If it's too good to be true....

I am currently looking at two listings from the same person (same manufacturer too)on AudioGon classifieds, CD player and Integrated amplifier. Stated "like new", they each are being sold for about $600 less than retail. Latest model's too. Person's rating for transaction is high (100+). So what's the problem? Possibly class "B"? Are all Audiogon Classified lister's on the up and up? What should I be aware of?

Mattybumpkin -

Check the individual stats on the rating too. 200+ and 100- make +100 but not a good seller!

Ask the seller why he is selling it. Could be he/she lost a job, doesn't fit the house, etc, etc, etc.

Matty: Sounds like the time to invoke one of my cardinal rules when buying used audio gear: get the seller's phone number and call him/her. You can get more questions answered, faster, by telephone than playing around with E-mail exchanges, with the added "plus" of getting a clearer sense of who you are dealing with. Ask questions that elicit details about the item(s) being sold: condition, how long they've owned unit, are they the original owner, repair history, serial number, any problems they've encountered using the equipment, etc. You can also ask somewhat more personal questions, such as what the person does for a living, where they work, etc. If you don't get satisfactory answers to your questions, don't buy from that seller.

As a final precaution, ask for the seller's work address and tell them that you want to send the payment to them at work. The answer you get can sometimes be informative...
Depending on the original retail price, $600 less than retailo is not that unusual. As far as it being a fairly new item, there are often dealer demos sold, or it could just be plain old audiophilia nervosa. Either way, the above posts are dead on, gather all the info you can about the seller before you send any $$, and personal contact is always a plus. Good luck!
I wholeheartedly agree with all of the previous advice.

However, as a first screen, you may want to take a look at the actual feedback of the seller and not just rely on the absolute number. In several cases, fraudulent sellers seem to have assumed dormant seller accounts, salted them with one or two recent feedbacks, and then listed various high ticket items (audio equipment, plasma TV's, PCs) at too good to be true prices.

If you are looking at the "New" Creek gear, this screen would say do some more due diligence on the seller.
I usually ascribe to the adage, "If it's too good to be true, it probably is," but, sometimes, I've looked at stuff that seemed too good to be true -- but it WAS true! I have purchased items up to $1000 less than the going rate USED.
Certainly, you must know your seller. A phone call usually helps develop confidence.
On the other hand, I've also had questions about buyers. Recently, I was about to accept a credit card payment from a buyer in Indonesia when I saw a reference to credit cards on another audiogoner's sale listing as not being acceptable. When I contacted him, he told me there are scams with credit cards from Indonesia. I asked the "buyer" to wire the money -- and never heard from him again.
Check feedback and reassure yourself with contact about the seller. If something still feels funny then - trust the feeling and walk away.

That having been said, you can usually get brand new stuff for 15-20% off MSRP new in store and 20-30% off if you find the right source, so look at the $600 off and figure if the % is actually high. Almost nobody goes over about 30% new unless there is a reason (no dealer in West coast for example, the company may sell direct at substantial discount).

Good luck,