shy about prices

I assume a lot of you are in the industry and maybe you can answer this: why is it so hard or impossible to get pricing info for speakers?

I received a lot of suggestions for my speaker list to include more brands and I tried. I lookup up the company homepage, I searched for pricelists, however out of date, I emailed the company - nothing. Why are companies "hiding" the prices of their products they intend to sell?

This is not a generalization, I don’t mean to conflate companies with user-friendly and informative web sites (~30%) with the mystery ones (~20%). And the rest (~50%) are OK/could be better.


Having taken marketing in graduate school I have a very different take on marketing. It is to emphasize the positive attributes and get the consumers attention through all the other produces. Many people like me would not consider exaggerating or manufacturing false attributes. But clearly there are others with less altruistic motives. But good companies do not exaggerate or fake attributes.

I think there is a lot of misinformation in this thread and it's only just started!    It's clear a lot of people feel factories are just trying to rip everyone off.  My experience having worked for quite a few of them is that there are some people who are trying to take advantage at times but all in all most businesses have to do the right thing or they go under.   Ripping people off for real doesn't last long.  My experience is also that anyone who goes through the tremendous hassle of building stuff, it's not because they want to get rich.  Almost none of them ever do- they make a living and that's about it.  the perception of a company that makes a speaker for $500K is that they are rich rich rich but it may well be they sell one pair a year and in the end they only walk away with 10% of that as profit.    

I think the hard part for most buyers is to comprehend the process of making stuff: the labor, your building to make stuff in, the engineering, the buying of parts from all over the world and then finally to get all of it in one place to build.  It's impossible to have all those steps go well.   Marketing (explaining your stuff) and selling (which is your final income but also involves packaging and shipping and a lot of other details)  is a complex process involving a lot of different people with different agendas.  Shipping right now is nightmare, everything is getting damaged.  Once its sent to a dealer, there's lot of different dealers with different agendas too.  Some are amazing, some aren't.  Hard to tell from another country or even across the country how good someone is with their customers.  Over time, most high end enthusiasts have experienced a full range of these differences and Im sure it feels like a big conspiracy from time to time.  From this side it feels like a slow motion mess, dealing with all the changes that affect one thing or another constantly.  The process of can take a full year to design and build, get the parts and gather them up before you can actually ship the final product.  Building is truly a labor of love as it's so frustrating that you have to really want it.    

Smaller dealers - the ones interested in high end stuff- generally don't have great websites with prices because creating one and keeping it up to date is a significant amount of time investment with the near constant changes from the different  manufacturers.  You want to work all day trying to sell stuff and then all evening  because a cable manufacturer decided they need to change prices?  It's time invested that isn't necessarily productive if your business is geared to dealing with people in person and not selling online.  Why is my website so important if I don't sell anything there?  

If your business is geared towards online, well then you try and keep everything up to date- pictures, prices, data, new models, new products, etc.  But many of these website dealers don't sell some of the exotic high end stuff as the sales are way too small for them.  Or way too complicated.  They want lines that are simpler and sell in higher quantities.  The biggest online stores want to sell what people ask for -not necessarily what is "the best" as they don't even have any employees that understand that stuff.  The ones that understand the high end usually find a high end dealer to work for because selling cheap hi fi speakers and gear all day long is no fun at all.  Selling amazing high performance gear is really fun as you deal with people who really get it.  I have rarely met anyone in high end that was wealthy.  Most of them are ordinary folks passionate about high end audio.      

Manufacturers generally don't post prices as the international traffic on sites is significant ( my own US site sees 25% of our traffic from Germany! I don't sell anything to Germany! ) and there is no way to post prices in all currencies and account for all the different import duties and freight costs that affect the final price in a given country.  When you find yourself competing with another country's prices you soon decide not to post prices anymore.   Besides, the authorized dealers have all the prices.  The ones you don't want selling your stuff don't have prices because they don't understand your stuff anyway.  They just make a mess and can't support the client or the product! 



thanks Brad / @lonemountain  for your insight. I imagine that the process from design to manufacturing and selling is a very complex process. 

I don't know how complicated it is to keep prices updated, not just the technical aspects but calculating the prices as well. From the consumer's point of you, it's just unusual. Maybe the entire audio industry is unusual.


I actually couldn't agree more about how it looks from your side. Its something we have wrestled with and asked ourselves what the right thing is. I think we are going to work on adding prices to our lone mountain site as the need for our customers to find prices on ATC consumer models that no one has in stock is important and I’ll just have to deal with the aftermath.



@lonemountain I totally get the model of prices to be shown on the dealer page. The problem I ran into: I go to the dealer pages from the manufacturer's page and 4 out of 5 times, it's a barely usable site, the information on the speaker is a link BACK to the manufacturer's site. Checkmate!