So you’re in the market for a home theater, home audio system, new Television or some other piece of home entertainment. What do you do? Head to the Big Box Retailer? After all, their prices are great. You could save a ton of money buying that new LCD TV there. Just go into the store, check out the myriad of TV’s on display, find your size, check the picture and price and you’re on your merry way. What could be easier?
Option 2, meet with a Custom Integrator. Sit down, discuss your needs and desires with someone who has knowledge of the equipment you are interested in. You may find out that the TV that looked great in the showroom will last 30 to 45 days longer than the manufacturer’s warranty. You may find that the custom person has a better line of equipment that you weren’t aware of. You could find out that the price you pay is not always the best deal out there.
Most Custom Integrators do a lot of research on equipment so as to save themselves service calls. What is a service call? It is money out of a Custom guy’s pocket. The fewer times the custom guy has to come back to your house for free, the better for him and for you. Better for you because that means the equipment you purchased is working without any problems. It’s better for the integrator because he has maximized his profits. The Big Box guys will sell you whatever they have the most of, whatever is in stock or whatever has the highest profit margin. Is that really what you want?
Another thing the Big Boxes will try to do is sell you the extended warranty. Why? Additional profit. So you saved $100 on the Ramrung LCD TV and paid $350 for the extended warranty. This is akin to buying insurance at the Black Jack table. You are betting that the new piece of gear you just bought will fail. Why not buy something that isn’t going to fail for a long time? Buy the wrong thing, buy the extra warranty and what did you really save? A Custom guy will sell you the correct thing for your wants and needs. That is the proper way to buy.
Be aware that most of the Big Boxes has specially manufactured equipment for their stores. The AV Receiver you see at Bust By may not be the same receiver your Custom Guy carries. Always check model numbers and compare apples to apples. Just because it is the same brand of TV and the same size of TV does not mean it is the same TV. One Japanese TV manufacturer makes approximately twenty five different 46” LCD TV’s in varying states of quality. How does Mal-Wart sell so cheaply? By buying in large quantities, and by selling you a lesser model. Be very aware of this fact. Ask an expert what the difference is in the different models.
In summarizing, always talk with a Custom Integrator before making a purchase. The expert advice you’ll receive will help you become a much more informed consumer, and being an informed consumer is always a good thing. Buy from an expert. You can’t really go wrong with that decision.