Ads:minimum, lush, full disclosure? your style?

In phrasing for sale ads, a wide variety of styles and forms are used.
Some ads have minimal 'ZEN' like forms, just the bare minimum of facts needed to get the message across, and a sale.
Some sellers have extensive ads, with the wording as if from a company pamphlet,
Some ads give the personal details of the owners experience, the age and former use of the item.
As BOTH a seller, and as a buyer: What kind of ads do YOU like?
I post this because the problem of disclosure: Do we (as fellow hobbyists) need to tell the full tale of the product? Or, are we like any marketplace, where the motto has always been: "let the buyer be wary" (not 'beware" as sometimes written) Meaning anything not straight up illegal is OK?
i would wish for, and hope fellow AudiogoNers, both buyers and sellers can become more informed and make better decisions in posting and reading "For sale" ads.
My take on some issues: Zen like posts: please, at least tell WHAT it is in the header! Ads selling: Ozoul GZX 4503 do not inform, they just annoy. Some folks don't even tell what it is in the body of the ad. (though, on the other hand, if you ONLY want to sell to someone already looking for this item, it IS the way to go.
Long 'pamphlet' ad are nice, they tell you the seller is trying, and give a lot of info. But may tell nothing of the personal history of the product.
The ads wherein the seller is omitting key facts known to the seller, because, after all, it is a: "Buyer be Wary" world. i wish this folks woulf come around to realize this is a hobby and should not just be a business. (though for some sellers it may be exactly that a business.. i wish buyers could note the difference!
And then the purpose of my post: to ask sellers for full disclosure: a new friendly standard to sell in a hobbyist friendly place: Teling if you are the second or third owner, the AGE of the product, what you actually paid, any difficulties you had with it, (even that you found it in a dumpster!) any triumphs. kind of as if you were selling it to a close friend. Which, we all could be.
So, what do you want in an ad as a buyer, or do as a seller?
In my ads I try to anticipate what someone would like to know about the particular item I'm selling. I try to answer the questions that I would ask if I was the person looking to buy.
Additionally: Are we engaged in a kind of 'trickery" where we say just enough to sell the item? Or, are we engaged in a hobby where we are selling items to fellow hobbyists whom we want to be happy with the items we are selling?
If it is the first tpe of sale, then we just do not have to do anything beyond the absolute minimum. If the second, then it behooves us to be as accurate and informative as possible
So Elizabeth, as an example, would you consider this ad to be adequate for your needs?

(FYI, I have no clue who the seller of this cartridge is, nor am I the buyer.)

You mean an ad such as this one, correct?

I think this is exactly the type of ad you are requesting.
It clearly states what is for sale in the title.
It clearly states that the seller is the second owner, and even goes as far as to tell you how he obtained it, and when.
And, he even tells you how many hours he put on the cartridge, and how many the previous owner's widow believes her husband put on it.
It also shows the asking price as well as the retail price.
The seller clearly states that it is in 8 of 10 condition, (which probably means that while the visible part of the cartridge is in perfect condition, there may be some small imperfections around the mounting holes or perhaps some small marks on the bottom of the cartridge itself.)

So Elizabeth, what say you?

I say that no widow on the face of this planet could tell you how many hours her husband had on his Koetsu.
my ads tend to get longer as time goes by. i'll post an ad. then i'll get a few questions. i'll update the ad to answer these new queries. lather, rinse, repeat.
As long as the condition is as advertised, why should we disclose how many owners there have been, and why would that matter? Anyway, unless the previous owner knew the history of the piece, there is no way for the current owner to know it. As far as the price you paid, why is that anyone's business?
The post from Kurt Tank specifically refers to a discussion thread going on over at Audio Asylum in the Vinyl section over that very ad and seller. His pointd reference to my opinion places me in the position that i did in fact tell the seller he should return the buyers money, an idea the seller is against, for his own reasons. Further interested parties need to head on over there for more details. Suffice to say i gave my opinion, the seller did not like it.
Chayro chimes in referring to the same thread in a rather more humorus vein.
What should you do if you have a disatisfied buyer Gopher2K:16:56:52 03/28/20 (93)
93 is the number of responses at the time I posted this here.
I hope this issue does not hijack this thread, even though it was a basis for the question. Thanks
This is what call a Jack Webb listing..."the facts, ma'am, just the facts".
Here is the link to the thread that Elizabeth is talking about. Disputes can get ugly very quickly, hopefully both parties have common sense, unfortunately this is not always the case.

I agree with Tvad. Keep it simple, honest and direct. I don't need the specs, those are available from the mfg. website. If it is not made you can request from the seller.
I don't need to hear the kid free-dog free-smoke free-ozone free room stuff. When someone oversells it causes me to wonder what is he not telling me. Give them facts age, number of owners and any marks or problems.
03-30-10: Theo
I agree with Tvad. Keep it simple, honest and direct.
Actually, I linked the particular listing not because it's an example of what I consider good advertising, but rather because it is so ridiculously barren.
I read the discussion on Audio Asylum. I would have the opposite opinion Elizabeth. My reason for this is you and the buyer beleive that he should be refunded his money because he did not tell him it was a bitch to dial in. I would think someone who buys a 3000+(new) used cartridge should know what he is buying and its peculiarities in set up with his own research. Also anyone who owns a cartridge worth almost double the Koestu certainly cannot be camped as not being a knowledgable audiophile. It is nice when you see an ad that tells as much as the buyer thinks one could ask but if not, who should ask ? Personally used cartridges especially uber expensive ones give me the biggest concern over any other purchase. I personally would not buy one without it being properly inspected and it,s condition confirmed. Have to agree with Jmcgrogan2, it is unfortunate . Pertinant disclosure does work , full disclosure even better and common sense is the absolute if both paries have it....but sometimes nothing works. I do tend to trust ads and sellers who give more information without having to prod. PS. Not knocking you in anyway Elizabeth, just a different point of veiw. Besides as a man going through a one sided bitter divorce ( she's bitter that I,m happy) I envy you. You actually got a Lawyer to open his mouth without being charged for it ! Cheers!
This is not a business for me, it is strictly a hobby. I buy from Audiogon, but I never sell here. I have been fortunate enough to make smart buying decissions and I can usually make a sale with a phone call to one of my friends.

I recently responded to a vague ad on Audiogon. I asked several questions and I was getting the run around. Finally I asked for the serial number so I could get the answers myself and the seller told me he decided not to sell.

It used to be standard practice to ask for the serial number and call the manufacturer or distributor to find out exactly what you are buying. I still think it is a good idea.

At the same time that you are investigating the item for sale you can also find out if the manufacturer is willing to service the equipment at a reasonable cost. I made an inquiry to the manufacturer of a highend DAC. He flatout told me he would not repair it because I was buying it used. Good to know.
Roxy54, I inquired about a 10 year old CD player that was advertised as having light usage. I emailed the seller and asked if he was the original owner and he told me he only owned it for 2 years. I guess he meant it had light usage during the 20% of it's life that he owned it.

Also, it would be nice to know how many owners there have been for speakers. Some speakers can degrade in sonic quality depending on associated equipment and how they are used. For example, Vandersteen speakers cannot be played loud for long periods of time with high powered amplifiers because the crossover components are known to over heat. So, if I was looking to buy a pair of Vandersteen 2Ce Signatures, I would like to know what amplifier was used and what music the previous owner listened to.

With tube amplifiers it becomes too hard to confirm how many hours are on output tubes. I don't want to pay top dollar for an amplifier and immediately spend several hundred dollars for new output tubes.

If you are not willing to give accurate information I'm not buying and I think other buyers should be more careful and do the same.

So, I say as fellow hobbyists we need to tell the full tale of the product. This isn't ebay.
The cart add reeks of BS, it says nothing!!! No pics of stylus, no info as to checked condition of wear etc. This to me is a "red flag" add, made up story with no "real" info only embelishments!!!

I agree with you on some of your post.
It is a good idea to clearly identify what one is selling, and to give specifics such as the retail price, the age of the product, the estimated number of hours on the product, and the general condition of the product. Pictures should be taken too, (although in the case of cartridges, most of us do not have the camera equipment necessary to show a stylus in that kind of detail. Samhar, what are you smoking? Pass it this way, dude!) ;-)

Oh and by the way, I COMPLETELY disagree with you that telling people what you paid for the item is necessary.
It most certainly is not. If I got a good deal, (or if I got royally screwed), when I first bought said item, this has absolutely no bearing on the price I am asking for it now.

Now, on to the Audio Asylum thread:

Much like Has2be, I disagree with your viewpoint too.
I find that Gopher's ad is quite adequate for an individual selling a secondhand cartridge. I think he is more than within his rights to keep the money, and not refund the money on the cartridge. It certainly seems to me that the buyer was merely wanting to try the cartridge for nothing. (Try getting a dealer to lend you a cartridge and see how far that gets you!)

Please note that for most of us, this is a hobby and it is not our profession. We are not in this to make money, but to enjoy this as a hobby. The only reason we buy and sell is to try out different pieces of equipment to figure out what we like best.

(And I assume that the vast majority of us are not marketing people, and the fact that we may not write up the perfect ad copy, in your opinion, is really not that big a deal. If you don't like an ad, just don't respond to it. Simple, huh?)

My two cents worth anyway.