How NOT to sell an item on Audiogon

Lately I've been doing a lot of shopping on our favorite website, Audiogon, and I have noticed a few trends in ads for gear here posted by our fellow members. So, I thought it might be interesting to point out a few things that I see way too often. I'm not trying to provoke anyone, after all we are not professional advertisers, I'm just trying to show things from a shopper's point of view, in a tongue in cheek kind of way. So if you are offended, then loosen your tie a bit, and don't be so serious.

1.Don't worry about photos. No one really wants to see your item anyway. They trust you so no one suspects that you could be hiding the fact that your gear is beat up and scratched to hell. Or if you have photos, but don't know where they are, go ahead and start your listing now, with the promise of photos later. After all, first impressions aren't that important, they'll come back and look again next week since they have nothing else to do. And just because you're asking thousands for that old amp is no reason to move it, or even wipe the dust off of it, just take a picture of it stuffed back into that dark cabinet, as long as they see the outline of the gear no reason you should be bothered to show the back or sides. It's only ten thousand dollars, do those details really matter?

2. Now for a description, yes it's much more important to wax poetic about how much you love this gear, than it is to actually post its specs. I mean, if a shopper is serious, they can take 30 minutes of their time to search the web to see if your amp is a good match for their speakers. It's not like they don't have a hundred other amps to look at, after all, the sheer name of your amp demands respect! So save the digital ink and just post a link to the specs! So all the shopper has to do is leave this website and go to another, and find his way back and find his place where he left off, I'm sure he won't skip it and move on to the next listing.

3. Reviews! Yes your gear has a glowing review that everyone should read! So just include the entire 6 page review right in your description! None of the other 6 reviews from other magazines are important, as long as they see this one! And without your help, no one who really wants to read a review on your gear could find them on their own.

4. It's important to identify yourself, especially if you are a high end salon! Go on for 6 paragraphs about what a great store you have, and all the brands you sell, no need to even mention the item you listed at all! The title is explanation enough.

5. Terms, yes we want to let them know your asking price. So let's also state the obvious just in case, so those pesky treasure hunters don't bother you! No one will want to trade a gold brick for your gear, so be sure to state "No trades". And be sure to state that you don't like low ball offers, those low ballers are just looking for an ad that doesn't state this important information, don't worry no one will think it condescending. And make sure the only payment you will honor is a bank wire, it's a heck of a lot of trouble to surf over to PayPal and open an account, just because it's the accepted currency of online sales is no reason to buy into the hype. And be sure to ask for more of a percentage to accept PayPal than they actually take, might as well make a few extra bucks right? In fact, adding that few percent to your "must have" price is a lot of math so just ask the buyer do it for you.

6. Shipping, we want to be sure we get paid for shipping, so just overstate the cost of shipping by $500 and then mention somewhere in the description that you will refund any unused money after the deal is complete. After all, you've given no one a reason to distrust you. Going to the UPS shipping calculator is a lot of trouble, so save yourself the time.

7. Lastly, you must threaten to not entertain any questions you do not feel are worthy of your time. Why waste your time telling a perspective buyer how tall your speakers are when they could google it and look it up themselves? After all, it's just money, who cares if it takes another two months for an interested person to enquire?

I'm sure I've left a few things out, but if you follow these rules, you are sure to waste yours and everyone else's time with an ad that won't sell, unless that is your goal. The wife said you've got to sell that gear! "Sorry dear, they just wouldn't sell?", well if that's the case, then I've got you covered, these simple rules will certainly help you not make a sale. Although, Audiophiles are a tenacious bunch, you might make a sale anyway! If your gear really is what another must have, they can be hard to turn off.

Before you get offended and bent all out of shape, this was just for your reading entertainment, if anyone you know resembles any of the people I've described, it's purely coincidental, and no animals were harmed in the writing of this post. All silliness aside, I have purchased many pieces from Audiogon and talked to many of its members, and I have had nothing but the best of experiences, all very nice folks. And before every purchase I have made, I always ask a simple question of the seller. If they are too high and mighty to answer my simple question, I shop elsewhere. There have been a few, but most were more than polite and courteous, and made a sale! Selling on Audiogon is not hard, just put yourself in the buyer's shoes, and make an ad that you would like to see if you were shopping for such an item.

Ok, what did I miss guys?
Roxy, It is possible as I have experienced. When you are 100 % honest, when you tell everything essential in your ad, take many sharp close photos and tell everything essential about your return and refund policy, your accepted paying methods. When they begin to accuse you, stay calm and just ignore they wrong statements. Always behave correctly, never use brutal language because you are under big magnifying class during that tedious and boring dispute process that may take weeks even months, just be patient. Like I did.
Never give up, don´t accept buyer´s and eBay´s or whoever unfair needs to change your initial policy for buyer´s favour as they certainly will try that. Buyers are arrogant because they know that these criminal systems will side them. Just don´t please anyone, just fight for your rights. Keep on telling them the same boring facts that are visible (photos) about your initial ad, again again and again. Simply stay true to YOURSELF no matter how eager they desire to weaken you. Don´t change your return policy, don´t change anything not a slightest bit.
When you have absolutely nothing to hide, you will never lose a case.
Good luck for all serious sellers, and buyer as well !
There is no substitute for a cash in hand purchase. I usually try to purchase items as close to me as possible, but unfortunately in this world of hi fi, that’s not always possible. Items like large speakers, I would not dream of having them shipped. I drove two states down to buy my speakers, worth the drive! For one, the shipping costs are exorbent. And after they’ve scraped your speakers up or knocked something loose from rough handling, they don’t want to cover it. I had a dispute with UPS over speaker damage, they ran a fork lift tang through the cabinet! And then declared it wasn’t packed correctly. Even after I convinced them with a photo, they only refunded half the money because only one speaker was damaged! Like. What do I want with one speaker? Some of the risks we take when buying expensive gear to be shipped, by gorillas who don’t want to honor their own insurance policy, to protect you from them! Who does that? If they damage your goods, they should make it right, without you having to buy insurance to protect you from them, which they don’t want to pay out on, even when evidence is overwhelmingly their fault.  I’ve had a lot of gear damaged, my tuner was dropped so hard it knocked the meters out of the face, and my Krell amp has a bent fin. The ordeal over the speaker was a nightmare, and only the deligence Of the seller got it done. That doesn’t begin to address the problem with dishonest sellers or buyers. At least sellers have a rating, buyers ratings are not as informative. Beware the exotic gear that’s less than half what it should sell for from some Eastern Block County, who demands a wire transfer.  Or a buyer who has a history of leaving bad feedback to otherwise clear sellers. Audiogon has done a great job of helping us conduct business in a friendly and safe manner. Nothing is foolproof, and there are always dishonest people trying to get around the system. But for the most part, I’ve been very happy with all purchases I’ve made here on Audiogon. 
“The cabinets  have a couple small blemishes that can be fixed in a minute with a little elbow grease.” Seller apparently doesn’t have that minute to spare.