Tips on dealing with audio dealers

Where I live we don't have stereo stores that handle high end audio equipment. So, I need some guidance. Can I order a preamp from an audio store and have it shipped to me? I know Mcintosh won't let you do that. Does Audio Research? How about prices? Are they set in stone or negotiable? I don't have a dealer and have never dealt with one so can some of you guys suggest a good one? I am considering the REF6 but for a good price I would consider a 5SE. I have heard there are a number of 5SE's for sale but I haven't run into any yet. Any advice you guys can give me would be helpful and much appreciated.
I must also highly recommend Audio Classics. Last month I bought a previously owned Mac preamp. They call it grade B1 but you'd never know it was anything except new. It can't be more than a year old because it's a C52, And it was a deal that I couldn't refuse... I gotta go there sometime!
+4 for Audio Classics!  Ernie, Ryan, Mike....all great guys that take care of you if there is need for service. 

Hi wemfan, please look at my post on my audio research experience before wading in.  Maybe you should consider Allnic or Ayon.  I think both are better sounding and please see my comments on my dealings with Allnic which were much better than I ever expected.


ivanj wrote: " In the USA all retailers have to be offered the same cost price as a rule by Federal law."

What Federal law would that be?  Most states used to have so-called Fair Trade Laws under individual state UCCs, but these have been done away with over the last thirty years for the most part.

While it is typically considered a poor business practice that does not encourage dealer loyalty, to my knowledge there is no Federal law preventing a distributor from offering differential pricing to dealers.  In fact many distributors do offer price incentives based on volume, combination orders of more popular and less popular models and local market conditions, among other promotional incentives.

May be the law but if so I am 100% sure ,like most US laws, it is not enforced .