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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone ever dealt with Cambridge Soundworks and been successful when haggling with them?


A friend in the Boston area who is a pretty serious audiophile says that he recommends Cambridge to friends who are not audiophiles but want better than "Circuit City" type sound. He further explains that at CSW factory stores, one can be very successful in wheeling and dealing with the salesmen. He reports that he has brought a number of friends into various company owned stores and that they always get great deals by wrangling the salesmen.


Does anyone else know this to be true? If so (I have absolutely no reason not to believe him), I am curious as to whether or not you can wheel and deal with the phone salesmen. I would rather not drive up to the Boston area if it's not absolutely required. Still, from what he describes, one can really make out if the cutthroat, commission based salesmen are wrangled properly.
 

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Destro,


I have had good experiences with haggling with Cambridge Soundworks, but, as with any other face-to-face bargaining situation, I figure your experience and how successful you may be will vary based on who you are haggling with.


I bought my Samsung HDTV from there and though the retail was $1399, I bargained it down to about $1000 (the caveat was that I had to buy the 2 yr extended warranty for $200, but at CSW, if you don't use the warranty at the end of the period, they refund it back to you). Moreover, because I bought the TV from him, when I went back for a TV rack, I got a Salamander rack from the store manager at 25% off.


Regardless, if you don't even make the effort to go the store, doubtful you'll get any deal, let alone a good one.
 

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Destro,


I purchased some CSW outdoor speakers last year and didn't negotiate but I did get 15% off of list. CSW offers a program called Circle Select (I think, can't remember for sure but if you want to take advantage of this offer, PM me and I'll get the specifics at work next week).


Circle select is a program that CSW rolls out to employees of companies that are located in the same office park as CSW corporate HQ and other businesses. I went into CSW store, said I wanted the 15% Circle Select discount, dropped the name of the CSW corporate employee that administers the program and I was set. There may be exclusions such as plasma tvs but I bet it is valid on all CSW speakers due to the high margin on the speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for that info.


I am roughly 200 miles from the nearest retail store. I'm going to first try the phone and tell them the truth of the situation--that I want their product, that I know the stores give far better deals than list price, and that I will purchase direct right now if they can do something on the price because it is a four hour drive to the nearest store. Otherwise, I will just wait until I go up to visit my friend and take my chances wrangling the sales lackeys.


I'll let everyone know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just got off the phone with one of the reps. He said that they have no authority to make deals, and admitted that one can usually do much better price wise in the stores.


Looks like I will be going up to Boston this weekend, barring a major snowfall.
 

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Destro, not sure where you live but since you're driving, you may conssider one of CSW's New Hampshire stores to save the 5% tax. I know they have a store in Salem NH (5 minutes over the MA border) and I believe one store in Nashua.


They also have a warehouse, I believe in Westwoo, that periodically has B stock/open box/excess iventory sales and the prices are usually very good.
 

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I would recommend the newton factory store. You can get great deals on their B-stock.
 

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I've been successful at negotiating with the CSW stores in Calif. I would also recommend that you get on the phone before you make your trip. Make sure that the store has what you want in stock - especially if you are going to go to one of their factory stores looking for B stock. And while you're on the phone, tell them the price you're looking for. You should be able to work out a deal before you even leave your house.


If possible, deal with the managers. I don't know about CSW, but in general retail managers are not paid on commission like that sales guys. They are paid on the volume of the store. So, they aren't going to miss that 10% discount.


Keep in mind what you are trying to get a discount on. Their newer stuff has plenty of markup on it, so there is lots of margin for them to play with. I had a manager offer me 10% off of a speaker without me even asking. So, why not just start out asking for a 20% discount? You might settle on a 10% discount and it's a win-win deal.


They are phasing out their Classic line, so a lot of that stuff has already been greatly reduced. On that note, I recently got a pair of Tower II speakers. They were originally $1k and are currently marked $599. I got 10% off. However, that was from a sales rep who I've been buying from for over 2 years. It was our relationship that allowed me to get that discount.


Just call around and tell them what you're looking for. If you find a rep eager to make a sale on slow day, you should get what you're looking for.


Regards,


Karl
 

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I have always been able to haggle w/them as long as I've been spending a decent amount of money. I talked $200 off my RPTV on one occasion and I got a $200 off a total purchase of around $500 when I bought speakers and a DVD player. The CSW location I got these deals at is the one Sully is speaking of in the Mall at Rockingham Park in Salem, NH.
 

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You may want to check out Ebay. The selection is limited, of course, but if they have what you are looking for, you can get a great price. It is b-stock, but the items I received were in near-perfect condition.


I also tried bargaining over the phone with no success before I turned to the hifi.com store on Ebay.
 

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I made a visit to CSW today and auditioned some rear surround speakers. I had a good conversation about speakers w/the salesman and w/out even asking, he offered to take 20% off the price. Not bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After the phone rep refused to negotiate (he said he had no authority), I ended up making the trip up there. It was worth it. I got roughly 20% off of my purchase, which consisted of 3 MC 300s and 2 MC200s for rear surround.


I'm also glad that I didn't buy sight unseen. I was originally going to order 5 MC150s. As much as I would have liked the reduced depth for on walls (4 inches as opposed to 5+), the 300s completely outclass the 150s--no comparison.


Sales rep was a cool dude and pretty knowledgeable. Only bad thing was that almost all of the CDs he had for demo were personally owned stuff made from MP3s. If anything, stereo salesmen should have only extremely well recorded stuff that makes the product sound better, not worse. Still, I should have had my own stuff with me.


Thanks for all the responses to this thread.
 

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Destro,


Great choice. I also have MC300 accross the front. You are really going to like them. I currently have the Surround 5.1 speakers for my surrounds. I was thinking of changing them out for the MC200's as well. The S300 are a little wide for the space that I would need to put them in. I am a little nervous about going from bipole/dipole to direct radiating. I like the idea of having perfectly a matched system. I am curious if you compared the MC200's to any of the bipole/dipole models.

Greg
 

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I have the MC300s for the fronts (and center) and Ensemble IIIs for the rears. I was in the store the other day looking for new rears and I auditioned the MC200, MC150 and MC100, I actually came away thinking the MC100 sounded the best.
 

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I second the ebay store as well. Just search ebay stores for hifi.com. I bought my P12 subwoofer for $180. You can get their entire old 5.1 movieworks system for under $500. Everything I received appeared to be new. Once you win you get directed to their website by an email and complete the transaction right on the Cambridge website.
 

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This seems like an older thread that has been resurrected, but just curious about what one poster said earlier since I shop frequently, albeit not big purchases, at CSW.

“I bought my Samsung HDTV from there and though the retail was $1399, I bargained it down to about $1000 (the caveat was that I had to buy the 2 yr extended warranty for $200, but at CSW, if you don't use the warranty at the end of the period, they refund it back to you).â€

Again just curious, but what would be the incentive for a refundable extended warranty? It seems like they can’t “win†in this situation and you can’t “loseâ€. Is it for public relations? I may just buy even more from them, all else being equal.

Don’t mean to get off topic, but since it’s in this thread, just thought I’d ask.

Thanks
 
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