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Dealer Integrity

Discussion in 'audio' started by graystoke4, Feb 14, 2020 at 6:17 PM.

  1. joe9407

    joe9407 actress/activist

    Steve, maybe I've got this wrong, but it sounds like this dealer was trying to tell you that a new model was coming so that you could factor that information into your decision. Sounds pretty honest to me, since the dealer probably would have violated their agreement with the manufacturer by spilling the beans about the new model.
  2. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    For me, both the Linn Kan and B&W DM2 sounded way better in their first version than the later ones so I wouldn’t worry that much about new releases.
  3. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    IMF and Tangent TM1 are always on my wish list.............:eek:
  4. Strictly Stereo

    Strictly Stereo Trade: Strictly Stereo

    I think that might have been me.

    @SteveH I told you as much as I could without betraying a confidence. The product I didn’t tell you about was the as yet unnamed Kii BXT. I did however make it clear that this new product was not a replacement for the Kii Three or the smaller, cheaper Kii model that you were hoping for. I am sorry if this caused offence, but I have to tell you that I would act exactly the same way if faced with a similar decision in future. It was the decent thing to do. I would also point out that this is very different from the OP’s dilemma.
    Paul Burke, YNWOAN, Spike and 5 others like this.
  5. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    There was a MkII version of the later type MF T1 tuner. It sold for more money and was described by the press as redesigned, and hugely improved subjectively.
    It was actually a bought in board from someone like Mitsui or Toko IIRC and was also used in a well reviewed Rotel tuner which sold for about half the price of the MF. (which Rotel? pfm treasure hunt! Clue. All the buttons etc are in exactly the same place... and the display is identical...) It is actually a very good tuner and was a steal at the Rotel price.
    MF however failed to add support beneath the mains transformer which was soldered directly to the SRBP (Paxolin) type PCB and the shock and vibration of transit meant many arrived at dealers dead, as the PCB had cracked and broken tracks... several failed on customers the first time eg someone plonked a cuppa on top of it and it was the last mechanical shock it needed...
    So.... they got the production staff to remove the transformers and fit them in a little plastic box with suitable grommets etc and it became the new, "vastly uprated" and more expensive MkII,, a "two boxer" now so obviously transformed! Nothing was changed apart from moving the transformer.
    DavidS, YNWOAN, Stuart Frazer and 3 others like this.
  6. cjarchez

    cjarchez pfm Member

    Yes some do, maybe not exactly on the year but close enough e.g. Technics & Marantz on certain parts of the range.

    It allows for price changes, component changes ( of significance ) or even cost cutting measures on the out going model with just a small change to the model number. Possibly refreshed marketing opportunities as well, especially if claiming something has been improved.
    Granted I can't think of a speaker manufacturer that is quite that prolific, although the entry levels of B&W etc. do come to mind.
  7. nobeone

    nobeone pfm Member

    I have worked on the development of numerous products (not hifi related but electronics). I'm sure occasionally the project has been well managed, resourced, planned and delivered to schedule, but often that isn't the case with SMEs, most hifi manufacturers are SMEs. They too will be randomly late with developments. I'm sure I don't need to suggest names for development projects that run late on this forum of all forums. So what does a dealer do if he understands the company intends to deliver a new product in 6 months time, but he can't be sure since until he has it in his hands, has heard it, can order it, it is just vapour-ware?

    I think it is perfectly reasonable to sell mk I as the best thing since sliced bread right up until he has seen, heard, and can order mk II, but a dealer looking to continue a long term relationship will be honest and make you aware of the potential for mk II to arrive on time in 6 months.

    Here is the thing, do you have that relationship with your dealer? How often to you visit, chat, buy from them? I'm sure if you are a regular customer where trust on both sides has been built they will tell you - or they are sharks and a better dealer deserves your custom. If this is a one off purchase then perhaps they won't be quite so forthcoming. Though under the circumstances if you were to visit again in 6 months and want mk II I might expect them to see you as a decent prospect and give you a good price for a trade in for the "upgrade". I can see it both ways. With online pricing to compete with yet a physical shop to run, stock to manage, and a reducing market, large players like Linn ditching many respected dealers, it isn't an easy time to sell hifi I suggest, and I can't see it getting easier until a new generation gives a monkeys about sound quality. Equally unless a dealer does tell you about the mk II, well why would you give them custom over an online purchase? It is a relationship that needs honesty and trust from both sides to survive.
  8. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I don't understand how you can even have this conversation? Hi-Fi dealers are just human beings, they're all different. Some are decent, some are pond life.

    Do they have a moral obligation to tell you a new model is out in six months? I don't know that they do. You're buying today, not in six months, and the new arrival is an unknown quantity. How can he recommend or even offer an opinion on it? Almost irrespective of what product you are buying, a new version will be out soon. Except Dualit toasters maybe! Are you going to wait forever? Should shops keep you informed of every manufacturer whim in the ether?
    YNWOAN likes this.
  9. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    This exactly explains why I never bought any MF kit, they really did release a lot of upgraded models. Very odd tactics which caused long term harm to the brand
  10. Jamie

    Jamie pfm Member

    Sell you anything as long as you took their finance.
  11. monya

    monya pfm Member

    It happened to me twice with the same manufacturer but different dealers. Bought an ARC ref 5 preamp and 9 months later out came the SE version with bigger this and better that. Wanted 2K to have it upgraded - no thanks.
    More recently bought an ARC cd9 and a year later that too was ‘SE’d but with only cosmetic changes and a 2K increase in retail price.
    I’m fairly sure the 2nd dealer had no idea of an upgrade in the pipeline. Distributor is another matter though.
    Best plan is to seek out brands that don’t upgrade models frequently for commercial reasons - I had a Nagra CD player for 11 years and the model was still available when I sold it.
  12. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    If owning the latest kit is a priority, then the simple thing the OP could do is ask the dealer if and when the replacement model is due out. An honest dealer will tell, but I do not expect them to tell you if you don't ask. After all, they do want to sell stock, not pander to insecure customers.
    Thorn, Emlin, ToTo Man and 1 other person like this.
  13. tuga

    tuga European

    The best plan is never to buy anything and live in expectation.

    When I hung out at the DPReview forum about a decade ago many people would start threads about whether they should wait for the next iteration of bla-bla-bla.
    These people sufered from painful chronical anguish. And they wasted their lives.
  14. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr pfm Member

    I agree with this.

    The OP's proposition is predicated on the dealer knowing of the upcoming Mk2, and when it would arrive. Unless the dealer has admitted it, I think that's a rather rash assumption as (as has been said already) there's a good chance he doesn't know, 6 months in advance.

    And, as has also been said, it's not a given that the Mk2 will improve on the Mk1 or, even if it does, that the improvements will be meaningful to the buyer. And the Mk2 is almost certainly going to arrive with a bit of a hike in price.

    So there's a lot of variability in there which could, and probably would, have a bearing on whether the dealer was behaving badly, well, or just following normal business practice. If the dealer did know, he'd likely not know what the Mk2 was like, it might be cosmetically different, it might be bigger or smaller, it might have a different bass response that wouldn't suit the purchaser's room. Who can honestly say, before they've seen and heard the finished product.

    So the dealer could, perhaps, say something like: "I believe there's a Mk2 version due in 6 months. I don't know whether it'll be better, worse, bigger, smaller, but I'm pretty sure it'll be dearer. I've honestly no idea whether you'd prefer it, or hate it. It might also not arrive in 6 months, it could be longer."

    All he's done, then, is put so much uncertainty in the customer's mind, it's very unlikely he'll make the sale. And if the customer is in the market now, surely the customer should expect to buy what is on the market now?
    Jason P, YNWOAN and Mr Pig like this.
  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That just reinforces my pre-existing ‘35% Krell/65% Amstrad’ view of MF!
    Hove 100 and YNWOAN like this.
  16. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    If you look at the car industry, where new models and facelifts are public knowledge for years beforehand, dealers have a notoriously hard time maintaining sales throughout the year. You may remember the change to bi annual registrations to try and flatten the curve. Car dealers have no choice but to talk about upcoming models.

    But most consumer products are not like that and surely it very much depends on the product in question and a lot of other variables. Look how long Rega took to start shipping the P10. It was a rumour for years!
  17. deebster

    deebster Half Man Half Biscuit

    Not that I buy new kit much but I prefer manufacturers who have the confidence in their products to not keep bringing out new versions willy nilly.

    Interesting comments on the reasons for those mkII and subsequent versions too - hadn't really given that much thought before.
  18. h.g.

    h.g. pfm Member

    A seller and buyer have directly conflicting interests. To expect a seller to act in the best interests of a buyer at the expense of their own is foolish. To view a failure to do this as a matter of integrity is doubly foolish. Whether as employee or owner the seller's job is to maximise profits for the shop and having old stock on hand when a new model comes out is likely to hurt profit. If you are an informed buyer then this is useful information when negotiating the price. If you are an uninformed buyer then expect to pay top price and get caught out by the arrival of new models.

    If you were interacting with an employee of the shop and that employee lost a sale due to acting in the best interests of the buyer and not their employer then indeed there is a question of integrity: the employee is not acting in the best interests of the employer who is paying them a wage to act in their best interest. If you were interacting with the owner of the shop then this doesn't apply.

    Lying to a buyer in order to make a sale would be crossing the line for most except in circumstances where it is accepted by both parties that the seller will be lying. This can happen sometimes when haggling and transparently false reasons are put forward to move the price.

    Pretending to be acting in the best interest of the buyer would be crossing the line for me but some buyers expect this from the seller in which case it arguably isn't crossing the line.

    Audiophile foo is another one where integrity is tricky. Some people genuinely believe in a range of audiophile foo and so is it crossing the line for a seller to go along with the relevant beliefs in order to make a sale? If they were to pipe up like an enthusiastic audiophile objectivist the sale is very likely to be lost and they would be failing in their job. My view would be probably no if the belief is genuinely held but probably yes if the belief is uncertainly held. I would judge the latter to be lying to make a sale.

    Integrity is an interesting topic given how differently people can look at the simple process of exchanging money for goods.
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  19. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    Yeah, there can be so many reasons. For example, most of the bits in an amplifier are bought in. So if the company making the switches stops making them the amp manufacturer may have to redesign the whole thing. How many new CD players were the result of Philips or Sony discontinuing the transport?

    Or the product might be too expensive to make. I heard that Linn binned the Isobarik at least partly for that reason.
  20. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I disagree with this. I think it's possible to be straight and honest with people and still make profit. I buy and sell turntables, usually damaged or faulty ones which I fix, and I tell people the truth. Sometimes people do walk away when you tell them you bought the until faulty and fixed it to sell on but the most common reaction is 'I appreciate your honesty'. If you make a bit of money on the sale and the buyer saves money, what's wrong with that?. Last turntable I sold I made about £90 on it and the buyer saved £140 on list. Both happy.

    When I buy a car I expect to get money off but I'm not unreasonable about it. If the car is already a good price I don't try and screw the dealer too far, I recognise they have to make a profit and want them to give me good service and look forward to selling me another car!

    If you resent the fact that a dealer makes profit from you then I can see how you might not be happy with this idea but if not then it's perfectly possible to deal with people honestly.

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