Doug Henning disappearing act

I've been receiving quite a few offers on gear I'm selling, only to have the would-be buyers disappear when I agree to their terms, and within 5 minutes of receiving their offers! Based upon my discussions with other sellers, this is not uncommon. Please consider whether or not you are willing to commit to the purchase PRIOR to making an offer. The integrity of this community depends upon it. Thank you.
Yep, I just had a guy hold me up for over a week with a "sale pending" waiting to meet him half way for pickup...said he would call for a time we could meet on the next Sunday.

The guy had pretty good feedback to?. Lucky for me plenty of other buyers were interested.

I think a lot of people make offers trying to understand what someone would be willing to sell it for only. I don't think they're offers as much as they're questions; "Would you be willing to sell this to me for $xxx??" Then they go and compare to other units they're considering. I had this happen to me too. Now I ask up front. Are you planning on buying this or just using my info to comparision shop. If so, how likely are you to buy my item. Based on their answer, I tell them what MY committment is (i.e., first come first serve or, yes, I'll hold it.)
I have two similar experiences within four weeks of each other. Each time the buyers expressed lots of enthusiasm and urgency to get the deal done right away.

The first time, I agreed to the buyer's terms and price within one minute of the offer. Poof! Doug Henning.

The second time, I countered with an offer $10 higher than the buyer's offer, and I did so within five minutes of receiving the buyer's e-mail. Poof! David Copperfield.

I hadn't experienced this magical phenomenon on Audiogon until the last month, and I have beaucoup transactions here over 2+ years...99% of them stellar.

It's a mysterious time on the 'Gon.

David Blaine, where are you?
I have had plenty of sellers not anwer me as well. I am not talking about making stupid offers either. I would like to suggest that you try contacting them through Audiogon. In the day of spam filters I try every way available to get ahold of them.
I should have clarified. The offers I have received were from members with excellent feedback history, and they were full price offers, all except one. He asked if I would include the PayPal fee at that price. I responded 'Yes' within 30 seconds of receiving his e-mail. That was five days ago, and haven't heard from him since. Why even ask the question if you're not a committed buyer?
Some Audiogon username suggestions for the uncertain, curious or non-committal:


No disrespect intended to member "Fiddler"...
Is all of this happening while going through AudiogoNs new selling process? These people should be held accountable!
Is all of this happening while going through AudiogoNs new selling process?
In my case, yes.

Savoir Faire is everywhere........poof!
cest la guerre
Yes...with over 200 transactions of my own..I have had my share of Savoir Faire! The most recent was a guy who emailed me to buy my phono stage with his offer that " I will buy it! I am serious and will not back out of the deal..You can count on me"...when I read that nonsense..I know whats coming next...and of course it did 5 mins later. But instead of telling me that he couldn't afford it, or his wife said NO..he tells me that he actually already had the same pre amp and just wanted to see what my best price would be, so that he would know what to ask when he sold his!!UNBELIEVABLE!!
How odd. I have to say that I have on occasion made an offer that was accepted and then had circumstances force me to back out, but I've never done so without sending an explanation and apology. It's strange that this happened on dealings with established members, they usually know better. Well good luck and keep trying!
Kehut's example is not uncommon, except for its exceptional brashness. I've had several people here use this tactic to price me out (negotiate a price as if they were a buyer, then disappear into thin air with no explanation) - some good feedbacks as well. I notice them when they sell their own piece (same model) a month or two later. Fool me once - shame on you, fool me twice - shame on me... I don't return their emails when they inquire on another item in the future, whether or not they may actually be a buyer this time.

That only speaks to a certain element here... I have been blessed (both by luck and by caution) to conduct my business here with some of the best hobbyists one could find anywhere.
Yes, I had a buyer hammer me for a month to lower my price and when I finally did, he changed his mind the day before the check was to be sent to me. I almost gave him a neutral for the lack of coutesy, but he caught me in a good mood and I let him pass. By the way his moniker is....
I just assume nobody is a buyer until we've exchanged a series of emails culminating in me writing, "Please confirm the deal with the following terms...." Then, if I were to not hear from the prospective buyer for more than 24 hours, I would send another email saying that I was moving on. I don't really care if somebody is just trying to figure out what my price could be for some ulterior motive - I'm not going to spend a lot of time on any inquiry and I don't care if somebody is just trying to get some competitive pricing. Personally, if I was doing that, I'd just ask. -Kirk
Why do sellers bother to put O.B.O. on an ad when their price is firm in the first place? It doesn't hurt to ask someone with a O.B.O tag on their price what their bottom line is and invariably when asked in my experience O.B.O. sellers either get offended or do not respond to questions. A simple FIRM on the price in the ad goes a long way to stave off low ballers.
Maybe it's a stretch in this anonymous, fear of intimacy, internet age but I've found the telephone a useful tool to seal a bargain, buying or selling. If they're too chicken to put there mouth where their money is, how interested could they be?
I cant say I've ever backed out on a confirmed deal ... I've asked about availability and then declined to purchase for various reasons but in order to secure a good deal - you have to :

A. Watch like a hawk ... which I can’t at work (7:30-5)

B. Jump to a confirmation right off the bat - I hate that. “I’ll take it!”

Mostly because the Ebay hawks watch these sites and buy to resell - this is complete BS.

I like to introduce myself in a polite fashion and ask a few questions ... then agree or decline. I gave up on low balling because it's generally looked down on. I can say I have been burned TWICE by sellers who agreed to sell to me but took a Paypal transaction from someone else before I could confirm and send the money. That REALLY gets me going. I think if you are willing to take a money order … you should at least give a day or two to Paypal the money. Don’t email me and tell me I was too late – after we made a deal … I’m still mad about it. It’s that kind of behavior that spawns the Ebay kind of atmosphere that we all don’t want to deal with.

I would advise sellers to be picky about buyers if you get multiple people offering to buy. Don’t just take the first offer – it’s your deal … you can select WHO you want to sell to. Don’t go high and negotiate down - as a lot of buyers like me gave up low-balling due to the sharp criticism in forums and on ads. I have passed up quite a few deals that where “almost” there. The sellers might have budged BUT I read time and time again that low-ballers are not welcome so I let them slide. Creating a fun environment for people who love audio equipment and like to play with toys requires BOTH buyers and sellers to develop ethical standards. Lets weed out the Ebay reseller element.

Just my two cents …
Horseface, I'm with you on the resellers. What's even worse are sellers posting ads for items they do not yet possess.

Ericthered, the reason sellers get offended when you ask for the minimum price is because you are asking them to bid against themselves. The civil way to negotiate is to make a counteroffer that you are willing to stand behind and go from there. Asking "how much does it really cost so I can think it over" is no kind of offer at all.
I sold some interconnects with an OBO proviso, and stated that reasonble offers were welcome, but that something like 10 dollars would not be considered "reasonable". I sold pronto and both buyers were at or near the asking price.

Personally, it seems unrealistic to expect anything close to full dollar value on most items. Even when relatively new, I pretty much halved the price on my interconnects and didn't feel like haggling too much on the price. This may be less of an option for the seller financially on higher ticket items, however.
Just had another one today, only this guy said he was going to PayPal money for my amplifiers, and THEN demanded a discount because he wanted different tubes to come with them. What is going on here?
That one is Cups-N-Balls.

Audiomart days-

I think what we are witnessing IMHO is indicative of our new technology--the email buy. Our hobby is unique in many ways and for me the best experience is in conversation with fellow audiophiles. There is an understanding and respectfulness when meeting someone for the first time on the phone (Audiomart days). I am afraid its a lot easier to 'lead on' via email. Hard to know if the person is seriously offering or just picking your brain.

A one to one conversation will more likely result in a better outcome for both parties. Perhaps its best for those who are left with the virtual empty bag to start commenting via Audiogon feedback when a serious offer has been made and there is no valid reason given for the change of mind.
i too have experienced this, now i don't consider anything sold, until i receive my "You've Got Cash !!!" message from paypal.
Perhaps its best for those who are left with the virtual empty bag to start commenting via Audiogon feedback when a serious offer has been made and there is no valid reason given for the change of mind.

That's a great idea, except that the Audiogon feedback system requires the receiving party to approve or disapprove submitted feedback, and who is going to approve negative feedback?
This same thing happened to me about 5 weeks ago then I started a thread here about a month ago " Recieving annoying Emails when selling"
I was blasted by a couple members for some of my comments but they were helpful because I did learn something..

1. "obo" opens the door for trouble and potential endless questions and lowball offers.

2. A history of the item helps the potential buyer make a decision and reduces amount of email questions.

3. The condition of the unit should be described in detail.

4. If you don't have at least one good picture ( not a fuzzy blurr ) , it's like asking the "potential buyer" to buy blindly and you may have several requests to send pics.

5. When the buyer seems serious, most the time I give them a phone number where they can contact me.

6. A link provided with full specs. and/or a good review of the item is also helpful. It reduces the amount of trigger happy shoppers who may find from the review that the item won't meet their needs after all.

7. The hassles of calculating shipping costs to several potential buyers is totaly eliminated by a simple phrase,
" Free shipping". Add that cost into your price.

8. Last but not least if you want a certain price for the item clearly state " FIRM " in the add.

Most of you folks already know this stuff but maybe this may help someone.

I admit that I backed out on a deal about a year ago when I found out more specifications about the item. I shouldn't have jumped the gun. It's possible that if all the info above was included in the add I wouldn't have offered to buy in the first place.

Have a good Thanksgiving!

Hey Tvad - what's your best price for the cup-n-balls? Would you be willing to ship them to Nigeria? Can I send you a check for $4,000.00 over the price your asking, as that's a frequent mistake I make in my online transactions, and I'm sure ours will be no exception. You can just return the $4K balance to a PO Box in the Dominican Republic. Deal? Let me know and I'll get that Nigerian money order right out to you! Remind me to tell you about the killer investment opportunities here in Nigeria too! I can hook you up with some top notch penis-patches if you're having some insecurities down there. How bout some blue pills to get it up and keep it there all night? Maybe we could swing a trade for the cup-n-balls you've got? I'll still send the $4k check fact, it's already in the mail!

Marco, I've heard wonderful things about the storied Nigerian Penis Patches. Prolific problems, though, finding qualified penis pickers to harvest the ripe tubers.

Cups-N-Balls are bountiful in We-Ho, though they can disappear without warning. You can pick up a trio for lots less than $4000. To help, I'd be willing to trade a nice package of Cups-N-Balls for a bushel of Penis Patch pickings.

Let me know.

Your Pal in Nigeriana,
You are well-informed on the Nigerian Penis Patches, Grant. Recent penis picking problems have been largely exaggerated though, and harvesting season is upon us, as no doubt you are aware. It's a bumper crop, with the firm, ripe Nigerian fruit of the loins surpassing heretofore unparralelled size expectations. Though your offer for the disappearing cup-n-balls may appear appealing on the surface, well, one in hand is, in this case, not worth two, or even three in the bush, as it appears you are offering. I'll stick with the money order payment and you can hang onto your balls in your cup for someone else to snatch up. I'm certain you are not without other offers at this point.

Marco, as my Cups-N-Balls have gone missing (perhaps they're with my Doug Henning'd buyers), I'll forward payment to my associate, N'Dnosheba, in Lesotho. N'Dnosheba installs button flies in a Lesothoan Calvin Klein dance belt factory and can be trusted to pass along the $4000 unencumbered. Looking forward to receiving the prodigious pickings.

Your Pal in Nigeriana and Lesothoana,
Have you gone swimming in cold waters recently Grant? If so, it could explain the disappearance of your cupped balls. I'm hoping, for your sake, that Doug Henning has nothing to do with their disappearance, nor would I consult his expertise in getting them to re-appear. I think there is an mpeg somewhere online of him doing just that, but I've never actually seen it myself (please don't forward it should you have it in your archive).

Thank you for your payment. Please remind your pal in Freedonia not to send the $4k in buttons, as he did last time.

Rufus T. Firefly
Do you insensitive bastards realize how hard these little Nigerian kids have to labor to make just one Penis Patch? I watch them doing it all day long and it ain't as easy as cupping your hand over your ass and smelling your own bad fart!

THey work very diligently to make each one exactly the same. Custom orders aren't even considered. I asked them to make a pair for my own hairy beanbags and they damn near de-balled me!