Trying to support "Brick and Morter" But......

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by rl1856, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. rl1856

    rl1856 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    A vintage equipment shop recently opened in my area. Location is in a strip center, along a highly trafficed road, with easy access into the center.

    Space is small, but is crammed floor to ceiling with equipment, such that walking through is like walking around a maze.

    Most of the equipment is 70's-90's low end and mid fi. There are some better pieces in the mix.

    I stopped in just after opening, and spoke with the owner. He said initial traffic was very good. I made a mental note of some interesting pieces. I also noted that prices were VERY high. OK

    I drove by the store fairly often over the past few months. I never saw any cars parked in front, or signs of activity in the store, other than an "open sign".

    I stopped back in yesterday, and the same equipment was still on display, and prices were still very high.

    I looked at an Empire 598 Table. Owner assured me it was cleaned, restored, with a new belt, and new stylus on the Empire cartridge. Close inspection showed a cracked belt, with lots of dust debris and dirt around the belt pulley (under the screw off cover). Platter was tarnished. And the "Empire Cartridge" was a low end Shure with an original stylus. All for $750.

    A single unrestored Heath W5m with WA-P2 preamp. Amp did include GEC KT66 tubes. $1000 (for a single, not a pair).

    Rega RP6 TT with Rega Cartridge. $1600

    Fisher x202B, Fisher TFM300 tuner, both with cases / $1750

    Harman Kardon Citation V with HK branded tubes, no case. Supposedly with new PS caps. $2100

    Mcintosh MC2002 amp with cracked front glass, and full of dust $1650

    I politely asked the owner how he determined that a single Heath W5m and preamp were worth $1000. He said "well that's what I remember them selling for".

    I looked at the Rega TT....."ya know record players are popular now, and that's a good one !".

    I am happy to see another B&M....but I predict he will not be around very long. Too Bad- I would have done some business with him if he were more reasonable.

    Venting I know, but it is also frustrating. His equipment, his prices.
  2. Subagent

    Subagent Forum Resident

    Arlington, VA
    I guess the one thing that a successful shop must have is turnover. Move em in, move em out. I cannot imagine trying to shift vintage gear without an e-tail store (or at least a strong Internet social media presence) and a really good tech. Keep an eye out for the "Everything Must Go" sign.
  3. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    If the shop does not have sufficient turnover, prices will drop.
    displayname likes this.
  4. Morbius

    Morbius Forum Resident

    Brookline, MA
    He's a hoarder. He has no intention of selling anything!
  5. Jking3002

    Jking3002 Well-Known Member

    I get the feeling. I’m pretty much always unimpressed with hi-fi shops in my area. It’s either overpriced used stuff (40-50% higher than market value) or it’s nothing but a showroom for new items with nothing actually in-stock.
  6. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    I see guys like that on the local CL. Speakers, lots of them, just sitting forever with prices double what they normally go for. I think they watched too many 'flipper' TV shows.
  7. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Awfully expensive paying store rent.
  8. Jeffreylee

    Jeffreylee Rock 'n' Roll Typist

    I agree with Morbius. Dude has a hoarder mentality, spiced with some delusion and loneliness. He likely has plenty of money, obviously enough to accumulate a store's worth of gear, and the rent probably doesn't mean much to him.
  9. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Shops like this are all over with all kinds of stuff, not just audio. Usually run by clueless and/or stubborn shop owners with no reality on current prices or how condition affects prices. You can't really reason with them, so don't bother, just move on. I've seen shops like this where they don't close until the owner dies or gets seriously ill and is unable to run the shop. Sad, but that's the way it can be. At that point the stock goes to junk flippers or the landfill.
  10. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    I would have told him that a brand new Planar 6 is $1600 and an RP8 is being closed out at $2000. I imagine the Rega cart is used, so in my opinion, it's worthless. Then I would have asked for his best deal. I imagine he would have held firm. And I would just walk out.
    displayname, Old Rusty and patient_ot like this.
  11. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    He's out of his Vulcan mind.
  12. Vinny123

    Vinny123 Forum Resident

    There’s a small second hand shop in my area. The guy has tons of cool older hi fi stuff including reel to reels. His prices are insane. He told me that it’s because he really doesn’t want to sell anything. He’s got to be about 90 years old.
  13. hammr7

    hammr7 Well-Known Member

    I'm a hoarder, to the extent that I can't throw anything audio away if I think it may be of use to me or anyone else. I have toyed with the idea of a B&M as a glorified storage unit / workshop where I could consolidate and get rid of some of my excesses. The problem is that any kind of shop is expensive, especially where I live. A large storage unit may go for $200 / month. A shop of the same size, with basic insurance and utilities, can run anywhere from 5 to 10 times that much.

    At the prices you noted, as little as 1 or 2 sales a month might make him whole on expenses. At normal prices it might require 10 or 15 sales, depending on what stuff cost him. It may be the novelty will help him survive, especially if he can clean up his act and his equipment. Otherwise your prophecy of doom may come sooner rather than later.
    patient_ot likes this.
  14. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Errrr, ebay works.
    ripping corpse likes this.
  15. eyeCalypso

    eyeCalypso Forum Resident

    Colorado, USA
    Maybe the shop is a front for some kind of illegal business.
  16. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Best Coast USA
    Yeah, sometimes it's just like that. There's a gas station not far from me that's consistently $1/gallon higher than other local gas stations (!). They clearly don't want to sell gas, they're really just a repair shop in disguise.
    displayname and patient_ot like this.
  17. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Forum Resident

    That's what I was thinking. There is an electronics repair shop where I live that's been "in business" for decades. It's full of old useless TV's, stereos whatever. No one I know has ever been able to get anything repaired there to any level of quality if at all, including myself. There's never any cars in the lot, except the yellow Corvette which I presume the owner drives.

    Now, when I was a kid I used to cleanup at a local dentists office and one day he sends me to a vacuum cleaner repair shop to to get change for a $100 bill. He says just go in, don't look around and tell the owner, DR. C needs change. The place was a bookie joint.
  18. eyeCalypso

    eyeCalypso Forum Resident

    Colorado, USA
    That's right. My dad told me a story of when he gambled, the bookies did business in the back of a hamburger joint. One day the local paper did a food review raving about its burgers . Next time my dad went the place was jumping, line out the door. The owner was absolutely livid and cursing the newspaper for the piece, for ruining his REAL business!
  19. bradleyc

    bradleyc Forum Resident

    A vintage audio shop opened a year or two ago in a small shopping district just a few miles north of my house. They had my first receiver from the 70’s, a Pioneer SX-950 restored real nice for $950 which seemed high. They had about 30-40 other receivers, TT and speakers that also seemed expensive. After I looked at their gear, then I saw 3 techs in back working on vintage restorations/repairs. They’re probably making most of their money on tech services with such a small high-priced inventory.
    patient_ot likes this.
  20. ubiknik

    ubiknik Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL USA
    I'll never buy new product from Dusty Groove in Chicago, they like these big ol' price stickers and stick 'em right on the upper rh corner front. These stickers have substantial if not herculean adhesive and you will either go through some exotic heat/chemical process to (maybe) remove them or definitely rip a good chunk of shrink off trying to pick off (because they don't pick off unless maybe ten minutes after applied..).
    It smacks of greed as it must be cheaper to use standard super stickers as opposed to low tack. The owner Rick used to work and manage Reckless records in Chicago and he should know full well about the low tack approach because they do that at Reckless and always have. You can even remove their stickers from paper sleeves!
    Reckless is a good place to go in Chicago, Dusty can be ok for used stuff, but because they do significant web sales and have a better presence there than in the store, I have noticed a LOT lately that if I see a nice vintage lp in there for say anywhere from 80 to 100$, all I have to do is dig around and I usually find a as good if not better copy for more like 25 to 60$ (online).
    All I can say is that if some things (the super stickers..) were different I might care about supporting this B&M shop but I could care less to be honest, mainly because they are no different than all the old record vultures that I used to see in the heyday (for me anyway) of yard/estate/basement/garage sales, going in super early to scoop the good stuff and then haul ass to the next one and of course going to all the thrift stores (paying off thrift store employees to tip them off to new arrivals..) all week long in between..etc.
    After awhile I figured out that these guys would then sell at shows and then online.
    No big deal, I've done all that and sold at shows and bought from those guys and had buyers from local record shops buy most of my lps I was selling at a show, it's all good but whether you work out of your bedroom , living room, garage or storage space or whatever, that is not for me to stress over.
    If the DG owner wants to have a fancy building in a nice neighborhood with hipster employees and buyers on site that is his deal, I hate having to rip a chunk of shrinkwrap off a new item and frankly I think it's a waste that these are on the poly outer bags of the used stuff too because they become hopelessly scarred for life and I just get rid off them.
    I guess it's a pet peeve.
    Fruff76 likes this.
  21. googlymoogly

    googlymoogly Forum Resident

    For reals. Didn't these people see Proposition Joe's second-hand and repair front shop in "The Wire"? :laugh: [​IMG]
    noladaoh, SamS, heathen and 1 other person like this.
  22. googlymoogly

    googlymoogly Forum Resident

    That kind of thing reminds me of the chap whose second-hand record store I once tried to patronize; when I brought up the LPs I was interested in, he began taking each one and looking at his computer, despite having price stickers right on the covers. After the first few, I asked him what he was doing, and he replied he was checking prices on similar eBay listings to make sure the stock was "priced correctly". I gave him a rather thin smile, and asked if he intended to do that with each record, since the stock was already marked with prices, and he said "yes". First and last time I attempted a purchase there, as I just walked out on him. How some people make a living, or try to, is rather beyond me.
  23. 911s55

    911s55 Forum Resident

    Your money, your choice.
    CrewU, Spin Doctor, timind and 4 others like this.
  24. rockclassics

    rockclassics Forum Resident

    Arkansas, USA
    Sort of sounds like a guy named Bill. Except nothing was priced in the store. Only went there once and didn't buy a thing after I saw how pricing worked.
    googlymoogly likes this.
  25. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    Ah, like my uncle, may he rest in peace. At least you admit it, meaning there is at least a glimmer of hope. At one point, I posted a notice on this very forum. A Vegas member showed up and claimed a rare quad reel-to-reel my uncle brought back from Japan whilst in the Navy, plus a number of reel-to-reel tapes including a quad Seventh Sojourn by The Moody Blues.* Plus a huge pile of VHS tapes, quad receiver, quad Koss headphones, ambience/reverb unit, lots of stuff. Cleared space in my uncle's condo without landfilling "perfectly good" units. I recommend you do the same.

    *Do I wish I had this? Yes, but not really. I realized I did not have the space and realistically would NEVER actually really truly get around to doing anything with this stuff.
    4xoddic and timind like this.

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