"High end" store snobbery

Our county lies in a fairly remote part of the country.Our major city of 100,000 has one "high end" shop so to speak.

I visited them yesterday.The store has limited selection of decent  stuff-a few McIntosh amps.Marantz.Paradigm ,Focal,Sonus faber etc.No Wilsons or Bel Canto category.

I asked then if they take trade ins-I want to upgrade my one year old Yamaha RX4 AVR,worth $500 retail.

They said they only take high end components for trade i.e.McIntosh etc.

After that conversation, the 3 store employees pretty will ignored my presence and I continued browsing their meagre inventory.


Lo and behold!

In a corner I spotted about 30 items-old Pioneer,Yamaha amps and even an equalizer from the 1970s.Prices ranged from $75 to $500.


I asked :"what are these"

response from employee:"oh, those are items we are familiar with as they were swapped out for upgraded gear by our customers."


Thanks for tolerating my rant...






The closest “high end” shop to me is 2.5 hours away and 4+ hours to a true high end. As such, many times when traveling to major cities I will look up audio shops to visit.  Sometimes I call in advance and sometimes walk in.  The vast majority of high end shops do have an attitude of snobbery and usually want to see if I am worthy of being in their store by asking what I have. When I tell them Rockport speakers, VTL amp, etc. then the attitude gets a little better.  But they typically only want to spend time with me or let me listen IF I am in the market for something that day.  Having been in audio over 50 years I remember when audio shops wanted people to come in and sit down to listen.  By doing so, people would get the itch to want to consider some type of upgrade.  Obviously there are shops that  don’t have an attitude and welcome people to come in and listen.  An example I experienced was with Sound Environment in Omaha NE. I called, told the sales guy I was from out of state and would just like to drop by.  When I arrived he gave me a tour of the store and then he took me to their state of the art room with Rockport Lyra speakers, D’Agostino amps, DCS digital, etc. We listened for hours.  No I did not buy anything but I did help a close friend buy a $50,000  system from them

Hi-end audio is a rotten business and one most have failed at.  They have to act like snobs because they are charging far more than the performance of their gear really warrants.  This is normal in the industry.

Beyond that, they can't take anything in trade for more than a pittance because they can't turn it around and sell it for much, if anything.  If your old Yamaha whatever were worth so much, why couldn't you just sell it yourself?  They can't either.  It's a poor business model to pay anything for something you can't sell and make a profit on.

I really cant stand the snobbery. Its uncalled for. I am lucky to have a few nice places near. They are businesses that deal with customers and future customers so be respectful and nice because you never know. Had bad service at a place near me. I left went to another place I had never been. Spoke with the owner for an hour an a half about gear. I was potentially looking to up grade my integrated amp to separates to drive my magenpan 3.7i’s. The guy let me trial a couple of pass labs amps. Who do you think got my business? Those pass labs never went back to the store. Agree it is a tough business but come on money and potential future money is why they are in business.