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?
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. 

«Similarly, when I tried to test drive a Honda S2000 back when they were new, the dealer declined to let me. Reason? He was getting inundated with requests for test drives with very few buyers. »- DualMarantz

The same thing happened to me!
Since I anticipated it, I showed to the unfriendly rep my NSX key and said: If you think I do not qualify for a S2000!
Would have never bought from him, and this seller made a mistake because I bought one later ...

Regarding OP situation, I concur that nowadays it is difficult for B&M businesses, but it is part of their job to spend time promoting and trying to sell what they have to offer.

Obviously, I would consider as serious a guy who owns Pass Labs gear and shows interest in tubes monoblocks and would not try to put unnecessary and unfriendly obstacles in the process  ...

For those saying that he will buy elsewhere online, we are not talking about common pieces of hifi gear ...

I would not pay that 500$ fee, customer is king, I would even convince him, after an in store listening, to try them at home, and for free!

You want to sell them? Well, you’ll have to work and convince me.

You don’t want to take this route, you only want to make a quick and easy sale and wait for your sucker? Then you will have to accept a nice discount over your asking price !!!