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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newbie here looking to make my first HT purchase.......thanks for all the info on the site.


I have a question about authorized dealers. I am have narrowed my choice of receiver down the the Elite 54TX. Pioneer website lists several online dealers that are authorized to sell their products.



What is an "authorized" dealer, and why should I pay 60% more for one? Has anybody had any experience with buying non-authorized? Results? What gives????


Thanks,

Chris


Edited: please read the rules. Do not post pricing. Thank you.
 

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In its simplest form, an authorized dealer is one the manufactuer has said may sell its products. Typically the manufacturer will only recognize a warranty claim if the unit has been purchased from an authorized dealer. Most manufacturers have a "dealer locator" button on their websites so you can find out who is and who isn't.


Some vendors obtain units that are outside the "authorized channels". They know the manufacturer will not honor the original warranty, so they will attempt to sell you one of their own. What they are selling may or may not be "factory fresh". Some may be "B" stock or "factory refurbished" units. Some may simply be perfectly fine units that have been returned because they didn't meet the original purchaser's needs.


Some people don't care about the warranty and have gotten extremely good, reliable equipment at bargain prices. Others have horror stories to tell.


As an additional clarification: just because a unit has been "factory refurbished" isn't necessarily a bad thing. All it means is the unit had a problem, the manufacturer has fixed it and is certifying it "like new". You can often get a good bargain on these from authorized re-sellers that WILL include the full manufacturer's warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Peter,


Thanks for the reply.


Dealer states "factory sealed, all accessories, etc.....". Would this mean they buy direct from Pioneer?


How do these "unauthorized" vendors obtain these units? You seem to allude they obtain them thru unauthorized means; what does that mean? Do companies like Pioneer allow other outlets to buy their refurbs and then sell them? Are warranties transferable? Or else, how can they still offer the factory warranty? Pioneer's site listed none of the lower price retailers.......


I understand the refurb portion of your reply; that does not cause me concern. Then you go back to "authorized resellers", what is that? I assume all retailers posted on Pioneers site are new units because I read nothing to lead me to believe otherwise, and like I said above they all wanted list price.


Finally, if it was your $, what would you do? Anybody else be free to wade in as well........


Thanks again,

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kin,


I understand that.......my problem is not who is authorized and who is not, but understanding what this means and how it comes about. That is what prompted this post.


Chris
 

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Dealer states "factory sealed, all accessories, etc.....". Would this mean they buy direct from Pioneer?

Not necessarily. All that means is that they have obtained factory sealed units

How do these "unauthorized" vendors obtain these units? You seem to allude they obtain them thru unauthorized means; what does that mean? Do companies like Pioneer allow other outlets to buy their refurbs and then sell them? Are warranties transferable? Or else, how can they still offer the factory warranty? Pioneer's site listed none of the lower price retailers.......

Here is just one example: an authorized dealer buys 100 receivers from the manufacturer. Finds that he can only sell 75 of them. He then resells the remaining 25 units to a dealer, liquidator, whatever. This individual then prices them to move, knowing that the manufacturer will not honor the original factory warranty.


So, for someone looking for a bargain, in this scenario, the purchaser gets a "factory fresh, sealed unit with all accessories" at a pretty good price. Now, if something goes wrong with the unit, s/he will need to pay for the repair cost---just the same as if the warranty period had expired.


I will say this from experience, and I don't know the reason for it, but it appears that with electronics if something is going to go wrong with it, it tends to happen fairly soon...like within the first month or so. If you get passed that, more often than not, it will work until you get bored with it.


I understand the refurb portion of your reply; that does not cause me concern. Then you go back to "authorized resellers", what is that? I assume all retailers posted on Pioneers site are new units because I read nothing to lead me to believe otherwise, and like I said above they all wanted list price.

People return units to manufacturers for all sorts of reasons. Once a unit has been out of the original factory sealed carton, used by someone even if ever so slightly, it cannot ethically be re-sold as "new". There are also units with small cosmetic defects that don't affect performance. Finally there are units that have been repaired by the manufacturer and brought to spec. Some, not all, manufacturers will sell these to vendors who specialize in marking this type of, in most instances, perfectly fine equipment.


Finally, if it was your $, what would you do? Anybody else be free to wade in as well........

Well, as it so happens, in June I bought a Crown K1 amp from an authorized reseller's online outlet store. A new unit lists for around $2200. Most places will sell it for around $1100 or so. I paid $889 for a factory refurb unit.
 

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The nit I have with the Pioneer dealer locator, it only breaks it down into: Car audio, Plasma, and "Home Electronics". If you look at the "Home Electronics" authorized dealers, many of them do not carry the Elite series, or at least do not list them on the web sites. So you really need to go to a local store or call around on the phone for the Elite receivers, it seems? I found some at Magnolia, although they did not seemed motivated about selling them (they steered me to Denon, maybe margins are higher on those).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by petergaryr
Dealer states "factory sealed, all accessories, etc.....". Would this mean they buy direct from Pioneer?

Not necessarily. All that means is that they have obtained factory sealed units
In the scenario you laid out, yes. But it is not uncommon for unauthorized dealers to advertise that the unit is factory sealed when it is not. I don't want to paint all unauthorized dealers with too broad a brush, but there are enough dishonest ones out there to give me pause to buy from any of them.
 

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Oh, for sure. I didn't want to get into all the really shady stuff, but yes there are plenty of people in business who shouldn't be. The ones who play in the grey market, get goods intended for overseas use and sell them here, get cheap knock-off units and sell them as the "real deal".


Unfortunately the tired old phrase, "if it seems like a deal that's too good to be true---it probably isn't" is still accurate.


Do your research before you buy. For example, you can go to a site like http://www.epinions.com and see if a vendor has been rated. At least that will tell you some of the experiences that others have had with a particular store.
 

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Many of these are first run brand new units that sometimes are shipped to you directly from the factory. Only sold on eBay and elsewhere by a third party. They try to protect their dealers by not under cutting their price directly yet they get their money just the same.


I have seen discontinued items and current models sold brand new in their factory sealed box not "B" stock and not refurbs but the same new receiver you pay 60% more for at an authorized store.


You may not get a warrenty but virtually all these people will replace a unit if it does not work. And face it if it works a week most likely it will work forever. . .


I bought my 56TXi Elite from an authorized dealer because of some troubles I had with a VSX45TX that I bought online at half price. I was still able to get a healthy discount on the 56, not near what is out there but enough for me. I wanted piece of mind and that I got.
 

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Some manufacturers tout to their dealers that they don't "allow" certain models (like ELITE) to be sold on-line, but then turn a blind eye towards what they know is going on within their distributors or other retailers "transhipping" products. Some will repair the items when their feet are put to the fire. Denon did this for a long time till better retailers started to realize that it was all lip service, D&M HOLDINGS loves to have better dealers demo and speak well of their product but they don't care who gets credit for the sale, they're interested in volume. As this continues they loose better local dealers and then rely on big box retailers to move their items, but without good demos and sales staff, it doesn't really stand out amid the sonys and onkyos at lower price, so they remove some quality parts and add a feature and drop the price yet again. Elite, it appears , is teetering on the edge of this precipice as well. They seem to be wondering if they want to maintain quality and stand along side of a few other manufacturers in places where it can be demonstrated or merge the Elite nameplate into larger retailers and bring price points down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the feedback...........good discussion and has helped me learn a few things.


I really don't understand why a certain manufacture would care who sells their units, as long as they meet certain quality and customer service benchmarks. Is it true this is like vehicles, in that the dealer must purchase units from Pioneer and then mark them up for whatever profit they wish to achieve? Or, are they just middle men for Pioneer?????


I notice that the "authorized" dealers are all quoting MSRP. I am assuming in transhipping instances, they sell them to the unauthorized dealers at the cost or near the cost they purchased from Pioneer, so you would think that the invoice of a 54TX is probably in the mid $500 range. It seems strange to me that Pioneer would restrict cost reduction....


In the end, as somebody pointed out, I would be looking at increasing volume in the general public versus some price quota. That is free advertising, with a profit! How is Pioneer protecting their authorized dealers by imposing price structure? Maybe if they didn't do that, they would move enough volume to where they didn't have to tranship, and the number of unauthorized dealers would fall.


Anyway, in a perfect world I would never buy from the internet if I could buy locally, and I definitely won't if I have to pay list to insure no warranty or quality hassles. Hopefully, I can find a local dealer to cut me some slack. I would be willing to pay $800 locally new......


Chris
 

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Glad you felt helped....and by the way....welcome to the forum.


As for getting a local dealer to cut you a deal, you can take the advice of training guru Ken Blanchard who talks about the "no lose bet": you don't have something....(e.g. a discount)...you ask for one...if you get it, you've won, you got a discount...if you don't get the discount, you haven't lost anything. You didn't have it to start with. The whole point is, it never hurts to ask.


Look for open box specials/restock items. You might get the bargain you are looking for, plus the full warranty.
 

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Quote:
I really don't understand why a certain manufacture would care who sells their units, as long as they meet certain quality and customer service benchmarks
Fact is I would loose sales to crappy dealers with bad hours (by appt only) and poor facilities and inconsistant service, if they kept discounting..... Customers (especcially those to whom this hobby has put a strain on their mairrage) would go to Cheap Johnnies and say "Your showroom smells and You never answer your phone, but the really helpful and nice place up the street wants retail, I'll buy from you if you drop 10%..."


What Pioneer and other manufacturers would wind up with is a selection of whores selling their goods, the way that they pretend to do it now is an effort to make the compition about who can outperform and service the customer...making the shopping experiance better and thereby elevating the percieved quality of their brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Jake,


Agreed, that is why I noted that they should meet specific benchmarks in terms of service and quality. But, I am specifically talking internet here, not local.


This still doesn't explain price setting by Pioneer.........as noted, all "authorized" online dealers list the 54TX as MSRP.


And, as I stated earlier, if this price wasn't set for internet sales, then in my opinion the "unauthorized" dealers would subside.


Chris
 
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