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Buying 'online' or 'in store' - your thoughts?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Jonmurgie, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. Jonmurgie

    Jonmurgie
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    Have pretty much decided on my amp now, the Yamaha DSP-AX750SE due to the stunning reviews this amp keeps getting! Now the decision is where to purchase one from....

    Seems the going rate online is around the £380 mark, now is it worth going into one of the Audio stores and haggling their shelf price down? I'm mostly concerned about the whole 'if it goes wrong' thing and the hassle of returning it to an 'internet' only business... :confused:

    Do Audio-T and the like do price matching from UK websites? Jessops do for the camerma market and I bought my Canon 300D from them instead of online due to their price matching policy :)

    One final thought... is the £100 extra for the DSP-AX750SE worth it over the £270 RX-V650? Or maybe that questions for another thread...?!

    So, thought on buy online or instore...?

    Cheers
    Jon
     
  2. Lostinapc

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    if you can find the amp for the same price in a store i'd buy it in the store... but that is rarely the case so i always go for the cheap option and buy online, i've never had anything go wrong so i don't know how it would be returned
     
  3. balders

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    Audio-T do try to price-match, but may not be able to drop all the way down to the internet price you've got. If it's close enough though, I'd buy it from the dealer just because it's more convenient, and you can take it back if anything goes wrong.

    Another alternative, if you have a Barclaycard, is to buy it from the dealer, and then claim the difference back from Barclaycard on their price match benefit. I think this is being stopped soon though.

    Balders.
     
  4. Astaroth

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    This sort of thing comes down to what is most important to you. Online prices are generally lower and few stores will match an online retailers price (some wont even match their own online price). However there is the 'difficulty' of returning the item and online retailers are typically known to offer lower customer service and technical knowledge.

    Effectively you get what you pay for - the item is the same so this applies to the sales and aftersales service.

    I am personally very price driven, know the protection I get from using my credit card to purchase goods and more than capable to argue my rights therefore I generally will get advise and test equipment at a local store and then simply go for the cheapest price I can find (which is almost always online).

    There are other people however who are happy to pay 20% more to have the knowledge that if anything goes wrong they can drive down to their local store and speak to someone face to face.
     
  5. bobbypunk

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    Benefits of buying in (The right) store:
    Demo, home trial, in home service, they repair them, someone to talk you through or arrange a setup...

    and one big thing check the shop prices first. it's going for about £400 in some shops anyway!
     
  6. pjclark1

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    buy online
    Have 7 days home trial and return if you don't like it.
     
  7. Tejstar

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    I bought mine from Hi Spek, the shop in Brentwood and it was £380. At the time didn't see it cheaper anywhere else (online included!)
     
  8. jhjerpe

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    Which seems highly unfair on the local store! Personally I nearly always buy from a dealer as I always want to see / demo the equipment, and given the effort they put in I will generally give them the business.
     
  9. Jonmurgie

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    Thanks for the comments :)

    Have phoned around the local stores today and had prices from £430 to £499 for the Yam... but the best news was that Richer Sounds WILL price match any UK website so I'll order one form them for £380 then :D

    Does, however, seem that very few places has the 750SE in stock though :(
     
  10. Markie Boy

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    I can understand people being price driven, but unless the difference in cost is monstrous, I find it a bit unfair to use a specialist A/V store to try out products you have no intention of buying from them. If their kind enough to spend time with you then I think an agreement can be reached. My point is at least give them the opportunity to try match or come close to the lowest price, but be fair.
     
  11. Astaroth

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    Markie - I would certainly give them the chance of price matching (and when I buy something new I tend to forget to buy the new cables etc to with it and in eagerness to get it working will pay local prices rather than wait for another delivery)

    Whilst I agree it is 'unfair' these stores are more than aware that they can be charging customer 50% more than other retailers - granted some of these are online only retailers which therefore have a very different set of overheads and considerations but a growing number of these also now have physical stores too eg Hi-Spek.

    When I bought a new hoover for my mother from a large electrical store I got them to price match another retailer - when I went to pay for the item the person in front was getting the same item but paid over £50 more that I did - surely this is also unfair or if it is fair to penalise people who dont check the prices of a purchase with a stores competitors it is equally fair to penalise a store who do not price their items competitively to their competitors?
     
  12. smirf

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    I would always prefer to buy from a store than online, and would be willing to pay a premium over on-line for the service (take into consideration postage price too). However, you have to be realistic on this. I would equate the premium to the service you get, and the time that they spend with you, to an hourly rate! If some one spent an hour demo-ing, they deserve a little extra for their trouble.

    If you live in London, Hi-Fi confidential had the 750 for £400. I ended up buying the 650 as I wanted a tuner built in, which was £350 i think.
     
  13. Markie Boy

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    Astaroth - I do agree with your comments - very valid. With the hoover story I do think it a tad unfair the customer paid a higher premium, but for most stores, staff are on a low retainer but high commission. With the large supermarket stores it can be extremely difficult for employees as they rely on maintaining a good margin to keep their overall wage high, but also the pressure of sales from management. Fact is, if you're not making money for your employers they will re-evaluate where you fit into the scheme of things. While I dont have money to burn, products nowadays are considerably cheaper than say, 20 years ago. A friend of mine recently showed me his cost pricing on some A/V gear, despite getting good deals from distributors (considering the store he works for is an independant and lacks the buying power of larger stores) the profit margin is not as great as we think it is. Distributors/manufacturers get their money anyway - its the little corner hifi store that takes all the risk. I have bought online before, although in cases where stock was not available locally or the price was simply ridiculous, but we have to be fair too, not all stores can price match etc because not everybody buys goods in the same quantities and at the same cost price. My buddy recently spent a total of five hours over a 3 week period with a potential "client" who it turns out had no desire to buy from him (a AU$7,000 system) - he simply used him and the store to check out the gear he was buying online. In fact he didn't even ask my friend to a) see what he could do price-wise or b) offer the chance to price match. He only found out all this when the client called him afterwards with a problem - CHEEK! Anyhoo, he told him to fudge off!
    Of course on the other side of the arguement we also have the slimey, lying, rude salesman...
     
  14. Astaroth

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    I am aware that the mark up on electronic goods is certainly not as high as other types of products - I used to work for a mail order company and where as my personal purchases (10% above cost price +VAT) could work out as much as a 90% discount on clothes it was rarely much more than 30% on electricals.

    Certainly I would always give a store the option of price matching but will generally go for the lowest price (unless we are talking £10 or so). The main advantage for physical stores is of cause that a growning number of manufactures are fixing their prices and some are also preventing distance selling - though of cause this doesnt prevent stores offering other incentives (free cabling etc)

    Almost all companies have to face the prospects of dealing with customers that have no intention of buying a product from them though. The insurance company that I work for does a vast number of quotes for people who are 'thinking' of buying a certain brand or model of car - you have to wonder how many 18 year olds on a provisional licence actually are really intending to buy an Audi TT 3.2. All these things are factored in to the business model, some would say it is the sales team that lose out but then again the commission rate on sales we offer effectively takes this into account by being based on the average conversion rate - and I have known many call centre advisors that think nothing of testing products with no intention of buying (ie doing the same thing to others)
     
  15. geewhizz

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    You'se all have valid points, my view on it all is to hell with strangers feelings, if i can get a good deal for myself then i will do all i can, if the shoe was on the other foot would he feel different.
    the more money i can save from one item goes towards something else.
    Comet are doing a pioneer vsxd814s - av for £299 and PRC direct( online ) are doing it for £220 free delivery.
    another example Lg RZ42PX11 from John lewis £1799 inc 5yr g/tee - from richer sounds £ 1350 1 yr g/tee, john lewis will price match richer sounds and you still get the 5 yr g/tee.
    I know who i will look after. ME
     
  16. Markie Boy

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    geewhiz - my experience here in Oz is that most stores will price match if they possibly can. Im all for saving a buck, but I also weigh up the risk involved in internet buying or buying from a big supermarket store - when the **** hits the fan they are woeful to deal with.
     
  17. Blu Ray

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    In my opinion, the £50 was a fair return for the time and effort you spent in price checking/matching. It's the same for everything, holidays, cheap wine from France, the lot. More effort, more gain.
     
  18. Astaroth

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    Unfortuantly I am not paid enough to consider 30 seconds going onto Pricerunner equivalent to £50 - and obviously a lot of items have saving much greater than £50 when we are talking the bigger ticket items.
     
  19. Grubert

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    I'm going to buy a Yamaha RX-V2500. I went to the local store, and their 'best offer' was 25% more than lowest online price. So I'm buying online.
     
  20. pragmatic

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    This is a capitalist world we live in and as such if someone/company can't compete they will fade away (I wish the Dixons group would) but having said that my local Sevenoaks give a very good service and they don't seem to mind me going in and asking questions. I will go there for accessories and cables (and ex demo/second hand stuff) ect... But the big ticket items i use my brain and buy online or even in another country. I should not be made to feel bad for doing my best to save myself money by using purchasing skills that others lack often through sheer laziness.

    When it comes to computer components would you suggest buying from a shop, where they have a limited selection of usually low grade components at stupid prices and staff that have no knowledge, I know this is off topic a bit but it is a similar case.

    Although I have never used people’s time to get demo's, only advise. If I took 1 hour or more of a sales mans time I would be inclined to buy something, even if it was just some banana plugs (£2.50 each!)
     

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