What do you wear to demo audio equipment?

Michael P.  Healey's picture
We know from reading the press reports that folks who shop on the Internet are wearing their bathrobes
What do you wear to demo audio equipment?
I try to look like I have a lot of money.
11% (22 votes)
I try to look like I don't have any money.
12% (25 votes)
Don't think about it.
77% (158 votes)
Total votes: 205
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Comments
Craig Ellsworth's picture

I don't have a lot of money but if a prospective purchase warrants it, it can be and is found. So far, over $20k has been found. In almost every audio shop that I have stepped into, I feel as though I am being sized up. Isn't that why we have $8 T-shirts with horsies on them—to make people believe that we have more money than we really do have? If people did not judge others by the clothes that we wear, companies such as Hilfiger would cease to exist. Their stock just dropped; maybe somebody's catching on.

Tony Esporma's picture

I live in Southern California. On my days off, I look like I'm about to create another BBQ masterpiece. Why would I dress up to go shopping? I figure that my demeanor and platinum card will do the talking.

Ross Lanphier's picture

The clothes make the man and make the customer. Any sales guy worth his salt will size you up by clothing, jewekry, speech, and demeanor. I know, I've done it when I was in retail. Try going into New York's Sound by Singer without a suit. They'll ask you for your green card and then offer you a job in the stock room.

Dick Gentry's picture

Saturday I wore a T-shirt from Las Manitas, the best Mexican restaurant in Texas, jeans, and New Balance walking shoes w/lots of miles on them. I bought a Linn Classic and Ruark Epilogue set for my office and a Linn Ikemi for the house. My dealer has known me for years. That's what it is REALLY about when you go to a store. If they don't know you, you are probably not ready to buy. Sometimes I go there in Canali suits. It doesn't matter.

Charles Purvis Kelly, Jr.'s picture

I don't even think about what I would be wearing when I go to demo audio gear. I mean, be yourself dammit. My spends as well as Bill Gates' does (maybe I don't have NEARLY as much of it, but the little bit I do have spends just as well as his does). Gosh, I hope my dealer isn't THAT stuck up.

Robin Banks's picture

I could care less about how I am dressed when I go to audition audio gear. How I look is not the issue. Dealers should be more concerned with other things rather than appearance. If anything, I should worry if THEY are not dressed for the part. The mere thought of a dealer helping a person based solely on appearance is disheartening. Looks alone cannot tell you how much a person is willing to spend. Next!

Karlotta's picture

Just usually dress casually. Jeans and a sweatshirt. Shorts and a t-shirt. You can't judge a component by it's faceplate... oh wait, if you don't believe in blind testing I guess you can. ;-)

CaryGuy's picture

I don't really think about it, but most of the time I look like I don't have any money. Wait, I don't have much money. But I think it is better to see if the staff will treat me the same as they do for someone who is dressed a little better. If the staff is too snobby, me and my money will find another place to shop.

Anonymous's picture

You have gotta be kidding!

Tom Dedrick's picture

Have only a few stores in my small town to choose from. Have purchased items from them before and they already know me. Whenever I have time while visiting a city, I always try to stop by the better shops and window-shop. I tell them upfront upon my arrival that I am not local and just browsing. Rarely get much attention, or am treated rudely either. Usually have to ask for a demo, but has NEVER been a problem. We both know I will support my local dealers whenever possible, but enjoy seeing equipment not readily available locally. Will not hesitate to purchase over the Web, but ONLY when a local dealer is not available.

John L.'s picture

T-shirt, shorts, or jeans. Maybe I'll remember to tuck in my shirt as the salesperson approaches.

Norm Strong's picture

I rarely demo audio equipment. If I do, I make an appointment, so it doesn't make any difference what I wear.

david a young's picture

I try to dress well whenever i go out. so i never really think about it. I have been shopping for audio equipment since september 1967

Oblomov's picture

Deodorant. And comfortable clothes. I try to minimize any potential distractions from the listening experience. However, I don't wear ripped blue jeans and a T-shirt (save that for the home demo!). Business casual.

Herv's picture

I really think that if the vendor looks at what you wear, it's better to immediately change for another shop. And if the American selling mentality is like that, simply change for another country (just half kidding)! Just wear the same things you usually do in your life. Are you a building painter? So why couldn't you wear your job pants and shirt? Are you a banker? You can keep your tie! Is it the week-end and you're relaxed? Then go with your 501s! Maybe I'm false, but here in Switzerland—and especially in Geneva—people are used to not judge other people only at first glance. At least it's my case, and all the high-end shops here (it's also true that they are few) will always welcome you. deletraz@bluewin.ch

Paul Van Dyck (Istanbul, Turkey)'s picture

I really like this question! Never thought about this; maybe we should wear a T-shirt with green spots on it to enhance the audiophile experience. For sure, the shopkeepers will be impressed!

Bill's picture

Are you kidding? I wear what I usually wear on weekends and don't give it a second thought.

DJW's picture

It's unfortunate that it matters but I don't think about it. Fortunately for me, the stores I shop in know me and appreciate my business.

Jose Garcia's picture

Just wear casual , jeans and a shirt. Ask a lot of questions, play with the equipment( if permited)and show some real interest in the gear I auditioned. Some good dealers don't care if you are nude, others need to see an Armani suit with lots of jewels and a Mercedez. At last the most knowlagable, helpful and best presentation one, is going to make the selling(in my case).

Mike M's picture

I wear what I wear on a daily basis which is jeans and shirt.

Mannie Smith's picture

As for any other occasion, one should dress in a way that inspires confidence. Being slovenly will keep you from being alert and sharp.

Al Marcy's picture

I try not to get arrested.

rommel manlimos's picture

because then the shop's customer service orientation will be put to test. in the philippines, there is a famous story involving a well-heeled audiophile who came into a high-end shop dressed shabbily, as expected dismissed as a non-serious buyer, got irritated by the lousy treatment then went to a neighboring competitor and shopped for over P1M worth of equipment, and carting all his haul back to his van but not without passing by the first judgemental dealer..

Michael I.'s picture

Well, I'm guessing I should change what I wear when I go shopping for hi-fi equipment—at least if I want someone to help me. I'm still amazed at the fact that the last two times that I've entered a popular, local hi-fi shop in my area—wearing my usual T-shirt, shorts, and ball cap—I've ended up being completely ignored by all five (yes, all FIVE!!!) of the salespeople in the store. And then we wonder why high-end audio has trouble appealing to the general public . . .

Eric Jansen's picture

I am a casual person, I wear jeans and a T shirt 90% of the time, including the time spent shopping for audio. I have been treated poorly at some stores and have not purchased anything from them, and then I have been to stores where they don't really care what I look like and spend the time to guide me through my purchase. You can bet that is the store I won't mind whipping out my credit card!!

Toan Pham's picture

No matter how I look, I still look too young, so a lot of times I don't get helped. Who's gonna help that kid who looks like he doesn't even know what an amp is? Maybe an MP3 player (yuk). Maybe he's lost.

JP's picture

In the L.A. area good service is rare, and does not appear to be correlated with quality of clothing. Whether you audition in Armani or demo in denim, I don't think it makes a difference.

Robert Davies's picture

Hi-fi salespeople are partial to a certain type of snobbery, and one can forget—instantly—about receiving any serious assistance unless one looks suitably dressed. By "suitably" I mean clean and well-groomed. Not a suit and tie, for instance, but something that ignites the "BE NICE" buzzer in a salesperson's brain.

Emmett's picture

No collars to interfere with first-order shoulder reflections. Go naked. This is a hobby; it should be fun, not stressful!

Jim Parker's picture

I don't really care how I'm dressed, but I can definitely tell from experience that high-end shops treat you according to how much money they think you have and are willing to spend.

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