KEF and their no mail order policy?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Kootuu, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. Kootuu

    Kootuu
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    Hi,

    Keep getting rather frustrated by Kef as I can't order any of their products online because stores are not allowed to mail order.

    I'm looking to get the Kef 1005 package from Sound and Vision Online for £425, £25 cheaper than anywhere else.

    Anyway, they can't deliver, I'm in London and going up to Bolton is not going to happen, too much costs involved.

    The only place near me is Sevenoaks, who I know stock it, but at £500.

    Is there any way to get around it or am I stuck?
     
  2. Bursar

    Bursar
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    You're stuck.

    The only real way around it would be to get someone to go in and buy the kit for you. Then as the purchase has been shop based, they can be sent to you.
     
  3. mij

    mij
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    I purchased my Kef's from Sevenoaks Croydon with my Barclaycard, and successfully used the price promise with a printout from
    Creative Audio

    mij
     
  4. Kootuu

    Kootuu
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    Well when I spoke to Sevenoaks Croydon(closest one to me) they were being rather assey about it all.

    So what exactly did you do to get the price match?
     
  5. Bursar

    Bursar
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    Barclaycard do their own price matching though. IIRC you pay full whack at SevenOaks (using your Barclaycard) and then contact Barclaycard who will refund the difference to the card.
     
  6. balders

    balders
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    Re Barclaycard, it all depends how confident you are that they will refund the difference. It's worth reading the small print first, but as mij has already had success with this, it sounds like its a valid claim.

    Balders
     
  7. mij

    mij
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    darthmahon, the above are correct.

    mij
     
  8. Kootuu

    Kootuu
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    Ahhh, slight problem...I bank with Lloyds :D

    Well Audio T in Epsom said they would price match, which is cool for me, so I might go with those guys :smashin:
     
  9. Rainbow6

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    Darth,

    Must be nice. ;) Living in Belfast, I phoned AudioT Enfield today thinking that if I had to come over and purchase in store for the deal I might be able to get a cheap flight to London - I didn't notice Epsom on the list. (Flights to Birmingham for Creative Audio are a bit steeper these days).

    Interestingly, Enfield said they'd ship and didn't mention me having to come over. But they wouldn't price match for me, and they'd charge £50 for shipping!!! So, £850 in all, no cables. Still no better off for me.

    Let me know how you get on.
    :rolleyes:
     
  10. Matt F

    Matt F
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    I think KEF have got a blo*dy nerve - I mean in a free market who are they to dictate how dealers wish to sell their products?

    There might be an argument for certain items not being available by mail order e.g. turntables which might need specialist setting up etc. but with speakers I can't see it.

    Matt.
     
  11. Kootuu

    Kootuu
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    I agree, it's totally absurd! Unfortunately the dealers listen to their demands...

    Anway, I've found Audio T will price match and they are close so it's not all bad, but it's still a right hassle.

    Has anyone here actually ever had the shop they bought the speakers from install/set them up?
     
  12. mij

    mij
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    How else are they going to pay for all them adverts that lead to glowing reviews in all the Hi-Fi mags :rolleyes:

    mij
     
  13. wilber

    wilber
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    I'm all for Kef's stance (+B&W, Rel ...). The proper way to buy these products is with a demo. The only people who can give you a demo are high street av dealers - so they should be supported. If you want to buy mail order with no demo then you have to accept that Kef don't want your business - it is their right (as members of a free market, which has to work both ways) to dictate how their products are sold.


    Cynicism regarding magazine reviews has nothing to do with this. Kef's marketing is well thought out and is designed to support dealers not box shifters.
     
  14. Rickyj @ Kalibrate

    Rickyj @ Kalibrate
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    I bought my Kef 2005.2 package from Audio T in Epsom and I would recommend them, and will be going back to see what they can do for me when I eventually upgrade my receiver.

    They price matched the deal that was on the creative audio website inc the cables, and were happy to do so, not like some of the other shops I tried.

    Just a note for you though, they didn't keep the speakers in stock when I got mine, so I paid a 10% deposit and then paid the rest of the money when I picked them up later in the week when Kef had delivered them.

    Good luck in your purchase.

    Ricky
     
  15. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    There is a reason for this, and Kef,HK,BOSE,B&O,B&W,Rotel etc. These products need specialist knowledge and demo facilities, if you dont like it dont buy them, manufacturers choose who they sell to as do any company, you cant just phone up and become a retailer for these products or go to a wholesaler you have to provide a level of service that mail order cannot satisfy!
     
  16. wilber

    wilber
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    I should add that every part of my AV gear has been purchased through high street dealers like sevenoaks - I didn't pay rrp for any of it - It was a struggle to get them to knock money off the rxv1400 but they caved in the end.
     
  17. Crustyloafer

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    I wholeheartedly agree with Hornydragon's and Wilber's statements. They might not seem like particularly complicated bits of kit to most people on this forum, but on the grander scale, most people in this country haven't a clue how to wire up an AV system and as such require proper demonstration facilities in order to make an educated decision and also require professional advice on which models would be most suitable to different situations. As Hornydragon mentioned, in order for Kef or any other manufacturer to be able to maintain a high level of service that they themselves give they have to be selective about who sells their products and how they sell them. If Kef and other manufacturers didn't properly support shop based Hi-Fi dealers then we would all but disappear which in turn would turn the marketplace into a free-for-all with dealers slashing prices to ridiculously low amountswith little or no service level standards. This gives the customer a diminished sense of value of the product and the manufacturer. If you could buy Ferraris at every car dealership in the country, in fact order one over the phone without even test driving it for half price what would happen to Ferrari as a brand, it would become the next Ford Probe.
     
  18. Matt F

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    There are plenty of other manufacturers who fully support shop based hifi dealers and yet haven't seen the need to ban the selling of their gear via the internet.

    The manufacturers job is to produce excellent products and to market them effectively. Whilst they may wish to ensure that dealers provide a good level of service, I fail to see why they should effectively ban their good being sold in certain ways if there is a demand for it.

    It's a matter of opinion but mine is that the customer should be free to choose how he/she buys products i.e. whether they use a local dealer and (possibly) pay a premium for the added value or whether they buy something without hearing it via the internet.

    Of course, there is always the danger that people may demo gear at a dealers and then buy via mail order (which is out of order IMO) but dealers can protect against this somewhat by, providing an excellent service, pointing out the benefits of buying locally and maybe giving small discounts.

    As for the car analogy - you can buy BMWs/Mercs over the phone/via the internet (not via a main dealer) and get a good discount - I don't think this has affected their brands too much!

    At the end of the day it's up to KEF - I just don't happen to approve of this type of policy.

    Matt.
     
  19. mij

    mij
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    I would agree with Kef's policy if all dealers were also made to charge the same prices, but that is not the case.

    Some other points made on here sound more like snobbery than reasons to me.

    Totally agree Matt F.

    mij
     
  20. stebbo

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    That is so wrong it is actually against the law. The manufacturer should not get involved the seller in terms of pricing. If I had a shop and wanted to sell a product for less profit to me then that is up to me.

    Actually I am sure if this went to the European court the manufacturers would have a problem or two. It is just no one bothers.
     
  21. Rainbow6

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    I would have to agree, in one sense, though Stebbo is also right. However, the disparity between what Creative Audio is selling the KEF Eggs for (and their bundles) and what my local dealer in Northern Ireland sells them for is simply too great. Because of this, I can't believe the case for prices being kept artificially high for overhead or for training or whatever. Creative Audio are selling at this price and obviously making a profit - as are AudioT and some other shops mentioned in this forum. And they will undoubtedly be getting the same price breaks from KEF as everyone else!!! Unfortunately for me, my local shops know that it's not that easy for me to get on a plane to Shrewsbury via Birmingham for the discount.

    I don't have a problem with paying a bit extra to demo the system and have expert advice. But come on! £150-200 pounds extra? Something doesn't seem right here. :thumbsdow

    BTW, Stebbo: I've written the Office of Fair Trade and Competition over this one and their reply is that because stores are allowed to charge different prices KEF can get away with it here in the UK. HOwever, as you've intimated, OFT also mentioned that if we were in Europe, KEF would be in deep bother!!
     
  22. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    main cost to dealers is staff:) and premises.
     
  23. Rainbow6

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    Fair enough. But look at what Creative Audio are doing! Thinking outside the box. By lowering prices and selling with attractive bundles, they are selling more - and making MORE profit to pay for more staff and premises. I would suggest that when you offer competitive prices and service, you give people a reason not to want to shop the internet - even if the final price is slightly more! ;)

    Oh, and one more thing (before I get off my soapbox :D). I don't know if I would refer to what I received when I went to demo the KHT2005.2 system in my local shop as being 'expert' advice or service. I phoned ahead and asked for a demo. But when I arrived, all they had set up was three eggs for the fronts, a Q series sub, and two Mordaunt Short dipoles for rears. When I asked why the whole set up wasn't there, they said they couldn't do it. The rears were permanent and couldn't be swapped out - and he suggested the sub was similar so it didn't matter!! I don't think that KEF had that in mind when they went for this no shipping policy!!! I have subsequently phoned back and asked again about this (not wanting to give up on my local shop) and was told if I come back they would set it up right. But my time is important -- it would have been preferable for me and I'm sure KEF too had they done it right to begin with!! I may not have left with so many question marks in my mind over the system as a whole.
     
  24. Kootuu

    Kootuu
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    Get the Kef KHT 1005, demoed it again today against the Mission FS1. Totally blew it's socks off!

    FS1 was really, really dissapointing.

    I'm getting the 1005, you said you wanted to know how I got along because we were both in a similar situation :)
     
  25. stebbo

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    I am primarily a cyclist first not an audio tweak aholic and there was a similar situation in the cycling world with a French compant selling wheels here at a premium of 250 pounds over there website price for all of the rest of europe.
    Some rather ****** off cyclist went to the europen court and before it was heard amazing the uk price was reduced by 200 plus pounds... Funny that.

    We live in a capitalist society wether we like it or not.
    If dealers are having problems with excessive business costs then do what everyone else is doing. Cut costs or increase profits by selling more. None deserves a free lunch and in the end that is what this price fixing is!
    I really dont want to hear the crap about specialist staff to demo gear. How many other businesses have specialist staff.

    Price fixing is still price fixing what ever spin you put on it
     
  26. Rainbow6

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    Cheers mate. BTW - you didn't happen to demo any of the other speaker packs on my shortlist, here.
    If so, what did you think?
    Cheers!
     
  27. Kootuu

    Kootuu
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    sorry m8, none of the others. But I've heard good things about the mordant shorts!
     
  28. Rainbow6

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    Cheers. Hope you enjoy yours when you get it all set up.

    BTW - did you try any music CD's with the KEFs? How did they sound musically, and what amp was it hooked up to for the demo?
     
  29. Kootuu

    Kootuu
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    Sounded really good with music.

    The sats don't output any bass so the sub has to doa ll the work on that front but it sounded good.

    It was hooked up to a Yamaha Amp, the RXV530.
     
  30. gringottsdirect

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    Kef want to sell their speakers through dealers that will demonstrate, install and provide service support.
    B & W, Rotel and others have same policy, the plan is to protect long term business for makers, dealers and thereby provide a better solution for their customers. For years this worked pretty well, mail order adverts in magazines being easy to monitor, along comes online mail order through internet to pose new problems.
    Just because internet sites sell with very slim margins doesn't make them the good guys, they simply ship you a box. They rely on people using traditional dealers for demos and advice AND service support. Obviously this is really bad for traditional dealers but long term it is really bad for Kef, B & W, Rotel and others.
    This is why Margaret Beckett agreed to support hi-fi separates industry by making them a special case released from RRP legislation when she was government minister responsible.
    Ask yourself why traditional dealers avoid Sony, Yamaha, and similar as much as possible, why should they support brands that don't care who sells their products on-line or wherever. Where are two former market leaders Technics and Kenwood now ?
    Time has moved on, perhaps everyone will soon be happy buying their Sony DAV systems on-line, unheard and unseen, Hi-Fi and
    Hi-Fi dealers being a distant memory. :suicide:
    Personally, the expertise and enthusiasm of many " chain franchise " demonstrations is next to worthless nowadays anyway. The happy days of comparing moving coil cartridges using the latest Jethro Tull album with guidance of bearded sandalled pipe smoking hi-fi guru are long gone. :smoke:
     

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