35 Bose SoundLink Mini bI’m pretty certain I’m not the only person in the world who thinks music and red wine go together particularly well, and just lately it appears the ever creative people in the Bose marketing department have cottoned on to the idea. I received a catalogue from my local bottle shop the other day and the back page was devoted to a joint promotion with the audio company. Buy $70 worth of wine, it said, and you can buy a Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker for $129. Having been fond of both items for years the offer pressed my buttons.

I’ve written about the Mini often, compared it favourably against similarly priced speakers from other manufacturers and recommended it to people who ask. My mate Mervyn bought one a few months ago and paid $299. Just lately the Bose website has it listed at $249 and it’s also been marked down on the US website.

It’s unusual for Bose websites to show discounts, but things change. In recent years my local Bose shop has become quite negotiable now that major retailers are stocking the brand. So the $50 reduction listed on the website together with the wine offer made me think the Mini is about to be replaced and Bose had come up with an inventive way to clear old stock. But the folk at Bose say the Mini isn’t in run-out and the guy at the local hi fi shop, who had it ticketed for $249, said he’d heard nothing about a new one.

If you think Bose gear is expensive you’re certainly not alone and the Mini offer, which was limited to 4500 units, obviously generated a lot of interest. Almost 3000 were gone after two days and while sales slowed markedly after that, all 4500 were gone two days before the offer closed on Fathers’ Day.

Buying runout audio equipment is not like buying runout cars. You don’t have to worry about resale value with audio equipment because there is none. And if it works and sounds good now it will keep on sounding good for as long as it keeps working. Status? Ninety-nine per cent of people who see it at your place won’t know it’s been superseded, so as long as you trust the brand and it sounds good buying runout audio equipment is a safe bet.

Bose SoundLink Mini aThe problem is knowing when it’s in runout. Audio manufacturers will seldom advertise the fact and usually the only signs are when it’s suddenly on special and there’s a stack of them on display. Another sign is how hard the salesperson works to talk you up to a just-released or just-about-to-be-released alternative.

The other way to bag a few dollars off is to buy what was once known as ‘shop soiled’ but for which the motor industry invented the far more attractive term of ‘demonstrator’. Buying demonstrator electronics requires far more caution than buying demonstrator cars.

Televisions are a prime example. Modern tellies are delicate and the most common early problems are caused by poor handling. Demonstrator televisions get plenty of that. They are also run on their highest brightness settings every day for as long as they’re on display. Test-drive a demonstrator car and you’ll be in the company of a salesperson who’ll be watching how you’re treating it, but demonstrator electronics, especially stereos, soundbars, headphones and radios in the big chain stores, are at the mercy of all who pass, including kids.

And the discount is usually minimal. For me it’s nowhere near enough to justify the risk.

Published September 2017


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