I betray my advanced years here. When I was first in a position to start buying stereo and video stuff (in other words as soon as I had a paying job) I studied my options carefully and thoroughly educated myself before I dared to step into the “Hi-Fi” shop.
A few words about “Hi-Fi” shop. Back in those days, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and birds had big leather wings and could carry collies away for dinner there were indeed stand alone stores which specialized in stereo equipment. It seems quaint but it’s true.
Loving music and wanting the best I could afford I subscribed to magazines like Stereo Review and High Fidelity so I could make intelligent choices. The salesmen at these “Hi-Fi” shops were scholars of the art. Often wearing tweed jackets with leather elbow patches and smoking pipes they would pontificate at length and really help you make a purchase.
Compare and contrast my recent experience at a store which we will call “Next Guy.” First of all a visit to this type of store raises my blood pressure and gives me a headache. It’s loud. And bright. And busy. I was wanting to buy a Blu-Ray DVD player that connects to the Wi-Fi in my house so I could watch on-line movies. I was educated and knew what I wanted.
The first person I talked to wearing the store shirt was “from another department” and couldn’t help me. Judging by the fact that he looked like he had been kissing a nail gun with piercings covering most of his epidermis I think he may have been from another dimension. The next two guys gave me a brush off with “IDK” (I don’t know) like I was speaking Martian. The fourth guy wanted to help. I could tell. But when he tried to sell me a $70 dollar accessory which was already included in the unit I was considering I hardly knew what to say.
In the middle of this discussion “Next Guy” number five joined us. This guy was sporting a soul patch that dangled several inches below his chin and had been braided with colorful beads. I found it hard to not look at it. But he chased the guy away who was trying to sell me the unnecessary stuff. Then he proceeded to diss every player in the store except the ones that exceeded my budget by several hundred bucks. He lost interest in me as a customer when I told him what I was willing to spend.
On my own I found what I wanted and vowed next time to buy on-line.
I wonder why retail brick and mortar stores go out of business?