Sennheiser Shenannigans - AUS
Sep 10, 2009 at 5:01 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 60

rayk

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 20, 2009
Posts
221
Likes
0
Hi, thought I'd repost this from Heaphonic. Truly, didn't think Senheiser could drop even lower in my books but they did.

EDIT: here is the thread - http://headphones.com.au/forums/view...php?f=2&t=3399

==================

Dear loyal customers,

Prices on Sennheiser products are going to rise in the very near future (eg: the HD555 will be going from $156 to around $219, similar increases will apply across the board), and further to that I'll may have to take any "negative" comments about products out of product descriptions as from now on I'm only allowed to "convey the product in the best light".

Now hopefully I won't actually be restricted in terms of saying what I think about the product, but the way I'm reading it comes across that way.

Prices are increasing because any dealer with a web catalogue will be buying at a different price to what those businesses that don't have an online store will be buying at, so we're basically being punished for having a website (2nd example; the PXC450 will be jumping from $486 to around $700).

Now I'm not a big fan of Sennheiser at the best of times, but this really doesn't thrill me.
I've basically been told in no uncertain terms that the only companies that really matter to the Australian Sennheiser Distributor, when it comes to Sennheiser sales, are JB Hifi and Harvey Norman, and if we don't like the way these new structures work etc then they really won't miss us if we stop selling Sennheiser.
I realise that Headphonic don't hold a candle to the likes of JB Hifi when it comes to sales, but NO other wholesaler that I deal with is so incredibly arrogant or insulting to deal with.
I seriously doubt JBHifi would be punished in any way for advertising their products at prices below what our advertised pricing will be.

I believe this negatively reflects on Sennheiser as a brand worldwide, if they encourage their representatives to treat small businesses with such contempt, especially just because they happen to have gone to the effort of digging themselves out of the stone ages and produce a viable web presence, that's not something to be proud of.

Unfortunately, legally there is little I can do. I took it in my stride when I was told over the phone to raise my prices by Syntec, and unfortunately if I want to continue to sell the brand I'm going to have to take this on the chin as well, but that doesn't mean I can't share it with the general public. The new pricing structure circumvents the legalities of telling your resellers what they can and cannot sell for, but still results in the customer paying more.
I've always tried to keep my Sennheiser pricing not only competitive, but in the "what I think it is worth" pricerange, without selling below cost (but I make VERY little money in some cases).

I encourage people to pass this on please as I think it is a little window into the kind of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that a lot of people aren't aware of.

If Sennheiser products in fact disappear from my website, it may be because the distributor decides to react to this post, or it may be because I decide I've had enough. The former is in fact more likely.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 5:08 AM Post #2 of 60

Suntory_Times

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Posts
1,885
Likes
12
Sad to hear.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 5:57 AM Post #3 of 60

Drumonron

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Posts
1,342
Likes
133
Firstly, I should preface this statement by saying I really don't completely understand what exactly the context or scope of this is.

This is the behind the scenes darkside of the business. Love my Senns but sorry to hear this. Thanks for the heads up on the price increases...are they increases worldwide?...if so-glad I purchased the HD555s already for 90.00USD and the HD600s for 249.00USD. I wonder if the HD800s are going up also? This kind of Big Brother thing is interesting and grotesque...never been to your website but perhaps your stuck in a little bit of a conflict of interest but It sounds like your an honest guy and that's admirable. I wish you the best and I hope all works out okay.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 6:15 AM Post #4 of 60

estreeter

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Posts
8,333
Likes
472
Marcus has just posted further to the effect that he doesnt believe Sennheiser are behind this - its the axis of evil that comprises 'big retail' here in our tiny market : many of these don't even have a web presence beyond the 'electronic brochure' approach that is so 1990s its laughable. They charge massively inflated prices over the online guys, aimed at dribbler market that only gets information from TV ads, then bleat to their suppliers that they are losing out. Truly pathetic.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 6:57 AM Post #5 of 60

pp312

Hoping to be taken seriously for once in his life
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Posts
4,095
Likes
240
I suspect this is purely the Sennheiser distributor, not Sennheiser per se,. However, Marcus has been so vociferously critical of Sennheiser stuff generally, I'm surprised the distributor hasn't cut him off at the knees (or is this a way of doing that without seeming to?). Personally I find no correlation between Marcus' Sennheiser comments and what I hear from my 555 and 650, but if he really believes half the stuff he throws at Senn products, I don't know why he wants to sell them at all. And anyway, who would want to buy a 595 from a retailer who labels them as "harsh"?
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 7:01 AM Post #6 of 60

Drubbing

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Posts
783
Likes
12
^ Not only that, but Sennheiser is complicit in this cosy arrangement with the electronics warehouses. They are, in effect, putting the moving of large numbers of units over the personal advice of specialists in the audio field.

In other words, they're not really intersted in their customers getting half decent information on their products, they just want to support the big boys that shift huge units.

Nothing wrong with shifting lots of units in itself, but if you're gripping smaller distributors by the nads to do it, that's standover stuff. Telling people what they can sell for, just because they operate on lower overheads is fascist, and a restriction of trade.

At present, this appears to be an Australian thing, but there's nothing stopping Sennheiser doing this in bigger markets if it supports larger retailers in other countries. After all, they only seem concerned about $$$$.

I, for one, will never buy any of their stuff again. Dedicated, knwledgeable and honest small retailers like headphonic deserve to be supported.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 7:04 AM Post #7 of 60

estreeter

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Posts
8,333
Likes
472
Quote:

Originally Posted by pp312 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I suspect this is purely the Sennheiser distributor, not Sennheiser per se,. However, Marcus has been so vociferously critical of Sennheiser stuff generally, I'm surprised the distributor hasn't cut him off at the knees (or is this a way of doing that without seeming to?). Personally I find no correlation between Marcus' Sennheiser comments and what I hear from my 555 and 650, but if he really believes half the stuff he throws at Senn products, I don't know why he wants to sell them at all. And anyway, who would want to buy a 595 from a retailer who labels them as "harsh"?


I agree, but surely you'd buy the 595's when he sells them for $80 less than the local retailers ? The cans and your ears dont care where you bought them.

Marcus is probably better able to explain why he sells Sennheiser when he clearly doesnt see them as good value for money:

I started this business without Sennheiser in my catalogue, not because I couldn't sell it, but because I didn't want to sell it. It was only to stop the dozens of "you just say Sennheiser is bad value for money because you don't sell them" comments that I used to get that led me to take the brand onboard.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 7:07 AM Post #8 of 60

Drubbing

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Posts
783
Likes
12
Quote:

Originally Posted by pp312 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I suspect this is purely the Sennheiser distributor, not Sennheiser per se,. However, Marcus has been so vociferously critical of Sennheiser stuff generally, I'm surprised the distributor hasn't cut him off at the knees (or is this a way of doing that without seeming to?). Personally I find no correlation between Marcus' Sennheiser comments and what I hear from my 555 and 650, but if he really believes half the stuff he throws at Senn products, I don't know why he wants to sell them at all. And anyway, who would want to buy a 595 from a retailer who labels them as "harsh"?


What differnce does it make - the Australian distributor is an arm of Sennheiser anyway.

And Marcus has his opinions. As a retailer whose business lives or dies on recommendations and advice, he's entitled to those. He stocked Senn to answer all those who said "you only bag them because you don't stock them". So he stocked them and still told it as he saw it.

Having heard a lot of Senn's, I tended to agree with him; Senn has some very average products at the lower end, for above average price tags. Customers deserve to know what is good VFM and what will suit the sound they're looking for.

They'll never get that at the chain stores.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 8:07 AM Post #9 of 60

ford2

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 8, 2007
Posts
1,827
Likes
31
Quote:

Originally Posted by Drubbing /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What differnce does it make - the Australian distributor is an arm of Sennheiser anyway.

And Marcus has his opinions. As a retailer whose business lives or dies on recommendations and advice, he's entitled to those. He stocked Senn to answer all those who said "you only bag them because you don't stock them". So he stocked them and still told it as he saw it.

Having heard a lot of Senn's, I tended to agree with him; Senn has some very average products at the lower end, for above average price tags. Customers deserve to know what is good VFM and what will suit the sound they're looking for.

They'll never get that at the chain stores.



If you think that the above average price is just for there low end stuff think again,
Ask Marcus what the price of the HD800 is,that will be an eye opener.
The wonders of PRICE FIXING when its not price fixing,The wonders of FREE TRADE when its not free trade,The wonders of buying overseas on the net,but not allowed because the company said NO,all to safeguard the dealerships they say,I say something else.
mad.gif
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 8:15 AM Post #11 of 60

Covenant

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 2, 2005
Posts
2,773
Likes
58
A sad announcement indeed. I've been frustrated with Sennheiser over the HD800 debacle - for those of you who don't know, it STILL isn't available for sale in Australia, despite being initially advised to have them out to Aus resellers by late February.

And now this. I do love my HD600, and Sennheiser make great products, but I have to take issue with their business practice here. But then again, I also own a HF-2, and Grado don't exactly have a good international policy either.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 8:19 AM Post #12 of 60

Drubbing

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Posts
783
Likes
12
Quote:

Originally Posted by ford2 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you think that the above average price is just for there low end stuff think again. Ask Marcus what the price of the HD800 is, that will be an eye opener.
The wonders of PRICE FIXING when its not price fixing,The wonders of FREE TRADE when its not free trade,The wonders of buying overseas on the net,but not allowed because the company said NO,all to safeguard the dealerships they say,I say something else.
mad.gif



Whilst I agree with where you're coming from, Marcus has answered this in previous posts here and elsewhere when he was accused (mostly from o/s) of fleecing people with his prices. Australia gets a raw deal from a lot of manufacturers, simply by virtue of the size of its market.

With Senn's for example, Marcus can't even land them in Aus for the prices many of the US e/retailers are selling for. Yet he can still sell Senn's for competitive prices in his market, without getting the huge volume price breaks his local chain store competion gets. That demonstrates how much jam money the big boys are making, which means Senn and the stores and fleecing Australia.

Thankfully, not all manufacturers treat Australia with the contempt Sennheiser are showing, and we can still get some good deals on other brands.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 9:06 AM Post #13 of 60

Thrawn7

New Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 11, 2009
Posts
9
Likes
0
Marcus does go a bit overboard in flaming Senns though. His description of the HD-595 in the product page is "odd, almost faulty sounding, bass response". The use of the word 'faulty' is something you can probably get sued for libel.

I think its perfectly fair for a distributor to refuse selling products to a reseller that bad mouths its product, especially in such a blatant way.

Price fixing is illegal though and if its true/proven that the Syntec made it a condition of buying Senns to not advertise/sell below RRP, they're gonna get fined by ACCC.

As the price rises, it sux.. but parallel importing is completely legal in Oz. Nikon and Canon cameras used to be ridiculous in Oz as well, but since a lot of grey importers came in, their official prices became a lot more reasonable.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 9:08 AM Post #14 of 60

captian73

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Posts
1,934
Likes
15
That happened in Sweden, when the new Koss distributor stop supplying one of my sponsors, and so they went out on their own, much to the criticism of the headphone world. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to post any reference o the aforementioned headphones on head-fi.

it's a sad situation really.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 9:21 AM Post #15 of 60

nattonrice

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 10, 2008
Posts
979
Likes
30
Well Senn in AU was dead to me when I found out the fixed price of the hd800 here.
I am used to getting assed with a "you're in Australia so live with it" tax but you have to draw a line.
I think a AUD$1000 mark up of the USA price is a good place to start said line.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top