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Headphone Loaner Survey

Poll Results: How likely are you to utilize such a service?

 
  • 27% (10)
    I would definitely take advantage of such a Headphone lending program.
  • 11% (4)
    I would probably take advantage of such a Headphone lending program.
  • 33% (12)
    I would consider taking advantage of such a Headphone lending program.
  • 19% (7)
    I would probably not take advantage of such a Headphone lending program.
  • 8% (3)
    I would definitely NOT take advantage of such a Headphone lending program.
36 Total Votes  
post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

 

Hello Everyone, I recently started a job with a well known Audio Cables/Accessories dealer. At this dealer they have a Lending Library of Audio Cables that people can borrow and audition at home. So I am having a discussion with my boss on whether having such a lending library for High End Headphones would be viable.

 

Our thinking is that at least to start it would consist of higher echelon models (+$1000). The way it would work is that the client (Borrower) would pay for Shipping and a non-refundable deposit (Probably 5%) that can ultimately be put towards the purchase of any product. So instead of buying sight unheard, or based upon a ten minute audition at a meet or trade show the Borrower will be able to compare and listen to the models that really interest them in the comfort of their own home, with their own equipment. There are of course details that would need to be worked out, but that is essentially the gist of it.

 

Hence this Poll.

post #2 of 22

I like your idea, but 1000+ is a bit rich for my blood.  I've never heard of trade shows I'll have to check them out to get an idea of what I like.  I bought my first pair of full size can's (grado RS1's) based entirely off headroom's reviews and the fact they don't need much to drive them.  Only problem is with my large ears/head I can't wear them for more than 30mins to an hour without my ears bothering me. I'm wondering how I'm going to find a good set of cans that I can live with without jumping in blind again.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Bump

post #4 of 22

So, one would have to pay for shipping and a deposit to audition some phones. How long do people get to keep them before you start charging extra? What if someone tries to steal the headphones from you? Will you be selling personal information to different companies?

 

Would this program be available for people who just want to use certain phones for a while? Most importantly, would us Head-Fiers be able to actually get in on the action, or are you just trying to get our thoughts?

 

 

 

There seem to be quite a few things that need working out, but I honestly think this could be a great idea if you guys have a large enough inventory to make it work.

post #5 of 22

In my opinion there has to be more incentive... for instance you can buy a headphone from Amazon, listen to it for up to 30 days, and return it for a full refund. No shipping charges, no non-refundable deposit.

 

Will this dealer be able to match or beat Amazon and other large discounted retailers?

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Loan period would likely be 2-3 weeks. They wouldn't sell customer info. Failure to return the loaners would eventually result in the borrowers cc being charged, that being said the loan could be extended, especially if there's no one waiting for another borrow.

 

I just checked and it appears that Amazon does not offer much in the way of discounts on Reference level headphones. The dealer considering this program emphasizes customer service, not necessarily the lowest prices. I know of few people who would buy 3 sets of reference cans for a comparison to determine which they wanted to buy, but with such a loaner program trying multiple cans at home in order to decide which to buy is possible.

 

I just posted this to Gauge people's interest, by no means is it a done deal. 

post #7 of 22

The idea of trying a bunch of top-tier headphone for a couple weeks is very appealing but the cost would be quite high. For instance if you wanted to try 3 top tier phones; HD800 ($1,500), T1 ($1,300) and a HE6 ($1,300) then 5% would be $205, with roughly $25 ship/insure each you'd be looking at spending $280 for the audition.

 

Would it even be possible to get multiple phones at the same time if they're being sent to different people at different times?

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

If you're planing on buying a set of headphones such a loan would be invaluable, and affordable because the deposits can be put towards the winner. It's not a service to let people audition product that they would never buy in the first place. The place considering a loaner program is a business, they want to make it easier for consumers to pick the perfect headphones.


Edited by Yikes - 12/17/11 at 8:01am
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hoping to get more respondents so this is a bump to keep it near the 1st page.

post #10 of 22

As i know of audio places doing loans on headphones, top tier mostly, the 5% IMO came out and punched many of us. Because of this many of us voted "consider" since as stated above, 5% of the top tier headphone is about $205, and is a little rich for many of us especially if your going to charge us $1000+ if we dont return them. Many high schoolers dont keep $1000 on hand, so automatically charging them the full amount is a little far fetched IMO, but i dont blame you if the reviewer doesn't return your emails.

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

So you're saying that people who basically steal the loaner (i.e. Not return them) should not be charged  for the stolen headphonesconfused_face_2.gif, and a non-refundable 5% deposit (It becomes credit which can be applied to any purchase) that if borrowing two sets of $1500 headphones would be $150 deposit (ultimately being a store credit) is too much money for someone shopping for a $1500 set of headphones, once again I'm confused confused_face_2.gif

 

If this Loaner Program comes to pass, it would be a service to encourage trying and purchasing these high end models. If you are not in the market, or can't afford such headphones the 5% deposit helps separates the wheat from the chaff. Suppose one person has a set of $500 headphones and they want to see if the improvements offered by the $1800 model justify the price. They borrow the $1800 set of headphones. They pay the $90 deposit. They like them and purchase a new set of the $1800 headphone with the confidence that they are making the correct decision. Another person does the exact same demo but finds that for them the difference does not justify the price, so they have a $90 credit that they apply towards some awesome audio accessory that the store carries, confident in the knowledge that for them at this time the $1800 model is not appropriate.

 

This is some of the thinking behind such a loaner program. Such a program would not be appropriate for everyone, but IMHO many would welcome such a program. This Poll is an attempt to see what a small sampling of Head-Fiers think of the idea.

 

tanks.jpg

 

 

Yikes


Edited by Yikes - 12/17/11 at 3:05pm
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post

So you're saying that people who basically steal the loaner (i.e. Not return them) should not be charged  for the stolen headphonesconfused_face_2.gif, and a non-refundable 5% deposit (It becomes credit which can be applied to any purchase) that if borrowing two sets of $1500 headphones would be $150 deposit (ultimately being a store credit) is too much money for someone shopping for a $1500 set of headphones, once again I'm confused confused_face_2.gif

 

If this Loaner Program comes to pass, it would be a service to encourage trying and purchasing these high end models. If you are not in the market, or can't afford such headphones the 5% deposit helps separates the wheat from the chaff. Suppose one person has a set of $500 headphones and they want to see if the improvements offered by the $1800 model justify the price. They borrow the $1800 set of headphones. They pay the $90 deposit. They like them and purchase a new set of the $1800 headphone with the confidence that they are making the correct decision. Another person does the exact same demo but finds that for them the difference does not justify the price, so they have a $90 credit that they apply towards some awesome audio accessory that the store carries, confident in the knowledge that for them at this time the $1800 model is not appropriate.

 

This is some of the thinking behind such a loaner program. Such a program would not be appropriate for everyone, but IMHO many would welcome such a program. This Poll is an attempt to see what a small sampling of Head-Fiers think of the idea.

 

Yikes


I understand where you are coming from, and its a great idea and the 5% is fine. I was just pointing out, as numerous "headphone loan" threads have conducted, you have to have feedback and loyalty on your side  to be able to loan the headphone out. I suppose the 5% is just another way to show that, and in this day and age in necessary.

 

post #13 of 22

How much demand is there for the $1,000+ models?

 

I have no hard figures, but my impression is that there's a lot more demand and interest in headphones under $300 or so.

 

The other factor is amplification.  A lot of people don't have a good amp to try high-end headphones with.  If you're shipping $1,000+ headphones to people who have little more than an iPod or soundcard, they're not going to be happy.  This is one reason I think meets are better.  You get to hear the good headphones on a well-suited amp.  Sending out an amp with headphones would cost a lot for shipping and the amps would probably have to be repaired regularly.

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

How much demand is there for the $1,000+ models?

 

I have no hard figures, but my impression is that there's a lot more demand and interest in headphones under $300 or so.

 

The other factor is amplification.  A lot of people don't have a good amp to try high-end headphones with.  If you're shipping $1,000+ headphones to people who have little more than an iPod or soundcard, they're not going to be happy.  This is one reason I think meets are better.  You get to hear the good headphones on a well-suited amp.  Sending out an amp with headphones would cost a lot for shipping and the amps would probably have to be repaired regularly.


Didn't think of that. Also everyone wants to hear $1000+ headphones, and the design is way better than $300 headphones, but it is what they can afford vs. how good a pair of headphones sound out of there budget.

 

post #15 of 22

It would work for people who have high-end gear already and want to try different cans without having to take a $1k hit every time they wanted to try something different, especially if they want to see if what they are interested in will synergise well with their existing equipment. I think it would take actually running the program to see what results, especially as most Head-Fi members don't post, but do read and buy gear. There are some members who buy and sell a considerable number of headphones and other equipment as part of the hobby. You'd probably end up with a bunch of regular customers.

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