What percentage of your audio equipment purchases in the last 12 months has been at a brick-and-mortar retailer in your area?

This week, we turn to audio equipment. What percentage of your audio equipment purchases in the last 12 months has been at a brick-and-mortar retailer in your area?

What percentage of your audio equipment purchases in the last 12 months has been at a brick-and-mortar retailer in your area?
26% (47 votes)
7% (13 votes)
3% (6 votes)
3% (6 votes)
1% (2 votes)
5% (9 votes)
1% (2 votes)
2% (4 votes)
2% (3 votes)
4% (7 votes)
32% (58 votes)
I didn't buy any audio hardware in the last 12 months
15% (27 votes)
Total votes: 184

Al Earz's picture

I just buy a few cables off the Internet. I prefer to do business with the local reatiler: 1) Service, 2) It keeps the local economy active, 3) I can see and hear what I'm buying.

Terry Aben's picture

Most decent gear is priced far beyond what I can afford. I taught myself to build equipment of similar quality at a small fraction of retail prices.

Michael Chernay's picture

The majority of the dollars I spend on my audio equipment are spent at the brick-and-mortar places. Partly because of the relationship I've developed with this reatailer, I can demo equipment, take it back to him without having to deal with shipping, or anything else. I feel its really important to see how a piece of equipment will perform in your system before really commiting to something that doesn't fit the system very well. The little I do spend on on-line purchases are for small upgrades, like cables, or stands, or other tweaks.

Stefano Lindiri's picture

I've bought it directly from the manufacturer.

Robert's picture

Zero. When the markups are four times or more wholesale, is it any wonder?

Woody Battle's picture

There are no high-end dealers in my local area. The closest dealer is about 80 miles away. He strictly does not treat me as a local customer. One major problem with high-end audio is the lack of local dealers for a large portion of the country. Some major brands do not have a dealer anywhere in my state.

Randy's picture

There was one audio store in the area, but it closed. I did purchase a subwoofer from them once a long time ago.

macksman's picture

I really enjoy going in to talk with Gary and Mark and seeing what they're demoing in their four single-system rooms, so it would be extremely rude and foolish to buy from another vendor. Even in a medium size city like Dallas, I can get what I need at a real store. Last 12 months: Wilson-Benesch Circle turntable, Benz Ref 3 copper cartridge, and various Kimber and Cardas cables, plus minor repair on a few items and lots of records. I like humans. And dogs. Besides, how's an e-vendor going to help you with cartridge installation?

Travis Klersy's picture

Other than a used DH Labs Air Matrix i/c, which isn't carried locally, I didn't buy any hardware. Outside of two interconnects and a power strip, everything I own has been purchased at a brick-and-mortar retailer.

scott higgins's picture

Bought from brick-and-mortar, but not in "my area."

John Chisholm's picture

My area now has to cover 50 miles, as so many dealers have folded in the Thames Valley. One exception: my MP3 player came from Amazon.

Joe Hartmann's picture

I have only purchased one unit of audio equipment online. Although auditioning equipment has become a nightmare for a retired long term devotee. Hearing the equipment of interest is very difficult even for someone living in a major metpolian area like New York City.

acres verde's picture

Typical of virtually all the gear I buy, there is no B&M outlet within a gazillion miles of here, so I bought my Loricraft record cleaning machine from Smart Devices direct and my 10 meter run of Pure Note ICs from Mr. Pure Note himself up in Idaho.

Robert's picture

Neither Mcintosh amp or Sonus Faber speakers are available on the Internet! My retailer would have gotten the business even if they were, due to his excellent service, pricing, and and home audition! Must admit this type of service is becoming rarer in LA.

Mike Parenteau's picture

Things like power cables, I would buy online. However, candidates for electronics or speakers are auditioned in my system before purchase. That necessitates a brick-and-mortar dealer. On teh other hand, seeing that I haven't purchased any audio in the last 12 months, it's kinda moot. I'm at the elbow with my system where any equipment upgrades are going to cost a lot more money than what I've spent so far.

Jen Bumano's picture

A DVD player via mial order, otherwise, I buy used equipment.

Glenn Bennett's picture

Nothing in the last 12 months, but before that I purchased my CD deck, my MiniDisc deck, and an integrated amplifier all new from mail order dealers on the web. I had a dream once that I could buy this stuff locally...but of course, it was just a dream.

Dan Wilson's picture

Bought new Khorns. They're hard to ship.

Miles Ignatius's picture

No matter how strong the rep or specs are on a piece of equipment, it's like a car—I've gotta drive it! Plus, I'm an anachronism; I can't consumate a transaction unless I've got contact with the people I'm buying from and know they've got a connection with what they're selling, aside from economic self aggrandizement.

James Bailey's picture

I always get to try out in store and be treated as a human being.

Kurt's picture

I deal exclusively with Archive Audio (Bob Kirk) in Bexley, OH. Why? Because of Bob's boundless enthusiasm, integrity, honesty, attentiveness, and personalized attention, to name but a few of his many qualities. If I have any problems with my equipment, Bob will come to my home to thoroughly check everything out, and if a unit needs to be replaced, he takes care of all the headaches. One can't get this exemplary level of personalized service and support from an online retailer. In turn, he has earned my lifelong loyalty, gratitude, and business.

jaypp's picture

The things I needed to buy simply aren't available at a local retailer. For example the Stereo-link USB DAC to connect my PC to my office audio system.

Tom's picture

I only bought a few small pieces. If I bought bigger stuff, I would have used B&M.

Scott Thompson's picture

I have the pleasure and good-fortune to be near Upscale Audio in Upland, CA. Its a great store and I could not dream of going anywhere else.

Frank Mason's picture

I do not have a high-end audio retailer in my area. I have to go to Atlanta, Charlotte, or beyond to set foot in a store. I did buy several items via the net in 2005.

Rockets's picture

I just can't bring myself to pay retail for an audio product anymore. Knowing that possibly as much as 40 or 50% or even more of my dollars are going to support the efforts of my dealer, i just can't buy into their value proposition. Instead of complaining about Internet sales, they should be building up to date business models that work for the average high-end consumer, rather than the small percentage that are still willing to support obsolete "old economy" commerce. Evolve!

Dave Bennett's picture

Well it depends on what you mean by "in your area." What I consider "my area," the percentage would be 0%. If you consider a 2.5 hour drive "my area," then the percentage would be 50%. The other 50% would be: 25% mail order & 25% from a dealer about 3000 miles from my home! My "local" dealers appear to be completely hopeless!

Chris S.'s picture

Since I have come to the realization that I don't have the room or budget for anything but a good headphone rig, I've noticed that much of the best stuff is Internet order only. I'm thinking that when I buy a good disc player I can most likely get a very good one locally. But I didn't have much choice for my headphones or amps. The 'phones I did get at my local store are good, but the ones I got from an Internet store are some of the best in the world. My favorite local store didn't carry them. I really prefer to give my local store business, but other than sending my friends in there to give up their life savings, I haven't bought locally in a few years.

Sam's picture

The only thing I bought this year was a cassette deck! I'm a musician and have many cassette recordings of my own past efforts so when my old one died I had to replace it. These things are fast going the way of the dinosaur and the only place to get a half way decent single well model is online. I was shocked at the limited number available. If you think you're ever going to need one act now!

Free In The Sun's picture

There aren't any brick-and-mortar retail stores in my area. However, I have made all of my purchases from brick-and-mortar stores via telephone.