Charging A Fee To Demo An Amplifier In A Brick & Mortar Store

I Saw a pair of pre-owned tube monoblocs for sale on an onlline forum for around $17k.
The seller has a retail store for hiigh end audio. The seller mentioned that there will be an up-front fee for the demo if a prospect comes to the store the amps are not purchased. The demo fee may also be used for credit towards any purchase in the store.

This is the first time I’ve ever heard of this. Is this now a common occurance in high end audio stores? I sent a note to the seller asking what the demo fee amount was....two weeks and I didn’t get a response.

Does anyone know what amount of fees are charged for a demo?
Tubes have a short lifespan.  Suck it up if you want to lower the time left on them.  This is why you do not buy tubes.
First of all, I’ve never seen a dealer ask for a payment to demo equipment. I have a local dealer who brought in new Usher speakers for me to demo that he didn’t carry before. He also brought Revel Studio2 speakers over to my place for an in-home demo, which I ended up buying.

in terms of this dealer, I’d negotiate a deal where you agree to pay $500 for an in-home demo for a $500 reduction in the sales price, and the demo fee can be either applied to that reduced cost if you buy or a store credit for something else.  If the dealer thinks you are serious he may be willing to do this.  If you buy, he gets rid of this used inventory and you get a deal.  If you don’t buy, he gets compensated for his time. 
There is a lot of confusion on this topic.
What we offered was setting up a system for a customer. He chooses his speakers from our store ( About 15 pair in stock on the floor, he chooses his pre-amp and source. Then we put the system together for him. This system would be placed on a HRS audio stand. This means breaking several high end systems so the customer who obviously understands this and can then create a reference point. We would also use the best cables we have to built this system. This is at least a 8 hour job. We dont want to go through the trouble without it being a serious customer. Simple. You have the option to just buy the amplifiers like any other product or purchase retail priced products that are already on demonstration which carries no charge. Simple. If you want bargain discontinued products we just have to charge for this service. there is NO PROFIT on this at all.
@smer319 ... I disagree completely. You’re making the guy pay for a demo in YOUR listening room with YOUR equipment and YOUR cables, most or all of which are different from that of the customer. So, even if the customer digs the sound, that’s likely NOT what he’s going to hear at home. If you were setting up the demo in the customer’s house, then charging to do so would be acceptable. However, that’s NOT what’s happening here. Bottom line ... you made a mistake with those amps, can’t keep them out for demos, took a bath on them, and are now trying to make back some $$ at the expense of any customer who might want an audition. I would hope that reasonable people would decline your "generous" demo offer and look elsewhere.
No Way. I'd pay more to someone else first just to keep the money out of their pockets. I don't buy homes or cars like that and won't pay for someone to do their jobs. They also miss out on future purchases. I know it's not my name on their license, but I refuse to ever pay a fee.