I have done the comparison “real” pricing of the Naim NAP 250 a few times. Sure a 250 is a vastly superior beast today, and better made too, than in the 70’s but the moniker hasn’t changed, (much). At AUD 13,500 a new 250 is about 15% cheaper in real terms than it was back in 1983 at “only” AUD 2,999. Prices have gone up 4.5 times and Average male earnings have gone up 5.2 times, (I am relying on ABS figures). So relatively cheaper. Having said that, (and my figures could be out a touch as I am remembering the RRP from 40 years ago), Naim here in Australia was a vastly better deal when NA Distributors had the agency. I do have my concerns about the current guys.
It was a lot more affordable back in 2003. I bought a modest starter system, (172/200/S400s) for less money than it sold for in the UK, doing the conversions.
Part of this was down to the distributor Chris Murphy, a really great guy, (he sourced white S400s for me and did them at a standard finish price, thanks so much Chris), and partly due to discounting by my dealer.
But also I am sure margins were and still are healthy for Naim dealers. Back in the day we usually had RRPs set so as to acheive a GP, (gross margin), of around 35%. IE, if it sold for $1000 it had a wholesale of $650 inclusive of all duties, taxes etc. This wasn’t just Naim, it was most decent high end brands.
Given that most deals involved trade-ins, home demonstrations and a bit of horsetrading, you needed this to represent a brand fairly AND stay in business. Some of our high end brands had GPs of 45%. But that was then and this is now.
I suspect that the current situation is that dealers get about the same suggested margins, but acheive lower percentages because of our friend Google, easier shipping, simple international money transfer and a readiness for consumers to ask questions.
But for all that, honestly hifi should be cheaper in real terms because most consumer things are! Manufacturing gets better and better, the weak guys fail and the smart guys succeed.
But what we have here in Sunny Perth is a changing of distributor a couple of years back, and a new product line, so a chance of a bit of repositioning. And gouging.