Religion-Naim-&-U.S. Dealers!

UK-based folks that follow the Naim religion seem to never waiver from the “faith”! They have an abundance of good dealers and Naim Audio is close by!
Here in the U.S., it’s very difficult to find a good Naim dealer. Former dealers who have “lost faith” tend to be among the fiercest critics of the brand and talk negatively about the “Naim sound” and “outdated technology.”
Many current U.S. Naim dealers demand that their customers sign in blood and pledge allegiance that they will not visit any other dealer nor will they ever buy any used equipment if they want to remain a customer — even if the dealer offers no trade-in options or has no trade-ins for sale.
It makes it really hard for U.S. Naim lovers to move up the component chain since many dealers no longer want to work with a customer who may have found a good deal on a traded-in component - on Audiogon for instance. These dealers consider this to be sacriligious; suddenly - if the dealer learns that you’ve broken your bond with him, even if you are a long-time customer, you suddenly become someone who has sinned and are now shunned.
Yes—high-End Audio is a tough business but should being Naim-ophiles mean that we can never stray from the religion or do business with more than one dealer? Never trade up to buy a pre-owned component unless from your dealer? Never consider buying anything but brand new gear from one dealer?
With seemingly fewer and fewer high-end audio dealers and with declining numbers of U.S.-based Naim dealers every year, it is becoming increasingly difficult to audition new Naim gear.
Naim Audio - you need to do a better job here in the States!

1 Like

I live in Seattle and have an excellent Naim dealer, five minutes from my house. There are two other NAIM dealers in the area which I have not visited. The dealer sells new and used, allows home demonstrations and will set up and support what he sells.

He does not have the inventory of the dealers in the UK but nothing usually takes more than a week to receive from the national distributor when I have placed an order.

I know I am much more fortunate than many others around the country and I am happy that I walked through his doors a few years back and established the relationship.

Hope you find someone you can work with.

4 Likes

WTF???

I’ve bought some of my Naim gear used on Audiogon, some used from my Naim dealer and some of it new from the same dealer. That dealer also knows what I bought used from Audiogon, and even handled everything (scheduling, shipping both ways, etc) when I had that gear serviced and upgraded to DR. They also arranged for a loaner NDX2 to audition while my ND5-XS was out for service. That dealer will accept anything in trade if it’s a current model.

Sounds like you a bad dealer and should walk away, but I wouldn’t generalize about U.S. Naim dealers all being like that. I have not had any of the experiences you mention. That behavior is ridiculous. I wouldn’t give a dealer like that the time of day.

Even UK dealers take a dim view if you audition with them and then buy the same thing elsewhere, used or otherwise.

4 Likes

That’s true of dealers and brands generally, but I don’t think that’s the issue here.

Seakayaker - you are very fortunate. My nearest Naim dealer is about an hour away. I’ve been a customer for 30 years (!) but fell out of favor when I bought my 252 in for service; her response was “did you buy this from us?” I reminded her that I purchased my 282 from them but traded it for the 252 through Audiogon. Her response: “then get them to service it.”

Problem is they’re the only game in town. There are a couple other dealers but at greater distance and I’ve never purchased anything from them.

I understand that well and would never take a Dealer’s time for an audition and then buy elsewhere. I believe that if you receive good service and attention from a high-end dealer, then you are ethically bound to buy from that dealer.

You are fortunate to have a progressive and open-minded dealer in your area!

That is fair enough!

3 Likes

I’d suggest that @Richard.Dane brings this to Naim’s attention and thence to the US distributor. It’s ridiculous behaviour. A Naim dealer should support any Naim equipment.

4 Likes

An hour away is nothing. My dealer is 6,000 miles away! Not a single dealer in my country. Even for things I can buy in country (non Naim) I choose my dealer overseas who I trust, gives proper advice and knows what he’s talking about.

If I was you, I’d forge a relationship with a dealer who is not an arse. I mean, if there is not more to your story than you are letting on, he sounds like someone the US distributor should know about.

Just out of curiosity, does this dealer also have tube amps? If so, it would be pretty hypocritical to single out Naim for using older but tried and true technology. Besides, music reproduction is about results, not technology. One is a means to the end and only worth any acclaim to the extent that it delivers the goods.

1 Like

Exactly my point.

Agreed - auditioning a specific model at a dealer and then buying elsewhere is not cool. But there can be a fine line between auditioning a specific component at a dealer and then buying elsewhere — and just hearing a higher-end Naim System at your dealer while there for something else and then buying a preowned unit to save significant money because your dealer only sells new.

@Rosami, do you draw your conclusion from that experience with one dealer? I understand your anger – I wouldn’t be happy either… I think @hungryhalibut’s suggestion that Naim looks into this particular case is a good one. Naim and its US distributor should have a keen interest in keeping their dealer network in order!

But surely, your bold opening post requires more than, technically speaking, one observation… If there isn’t more to your story, the thread should be moderated if not closed in my view, as it doesn’t appear fair to leave the impression that Naim’s US dealers are total rubbish… But I am sure @Richard.Dane has an eye on this…

I’d never name the dealer. They’re a long-time Naim dealer and I like the folks - I just no longer agree with the way they do business. (Hey - it’s their business so I guess they can run it how they please.) I still would like to be able to enjoy a visit to my Naim dealer; I know they’re probably struggling - as are most high-end retail dealers given the changing market, but I don’t want to have to feel guilty taking their time if I just want to stop by to say hello. I guess the days of “hanging out” at a dealer are pretty much over, given the realities of a competitive and declining market.

I’m watching, yes. I do know that the US distribution is going through a transitional phase right now, but I’ve made Naim aware of Rosmai’s experience as posted on this thread, so it can be relayed back to right people.

Rosami, please by all means send a mail or similar to Naim (info@naimaudio.com) to expand on your experience, as I know they appreciate any feedback, and it will better help them to service their customers in the States in future.

Not really – they have to meet Naim’s expectations! If not, they should be “excommunicated”…

1 Like

If they were struggling then they should be happy to get the service business or any business for that matter. It is the customers right to buy where they want to. However, I can understand their frustration with you for buying elsewhere after being a customer for 30 years. Did you ask them if they could match the trade you did with Audiogon or offer any alternative before you got the 252?

Have an honest conversation with your dealer and see if you can straighten things out. If not, switch to another, regardless to the inconvenience.
I like my dealer in Chicago, I have known these guys for over 25 years, but a friend of mine here had some difficulties with them and she chose to work with someone else on the east coast. Not the end of the world.

1 Like