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What do you want to see in an audiophile store? - Page 2

post #16 of 27

Shoot me an e-mail thru my profile (requires a little detective work)

 

I actually have 2 stores like that in my area and if you'd like me to describe it to you over the phone/e-mail I'm more than happy to help you out. Basically it's a big endeavor but it could pay off well for you. Jaben clearly does VERY well for themselves and a lot of my facebook friends/customers also have stakes in audio stores in Singapore and I believe that something like that would take off down there. I oddly enough was born in So-cal despite living north of you so this is actually quite a coincidence that the one night I can't sleep I'm on head-fi and I stumble across this thread.

 

Basically it's not just about trying, it's about going to a dude and having him give you advice and it's about the customer forming a relationship and trusting you to have their interests in mind. Thats all a store is, I know how to buy things, I just need someone to meet me halfway on the other end with what to buy and what is good for my money.

 

What I want to see is service first and foremost. I've worked in service one way or another my entire life despite being an engineering graduate because I enjoy being in the business of people. I like talking to people, and doing what you like makes it quite a privilege to earn a living interacting with people who have an interest in the things you love. Honestly so many companies make a great product I wouldn't get tied down in EXACTLY what inventory to carry. So many people are a little myopic at certain pricepoints that if they just tried a bunch of headphones they'd see a BUNCH OF THEM end up sounding pretty good haha.

 

Anyway, shoot me a PM. I have no involvement with our local audio store and I've never bought anything there but I could get you in touch with 'em.

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Law336 View Post
 

you should stock the popular products the cx90 stuff and keep some high end stuff, and when people want it make an order from the supplier that way you can protect your cash flow

but on the other hand, customers may have to wait for their product to arrive! Some may not appriciate it :) 

 

just to add the side note xD

post #18 of 27

yeah there that point to but if you can save them more money tell them to wait just that little longer lol

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Law336 View Post

yeah there that point to but if you can save them more money tell them to wait just that little longer lol

It might work but people from other country who come into your shop to buy a pair of headphone because their country is selling too expensive might not be able to wait unless you are willing to ship it to their country smily_headphones1.gif
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillsonChang007 View Post


It might work but people from other country who come into your shop to buy a pair of headphone because their country is selling too expensive might not be able to wait unless you are willing to ship it to their country smily_headphones1.gif

 

That seems like a very rare situation and I'm sure if OP did ship it to the guy later it would be a huge PR boost.

post #21 of 27

I understand what you all mean about the lack of stores around.

 

I actually live really close to Moon Audio and Cary Audio, but those companies are not really run out of a store, but rather out of the owner's house or a small office space. I've been to Drew's house and his gear is all set up and would be a great experience if I didn't feel completely guilty about showing up to his house to just browse and audition equipment. The one time I went was expressly to buy something, not to browse.

 

There have been many times where I probably would have bought something, but I didn't feel comfortable or didn't feel like making an appointment in the middle of his afternoon to show up and look around. That is the nature of many of the options we have locally. Like some sort of compromise where it's not a store, but not completely without options.

post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
I definitely want to cater to low end as much as high end. My path to high-end came from constantly graduating to better products as I became aware to them. If I can get someone in the store looking for an adapter to their Beats, they might listen to a Senheiser or HiFiman and fall in love.
post #23 of 27

@OP - first question you need to ask yourself. Are you an audio enthusiast if you are, then are you a business minded person ? Or do you want to open this shop simply because you think there's an opportunity in the business? 

 

Let me tell you one thing. Most of successful audio store are opened by an hobbyist with an business sense. Infact everything that has to do about hobby business ie. audio, car accessories, remote control airplane, etc all started from hobby. Opening this type of business needs someone who's passionate about the hobby. I've seen quite a share of business that went belly up simply because the owner is not passionate about the stuff they sells.

 

This is all a slow moving product. Inventory can kill you. Ofcourse you could get a consignment on some more obscure brands. But most of well known brand will require you to buy in cash. As another poster above said, following the FOTM also very important to ensure faster moving of product. Margin wise is not that fat. Some faster moving product gets you around 30-40%. Some slower or more obscure brand may fetch you more from manufacturer discount.

 

Maybe there's a limit on headphones/headphone amp. But there's entirely different ball game when it comes to sources and transport. You have to be really be careful on crossing the line between headphone and home audio because as headphone world advances the line between headphone world and home audio becoming more blurred. There's literally hundreds of brands of sources and transport out there. Same goes with I/C, cables.

 

You also needs to establish your reputation as "audio expert". Someone whom your buyer can trust your judgement on analyzing sound. If you think you are good on that, then its a good start. Remember, you're not selling just a product. You're selling an advice too.

 

Anyway, just my 0.02 worth of advice. If you decided to go ahead, then all the best

post #24 of 27

Ditto the comments of Forbigger.  

 

The largest obstacle to brick and mortar operations is price competition.  The overhead expense is much higher, which is why many successful vendors are "garage" type operations. If you have a slow month, you still have to pay the rent and electric.   If you do not have a unique product (like Moon Audio Cables) and try to sell only mainstream products, even high end, unless you can purchase large inventory volume from mfg's or wholesale distributors, you can't compete.  And even then, the wholesale type distributors are selling online.  Add to that, as one member stated above, it is still a niche market in comparison to other audio markets. Believe me, I would like nothing more than to have a store where you could demo a wide selection of headphones and iem's.  One local high end audio vendor said he didn't sell headphones because it was counter to his desire to sell more expensive speaker systems, and his customers simply weren't interested.

post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all of the info. I'm doing tons of research right now and debating design and acoustics for the building room by room. My biggest drawback will be allowing for the listening of ultra high end headphones such as the Stax 009, or LCD-3 etc. How long before having to replace demo unit. California law will not allow the sale of a used headphone so, will have to take it as a write-off(able) expense. Not the best business model. Have to find a way to keep to the directive of letting serious potential customers preview before they buy, without going through 100K per year in damages.

post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by agoffe View Post
 

Thanks for all of the info. I'm doing tons of research right now and debating design and acoustics for the building room by room. My biggest drawback will be allowing for the listening of ultra high end headphones such as the Stax 009, or LCD-3 etc. How long before having to replace demo unit. California law will not allow the sale of a used headphone so, will have to take it as a write-off(able) expense. Not the best business model. Have to find a way to keep to the directive of letting serious potential customers preview before they buy, without going through 100K per year in damages.

 

Can't you take the demos, clean them and then sell them off on Ebay as private items? 

post #27 of 27

exactly just as a restaurant advertises it daily special because the raw products they have looks like it about to expire lol

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