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SOUND DEVICES... I seriously need to rant!!! Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 11th May 2006
  #31
Gear Nut
 

Audio in Sydney..

I've been having good deals with Bondi Intermusic (through Murray) and at Turra through Adrian. Turra however always seems to be a little cheaper. Service is good at both. Sound devices just give me a bloody bad vibe!! Only when I let slip I was building a recording studio and was gonna spend a lot did I get some actual service...

For anything else but the 'big' manufacturers (UA, Focusrite, Avalon) you'll have to go to the US for a decent price.

API gear however I got for a good price in OZ through Legacy Audio in QLD: Bought a couple 550b's for AUD 1630 a piece. From vintage king in the US inc. shipping and tax would've been almost the same. Their prices on the Telefunken USA gear aren't crazy either. It's not all that bad if you spend some time looking.

And for the 'higher' end stuff, I have to agree that mick at mixmasters is the best place to go.

The biggest problem with most dealers in Sydney however is that I guess they should be a bit more aware of what's going on in the industry... The amount of times I get an 'uuuuhhhh.... what?' response when I mention brands like Great River, wunder, vintech, A-designs, Brauner or even Empirical labs and API really amazes me...

Maybe they should spend some time on this board!

cheers,

Louis
Old 11th May 2006
  #32
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octatonic's Avatar
I wonder what their response would be if someone were to mail this thread to them.

Anyone have a problem with me doing this?
Can;t hurt to let them know- maybe there is a reason for it?

james
Old 11th May 2006
  #33
Gear Maniac
 
cheeky b's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondjames
I wonder what their response would be if someone were to mail this thread to them.

Anyone have a problem with me doing this?
Can;t hurt to let them know- maybe there is a reason for it?

james
As one of the people who actually seems to do business with them I'd probably prefer if you didn't - my username gives me away.

But I'm not that bothered, what are they going to do, refuse to serve me?
Old 11th May 2006
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondjames
Anyone have a problem with me doing this?
I don't think it's appropriate.
However I'm surprised so many people have bad things to say about 'Devices'.
I'll have to find somewhere else.

Who (in Sydney) sells plug-ins (virtual instruments)?
By the way, what do y'all think of Manny's (Melbourne)?
Old 11th May 2006
  #35
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeky b
As one of the people who actually seems to do business with them I'd probably prefer if you didn't - my username gives me away.

But I'm not that bothered, what are they going to do, refuse to serve me?
Fair enough- that's why I asked. :-)
It does strike me though that there are two sides here.

I worked in a shop near Bondi beach for a few years a while back and there were numerous challenges in doing it.
The main one was dealing with 'tyre-kickers'.
Guys who just come in, hang out, play with the gear, ask a lot of questions and generally get in the way while you have paying customers waiting.
The challenge was sorting out who was serious, who was potentionally going to be a customer in the future and who was just filling in time between bong hits.
It sucked.
Plus I had a boss on my back about poor sales figures all the time- the shop was $250,000 in debt before I got there, but we were expected to get it all together and fix it. That sucked too.
Then you had the know-it-alls.
Since the internet happened you have 17 year old kids who know more about the product than you do- because they could spend all their time researching when you are dealing with the day to day **** of running a store. They would sit there and ask obscure questions about the gear they had no money to buy, just to catch you out.
Sheeeesh.

Meanwhile it was 30 degrees outside, near the beach you could never get to and there were girls walking past in bikini's and you would get a glimpse of them before having some toss pot stick a pack of stings in your face and ask for a 'musicians discount'.

GO AWAY- THERE ARE GIRLS OUT THERE ARE YOU ****ING BLIND!!!!!

But I was able to get a handle on music tech- which allowed me to enventually make my way into engineering and production, so I guess it all has it's place.

On the other side.
I don't spend any time in music shops anymore, unless I am ready to buy pretty much immediately.
I hate being 'sold' anything.
If I want it, I'll buy it, but for ****'s sake I don't need someone with 2 years experience tell me half truths about chinese made products.
One of the reasons I started shopping at Mercenary is I get good information, no pressure, not the cheapest price, but if there is ever a problem I can tell them and they respond.
Old 12th May 2006
  #36
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ripper's Avatar
 

Thumbs up JLM TG pres

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubthumper
Jonathan, just wondering if you've had a chance to demo the JLM TG pre??
got em, love em... built like a tank and joe got the output transformer right.
really top notch pres and very well thought out.
Old 12th May 2006
  #37
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ripper's Avatar
 

The challenge was sorting out who was serious, who was potentionally going to be a customer in the future and who was just filling in time between bong hits.
[/QUOTE]

exactly. it's the dealers responsibility to know the difference and be satisfies w/ a smaller margin but less hassle and more sales over time w/ pros.

if they don't get that... screw em! dfegad
Old 13th May 2006
  #38
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entropy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossco
Avoid both.
Buy from Alto, Sweetwater, Sound Pure, Mercenary etc. Land everything heaps cheaper (including Fedex to your door & taxes).
Buy step-down converters if necessary and take a risk on the warranty (it's only 365 days anyway!). In any event most of the high-end stuff is built like a tank and designed to last a whole lot longer than 12 months!
And people wonder why Aussie dealers don't carry stock of nicer toys???

I can't argue on pricing, yes, in most cases you'll get it here cheaper but you'll be lucky to get anything significant (5% maybe). But at what cost? Keeping Aussie retailers in the hunt for sales benefits us all. You want customer service and you want to be able to try gear out? That becomes a little hard when there are no sales to justify keeping a range of gear on the floor.

Strangely, it costs money to employ staff and it costs money having lots of gear available for demo/display. Do the math. I need to sell 5 or 6 TG2's to warant carrying one in stock for demo. ohhh, you want to be able to compare that TG with a few other pre's also... well that 5-6 sales becomes 20-25. Oh, and you want it cheaper than anyone else is quoting......

Undoubtedly there are some crap dealers out there and in those cases, vote with your wallet and take your business elsewhere. But taking it abroad does nothing for us in the long term.... unless you fancy only shopping at Billy Hydes/Allan's/Guitar Center.

Do yourself a favour and keep it local
Old 13th May 2006
  #39
Gear Maniac
 

Entropy makes some good points and it's interesting to hear the retailers' side. However it still does not detract from the reality of the situation-substantial price differences between Oz and the U.S.

Many people on this and other threads have all experienced large savings on big-ticket items, much greater than the 5% quoted above.

In the last two years I have had savings of $1500 on a Focusrite piece and $900 on a UA piece.
The internet has opened up a world which was previously unavailable to the average shopper in Australia, not just in audio but across the board i.e. ebay, Amazon and the internet generally.
There is a long overdue correction underway in favour of the buyer.
Old 13th May 2006
  #40
Gear Head
 
Sidewinder's Avatar
 

qqq
Old 13th May 2006
  #41
I've had this argument with UK dealers several times. They blame the fluctuating exchange rate and import taxes.
Right now the Oz$ is strong against the US$. I bet that helps when buying off Ebay etc.
But are you guys including the import duties when quoting these bargain prices?
I find the Aussie duties quite high.

PS: I don't think Oz gear prices are much higher than UK or European prices (if at all). So you're not alone.
Old 13th May 2006
  #42
Gear Maniac
 
knightsy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidewinder
I've got very little sympathy any more for Aust retailers or distributers.
I have a bit of sympathy, but the internet has changed the face of the whole business.... maybe these guys could end up dying a quiet death, or changing their business to something else that might actually make a profit (like importing cane furniture or something).

This might seem harsh, but if they're gonna go to the wall, they're gonna go to the wall! It's certainly happened to a lot of recording studios.
Old 13th May 2006
  #43
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entropy's Avatar
There is no doubting that some (read most) distributors in this country are pretty greedy and at a the price we buy to onsell, make it very hard when it comes to competing with prices abroad. There are distributors out there (who will remain nameless... let's just say they haven't been named in this thread) who believe selling direct is the way forward but I don't agree with this thinking. It means you have little leverage in haggling a deal and a very biased veiwpoint from thier salesmen. If hi end outboard sales continue as they are going, this will be the norm and then where will you be when you want to compare piece A with piece B?
Old 13th May 2006
  #44
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entropy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidewinder
Spot on Rossco! Australian retailers/distribuers have been making supernormal profits for too long.

Guitar strings are a great example.

I buy them from Elderly Instruments in the States. Recently bought 20 sets of D'Addario EJ16's. Total cost including shipping was $120AUD ($6 per set).

Venue Music in Sydney have a '10-pack deal' for $149 AUD! ($14.90 per set). Some places want $20 per set!!

Why should I pay more 2 or 3 times the price? I've got very little sympathy any more for Aust retailers or distributers.

yeah, I'm typing this while rolling in my moneypit as we speak.

Fuk me! Name a retailer that makes anything like 20% on hi end gear..... I think you're dillusional. I'd agree on distribution for some , particuarly when it comes to guitar products and pianos but hi end????!!!!

Sympathy, I don't need. But when it's 10 to 5 and you need something urgent for your session, are you going to get it abroad then?
Old 13th May 2006
  #45
Gear Maniac
 

Not go out of business perhaps , but lower their margins, both retailers and distributors. The blaring fact is these folks have had it their own way for decades, charging prices that are far out of kilter with our friends in the U.S. etc.

Witness the recent Entech show in Sydney. The show was full of people testing out the latest gear from overseas, then bolting home to order it for the real going rate on the internet.

The only solution is for them to sharpen their pencils or continue miss out on hundreds of sales.
Old 13th May 2006
  #46
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossco
Not go out of business perhaps , but lower their margins, both retailers and distributors. The blaring fact is these folks have had it their own way for decades, charging prices that are far out of kilter with our friends in the U.S. etc.

Witness the recent Entech show in Sydney. The show was full of people testing out the latest gear from overseas, then bolting home to order it for the real going rate on the internet.

The only solution is for them to sharpen their pencils or continue miss out on hundreds of sales.
I've been a dealer before and I know what sort of margins are going about.
The problem is you have Australian importers/distributors who want to make 30% and then the shop wants to make 30%- which it can't because everyone is undercutting each other- plus the internet.
Shops do not make much money- strings are a bad example because accessories are convenience items and really where you need to pick up some cash to survive- compared to some big ticket items that you might be lucky to make 10% on if Venue Music (or another shop) are caning it that week.

Then you get deals from the ditributor where you have to take 3-5 of the hot new thing but you get it on a 30/60 split or if you are VERY lucky a 30/60/90 split- the number of days you have to pay for it. Then you might be stuck with it because the other shops got it 5 points cheaper (for bulk buys) and you can't compete anymore.

Out of this meager profit you have to pay for rent, bills, wages, superannuation etc...
Running a shop is very challenging- the problem is people want to shop on price alone and don't factor the investment of time that it takes to train good staff- well for them to train themselves really because you are so ****ing busy trying to keep your business afloat.
The staff meanwhile only really care about leaving your business to go and be rock stars.
The reason things are so much cheaper in the US is because a lot of gear is made there, or because the population can support a much larger number of units and the dealers can pressure the distributors to give greater discounts by buying 50 of one item rather than just 2-3.
Plus you have freight charges and the GST to consider in Australia.

I wouldn't be a dealer again if you paid me- pun intended.
Doing some quick figures...
I reckon if you make 10% nett profit a year you are doing exceptionally well.
That would mean to earn $50,000 a year AUD you would need to do do 500,000 a year gross.
This means you need to clear 10,000 a week in sales.
I think we were doing 5-7k a week on average but really killing ourselves to do that.
The owner of the shop was effectively losing $200,000 a year trying to compete.
After 5-6 years of this he was so far in debt and the shop closed.

We were a good shop- the guitar guys knew their stuff, I knew my hi tech, we had a great repairer.
But compared to Venue, Brash's and the other larger stores around we could not compete on price so we missed sales- but we had excellent after sales care.
So what- people don't care about that- they only want price.
The industry has changed- this is why you get the 'Guitar Centre' mentaility- where the staff know nothing and don't care- the market has dictated a model where the old model of sales and support is archaic and invalid.
Or it attacts 'real salesmen' because they are good at getting your money, because they are smart and know what to say/promise. Then your shop gets a bad reputation either way.

Who is to blame? Everybody, nobody- it just happened- I presonally don't really mind. I am happy to be out of it and concentrating on creative stuff.
But having been on both sides of the industry for a while now it is pretty easy to see how it happens- especially on a remote island at the other end of the planet. :-)
Jeez I miss Bondi.
Old 13th May 2006
  #47
Gear Maniac
 
RUSCO's Avatar
Quote:
This might seem harsh, but if they're gonna go to the wall, they're gonna go to the wall! It's certainly happened to a lot of recording studios.
Interesting Quote !
Old 13th May 2006
  #48
Gear Maniac
 

R.J. thanks for your post. Very interesting reading about the real figures from your retail experience. Not sure where the answer lies here but probably somewhere in the middle. The fact is the internet has levelled the playing field for the punter and we're witnessing a major retail shakeup. The main in the street is voting with his feet (as always).
Re. Bondi. I was there for a quick dip late summer but have to say you'd hate it-lots of half naked women splashing around, laying topless on the beach etc. . Yuk!
Old 13th May 2006
  #49
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
I don't agree with this thinking. It means you have little leverage in haggling a deal and a very biased veiwpoint from thier salesmen. If hi end outboard sales continue as they are going, this will be the norm and then where will you be when you want to compare piece A with piece B?
I'm sympathetic - I really am - and agree in principle with what you're saying, but the cold reality is that the bottom line is now the simple economics of the transaction. The internet has definitely levelled the playing field in terms or pricing - and product knowledge.

1) Haggling a deal - the internet now does that. Consumers don't have to haggle as hard anymore because finding the lowest price is a google away. Unrealistic prices won't work because buying from one web site is functionally not much different from buying from another in terms of ease of transaction. A web site that charges too much won't last too long. What about after sales service you say ? read on...

2) Biased view point from salesman - This is where boards like Gearslutz etc come in. The dissemination of knowledge now empowers the customer. Sure, you still can't compare two products in the flesh from an internet bulletin board, but chances are, the local shop is not going to carry both the high end products you want either. That leaves you with the shop salesman's opinion vs opinions of actual users on the internet. Who is likely to be more more knowledgabe ? The shop salesman or the internet ?

I'm not a "know it all" as James Richmond says, but I do research products carefully. Then I give Aussie suppliers the first sale chance by going in and asking about them. Last year I dropped in to a local retailer to ask about a DPA 4090 ( they were listed as DPA retailers ). After being palmed off onto the third salesman, he proceeded to say he'd never heard of them and that Rode were the best mics around. I would have just said thankyou and left, but then he persisted with a spiel of utter bull****. Despite his forgiveable lack of knowledge, it was his offhandedness and arrogance that pissed me off, so I became a 15 minute "know it all" - then left.

There is no way I can a/b a DPA 4006 TL vs a Josephson C617 in Sydney for myself. No retailer here keeps those kind of items in stock. My best bet then becomes the internet where I can read many people's personal experiences and find audio samples where I can take my time and make a better informed decision. Then find the 'cheapest' price world wide. I say 'cheapest' because the true cost of an item also includes shipping and taxes obviously, but also problems that might occur with it and the cost of getting those problems fixed. That leads me to :

3) Service. The internet is currently providing me with better sales service than the local retailers are and also lower prices ! The question for a local retailer is whether their service is so good that people don't mind paying extra for it. In my experience, that anwer is sadly, no and I am prepared to take the risk that the unit won't blow up in the warranty period. The money I save by importing several items myself more than covers the cost of repair of the 1 in 20 item that might blow up in the warranty period that I might have to ship back.

4) If as a retailer, you are going to charge higher prices, then you'd better be providing something that makes those higher prices worthwhile - like service.

A couple of years ago, I ordered two mogami cables - thinking they were common items - from a local dealer for a cable shoot out I did. The shop didn't have them in stock ( strike 1). The salesman ordered them right there and then in front of me. After 4 weeks had passed I dropped in and asked about them. The salesman rang up the the Distributor (Innovative Music) and was told that everybody was at NAMM and there was nobody to do the order. Two weeks later I got a phone call to say they had showed up. I called in and as the salesman opened the package, only one cable was inside. The salesman rang up the distributor and asked about the second. The distributor said it was on backorder ( strike 2 ). Being Christmas by now, the salesman was told everybody at the distributor was now on holiday. After another seven weeks had passed by, I called in again. The salesman said it still wasn't there and gave me a refund for the undelivered cable ( Strike 3). I ordered it on the internet from my usual US dealer and it was on my desk 4 days later for $5 more than it would have cost me through the local dealer.

That salesman is a terrific bloke and I buy from him whenever possible on principle. He's pleasant, keen and hard working and gives me very good service, but when he gets diddled by suppliers who couldn't give a ****, and a myriad of other factors out of his control, it makes it hard for him and me. I don't want to be waiting 13 weeks for vapourware every time. I could rabbit on about a few other examples, but the upshot is that Aussie services isn't very good. Not in my experience anyway to justify continuing with it.
Old 13th May 2006
  #50
Lives for gear
 
ripper's Avatar
 

Entropy... interesting aka.....

i'm amazed i'm hearing a request for a chorus of sad violins for DEALERS on gearslutz!

that's like Pablo Escobar complaining about the hi cost of peasant labour and the ****ty colombian dollar!!!

let's break it down:

you said distributors shouldn't deal direct because that leaves less HAGGLE ROOM!!!

are you kidding? i don't want to friggin haggle! i want a decent, mutual fair margin on everything i buy. my dealer in sf has worked this with me for 20 years now! sure, it's a low margin, but how much have i spent with him in this time?!?!

we do NOT haggle!!!!

and what about the FTA? seems like most oz dealers still would like you to believe we're paying duty other than gst for US made goods? what's the duty on API, Manley, Chandler, etc. etc... nada!

ANY dealer has to support the business premise they choose. but i don't want to be shafted over it. and the main dealer i deal with ain't even in my state. what showroom?

and yes, even if it cost a REASONABLE amount more, i'll by it from one of my two guys here. i think loyalty and fairness are a two-way street.

but they give me reasonable prices off the bat.

when i add up the cost of the item, do the exchange and factor shipping plus a bit for the effort it's saved me, that's the cost. actual sometimes it's a bit better!

if you can't deliver that, i don't see how you can stay in the game.

i know i'm sounding harsh and i apologize. i konw it's hard as hell to get i world-class level of audio going in a geographically HUGE, culturally divers country with only the population of LA. but please appreciate the ones of us who are crazy enough to take everything we make on these small budger albums and invest it in quality gear to raise the quality of what can be a pretty dismal satus quo here can't pay a lot more than our counterparts in countries that have 100 time the work with 10 times the budget for each project.

gotta factor that in you market plan if you wanna deal with the pros here...

i hope i havn't offended you, but i'm layin it on the level from someone who has spent 100's of thousands on gear over the last twenty years and have spent that ONLY with a few dealers that get it...
Old 13th May 2006
  #51
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossco
R.J. thanks for your post. Very interesting reading about the real figures from your retail experience. Not sure where the answer lies here but probably somewhere in the middle. The fact is the internet has levelled the playing field for the punter and we're witnessing a major retail shakeup. The main in the street is voting with his feet (as always).
Re. Bondi. I was there for a quick dip late summer but have to say you'd hate it-lots of half naked women splashing around, laying topless on the beach etc. . Yuk!
No worries- it was a long time ago now- mid 90's actually.
The fact of the matter for me was always that the market dictates terms, both to the customers and the dealer- there is a certain amount of give and take in this, but to be honest most of the time you are just reacting.
It is a simple game of buying power and then sales skill.
The more money you have, the more you make.
The successful small shop has become an impossibilty in a way.
Not enough people care about service to keep you afloat, especiially in a place like Australia, but US and UK also- even here in Switzerland.

I don't buy from local dealers.
Why would I? They know less than me about what I want as I spend a lot of time researching (I HAVE become one of those 'know it alls', in a way) and I never need support.
90% of problems I can fix myself and worst case scenario is I can ship it back to the dealer in the US- though I've never had to.
Most of what I buy is secondhand anyway- and in a way this is the real issue.

When I was selling Fenders in aus, the owner of Fender Australia used to say that Fender's biggest competition was themselves- ie. the secondhand market.

It is still true today. As a gearslut I am bloody happy about this. As a former 'business'-type thing (I cannot call myself a businessman, after all) it makes things tough.
I'll go out on a limb here and say that there are a lot of shady and downright illegal deals going on behind the scenes.
I know this for a fact and I am sure you can connect the dots as to how I know it- but lets say that *some* of the more successful chains/dealers in Australia have had illegal price-fixing meetings regarding minimum selling price of some very popular items, with a view to squeezing out the 'other' competition.
Sometimes the manufacturer is in cahoots, sometimes not.

They were going on in the 90's and I see know reason as to why they wouldn't still be a reality.

I also wrote review for several Australian magazines for a few years- the magazine review world is very interesting, kinda in the same way.

JR
Old 13th May 2006
  #52
Lives for gear
 

I agree that certain distributors and larger chains and stores sem to cut deals that leave the other stores in the cold, despite the distributors telling the smaller dealers that there is a level playing field. The customer then perceives the smaller dealer as trying to rip them off, but actually the larger store may have paid so much less for the item that they can sell it at profit for less than the smaller dealer can buy it at all. I worked on retail here for many years, and have seen this go on.

Before you all go crying that local music stores are trying to rip you off, and the internet is your saviour, here are a few points to consider...

Most non music shops charge the full customary 30 percent retail margin, unless you are a food or clothing store, then make it 100-300 percent. Your optometrist, skateboard shop, hardware store, whatever, charge a full margin in most cases, and you all pay it without question. Do you haggle over a sheet of particle board?

Then we have the music stores. Their customers often walk in, and if they don't get 25 percent off immediately, they storm out of the store, muttering about being ripped off, and head to the next store to screw a another 20 dollars off the price. The ones who do it the most are often the ones who buy the least, and I have seen people leave stores because they didn't get a discount on a 10 dollar guitar lead.

Then there are the customers tho buy a computer based system for say $5000.00, and screw the price down and play off two dealers against each other so that the shop that finally gets the sale might make $300.00 if they are lucky, and then the guy expects hours and hours of ongoing phone support for months because he is too lazy to read manuals, and the store finishes up loosing on the deal. To top it off the customer expects to walk in and see on the shelf everything from Chandler, Tube-Tech, Digidesign and so on, so that they can try it out and then go off somewhere else looking for a deal.

Here's something to think about: As a repairer, over the last few years, I have lost count of the machines brought to me for repair, many of them purchased from US stores, many more from e-bay, old units such as Oberheim Expanders, MemoryMoogs, AMS reverbs, 1176's (old and re-issues) and brand new stuff like Avalons, UA gear, MOTU racks, Emu hardware, Doepfer modules, Acces Virus's, and
so on, and so many are in much worse shape than represented on the ebay advert, sometimes they are almost junked inside, and the new gear has often been dropped and damaged, or is B-stock, or marked display stock, or arrives DOA, and the customer is faced with denials from freight companies, freighting stuff back to Europe or the US, and is generally disappointed. So many customers blow their units up wiring plugs wrong, or simply not setting mains voltages correctly. If a unit has heavy parts inside, but is well packaged, and a freight company drops it from a height off a conveyor, often there is barely any visible damage to the carton if it lands on a flat side, but inside the box, transformers and keyboard assemblies tear away, the unit is wrecked, and the freighters deny any responsibility, as the external packaging is undamaged. You takes your chances...

You can say a lot of things about various music stores, but to say they are trying to rip you off is laughable. If they are so wonderfully profitable, how come people aren't opening them in every suburb?
Old 14th May 2006
  #53
Gear Maniac
 
cheeky b's Avatar
 

triez, I think most of us recognise that the tyranny of geography coupled with the existence of distributors are the main factors behind the prices we pay at the retailer here. I don't think we blame the retailers personally - this thread started out more as a gripe about the SD attitude more than anything.

But as to the prices, what's the solution? We need to get rid of the middle man. The market has changed and can no longer bear mark up on mark up. It's a dinosaur system. Retailers have to be able to import directly from manufacturers who need to recognise that Australia is a special case - It's huge with only a handful of population centres all at least a days drive away from each other.

I know it's an imperfect analogy but imagine if Bing Lee or Harvey Norman had to pay a middle man - there'd be home maker mayhem, swamping the internet wingeing just like we are.

So, direct importing from the manufacturer please, it shouldn't be beyond the wit of retailers to plead their case. Or we need a high tech company to grow, get outlets in more than one state and more buying power.

One last thing - I ****ing hate the 'discount' practice down here. Just tell me your price and get it done with. I can understand discounting when someone's buying a package but otherwise bollocks to you cutting me a deal. That's the price, there's my money. Do they do it that way just so they can charge some poor shmuck the 'full' retail? Does my head in.
Old 14th May 2006
  #54
Gear Maniac
 

Triez, you make an excellent point about the risks involved in overseas purchases, however I would hazard a guess that for every Manley, UA, whatever preamp etc. gets dropped off the conveyor belt, another twenty five are surviving the journey and arriving in tact.
With these odds, an increasing number of punters are prepared to take that risk, particularly on the large savings that can be made.
Old 14th May 2006
  #55
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeky b
triez, I think most of us recognise that the tyranny of geography coupled with the existence of distributors are the main factors behind the prices we pay at the retailer here. I don't think we blame the retailers personally - this thread started out more as a gripe about the SD attitude more than anything.

But as to the prices, what's the solution? We need to get rid of the middle man. The market has changed and can no longer bear mark up on mark up. It's a dinosaur system. Retailers have to be able to import directly from manufacturers who need to recognise that Australia is a special case - It's huge with only a handful of population centres all at least a days drive away from each other.

I know it's an imperfect analogy but imagine if Bing Lee or Harvey Norman had to pay a middle man - there'd be home maker mayhem, swamping the internet wingeing just like we are.

So, direct importing from the manufacturer please, it shouldn't be beyond the wit of retailers to plead their case. Or we need a high tech company to grow, get outlets in more than one state and more buying power.

One last thing - I ****ing hate the 'discount' practice down here. Just tell me your price and get it done with. I can understand discounting when someone's buying a package but otherwise bollocks to you cutting me a deal. That's the price, there's my money. Do they do it that way just so they can charge some poor shmuck the 'full' retail? Does my head in.
You make some good points, I am in the U.S. at the moment and much gear is really cheap here, as the wholesaler component is removed, and the retailer orders from the factory.

More and more stores are starting to bring stuff in directly, but the problem is that the US factories still expect the shop to sell wholesale quantites, or else they just don't bother, as there is much less risk of dealing with a large company such as Music Link, who can buy lots of stock and advertise it, and can also buy spares and supply warranty support. Compare this to a small music store, which can only buy small amounts, and do not have the staff to deal with the hassles and costs of being the warranty agents for the product. They can also be a risky financial prospect for an overseas factories.

The big issue also for small importers is the unavoidable cost of C-tick testing and compliance for every model and variant to meet Australian EMC requirements.

As far as dealers go, Sound Devices does have a lot of lines that they bring in themselves, (And by the way I have never worked there) so they are obviously trying hard to have lots of stuff on the shelves. If the complaint then is that they are rude or hard to deal with, then it is easily sorted out - call or write to the management and complain to them. If enough people do it, they will do smething about it. Compailning to everyone else but the shop itself is a wast of time in my mind.

There is another trend I am noticing in Australia also - several importer/wholesalers are starting to sell their products directly to the public, particularly big ticket specialty items, as a kind of retail aside to their wholesale business. This is a good thing in my book, although the prices are usually still somewhat above wholesale.
Old 14th May 2006
  #56
Gear Nut
 

Maybe we should send a link to this thread to the guys at sounddevices... if they haven't read it already!
Old 14th May 2006
  #57
Gear Nut
 

Maybe we should send a link to this thread to the guys at sounddevices... if they haven't read it already!
Old 14th May 2006
  #58
Gear Maniac
 
Ijustmake-Beats's Avatar
 

>>>are you kidding? i don't want to friggin haggle! i want a decent, mutual fair margin >>>on everything i buy.

I agree with this statement completely. Haggling for a deal is the last thing I want to do when buying equipment, straightforward and fair is the only way.
Old 14th May 2006
  #59
Lives for gear
 
ripper's Avatar
 

exactly. and the other point is that pros buy big ticket items with out being hassles as customers.

when i buy 7K worth of mic pres simply buy saying :"i'll have 2 MKII's, please"
does anyone think a 30% margin is fair? hell no, i don't give a damn what your optomotrist charges, it's irrelevant!

a "PRO 10" is a common US practice: everyhting you buy is 10% over the dealers' cost. hey, with this, the dealer makes $700 on the pres by saying "come by and pick them up monday"

add a few years of the customer being satisfied and that PRO 10 reaaly works for the dealer. we ain't buying sunglasses here!
we're buying expensive items!

the dealers that get this here, I use and am loyal to. the others? good riddance.
Old 14th May 2006
  #60
Lives for gear
 
heathen's Avatar
 

Purchase 1:(Me) "Hi how are you? How much is that new mixer over there?" Them "$!4,000 dollars sir".(me) "Oh ok, how much for cash"(Them) "Ummmm that will be $10,000". Ok for 10 grand I'll buy it if you throw in the digital cards. Ok deal done.

Purchase 2: (ME) How much for that nice eq on your website. (them) "oh that one is $7000 dollars". (Me) "Ok how much is it really,whats your best price", (them) "oh well I can do it for $5000".

Every one of my purchases in Sydney has been this way, being that they don't advertise the best price straight up indicates a certain dishonesty in pricing. Why not haggle for the best price, this has been done for thousands of years in most cultures.
I'd always prefer to buy local and I have not made an overseas purchase yet, yet that is. I'm seriously considering it.

As you can see above I saved $6000 on 2 purchases just by way of a little haggleing, that is no pocket change unless your names "James Packer". All you guys doing the huge markup thing deserve to go bust, just like every other business with poor service and unrealistic pricing.

Hopefully the shonks do go bust, @#$k half the time you can walk into an audio store and they are grumpy that you even walked in, untill you open ur fat wallet and say, "so wheres the service"! Then they will act like lap dogs, oh and a "conga line of suckholes" if you have enough moolah. Now not all stores are like this but there are a few, which should be avoided.

I don't give a toss about a few hundred bucks, but when I can save a few grand well,thats a different story, anyone who would'nt would have to be certifiably #$%king insane.
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