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#294142 - 02/26/10 11:52 PM IOnline shopping: who are you really buy from
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Denver Post

Longmont Times-Call

Daily Camera

The actual indictment is linked in the longmont link above.

I’ve followed the issues with AV123 for some time out of a sense of Schadenfreude for the former AV123 fanboys commiserating with each other on various forums. So I figured I’d post this for anyone who’s interested and doesn’t get around much.

Also, should Axiom feel this post/thread or any part of it is inappropriate in any way I would not construe deletions of parts or it’s removal as inappropriate censorship of any kind.

Mainly I wanted to use this development to punctuate something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and use it as an opportunity to talk about things people, especially those new to online audio purchases, might learn from the warning signs that I saw in AV123 over 3 years ago causing them to not even make my long list and why Axiom despite it’s detractors got my business.

Use your intuition. If it sounds to good to be true it just might be. This should be a big red flag saying you should do more in depth checking.

Be suspicious of over-the-top testimonials from owners. If something really is a game changer everyone would be reviewing it, the other manufacturers would all be scrambling to make their own version and none would be in stock because of all the demand. Hell just ignore most posts in internet forums until you’ve read enough of someone’s posts to get a feel if they are blowing smoke up you’re a$$. BTW a big row of green “Chiclets” doesn’t mean their opinion is worth a crap nor does their post count. If you really want to validate what an internet forum denizen is saying use the “find other post by” feature to check up on other things they’ve said. OTOH, make positive note of forums where people promote a competitors products like when I first posted an interest here.

Be suspicious of testimonials/reviews that are 100% positive. Nothing is perfect, and to meet certain price points trade-offs are needed. While some of these trade-offs might be indistinguishable for most users a good professional reviewer should find them.

Be suspicious of owners who spend huge amounts of time in internet forums promoting their products.

Just because your friend/relative swears buy the company doesn’t mean they really know a damm thing about it.

Look for third party measurements.

Look for multiple independent reviews of the same product/company.

Lookup the companies owners. Doesn’t hurt to know what the owners track record is.

In some cases traditional recourses like the BBB might help. Alternatively some counties have court records online so you can check to see if the company or it’s owners have been sued by any customers or criminal charges have been filed against them.

Established companies are safer than new ones. Doesn’t mean not to consider a new startup just that w/o a track record who knows if they’ll be in business long enough to service the warranty on the first item the sold.

Companies with a capital investment in research/production facilities are likely a safer investment than those who contract out everything acting more like a buyers club.

Be suspicious of high MSRPs with routine sales of 30% or more off on continuing products. Steep discounts on new items to get them out and talked about or to clear out old models to make room for new ones can make sense. However, routine big discounts on continuing stock says two things. The MSRP is over inflated and the company doesn’t respect it’s customers.

In some cases traditional recourses like the BBB might help. Alternatively some counties have court records online so you can check to see if the company or it’s owners have been sued by any customers or criminal charges have been filed against them.

This certainly is not an exhaustive list so please add things you have learned about shopping on for audio or any other products online.



Edited by grunt (02/27/10 12:15 AM)
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#294143 - 02/27/10 12:13 AM Re: IOnline shopping: who are you really buy from [Re: grunt]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6895
Loc: It's all about the location.
Lot's of good advice there, Dean.
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#294144 - 02/27/10 12:36 AM Re: IOnline shopping: who are you really buy from [Re: Adrian]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4116
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Excellent advice Grunt. The warning signs with this company has been there for years.
This is going to be a stain on this industry and is unfortunate for reputable companies like Axiom and others.
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#294146 - 02/27/10 12:56 AM Re: IOnline shopping: who are you really buy from [Re: BlueJays1]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
I agree, and especially if this sort of thing gets out into the wild and not just forums haunted by us nut-jobs. I admit I was very leery shopping for $1,000s in speakers online having never even made an online purchase before. OTOH I have a pretty good BS detector and relied on it considerably. Unfortunately many people are to trusting so I was hoping to make something positive of this by collecting advice on smart online audio shopping in one place. And not just the “what speaker should I buy stuff.”

The other thing that got me thinking about this is another hyper popular online company that just went through some internal drama. That company has set off my warning flags on several occasions but increasingly more people are popping up asking about it’s products. Like someone at AVS said today that there are so many reputable speaker companies out there with impeccable records why take the risk. Well greed and feeling like you’re getting a “smokin” deal are powerful motivators that seem to inhibit cognition.
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#294148 - 02/27/10 01:14 AM Re: IOnline shopping: who are you really buy from [Re: grunt]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11709
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I hadn't heard the news, so thanks for the links. I had considered AV123 for a short time when I first started researching an audio upgrade, but for whatever reason they lost out to Axiom. Even after I started building my system around Axiom's speakers, I still thought I might try one of their products at some point. Then I kept hearing about issues, so they kind of fell off my radar. I'm sorry to hear what has transpired.

Nice compilation of advice, Dean. I can't think of anything off-hand to contribute, but I'll say that I'm definitely guilty of not always researching enough. At least now I have this forum to come to whenever I want to parade my ignorance around in the form of a question. This place really is my most valuable resource as far as potential purchases.

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#294149 - 02/27/10 01:17 AM Re: IOnline shopping: who are you really buy from [Re: grunt]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7786
Loc: Canada
Thanks for the link Dean. I think I know at least one of the people behind this. There were some VERY POed people when they found out their money did not go where it was supposed to.

Frankly, I'm surprised that AV123 has not imploded completely. Like you, my BS meter went into overtime when this company was quite popular.
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Fred

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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#294150 - 02/27/10 01:36 AM Re: IOnline shopping: who are you really buy from [Re: fredk]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
When I was speaker shopping I quickly made a decision not to ask anyone “what speakers should I buy” since in any forum the answer was always the same from the same people. My first post concerning speakers was more a reality check and to test the water. I had already made up my mind on an Epic 80 system but was torn between the EP500 and EP600. At this point it was Axiom and the forums sale to lose. But both passed the test with flying colours. Forum member openly suggested other brands of subwoofers and that I probably didn’t need rear speakers. Axiom talked me down from the EP600 to the EP500 and also suggested I wouldn’t need rear speakers.

Both the responses confirmed what I already suspected, that Axiom was a reputable company. Both by allowing forum member to openly suggest competitors products and also talking me out of buying something.

Fred, I’m also surprised they are still on there feet.
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#294151 - 02/27/10 01:46 AM Re: IOnline shopping: who are you really buy from [Re: grunt]
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2185
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Interesting news.

I should also speak up for these forums. This board has to one of the most democratic vendor forums out there. Many Axiom fans and owners are more than happy to recommend non-Axiom brands w/ real life experience. Very hard to find that for ANY kind of product forum out there.

Heck, I thank guys like Sushi and Craigsub who pointed me here years ago. Definitely a breath of fresh air from places like AVS. I also like to see the variety of posts in the Water Cooler section where many of us post questions about off topics like TV and washing machines, etc. Where else can you find that kind of trust in an online community? I say kudos to this board for that.

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#294154 - 02/27/10 02:29 AM Re: IOnline shopping: who are you really buy from [Re: oldskoolboarder]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7786
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
When I was speaker shopping I quickly made a decision not to ask anyone “what speakers should I buy” since in any forum the answer was always the same from the same people.

You're not my long lost twin brother are you? I spent at least 3 weeks searching online and reading before I settled on a forum to post on. I never asked what "speaker should I buy?" for pretty much the same reasons.

I also like to read multiple posts by someone before considering their advice.

 Quote:
This board has to one of the most democratic vendor forums out there.

It really is. Thats why I continue to hang out here. That and Medic8r's lunch reports.
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#294156 - 02/27/10 02:32 AM Re: IOnline shopping: who are you really buy from [Re: fredk]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
If I am you’re twin I’m the “slow” one. I spend at least 3 months searching before I settled on a brand/forum to try.

I’m just here for the pictures Cam posts. ;\)
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