What's your experience with snooty HiFi salesmen?

I began my Hifi journey in 1976 at a shop in Birmingham MI called Audio Dimensions. He was a Magnapan and ARC dealer who was kind to a 15 year old kid who bought a set of MG 1s with paper route money. The ARC amps he carried were about $4K back then- a LOT of money in 1976. In the beginning I drove my MG 1s with an old Fisher Studio Standard integrated amp. Since those lovely innocent days I have encountered some real buttholes. They act like they are doing me a favor as they quiz me about what gear I have and if I'm listening to "approved" recordings. Needless to say I don't buy from those guys. Several wives and businesses later I'm back into the hobby with a much vengeance as a 61 year old  can muster given only so many free hours in a day and only so much cash to apply due to my other vices: Classic cars and salt water fishing. 

Have you ever encountered a really good or really bad dealer (or employee) that changed your buying actions?

Darko posted a video on this topic which I found really enjoyable. Many of you have already seen it but for those (like me) who discovered it much later here's the link: 


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I'm also glad to see Natural Sound mentioned.

I started going in there back in the early 90's as a college student. They were always patient with my tire kicking... I took advantage of their trade up policy and assembled a system I still have today.

Recently,I would drive by there wondering if they were doing OK, with all the internet sales and discounted websites.As I haven't been in the market for a long time. I eventually decided to upgrade my B&W speakers.

After a couple demos at a different dealer, for a brand NS didn't carry and one they didn't stock. I scheduled a demo for a pair of Revel speakers at NS, Mark was more hands on than the other salesman, but never pushy or rude. After starting me off with a few tracks he recommend, he let me choose my music and volume level, while he leaned back and nodded his head  along with the music. I ordered the Revels a few days latter!

Aaron at Safe and Sound was also great to deal with. No pressure, but a few hints as to what he liked or thought I would.

He even demoed the speakers with the amp I bought from him a month ago. He just set up the speakers, handed me a tablet and said take as long as you want.

I bought the amp after my second visit as I sometimes feel guilty for wasting their time.

IMO the customer dictates how the salesperson will react. There is always the "know it all guy" that can’t stay silent or the "everything is overpriced" how do you expect a salesperson to react? I talked at length to a Sonus Faber rep. regarding the Maxima Amator after a brief demo I told him the speaker was to polite(soft) for my taste he respected my opinion and suggested the Nova series. Since the Nova 3 was set up I listened and concluded the Nova 3 was superior to the Maxima, he disagreed but we respected each others opinion. If you make an effort to give a positive first impression you will never have an issue.

Sadly, Audio snobbery pushed me to purchase almost entirely on the internet.

I used to work in a record store/audio retailer in the 70s.

Back then it was fun and about the music. Over time it became almost a competition for audio stores/salesmen to show how much more they knew, and how much your gear sucked compared to theirs

When I attend Axpona this weekend my focus will not only be on the gear but watching how others interact with the sales reps./dealers. The last audio show I attended was about 10 years ago and there were some unscrupulous individuals in attendance. In the Vapor Audio room 3 clowns reeking of cannabis were demanding the sale rep. to play Paul Butterfield Blues Band. After 5 plus minutes of poorly recorded harmonica noise the Vapor rep finally hit stop and the three stooges stumbled out the door. At the same show the local Magnepan dealer closed for the last day due to someone breaking a switch on an ARC component. Unfortunately this tells me some people even Audiophiles don't know how to act in a social setting. I just hope most(all?) attendees bring a positive attitude and some social graces so this can be a pleasant event even for our wives.

The shop I mentioned in my comment, with the swindling salesman, was indeed, Sound Advice, in its second incarnation in South Florida. They had re-opened three stores. I went to the Miami Dade store to buy the PrimaLuna integrated amp. Unfortunately, it was right around the time we got a visit from Hurricane Irma so I lost about two or three weeks. However, once settled back to normalcy, I verified with Upscale Audio, the distributors of PrimaLuna, that they had never placed the order for my integrated amp. I wrote about my experience here: