View Full Version : [News] Eyewitness news report on the White Van speaker scam
03-31-2010, 05:43 PM
10 minutes long but quite interesting and fun as they follow the white van sales teams around...
03-31-2010, 05:53 PM
Nice find man! Gotta luv it!
03-31-2010, 06:11 PM
03-31-2010, 06:53 PM
hahahahaha I have seen this business in New York too (yesterday). and they work the same way with a white van and two young guys. Do not fall for this crab.;)
03-31-2010, 06:58 PM
LMAO!!! I've been approached by these van speaker guys twice within the past couple years. I can't believe people actually fall for this:eek:
03-31-2010, 08:25 PM
Awesome indeed. I hope they run his a$$ up the flag pole.
03-31-2010, 08:44 PM
How many white van speaker brands out there?
So, just thinking out loud here: buy a set of these towers at $100, replace the drivers and tweeter with Scanspeak, replace the xo with sonics parts. How would they sound?
03-31-2010, 09:02 PM
If you bought two pairs of them and placed two on each side, you might get the SDA effect. :D
03-31-2010, 09:07 PM
03-31-2010, 09:24 PM
Had it happen to me once.
"Do you know much about audio equipment?"
"nope, whatchya got"
they wanted $400...haha.
03-31-2010, 10:39 PM
OMG!!! that was great.. HAHAHAHA
C'MON Paul don't be a pussy be a man..
03-31-2010, 11:14 PM
I still bet they sound better than BOSE!:D
03-31-2010, 11:25 PM
Some of those clowns approached me wayyyyyy back in high school. I can't believe that scam is still around!
04-01-2010, 02:08 AM
This reminds me of the guy who came around our construction company office in south Baltimore selling "stolen" watches. They were counterfeits with names like Bulava or Sieko. The electrician though they were the real deal and bought one for his girlfriend. I always wondered what she thought about getting a stolen watch from her lover, or when the thing quit working a day later. "Gee, honey, how thoughtful." I never did hear how it turned out for him. Probably not well or I would have heard.
04-01-2010, 02:46 AM
the owner of that company must be a real jerk
04-01-2010, 03:08 AM
I can't wait to get a sales pitch thrown at me. I seriously want it just to play with them before letting them know they're full of ****.
Great interview...gotta get some of those 2499 towers, no doubt! Actually I'm kind of curious now as to where these come from....I'm sure the come from 'here' (CHINA)...the question is where is the plant....probably Dongguan or shenzhen!!
I bet I can buy them for 30 dollars a piece in lots of 1000? Not interested in that...but it would be interesting to follow the 'chain' from here to the U.S.? And find out how it all works.
04-01-2010, 04:41 AM
FWIW...I think the White Van scam does actually provide a way for people to get half decent sound at a decent price(barring the possibility of them being an idiot and not knowing how to haggle).
I bought a "white van" 5.1 HTIB setup several years back. The "brand name" was ProDynamics. The MSRP listed on the box was about $2200 IIRC(which was obvious BS). The guy was originally offering them to me for $500. After a bit of haggling, I had the guy talked down to $60. For $60, you couldn't beat the sound I got from that little 5.1 setup. They were some little satellites, and a decent little sub. The system was basically the equivalent of a Bose Lifestyle system...with the two piece "cubes" that can swivel and be aimed in different directions.
The funny thing was...shortly after I got that setup, a friend of mine actually got a Bose Lifestyle system. We were hanging out over at his house for a while, and we'd been listening to his Bose setup. We ended up going back to my house, and started listening to my "white van" setup. He wasn't aware of the fact that they were white van speakers...and after a little listening, he was commenting on how much better my setup sounded...and he was saying that he wished he could have afforded to spend as much as I did. When I informed him that I had paid $60 for my speakers, and that they were counterfeit/knockoffs that I purchased out of the back of a van...he seemed kind of upset. Understandably so, considering he'd just spent slightly over $2000 on his Bose setup.
So, assuming you've got some haggling skills, you can get some decent gear from these guys. Is it the epitome of Hi-fi? Not by any means.
Is it a potentially easier/cheaper way for broke kids to get some decent sound? Absolutely...I can vouch for that. I used that 5.1 setup with an old Optimus receiver for about 5 years, and was very happy with it. My brother is currently still using that receiver with those speakers, and is very happy with them.
If I hadn't bought that speaker setup, I probably would have been listening to all of my music through a crappy little shelf system for those 5 or so years. It served me very well.
Personally, I have no issues with the White Van guys. There are probably a lot of people out there that are enjoying their music a lot more because of the White Van guys. Everyone's gotta make a living.
Just my $.02
Curt you must have a silver tongue! I lived in NYC for almost a dozen years and have seen these guys and others operate...they'd definitely 'never' undersell a product. They usually get TOP dollar and misrepresent their products as much as possible.
So do a lot of the Broadway Electronics stores with NO prices in the window. I walked into one many years ago when I was a grad student in NYC and my teenage sister was visiting me. I wanted to buy her a walkman for around 80 dollars. The guy sold me one in my price range. As I began to walk toward the door I felt the BOX was a bit light...he had shown me the product and I did try it out then switched the boxes. Just as I opened the door I also opened the BOX.
And turned right around HOLDING UP AN EMPTY BOX. AND SAYING, QUITE LOUDLY...HEY, THIS GUY SOLD ME AN EMPTY BOX! SO everyone in the store could hear. I made such a fuss the guy upgraded me to a real SONY!
Lesson learned. Some of these guys, at least the main guy, are parasites. The poor souls who work for them. Some are stupid or naive, and others are no saints themselves.
Your case is the very RARE exception.
04-01-2010, 07:30 AM
If they were selling the product for $50 or so it may be one thing, when they scam unknowing consumers for hundreds or even thousands of dollars with flat out lies, that's just wrong no matter how you look at it.
04-01-2010, 08:00 AM
That was great. Fry the MF.
04-01-2010, 10:45 AM
I wonder if this falls under 'Theft by Deception?' He's obviously misrepresenting the MSRP on these speakers.
04-01-2010, 09:21 PM
I wonder if this falls under 'Theft by Deception?' He's obviously misrepresenting the MSRP on these speakers.
MSRP is just a number like anything else. You can set it where you want it. As much as I love polk, the reason I have ANY of their gear is because I have picked it all up anywhere from 50-75% off MSRP.
If MSRP for an items is $150, and a store drops it to $50, they will still tell you its a $100 savings, even if they would never sell it close to MSRP for its regular price just to entice you. Same concept, just to a much greater degree.
Its a despicable act, but what legally are they truly doing wrong? Of course I don't know what all they say in their pitch, but the actual act seems legit.
FWIW I think they're all scumbags and think they can be considered predators.
Just a fwiw ---
In my line of work, there are three pricing levels
List, Map, Net
List = Retail
Map = Minimum advertised price (this is what dealers MUST advertise the product at or higher) -- below this, your dealership can be stripped
Net = what we pay
I dont know about home electronics but the music business is pretty strict on this
04-02-2010, 01:50 AM
I still bet they sound better than BOSE!:D
My radio clock speaker sounds better than all Bose speakers!
04-02-2010, 09:56 AM
How many white van speaker brands out there?
Here is a review of some white van speakers at eBay. Included is a list of known name brands they use. Enjoy!
Do Not Buy Divinci D-6 Divinci DA6.1 D-50 Idf-52 OLin Ross OR-860
Before buying on ebay, or anywhere else for that matter, do the research, I have had many people send me a message after
already buying Divinci speakers asking me about them. They are very cheaply made. Buy a brand you have heard of. Do a
search on yahoo, google, or where ever, and make sure the item you are looking to buy is legit. If the deal looks like its
too good to be true, it definitely is.
Please take into mind that there are people out there looking to scam, but there are also those who may be trying to get
their foot in the door with starting their own business, and found these great $3000 speakers for $50, and are trying to sell
them on ebay for usually $150-$400. There are tons of these kinds of people on ebay selling cheap knock offs, not knowing
that the items they are selling are cheaply made garbage. Most of these people are Drop-Shipping and they never have the
actual product in their possession, so they don't know that what they are selling you is garbage. When I first started
selling on Ebay I did Drop-Shipping, and after a negative feedback on one of the items, I ordered it from the site and had it
shipped to me to test it. To make a long story short I never Drop-Shipped again, the item (speakers) was garbage.
I learned from my mistake, and want to try and help others to not get scammed.
Make sure you report this scam to :
1) Local Law enforcement
2) Local TV or Newspapers
Most of these SpeakerFleas
1) Do not obtain proper permits to "sell out of a Van"
2) use lies, fraud, trickery and intimidation to make a sale
3) Most do not collect,report or pay their required by law taxes
for sales and income
4) You'll find these fraudulent/cheaply made items mostly at flea markets, and also on ebay
The speakers are of exceptionally poor quality,
typically obtained for less than $50 from a local distributor.
The speakers themselves have been reported as
potentially damaging to any amplifier they are connected to.
The risk of damage stems from an impedence curve that in some cases may drop
below 2 ohms, which may overheat, short out, or permanently damage an
amplifier not designed to handle such loads.
White Van Scam:
Guy in suv or van drives up to you has these $3000 speakers. You can have Them for a deal that you can't pass up.
He will try to get you to give him $50 or more up to $1500.00 for these $40 china speakers (If they are even worth that).
They will give you a cock and bull story about the extra home theater system he's got to unload.
He will tell you it's worth something crazy like 2000 or 3000 dollars
show all kinds of crap like receipts , invoices , magazines , ads sheets, etc. (which are all fake)
He'll even point you to the company website to prove they are worth the 3 grand. (Divinci has a website, which is a pretty
poor site for a company that has supposedly been around since the 80's). So when he lowers his price to $100.00 you'll think
you got the deal of a lifetime. $3000 speakers for $ 100 bucks ,
no you got a crap set of $40 (or Less) speakers and paid $100 or more for them.
Just do a search for "white van speakers" or "Divinci" in a search engine.
Watch out for the speaker guys in suv's or pickup trucks and vans selling home theater equipment.
Many of the sales take place in the parking lots of Best Buy, Home Depot, Banks,
Carwashes, Gas Stations, Construction sites, they are looking to rip you off!
If you see them, Call the police, Get your phone out, Take a PICTURE, get the PLATE number and Call the police
Law enforcement WILL issue citations, as rarely do the speakerguys obtain the proper permits and license to sell "out of a
vehicle". In Pennsylvania, selling white van speakers is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a fine of
a local newspaper or television news department might also be interested.
This is a review I found by a speaker expert:
these speakers have the worst Cheaply made components.
The 'reviews' and 'guides' that speak positively of these speakers have undoubtedly been posted by those who stand to profit
from the sale of them. Kirsch, Theatre Research, Genesis Media Labs (Genesis PHYSICS was a good brand in the 1980's) and
DiVinci speakers, with their glossy ads and websites full of meaningless techno-babble and claims of outrageous 'retail'
prices - no reputable retailer would carry them.
There are good reasons why they are mostly sold out of the back of white vans, at flea markets, on Ebay, ect.. Comparison to
good equipment is impossible. Most recently peddlers of the Genesis Media Lab and DiVinci's have trumpeted an ad taken out by
the company, and purchase of a booth at an electronics show as evidence that this is an established brand-when you have the
kind of profit margins based upon $ 50 worth of components in a "$ 3600" package, I suppose you can afford a booth or an ad.
Imagine if a peddler of fake Rolexes', or 'Rolex quality' watches posted a website claiming that their junk that cost maybe $
50 to manufacture is worth thousands - that is basically the case we have here, or the coach purses and designer clothes that
you can buy for next to nothing.
if you read Wikipedia and other search results you obtain from Googling the term "White Van Speakers' or 'White Van Scam' the
conclusion that the components are of 'exceptionally poor quality' is well founded.
"K803 Prodigy" speakers have been posted on E Bay for $1500 or more, yet superior drivers (the speaker drivers -woofers,
tweeters, midranges and the like) can be had for $ 15 or less per driver. The internal electronics such as the crossovers,
are by far, the absolute worst I've ever seen.
The DiVinci hucksters have the nerve to advertise their 'high energy crossover', which is a $2 piece of junk - a good
crossover is complex, not inexpensive, and is critical to sound quality. Even the glossy cabinets are made of cheap,
lightweight wood, whose resonances distort the already awful sound, and lack the internal bracing you will find on quality
The drivers on the Kirsch and DiVinci "$ 3000 pair" (K803- DiVinci 1740-Dahlton- same speaker) are pretty much the same as on
another set of these towers sold under an earlier "White Van Scam" name that a friend bought for $ 59 in a local pawn shop-
one set of DiVinci's' is listed for $ 2500 buy it now - that is on line piracy.
Just for fun, we compared these Kirsch 803 beasts' to a pair of Infinty SM-255's bought off of E Bay for $ 300, using both
analogue and digital sources, receivers and high end separate electronics. A sound level meter was used to ensure that the
listening occured at the same volume level.
One of the girlfriends said it best : the Kirsch sounded like a clock radio compared to the Infinity's and one thought that a
clock radio might sound better. Technical measurements confirmed what our ears told us - a ragged response curve that is the
worst I've ever seen, bar none.
Maybe it was unfair - the Infinity's weigh 77 pounds versus 28 for the Klipsch... er Kirsch - but then the Kirsch is a $ 3000
speaker, the Infinities were $ 1000 new ... the weight alone should tell you just what junk the White Van Speakers are. We
also compared the Kirsch with a vintage set of Klipsch KG-3.5's which you can get for around $ 200-250 - needless to say they
blew the K-803 Prodigy away.
We've also performed listening tests comparing the "$ 2495"- oh please - Kirsch K3 home theatre system to a vintage set of
Infinity Qb speakers dating back to the 1980's, which you can buy for $ 150 or so; a Samsung Home Theatre in a box and to
Logitech Z-5300 and Klipsch Pro Media 5.1 computer speakers, hooked to a 5.1 receiver via the headphone jack ( a decent
option for a small room).
Experienced listeners suggested the best use of the Kirsch's was as a boat anchor or firewood, kids unanimously preferred the
other sets and as one eloquently put it - ' the fancy ones stink like poo.' You would be much better off with a used set from
Energy, Polk, or another quality speaker company.
I also had the (dis) pleasure of listening to a set of the "$ 3600" DiVinci's often posted here - even the best electronics
cannot make a silk purse out of these sow's ears. We compared the DiVinci 607 model to a Polk RM-6800 5.1 home theater set up
that can be had for $ 400 or less- $3200 less than theDiVinci's so called retail value.
It was no contest-- as my 12 year old put it 'where did all the instruments go' - there was no category- NONE- imaging,
detail, tightness of bass- you name it- where the DiVinci's were remotely competitive.
Not only are the speakers unspeakably bad, the 'receivers' included with the DiVinci, Theatre Research, Digital Research and
other "White Van Brands' lack even basic AV functions such as Dolby and DTS processing, and HDMI and component video outputs
-as well as measuring and sounding horribly - try watching "Master and Commander" with one of these pieces of 'bleep'- a used
Denon, Yamaha or Onkyo at any price is light years superior.
With profit margins that would make oil companies jealous, I can see where they could now buy ads in magazines - one E Bay
posting claims they are an 'established high end speaker' - you would have to be high to consider these anything but the low
level junk they are. Scam is not a strong enough term, and these have earned their place on rip-off report.com
04-02-2010, 09:57 AM
Here's the list of name brands. Forum software wouldn't let me list it all together. Too many characters.
White Van Speakers
Acoustic Response Series 707
Acoustic Image 3311 / 3312
Acoustic Lab Technology
Acoustic 3312 Studio Monitor
Advanced Sound Technologies AST X2 1055
Audiofile THX 6.1
Dahlton KV 1500
Dahlton KV 2500 TI Speakers
Dahlton AV 5.1 THX
Dan Wave DW-1000
DiVinci Innovative Sound & Bass
Divinci Sound D6 D-6
Divinci Sound DV7010 DV-7010
Divinci Sound DV6030 Dv-6030
Divinci Sound DV505 DV-505
Divinci Sound DA6.1 DA-6.1 DA-6.1 PRO Series III
Divinci DV- 607
Denmark Loud Speaker E830LR
Digital Audio DHT 5.1
Digital Audio SL-3810
Digital Audio DA 2000SL / 2000CS
Digital Audio 2000
Digital Audio 2002
Digital Audio 2012 7.1
Digital Audio Professional Speaker Systems SL-3810
Digital Audio Skyline 900-SL
Digital Audio SL-3910 Speakers
Digital Audio 2003 DA 5.1 Pro-Series III
Digital Dogg Audio
Digital Pro Audio
Digital Pro Audio SL-T 2.8
Digital Research 5.1 Pro Series
Digital Research DA 5.1 Pro Series III
Digital Research DR-1000
Digital Research DR-2810
Digital Research DR-1610
Digital Research DR-1611
Epiphany Audio speakers
Elite Audio EA-505
Elite Audio EA-608
Elite Audio EA-1620
Elite Audio EA-7012
Epic Sound 7.1
Genesis Media Labs
Genesis G-6.1 Digital Series
IM-67 IM-66 IM-4 IM-3 IM-2 G-611 G-610
G-608 G-505 G-7012 G-508 G-506 G-6030 G-6.1
G-2860 G-2810 G-2800 G-1620 G-Z3 G-9812
Innovative Sound Digital Pro Audio
Kirsch Prodigy K803
Linear Phase studio monitors
Matrix Audio Concepts
Matrix MX-1300 MX1300 MX1300S MX-1100 MX-1200
MX-404 MX-505T MX-550 MX-605S MX-605T MX-6160T MX1300 MX1300S
Millenium MTS DR-5200
Olin Ross OR860
Olin Ross OR-880
Olin Ross OR1020
DA 5.1 Pro Series III SHOCK 5.1 PT-5000S DR-1000 DR-8000
DA2000SL MI4000A/B AD-1200SL SL-900 DR-2810
SL-800 DR-1620 (Towers) AD-700SL DR-1610 (Towers)
PT-5500 DR8600 PDA-2012
PTS (Precision Transducer Systems)
Palermo VA 6.1
Pro Dynamics Pro Platinium Series
Pro Dynamics PD-9600
Protecsound PT-5000 digital surround sound system speakers
Skyline Digital Denmark 800 or 900 "series"
Studio Tech (Pro Poly Series)
Theater Innovations (Ti 5100)
Theater Logic L5ti
Theater Logic L6
Theater Logic L8TI 5.1
Theater Logic T 2400
Theater Logic T 2450
Theater Research DS-6.1
Theater Research TR-12
Theater Research TR-501
Theater Research TR-502
Theater Research TR-504
Theater Research TR-505
Theater Research TR-602
Theater Research TR-603
Theater Research TR-604
Theater Research TR-605
Theater Research TR-606
Theater Research TR-607
Theater Research TR-900
Theater Research TR-1100
Theater Research TR-1101
Theater Research TR-1120
Theater Research TR-1400
Theater Research TR-1410 Digital Sound Speakers
Theater Research TR-1610
Theater Research TR-1611
Theater Research TR-1620
Theater Research TR-1621
Theater Research TR-2380
Theater Research TR-2810
TR 504 TR 505 TR 6030 TR 2930 TR 2940
TR 1420 TR 2830 TR 2840 TR 2850 TR 2860
TR 2810 TR-2811 TR 12 TR-2630 TR-2631 TR-2900
DS 6.1 TR 501 TR 502 TR 503 TR 602 TR 603 TR 604 TR 605 TR 6020
TR 6120 TR 7010 TR 8000 TR-8200 TR 606 TR 607 TR 504 TR 505 TR 6030
TR-3015 TR-3215 TR-0412 TR-9500 TR-9700
Theater Research TR-5210 Professional Home Theater
Theater Research TR-5160
Theater Research TR-6000
Theater Research TR-6020
Theater Research TR-6030
Theater Research TR-6100 Digital Sound/5.1 Home Cinema
Theater Research TR-6120
Theater Research TR-7010
Theater Research TR-8010
Theater Research TR-8810
Theater Research Pro Series III Professional Home
Ultra Digital Labs
I hope this article helps you
Please copy, repost and warn others
04-02-2010, 10:45 AM
Dang...thanks for the info emoxley!
04-02-2010, 11:30 AM
there are two major ones though that are missing from this list as well.. Kinetic, which I think is the brand in the video above and paramax.
04-02-2010, 12:39 PM
They rename quicker than we can keep track of em...
04-02-2010, 06:46 PM
Regardless of the 'deal,' who the hell plunks down their hard-earned dollars on something like this without listening first? I spent over an hour at HHGregg last time I bought something for the HT, and then only spent money because the salesperson was willing to go low to get his commission.
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