As an audiophile you’re well aware that your hobby is far from cheap. If you want the best audio equipment out there, you can expect to spend at least a couple hundred dollars. But, if you’re in the market for the best of the best, you know that price tags often shoot into the thousands of dollars. Thankfully there are ways to save money on audiophile equipment without sacrificing quality. Keep reading to learn 5 clever ways to save money while enjoying your tunes.
- Online Vendors
The way of the world today is online and this rings true especially for audiophile equipment. If you’re looking for a wide variety of items, consider purchasing from an online auction or trading website. Top sites to use include Audiogon, Audiophile Trading, and The Music Room. Each of these sites runs auctions as well as classified ads for high quality audio gear. The sites are very similar to eBay in which you can bid on items and determine who is and isn’t a reputable seller. Some sites even offer an online Blue Book where you can see the average selling price for the equipment you’re purchasing. This helps to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your money.
- Try a Local Dealer for Demo Items
Chances are there are plenty of local dealers that sell audio equipment. While you can expect to pay tons of money for new equipment, used and demo items are often much less expensive. Ever walked into a store and played with a set of speakers or a pair of wireless headphones? These demo items are used and therefore cannot be sold as new. Though used, most of these items are like new. They may have slight scratches or dings on them but overall they function as if they just came out of the box.
The biggest benefit of buying demo gear is that it’s covered under the full manufacturer’s warranty. For about 20% less than the retail price, you can save money and still enjoy top notch audiophile equipment. Some dealers may offer demo gear up to 50% off.
- Outlet Stores
Think that audio equipment manufacturers don’t have outlet stores? Think again! Just like any other retailer, audio equipment brands have old items that they’re willing to get rid of at discounted prices. Harman Audio, which includes Infinity, JBL, and Harman/Kardon runs an online eBay outlet store. There you can find all sorts of equipment including portable speakers, wireless headphones, home speakers, floor stands, and much more. Other options include Saturday Audio, Crutchfield Outlet store, Best Buy Open Box Outlet store, and Guitar Center Outlet store.
Equipment from an outlet store is usually brand new but isn’t the most recent equipment. If you don’t mind using equipment that may be a few years old, this is the money saving option for you. When it comes to audio equipment you can still expect quality sounds and high functionality, even with gear that may be a few years old.
- Online Authorized Dealers
Online shopping is the way of the world today and while there are some brick and mortar stores that sell equipment for audiophiles, you’re likely to find a much bigger variety online. There are dozens of online authorized dealers including:
While these sites run discounts and promotions throughout the year, if you’re looking to score a deal, be sure to check out the demo and clearance gear sections. One of the biggest benefits of using an online vendor is the ease of finding the exact piece of equipment you want. You can search by brand, equipment type, and even price range. Most online vendors offer quick shipping as well as some type of coverage. If you receive an item that doesn’t function properly, odds are that you can return it for a replacement or your money back.
- Consider Consignment Equipment
Have you ever traded in an old pair of headphones or a DAC and applied the value towards new audio equipment? More often than not, dealers sell consignment items at a steep discount. In fact, you can expect to save at least 50% off the retail price. If you’re worried about buying consignment gear, rest assured that dealers test all gear before buying it to ensure it functions properly. The only drawback to consignment audio equipment is that there is rarely a warranty. So, if the item malfunctions or breaks, you may be out of money. Dealers also rarely accept returns on used items.
Being an audiophile can be quite a pricey hobby. But there are ways to save money on your audio equipment without sacrificing quality or functionality. If you want to keep up with your audiophile lifestyle without breaking the bank, be sure to keep these 5 money saving options in mind when upgrading your sounds. What are your best tips for saving money on high-end audio equipment? Leave us a comment in the section below.