0 feedback sellers

I don't feel confident buying from 0 feedback sellers, but I see some people buy from them. What procedures do you use to make this transaction successful?
I gain confidence in persons with low or no feedback by communicating directly with them by telephone. Everyone at
Agon started at zero feedback
A couple of phone calls to test their validitity, prefferably a local sale, and/or depending on local and price of unit, a credit card through Paypal.

Many times you can tell through a phone conversation whether it is indeed an audiophile you are speaking to, or just some guy selling stolen goods.

I am also leery of buyers with 0 feedback.

Many of us were "O" feedback sellers at one point (selling stuff before buying), but I agree with the post above, a phone call conversation does wonders and goes a long way to removing concern. Audiogon has been very good to me..
Ditto John's suggestion.

I too am leery, but we all started at zero.
Tvad, is of course right. I'm just as leery of sellers with very recent feedback, especially if the feedback is from individuals with little or recent feedback themselves. John's advise is good, though, I'm no fan of Paypal.
I am not leery at all; some of the best values can be had from zero feedback sellers. I never call, there are two problems with phone calls. First, there is no record of the information garnered, as there is in written form. Second, most of the sellers here are on the fringes of society anyway and, when I speak to one, it almost always scares me. My opinion is, those who can barely put together a sentence are no more likely to scam me than those who can, no doubt others will differ on this point. In the end, I would recommend that none of you enter into transactions with minimal feedback members, after all, I really need the gear.
I wouldn't do any business with Viridian under any circumstances. To state that most of Audiogoners are on the fringes of society is very demeaning and indicates a person with an attitude of superiority over the rest of us. Just my opinion, but it personally offends the hell out of me as I have talked to many fine Audiogoners and I don't consider them to be on the fringes of society. What do other Audiogoners think of Viridian's comments?
I generally agree with Viridian, although I'm a little more careful with 0 fb's than lots of fb's. I'm not opposed to a phone conversation, but prefer a record, and find if the seller is able and willing to correspond clearly and precisely, the odds are the deal will work out fine. I think this also applies to much feedback sellers. There are plenty of Audiogon sellers with pos feedback who want to be terse in their emails, which leaves too many things to chance for my taste.
Don't assume a good long ph.call makes this an honest person. Just 'cause they talk the talk; don't mean nothin. Yes, I had such an experience with a talker. A while latter the same guy changed user names and had 2 dispute cases pending. Hey be careful out there;it's your money.
The principle of trusting people has always worked for me. People are more often good and honest than they are bad! The large savings you get from not buying new mean that the odd bad apple is an acceptable risk to me.
This thread has popped up before, just talk to the seller and trust your gut, everyone starts at Zero, and even a seller with feedback can burn you if they choose to.
always offer that your uncle who so happens to live in town with the seller can stop by to pick it up and your uncle will take care of shipping. if the seller is for real, they'll give an address and ask when your uncle will be over. schedule a date and keep it, and phone them late in the game to confess.

if they're phonies, they'll "get back to you" on pickup time.

never fails.


...never fails.

Rhyno (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers)

Now that your secret's out, time will tell.

Nothing personal Ryhno, but I would not allow your 'uncle' to come to my house. I do not just allow strangers into my home. I always feel a person out on the phone first if I have not met them. I have never had a problem (knock wood) dealing with audiophiles. I can tell in a phone converstaion whether the person knows stores, equipment, sonic characteristics, etc, whether the are a 'normal' audionut or a person who just wants entrance into my home because I have expensive stuff in there. I also have a wife and children to protect.

If I do not know the person, I will ask for his personal info (phone home and work/address/etc) and check it out first. I also have been known to check driver's license's at the front door. I don't think I'm paranoid, but I am careful about local sales. I will not put my family at risk to sell some audio equipment.

Unsound, I'm no fan of Paypal either, but I do find that being able to use a credit card has 'saved' me on at least one occasion. Paypal was of no help, but the CC bank was of plenty of help and saved the day. Paypal does offer me an opportunity to use a CC to make a private purchase. If not buying local, I would not buy a large ticket item from a seller with 0 feedback without using a Credit Card, period. I'll only pay cash if I can see/hear the unit in person, have high trust in the seller, or it is a smaller item such as cables or tweaks.

But hey, that's just me, and my kids do say that I'm crazy, so take it for what it's worth.

Soundlock, it would be my pleasure to never do business with you, you really don't have enough feedback to make me comfy anyway. And nobody really cares that I am not politically correct, which is why no one has responded by censuring me. You're right, bald, old, white men that listen to Swedes playing jazz alone in darkened rooms are anything but fringe.

But I do appologize if I implied that I am not on the fringes of society as well. Hell, after just completeing two weeks at Alcoholics Anonymous and a week at Gambler's Anonymous, I'm bettin' that I start drinkin' again.
Jmcgrogan2, you check ID'S at the door? How do you report them if they beat you to death? I think the Uncle thing in part would work great and is a good idea, if a person would get weird about that idea may indicate they are a scammer, ofcourse I wouldnt go as far as to keep up the fib and then confess to a goofy way of qualifying a sale, I would simply dismiss the idea as not needed after a certain comfort is found. Some folks with little or no feedback will just have to make an effort to proove honesty, maybe payment opun delivery and the old wait till the check clears upon sale to them...most will understand their lack of feedback is a concern, also the whole feedback is somewhat useless, I have atleast 10 transactions with no feedback traded....I bet alot of folks do aswell, the leads to the last way to check a guy out wich is active participation in the forums and refrences from other members, after all do you feel comfortable with a guy with 100 positive transactions if it is all used music at a couple bucks per sale?.....if I were to buy a $10,000 pair of speakers that feedback still means little.
Are you giving any odds? How do I know you will pay up!!LOL
I detected some Sarcasm in Viridian's post, so maybe he was just joshing....
Hard call sometimes, 'cause we were all obviously at zero. I personally shy away from zero-feedback sellers for bigger-ticket items, just 'cause. I also have stuff I'll eventually sell, but won't ever consider doing that until I buy a few more things and establish a higher feedback. Since I just don't do that many transactions through AGon I'm not holding my breath for that first sale...

I also prefer to not talk on the phone & give out our number - don't need any more folks knowing that number and have met enough silver-tongued devils to know it doesn't always filter out the scammers. I do prefer (semi-)local pickup if possible - I've met some truly exceptional folks that way (and y'all know who you are - every one!). I like the combination of meeting the other party and being able to see and judge the item before my money is long gone.

Bottom line is that I'd prefer to deal with someone with even minimal (and hopefully older) feedback than anyone with a zero. Not that I wouldn't ever consider it, but I work way too hard for the $$$ to send it to scams.
This is a good topic! But experienced audio-goners already know what they're gonna do/not do visa-vis no-FB buyers or sellers, or at least how to approach the situation......

In the time it takes to think about this post, most of us could listen to/play some great music.....
I am just wondering what is wrong with paypal? Should seller or buyer be aware of paypal? I use paypal on ebay all the time. Just want to gain some advises before selling. Thanks.
Soundlock, please go back and read Marty's (Viridian) post in the humorous light that just about all his posts are.

He's NOT being serious - he's funny and entertaining via slapstick and/or ridiculous statements. He ligthens up even the most serious threads. Hopefully, you'll be able to now go forth, and have as many true belly laughs in these threads as so many of us do.

John, I'm glad I didn't offer to have my uncle visit you, instead of me. Whew!!!
What was the question again? Oh yeah, Talk to them on the phone and reduce your deal to writing in order to have evidence for litigation. Got it thanks.
Joe, LOL. I just don't see who would allow a stranger that they haven't even talked to over the phone into their home. Well...maybe if they were selling Girl Scout cookies. :)
I would be willing to meet the 'uncle' at XYZ supermarket parking lot, but he would not have my home address.

Chadnilz, I have done many transactions out of my home, and only checked ID a couple of times. Most experienced AudiogoN guys I know and trust even if I haven't met them in person. It's the guy with 0 or little feedback and no forum posts that concerns me. As for being beaten to death on my front porch, most here who know me know that is not one of my concerns, I can handle myself (see how scared Joe (Trelja) was?). :)
In fact, I'm so large that I often intimidate others without even trying or knowing it.
Now being shot to death on my front porch is more of a concern. That's why you need a thorough screening process.

No process is perfect, but if a guy has never heard of Wilson, Krell, Conrad Johnson, BAT, Audioquest, Shunyata or a million other audio companies, he is not coming to my house. This is an obvious tip. So all you would be criminals out there, do your homework. Read some hi-fi magazines, go to some stores, read some forums, search the archives and then you could fool me into letting you into my home. :)

How the hell did we get to this from 0 feedback sellers???
I've never had a problem with a 0 feedback seller coming into my home. :)
So John I suppose this means I'm not welcome anymore?!?
Until this week, I was a 0-feedback seller, then sold 9 items in my first two days of selling, so I appreciate the confidence 8 different buyers put in me. I have already received one positive feedback. One of the buyers asked for full contact info so he could do due diligence, which I gladly provided.

My question relates to sellers providing feedback to buyers. At what time is it appropriate to give a buyer feedback? I was fortunate that all of my sales were paid almost instantaneously by PayPal, so I shipped same day. I'd like to give all buyers positive feedback for that, but not all items have been received yet, (because they are still in transit.) It could be that any of these buyers may find fault with something I sold and the relationship could turn sour.

Should I wait until an item is delivered and give the buyer a few days to raise issues before I leave feedback? What is the norm for this, please?

Thank you.
Each person has to answer that for herself. IMHO the buyer has a responsibility just as the seller does. And that is to report any shipping damage, cosmetic damage or functional issues not described in the ad in a timely fashion and to aid in the claim with the shipper should that be required.

It is also the buyers responsibility to bring reasonable expectations to the transaction. So, to me, the transaction is not complete until the buyer acknowledges that the item is as described, or is reasonable in coming to a resolution with the seller in the event that it is not, and that may be as simple as packing it securely when returning it.

Then again, I often give a buyer feedback as soon as I receive payment.
Ask for a phone number. Then when on the phone ask them if they have any feedback on Ebay or Amazon.
Whpoche, my preference is just as you suggested. Wait for a couple of days after delivery for the buyer to raise any issues. That way, I have the ability to address any issues with shipping, operation, etc. It is the seller's responsibility to have the item delivered as stated in the ad. You will likely find some buyers that will not let you know anything after receiving an item even if you directly ask them. I don't understand that behavior, but it is what it is. Those are the folks I won't submit feedback for.
Thanks for these helpful comments!
I keep their 1st born or wife hostage until i see item.
Ebm That sounds like more trouble than it's worth LOL