Was I Expecting Too Much

Hi everyone.  I'm looking for a heading check with a situation I encountered yesterday.  


I'm planning to upgrade my turntable later this year - Q3 is my target.  After my research, I've narrowed down to AMG and Brinkmann.  I was able to audition an AMG Viella yesterday, and was looking to audition a Bardo or Taurus for comparison.  I know my thought of trying to fit in a Brinkmann demo was last-minute, and some dealers are particular when it comes to appointments and allowing them time to setup their demo.  

The Situation:

So I called the local Brinkmann dealer and inquired to see if a bardo or taurus happened to be setup.  The salesman I spoke with said they had both, and he was going to check if a demo was possible.  After a few minutes, I get a phone call back from the owner who seemed rather dismissive of my request.  I explained that I'm currently doing my research and looking to hear some demos to help down-select, and that my purchase would be a few months from now.  He asked for my budget which I found strange as I already stated what I was interested in demoing.  Then the conversation turned to what gear I already own, which I understand sort-of.  Then the owner basically said it doesn't make sense for me to demo anything now and to call back when I'm ready to purchase.  

How am I going to know what I want to purchase without demoing the options?

Was I expecting too much by asking to hear equipment that I'm interested in?  My opinion is a sale isn't guaranteed and an audio dealer, just like any other dealer, needs to invest some reasonable amount of time to capture a sale.  You don't capture all the sales, but I didn't think I was being unreasonable in my request and certainly was not trying to waste anyone's time.  I was pretty transparent with where I'm at and I guess he was reciprocating my transparency by telling me to go away.  I felt "less-than" by this experience.  As if I wasn't worth investing any time into.




Everybody knows what the problem is. It is the Internet. I ran into this at a local dealer. Looking for some Macintosh products. The first thing he said to me is.” are you here to shop or are you gonna buy one on the Internet used?” I kind of felt bad for the guy, that’s probably what I was going to do. I could tell it was burned out, and probably realize that he was at the end of his business life. I can only imagine the amount of people that they get going into the store Doing exactly what I was going to do. The way that I justify it is that if I buy something used from somebody with more money than me hopefully they’re going to a dealer and buying something new. But I have no way to guarantee that. It’s just the way of the world and retail is , the new person in the economy to take a hit. I had a bunch of friends who work around the printing industry and they all got their butt kicked 20 years ago. Now it’s stereo guys turn. I guess at some point we’re all going to get to take our turn . 

Online sales has indeed hurt a lot of businesses but I think w/  mid fi equipment on up, the attention to proper handling, set up, service if needed, it’s wise to buy from an experienced dealer. Additionally, most of the better audio brands are not available new for any discount sizable discounts from online companies. Used equipment is of course a different story. 

Fortunately, as a restaurateur, the internet has only helped my business & the lack of consistent quality of food & service at the majority of chain restaurants has only helped to make my offerings look & taste better. 


I understand the concept that better customer service equals better sales. 

But, I also think that there may be internal research that shows that in store demos don't lead to increased sales. If anything, it may lead to increased costs from having to pull personal to perform duties that don't result in increased profits. Whether it would lead to down the road sales is uncertain but hard to make a business plan based on what may or may not happen in the future. Maybe I am wrong, but I suspect if it were a straight forward issue then everyone would do it the same way.

 I think it is short minded to think these dealers will bend over backwards for us because we might buy their product. There are very few car dealers who will let you take home their product for the weekend. If they do, you are probably a customer who has bought from them a few times previously.

It would be nice to hear from those with knowledge of this subject such as Troy in New Jersey. 

I have yet to hear a turntable prior to buying it. In today's world you can just return it and get a refund. Let's see, I've bought the following turntables over the Years, yea not the ultimate in turntables mind you...music hall mmf-7.3, thorens td 240-2, thorens td 1500, technics mk7, Avid ingenium, Music Hall mmf-7, lenco l90 vintage, denon dp37, thorens td 203, pro ject the classic, pro ject the classic sb...and so on...not one of them did I listen to before purchase...every one of them was/is a great sounding table. 

@ricmci. what the h are you talking about? Please read the OP.  He didn’t ask to take the turntable home “for the weekend”.  The dealer told him he didn’t want him (OP) to come into his store to demo a product on his floor until he was closer to making a decision, not worth his (the dealer’s) time.  This is retail-nazi behavior!  Good lord, can’t we all agree on the basic facts, instead of making sh_t up?