Don't buy anything in Audio without "Return" policy - Begin a movement in India

Hari Iyer

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We in India are always used to buy without considering any return policy. But in audio synergy of components like amplifiers, DAC, speakers, Interconnects, speaker wires, power cables etc. are so very important for matching. Typically anyone would buy any component by reading marketing leaflet or by seeing reviews. If what you purchased matches well with rest of your components then - very good. End of the story. Enjoy your music.

What happens when the expensive cable that you purchased don't match with the rest of your setup? You are stuck with it and you start to sell it at 50% of the price. I am saying this from my yesterday's experience with Audioquest green RCA interconnect cables. I am pretty sure, this cable would be good for other setups - but for my setup it was a horrible mis-match. I am also 100% sure that my own DIY interconnect cables will be a mismatch for other setups. Hence the return policy helps in such cases. Don't go for the marketing gimmick of break-in etc. If it does not sound ok out of the box initially chances are very high that they may not sound ok after 100hrs of break-in either.

We need to start a movement in India to NOT buy anything from anyone without a return policy printed in Invoice and accepted by dealer in India. Period. Enough of our hard earned money has been looted by marketing gimmicks and audio reviewers and the cycle never ends. We need to put a stop to this somewhere. I shall encourage other FMs to share their experience of component matching, break-in and their mismatch journey to educate FMs to not loose money in this pursuit.

Sound Foundations have very good return policy on their cables and interconnects which can be considered as an option (i have no affiliation with Ali- btw). FMs can post dealers who have similar return policy for the benefit of others.

Thanks for looking.
 

Analogous

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We in India are always used to buy without considering any return policy. But in audio synergy of components like amplifiers, DAC, speakers, Interconnects, speaker wires, power cables etc. are so very important for matching. Typically anyone would buy any component by reading marketing leaflet or by seeing reviews. If what you purchased matches well with rest of your components then - very good. End of the story. Enjoy your music.

What happens when the expensive cable that you purchased don't match with the rest of your setup? You are stuck with it and you start to sell it at 50% of the price. I am saying this from my yesterday's experience with Audioquest green RCA interconnect cables. I am pretty sure, this cable would be good for other setups - but for my setup it was a horrible mis-match. I am also 100% sure that my own DIY interconnect cables will be a mismatch for other setups. Hence the return policy helps in such cases. Don't go for the marketing gimmick of break-in etc. If it does not sound ok out of the box initially chances are very high that they may not sound ok after 100hrs of break-in either.

We need to start a movement in India to NOT buy anything from anyone without a return policy printed in Invoice and accepted by dealer in India. Period. Enough of our hard earned money has been looted by marketing gimmicks and audio reviewers and the cycle never ends. We need to put a stop to this somewhere. I shall encourage other FMs to share their experience of component matching, break-in and their mismatch journey to educate FMs to not loose money in this pursuit.

Sound Foundations have very good return policy on their cables and interconnects which can be considered as an option (i have no affiliation with Ali- btw). FMs can post dealers who have similar return policy for the benefit of others.

Thanks for looking.
You mean we should demand our rights as consumers?
 

drkrack

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We in India are always used to buy without considering any return policy. But in audio synergy of components like amplifiers, DAC, speakers, Interconnects, speaker wires, power cables etc
Absolutely...
Don't buy anything New CURRENTLY because of OVERINFLATED Prices. Even though inflation is getting controlled, the dealers don't seem to be willing to pass on the benefits to the end user. For eg Fyne Audio LCR 300 was 16k earlier, now its 25k, has there been a 40% increase in Inflation??
 

rikhav

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Absolutely...
Don't buy anything New CURRENTLY because of OVERINFLATED Prices. Even though inflation is getting controlled, the dealers don't seem to be willing to pass on the benefits to the end user. For eg Fyne Audio LCR 300 was 16k earlier, now its 25k, has there been a 40% increase in Inflation??
If the prices have gone up internationally as well then we can't blame Indian dealer and distributor. Basically if the manufacturing companies have increased the price then it will be surely passed on to consumer

At times if the item is slow moving and company demands the importer has to compulsory import certain amount worth of speakers then importer might be adding cost of blocked capital as well. This holds more value for a country like ours where sales are miniscule comparing say UK. Or USA inspite of high population

I personally don't know any importers of audio products but this is my assumption based on what basic business knowledge i have.

As far as inflation goes , yes some prices are double or more from what it was in 2020. So all depends when the prices were last revised
 

keith_correa

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If the prices have gone up internationally as well then we can't blame Indian dealer and distributor. Basically if the manufacturing companies have increased the price then it will be surely passed on to consumer

At times if the item is slow moving and company demands the importer has to compulsory import certain amount worth of speakers then importer might be adding cost of blocked capital as well. This holds more value for a country like ours where sales are miniscule comparing say UK. Or USA inspite of high population

I personally don't know any importers of audio products but this is my assumption based on what basic business knowledge i have.

As far as inflation goes , yes some prices are double or more from what it was in 2020. So all depends when the prices were last revised
And don't forget the fallen rupee and increased freight charges.
 

Hari Iyer

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You mean we should demand our rights as consumers?
I was speaking with FMs in Delhi and we discussed like large items like amplifier and speakers not having returns are ok. But small items like IC cables, power cables, speaker cables, DAC etc can easily be returned.

Also we discussed about an average Indian customer just for the heck of it purchase a cable use it for 2 weeks and return just for fun. This is the primary reason dealers don't offer returns in India. Because of our Indian psyche we don't deserve returns. Entirely my perspective.
 

Subbu68

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People tend to misuse return policy. Amazon return policy has been misused. So not many sellers do not opt for returns
I know some people in India who buy things, use a few days, pack nearly and return. That's their hobby. When you buy, you might get a used stuff. Can't say.

In UAE the situation is same that most places have a No Return policy for the reason mentioned above. Some electronics dealers have a return policy but charge you upto 30% restocking fee. They say "come, try and buy".
 

square_wave

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In the UK, it is demo at shop or demo at home. If both are not possible due to logistical issues, you can buy, try and return at most retailers. In India, I have seen some dealers not even stocking some gear. Pay full inflated price in advance, they will import and give it to you. If you dont like it, it is your funeral! Such dealers are not professional. They function like middle agents. High end audio due to many subjective parameters is a very personal and system dependent thing. Trial or demo is a must!

I know some people in India who buy things, use a few days, pack nearly and return. That's their hobby. When you buy, you might get a used stuff. Can't say.

In UAE the situation is same that most places have a No Return policy for the reason mentioned above. Some electronics dealers have a return policy but charge you upto 30% restocking fee. They say "come, try and buy".
In high end audio, professional dealers and manufacturers take quality time to talk to you to understand your taste, associated gear, your goals etc. It is a fairly evolved process. They usually know how to filter out non serious buyers using this process. And then -- they may let you buy something with return policy. I have been told by some of the UK dealers that the returns are quite less if you follow this process. In the process, they also build relationships which will bear fruit in the long run. High end audio business need to be a collaborative process. It is run quite badly in India. There are only a handful of dealers who are professional. Due to this situation, dealers have also become defensive and resort to a " take it or leave it " policy. It is a vicious circle! Everybody needs to change. There are dealers who complain that people go for demos at their shop multiple times and then ask them to match price on some online dealer's website. If they don't, they will just buy from that website. That is also a shameless act. The website guy is a box pusher with very less overheads. I think the movement has to be about building a collaborative relationship between high end audio and its customers. Total re-thinking.
 

OM_2K19

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The bigger question is, Return on what ground? If the equipment is faulty, I believe in most cases; it's been rectified by the company/dealers if within warranty. But if someone wants to Return because he doesn't like how the equipment sounds, I don't think it's a fair ask. That's why most high-end AV dealers encourage one to audition before purchasing. Nevertheless, we have a reputation for abusing the system, so only god knows how people will misuse such a Return policy.
 

square_wave

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The bigger question is, Return on what ground? If the equipment is faulty, I believe in most cases; it's been rectified by the company/dealers if within warranty. But if someone wants to Return because he doesn't like how the equipment sounds, I don't think it's a fair ask. That's why most high-end AV dealers encourage one to audition before purchasing. Nevertheless, we have a reputation for abusing the system, so only god knows how people will misuse such a Return policy.
What happens if there is no option to demo ? Someone wants to sell you something based purely on marketing ?
 

aeroash

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Pay full inflated price in advance, they will import and give it to you. If you dont like it, it is your funeral! Such dealers are not professional.
they’re unprofessional because they’re importing on your behalf, at a price you agreed to?

What happens if there is no option to demo ? Someone wants to sell you something based purely on marketing ?
No one is forcing anyone to buy. No demo no buy.
 

Hiten

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SunDAy TiMe

1) Who will bear the tru and fro shipping cost ?
2) Should companies bear the cost of repacking ?
3) Should companies bear the cost of cleaning items if the reluctant buyer has been eating pizza and handling the item while evaluating ?
4) Would new buyer buy open box 7 days used item ?
5) How would the new buyer know if the item has been burnt in sufficiently or not ?
6) What about items lets say DAC Model Jinxd-1, takes more than 2.5 months to properly burn in but return policy is only 7 days ?
7) What if husband or wife like the sound/not like the sound ? Who will decide to return or not ?
8) What if Companies say 'Hiten your ears are kaput. we only take returns from golden ears' ?
9) What if Product Company owner cum designer who is golden ear audiophile for around 38 years says it sounds good to me ?
10) What if the item has been returned; another new one bought and the older one sounds excellent comparatively ?

jk
enjoy the hobby through music.
regards
 
Last edited:

square_wave

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SunDAy TiMe

1) Who will bear the tru and fro shipping cost ?
2) Should companies bear the cost of repacking ?
3) Should companies bear the cost of cleaning items if the reluctant buyer has been eating pizza and handling the item while evaluating ?
4) Would new buyer buy open box 7 days used item ?
5) How would the new buyer know if the item has been burnt in sufficiently or not ?
6) What about items lets say DAC Model Jinxd-1, takes more than 2.5 months to properly burn in but return policy is only 7 days ?
7) What if husband or wife like the sound/not like the sound ? Who will decide to return or not ?
8) What if Companies say 'Hiten your ears are kaput. we only take returns from golden ears' ?
9) What if Product Company owner cum designer who is golden ear audiophile for around 38 years says it sounds good to me ?
10) What if the item has been returned; another new one bought and the older one sounds excellent comparatively ?

jk
enjoy the hobby through music.
regards
I frankly dont know the answers to all these questions. But home demo, store demo and if those are not possible, return policy .... that is how the west runs high end audio. So many brands and dealers are offering that here in UK. Maybe a conversation with someone with a lots of experience with high end audio marketing in the west may give you some insight into the business model. A discussion about something we do not know much about will be a futile exercise.
 

surfatwork

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Sadly, a greater proportion of Indian consumers seem to be quite happy to cheat. Use it for a few days, and then simply send it back.
Also, I think many mfrs don't offer Indian sellers the same benefits they offer to their dealers abroad. Given import duties and low volumes, retailers here can't afford to buy and keep demo stock for many items.
Of course, they could do a better job of communicating, but it's not fair to blame the entirely for the current state of affairs.
 

ZzZzZ

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Most Indian HiFi dealers don't honour product warranty and we are talking about try and buy. Recently I have had a warranty issue with a two month old beyerdynamic headphone (DT 700 PRO X)
I have called beyerdynamic india numerous times and have mailed the issue to them multiple times but yet no signs of resolution of my issue.
Most indian HiFi dealers charge a lot of premium on name of custom fees/import fees but themselves never pay such fees and gets most of the goods through agents in custom department by paying a way less amount then they usually charge the customer.
 

BLASTO

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If you consider all pros and cons, current state will always be the equilibrium state. Otherwise someone would have already created a business out of it.

And dont start about store demo. It is useless given it is a different room with different accompanying components and cables. Buying audio components is always a toss. Buying home demoed used components tend to be economical and ideal.

We in India are always used to buy without considering any return policy. But in audio synergy of components like amplifiers, DAC, speakers, Interconnects, speaker wires, power cables etc. are so very important for matching. Typically anyone would buy any component by reading marketing leaflet or by seeing reviews. If what you purchased matches well with rest of your components then - very good. End of the story. Enjoy your music.

What happens when the expensive cable that you purchased don't match with the rest of your setup? You are stuck with it and you start to sell it at 50% of the price. I am saying this from my yesterday's experience with Audioquest green RCA interconnect cables. I am pretty sure, this cable would be good for other setups - but for my setup it was a horrible mis-match. I am also 100% sure that my own DIY interconnect cables will be a mismatch for other setups. Hence the return policy helps in such cases. Don't go for the marketing gimmick of break-in etc. If it does not sound ok out of the box initially chances are very high that they may not sound ok after 100hrs of break-in either.

We need to start a movement in India to NOT buy anything from anyone without a return policy printed in Invoice and accepted by dealer in India. Period. Enough of our hard earned money has been looted by marketing gimmicks and audio reviewers and the cycle never ends. We need to put a stop to this somewhere. I shall encourage other FMs to share their experience of component matching, break-in and their mismatch journey to educate FMs to not loose money in this pursuit.

Sound Foundations have very good return policy on their cables and interconnects which can be considered as an option (i have no affiliation with Ali- btw). FMs can post dealers who have similar return policy for the benefit of others.

Thanks for looking.

Emotions.

Why not start with a return policy for speakers you build for others?

That will give you a fair idea of the situation.
 
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