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RE: I just expect them to be straightforward about what they will and won't do

I wouldn't expect them to pay for shipping both ways. Frankly, I think if they're willing to loan it out for free I should demonstrate some real interest by being willing to pay for shipping.

I don't see the point in there being traditional exclusive dealers who don't have anything in stock. Sooner or later a better model is bound to emerge. I think manufacturers need to figure out how to get demonstration facilities where people can try out a variety of products before buying what they want online for the lowest price. The value that a dealer provides is that he can allow the consumer to try before committing to buying and help customers with setup and optimization. The dealer gets paid for his investment later when the transaction actually happens. I believe this gap will inevitably close one way or another.

If the dealer turned into a service and rental type of a business it would make more sense to me. If a manufacturer thinks he can sell something in an area he commits to it by sending demo units to the hifi showroom. The showroom operator/"dealer" then charges people $100/hour or whatever is required for access to the $10,000 system room. If you want to take the demo unit home you rent it. You receive the value of the in-home trial at the same time that you pay for it. If the manufacturer wants to discount the product for the amount that a person spends renting it, and advertise that, he can work it out with the dealer. If the manufacturer wants to include setup as part of the price he can work that out with the dealer too.

I know Marks throws a fit when this sort of thing is suggested but I think uncomfortable change is inevitable and already here anyway. If Wilson wants a dedicated salesperson he can stick with dedicated dealers or work out something with the showroom to have a trained, competent Wilson advocate available.

I'm sure the showroom would want to have a free room or two where cheaper stuff is available to audition and would probably also want a really good system set up somewhere free so people could get an idea of what was available. You'd just have to pay for the private rooms where you can switch out components and listen to your own music on a fancy system by yourself or with just a service person.

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  • RE: I just expect them to be straightforward about what they will and won't do - Jon L5 15:44:48 06/27/12 (0)


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