SoundStage Direct "Problems" thread*

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by psulioninks, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. zphage

    zphage Beatard

    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    Reverb.com is a reputable musical instrument marketplace, Buy & Sell Music Gear Online , ReverbLp is their vinyl/records' specific market place.
     
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  2. Steve Morgan

    Steve Morgan Active Member

    Location:
    Minnesota
    Signed up just to respond to this.

    I had a very similar experience. I had ordered an expensive vinyl box set through SSD in May and still haven't gotten it. Complained in July and was told by "Rob Fitzpatrick" that there were problems with the distributor, but my order will be filled in a few weeks. Similar story to what is being talked about in this thread. I kept checking the website and my order kept saying "processing." When the website finally redirected to Reverb a week or so ago, I knew something was up, so I started searching around and found this thread. I contacted the email and got a response asking for my phone number. I gave it and the next day got a call from a guy (never asked his name) who apologized and said the company went under. He said they couldn't compete with Amazon. I asked about my order (which was also paid for with a gift card) and he said to have the person who bought the gift card contact them. I didn't want to bother my friends so I asked him if there was any other way to resolve it. He asked if I liked Bruce Springsteen. I said "sorta." He said he still had some Springsteen box sets laying around and would send me one of them. It's roughly the same value as the set I ordered, so maybe I'll resell it on discogs and more or less break even. Or maybe I'll just keep it. Lot of hassle, but if I get my $ back, I'll be none the worse for wear. I fully realize I might never see the Springsteen set. I'll update you all if/when it arrives. See if the guy is operating in good faith or just told me something to get me to shut up and go away.

    We'll see....
     
    Shawn likes this.
  3. loudinny

    loudinny Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    Again not a justification for SSD but I’m betting this isn’t the last store that will go under due to Amazon. The vinyl market is small and Amazon has a sizable market share. Also Amazon is selling decent mid-fi turntables speakers cartridges amps etc.... these smaller speciality shops can’t make a living on Lp’s, VPI, Clearaudio and other hi-end products. It’s just a number game.
     
  4. CSH

    CSH Active Member

    Location:
    SOCAL
    That's a good one! So it's Amazon's fault that they took our money and didn't provide us with the merchandise that we paid for. I fail to see the correlation between Amazon and SSD going under. Here's a thought. If Amazon was so cheap, why didn't they use the money we gave them, purchase the products from Amazon, and send us our merchandise. Maybe they would have made a buck or two - EVERYBODY wins!
     
  5. loudinny

    loudinny Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    A bit more complex than that, ever run a small business? In that particular business there’s not huge margins vs expenses.

    SSD definitely scammed customers, but to think Amazon isn’t killing small brick/mortar and small online shops is awfully naive.
     
    No Static likes this.
  6. CSH

    CSH Active Member

    Location:
    SOCAL
    I agree that Amazon (and others) are killing/hurting a lot of small businesses. I didn't mean to come across that this isn't the case for many. I just don't believe that Amazon is the primary reason for SSD's demize. They can't use that as an excuse when they contact customers and expect that to make us feel better, or feel badly for them. My point was mainly cynical as far as them buying from Amazon! SSD consistently told customers that they were waiting on "merchandise to arrive from their distributor", they were having "warehouse issues" that were being addressed and "great positive changes" were in the works to improve their delivery timelines and processes. I heard this for at least two months before they went into silent mode in early July. I believe that all of their employees were coached on exactly what to say to customers to string them along for as long as possible before officially going under. I also believe the same is true now that people are being contacted by their customer service representatives - prescripted/coached communications.
     
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  7. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    Sweet VA.
    I didn't see Amazon as SSD's main competitor, sure they hurt all B@M's, even have Wally World taking stock....but they were in the trenches with the likes of MD and AS, maybe even Elusive.
    Their issue was a poor business model coupled with unethical practices and panic. A "we'll do this until things work out" type of thing.....maybe?
    I had issues back in '16 with them, ordered an album, charged right away, and after a couple of months called numerous times and fired off five E-Mails (two a week), the last threating to go to PP.
    I got a shipping notice the next day and a reply hours later. Why they could not reply sooner to my inquiries really concerned me. I knew something was afoot!
     
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  8. aroney

    aroney Who really gives a...?

    ...and Amazon has helped thousands upon thousands of small businesses in their marketplace. ;)

    I purchase just as many items through the marketplace as I do Amazon proper. I have to believe that being able to sell items through their site has HELPED countless smaller businesses and individuals with cash flow.
     
    pghmusiclover and Slick Willie like this.
  9. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    :agree: If it smells like Tuna it probably is.
     
  10. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    Sweet VA.

    Amazon is top dawg for a reason....let us not forget that they were once very, very small. Not so long ago.
    I don't understand the detest for success.
    So odd.
     
  11. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    FWIW, I think much of the animosity toward Amazon came from their lack of care - for instance, mailing LPs by simply sticking a shipping label on the shrink wrap. They have the money that it's no loss if they need to replace a poor product, regardless of who is at fault, but it still adds up to a negative experience.

    Since I got used to the Discogs ordering system, I've never even bothered to check Amazon. IMO their prices on the products I'm looking for are insane - not to mention potentially sending the product back due to their laziness. Not worth it for me - not saying for all.
     
  12. aroney

    aroney Who really gives a...?

    I've never had a single problem with mailers/packaging from Amazon. Not once. All have been packed well and shipped without any damage. In the cases where I've received a bad pressing the return/exchange process was easy as could be, and in some cases they just refunded my money without me even having to return the LP.

    Maybe it's a case of where you live? Some distribution centers are better than others? I'm just a lucky guy? :p
     
  13. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    Sweet VA.
    I've heard of that happening, but in all the years of ordering from them I have never experienced that issue.
    So, you've never had to send back vinyl to other vendors...Amazon the only one? Oh wait, you said "potentially"......jeez!
     
  14. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    Sweet VA.

    I'm not sure he's had an issue, just heard about it?
     
  15. loudinny

    loudinny Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast

    Main competitor? With Amazon dominating sales there’s no was of competing. Like I said before don’t be surprised if other businesses
    It’s not that I detest Amazon or that I am passing judgment but rather I made a factual statement. You’re totally oblivious if you think they haven’t had a negative impact on smaller b/m and smaller online businesses.

    This is just a sign of the times, small businesses are going to have to adapt. Yes Amazon marketplace is one approach. SSD fell victim to not keeping up with change and an aging business model and a lack of creativity. Unfortunately that’s looks like it lead to thievery.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  16. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    Sweet VA.
    You're not looking at things correctly. SSD went into biz knowing that Amazon was casting a huge shadow.
    They attempted to do what MD/AS/Elusive are doing successfully....offer what the big boy can't. They just didn't do it right, a no duh statement for sure.
    And nothing led them to thievery, it had to be there all along....seems ethics was not in their mission statement.
    Amazon started at ground zero and built a thriving biz by offering what was wanted....before we knew we wanted it.
    This can be repeated by any biz starting out, Amazon, Fed Ex, Wal Mart are all examples.
     
    violetvinyl likes this.
  17. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Again, my point is that for what I look for - obscure and/or specific CDs - it isn't worth the hassle. "Original recording remastered" for a title that's had two or three remasters doesn't help, especially when the third party sellers have no info listed - but why pay $28 on a gamble when I can find the specific pressing on Discogs for $9.95?

    The second part of my post was just me rambling - my point was that Amazon's apparent, if indirect, attitude of "we can afford to make mistakes" is a turn-off for many.

    I've only ordered a couple of things directly from Amazon. I think the last one was three years ago. Again, not because I had problems with the service, but just because I found a different service I preferred.
     
    Dave likes this.
  18. George Blair

    George Blair Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Soundstage Direct has no one but themselves to blame. Shoddy business practice, dishonesty and denial. There is no defense for knowingly screwing the customer .
     
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  19. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    Sweet VA.
    Not attempting to pick on you, but you're talking about vendors that are allowed to sell on Amazon, not Amazon. And there are many Discogs horror stories.
    I'm glad your experience has been good, but in my last 5 purchases, I've had to get Discogs involved 3 times...and with 100 or near 100% sellers.
    Discogs can be a nightmare, love it, but one must use much caution!
     
  20. bcmarjac

    bcmarjac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Anderson, IN
    SSD was around for quite a while before they tried to come into the audiophile market (MD/AS/ED). I am not sure what their business practices were back then but I doubt it was exactly the same. I think they came around to their world about 2013.
     
  21. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Yes, I have had very good luck on Discogs. Only one time did a seller ship the wrong product (and there it was only a matter of difference in catalog number - the barcode was identical and the seller was new, so I can forgive them). And once a seller sent me a defective CD (big gouge in the disc which ruined the last two tracks) which was marked as NM. Apart from that, my purchases - probably more than 100 at this point - have all been good. I realize I'm very lucky. With that said, I've only ordered three records on Discogs - versus tons of CDs - so take my opinion with an entire shaker full of salt.

    And while the marketplace sellers should do a better job of defining the product they're selling, it's Amazon who has the listings for "Original recording remastered", "Original recording remastered", "Original recording remastered", and "Original recording remastered". I might not have as many problems if they were more descriptive - but, then again, I already use a site - which I enjoy more and have better luck with - which has this feature implemented already. And, 99% of the time, superior prices.

    No offense taken by your post. I see the point you were making. We all have our own unique ways of wasting time and money on media. :edthumbs:
     
  22. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    Sweet VA.
    You are still missing my point.
    Discogs has been successful because (as I stated earlier) they offer what the big boy can't or doesn't.
    Used is not Amazon's market, more of a offshoot.....a leftover from earlier days. It's the vendors that chose where they list...they can always create a new category.
    I'm a vinyl guy and if I'm looking vintage, I go Discogs….new vinyl...Amazon all the way!
    And I agree Amazon vendor pricing does leave little to be desired....but that's not Amazon pricing.
     
  23. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    No, I understand that. My issue is that Amazon doesn't have a system in place for telling which version you'll be getting. You get vague descriptions like "Original recording remastered", but no label, catalog number, or even barcode unless the seller puts it in themselves. I spoke with a professional collector/seller (not one of those sellers like ImportCDs or Zoverstocks, but an independent seller with tons of inventory) who said that it's difficult to know which is which on Amazon, after I tried to buy a Virgin Rolling Stones CD and ended up with a UMe one instead. And he was kind enough to offer a return which I accepted.

    You're right - Amazon's priority is Amazon, not their sellers. They make a cut of what the vendors sell, but it's not as much as the full profit of what they sell. Not saying they're deliberately sabotaging the marketplace, just that it's not their most profitable venture. Still, I wish they would take a shot at making it more user-friendly. And it is the third-party sellers pricing them the way that they do, not Amazon. But, quite frankly, Discogs is the alternative which - for me - offers a solution to both of those problems.

    Didn't mean to hijack the thread with my attempt to clarify why some dislike Amazon - my rambling has once again derailed another train. That particular side point was not that I think Amazon is bad, just that I prefer not to use it.
     
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  24. loudinny

    loudinny Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    When SSD got into business the vinyl resurgence was just beginning and a niche market. Amazon wasn’t yet selling the product as widely as they are today.

    AS is a also mastering/pressing plant and that generates a bulk of their revenue. MD is in Chicago and maintains a storefront. SSD was small mail order business in Doylestown PA. Not exactly apples to apples on the ol’ business model!
     
  25. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    Sweet VA.
    No worries on hijacking, this thread is dead, SSD has been over for close to a month now.
    And I agree, Discogs and Ebay are the places to go for specific pressings, Amazon has not got that detailed....yet.
    But Amazon's priority (other than shareholder happiness) is customer satisfaction, they are truly big on that.
    I recently had a concern, went on live chat and received results beyond my expectation....and it wasn't the first time.
    Rock on!
    BTW, why doesn't Amazon pay dividends on their shares.....:disgust:
     
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