Buyer Beware!

Man, I'm pissed! What about sellers that post over $6000 in analog gear then they don't return any email answers for 2 days. Then you find after your 4th email the seller has deleted the item. He answered the 5th email in which I asked for an explanation with "when I checked my email this morning I had 50 emails on the _____ and I sold it to the first email which I thought was fair and deleted the listing since it was sold" This item was posted for sale at approximately 50 % of retail at around 11pm est this past Wednesday evening and I emailled immediately with a message I would pay his asking price. He didn't answer until after his deletion with his lame reply. I feel as though someone's full of sh*t. I can't leave negative feedback as there was no transaction per se. So buyers beware of first time sellers here. And check them for feedback or lack of. I've been a member of this community for about 6 months and really like buying and selling here. I also enjoy the boards. Maybe the Powers that Be here could create a new class of sellers here. Like something along the lines of a Verifed Seller or denote on posted ads that the individual is a first time seller. I apologize for blowing off steam, but I still think I've been lied to by someone who still has other gear posted here for sale.
Im not sure what you point is here, I saw an ad this week for a Counterpont Phone Pre Pre amp @ 5% of retail and immediatly emailed the seller and got no answer. Well, I just rolled with it and such is life. I dont think a seller has any obligation in a classified to sell to any certain person. If I recevive 5 offers, I am going to complete the deal which is easiest for me, (ie, local sale, etc) Maybe the only case in which you have a gripe is if you were the 1st viewer of the ad and offered to buy instantly. Ive heard from other members of courtesy in answering all emails...I consider myself a polite and courteous person, but I also have a job and life outside of audio and if I dont have time to reply to an email I say so be it.
I certainly "see" where you're comming from, Sob 1. I recently mentioned a product,in a thread,that I would like to hear and maybe/only maybe, buy. Got 2 mails from someone selling said product.When someone is selling a product rediculously cheap; keeping up with the responses can be a bit much.Sometimes hooking up with the seller is like being the 14th caller in the radio show contest. Gotta live with the "almost's in life."The one that got away" is familiar to all of us. A sincere "better luck" next time.
Although its polite and courteous to answer all emails, the seller has no obligation to answer or sell his classified item to all emails. Just listen to Justlisten !!
Wasnt everyone a FIRST time seller? Or was your initial transaction your third??? How about the sellers who put in 7bl87vw for zip codes...?seems like there is alot of that lately,and as I prefer to buy locally I like to check the zip I think ebay is really the way to go...IMHO
If the seller is a dealer and you really want it; pick up the phone and call them. They will most likely sell it to you and never bother with the emails, which can be time consuming.
EBAY SUCKS Winoguy17.......IMHO. Direct (nonauction) selling is the best way to go.
EBAY IS DANGEROUS! Recently sold a pair of speakers there. The buyer upon receipt, opened the cabinets (not sure why) and claimed the speakers had been tampered with, were faulty and 3 of the 4 wires were missing and not connected. Well, There should have only been 2 wires. I can only assume that somehow he either dmaged the speakers or just didn't want them. He, wanted his money back. I, not wanting to be stuck with damaged speakers, of course, refused hie request. I'm sure to get negative feedback from this clever EBAY shopper. Just because EBAY members (or Audiogon members for that matter)have positive feedback doesn't mean your deal will go well. !@@$#@@% EBAY!
Sober1, I think if you e-mail some one more than once, you should proably stay away. You may be unhappy about losing a good deal, but that is better than losing your money. I got burned by a seller than no longer does business here. E-mail answers were slow and I should have known the service would be the same. As well as them not keeping their word or being honest. By the way it was "SoundWorks Online" in Kensington, MD(Audigon name--Audiobuys). I wouldn't buy a portable radio from those crooks. Anyway Buyer Beware is right. If some one doesn't answer me in a reasonable time, any weird circumstances come up, or has negative feedback, I simply won't do business with them. I'm surprised some of you guys don't answer e-mail. I feel like I have the obligation to answer all e-mail. I extend the same courtesy to other people that I would like. I think that identifies a persons character. Anyway, watch for signs of how people conduct themselves; it will proably save you money in the end. Buyer Beware!! Just my $0.02.......LR
My recent experience is a bit worse. I just purchased a pair of speaker cables on a direct sale @ Audigon. The seller was very communicative as long as I was still making up my mind. I paid the full asking price via PayPal, and he acknowledged payment receipt and said he would ship right away. This was a week ago, Despite repeated e-mails, he has failed to confirm shipment or provide a tracking in number. In fact, he has not replied to a single e-mail. There are always plausible excuses (he could be travelling, his e-mail could be down, etc), but this and a nother recent "close call" make me leery of Audiogon more and more everyday. It really does take only a few bad apples to spoil the whole barrel.
after about 15 or 20 buy\sell deals i've done on audiogon I've only gotten stiffed once.Most of the people i've dealt with have been really good people here on audiogon. After talking to a few people that do the e-commerce thing it seems that most people have had the most trouble buying or selling to\from Florida residents.Dont know why that is.
I have done 5 transactions on ebay in last 3 weeks and all went well, maybe Im lucky, but Ive had more problems and wasted emails on audiogon...
Alexc: who was the dealer/person your transaction was with??I always hate the time where they have my money/and I have no product.In a paypal deal, shipping should be immediate / or he should tell you an order has been placed,and when you will get your product.That is, if it has to be ordered. I always ask if the product is in stock,and ready to ship.
Thanks for your great comments one and all. I, like LakeRat, feel compelled to answer any and all emails when I place an ad (it's a personal thing). And I ain't pissed off anymore either. This expierence has not soured me on audiogon either. A little wiser with your help, greatly appreciated! I just needed to vent my frustration over the situation without harming anyone including myself. :^)
My wife has over 500 transactions on Ebay (both buying and selling) and has only had a problem with four or five auctions. All problems were resolved except two. My wife excells at clear communication. I have made three purchases at Audiogon (attempted four) and the three went very well. The fourth involved strange emails from the seller that gave the impression that they were either in the process of suffering a major stroke or in the middle of a major binge "on something". I did not continue further at that point and it was not a big deal. I recently made a local purchase of speakers that arrived home broken and following that were ill repaired by the dealer. It turns out that the US importer (also local) supplied the dealer with a pair of the speakers that were from a defective batch. They were known to be defective (by the importers own admission and post at AA) prior to them being supplied to me. I was supposed to be purchasing the speakers from a new shipment that had been updated at the mannufacturer and by his own admission in an email to me the importer substituted this pair to the dealer. Both the dealer and the importer have refused at this point to replace the speakers and have only offered to perform the updates here. I was originally going to go for this, but have since decided that I should receive what I paid for and not a pair of "doctored" speakers. It is still up in the air. So I guess you could say that I received a royal ass reaming in a person to person sale. I would prefer not to post all of the emails and documentaion on the web as the story may gernerate a negative opinion of the manufacturer and my dissatisfaction is really with the importer. But, of course I will do just that if the situation is not corrected. I have also contacted the manufacturer and am waiting to hear back from them. I have discussed the matter with my attourney and am not concerned about getting my money back, but would rather have the factory modified speakers instead as that was the whole purpose of the purchase.
You hit it on the head AlexC! As a manufacturer-seller and exclusively on Audiogon, I go through the same thing. Bogus e-mails,fraudulent phone calls, reneged's a shame that these few Loosers have to spoil a great site. To overcome this, the excellent members (which is the large majority) stick together and we'll be alright. Keep the lines open and communication via e-mail,a phone call, a wire.... well you get the picture. I just had an unfortunate incident, where a simple e-mail would of solved the situation. The top excuses, is that there computer crashed, leaving town sudden, a family emergency. This person had e-mailed me right after the auction, but not to confirm he was the high bidder; but to ask why he should buy this product?? Again this is right after the auction ended. I replied immediately with all the information to complete the transaction quickly and smoothly. One day passes, I e-mail a second time. Two day passes, and I e-mail him again..and nothing. A third day passes and I e-mailed again and contacted Audiogon. Audiogon contacts this person and no response. Then finally, this person responses to Audiogon saying he had to care of some business and leave town in the morning. Meantime, if you remember this is the same person that left an e-mail for me immeditely after winning the auction, not confirming the auction, but asking, Why he should buy this product after being the high bidder??? A simple e-mail saying that he was leaving town would of cleared up the situation. Audiogon, did suspend his account and deservedly so. To add to it, he was caught in a fib, because in between those dates that "he supposedly was away on an emergency business trip". He did have time to register for the sweepstakes on Audiogon for the chance to win the Chesky CDs. Amazing!! For the few that abuse there membership on Audiogon, I really feel sorry for you loosers. Whether it's reneging, or bogus e-mails with the yahoos, and hotmails. You can run, but you can't hide. Because Audiogon, knows where these e-mail addresses are originating from with the main IP address. The moral of this little story, is let's keep this site fair and honest. Communication is also key. Let's keep Audiogon #1 and our membership as a privilege. We are all lovers of this "breed apart" crazy hobby and passionate about music. We are not going to have a few idiots spoil it. For emergency purposes we should all keep Audiogon's phone number (734-477-9289)if our computer crashes or an emergency should come up. I am sorry that I vented, but I feel this site will continue to get stronger. But what keeps it going is not just the site itself, but the high integrity of it's members. -Thank you- BMI
BRAVO Mrchips....very well said. Unfortunately this is the risk we all willingly take when we choose to buy and sell on the internet.
Avguygeorge - This was a private seller, not a delaer. It seems he was a first time seller, as there is no feedback on him on Audiogon. Out of courtesy, and giving him a bit of the benefit of the doubt, I won't post his name until Monday. He was shipping from California to Ohio and, if he DID ship last Monday as promised, UPS ground would not get the pacakge here until Monday. I guess I still try to believ in the innate goodness of all...We shall see...As for me..I pay right awat (within one day of closing a deal) and ship right away. If, for some reason, I cannot get a product out the day after getting the money, I will ship via express mail at my own expense to make up for the lost time. This is how I'd like others to behave when I'm on the other I "Do unto others..etc, etc"
Alexc,When you buy something,ask for a tracking #. If you sell something,give a tracking#. Just recently,there were two chances to buy things I was interested in. Neither seller had feedback,and neither would cod.So,I didn't buy.I would rather wait for the conditions to be optimum.
Sober1, I don't think you have a legitimate grip. I recently sold some equipment on Audiogon. I priced the items for a quick sale and as a result I got a number of inquiries. As a seller, all that I am ethically required to do is to clearly state the terms of my sale and beyond that I can sell, or not sell MY equipment to anyone who wants to buy them. In a private sale, just because you are quick to reply and are willing to pay the purchase price doesn't gaurantee you anything. The Audiogon selling process is more of a lottery than it might appear. You might not think this is fair, but your suggested solutions won't eliminate what I've described.
I can also add that after dealing with a couple of flakes and problem people. I tend to wait until I have a few replies, then I give more of a 'first pick' to people who have a good reputation on audiogon or who seem a little more straitforward. I can sell to anyone I want to too and I think it's a good practice to give preference to those who deserve it.
Well, Monday has come and gone w/out a reply from the person I purchased the cables from. Of course, the cables have not arrived. I will therefore contact Audiogon staff tonight to ask them to follow up and eventually release the address and phone number of the seller for follow up. Though I really hate to do this, I have been very patient and circumspect thus far. The seller goes by the name of jwest on Audiogon, and his name is (?) Jason west. The transaction was for a 6 foot pair of Audioquest Dragon speaker cables, and he deleted the advert the day after I sent him payment via PayPal. This in and of itsef is of course not unusual, but failure to reply to e-mail right after confirming receipt of payment is. He did say there were other prospective buyers, so if by chance you were one of them, please get in touch with me. Mr. West, if you are listening, I truly hope this is a misunderatanding and will be more than happy to apologize on this forum.
To share my story and some lessons learned, a few months ago I purchased an ARC 100.2 from an individual at an excellent price ($1300). Normally I would opt for COD, but since it was such a good deal I talked to the guy on the phone and agreed to send money first. The seller confirmed the receipt of the cashier's check, but mentioned that he's going on vacation soon, and he might not send the amp until he comes back. Well, I thought it's a little fishy, but maybe just bad timing. I pushed for the seller to ship the amp before the vacation, and after a few emails it was finally shipped with tracking #. So now I'm happy that I didn't get screwed--or so I thought at the time. Many days later the package arrived, and when the delivery person came I knew something was wrong because the package was not big enough to contain the 100.2, and surely was too light. It turned out to be an old Sumo preamp from who knows when. To make a long story short, I tracked him down in his home city and filed with the local police station. It turned out that he's ripped off about 30 people using the same scheme, and the police is hot on his trail. Eventually he was caught and put behind bars, but I never did get my money back unless I can file a class action suit against him. Some tips from me: try to do COD if possible, but there will be seller who refuse to do COD because they've been burnt that way. If the deal is very good, try calling and ask about the unit. I did just that, but I didn't ask important questions. The questions to ask are--describe the unit and what is the serial number. If the seller is a fake he might not have the unit and cannot describe it. If he doesn't have a serial number then definitely don't go for it. Once you get the serial number, you can usually check it with the manufacturer to verify some information on the equipment. We all get lucky once in a while on a deal-of-the lifetime, but don't think you can get lucky all the time :). If it's a really good deal, act fast, but be careful.
Thanks, Madnut. I guess I will follow your advice next time. It's a shame. I wish Audiogon was a bit more "selective", though I must say they were VERY helpful the last time (first time also) I had an issue on a trnasaction. They released the members phone number right after I asked, and I was able to reach closure on a deal I'd been "chasing" for nearly a month via e-mail. I trust they will be as reponsive this time. I have sent tow e-mails to Audiogon Service regarding Mr. West. Will keep you all posted on how it goes.
Alexc: Was Jason from the San Francisco area? It is a large world, but I had a Jason from SF booted off of Ebay a while back for schilling his Hi-fi auctions. He admitted to doing so in an email to me and I forwarded it to Ebay. Not the brightest bulb, but dishonest. Just curious as this would not help your situation.
& your point is.........? Let me see: I have a financial emergency. I must immediately generate cash so I price my audio gear below market value. This generates more activity than normal, even after the items sell. Of course this drives home even more how this financial emergency has cost me money, as the excess emails remind me how I was forced to sell for below market. Now this, rather than depressing me further, makes me happy to cheerfully email everyone back & tell them how sorry I am that they were not the lucky one to benefit from my misery? Wow! I am one heck of a guy!
Well, here's one involving a dealer. I was the high bidder on an entry-level integrated amp auction that closed on Wednesday night. I received a telephone message this evening (10 minutes before the dealer closes for the week) that they didn't have the item after all. This was after the dealer was able to confirm the country of origin on the item (it's manufactured in either of two countries) during the auction. I've only been following this site for a couple of weeks, but after this I think it's time to delete the bookmark. Were this involving more than just a couple of hundred dollars (and a couple of thousand miles), I would consider a consumer protection claim.
I recently purchased a $4000 pair of speakers from a private seller off Audiogon site unseen. Reluctant to send 4k off into never never land I chose to use I-esrow. The buyer sends money to I-escrow (you can also use credit card for an additional fee). I-escrow notifies seller payment has been made. Seller ships merchandise to buyer. Buyer has a pre-determined inspection period in which to notify I-escrow if they accept merchandise or if they wish to ship it back. If merchandise is accepted, I-escrow sends payment to seller. This can avoid many of the problems described above and I would not make a major used purchase without it.
I cant stand dealers that pull that crap. If I was you I would file a complaint with the Atourneys Generals office and the better business buruea in the state you are in and the state the dealer is in. Information will have the phone numbers. I would also report it to Audiogon. Maybe you can save the next guy some headaches.
Here's a nice ending after all. My earlier post described an unidentified dealer who stated post auction that they didn't have the item after all. But after a courteous E-mail exchange, the dealer, HCM Audio, not only located a unit elsewhere, but arranged to have it Saturday delivered before Christmas at no extra charge (it's to be a gift). I believe the item auctioned for less than cost, and cross-country Saturday expedited delivery is not cheap. So it turned out a pleasant experience after all to find folks like Capri Maybrun and HCM Audio - they were indeed honorable and prompt even in the face of a loss.
I've dealt with HCM and Capri before. Ulike you,never had a problem, but concur on them being honarble and prompt.
Hello, I have neither bought or sold via internet. However, I am about to make my first "buy". I don't know how to do it that is safe for me. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Joe
I don't think we should judge sellers by whether they answer all emails or not. I try to, but sometimes time is short. We should judge the seller (and buyer) by the quality and results of transactions we complete or in which we participate. I find that Audiogon members are a pleasure to deal with, and I have had no problems in the few transactions I have completed. My suggestion is to follow the same rules we would follow in off-line transactions, i.e., exercising care to judge the buyer or seller and structuring the transaction to minimize the chances of dissatisfaction or a rip-off. There are flaky people everywhere and we have to trust our instincts. If you don't feel good about the way a transaction is going, don't complete it - find another buyer or seller.