good deals on B&W S3 speakers?

    No one seems to have these speakers on offer, and I do so hate paying full price for kit:)
     
  2. planbeta

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    why not phone around and send some emails asking for a 'best price' then you can try and use this price to get an even better deal from somewhere else...
     
  3. Too Tall

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    Sweep,

    I recently tried to find a pair of 604 S3's for a friend. And we came to the conclusion that B&W are very picky on who they sell to, as we could not find a single dealer (net or other wise) that would sell us a pair for anything more than 4p under the £799.99 RRP.

    Some may call this "price fixing"! :rolleyes:

    Good luck, let us know if you manage it.

    Too Tall.
     
  4. MikeK

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    Should be B&W's loss in the end - there's no shortage of alternatives for that kind of money, many of which are as good or better sonically, and better built and finished.

    Personally I'd really have to think hard about spending £800 on a pair of speakers which are vinyl wrapped, unless they were simply untouchable at the price point, which the 604s aren't.
    Good speakers, but poor value IMO for that sort of money.
     
  5. Sheks

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    Sweep,

    I too am presently looking for some B&W DM602S3 and having been checking web sites etc. I spoke to an "internet" dealer and was told that B&W do not like sell through mail-order companies.

    The prices I have seen have all been the same + or - 4p!

    I will let you know if I find any "deals".

    Colin
     
  6. Sweep

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    Hi All,

    Thanks for your help/advice,

    I was thinking of getting the 602 S3 for L & R and the LCR600.
    The best I can get is a huge reduction of 4p from SevenOaks !

    I`ll keep trying and let you know if I get anywhere :(
     
  7. Ian J

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    I quite agree as I have just spent more than that on a pair of M&K's and you don't even get grill covers with them.
     
  8. dts_boy

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    i usually get a discount at my local hifi shop. the salesman told me that they ARE allowed to discount, they try and do on the sly though! i suggest trying to build a rapport with them and THEN ask for discount, thats what i do:D :p
     
  9. Guest

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    Its well known that B&W will not deal with mail order discount outlets, (although I have seen 5-6 year old stuff advertised severly discounted) just outlets that sell on B&W's rrp, so the prices are the same everywhere, as suggested go to a local or at least nearest B&W stockist & you may get a small %age discount, I bought an LCR60 for £170 locally £199 everywhere else, having bought a pair of 601s3's previously.
    Its just their marketing strategy, on the bright side, like many other manufacturers, you wont be tearing your hair out when you see an advert for the same speakers £100 or so cheaper than what you paid!
     
  10. MikeK

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    Perhaps not yet, but don't hold you breath!

    If that is indeed B&W's marketing strategy (not saying it is mind you), then, AIUI, it's bordering on illegal already.
    Bit of a minefield at the moment, but the EU is working on eradicating these cosy deals (some would argue that it's one of the few benefits, but that's a whole different can of worms).

    Levi jeans, designer perfume, cars, and yes, even B&W speakers - there's little they can do to prevent it (at least for now).


    Under new regulations (a least as I understand them - I'm not a lawyer), then companies will, legally, be unable to discriminate against potential buyers - if company X orders 1000 units of a product at Y terms, then company Z must also be offered the same terms when they want to buy 1000 units. Attempting to dictate the actual retail selling price of a product is already illegal (ask VW)- one of the reasons RRP was outlawed in the first place (now it's MSRP).

    Whether the rules are actually enforced is another argument though!
     
  11. gringottsdirect

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    Not saying it's good or bad, hi-fi separates are exempt from RRP legislation.
    Apparently B&W take the view there is no future for dealers or themselves, if following a conclusive demonstration, folks chase the product on the net or RS.
    Ultimately if specialists do not survive, we'll all be suffering Sony/Bose combos.
     
  12. Ian J

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    I quite agree with B&W and others that refuse to deal with discounters. Most quality speakers are not available from the pile em high brigade. A flick through the Hifi mags will shown ranges of speakers never mentioned here on in the mainstream AV mags as they are not available through discounters.

    Unfortunately too many people cannot tell the difference between price and value.
     
  13. MikeK

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    You could argue this all day, but market rigging and retail price fixing have been/are going to be outlawed by the EU.
    How stringently it's enforced is another matter though :)

    Article 85 of the Treaty of Rome forbids restrictive trading and anti-competitive practices, including:


    Fixing prices above competitive levels

    Limiting production, markets, technical development or investment

    Sharing out markets or sources or supply

    Charging discriminatory prices or operating discriminatory trading conditions to benefit the colluders and disadvantage others.

    Making other firms that sign contracts with any of the colluding firms accept unfavourable conditions, which by their nature have no connection with the subject of the contracts.


    I cut the above from an article I read.


    Personally I think it's a good thing, at least for consumers in the UK. The outragous ripoff practices in the car industry are probably the prime example to us of how all this has affected us as consumers in the past. The car industry is being dragged kicking and screaming into line - result? better deals for us. The cars are just the same, quality of product hasn't changed etc - but outlawing these practices has brought us better value.

    I understand what Ian is saying about discount houses etc etc, and the better service from dealers etc etc, but it's how much people are willing to pay for that - having an item's price artificially held high by restrictive trading practices, doesn't seem like good value to me, when I could probably get the product cheaper if these practices were outlawed. Then it's up to me whether I pay the higher price for the better service, or the lower price with practically no service at all. Maybe seems unfair at times on the dealers, but that's what a free market is all about.
    I'm sure we'd all protest if Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic signed an exclusive retailing deal with Curry's, designed to stop all those discount places flogging their TV sets for less.
    Luckily that nightmare scenaio can't happen anymore :).
     
  14. Doug

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    Sweep, I bought the 604 S3's from Superfi in London for £690 a few months back, at the time it was the best price I could get. I got the remaining speakers (601's,602.5's,LCR600) from various dealers on Tottenham Court Road. They are always willing to haggle but you must be there in person to do it,just play one off against the other. :devil: They seem to have agreed on a floor price however, as I often found different shops all stopped at the same discount % :(

    At the moment I am looking to get the matching sub, the ASW 675 which is about to be released and I don't think these will be discounted either being so new
    I'd still buy them though if I was you, they are awesome!
    :D
     
  15. smartfarm

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    yep talk to SuperFi, they are nice people. i got them down on the price of my 601s2 a lot at the time.
     
  16. Ian J

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    Almost every post asking questions about which piece of kit to be almost always contains the line "Demo before you buy"

    As the internet boys don't have these facilities, people are wasting dealers time and then buying elsewhere. If they lose too much business they will cease to trade leaving nowhere to hear equipment. It wouldn't surprise me to find dealers asking for a refundable deposit before they arrange demos in future in order to stop this practice.

    It would be interesting to know whether Sweep has actually heard the B&W speakers that he is so keen to buy
     
  17. MikeK

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    Yes, that's certainly a possibility - it happens already, especially in the car trade (people getting a demo and then buying cheaper elsewhere) - but from a manufacturer's perspective it should be irrelevant, as they still get the sale either way.

    It's not really a debate about the relative meits of buying from a dealer vs buying over the 'net - it's about manufacturers manipulating the retail market by choosing where their products are sold, who can sell them, and at what price. In the context of a supposedly free and open market, IMO, this is clearly against the spirit of free trade, and hence is not in the public interest.

    And you may be right about dealers charging for demonstrations in the future - but at present, you could ask why those people prepared to buy without a demo should be forced to subsidise those who insist on one. In any case, many demos are ultimately often only of partial value anyway - the dealers demo room and ancillary eqpt are unlikely to be the same as your own. Probably like you though, I like to demo before I buy too.


    I, for one, am tired of looking at the prices of things in the UK which can be bought for far less in other countries such as the USA for instance, and mainland Europe, and from dealers with full facilities too if you want. In many cases the products are made here as well, which makes it doubly galling.
    As long as we allow manufacturers to rig the market, things will never change!
     
  18. gringottsdirect

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    Sony Style in New York and San Francisco, Sony Gallery in Chicago, the concept of display stores where actually selling anything isn't required, people can test drive the latest Sony products and buy them anywhere they like afterwards.
    That's fine for Sony and people who want to buy Sony.
    What if like me, an "independent" demonstration of competing products is required. I need to visit a specialist where my choice of CD tracks and DVD chapters can be compared on several manufacturers wares at one visit (in an ideal world).
    Now if after choosing my favourite products I simply buy from bottom dollar re-sellers, my helpful dealer will go out of business.
    He will not be around to solve my hook up problems or provide service when required. Next time I need a new $4000 AV processor he won't be there to help out either, still I can always visit the Sony Gallery then buy mail order.
    Ian's comment regarding upfront fees before demonstrations is extremely likely, charge a refundable on purchase X amount to cover a morning's work, stocking costs and other overheads.
    Mail order dealers, are they really the good guys, their "land-grab" three year plans to sell at cost or minimal mark-up don't look so clever post dot com bubble bursting. People who have taken advantage of the good deals may be left high and dry.
    Manufacturers - the smart ones on both sides of the pond realise that without a retail " bricks and mortar" presence, life will become more difficult, it's fine for now, makers enjoy their product being demonstrated and displayed in the High Street, regardless of where purchased. When these dealers disappear, leaving a fragile mail order network, eventually the market for their products will shrink substantially. The mail order folks will soon find people reluctant to purchase products unseen in shops and they will disappear too.
    So at this point we reach the new world order - no niche brands, no specialist dealers, no mail order dealers but YES you'll still be able to visit Sony's Gallery and Bose Centres.

    B & W, Arcam, Kef, Naim, Linn, Meridian, Tag McLaren and all the brands who frown on internet re-sellers, are protecting themselves, their dealers and their customers. Unless the market is strong and profitable, what's the point of making and selling anything?
    Of course, it is more complicated than that, take Denon flagship AV amplifiers, after early adopters pay top dollar, the availability through bottom dollar unauthorised re-sellers becomes obvious. Where are these re-sellers obtaining stock? That's a whole new question.

    I support my favourite dealers, I'd like them to still be there in the coming years. AV and Hi-Fi provides great pleasure. I don't expect them to be cheapest. The analogy of the car trade is similar, I actually like the idea that BMW, Honda or Audi dealers have specialist service and parts back-up, I don't really want to take my car to ASDA, thanks. Oh and yes I do realise I am paying for it...:rolleyes:
     
  19. Ian J

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    Naturally I agree.

    This is an argument that crops up every couple of months and everyome seems to operate under a different code.

    When I bought a DVD player I went by recommendation and bought at the cheapest place over the internet.

    When buying speakers I wanted to hear them first so had a good long listen at the local dealer, then had him switch to other speakers that I wasn't interested for a comparison.

    Having decided that I liked the speakers enough to live with them I bought them off him and probably paid more than I would have if I had looked around.

    I support my dealer as I want him still in business when I next want more speakers.

    Many of you readers are self employed. How would you like it if someone picked your brains for a couple of hours and used that knowledge to purchase cheaper elsewhere.
     
  20. Guest

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    Too true, specialists may be a bit more expensive, but its in their interests to listen to the customer & be helpful & concerned as to your needs as most are small companies or local family businesses who thrive on recommendation, therfore if anything goes wrong, you are more likely to get a sympathetic ear, same goes for B&W, very helpful & seem to know & have a good rapport with most of their stockists. I am not advocating that everyone should buy from specialist shops, I have had many M.O. bargains, its just that when I have phoned some of the big m.o. outlets with some probs with equipment I bought from them & they are most certainly not the same friendly people who sold me the equipment!! The words Hyde, Dr, Mr & Jekkyl spring to mind!
    Same goes for the big retail outlets as soon as the cash changes hands so does the attitude, I'm sure thats not true for them all, but over the years I have found it a recuring trait.
     
  21. MikeK

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    I support my favourite dealers, I'd like them to still be there in the coming years. AV and Hi-Fi provides great pleasure. I don't expect them to be cheapest. The analogy of the car trade is similar, I actually like the idea that BMW, Honda or Audi dealers have specialist service and parts back-up, I don't really want to take my car to ASDA, thanks. Oh and yes I do realise I am paying for it...


    Nobody is suggesting that this choice should be taken away from you - all that's being suggested is that you shouldn't be forced by a manufacturer to buy that way if you don't want to.
    You'll still have the choice of being able to go to your local dealer and getting demos, better service etc, etc, if that's what you want
    Now, if your dealer isn't adding enough value to make you want to do that, then perhaps his prices are too high to start with.
    It's free market economics - a person should be free to buy from wherever he likes, and the consumer should be the person who decides what constitutes the best value deal, not the manufacturer.

    There is a possibility that some dealers will not survive the shake-up, I accept that - but even they must learn that they must either compete or die. As people have pointed out, the best deal isn't necessarily always the cheapest price, and I think most people understand that.

    However, the picture may not be as bleak as you think.
    If you look at the situation with DVDs and CDs etc, there's certainly no shortage of eager punters in HMV and Virgin, even though it's widely known that these products are available far cheaper on the 'net - the competition from the internet doesn't seem to have hurt them (at least judging by the Trafford centre last weekend). People still like to "shop".
    Also, look at Curry's and Comet - they certainly don't compete on price with internet companies who sell the same stuff, but their shops and stores aren't deserted because of that - I think Curry's/Dixons have just reported very good results, if I recall the news item correctly.


    Now, using the same logic, who would be happy if Warner Bros, Universal, Sony Pictures etc, decided that they would no longer allow their products to be sold on the internet at a lower price, and insisted instead that were only sold through certain dealers, who they decided upon, and who were forced to sell at the price that manufacturer dictated. I think the crescendo of cries of "price fixing" "market rigging" and "cartel" would be deafening, and rightly so. Why should it be different for manufacturers of other goods?
    One thing is certain, you cannot expect manufacturers of one type of mass market goods to operate under different market rules than those who sell another type - the classic example of "you can't have it both ways".
     
  22. Sweep

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    Hi All,

    Sorry for the late reply, had to take Mrs Sweep on holiday for a few days, have to keep her sweet to get the new speakers through the front door:blush:

    This really has sparked off quite a debate which I am probably not fully qualified to enter into, so as my dear old mum used to tell me, "Sweep, its better to keep your mouth shut and let them think your stupid, than open it and let them know for sure!":rolleyes:

    So what have I done. Well firstly I always try out/listen to kit before I buy (excluding cables and such like). I`m not the wealthiest of HC fans so my purchases have to meet my tastes and needs, not just the critics!

    I went to Seven Oaks in Bedford and after some debate they came round and demo`d the speakers in my room. Having heard my chosen options I ended up with 602 S3 L&R, LCR600 S3 and 2 pairs of Monitor Audio FXi for sides and rears and finally a REL Q150e.
    I must admit that this wasn`t the config. I thought I would end up with but having heard it in my room I`m confident I have made the right choice that meets my taste.

    I saved about £50 RRP but as they didn`t charge me for the personal demo I decided to furnish him with some beer tokens as well as taking him to the pub to feed and water him.

    So all in all I have ended up paying the current going rate but the flip side of the coin is I have had great service and am happy with my choice.
     
  23. Ian J

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    The main thing is that you are happy with what you have bought. It sounds a good purchase to me but very few of us ever end up buying what we started out with in our minds anyway.
     
  24. MikeK

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    Sweep

    Glad you are happy with your kit and the overall deal you got.

    The debate isn't about whether this choice should be somehow taken away or denied to anybody - it's simply about whether a manufacturer should be able to dictate that this is how you will buy their products, this is who you'll buy from, and this is how much you'll pay.
     

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