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Why doesn’t hifi gear keep its value?


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Every day I am staggered at the prices 2nd hand items carry on SNA.   Even new stuff, never opened, is worth only 70% once it leaves the retailers shelf.     
 

The TAD’s for sale are a classic example.   Insane pricing.

 

Anything 6 months old is 50% or forget it.

 

Why is that so?    Is there simply to much choice to be had?   Are times that tough for both seller and buyer.

 

What brands/equipment genuinely holds its value?

 

I doubt I could ever bring myself to buy new again.   Might as well get your money out of the bank and set fire to 40% of it.   Same difference.

 

Regards Cazzesman.

 

 

Edited by cazzesman
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So that people like me can afford to build a good system

I'm a fan of buying my $130k-$150k optioned Audi wagons for $40k when 4 years old with 60,000km on them and 3 year warranty.    Although thanks to Covid my current one has gone up $10k since

If secondhand items sold for the same price as new items, why not just buy the new item?  It will have a warranty and no concerns of wear/damage by previous owners.

its like most things - most like things new. Audio components are very personal and each person have needs and wants.

 

The only real brand that maintains value is the vintage McIntoshs. 

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When you buy new you pay full price for the unit including research and development factory cost shipping GST import duties retail markup and profit. As you put on the second hand market you take off the research and development factory cost shipping GST import duties retail markup and profit cost and you start selling price minus %50. If you open up the unit the parts used might be %20 of the new price if your lucky.Myself although I could afford to by new I cant afford to flip it for a %50 loss ...

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Demand does come into play. The Denafrips Ares 2 is a good example where used prices less than 10% off new. 

 

How many used items are you prepared to by close to full retail for?

 

Cars depreciate considerably straight off the lot, furniture and white goods can be found for a steal on gumtree etc

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5 minutes ago, Bunno77 said:

Demand does come into play. The Denafrips Ares 2 is a good example where used prices less than 10% off new. 

 

How many used items are you prepared to by close to full retail for?

 

Cars depreciate considerably straight off the lot, furniture and white goods can be found for a steal on gumtree etc

And it all depends on how rare and desirable things are. I mean, for limited edition cars, you have an immediate demand for the items at up to 4 times the original price. So much so that some manufacturers will permanently ban you from buying any more of their hi-end products if you sell it within a specified time-frame (I think Aston Martin were the most recent of those).

 

But I suspect that there are almost no pieces of hi-fi, no matter how rare, than make it into the same category. I've see Apogee stuff selling for the same dollar value it originally sold for (someone mentioned McIntosh) and there's probably others. I have seen Sony TA-N1's advertised for USD$16.5k to $25k recently (given they were $7.5k to $9k in 1999), which would be pretty close to an increase in value. But that's pretty rare...

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4 hours ago, cazzesman said:

Even new stuff, never opened, is worth only 70% once it leaves the retailers shelf.

 

4 hours ago, cazzesman said:

Anything 6 months old is 50% or forget it.

 


I want whatever classifieds you’re smoking! 😉

 

Honestly, I”m not seeing that level of depreciation. Maybe you’re just talking high end items for rich and fussy buyers, and not the nature strip dodgers I’m looking for?

 

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5 hours ago, genkifd said:

its like most things - most like things new. Audio components are very personal and each person have needs and wants.

 

The only real brand that maintains value is the vintage McIntoshs. 

Sansui too!

 

Also individual items from other brands like LEAK, LUX ext'.

Edited by muon*
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If secondhand items sold for the same price as new items, why not just buy the new item?  It will have a warranty and no concerns of wear/damage by previous owners.

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A few things that bucked the trend. 

 

Higher spec Panasonic plasma once discontinued. Resold for nearly double once people realised how bad LCD were at the time. Superior plasma only died at the time due to tightening energy efficiency requirements and the 4k prototypes couldn't meet them. 

 

Oppo 205 once discontinued. Still commanding about double RRP. And still nothing that comes close to replacing its capability.

 

Bought my 205 the day after the announcement was made. And same on my plasma, trying not to laugh as negotiated a big discount on it, then watched the resellers charge double 2 months later.

 

Personally I by 2nd hand hifi a fair bit, and new gear is from local manufacturers. 

 

And when the gear is occasionally tax deductable, 2nd hand would have to be less than half price and nearly new to be worthwhile. 

 

 

Edited by DrSK
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In relation to the TAD’s, very limited number of people buying at that price range. The higher up the ladder you go the better the bargain you will find.

Most thing will cost you the price of a reasonable car but once the system is completed you could buy a new Porsche Turbo with the savings.

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7 hours ago, cazzesman said:

Every day I am staggered at the prices 2nd hand items carry on SNA.   Even new stuff, never opened, is worth only 70% once it leaves the retailers shelf.     
 

The TAD’s for sale are a classic example.   Insane pricing.

 

Anything 6 months old is 50% or forget it.

 

Why is that so?    Is there simply to much choice to be had?   Are times that tough for both seller and buyer.

 

What brands/equipment genuinely holds its value?

 

I doubt I could ever bring myself to buy new again.   Might as well get your money out of the bank and set fire to 40% of it.   Same difference.

 

Regards Cazzesman.

 

Shirley, you can't be serious, C!!  :o

 

When you buy a new car ... the sell-value drops by 40 or 50% as soon as you drive it out of the dealer's showroom.  (Well, except in these Covid times, when cars are not available.)

 

Andy

 

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What consumer item doesn't go down in value once it is second hand?

 

 Hifi is no different to clothes, cars, tv's, phones etc etc.

 

 Nobody loses any money if you don't sell and keep using it.

 

 As soon as a new model comes out, FOMO hits big time and many audiophiles have to upgrade or just try something new that have rave reviews or an internet buzz.  

 

 If one has the discretionary income to do this with hifi, happy days to them and also to the buyer's of good used items.  It's a win win.

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So that people like me can afford to build a good system :D

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Model trains can be more expensive then new price. Rarity. II have just been looking for a couple of two seater recliner leather lounges.  Picked up two Nick Scalis for $300 in excellent condition for the Rumpus room. New price was around $1200 each.

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5 minutes ago, Wimbo said:

Nick Scali

Wow!

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I'm a fan of buying my $130k-$150k optioned Audi wagons for $40k when 4 years old with 60,000km on them and 3 year warranty. 

 

Although thanks to Covid my current one has gone up $10k since I bought it. 

 

image000000 (3).jpg

Edited by DrSK
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It really just comes down to supply and demand. V8 Land Cruiser anyone? Selling for $150K. Rolex Submariner - up to 8K over retail. What we will see is an increase in demand for AKM4499 DACs after the fire. The other element is rarity, an Omega Snoopy, early Rolex etc. Or go down to your local aquarium, yellow tangs double the price of 12 months ago. Want to buy a house in a major capital city? Gazumping here we come. It's FOMO and too much lazy cheap money.......it'll all come crashing down!

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Abbas Audio gear tends to keep it's value, primarily because of it's level of performance and the fact that it can be hard to get hold of. They're made by 1 man and his 2 assistants so there's only so many they can pump out.  It's also based on old technology so the parts have already depreciated as much as they're going to :)

Edited by MattyW
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20 hours ago, cazzesman said:

Every day I am staggered at the prices 2nd hand items carry on SNA.   Even new stuff, never opened, is worth only 70% once it leaves the retailers shelf.     
 

The TAD’s for sale are a classic example.   Insane pricing.

 

Anything 6 months old is 50% or forget it.

 

Why is that so?    Is there simply to much choice to be had?   Are times that tough for both seller and buyer.

 

What brands/equipment genuinely holds its value?

 

I doubt I could ever bring myself to buy new again.   Might as well get your money out of the bank and set fire to 40% of it.   Same difference.

 

Regards Cazzesman.

 

 


My take on it is that you shouldn’t compare to new “sticker” price. Most people will not have paid that price. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a tonne of bargains in the secondhand market. 

It also depends on what is flavour of the month (usually applies to DACs) As an example, for a while RME ADI-2 DACs were selling secondhand for about the same price as you could import a brand new one from Europe. 
Their price is starting to fall now as they inevitably get replaced by the next shiny thing. 

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Realistic minimus 7 sold for $50 back in the day (AFAIR) - still can sell for that today 😂

Edited by andythiing
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Alpine ERA-G320 car audio processors sell for US$2000 today. That's more than the current, better model.

Cyrus gear though? Can't give it away sometimes and then I just needed to pay about retail for a 7 year old phono stage from them.

 

Good old supply vs demand in action.

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2 hours ago, andythiing said:

Realistic minimus 7 sold for $50 back in the day (AFAIR) - still can sell for that today 😂

Or more sometimes.  Not necessarily to audio enthusiasts, but also to Rat Shack collectors.

 

Most audio gear needs to appeal to some collector aspect to really hold it's value.

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2 hours ago, andythiing said:

Realistic minimus 7 sold for $50 back in the day (AFAIR) - still can sell for that today 😂

Probably the single best audio item that Tandy ever sold. For the price they were, and remain, pretty good value. A mate of mine who owns a pair of Sonus Faber Amati still hangs on to his pair for old times sake.

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There are many factors that dictate the price of second-hand hi-fi.

  • Supply vs demand.
  • The newer model isn't as good as the previous model.
  • The newer model lacks some of the features of the previous model(s).
  • A perception that the older model(s) are significantly better (which explains the sometimes insane prices asked for some vintage gear).
  • Rarity
  • Deemed to be "a collector's item".
  • Cult following combined with no longer made.

As with everything used, some things go up in price whilst others drop.

 

In the pre-COVID era one could buy a one year old luxury car or sports car relatively cheaply by perusing the notice boards at a lot of the universities. Some wealthy overseas students wouldn't be seen dead in last year's model car so often you could pick up a one year old Beemer, Audi, Merc, WRX, Evo (only slightly thrashed) for a song just before they flew home for the holidays.

 

Cheers,

Alan R.

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A guy I know based in Bloomington Indiana (my parent company's office) does exactly that. He set up a business buying 1-3 yr old Lambos, Ferraris etc from OS students who sold them on leaving IU. Buys them at 10c in the $. He once picked up a 911 that just had the keys on the seat outside the dorm the student was in. Student had rung and said "can you dispose of my car"?! He then cleans them up (they're often dinged) and then transports them all over the US. Has done very well for himself until C-19 came along!

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20 hours ago, DrSK said:

A few things that bucked the trend. 

 

Higher spec Panasonic plasma once discontinued. Resold for nearly double once people realised how bad LCD were at the time. Superior plasma only died at the time due to tightening energy efficiency requirements and the 4k prototypes couldn't meet them. 

 

Oppo 205 once discontinued. Still commanding about double RRP. And still nothing that comes close to replacing its capability.

 

Bought my 205 the day after the announcement was made. And same on my plasma, trying not to laugh as negotiated a big discount on it, then watched the resellers charge double 2 months later.

 

Personally I by 2nd hand hifi a fair bit, and new gear is from local manufacturers. 

 

And when the gear is occasionally tax deductable, 2nd hand would have to be less than half price and nearly new to be worthwhile. 

 

 

I'm with you Dr SK. I orgered an Oppo 205 and am still laughing at the 2nd hand price.

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Nakamichi tape decks have been on an upward spiral since the company was sold, and now seemingly going into orbit. Dragons, ZX series in particular are still very sought after. 

The reason? No other brand/mamufacturer  comes within a cooee of them and product of this quality isn't going to be seen again. 

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I've never come across any HI FI gear that holds its value bar old nostalgic stuff. Hi end gear in particular, the ass falls out because there's so much mark up in the first place, you only have to see some of the bargains on SNA.

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On 11/06/2021 at 12:55 PM, JukKluk2 said:

Probably the single best audio item that Tandy ever sold. For the price they were, and remain, pretty good value. A mate of mine who owns a pair of Sonus Faber Amati still hangs on to his pair for old times sake.

Still have my original pair.

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Probably no different to other forms of electrical equipment or technology..........we have to pay top price for the high end gear or the latest release of tech.

It never ceases to amaze me how retailers can put items on sale for up to 70% off the items price to clear last seasons clothing, footwear, phones, tech etc. - does this reflect with how much of a mark-up in pricing to begin with?

Remember the old saying "a fool and his money".......

Even if I could afford to pay $100k plus for speaker cables, I'm sure it's not going to restore that portion of my hearing range that I've lost due to age!!

I love the other saying that they don't put pockets in coffins........

We all decide where and how we spend our $$

 

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Because the vast majority of people on Planet Earth  are not interested in Hi Fi. Therefore you only have a very small pool of people that are potential customers.

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13 hours ago, Saxon Hall said:

Because the vast majority of people on Planet Earth  are not interested in Hi Fi. Therefore you only have a very small pool of people that are potential customers.

Heresy!!!! 😅

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14 hours ago, Saxon Hall said:

Because the vast majority of people on Planet Earth  are not interested in Hi Fi. Therefore you only have a very small pool of people that are potential customers.

And if a seller needs to offload an item in order to purchase the NBT, he/she will price their item in hope of a quick sale and that becomes the new market price down the track for the next poor bugger trying to move the same thing on in the same small pond.

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35 minutes ago, deanB said:

And if a seller needs to offload an item in order to purchase the NBT, he/she will price their item in hope of a quick sale and that becomes the new market price down the track for the next poor bugger trying to move the same thing on in the same small pond.

 

And????

 

Andy

 

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Mostly, correct for HiFi gear. Some rare exceptions no doubt.

But, that's the wrong way to loo at it. Enjoy owning great audio gear that makes you happy.

If buying new is too much to stomach the depreciation, and funds needed elsewhere, take advantage of cheap used gear, and buy used.

I am a hospital Doctor. I have a 37 year old woman admitted right now, married with 4 young children. Diagnosed with terminal incurable biliary cancer. She has a few weeks left, and too ill to return home.

At one point last year, I had four patients admitted with Bowel cancer, and all in their 30s!

None of these people expected to die young.

Life's short.

 

Edited by Silver Audiophile
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3 hours ago, deanB said:

And if a seller needs to offload an item in order to purchase the NBT, he/she will price their item in hope of a quick sale and that becomes the new market price down the track for the next poor bugger trying to move the same thing on in the same small pond.

I don't think this is true.  People will only pay what they think something is worth and if yours is the only one available, the last sale price might be irrelevent, especially if it is something fancy and the vendor went out of business or cheapened the replacement product out.  The price of vintage Sansui gear isn't affected by the 1980s post-failure Sansui dross that is worth nothing.

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3 hours ago, Silver Audiophile said:

Mostly, correct for HiFi gear. Some rear exceptions no doubt.

But, that's the wrong way to loo at it. Enjoy owning great audio gear that makes you happy.

If buying new is too much to stomach the depreciation, and funds needed elsewhere, take advantage of cheap used gear, and buy used.

I am a hospital Doctor. I have a 37 year old woman admitted right now, married with 4 young children. Diagnosed with terminal incurable biliary cancer. She has a few weeks left, and too ill to return home.

At one point last year, I had four patients admitted with Bowel cancer, and all in their 30s!

None of these people expected to die young.

Life's short.

 

 

Thanks for the reality check 'chuckles' 😭

 

Regards Cazzesman

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So far the discussion has been confined to Western capitalist systems. Comrades, consider for a moment the bizarre world of NOS tubes/valves, where Communism lives on!

 

I just bought my first tube amp and find myself paying exorbitant prices for obsolete devices produced in Soviet bloc countries that have had regime changes (Hungary) and/or no longer exist (Yugoslavia).

 

If these countries had been able to trade their tubes with audiophiles outside the Iron Curtain at today's prices, perhaps the USSR could have stumbled on for a few more years!    

Edited by Bill_F
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