Hey Kid! Wanna Buy A Used Super-Expensive Loudspeaker?

Ok, let's play pretend...let's say you have $75K to $150K US burning a hole in your pocket that you want to spend on a pair of the best speakers you've ever owned. Of course, you already own a pair of $30K US loudspeakers ensconced in your listening room that will have to go elsewhere before you can install the new ones. So, what do you do? 

AR-Kid1a.jpgIf you are fortunate enough to have a dealer who carries the super-speakers that are the object of your affections, he could offer a trade-in deal where he takes the old speakers off your hands, gives you some discount off the new ones, does all the heavy lifting and viola! New, flagship loudspeakers making merry... 

So, that's a fine conclusion. And yes, it will very likely cost more than selling your loudspeakers yourself, but you will end up with new loudspeakers arriving in a timely manner supported by a dealer, so the vast majority of the hassle in upgrading has been eliminated. But what about the dealer? He now has a used pair of $30K loudspeakers to unload... 

Ok, audiophile, how much would you pay for a used pair of $30K US loudspeakers? What would be the magic number that would encourage you to open your wallet? $15K? $10K? Even less? Other determining factors would be the condition of the used loudspeakers, how old they are, and what their manufacturer replaced them with. Sometimes the new model's allure overshadows the previous model in substantial ways (according to the marketing folk) that makes the older model even less attractive on the second-hand market. Almost nobody wants to dump a boatload of money into a component that has already been bettered by a newer model. Audiophiles, by definition, want the newest, most high-performance alternative available. 

AR-Kid2a.jpgSo, what can a dealer who takes trade-ins do? Well, if the dealer and manufacturer are working together the dealer could have a number of options - one is manufacturer refurbishment and/or upgrading. Some companies will help out dealers by having a trade-in policy that supports the dealers with "back-stop" buy-back prices, so there is a bottom dollar that they can expect to receive from a trade-in. Certified manufacturer refurbishment programs can also substantially help move older traded-in products from dealer's inventories. A manufacturer-refurb proffered at 45% of original retail can be extremely enticing... 

Many audiophiles may not have a hometown dealer any more. But if you are in the market for flagship-level high-end loudspeakers almost any dealer will be willing and able to pretend that they ARE your hometown dealer. The good ones can even deliver service that makes you think they are situated in your home town. There are also sites like The Music Room, which specialize in late-model used gear where you can consign gear or sell it to them outright. But unless you're in the Denver metro area packing and shipping will be involved... 

AR-Kid3a.jpgIt's a given that anyone buying a pair of flagship loudspeakers will already own a pair of loudspeakers that will need to go elsewhere. Getting from point A (old speakers) to point B (new speakers) can be easy (but you will pay for the convenience) or hard (but you spend the least money while expending maximum effort and time). 

As my father used to say to me, on multiple occasions (probably because it was so universally applicable), "You pays your money and you take your choice..." And in the case of flagship high-end loudspeakers, somebody, somewhere is going to be doing some heavy lifting, monetarily and physically. Depending on your choice, it might or might not be you.

comments powered by Disqus

Audiophile Review Sponsors