Question

Paying a 10% upcharge for Sonos products

  • 30 October 2017
  • 17 replies
  • 1436 views

I am purchasing an existing home and exploring audio options. The local security/audio is recommending Sonos and in their quote, had 10% over what Sonos charges on line. Is this usual ? When I inquired - it was stated that this is approved by Sonos and has to do with professional set up ( not any hard mounting etc ... but I guess it would be turning using TruePlay ). Is this normal. It adds up when you are looking at a $5K quote. POVs welcome !

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17 replies

Normal? Yes. Necessary? Only if you want them to have the responsibility of installing instead of you.
Tks - an extender, boost or even playbar I can see might pose a challenge if you have not done it before. But a speaker ?
Tks - an extender, boost or even playbar I can see might pose a challenge if you have not done it before. But a speaker ?

I find nothing about the Sonos system that is difficult to install, even for the most phobic of technophobes, and view those who hire it out as simply having enough money to afford the convenience. Not the first, nor the last area of expertise to make money off of folks that are too busy to be bothered doing it themselves. After all, I have a cleaning lady to do things I don't want to do myself.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
For me there's two things.

If this is a "professional" outfit then I would expect their quotation to split out the costs of the units Vs the installation costs. I wouldn't expect the unit prices to be higher than standard authorised Sonos stockists.

As to the cost for installation/set-up only you can decide on what value you place on that job knowing your own system and your own technical abilities.

One word of advice. If you do get it installed by somebody else then make sure they set it up with your e-mail address rather than theirs.
Tks Stuart W - I end up setting up 'stuff' all the time - from tuning automobiles to the old wired audio whole house systems. I have just not done Sonos, so wanted to see how tricky/finicky it is. Looks like I need to get something with IOS on it, as I am a droid/pc person. It does chafe me a bit to pay over MSRP for parts ... As jgatie says - charging more than MSRP seems acceptable, although I am not sure why Sonos would support that. I guess it is a way of hiding a $500 install for an hour or two's worth of time. And I did have an hour installation in the quote at $120.
I'm quite sure the "approved by Sonos" statement roughly translates into "they've never told us we can't do it". As to the Trueplay, borrow an iDevice and do it once. Unless you move them, you never need to do it again.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Why not buy the units from Sonos direct, benefit from the no question return policy, and get the installer to install? As Trueplay is a one time operation just get a mate round and borrow their phone for half an hour.
Why not buy the units from Sonos direct, benefit from the no question return policy, and get the installer to install? As Trueplay is a one time operation just get a mate round and borrow their phone for half an hour.

I am more and more leaning this way LOL. Plus - who knows if there is a Black Friday / Cyber Monday incentive.
There usually is some sort of "holiday" sale. Not making any promises, mind you, but last year, as I recall, you could get a "buy one PLAY:1, get one half off" sort of thing at Best Buy. I'd expect something similar regarding the Sonos One, although it being so new, I could also see them not discounting it, and just doing whatever promo they have on other equipment.
Userlevel 5
Badge +3
Well, there's a cost if they're taking on all the install duties.

Sonos is a very lean-margin product. There's very little profit in for the reseller, that's why Sonos products don't attract huge discounts. In fact, for the first few years while the brand was getting established and available mostly from specialist Audio Visual installation companies it was rare to see any sort of discount at all. Having said that, the after-sales service level from specialist was and still is in a different league to the mail order and take-it-away-in-a-box retailers. Those of us in the install industry visit customers if there's a problem. That service has a value and a cost.

Pricing gradually changed when the big department stores and chain-store Hi-Fi / AV retailers started to take notice, but you still won't find anyone knocking off big discounts from Sonos because it's not there in the retail margin to start with. That's why an installation service isn't included in the price; well, not unless the installer wants to go broke pretty quick.

The question for you is two-fold:

1) How much do you value having the gear installed for you - and whether this includes integrating any paid streaming services you already subscribe to, and setting up other hardware such as NAS drives and PC based controllers - which, if it includes anything to do with Apple can be a complete PITA.

2) What soft of after-sales support are they offering? If something stops working are they going to come out and sort this for you.

$500 is a lot if they're just unboxing a few Play speakers and will be done in a couple of hours. But it's a bargain if you have a mess of a music library they're going to sort out and you can't remember all the passwords for Apple and you haven't updated the Macbook OS and you want the TV hooking up and you want to try the sub in different positions and you want... and you want... and you want...
Thanks Lucid - I do believe in paying for expertise. I am not an apple guy, just want music to come from my TV or pandora. Install would be a couple of soundbars, boost, network extender and any speakers I get. Labor is an hour plus the 10% over MSRP on anything you buy. I am sure there are both good and bad installers.
Lucid, really? A 7 year old could handle "integrating any paid streaming services you already subscribe to" which is installer-speak for "enter your usename and password". The rest of the stuff in that question, a 12 year old with X-Box experience could do. Look, installers have their place, but let's face it, you guys make money off making some things seem much harder than they really are.
Userlevel 5
Badge +3
Lucid, really? A 7 year old could handle "integrating any paid streaming services you already subscribe to" which is installer-speak for "enter your usename and password". The rest of the stuff in that question, a 12 year old with X-Box experience could do. Look, installers have their place, but let's face it, you guys make money off making some things seem much harder than they really are.

It's not about "making it look harder"... It's often just about the time taken to get all the passwords and user names gathered up. Seriously, with some clients they haven't a clue where any of that information is stored, so just being able to log on with a different device can become a bit of a time thief. I was with one client where it took 45 minutes just to get a working Apple password for iTunes because of email accounts and not having an up-to-date Mac.

Trust me, I'd far rather walk in then bish-bash-bosh get everything up and running nice and quick, but some clients just aren't organised about this stuff. However, they still want a system setting up and working fully by the time we leave. If they were left to their own devices they might be able to muddle through, but there would be some features not set-up or not set-up correctly and they'd just leave it like that.
Looks like I need to get something with IOS on it, as I am a droid/pc person. .
With that profile, you should be able to do this by yourself. The hardest part of Sonos installation usually is running the mains cable to the power sockets, where wall mounting is not involved. The iOS is a one time need for Trueplay, as already pointed out.

There is another reason for DIY. All wireless systems needs occasional attention to fix their occasional glitches so a DIY start is an aid to getting to know the basics of how it all hangs together to deliver music. So you don't need to call the installer when this happens.
Thanks Kumar - I appreciate the POV.
Lucid, really? A 7 year old could handle "integrating any paid streaming services you already subscribe to" which is installer-speak for "enter your usename and password". The rest of the stuff in that question, a 12 year old with X-Box experience could do. Look, installers have their place, but let's face it, you guys make money off making some things seem much harder than they really are.

It's not about "making it look harder"... It's often just about the time taken to get all the passwords and user names gathered up. Seriously, with some clients they haven't a clue where any of that information is stored, so just being able to log on with a different device can become a bit of a time thief. I was with one client where it took 45 minutes just to get a working Apple password for iTunes because of email accounts and not having an up-to-date Mac.

Trust me, I'd far rather walk in then bish-bash-bosh get everything up and running nice and quick, but some clients just aren't organised about this stuff. However, they still want a system setting up and working fully by the time we leave. If they were left to their own devices they might be able to muddle through, but there would be some features not set-up or not set-up correctly and they'd just leave it like that.


Do you charge differently or a fixed price for installs depending on if they need passwords organized or not ( eg, did you charge extra for the Apple Password account resolution )
Userlevel 5
Badge +3
In this case I just took the hit on time and put it down as "one of those things"