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#144505 - 07/31/06 11:58 PM Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer?
dennisdxl32 Offline
buff

Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 46
Loc: Dallas, TX
For your non-Axiom gear, do forum members tend to buy from authorized dealers or unauthorized ones? The price savings is substantial, though is it worth foregoing the manufacturer's warranty? For example, the Denon 4306 sells for $1999 at all the authorized Denon dealers, but some of the price engines show other e-tailers selling it for around $1400-$1500. That's quite a chunk of change, and almost worth taking a risk ... Any thoughts?

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#144506 - 08/01/06 01:11 AM Re: Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer? [Re: dennisdxl32]
HomeDad Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 3301
Loc: Central,California
I bought my 3805 here Dakmart Lower price and authorized.
_________________________
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

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#144507 - 08/01/06 02:12 AM Re: Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer? [Re: dennisdxl32]
DrunkenWolf Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/25/06
Posts: 133
Loc: Issaquah, WA
Buying expensive electronics without at least a 1 year warranty is foolish-especially if you are going with an 'unauthorized' dealer selling the device at a low price. How could an 'unauthorized' dealer get a better bargain than the dealer that should have a better relationship with the manufacturer.

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#144508 - 08/01/06 07:51 AM Re: Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer? [Re: dennisdxl32]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10696
Loc: Central NH
I've found it makes sense to check out ResellerRatings with any internet dealer at which I'm looking to make a purchase. You'll likely find, as a general rule, that authorized dealers as a group are going to be rated far above the unauthorized ones, since the "worst of the worst" and the outright scam dealers are virtually guaranteed to be unauthorized.

I don't have money coming out my ears, but spend approximately $20,000 a year on new electronics/imaging/computer stuff and have found it's worth spending a little more to work with a reputable dealer.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#144509 - 08/01/06 10:34 AM Re: Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
dennisdxl32 Offline
buff

Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 46
Loc: Dallas, TX
Thanks for everyone's input so far. I certainly agree with going with a reputable dealer. I'm just trying to figure out if it's necessary to go with an authorized dealer. For example, the home technology company that's installing my low-voltage prewiring quoted me a price (in this case, it was MSRP) for a Denon receiver, even though they're not an official authorized dealer according to Denon's website. The company is contracted by my home builder for dozens of other houses, so I don't believe the company is a shady fly-by-night gig, and they're authorized for certain other brands (like LG). Obviously, I wouldn't go with them because I could (a) get it for the same price from an authorized dealer, or (b) pay less if I was willing to risk an authorized one. I just wanted to make the point that there are reputable unauthorized dealers. I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the extra cost to go with an authorized dealer.

I guess that, indirectly, I'm looking for opinions about the reliability of higher-end audio equipment and trying to gauge the likelihood that I'll need to use that warranty. As a point of comparison, I'm fairly comfortable with computer components and have no problem buying an OEM CPU (one that comes without a fan or manufacturer's warranty), relying on the reseller's return policy and warranty instead. I know that if the CPU is a lemon, I'd find out fairly quickly and how to do so. Same thing for video cards, RAM, etc. However, I don't have the same sense about audio equipment b/c I'm new to the field.

Any other thoughts or opinions?

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#144510 - 08/01/06 11:03 AM Re: Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer? [Re: dennisdxl32]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5256
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
My experience with receivers is that they are the most likely to fail of all the audio components, so they are the one where I would care most about a good warranty... in fact they are the only component where I often buy an extended warranty.

Big question, I guess, is "when you talk about reputable, does that mean they will replace a failed unit at their own expense even if you don't have a factory warranty ?". I don't think many places are that reputable ;(

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#144511 - 08/01/06 11:42 AM Re: Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer? [Re: dennisdxl32]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6219
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Dennis, it's a difficult question to answer. 4+ years ago, I bought what was then the top of the line Onkyo receiver from an unauthorized dealer. I don't have much money so every dime is important. I was aware of the claim that Onkyo would not honor the warranty if something went wrong but chose to take the gamble. The doggone thing has performed flawlessly.

I've learned a lot more about electronics since then. Like Michael (Homedad) I've purchased refurbished receivers and DVD players, but in my case, from eCOST.com, which, like Dakmart, is also an authorized dealer. I've heard horror stories about service from both eCOST and Dakmart, but my experiences with eCOST (3 of them) have all been positive.

Refurbs from eCOST are a little less expensive because they only have a 90 day warranty. Dakmart refurbs cost a little more because they provide a 1 year warranty. Since any problems the unit may have had have been addressed and corrected, many of us feel that a refurbished product is no more likely to fail than a new one. If a unit is going to fail, it will probably do so within the first 90 days and, absent such failure, those of us who've gone this route have been completely satisfied with our refurbished purchase.

You bring up a good point about the reliability of equipment. While I don't disagree with John (Bridgman) about receivers being the most likely electronic to have a problem, in general, I think the percentage of them that fail, is relatively small. Question is, will the one you purchase be in that small percentage?

Today, I'd sooner go with a refurbished unit from an authorized dealer, than go with a new unit from an unauthorized dealer, but let's face it, either route is a gamble. You just have to decide if, to you, the gamble is worth it, and then you have to be willing to live with your decision.
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#144512 - 08/01/06 03:42 PM Re: Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer? [Re: Ajax]
n8wrl Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Clover, SC
This is a very interesting discussion. My experience with electronics has been DOA or failure-within-initial-90-days, but I worry more about moving, mechanical parts than electronics. I've had more CD players or tape decks fail than receivers. It may be the sample size though - in 20 years I've only owned 3 receivers and all (including my newish Pioneer Elite) still work great.

With that in mind, I bought my current TV, CD, and DVD players from local, authorized dealers, and I bought my receiver from a reputable-but-unauthorized discount merchant. Knock on wood!

-Brian n8wrl
_________________________
2xM60ti, 2xM3ti, 2xQS4, VP100, EP350, AudioBytes, EP0

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#144513 - 08/01/06 09:21 PM Re: Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer? [Re: n8wrl]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5256
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
My sample space isn't big enough to be definitive either. I have never had a failure with electromechanical devices (players etc..) but have had several problems with receivers. In nearly every case the manufacturing had just been moved to China, so this may be a temporary learning-curve thing, not sure.

Like they teach in first year psych (which for engineers is mostly statistics, ie almost no girls), there may be other things skewing my results, like the belief that I can tinker with something mechanical without voiding the warranty but that it's unlikely I can desolder and replace an electronic component without getting busted

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#144514 - 08/04/06 07:27 AM Re: Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer? [Re: dennisdxl32]
ratpack Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 1155
Loc: Alabama
You raise an interesting issue that there ought to be some "regulation" in the industry. If you purchase a unit that is really "NEW," without modification and a valid serial number, then it should have the manufacturer's warranty. PERIOD!!!!!

In my strong opinon, this situation is a racket and the manufacturers and etailers are taking advantage of the public.

My recommendation, if you live in the States, is to contact your congressman and senators and complain about the situation. Who knows, perhaps the threat of legislation, will help clean up some of these problems.
_________________________
The Rat. M80s, VP-150, QS8s, SVS PC 20-39+, OPPO, Onkyo 703s, Harmony 880 Sony 60" SXRD HDTV

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#144515 - 08/04/06 02:04 PM Re: Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer? [Re: ratpack]
DrunkenWolf Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/25/06
Posts: 133
Loc: Issaquah, WA
It isn't a racket-the manufacturer 'authorizes' dealers that have been trained to understand their product, how it should be configured and installed, and what applications it is good for. It also allows the manufacturer to ensure that a certain quality of person/store is representing their product. For a brand like Rotel they don't want a minimum wage kid at Circuit City selling their gear. The kid may not appreciate the difference between the $300 Sony and the $1300 Rotel with similar bullet points next to the price tag. Furthermore, the manufacturer has no way of verifying that the unit wasn' used as a demo unit or a resold DOA unit.

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#144516 - 08/04/06 10:43 PM Re: Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer? [Re: ratpack]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10309
Bernard, it could involve a legal hassle, but the lack of an applicable written warranty doesn't absolve a manufacturer from being responsible for the condition of its products. There are implied(unwritten)warranties of merchantability that require products to work for their designed purpose for a reasonable period of time.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#144517 - 08/05/06 05:24 PM Re: Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer? [Re: DrunkenWolf]
ratpack Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 1155
Loc: Alabama
Drunken: it is a racket!!!! How do you think that the "unauthorized" etailer get the gear in the first place? They get it directly from the manufacturers!!! How do I know, I called several and asked them where they get their units.

What makes you think that the salesmen at speciality stores are any smarter than the salesmen at CC or BB? Really don't think that is a fundamental issue!

John: I agree, but who really has the time and money to file law suits? Of course, I would like to see some (many?) do it and change this crap!!
_________________________
The Rat. M80s, VP-150, QS8s, SVS PC 20-39+, OPPO, Onkyo 703s, Harmony 880 Sony 60" SXRD HDTV

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#144518 - 08/05/06 08:27 PM Re: Buy from authorized or unauthorized dealer? [Re: ratpack]
DrunkenWolf Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/25/06
Posts: 133
Loc: Issaquah, WA
If I wanted to create a respected speaker brand one of the first things I would make sure I did was be very selective about where my product was sold. To discourage people that didn't meet my standards limiting the warranty would be a great way to make it really hard for the people I didn't want selling my product to be competitive. Protecting a brand name can be a very delicate business. And while I know that there are idiots in every store, if you go to the custom shops I think the odds are higher that you'll find someone at least familiar with the terminology. Those shops live and die by referrals, and if they don't deliver something that their customers are happy with they'll go out of business. That's why you'll never see a kid working at a place like that in the same way that you'll never see Paradigm for sale at Circuit City.

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