Authorized Dealers vs Online Sources/Ebay


I am looking at receivers and finding hundreds of dollars in potential savings in what appear to be reputable sources for denon, onkyo, and others, sealed box (many stating with warrenty) However many, (Denon in particular as example) have big disclaimers on their website about only upholding warranties from thier short list of etailers and dealers.
What is the story? There seem to be hundreds of units in the market outside their "authorized" dealers, this seems like a sort of way to price control. I am trying to figure out if the risk of needing warranty out weighs the significant initial savings of purchase. This also seems to be the case on many other electronic/HT components.

There are some very good and highly reputable "non-authorized" online dealers that will cover your warranty. In November of 2002 I purchased 2 pairs of Monitor Audio Gold Reference 10 speakers from a "non-authorized" reseller at over 20% discount. Within a week I discovered one speaker had a bad woofer. The re-seller told me to mail it back at their expense and they would install a new OEM woofer and ship it back to me at their expense. They did what they said and also sold me a Pioneer Elite 49txi (MSRP $4200) at $2,650.

Their service was as good or better than any authorized retailer I ever patronized.

Before buying from a non-authorized retailer get a written and signed statement that says they will stand by the equipment for as long as the standard warranty. There are a number of non-authorized re-sellers that will do this.

Obviously you don't have to worry when you patronize an authorized dealer as they have the written manufacturer warranty. And there are some authorized dealers that may meet or come close to re-sellers prices. I would go to an authorized dealer if the price is close or if they are local and provide extra help and service. These are decisions you have to personally weigh as to what risk you are willing to take compared to any money you may save.
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