The biggest problem facing the AV industry and its customers today?

potshot

Well-known Member
This was new to me, european law states that all products have a 2 year guarantee. Saw some MEP on tv saying that most people don't know about the law. Denon and marantz still carry a 2 year warranty besides if it was 1 year you would still have regress against the retailer a product has to be durable but retailers don't know their responsibilities towards consumers.

If the retailer won't repair the product go to trading standards who will put them right. They should pick up the bill not you.
 

vileda

Standard Member
Knyght_byte said:
out of curiosity whats wrong with the 12 month old one? if you didnt cause the problem shouldnt it still be covered? or do Marantz not do what Denon do and give you 2 years?

I messed up and got the wrong one as the 4500 doesn't have audio delay (lip sync issues) I'll end up putting it on the classifieds and then ebay rather than take a £50-£100px on it
 

Knyght_byte

Distinguished Member
potshot said:
This was new to me, european law states that all products have a 2 year guarantee. Saw some MEP on tv saying that most people don't know about the law. Denon and marantz still carry a 2 year warranty besides if it was 1 year you would still have regress against the retailer a product has to be durable but retailers don't know their responsibilities towards consumers.

If the retailer won't repair the product go to trading standards who will put them right. They should pick up the bill not you.


oh i didnt realise we was part of the 2 year minimum thing now, lol, my bad, i thought they still only had to give 1 year manufacturers warranty......oh well, thats good news :)

mind you, when did that change happened? it obviously wont affect models sold before it changed....

vileda, sadly as you bought the wrong model its up to you to shoulder the costs....ah well, hopefully someone will give you a decent price for it :)
 

Helicon

Banned
potshot said:
This was new to me, european law states that all products have a 2 year guarantee. Saw some MEP on tv saying that most people don't know about the law. Denon and marantz still carry a 2 year warranty besides if it was 1 year you would still have regress against the retailer a product has to be durable but retailers don't know their responsibilities towards consumers.

If the retailer won't repair the product go to trading standards who will put them right. They should pick up the bill not you.
Denon and Marantz have always carried a 2 years warranty for as long as i can remember, but some manufacturers always have and still do carry a one year warranty.....Sony and Pioneer for starters. I'm not aware of any law stating all warranties should be 2 years, and obviously some manufacturers don't either.
 

potshot

Well-known Member
I think it would be funny if we had opted out because tony blair pushed for the change within the eu.

If I remember rightly part of the law was even if the product was 23 months you could insist on a replacement/refund instead of a repair. Hopefully it will improve build quality and durability of products. Under present UK law a consumer can claim a repair up to six years after delivery and this will not be changed by the new law.

We just need a law now break the price fixing within the hi-fi av market.

Here is a link to what the law means. 1 year warranty for second hand goods. Hi-fi dealers won't be happy with that.

http://www.wak-tt.com/tt/2yearwarranty1.htm
 

Helicon

Banned
Whether a product carries a 1 or 2 year warranty, it won't affect it's reliability one bit. Denon products carry a 2 year warranty, always have. But their reliability leaves much to be desired right now.

1 year warranty on 2nd hand goods? Depends if the dealers takes in used equipment doesn't it? Due to the silly prices in some new products on the net, 2nd hand prices of those products have to be lower to make them more attractive which means the customer gets less for his used item. If the dealer has to give a 1 year warranty with it, he'll need to charge more to cover himself for the possiblity of breakdown of that product, which could mean the customer gets even less for his item. But obviously people won't sell their used items for very little, so they'll sell them privately anyway, which means you get no warranty at all :)

A lot of dealers will only take in used products from people like Quad, Linn and Naim due to their reliability and lifespan, if they take in anything at all. It's only dealers who'll part ex anything, like Cash Converters, who will be affected by a 1 warranty on used equipment.

And if you get your wish of no 'price fixing', be prepared for decrease in product quality, reliability, and general decline of the mid price to high end of the market. be careful what you wish for......
 

potshot

Well-known Member
Helicon said:
And if you get your wish of no 'price fixing', be prepared for decrease in product quality, reliability, and general decline of the mid price to high end of the market. be careful what you wish for......

So you finally admit that prices are fixed for Hi-Fi & AV equipment. For that reason the Hi-Fi market needs investigating. Fixed prices admission coming from somebody who works in the industry
 

pragmatic

Distinguished Member
potshot said:
So you finally admit that prices are fixed for Hi-Fi & AV equipment. For that reason the Hi-Fi market needs investigating. Fixed prices admission coming from somebody who works in the industry

You don't belive anything else he says but yet you put stock in this quote, make your mind up please. If you noticed he placed price fixing in quotes, which was to mean that your idea of the price fixing conspiricy, not an actual admission for which you seem to have judged this for.
 

Helicon

Banned
potshot said:
So you finally admit that prices are fixed for Hi-Fi & AV equipment. For that reason the Hi-Fi market needs investigating. Fixed prices admission coming from somebody who works in the industry
Gazbarber :smashin: I very rarely get any back up on here, so thanks. Potshot, who's obviously off on his own planet again, seems to have a problem with all retail persons and any retail outlet not undercutting net prices. He doesn't understand anything about how the hi-fi industry runs, or needs to run, and on many ocassions has made things up out of any statements i have made or posts i have made quoting other people. And now he's done it again :)

Potshot. Where the hell did you get me admitting to price fixing from?!! On soooo many ocassions i have tried to explain in detail to you what is involved in the retail side of hi-fi, and some of the negative knock on effects that will be experienced. Not once have you believed anything i have said, or even seen my side of the argument. I've said before, let the OFT investigate the hi-fi industry. It will get nowhere. You need to look more into what retailers are charged by manufacturers compared to the US or Japan or wherever. If you don't want to do that, bowl your best at me. I'll happily hit it for a home run.
 

Knyght_byte

Distinguished Member
ya know what, i've bought 2 lots of second hand goods from my local sevenoaks recently, and they've given me a full 3 year warranty on them...not bad 'eh?.....now show me a website that will do that.....oh and i only need to take the product to the shop, they'll handle everything else....

they dont do it for everyone, but because i go back to that same shop each time i'm basically a very valued customer, i dont buy the most expensive gear, but i do buy consistently....i'd never get this kind of support from a e-tailer.....lol......

but what the hell, lets do away with the retailers by allowing the web to sell the same products cheaper and lose all level of decent service before or after the sale........you dont have the option other than which sites name to click on...and even that will end up being an option of mebbe 4 choices, the bigger sites will just buy up the little sites......so instead of having a Currys or Dixons you can at least walk in to to have a go at when somethings wrong, you will have to follow the tedious email route which can offer take a long time to conclude.....especially once they have a strangelhold on the market.........care to say the words bSkyb for an example of how crap it goes when its your only choice more or less?.....
 

Helicon

Banned
Not sure if i'm allowed to do this.....
nutrut said:
hi all,After deciding to send back the amp (posted fault report to digital direct) on 22nd Dec, i am still waiting for them to contact me on sending it etc, i have sent numerous emails but still no joy, i have tried phoning but couldn't get thru:mad:
It seems strange reading the comment on their contact fault page "Digital Direct are committed to maintaining excellent customer service"
Well just a little rant, will have to perservere some more!John
Here's an example of the sort of thing you're talking about. I'm not saying all sites are like this, but obviously there's some.

Added 11 Jan.....i'm obviously not allowed to, but the gist of it was someone off these forums had a faulty AV receiver and had been trying to contact the etailer since 22nd December.
 

gandley

Well-known Member
Knyght_byte said:
ya know what, I've bought 2 lots of second hand goods from my local sevenoaks recently, and they've given me a full 3 year warranty on them...not bad 'eh?.....now show me a website that will do that.....oh and i only need to take the product to the shop, they'll handle everything else....

they dont do it for everyone, but because i go back to that same shop each time I'm basically a very valued customer, i dont buy the most expensive gear, but i do buy consistently....I'd never get this kind of support from a e-tailer.....lol......

but what the hell, lets do away with the retailers by allowing the web to sell the same products cheaper and lose all level of decent service before or after the sale........you dont have the option other than which sites name to click on...and even that will end up being an option of mebbe 4 choices, the bigger sites will just buy up the little sites......so instead of having a Currys or Dixons you can at least walk in to to have a go at when somethings wrong, you will have to follow the tedious email route which can offer take a long time to conclude.....especially once they have a stranglehold on the market.........care to say the words bSkyb for an example of how crap it goes when its your only choice more or less?.....


LOL, so now some poor mug will have to pay £1000 too much for his projector so you could have a bit of warranty on some second hand gear.....Genius, based on this example lets end all etailing as this is the way forward. Seriously you guys are full of s**t at times. it reads as great entertainment though.....:D
 

Knyght_byte

Distinguished Member
gandley said:
LOL, so now some poor mug will have to pay £1000 too much for his projector so you could have a bit of warranty on some second hand gear.....Genius, based on this example lets end all etailing as this is the way forward. Seriously you guys are full of s**t at times. it reads as great entertainment though.....:D


er, its because over the last couple of years i've spent around £10,000 on brand new equipment that they've said dont worry, we'll give you 3 years on the two second hand items you've bought, also because you've told us you are coming back for more brand new stuff soon...........

and they wouldnt sell me these products unless they were sure the quality of the components was good enough to make it unlikely i will need to go back....after all, an £800 pair of speakers at full retail shouldnt break down for a good 10 years minimum.......and they have used them less as demo speakers than i will have using them in my home......so even tho they sold them to me for £250 (bear in mind these were mismatched colours and had a scratch in the lacquer on the front so no way would they sell them to a once off customer) they've had their money on them from a demo point of view, and its unlikely these will break down in 3 years, if they did then it wouldnt be a plus point for the company that makes them.....lol


also the fact they are doing this because im so regular means its not something they do for everyone........so how maybe 1 customer per 500 being given a few hundred quids discount (these are an outgoing model so the new ones are being sold for £500 anyhow) is hardly going to add £1,000 to a projector for everyone buying one......sure, find fault with my posts if you want, but try doing the math before you do ;-)

however etailing atm is trying to push quality products dirt cheap, well, we've all seen what happens there....how about Tiny in the computer world, oh we use quality components for our computers and sell them cheap as we dont make want ot make the profit Dell do........what rot, most people i know who owned a Tiny PC had constant problems with it, you think they could get them sorted out? my arse......Tiny even go so bold as to open outlet stores over the country....within a few years they ceased trading...lol......and thats the way decent hifi will go once there are no shops left to sell it.......cheap hifi fair enough, your buying it simply because it does it......you have no interest in it doing it properly.....but anything involving proper separates equipment, including but mostly above budget level will end up being produced far to cheap so the online etailers can still make a profit....in the end the good stuff wont be so good, it'll be prone to problems and you'll suffer trying to get it fixed.......maybe i'll be wrong, but too many indicators which have already been posted point to my not being wrong.....i hope i'll be wrong for the sake of people who like to hear things as brilliantly as possible.......but i cant see it being that way....

edit: btw remember i am a consumer only, not a manufacturer or retailer......
 

gandley

Well-known Member
So you think if you continue to deal with an etailer on a regular basis you get ZIP in return.

Your argument is flawed as your not talking from experience perhaps. You are just making general assumptions.......:thumbsdow

I have one etailer, who i know very well and is always keen to sort me out with good deals and excellent service, solid advice. I continue to return to him for those very reasons.
Sure there are some awfull etailers, but there are some right shoddy B&M stores as well. visit "S.O" near me for an example and see B&M at its worse.

Once again you guys are throwing everyone into the same pile and dis`ing them. Poor show.

It not all bad for B&M from me as one guy who i do go to just sold me a Denon A1XV for £1450 S/H. Now thats Awesome.
 

CAS FAN

Distinguished Member
Knyght_byte said:
er, its because over the last couple of years i've spent around £10,000 on brand new equipment that they've said dont worry, we'll give you 3 years on the two second hand items you've bought, also because you've told us you are coming back for more brand new stuff soon...........

and they wouldnt sell me these products unless they were sure the quality of the components was good enough to make it unlikely i will need to go back....after all, an £800 pair of speakers at full retail shouldnt break down for a good 10 years minimum.......and they have used them less as demo speakers than i will have using them in my home......so even tho they sold them to me for £250 (bear in mind these were mismatched colours and had a scratch in the lacquer on the front so no way would they sell them to a once off customer) they've had their money on them from a demo point of view, and its unlikely these will break down in 3 years, if they did then it wouldnt be a plus point for the company that makes them.....lol


also the fact they are doing this because im so regular means its not something they do for everyone........so how maybe 1 customer per 500 being given a few hundred quids discount (these are an outgoing model so the new ones are being sold for £500 anyhow) is hardly going to add £1,000 to a projector for everyone buying one......sure, find fault with my posts if you want, but try doing the math before you do ;-)

however etailing atm is trying to push quality products dirt cheap, well, we've all seen what happens there....how about Tiny in the computer world, oh we use quality components for our computers and sell them cheap as we dont make want ot make the profit Dell do........what rot, most people i know who owned a Tiny PC had constant problems with it, you think they could get them sorted out? my arse......Tiny even go so bold as to open outlet stores over the country....within a few years they ceased trading...lol......and thats the way decent hifi will go once there are no shops left to sell it.......cheap hifi fair enough, your buying it simply because it does it......you have no interest in it doing it properly.....but anything involving proper separates equipment, including but mostly above budget level will end up being produced far to cheap so the online etailers can still make a profit....in the end the good stuff wont be so good, it'll be prone to problems and you'll suffer trying to get it fixed.......maybe i'll be wrong, but too many indicators which have already been posted point to my not being wrong.....i hope i'll be wrong for the sake of people who like to hear things as brilliantly as possible.......but i cant see it being that way....

edit: btw remember i am a consumer only, not a manufacturer or retailer......

Crikey, that's a lot of full stops in that post :eek:

The discussion in this thread is all rather pointless tit for tat arguing really. None of it seems to be addressing the problems that the AV industry is facing. The fact is that the AV industry is facing these problems with many specialist High Street stores not being able to compete with the cheaper e-tailers. People just seem to be sticking to their "sides" rather than thinking of what would be best for the AV industry and it's customers as a whole.

The main factors are that the internet has brought access to AV products at lower prices and knowledge of the AV industry to many peoples fingertips. In the past information was not as readily available and there was only stores to buy equipment from. That has all changed and as a result, all industries are having to change with the times. It's about each company sitting down to formulate a successful business model to work in the new era. There is nothing to say that a company who e-tails has to be rubbish with poor customer service. Infact the very same companies who have specialist stores could actually be the firms who set up an internet side and why would their knowledge and customer service levels suddenly drop because they add a distribution method to their armoury?

The industry can't just continue with it's head in the sand saying that things will turn out alright in the end and that AV stores will be saved away from the rest of the world in some protective bubble. You also can't just think that e-tailing is a way to make a quick and easy buck and go into it without a well formulated business plan, good customer service back up and a lot of knowledge of the products you are selling and the wider industry.
 

gandley

Well-known Member
Nice post .............................................................................
...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... .:D
 

Helicon

Banned
I think you'll find they're not fullstops........ :)
 

Knyght_byte

Distinguished Member
CAS FAN said:
Crikey, that's a lot of full stops in that post :eek:

The discussion in this thread is all rather pointless tit for tat arguing really. None of it seems to be addressing the problems that the AV industry is facing. The fact is that the AV industry is facing these problems with many specialist High Street stores not being able to compete with the cheaper e-tailers. People just seem to be sticking to their "sides" rather than thinking of what would be best for the AV industry and it's customers as a whole.

The main factors are that the internet has brought access to AV products at lower prices and knowledge of the AV industry to many peoples fingertips. In the past information was not as readily available and there was only stores to buy equipment from. That has all changed and as a result, all industries are having to change with the times. It's about each company sitting down to formulate a successful business model to work in the new era. There is nothing to say that a company who e-tails has to be rubbish with poor customer service. Infact the very same companies who have specialist stores could actually be the firms who set up an internet side and why would their knowledge and customer service levels suddenly drop because they add a distribution method to their armoury?

The industry can't just continue with it's head in the sand saying that things will turn out alright in the end and that AV stores will be saved away from the rest of the world in some protective bubble. You also can't just think that e-tailing is a way to make a quick and easy buck and go into it without a well formulated business plan, good customer service back up and a lot of knowledge of the products you are selling and the wider industry.

hmm..........(there ya go, a few full stops just to amuse you some more ;-)

actually etailing is a simple way to make a quick easy buck from the point of view of stock shifting........if you can afford to invest in some stock to begin with then you get a website up and running and advertise, the advertising being the biggest key (and a field i work in so im aware of what it does)....get that bit right and your away........the dotcom companies that mostly fail are those who are trying to do something different.....but selling general electronics like TV's, DVD players, stereos etc really isnt all that difficult, you get a page up for each item, you undercut most of the other sites on a few of the products and then wait for things to take off......ok if they dont you'll be out of pocket a few grand, but most times it'll work if you are not too greedy to begin with.......the only reason more people dont do it is because you have to commit some time and money to it, most people wont do that.......if we did we'd all be Bill Gates Billionaires...lol


the problem comes when these companies have gotten off the ground, they then realise they can save even more money and make more profit if they dont worry too much about after sales service........this is when a company will most likely fold, if they are too bad with it then word spreads too fast and they go under.........but if they get it just right, they save money and still sell their stuff.....

for the consumer the problem comes when these companies have gotten rid of the shops you walk in to and actually have a chat with flesh and blood staff, you then only have the option to buy online, oh joy, so i dont know for sure if this will work but i'll spend £XXX amount of money on it anyhow......

The online shops dont care about the consumers point of view of the AV market, they are solely set up to make money......if the owners had a true interest in Hifi then they would set up a b&M shop as well.........

now for the sake of the original posts point, shops cant come close to selling things at the price the etailers do and make enough profit to stay in business properly.....its completely impossible......they have far more overheads to concern them, so quite frankly i dont see why some of the better products from manufacturers shouldnt be supplied cheaper to the shops than the etailers, why are the etailers worried? they'll still sell some......oh wait, they wont sell as many.....ahh..thats what it is.....the etailers are scared people will actually want to know for sure what they are buying and be happy to receieve a much bigger chance of good service pre and post sale....

i'm a consumer, and although i might decide there is no reason not to pick up a £70 micro hifi online, i dont want to pick up a £800 amplifier online, thats just plain dumb......its like buying a £12,000 car online.....the only reason you'd do that is if you say you only need it to go from A to B so arnt worried, in which case why are you spending £12,000?? spend £500 on a second hand car, still get you from A to B if thats all that bothers you......

or are those of us who value the fact that pricier hifi is a specialist, well, hobby i guess you could call it almost, supposed to waste our hundreds or thousands of pounds on unknown products so others can spend £80 on a DVD player online rather than it costing them £100 in a shop?

how about we all spend a lot less money per year by travelling on public transport? that way all those of you who like your cars will end up having to travel on PT as well because so few people will drive cars that the price will end up rocketing to high to buy..........

sure we are moving forward, times are a changing, i know this, i've been online for over 10 years now, i have no problems with change thats beneficial, but to assume that a cheaper price is always a worthwhile benefit is a bit silly really, as has been said, it needs to be taken in to account that these online places really do not care in the slightest whatsoever, they are just there to make money......there is no 'for the love of' there as you will find in a lot of hifi dealer shops......mebbe a few website owners do hold the passion, but how can they beleive making it dirt cheap to buy will help? it'll just make it dirt cheap to make......Monitor Audio have already sourced out to Malaysia now as they cant compete by making their stuff in the UK (Essex if i remember correct)......how long before all firms make their stuff abroad, and how long before its all done by the lowest bidder......making it all cheap inside but still fairly pricey outside.....lol.....its a bit like Sony.....used to make wonderful products, not exactly cheap but worth the money, they got cocky and assumed people would just buy them, so they changed and use cheaper methods to build stuff, now people avoid a lot of sony products because they just dont do enough for the money......well, thats what etailing will do...........pile 'em high and shift 'em quick.....make them cheaper too so we get even more profit!.......it just wont be so obvious in hifi till the bricks and mortar shops are gone.........

now if the manufacturers worked out something with the b&m shops so they could set up facilities for online versions of their stores then that might be a little better........so still sell their cheapest tier products via whoever you like, but the mid tier and top tier go thru the dedicated hifi dealer shops/websites........the reason i split off mid tier as well is because dealers need some simple bread and butter, you cant sell thousand pound amp/CD setups everyday, they often have to settle for a half dozen £400 type sales.........but at least this way you have more chance of getting good pre and post sales service.........and for those who want something cheap and cheerful, they can still grab it dirt cheap from the net....
 

Helicon

Banned
CAS FAN said:
The fact is that the AV industry is facing these problems with many specialist High Street stores not being able to compete with the cheaper e-tailers. People just seem to be sticking to their "sides" rather than thinking of what would be best for the AV industry and it's customers as a whole.
I have stated on many ocassions why the high end and mid priced section of AV and hi-fi should be left to specialist stores, but i just get one sided views thrown back at me. I can appreciate why people want to buy this stuff cheaper, they want the best they can for as little as possible, this to an extent, is human nature. But then there's the downright greedy. So i can see both sides, but having been on both sides of the industry, i'm stating what i feel is best for the genuine customer.

The main factors are that the internet has brought access to AV products at lower prices and knowledge of the AV industry to many peoples fingertips. In the past information was not as readily available and there was only stores to buy equipment from.
I agree. Knowledge is more accessable to the masses. But knowledge of specs and comparisons to other equipment is only part of choosing the right item for the customer. A £700 AV amp may state that it drives a 4 ohm load, but in experience, you'll find a 4 ohm load is a bugger to drive and control. So the Kef Reference speakers a customer gets dirt cheap off the net will work fine will they? That will end in blown drive units and probably a blown amp, as well as sounding bloody awful along the way as there's no way any one box AV amp under £2-3k will drive or control them properly. Is that information available on the net? Will the customer have that sort of experience when there are no stores around? People are more knowledgable, but you'd be suprised how much more there is to know than specs.

You also can't just think that e-tailing is a way to make a quick and easy buck and go into it without a well formulated business plan, good customer service back up and a lot of knowledge of the products you are selling and the wider industry.
E-tailing IS a quick way to make a quick buck. If, as a lot of people on here say, b&m stores should open up an internet site to pad out their sales, then surely this is making a quick buck? It's the lazy side of the industry, there to watch the money roll in with as little effort possible.
If someone opens up an internet only site with some good products, how will the staff learn about the products compatibility and sound quality when the products are stuck in the boxes?!! I suppose they could test out all the customer returns before they ship them back out to other unsuspecting customers......
 

ntslik

Active Member
Knyght_byte said:
ya know what, i've bought 2 lots of second hand goods from my local sevenoaks recently, and they've given me a full 3 year warranty on them...not bad 'eh?.....now show me a website that will do that.....oh and i only need to take the product to the shop, they'll handle everything else....

What a completely blinkered view of etailers, I agree there are some very poor box shifters out there, but please don't tarnish us with the same brush, you can buy from me online, or instore, you can come have demo in our showroom, and wether you buy online or instore you get a 3 year warranty on all our products, oh and hey......if you have a problem, we even pick the unit up and return it......

so please have a look around, and start having some experience with etailers/retailers rather then give sweaping incorrect statements, you sound just like the bitter Sevenoaks staff who are p***ed the rest of the industry are moving with the times.
 

Knyght_byte

Distinguished Member
ntslik said:
What a completely blinkered view of etailers, I agree there are some very poor box shifters out there, but please don't tarnish us with the same brush, you can buy from me online, or instore, you can come have demo in our showroom, and wether you buy online or instore you get a 3 year warranty on all our products, oh and hey......if you have a problem, we even pick the unit up and return it......

so please have a look around, and start having some experience with etailers/retailers rather then give sweaping incorrect statements, you sound just like the bitter Sevenoaks staff who are p***ed the rest of the industry are moving with the times.

so your not an etailer, you have a store with a demo room.......you sell online as well............i'm talking about the online only retailers, the ones you can only contact by email........and i do have experience with etailers, altho i've only ever trusted them with smaller items........Amazon in general have been ok, other etailers wernt too bad either, altho one never ended up sending the goods, couldnt get in touch with them as no response on email, finally they went bust.......so i lost out.......but for high quality products i dont want that faceless approach to buying......i want something tangible to deal with, i want to explore the options properly.........

the problem is people are becoming lazy and with credit available so easily, more expensive purchases are now being made on a whim, people browse on the net see a TV supposedly knocked down from £1,500 to £899 and think oh i better buy that, i need a new TV and thats a cheap price......yet its probably been reduced because its a pretty crap TV compared to others around its original price range...ok it could just be an older model, but that will still mean its quality could suffer if for instance in an LCD the resolution is lower or the response time is slower....
the online only etailers are taking advantage of this situation, encouraging people to blindly throw their money around on the first thing they see as much as possible, using heavily discounted prices to get this going, then as i say, once the b&m shops have had to close up, the etailers will then force prices back up........its already happened in several areas where the net has taken over the market for that kind of item (PC graphics cards being an example, high end cards are far more expensive than necessary)......and the consumer will be worse off, they'll still pay high prices, but they wont have such good after sales service, ok some dedicated AV sites run by people who love the hobby will do their best to make sure peoples experiences are good, but the majority that are just there for profit wont, they'll just pass you straight on to the manufacturer, you'll be wholly responsible for sending the item etc........

remember, i am a consumer, i am not a disgruntled 7oaks staff member, but you really do need to be blind not to see how etailing could be harmful to something like proper AV gear.....some other sectors it could actually improve things....but not AV......its too personal a thing........if your happy spending £2,000 on your home cinema setup without even hearing it first, well, fair enough, thats up to you i guess...but why should i lose the right to hear it first just so you can save a hundred pound or so off the price?.....
 

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