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Mark up on Totem Accoustic Tribe Series?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I went in to demo some Tribe 5's today and was discussing price and the dealer said that he sells them at retail only price, to which i laughed and walked out

I have never heard of any speaker line / company selling for anywhere close to retail

He gave me some song and dance about his overhead and the only way he can stay in business is to sell for retail prices, which is fine and good, if that is how he runs his business, but does Totem Accoustic's have such low mark up on their products they dont discount off retail - I was expecting somewhere between 25-35% off retail

Just curious if I am way off base or the guy was feeding me a line

Thanks
post #2 of 13
How much of a discount do you get on fuel?

This sounds like a trolling question to me.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Very serious question, if I go into a car dealership I don't expect to pay sticker price either - and mistrust a dealer that says this is the only price he can sell the car for

The exception here is that there are not a ton of dealers locally to choose from, he also said that Totem dealers were not able to sell speakers over the internet or through the mail without losing their rep status, again that sounded odd to me, which is why I am asking for clarification from other people
post #4 of 13
Totem, and every other manufacturer, does have dealership agreements that must be met. Most of them include not selling product over the internet.

The dealer may not need to discount Totem speakers, so why do you assume you are entitled to one? Totem is regarded as being a good value anyway.
post #5 of 13
Hello!

I will try to help you without just out right saying that Totem speakers have a XX% margin. I'm also not going to try to avoid preaching the business side of things, which would have potentially a lot of different layers.

I own a custom integration firm (USA) and have been courted by Totem several times over the years so I have their pricing sheets. I will preface this that I do NOT know where you are geographically in the world so I can only vouch for margins where I am at.

I will also say that I am fairly familiar with the line because a smaller company who IS a Totem dealer often times subs for us when we have projects that need cable pulled, TVs hung, etc. He has a few pieces and has let me borrow them to mess around a few times. The Totem sales rep in 2010(ish) had also brought in Tribe V and Hawk models for us to listen to and demo. They are good speakers and the Tribe V is a really nice on-wall offering.

COULD the dealer sell the speaker to you for 35% off without hurting himself? YES, absolutely. Why wouldn't he? On the immediate surface - in his eyes - it's probably not really very attractive for him unless he is struggling for cash and desperately needed some money.

Speakers have a healthy markup in them, certainly. But it's not like clothing where things are bought for $40 and sold for $150 with 50% off.... Well, at least not box speakers. In-ceiling/In-wall can be a totally different game depending on the manufacturer.

Some solutions for you.....

- If you are having these installed on the wall, maybe ask for 15% off and his company installs them and includes wire & cable.

- If you are wanting to do the install yourself, or these are just going on the floor ask for 25% off and offer that you will sign a "Special Order, no returns" waver. This limits his risk and you get your discount.

25% off of a speaker is a significant discount if he has a good business, but it depends on his perspective. From my perspective, if we were just handing someone the boxes, I would gladly give 25% off and a "Thanks, have a great day!". Actually, now that I'm picturing this.... Wow! I wish it were that easy most of the time smile.gif . I would have made a happy new client, probably leading to new business down the road and still not have to do any real work... design/engineer the install, show you how to use a system, follow up service calls, etc. What a great way to make money! "Here are your boxes.... see you around!" .

Unfortunately, this isn't a common attitude in our industry. I wish you the best of luck in your speaker quest and hope you find the right speaker, the right dealer, and the right price!
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post

Totem, and every other manufacturer, does have dealership agreements that must be met. Most of them include not selling product over the internet.

The dealer may not need to discount Totem speakers, so why do you assume you are entitled to one? Totem is regarded as being a good value anyway.

I do not believe that Totem has a unilateral pricing policy. Meaning: The dealer can sell them for what the dealer wishes. They certainly have an online sales and pricing policy that prohibits dealers from doing so.


As far as being a good value at full retail goes, I guess that is in the ears of the beholder. I certainly wouldn't put them near the top of any list I would ever make on the performance for $$ scale, but that's just my opinion. Maybe performance for size? Build quality? They do have a great sound for a smaller form factor are certainly built really well!
post #7 of 13
Would it make you feel better if they marketed the speakers at 40% more retail so they can mark them down more?

If so...welcome to Kohl's...home of the forever sale!

Anyway...sometimes when you walk into a store they will "deal" sometimes they will not or can not. So you have a choice...pay what they ask, try finding someone that will sell it for less, or find another product.

That simple. Just like some auto stores have a "no haggle" price. If you don't like it...well...go someplace else.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for that info - I was not asking for install or anything I already have something lined up in regards to that, I wanted to hear them (he didnt have them set up or broken in when i showed up and I called two days ahead of time and set an appointment) and I got a red flag when he said he only sells full retail price for all his stuff, which is nice if you can get that, I am in the Phoenix area and a lot of what he said didn't sound right to me - he had some crazy OBM speakers that looked like turbines and a pretty impressive show room, so perhaps he was not interested in dealing with a "small deal" to his standards, I did find one other Totem dealer in the area so I can approach them, the entire experience kind of soured me on switching out my components

And yes I was leaning toward the I just need the speakers making that an easy deal for them, i had done my homework on the speakers and the wife had already said she liked them, however I am fine keeping my current set up - I was looking for something sonically equivilent to what I have now that could go on the wall because the wife would prefer that, however I like my current system quite a bit, it just doesnt look as streamlined
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Would it make you feel better if they marketed the speakers at 40% more retail so they can mark them down more?

If so...welcome to Kohl's...home of the forever sale!

Anyway...sometimes when you walk into a store they will "deal" sometimes they will not or can not. So you have a choice...pay what they ask, try finding someone that will sell it for less, or find another product.

That simple. Just like some auto stores have a "no haggle" price. If you don't like it...well...go someplace else.

Of course the OP knows he has this choice. Here is the problem that I have with this, and I am in the business....

It is not like the dealer is inventorying the product either in his shop or in a warehouse somewhere with forklifts and a large staff, etc. etc.. If he is... then he's a moron. This stuff is almost always ordered JIT (Just In Time). He has absolutely $0 tied up in overhead or opportunity cost on this sale, except for his showroom demo pieces, of which Totem gave him a strong discount off of dealer cost just to put on display.

It's the easiest couple thousand $ in the world to make.

Dealer calls Totem, places order USING THE OPs MONEY, BTW.

Speakers show up in two days, call OP... hand him the boxes when he shows up.

BOOM, the dealer is $2,000 richer with literally maybe 45 minutes of time invested in it, 43 of which are demoing for the OP.

Anyway, point is that on a $9,000 speaker deal at MSRP It is not unreasonable for the customer to be looking for 25% off if there is no return possibility nor any actual installation being performed.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dapuma View Post

Thank you for that info - I was not asking for install or anything I already have something lined up in regards to that, I wanted to hear them (he didnt have them set up or broken in when i showed up and I called two days ahead of time and set an appointment) and I got a red flag when he said he only sells full retail price for all his stuff, which is nice if you can get that, I am in the Phoenix area and a lot of what he said didn't sound right to me - he had some crazy OBM speakers that looked like turbines and a pretty impressive show room, so perhaps he was not interested in dealing with a "small deal" to his standards, I did find one other Totem dealer in the area so I can approach them, the entire experience kind of soured me on switching out my components

And yes I was leaning toward the I just need the speakers making that an easy deal for them, i had done my homework on the speakers and the wife had already said she liked them, however I am fine keeping my current set up - I was looking for something sonically equivilent to what I have now that could go on the wall because the wife would prefer that, however I like my current system quite a bit, it just doesnt look as streamlined

Well, I wouldn't let one bad apple spoil the bunch. There are some good A/V dealers out there to choose from - and a lot of snarky ones. The Tribe Vs are excellent speakers and one of the nicest on-walls on the market. Most people would be proud to own them. Even though I don't buy anything from them, the National sales MGR for Totem is a great guy who is very passionate about Totem and would be furious to hear that a potential client was denied a chance to listen to his speakers by a dealer.

Based on your description of wants/needs, an alternative for you that I would HIGHLY recommend is LEON.

The Ultima models retail for about the same as the Tribe Vs and a dealer should be able to give you 25% off. These are custom matched to your TV (or a predetermined size/color by you). Custom built by hand in Michigan and absolutely wonderful speakers. You can expect the same or better quality out of this line as you would Totem for the given price point.

Here is their website: http://leonspeakers.com/index.html so you can have a look. Again, Their Ultima grade is and incredible speaker and available in several different configs and available in your stated MSRP budget as a sound bar or on-wall LCR config (like the Tribes).

We typically use the 313 or 414 "A" sound bars and I will say that they are awesome speakers for not a lot of money. If you can find a dealer to listen to some of their builds I would highly recommend it.

Good luck to you!
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlexMulti View Post


It's the easiest couple thousand $ in the world to make.

Lets not get carried away here... if it were that easy the b&m audio store market would be growing!!! Maybe it is and I'm just really out of touch but...

I'm kind of sick of people always expecting a discount on premium/expensive items, as if they are entitled to it by some divine right. If you can't afford or don't want to pay what the retailer has it marked at then get something else. Market forces will control the prices and if the retailer resists then they are probably short for this world.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_si View Post

Lets not get carried away here... if it were that easy the b&m audio store market would be growing!!! Maybe it is and I'm just really out of touch but...

I'm kind of sick of people always expecting a discount on premium/expensive items, as if they are entitled to it by some divine right. If you can't afford or don't want to pay what the retailer has it marked at then get something else. Market forces will control the prices and if the retailer resists then they are probably short for this world.

It is, indeed, THAT easy given the OP's example. There is absolutely no way it would be any different than the process I described. I know, because I own an integration firm and we order product and it shows up every day. I would love to just hand out boxes all day, but.... that's not where our industry is really headed and I don't want to deal with that set of headaches.

There are challenges as well, don't get me wrong. Honestly, if the dealer has just put the Tribe V on display, maybe he might want to try and recoup his cost quickly. 25% off MIGHT do that but then, maybe he doesn't want to just break even. Also, maybe he doesn't even have Tribe Vs and would have to order them just for this demo. I would absolutely NOT order them just to give a guy a demo. That's a lot of money out of the dealer's pocket to just let a guy listen on the hope he's going to purchase. These things aren't purchased every day, every month, or even every quarter. Maybe... not even one set a year. It all depends.

The B&M market is shrinking for a lot of reasons. Some of which are at play in the OP's example. Snarky dealer, rigid pricing, unfriendly experience, etc.

Keep in mind, too, how many people have to walk into a nice audio store and actually make a purchase for the dealer to make a good living - considering the stresses and responsibilities of running a business vs. a regular J.O.B? A fair amount.

I know a dealer who's showroom is so expensive that he has to sell $125,000 month in product just to break even (after paying the bills and everyone - including himself). $1.5 MILLION just in operating cost BEFORE the company actually makes money. That is a lot of guys walking in and buying expensive speakers. Definitely NOT the horse I would bet on, but hey.... it's not my money.

As far as the discount goes, I'm kind of on the fence. If it were a lower cost purchase, I would be more in favor of the harder line cost. But, this is not like a Rolex watch sitting in a jeweler's case, tying up $Thousands of $$ until he sells it. This is special order stuff that doesn't hold up much of the dealers money except for the demo equipment. These are higher cost luxury goods and sometimes people will ask for a break. 35% is too much, really. 25% is pushing it, but doable if it's just a hand off - no return - kind of deal.

Our industry is a really really tough one to understand because there are so many sides to it. Many many variables and inconsistencies between companies, product categories, dealers, etc. I feel bad for consumers because it's easier to find a bad company to deal with than a good one.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Good to know there is another good on wall speaker - I believe we are going to stick with what we have for now and work around the size of the speakers - although anything coming out of Ann Arbor is suspect (MSU Grad) biggrin.gif

Next time I am back visiting perhaps Ill see if i can't stop in there and check them out
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