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Trying out headphones via mail?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Has anyone ever thought about allowing people to test drive headphones via mail? You know, how they do with prescription glasses, tennis rackets, etc.

 

That way, a person (such as myself) could test drive something like HD800, HD700, HD650 and LCD, etc. without having to drive or fly to another state that has them, or risk buying them without hearing them first.

 

Charge a small fee, and charge the customer full price if the headphones are damaged, kept, etc.

 

Anybody heard of something like that?

post #2 of 11

Amazon has a return policy that allows you to do this kind of.

 

However, getting multiple pairs of headphones at once with the intention of only keeping one is abusing the policy I would think. So I would only do this if you're pretty sure you already want that pair of headphones.

 

Also most places allow returns for a restocking fee but that's probably more than you want to pay(~15% I think?).

 

I think a lot of head-fiers loan out and do temporary trades as well, but I've never been a part of that action.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

I wouldn't consider doing that through Amazon, since that's not really what I mean by trying out headphones via mail. I'm talking about a shop that actually offers the service of trying headphones for a fee and then you can purchase later if you like them.

 

Headphones seem like the perfect product to do this with - or would that take money away from some of these yearly events? Is that why no one does it that way? I would think with less people showing up at expos, can jams, etc. that they'd lose revenue to people loaning headphones to try before buying...

post #4 of 11

It does seem like a good product to do this with. There really aren't enough places that you can try headphones out, I haven't found any with anything decent.

 

I would think nobody offers it because it's a pretty niche market, but according to one of the several shops I tried calling and asking if they offered demo-ing, one said they stopped because the market for that was too saturated. Which I mean for Beats and <$200 cans yeah I guess, but I couldn't find anywhere with a >$300 headphone...

post #5 of 11
Was actually just talking about this same idea with a friend and searched and came upon a new site called HedLinez. Hasn't started yet but the concept is interesting...

HedLinez.com
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by whereas View Post

Has anyone ever thought about allowing people to test drive headphones via mail? You know, how they do with prescription glasses, tennis rackets, etc.

 

That way, a person (such as myself) could test drive something like HD800, HD700, HD650 and LCD, etc. without having to drive or fly to another state that has them, or risk buying them without hearing them first.

 

Charge a small fee, and charge the customer full price if the headphones are damaged, kept, etc.

 

Anybody heard of something like that?

 

A placed named The Cable Company advertises such a service. I think the deal works like this: The customer places a deposit of 5% of the full purchase price. After some time (7-10 days?), she either returns the equipment or pays the remaining 95%.

 

I've read about them, but I have absolutely no personal experience with them.

 

Edit: The URL above is their catalog. Here's the link to their offer: Try in your own home!


Edited by HamilcarBarca - 2/16/13 at 7:53pm
post #7 of 11

I read something similar a year ago, a guy was with the same idea. Let people use certain headphones for X-days for a small fee. I can't find that thread. 

post #8 of 11

Why would anyone want to do that? They will need to kep a lot of demo unit just for that purpose and then have concern on damages. Worst, someone after return might buy from somewhere else for cheaper price.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoelse View Post

Why would anyone want to do that? They will need to kep a lot of demo unit just for that purpose and then have concern on damages. Worst, someone after return might buy from somewhere else for cheaper price.

 

What did they say when you asked?

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HamilcarBarca View Post

A placed named The Cable Company advertises such a service. I think the deal works like this: The customer places a deposit of 5% of the full purchase price. After some time (7-10 days?), she either returns the equipment or pays the remaining 95%.


I've read about them, but I have absolutely no personal experience with them.

Edit: The URL above is their catalog. Here's the link to their offer: Try in your own home!

This is the only thing I can think of (and I have no experience with them either - a guy in the high-end board used that service to get like 6 pairs of top-flight cans sent out and compared them, but I think he ended up buying a few of them too). Or Amazon/J&R/ListenUp/Beach/etc have good return policies that generally don't stick you with a restocking fee, but as chewy4 said - I wouldn't just order up a dozen pairs of cans and them dump the 11 that you don't want back onto the retailer. I've heard rumors that Amazon will eventually kill your account if you abuse the returns policy, but I've never actually had this confirmed by Amazon. ph34r.gif

A few manufacturers also offer in-home trials, but again; cash up-front, and you get a refund if you're unhappy. Some charge restocking fees, some don't; check with the manufacturer you're interested in buying from for more.

Demo'ing high-end headphones is always a pain to track down; I've found a few nice pairs over the years in shops, but most of my experience is trial-and-error at home. redface.gif
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by whereas View Post

Has anyone ever thought about allowing people to test drive headphones via mail? You know, how they do with prescription glasses, tennis rackets, etc.

 

That way, a person (such as myself) could test drive something like HD800, HD700, HD650 and LCD, etc. without having to drive or fly to another state that has them, or risk buying them without hearing them first.

 

Charge a small fee, and charge the customer full price if the headphones are damaged, kept, etc.

 

Anybody heard of something like that?

 

 

Nope. But....there are always meets on hifi forums. People will get together in certain cities, at certain dates, for listening parties and this is the best place to get exposure to a wide range of headphones and speakers. Start a "XXXX meet, who's interested?" thread.

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