Struggling to spend 13k with three dealers

Is anyone else running into this? I've been trying to buy a used pair of Wilson from a couple of dealers in the NY area and from one in the Chicago area- each has a pair I've been interested in yet all are super slow to respond to emails, quote a final number, give a clear number on a trade I have etc. Each have their own wrinkle, high shipping charges, high pick up charges, avoiding doing a set up etc. Super frustrating - I've literally bought a car faster than trying to buy a pair of used speakers. I've thrown in the towel after a month of endless emails and conversations. Weird. I used to run a retail audio chain. We chased every deal, quickly determined if we could do it and made it work- or nicely declined the deal. Is business so good that there's no interest in selling 13k speakers that they're holding in inventory? 


My audio guy is swamped. The pandemic has had lots of people upgrading their systems. I have had a good relationship with. Y audio guy for 20 years, so if I want his attention, I just ask… but, lots of dealers are overwhelmed. As small business owners they are concerned about hiring more people… they don’t want to have to lay them off if the business falls off if the pandemic finally ends.

Sometimes when things get too complicated, or become overly time consuming to figure out with "endless conversations", attention goes elsewhere.  

Looks like you’re dealing with email, or maybe I over read you have called them and had an actual phone conversation. If you have not spoken to them over the phone then I would suggest starting there as maybe they are reading too much into your email as another one of the many tire kickers they get. I think you mentioned a trade you have which maybe they’re not interested in and again maybe reading you have to make the trade to complete the purchase. I own a business and get my share of emails that I pass over too as I don’t have the time to answer everyone or I’d get nothing else done, but when my phone rings, I answer it. As far as getting a quote on the price of their used Wilson’s, aren’t they noted either on their website or here? Are you throwing a lowball number at them by chance which they don’t feel the need to respond. Have an idea who you are referring to in Chicago and I question they’re just being lazy or don’t want the business.

Why would any dealer have a “pick up charge”? If anything, there should be a discount for you showing up with a couple of buddies and a truck.I would avoid that one completely. 


a month of endless emails and conversations

With three dealers and still nothing, despite this back and forth emails and conversations.

This is how you know about the shipping charges, pick up charges and them being reticent to set up.

My advice - stay focused.  Accept any terms they make.  Just take delivery and you'll figure out how to set up.  They are speakers, not something complicated like running a retail audio chain.

Then report back.


My thoughts are that a lot of dealers are plenty busy catering to the 1% ers.

They aren’t going to give the rest of us a lot of time when they are busy installing complete AV/Security and whole home networking and music systems. That’s who gets their prime dealer attention.


It's also worth thinking about how they are going to make money on this deal, at least a little.  If these are trade-ins, they probably need to recoup 100% of the trade in value so have no desire to negotiate or need to charge more to make up for a prior deal.  Another thing to consider is, among their customers are you going to be in the middle or low end of spenders?   Not saying you shouldn't be treated well, but that dealing with a vendor who thinks of you as their prime customer makes a difference.

As others have suggested, I would call them.  You can hash out the deal within a couple of minutes that way and get the ball rolling.

Call John Rutan at Audio Connection in New Jersey.....he'll be responsive and make you smile.

Seriously, just checked a site that does only pre owned and they say they need two weeks to respond to provide a trade in quote...ridiculous- you can trade car in and drive out in two hours; you can buy a house in a day but our audio dealers can't return calls, can't develop quotes and need weeks to respond.

Some of this may be specific to the dealers in question, but I wonder how of it is a function of the general "pandemic economy."

Here in central NY, we have been getting callbacks for all manner of goods and services, even for previously reliable providers, or providers who text saying when to expect a call.

If supply chain issues mean you don't have stuff to sell (or have multiple buyers for every item), and labor issues mean you don't have services to provide, your incentive to communicate must diminish.

There's worse problems in the world, of course, but it is a drag. 

Others experiencing similar?

I never the less find it bizarre that when asking a dealer of Harbeth what they'd take a pair of mint rosewood HL5 super plus in for it's as if they've never heard of the model, ask for the description several times and stumble and hesitate as if they have no idea what they might sell for- meanwhile they've been a Harbeth dealer for years and are in fact a distributor too..."we'll call you in a few days after doing research'"...

Just take delivery and you'll figure out how to set up.  They are speakers, not something complicated like running a retail audio chain.

Not true.  Wilsons are notorious for the effort/expertise required to set up properly for best performance.  My guess is the dealers aren’t keen on dealing with your trade-in situation and can probably sell the Wilsons pretty easily to someone without a trade.  That’s what I’d be thinking if I was the dealer.  That, however, doesn’t excuse them for not their poor responsiveness and communication.  Good luck in your quest. 

Yes, I believe the trade in aspect is the hold-up. If so the dealers should just say so with reasoning.

$13k is a not going to energize most Wilson dealers. 

These days before buying anything all consumers need to

evaluate-Does this operation strike you as one which

is going to be able to function through a transaction?

Because everyday more businesses become unable to

perform basic tasks. This is a new "Homework" assignment

to perform before shopping.

So, yes, I've been calling and talking with the dealers not just emailing. I'm not lowballing- they seem to be inflexible on their price- and I'm taking their lowball offers on my trades, and, in some instances being charged 400-600 to deliver their speakers to me and pick mine up- not cheap. Despite this there's still way too much time between returned phone calls and emails, half answered questions etc. And I'm actually trying to buy a new pair of Sabrina X at full retail while trading in my speakers at 40% less than they sell for on Audiogon (yes, I know the dealer needs to make a profit on my trade and that's ok).  I can call Wilson and find out that the color Sabrina X I want is a 60 day wait- and I did that today, it took 5 minutes. Somehow it takes the Wilson dealer I'm working with days to get get the same information. There's simply no urgency from any of these dealers to make a deal. I'm getting worn out by it all frankly and losing interest. It should be a pleasant, simple and fast transaction. I'm not a difficult customer and am not asking for unreasonable prices or service. I really don't get it. Too painful. Every call I make seems to result in the same convoluted, slow, hesitant responses that takes days, weeks even to get to a price and a possible transaction point.

bro spend it with me and get 2013 Harley VROD that I have instead.

That could be done much faster!

Sorry to say it but I suspect this has or will become the new norm for shopping. FWIW I'm  sure glad to be retired. The present environment is ridiculous and getting worse for the business & the consumer. Plus you have the Christmas holidays which always causes issues for business and consumer alike.

I guess but I'm just not up to the struggle to spend my money. I was just quoted $800 to deliver a pair of Wilson Sabrina- new- no set up and to have the delivery people take back my Klipsch and Harbeth- a round trip of 200 miles - I could literally send an Uber for the equipment for half that price. 


Exhausting process. I cancelled it all and will continue enjoying my current system and keep 12k in the bank (the difference in the trade prices vs the new, full list price Wilson I would have bought- with no set up). 

Infuriating for sure. 

Why would a dealer react the way that you say...

A few thoughts come to mind, they are so busy that they couldn't care about their business and particularly new customers like you who they have never dealt with before. The dealer is so flush with cash, that a $13K sale is peanuts to them, as their typical buyer is spending millions of dollars every year...or maybe they are doing the business as a hobby, and the same thing applies with their customer base. Lastly, you are asking for a trade in, which means they have to write an ad and try and sell your traded in gear, that takes some effort. 

I think these guys are doing you a favor with their responses ( or lack thereof)...they are telling you to take your business elsewhere and give it to a much more deserving person. They are also demonstrating to you what their after sale service would like IF you made the mistake of buying from them in the first place. 

@cowan217 which Klipsch would you be trading?  I'm near CHI and the dealer here I'm guessing you are working with might be able to make this work.  I'm intrigued by the heritage lines.  

@ghasley "Buy the new speakers, sell yours on your own."

Exactly. The dealers are in business to make a profit. That’s how they exist. And, you have to ask yourself what’s in it for them, too. Driving out, sending out two people, doing a Pick-up, returning to the office, unloading, unboxing speakers, checking, testing, any reconditioning, advertising, haggling with tons of new questions on trade-ins dealing with new non-buyer customers, dealing with return policies, all takes valuable time. It’s gotta be worth it for them too. Pre-purchase free advice is not free, actually $100-200/hr+ or more. Time is money. We are lucky to have any audio storefront dealers in business any more. Or, go sell it to TMR Audio, they might buy your stuff. Good Luck.

@decooney well said. In short, it makes no sense to complain about $$ when you are trading something in.

So, there’s this new thing called the ”internet.”  You can buy your used Wilsons here or on other sites and sell your speakers through the same.  If dealers aren’t giving you what you want you have every opportunity to do it on your own and stop whining here.  Jeez. 

Hey thanks for the advice, yeah, I'm familiar with the internet and buy and sell on Audiogon and US Audiomart. The klipsch are Cornwall 4 so big and not likely to sell easily and ship hence my intent to do a trade. And not complaining about price, complaining about lack of responsiveness from dealers. And not complaining about trade in prices either- I recognize the dealer needs to make a profit on the trade. Thanks everyone, I'll keep my gear and sell it locally if and when I can. I'm thinking Rosewood Harbeth HLF5 Super Plus, Bel Canto REF 600 m should be no issue to sell quickly. The Klipsch I can continue to use as big end tables and speakers ! 

You live in the Tri-State will be surprised by how many people will pick them up...gear is selling well and at fair will clear more on your used gear and the shipping of your Sabrinas will seem like a rounding error.

I just can not understand the US market. You are having problems spending $13K, I had problems spending $150k until I gave up. My dealer in Spain was all too happy to get me what I wanted in a week.

As for speakers I would seriously look at the Tannoy Kensington, I have 2 pairs. The only thing you need to look for is the manufacturing date. The ones I bought in the USA were manufactured almost 3 years before I bought them for new  and the distributor not even saying a word about it. The warehouse they were sting was not climate controlled as the wax that they come with was completely melted and came out of the can and soaked into everything.

The klipsch are Cornwall 4 so big and not likely to sell easily and ship hence my intent to do a trade. 


Exactly how the dealer feels 🙄

If you are willing to trade/sell your Klipsch Cornwall 4 at 40% below market value, you should be able to sell them without issue.  Heck, at that discount, even the gear flippers will be tempted. 

The Chicago dealer doesn't always respond to actual offers. He continues to list items that never sell. I cant quite figure him out either. @cowan217  If you are going to pay full retail they should be falling all over their self to set them up. 

If you're trying to squeeze the last nickel out the Cornwalls,

why are you trying to trade them in? Sell them on your own.

A lot of people like Steve Guttenburg love those things.

There is a an entire website dedicated to the annual 

pilgrimage to Hope as well as the Museum. Tragic these

people are. 

Is the car market so friendly as has been mentioned a couple times?   You are blessed in America.  A couple hour transaction?  Wow.

In the country where I live things are/were very tight.  Quite often there were simply no second hand vehicles available, and if there were they were what nobody else wanted.  Second hand car dealers were going out of business the last year.  Not sufficient stock.

This is sad.  We are busy too.  Sales are up 300% this year and I have never been so busy.  That being said, my day is not done until all calls and e-mails are returned.  Additionally, an estimate for used gear should not take more than 72 hours if really complex.  It is unfortunate that you are being forced to deal with such poor service.  

That being said, those freight quotes are not crazy at all.  They may seem silly but freight costs are just insane and those sound like legit costs.  I can easily pay enormous amounts of money for shipping, even short distances.  A huge part of the cost is in the pickup and drop off along with handling at the depots at both ends.  


I can vouch for the high shipping costs. When I started looking at the KEF Reference 5’s, the shipping costs we’re about $350 to my door.  When I bought a pair just two months later, the shipping cost went up to $1200! 
so for them to ship to you is expensive and who’s paying to ship your trade-in back to the dealer?

All the best.



If you really want them, don’t give up.  Sell the Klipsch on your own and remove from the equation.  You will save money and reduce a complication for the dealer.  Verdantaudio’s post is right on point.

However, do agree that many dealers are clueless about the products they sell or lazy or forgetful.  Hobby or not, I wonder if some dealers get into it without any real knowledge on how to run a business.

I live 3 hours from the Chicago dealer your talking about and couldn’t get him to respond either when I had interest in Wilson’s he had.  I ended buying from my local dealer with setup included.  Some of these dealers have deep pockets and big ego’s to go along with it so it’s a hit or miss when trying to buy expensive audio gear.  

Yah, weird though. The Chicago dealer constantly posts Wilsons on Audiogon- today he must have 8 ads at least for various models. Call him and try to buy a pair and he denigrates them immediately making you feel like an idiot for wanting to buy them. I really wonder if he has any in stock at all or it's a bait and switch move. Same thing when I then asked if a JL woofer would integrate well- "why would you want JL, it's too boomy" (def not the case with an F113 V2), have you tried REL? I'll never shop with him again (I did buy a couple of things from him a couple years ago). 


Sorry if I missed it, but who is the Chicago dealer you are talking about? If it is the one I am thinking of, good luck buying anything from him...It's a lost cause. There is a current ad for a Rea G1 sub offered for sale by him that has been rolling over for at least 3 years. I know as I tried to purchase it back in 2018. All of his ads roll over continuously whether he still has the item or not.

I guess that dealer doesn't care about sales. Find another one.

Some dealers will not take trade ins no matter what. A very highly respected guy local to me recently unloaded $225K of gear to a wholesaler after he got sick of it. He is very knowledgeable by not patient enough to deal with the used equipment complexities. He used to do it, but doesn't need to now.

Another guy is sitting on tons of stuff and will only take trades he knows he can sell and with him it is only on consignment. And he forgot to pay me once when he sold something of mine. Oops....never bought anything else from him.

Post removed 

Hello Cowan,

As someone who works for Wilson and wrote the Wilson Audio Certified Authentic Handbook, our dealer guide to treating the customer fairly while actively seeking, taking, and reselling trade-ins, I hope I can help clarify some details for you. I'm a bit concerned over the responses you are getting from dealers, some of whom do not appear to be actual Wilson Authorized Dealers.

First, an authorized US Wilson Dealer MUST set up every new and current Wilson loudspeaker he sells in the customer's home using WASP as a part of the purchase price. If a dealer offers not to do so, he is in violation of his Dealer Agreement and could be terminated.

Second, an authorized US Wilson Dealer will typically offer an actual current market, used retail value for a trade-in. If it is a Wilson speaker being traded, it may even be higher than the range for which legitimate used Wilson speakers of the same model are selling. Wilson Audio will actually buy back used Wilson speakers taken in trade by the dealer.

Third, an authorized US Wilson Dealer almost always sells used Wilson speakers as Certified Authentic because Wilson offers a Wilson Factory Warranty on Certified Authentic Wilson speakers. The goal of Certified Authentic is to offer a new Wilson buying experience with a previously owned Wilson speaker, including the opportunity for in home WASP setup. Only an authorized Wilson Audio Dealer can offer a Certified Authentic speaker. Every Wilson speaker ever made is eligible to be made Certified Authentic. The original WAMM, Serial No 001 is in the process of being Certified Authentic right now.

Now let me address some of the concerns you mentioned:

The dealer to which you refer in Chicago is not, nor has he ever been a Wilson Audio dealer. Whatever he does has nothing to do with Wilson Audio and everything to do with how he does business. But he appears to be a fit for many people and has been in business for a number of years. You pay your money and you take your choice.

I cannot speak to the other two dealers as I cannot tell who they are from your posts. 

Currently Wilson Audio is delivering SabrinaX at a greater rate than ever. However, a SabrinaX ordered this week will be delivered to the dealer (or to the customer if drop shipped) around mid April.

If you have any questions regarding Wilson Audio and our policies, please call our office at 801-377-2233 and ask for Jerron or for me.

Best of luck whatever you decide to do going forward.