DOA- do we need to redefine the 'A'?


There was a thread recently posted by a seller who was in a disagreement with his buyer about financial responsibility for fixing a malfunction that occured about six months after the sale. Most people agreed that asking a seller to help pay to fix a component that he had sold in perfect working order six months before was unreasonable, but that had the component arrived at the buyers doorstep dead, or had it broken within a short period of time, financial compensation or refund might have been in order.

Here's my question: should audiogon define a 'warranty' period that goes along with used sales? Even just 10 days or something like that? It really would stink to get a piece of gear, use it for a week, and have it die. But according to the policy that the seller is responsible only in cases of DOA, the buyer would have to front the whole bill for something like that. Having a specifically defined warranty period (which would, and should be quite short) might avoid a lot of potential conflict. Thoughts?
How does the seller know what the buyer did with the unit once it arrived? Any real problems should show up in a couple of days. Beyond that the seller is held hostage by a buyer about which he knows nothing. Most people on AudiogoN are fairly honest, but I've had a buyer try to squeeze me for money back when he claimed to think he was getting something other than what the ad described. I would not want to be responsible to that buyer to fulfill his whims.
I think this was hammered out pretty good already. Then one must factor in getting beaten down on the price;and now you want buyer protection?? Get a life; buy from a dealer---see how they handle repairs on used equipment.Been there done that. They accuse you of mishandling the item--which in some cases might be so.I guess it depends on which side of the fence you reside.
Traditionally, all used products, not just audio products, sold used are sold as is unless they have been described.

When described they must then meet the description made by the seller. That is why a prudent person making a purchase asks a lot of questions before buying and not just making a lot of assumptions about the meaning of generalized statements made by the sellers.

For example "in good working condition" means next to nothing, in fact it suggests to me that it will turn on and play but has some defects otherwise the seller would say in perfect operating condition or something to that effect. In that case I would ask very specific questions about what made the operation less than perfect. The answers you get will then serve to set some parameters for the sellers obligations should the unit not work when it arrives or fail shortly thereafter.

IMHO, a seller is never responsible for problems which arrise in used equipment of which he had no knowledge at the time of sale unless he has misrepresented the condition of the unit to the buyer. As always, caveat emptor!
Sounds reasonable, but this could happen: You sell a CD player in New York, ship to the buyer in California, who promptly drops it on the floor while opening the shipping carton. Said CD player won't play CD's and the display doesn't work. The next day he calls and says that the CD player quit working and he wants his money back. What do you do? The seller doesn't have the resources to investigate warranty claims, and upon examination of the CD player doesn't know why it stopped working, the freight carrier is not responsible, and I doubt that AudiogoN would want any responsibility in judging the situation. And how could they anyway? And besides, once the payment is retured and the player is sent back, it could look like it was run over by a truck or worse. What it the recourse for the seller then? Perhaps this would be a good rule: When you buy something used, assume that it is not new and not in new condition. In most cases, when you buy something on AudiogoN it is from someone that you do not know. This is not like walking into a store and buying something used. This is why feedback is used to rate buyers and sellers. If you are afraid of getting a piece that might break, then don't buy it, buy it used from a shop or from someone that you know, or buy it new.

I am not a regular seller on AudiogoN, but I am a regular buyer. I have not had a problem with bad equipment being sold here. I have a number of nice, well cared for pieces. All but a couple are well past the manufacturers warranty period. If I should decide to sell one using your idea, I would have to substantially increase the price to cover myself because I have not idea if any piece of my equipment will quit today, next month, or work forever. And I have no control over what a buyer would do with it once it was in his posession and no good way to determine if the failure was caused by misuse.

Using the policy that you suggest would surely lead to more conflict, not less.
Want a warrantee? By it new, or as a demo with warrantee!
I agree it is sold "as is no warranty" especially when the buyer admits that it worked when he received it. The seller cannot be responsible for the buyers, AC power surges, dropping or mis-handleing, or improper connecting.
I would not offer any warranty past shipping damage which would be picked up by Fed-Ex, UPS etc. A element of trust is required on both parts of the seller and the buyer when doing a transaction. AudioGon has been more than accomodating in offering the "feedback" feature in this website. If the buyer is in any way doubtful about the transaction he must trust his own intuition and live and die with that. Asking the seller to guarantee the buyers intuition is an unfair expectation. Nor should the Lottery Commission return your dollar because you didn't win. In the case of AudioGon transactions buyer and sellers are taking a certian level of gamble and we as "big boys" know that going in. Let the two involved in the transaction work out any indifferences on their own and not involve a third party.
Jesus you guys I just wanted to get people's thoughts. You act as if I've petitioned Audiogon already. My point was that it might be good to define and state the warranty policy clearly. If that means 2 days, 24 hours, nothing at all, so be it. I think that would prevent some problems.

Obviously, some buyers are unclear that they should not expect the seller to help out with any after sale problems. The policy needs to be clarified.
Clearly, you did not read the previous thread very carefully. The buyer informed the seller that the unit had problems, but did not say that he was holding the seller responsible. At least not at the time that the thread was posted. Perhaps he wanted advice or guidance, that's what a lot of us need with our gear. The fact that people misread threads means they also misread ads and have different levels of expectations for the synergy and performance of the gear that they buy. But none of this is the sellers problem.

As a seller, you are free to offer whatever warranty period that you want. Just as different manufacturers warranty their new gear for different periods. I have had buyers negotiate a warranty period when I am selling an item. But basically, the seller assumes the risk of damage in shipment and the buyer assumes all risk thereafter.
You're right Viridian, I didn't take notes. This was just a notion, and I'm sorry that I seem to have offended people. A ten day there's a blasphemous idea worthy of tremendous scorn.
This site makes it possible for individuals to purchase equipment that is normally in very good to excellent condition from sellers with excellent track records for between 50-60% off of retail. What more can you possibly ask for. We all benefit. I am extremely greatful that this site exists to make this all possible. Thanks Audiogon. A warranty as part of the deal should not be standard policy. As pointed out above, if anyone wants a warranty, they can buy new and pay the price. If the item arrives as described, the transaction is complete. End of story.
One of the reasons used equipment exchanges hands at such marked down prices is that both buyer and seller have increased risks in transacting the deal. Add the Internet to the equation and the fact that deals often occur without a verbal interchange, and the risks become greater still.
There are basic steps that you can take to mitigate the risk, but at the end of the day it's always going to be a risk. If you can't accept these risks, buy from a retailer...problem solved (maybe :)
"Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances."

If you want high end gear at Best Buy prices, you're going to have to take some risks. To me, the risks are preferrable to paying retail.

I think Audiogon (the entity) best serves by being a relatively silent observer. We seem to be doing pretty darn well being left to our own devices. Additional rules and intervention on the part of the entity would only complicate matters and befowl the trusting atmosphere that has evolved here. Just my $0.02