How we do OEM equipment core credit evaluation

How we do OEM equipment core credit evaluation

Spare OEM parts are key to what we do

One of the key benefits OEM HiFi brings to its customers comes from our ability to stock spare parts inventory for equipment that has been out of production for decades.  While it is certainly true that standard electronic repair components can be sourced from many reliable suppliers, the specialized bits that make an OEM radio special are not like that. 

That leaves us with a requirement to stock dozens of parts radios to make sure we can refurbish the equipment our customers want. It probably doesn't surprise you that we source this stuff the same way anyone would - eBay, word of mouth, car forums, craigslist and facebook marketplace.  If we can pay those folks, we can certainly extend that to our own customers as well, providing them core credit so that the OEM equipment they want is more affordable, and at the same time ensuring OEM HiFi has the spares we need to keep things going.

How core credit works

We've bought several hundred radios and amps over the last few years, and as you can imagine we've gotten to know the market fairly well.   It's also allowed us to streamline the whole process and maximize customer convenience. Our pricing ranges are based on market demand, with a guaranteed minimum amount as well as a range of credit depending on three things:

  1. equipment model
  2. cosmetic condition
  3. repairability

Equipment model

This affects demand and therefore market value.  While the CM5905 radio was stock through 1986 and part of 1987, it's the least OEM E30 radio in demand, most directly because the CM5907 adds a weather band function and looks identical if you get an early "wide font" version.  Then there's the "premium" radio for the E30, the CM5908.

Cosmetic condition

Equipment appearance is crucial, because folks don't want to pay for cracked or rusty parts.  If we need to replace things like faceplates because they're cracked, broken or worn out, that definitely affects value.  That said, we don't deduct for cosmetic issues that can be improved with reasonable effort and without replacing parts.


These first two criteria can be reasonably managed through a set of photos, which lets us assign an initial value to your core credit equipment.   Finding out whether something is repairable though is absolutely crucial and unfortunately not practically possible without have the equipment disassembled on a bench and technically inspected.

Many people would be absolutely shocked to know that there is little correlation between external cosmetic condition and repairability.  If the radio is cosmetically excellent, maybe 4 times out of 10 the repairability isn't too bad either.  It's that 6 out of 10 scenario though that has bitten us many times in the past.  So we disassemble everything down to the chassis, then power up and test.  If it is determined that proprietary parts need to be replaced, it affects core value significantly.  If the equipment needs only basic repair and refurbishment then the opposite is true.

Customer acceptance

Once we've assigned a core credit amount we adjust the initial estimate and submit it to the customer for approval.  At that point we proceed to fulfill whatever has been ordered.

Lowest cost option always wins

Sometimes even though the customer's original intent was to have their existing equipment repaired, they are better off buying a refurbished unit.  In those cases we "cherry pick" cosmetics from the customer equipment and the refurbished unit, and offer the customer the option to retain their existing radio serial number and code.

If you have any questions on the above, please reach out. 

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