I don't get it

I breeze through the Agon classifieds every few days and am absolutely astounded by the number of listings of equipment that is "less than 1 year old" and in many cases less than 3 months old. The implied financial hits are staggering. I have developed a number of theories:

1) The equipment is being bought by store/distributor employees at or close to wholesale and being flipped at no loss or maybe even a profit.

2) Audiophiles have some sort of obsessive-compulsive disorder that forces them to continue to change out components irrespective of need or cost.

3) Audiophilia(?) is like being addicted to herion, every day you need a new fix because whatever the last addition did for you, it wore off and something new is needed.

4) Some audiophiles have way too much money.

Don't get me wrong - I appreciate the chance to buy equipment at a discount as I generally can't bring myself to pay retail for most of this stuff. However, I'm curious why all this nearly new equipment is here.

IMO, 1-3 are all correct, especially #2 and #3.
The answer is (5), all of the above. There is of course AA (Audioholics Anon) and the 12 step program.
I think its a combination of all of your theories, but I think there is a lot more of #1 than any of us realize. I also think there are many new companies that price their products with the Big Boys to make us think their products must be Class A and then they sell all those "demos" at 50% to get them out there. Its amazing how expensive some of this gear is priced at, either retail or Agon prices. Sometimes I have to give it careful thought as to whether I felt my purchase was REALLY worth the $$ I paid, even though it "must be a bargain" since I only paid 45% of retail. We must be on drugs!
...I think you're already know. That's why you've just lited 2) and 3). I will just add that it's fun to change for something new to audition and than sell.
I would probably also start building some bedroom system. I certainly can buy a combined descent stereo like Teac or Nakamichi but it's more fun to schuffle with components.
I think that numbers 2, 3 & 4 are all quite valid. Number 1 might come into play, but it would be much further down the list.

As to your comments, i agree completely. I hope these people keep "rolling over" equipment. There is no way that i could afford all of the equipment that i have if purchased new. Besides, what they are doing is "patriotic". Their "rolling over" gear helps the economy : ) Sean
I might also submit that used equipment, appropriately
chosen, can be a decent investment with little downside
financial risk. I've owned several items which I used
for a few years, and sold near or above my purchase price.
What other hobby allows that?
Three cheers for wealthy equipment rollers!
People get bored with the means way too soon and reviewers just act as junkies for us with 2 and 3 above. We got to have it until we get it and find out that something else would be better in our room or it upsamples more .............
All of the above + 6 (?): mismatches. We buy cause it's a good deal, w/out auditioning cause it's well nigh impossible... no friends, friendly dealer, etc, to try out a piece...

Not sure about 4, though. I'd rephrase to, "Some audiophiles SPEND way too much money" !
I used to wonder about the same thing until #2 and 3 took hold of me and I became a seller of some new barely used expensive equipment. Then I understood the ads that claimed "10 hours use" "barely broken in", etc. Ultimately, I was able to build a system that I am very happy with after trying new, demo and used equipment at home in my system and then selling what I didn't need or want. The overall cost to me still represented a savings over retail when I add up the cost of the purchases that I kept.

There is no way that a retail store would have allowed me to have extensive home demos of all kinds of equipment, so I am happy with the process and happy that A-gon exists for crazy people like me (us).
I vote for all of the above! Some people have more control than others! I do believe many items are overpriced.
I took months comparing two preamps and finally put them both up for sale, keeping the one that didnt sell because the other one I wanted sold before I could sell. I still like the one I have but will be ready next time I see what I want. After an initial outlay you can work your way up the food chain for less money. Especially if you can get most if not all of your money back out of a piece. Some of us dont have "way too much money". And I dont think I need a 12 step upgrade, I mean program.
Another point that could be added to your list is: 5) mistakes are made. Putting together a really good sounding stereo system is to some extent a trial and error process. Some of my purchases-- both new and used have simply not worked as I had hoped they would, so I sold them, but they may work very well in someone elses system.

I have come to the conclusion that in-store demos are almost a worthless exercise because the room is so important to sound quality/character, as are component and wire inter-actions, and of course set-up is critical(sorry dealers, but it's true).

So, one way or another, you have to audition each piece in your own room and system. Some dealers will allow home trials, but many either don't have what I want to hear, or simply won't let me take their demo for a few days, or they have too many "conditions" attached to home trial. I'd rather buy used, and if the piece doesn't work out sell. Cheers. Craig.
wstritt: the title of your thread is obviously incorrect. you do, in fact, "get it." put me down as someone who buys new and sells into the used market. only once, however, have i ever bought and sold a product in less than a year. that was an accuphase dp-65, which i sold for my purchase price, that went towards the purchase of an accuphase dp-75, which i sold, in turn, for my purchase price, that then went towards the purchase of an accuphase dc-300. the trick is to buy low and sell high, or at least as high as the market will bear. timing is everything, unless you meet the standards of your "category 4," a description i'd happily accept for myself if it were true. of course, another part of the "trick" is having the ability to buy new with deep discounts. it would not be ethical among the society of magicians to reveal the secrets employed to perform such an act. -cfb
I think 2) and 3) hold true with a bit of "mismatch" Gregm talks about. You read all the rave reviews that praised a piece of gear the best thing ever walked on God's green earth, but it somehow didn't live up to your expectations in your system. Maybe the reviews were just a hype, or it could be a system synergy issue. In that case I'd sell the product while it still lives off its rave reviews. I've had couple such incidents and sold them within weeks of my purchase.
I'm quite an addictive sort, but I've never tried "herion".