Are Hi-Fi shops obsolete?

Are Hi-Fi shops obsolete?
Completely obsolete
13% (33 votes)
Becoming obsolete
21% (54 votes)
There will always be a place for them
67% (176 votes)
Total votes: 263

In the responses to last week's poll, one reader stated: "It is easier to buy and sell through the Internet. Hi-Fi shops are obsolete."<P>Is this true, are Hi-Fi shops on the way out?

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COMMENTS
Kenneth from Bethesda's picture

I don't want to buy expensive, fragile, used equipment from a stranger over the Internet (its actual condition unknown until it's irreversibly mine), then have UPS bounce it across the country. However, my recent visits to the local hi-fi shop have been disillusioning. I was told 1) they wouldn't take a trade on my stuff (MFA, Audio Physic), I'd have to sell it on the Internet (leading me to ask myself, if I have to sell it on the Internet, why shouldn't I also buy it directly from the manufacturer, new, on the Internet?), and 2) I was distainfully told that they didn't "mess with" cable loans anymore (similar to above, leading me to ask myself why I should give this guy my $1000?). Bottom line is I'm not buying anything from anybody.

Charlie be Wise's picture

There is no substitute for listening on the spot, and talking with a genuinely friendly and knowledgeable dealer or employee.

Iqbal Mustafa's picture

Automation will never take over anything completely. In HI-FI the human interface is indispensible for most buyers.

A.  Bailis's picture

A great audio dealer can help even the experienced hobbyist through a marketplace increasingly populated by less than great stuff masquerading as the next real deal. I will always seek those people out.

Frederic's picture

HI FI Shops needs to change their mind of doing business. But they will still be necessary to HIFI development.

Steven's picture

Long live Quality Audio and Video Kiwi HIFI nut down under in New Zealand

BOB's picture

IF YOU DON'T LISTEN TO THE SOUND OF THE EQUIPMENT, DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT ARE YOU BUYING OVER THE INTERNET?

Brice Lang's picture

You can't audition audio equipment online. That's essential. If a stereo shop wants to compete, it's best to have both a physical store as well as one online.

fred's picture

nothing like going in seeing and hearing for yourself

Anonymous's picture

I still do not like to buy hi-fi without hearing the unit. Internet is keeping prices down, but is harming the consumer because they will lose the advise that you get from a good dealer.

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