Would you purchase audio products from someone working out of their home?

Retail has changed a lot over the years, and many high-end audio lines are now represented by dealers working out of their homes. Does this work for you?

Would you purchase audio products from someone working out of their home?
43% (70 votes)
It depends
33% (54 votes)
Not sure
3% (5 votes)
Not likely
15% (24 votes)
Absolutely not
7% (11 votes)
Total votes: 164

Al Earz's picture

Why not? They are still franchised merchants and as a consumer I have to factor in the no-rent advantage. If they are cutting overhead and are franchised, they can probably offer a better deal. There are a few in the Denver metro area that offer very good service and pricing. One real advantage to a non-storefront is that if you make an appointment, you don't get interupted. A good scenrio any way you cut it.

Dave Bennett's picture

Have done so in the past and have been very happy with the products, but more especially by the service. I most definitely would do this again.

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

Why not? I frequently sell old "garage" gear out of my home. We have to keep our wives happy, right?

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.View, CA's picture

I can't say that it "Absolutely" works because I have not tried it but I would certainly be interested in trying an equipment audition in this venu.

Mark Gdovin's picture

I have examined European and Asian gear being represented by folks working out of their homes either because they are just getting started and/or the manufacturer hasn't established "normal" distribution channels here in the 'States yet but I do it with a HUGE amount of caution on my mind. I have to ask "why"? Now, that said, I can think of several speaker companies that more-or-less started out of somebody's garage workshop that eventually ended up as great companies including my favorite, Martin-Logan. Indeed my company was started with $50 (about half my net worth at the time :-) out of a spare bedroom. So, it doesn't have to mean a charletan venture, only one that should be engaged with caution.

Travis Klersy's picture

I have never encountered this situation, but provided everything was on the up and up, why not?

KJ's picture

It's decidedly a confidence question, i.e. it depends (as with every other maker/dealer).

CDman's picture

Why not? I can't see any problems with this, and with lower overheads the dealer's prices should be lower making high-end kit more affordable for us ordinary folk.

Stephen Curling's picture

When it comes to in home sales I believe the few have recked it for the many.

Blue Mikey's picture

I've done it. Some of my best audio memories are of wacky little shops in enthusiasts' houses.

Roy E.'s picture

I had a very positive experience working with Theatermax in Freehold NJ. The owner works out of his home and is the only Theta dealer in my area. He got me a new Carmen II transport at a very good price and helped out when I had a minor service issue with the unit.

Tilmann Mahkorn's picture

If someone doesn't have to pay for renting some shop it might be an advantage for me as his customer. I had bad bad experiences with a dealer who had shop(s) like villas. I'd have prefered it if he had just his living room and had served me better.

Al Marcy's picture

Hard to justify a store on six sales a year.

Tony P., Washington, DC's picture

Frankly, if someone is reduced to selling out of their house, they should quit the business altogether.

MD Parenteau's picture

I've found that many smaller operations don't seem to have the buying power that established retail stores do, meaning that prices tend to be high. Access to warranty service and after sales support is important. I don't know if this is the strength of some out-of-home vendors.

Randy's picture

I have done it already! If the dealer is responsible and has good feedback, I see no problem with this. BTW, all the products that I purchased were unavailable here locally.

macksman's picture

I have done it before, twice. The first was from a man later revealed to have progressed from store owner to "privatte dealer" by merit of his unscrupulous treatment of his partners. The second transaction was with a respected, local dealer in very esoteric goods who is well connected in the industry and respected, particularly, for his setup skills. All subsequent purchases (new speakers and turntable from Wilson-Benesch) have been from local brick and mortar high end retailer.

Dazed's picture

Of course the next natural step is dealer direct and cut out all the middle men! It was hard enough finding a shop with a really good veriety in small town USA before so now we have been reduced to selling out of the home (can we say Amway anyone!) So next it's going to be factory direct and everyone will live a die by the pen of the reviewer the likes of which show up in the audio mags. I'm not sure if this hobby is going down hill or not but it sure is becoming more difficult to audition anything out side of mass market gears anymore!

john kalinowski's picture

But I would rather purchase gear from a small home based manufacter,or DIY my own ,more and more folks work out of there homes so why the heck not.

Sam Tellig's picture

The only way to pay the rent on most prime retail space is to sell home theater. So what's the problem with selling two-channel from home?

Donald N.'s picture

A little investigating..sure. Depends on purchase amount.

Kernith's picture

There are advantages to listening to components in a home. Also, coffee and drinks are usually provided!

jerry j.'s picture

Works for me. You'd probably be able to get a better deal because home-based businesses don't have the retail overhead.

Dave M's picture

I don't see a problem with this as long as the person has been in business for a number of years, sells recognizable brands, and has a good reputation for customer service.

John Gossman's picture

For several years, I have worked with a company that operates out of a home. They carry real hi-fi at reasonable prices on up to high-end stereo and home theater. The owner is a class act and he is old enough that he doesn't look at you like you are from Mars when you have the nerve to compare digital players to an analog reference. Most importantly, he understands musically important detail versus audiophile bovine stuff, and distributes equipment based on that.

MikeZ's picture

All of my current equipment was purchased from a home-based dealer. It's more personal service, fewer sales people, and setup is a LOT better than most storefronts. I consider it to be a win-win situation for everybody. And the way things are going, if you're not okay with it, you won't be able to find a dealer dedicated to two-channel audio.

Arvind Kohli's picture

Yes. Lower overhead costs and maybe even better service.

Norman L.  Bott's picture

My cables were made by a guy working out of his own personal business, so why not his home?

Roger Lawry's picture

I have bought equipment from a home dealer with good success. In my mind there is nothing about a commercial building that guarantees better performance or quality. The overhead is probably lower also (pun intended).

Aaron Trocano's picture

Absolutely! Better discounts, personal service, in home auditions. I'm convinced.