"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...






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. 

Did happen to my Father and I.

we were rained out one day mid week, drove to the Cadillac dealer in our work clothes, walking around looking, sales guy comes out, asks what we drove in, Dad pointed to his GMC Sierra diesel,, and no crapola, within 5 seconds, “I have paperwork, I’ll be at my desk if you need me, no handshake, he just turned and left. 
   He could have bought 4 caddy’s that day if he wanted.

don’t judge a book by its cover!


the following weekend, Dad and Mom bought a nice  5 series BMW, for my Mom. 
drove.to caddy dealer, spoke with the manager, guy received a tongue lashing about,missing the sale and being an arrogant untcay !



The store in Bellingham, WA the OP refers to is Reference Media owned by Rob Rivinius and his wife.  I’ve purchased several products from Rob over the years and he is a true gentleman and a consummate professional.  He represents several high end lines including Boulder, Acoustic Signature, Koetsu, Egglestonworks, Ortofon, Martin Logan, Rega, Sonus Faber, among many other audiophile quality name brands.  Rob was kind enough with his time and expertise to fly to my new home in Idaho to set up and install $10k worth of tt, tonearm, and cartridge.  No idea who is on Rob’s payroll currently but I’m not convinced by the OP’s story that anyone treated him rudely. More than likely he had an item he wanted to trade in that had no value to a high end store and which can probably be purchased at Best Buy or from any online retailer.  If you are going to walk into a Ferrari dealer with a Pinto to trade in, you are probably in the wrong store.  

Also here to post in defense of Rob and Reference Media (from whom I have purchased Shunyata gear twice). Class acts and not snobs. Not taking a trade in on a $500 AVR is hardly an indictment.

There is no way Definitive or Seattle Hi-Fi (both of which I’ve also bought from) will take that on trade in either. Sell it yourself if you need the money and become a real cash buyer.

@gabor2525 - Rob, Amber, Eric & Bobby are all great, sorry you had a bad experience, but if you were to Venture south, my recommendations would be to see Mardi at Olsens Hi Fi in Lynwood, Victor at Gig Harbor Audio, Gig Harbor and Matthew at Hawthorne Audio in Seattle (in that order). There are many, many more that I have visited, but these were my best experiences.