Audiophile dealers talk to much

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Yamahaha, May 14, 2019.

  1. Yamahaha

    Yamahaha Active Member Thread Starter

    Alberta, Canada
    Anyone else wish more dealers would just sell stuff vs the art dealer like storytelling sessions?

    Over the years I have encountered more often than not, audio stores that pounce on people are tell them pointless stories vs just letting the gear do the talking. I mean, I dont need name dropping and a story about some guy that just bought cable and came running back to the store saying "what did you do? Its like a blanket was lifted" etc etc. Or anecdotes about Germany spoke in fake german accent when the product is German, 20 minutes about their trip to Florence when the gear is Italian etc.

    There's been several times I've gone to look at something specific only to be talked at until I'm tired and leave. Seems to be a "high end" audio salesman phenomenon as the only other times I've run into it is art dealers. Times have changed and I just don't see this approach helping sales. Or maybe I'm wrong and it works on the folksy type.
    Aftermath and macster like this.
  2. Luxmancl38

    Luxmancl38 Well-Known Member

    Manchester NH
    The dealers I go to put the gear in the demo room. Explain how to use the remote. Tell me to have fun and close the door.
    james, cporcp, Ezd and 19 others like this.
  3. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    The Mars Hotel
    sturgus and jupiterboy like this.
  4. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    One of my local audio salesmen (non-comissioned) was so candid about the gear they carried that I appreciated the chatter.
    uzn007 likes this.
  5. Jimmy Mac

    Jimmy Mac Zooropa... better by design

    I prefer to be herded like cattle, looking around the store for fifteen minutes to even find someone to help me, make me feel like a pay cheque and not a human being and wish they would hurry up already cuz I've got Instagram streaks to keep going!!!!

    In all honesty I love a salesperson who will take all the time in the world with you and is not looking at the frontdoor or his watch.
    sturgus and patient_ot like this.
  6. Yamahaha

    Yamahaha Active Member Thread Starter

    Alberta, Canada
    Hmmm maybe it does work. Negative posts trying to deflect makes me think I touched a nerve. I guess the "pitch" does work on the customer group and I'm simply not the target demographic.
  7. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    If this bothers you, just bring up the time you traveled to X place and ate X food, then wound up then wound up with dysentery for the rest of the trip. If that doesn't end the conversation quickly, I'm not sure what will.

    FWIW people have different personalities and expect different amounts of chattiness from salespeople. Why don't you politely ask if you can play your own recordings you brought and listen to them quietly to evaluate the sound for yourself?
    Dave, nosliw, SandAndGlass and 4 others like this.
  8. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    I think this is just human nature and likely good marketing. Sonus Faber does invite dealers to their place in Vicenza. We talked about this when I interviewed their designer Livio on Saturday. If I took a trip to Vicenza, I would probably want to talk about it too!

    Our local dealer went to Cambridge UK to visit dCS and has been an enthusiastic supporter ever since. Factory trips are great for knowledge sharing and building excitement.

    If I'm a customer, I would like to hear some excitement in their tone. :cheers:
    F1nut likes this.
  9. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    The OP has a history of making blanket statements. I've never run across this phenomenon.

    Then again, I'm a man with his own willpower. If I did run into that, I'd politely state I'm just here to look around or get answers to specific questions.
  10. detroit muscle

    detroit muscle Forum Resident

    Maybe you're the first customer through the door that week and he hasn't talked with another person in days.
    Randoms, Aftermath, nm_west and 6 others like this.
  11. Otlset

    Otlset free-range audiophile

    Temecula, CA
    They figure it's easier to sell to an acquaintance than a stranger.
    backeast, bever70 and patient_ot like this.
  12. HenryH

    HenryH Forum Resident

    Bad dealers won't shut up and typically talk nonsense.

    Good dealers let the music, and the gear, do the talking.
    olson, Aftermath, SirMarc and 5 others like this.
  13. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 A force of nature

    It's tough to have a sales job without any talking.

    But yes, I've heard some truly stupid things from sales guys at audio shops. I had a guy once demo an iphone through a 30K system and then tell me it was all the $100 USB cable that was giving the amazing sound quality in an effort to sell me said cable.

    Different shop a guy told me I needed 100 wpc amp for a pair of rogers LS3/5's, said 16 ohms meant they were harder to drive and needed more power than an 8 ohm speaker. This was a McIntosh dealer and he was trying to sell me the new tube hypbrid amp that has 100wpc.

    I once went to a shop where I bough a DAC and was looking for another DAC. A sales guy I never saw before told be they didn't have any, never did and I didn't need one.

    I stopped into a shop looking for a phonostage and the guy went on for about 20 minutes about how records and analog was a gimmick for weak minded people that have no clue about audio. He had a very long story about and experiment he does to prove it to people.

    Like most of us, people that are into this hobby are a little strange and snobby. They sit by themselves listening to music for very long periods of time, come up with wild ideas and don't always do a great job with social interactions. Not a universal truth but it's certainly a thing.
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  14. Otlset

    Otlset free-range audiophile

    Temecula, CA
    Okay then, no special friendly deals for you!
  15. Carrman

    Carrman Forum Resident

    Two things:

    1) It's just a salesperson thing, no matter what you're buying. Salespeople are typically 'people' people and enjoy creating personal connections as it helps them connect a buyer to a deal. Sometimes this does go too far though, I can't stand the whole "This is a good deal, wouldn't you agree? You wouldn't say no to this, would you?" type questioning.

    2) People who lust after lights and knobs and brushed metal and spend fortunes to create caves of solitude are typically introverts or just down right lonely! No offense and I don't mean that in a negative way, it's a hobby and I personally enjoy having the sweet spot all to myself. Also, I don't know about the rest of you but having an actually decent conversation about gear lust with another person is rare. I've got a few friends into audio recording but most of the folks i know that are into playback and do listen to records generally end up on the listening end of the conversation.
  16. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    I prefer to buy used anyway. That typically gives me a tremendous price break, no matter what I buy. ;)
    Ezd, Dave, Lush and 2 others like this.
  17. Lush

    Lush Well-Known Member

    I usually end up correcting the dealer as my knowledge about the products more often than not is better than theirs. Sounds big headed..... but its mostly true. Geek I am.

    Tends to limit the amount they say when they know that you may know more than them
    Strat-Mangler likes this.
  18. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I think people's experience can vary considerably, by dealer, and probably by timing. I would guess some dealers are lonely and need someone to talk to--
    I'm very much about the under sell.
    I can relate a story about my very serious pre-purchase discussions of an exotic car- the salesman was fine, but I guess he felt that i needed to talk to the sales manager. That guy was so full of nonsense that at the end of the call, I phoned the salesman and said "Look, I'd really like to do this deal but if I ever have to talk to your manager again, I'm walking away from it."
    I did buy the car and enjoyed it.
    I don't go to many audio dealerships these days. In NYC, back in the day, it was part of my life. These days, I'm not really shopping and there aren't really many brick and mortar dealers here in Austin anyway. There's one store I really get a kick out of-- it's all vintage '70s receivers, bookshelf speakers, etc. Flashback. I like the one guy there- Robert Johnson. And they make a decent espresso. In fact, that's one of the selling features of the place- the only hi-fi dealer in Austin with a complete coffee bar. Go figure.
    We saw a sign a few years ago here that said "Free yoga and beer." I guess that brings 'em in.
    Who knows?
    It is great to have a resource for information you can rely on-- somebody that knows little tricks, tweaks, gotchas, and work arounds. Invaluable if you have somebody like that.
    I had a good dealer relationship during my last dozen years in NY, and it was entirely based on house calls. Never even went to the dealer's shop. (I eventually did, but it was more of a visit than anything about buying or auditioning something). His prices weren't crazy, he sourced some really good gear for me, both new and used and he was usually available if I ran into an issue, whether by phone or in person visit to my place. Treasure those dealers- I think they are far and few between.
    4xoddic likes this.
  19. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 A force of nature

    It seems like there has been a major shift in the business model at most shops. They are making most of their money from home automation projects, running wires in renovations or new build projects in million dollar homes so rich guys can talk to their home theater. They are more like contractors than experts or consultants on sound. I think that explains some of the lame conversations, talking about speakers, amps and sources isn't much of a thing. Getting the door locks hooked up to wifi is.
    Kyhl, Eigenvector and 4xoddic like this.
  20. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    Who is “much”?
  21. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    1) It is soooo much more effective to sell people stuff, if you just keep telling them to buy it.
    2) You can't trust the customer to know what he wants; he can't even explain it sufficiently.
    3) Why waste time helping "experts", when you can convince a rube, for him?
    4) If your products did speak for themselves, then where's your opportunity to make a difference with the boss?
    5) The more you have to do with the sale, the more people will have reason to listen to you. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

    If I know enough about what I want, I'm gonna have a great time with a handful of listening examples, and a guy who knows what I'm asking about. He doesn't have to sell the "experience", I can make that happen myself; all I want to ask him about, is the product. I figure, if I can "teach" him what it is I'm listening for, I can trust him to teach me what I don't know about this specific piece of equipment.
  22. 4xoddic

    4xoddic Forum Resident

    An audio store, you say? Is that a place that sells audio gear differently than BestBuy? IF SO, I'm sure it's been over a decade since such an unlikely establishment went out of business in this college/army town of > 65K pop.

    Now, this Internet thing indicates I could drive >100 miles to Wichita, where they have such a store (on-line pic shows a lineup of tower speakers standing in front of a wall of slat board + some bookshelf models hanging on it, is that a dealer-only room treatment?). OR, I could drive >100 miles to KC, where the audiophiles have the opportunity to visit a BestBuy Magnolia. That's pretty much the options here in KS, without going out-of-state.
    forthlin and toddfan like this.
  23. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 A force of nature

    Oh man, I forgot about Magnolia and Best Buy. I have had some truly horrible conversations with those guys. They have their wrap down about selling extended warranties but know next nothing about the equipment they are selling. Go to one and ask what high efficiency speakers they have that will pair nicely with a vintage tube amp. Their head will explode.
  24. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Do you really expect a minimum wage employee that is trained by a corporate sales video to know anything about equipment or hi-fi nerd subjects? It's not going to happen. Blame corporate management, not some kid that isn't paid enough or trained enough to care. BTW I would suspect the sales associates would be fired for not parroting whatever they are told about extended warranties and the like. It's been some time since I've had a big box retail job but it certainly was like that with certain things we were told to push. If you didn't push what they wanted you got canned.
  25. ayrehead

    ayrehead It was like that when I found it...

    Mid South
    My local dealer has given me so much valuable information over the years that putting up with all the b.s. he spews out has been worth it.
    4xoddic and Dennis0675 like this.

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