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There is also the guy who says he is considering and very interested in buying your item but never really commits to it. He emails a bunch of questions and you try to answer as best as possible - he still never says he actually wants the item - then bam someone who has done his homework on the item prior to certain obvious questions and says - I want it. The other guy emails back and asks even more questions and you have to say sorry but it sold. He then gets upset and starts bashing you that he should have been warned it might be sold and says you flushed the toilet while he was still on it. This particular guy was not an Audiogon member and I tried to say that when an item goes on this site the first person to commit wins because we all know we could take too long in making up our mind and lose out to a fellow member plus it is always not easy to determine who is or who is not really wanting to buy the item. I have had people say yes I want the item and then seem to leave the face of the internet. All of these things are the risk we take on this site. I really enjoy exchanging thoughts and opinions on the threads and most of the people I have dealt with are very good and honest and I do not care if they leave feedback or not as long as they are happy with the deal and so am I.
I must respectfully disagree with Lolo; Audiogoners are not the best at keeping their word. My experience is that we are, at best, average and probably well below. I previously purchased my used gear in AudioMart, a strictly regulated print publication of only used audio gear. I can tell you without hesitation that AudioMart subscribers were decidedly more honorable than those found here. Perhaps it is because one must have references to join AudioMart, perhaps it has to do with having to invest in a phone call to inquire about an item vs. the "free" internet but no matter we have more than our share of dishonorable cads causing us inconvenience or worse.
I had a guy make me an offer on a pair of interconnects. I accepted the offer. Legally, acceptance+offer=deal. Period. The next morning, I get an e-mail from him. "What color is the phrase 'MIT' on the jacket of the cable?" I had an immediate sinking feeling. Anyway, I e-mail him back with the answer. He e-mails me again: "What color are the connectors?" On this particular cable, there had been no change in the color scheme of the connectors at any time, according to my research. (Nor, incidentally, had there been a change in the color of the phrase "MIT" on the outside of the cable's jacket.) I e-mail him back with the answer to that one, too. He e-mails several more inane questions. Finally, I send him a message saying, "I've given you every possible detail about this cable. Are you interested?" He writes back, saying how curt and rude it was of me to ask that. Then, nothing. Never heard from the guy.
I agree that "offer+acceptance=deal", but that only holds between up-front dealing in good faith. "It's not a deal until the check clears" is the rule on the wild frontier.
I love it when a deal goes well, start to finish, and most of mine have. I think it's great when two human beings can trust each other and it pays off for both. Call me sentimental, but it makes everything seem a bit better. However, dealing with people who ask inane questions, who lowball you, who back out, etc. is all part of the game and, IMO, no worse than dealing with dealers who don't give you the time of day unless you've got $10K in your hand or who obviously know less about their products than you do. AND, the price is a lot better by putting up with inane questions and people who back out of deals. -Kirk
I agree with Kthomas, first with the fact that I get a sense of satisfaction when a deal goes according to someone's word alone and an agreement is made knowing there are no real reprocusions to backing out except that your word is no longer something you can be proud of. Like the handshake of old, it's only as good as the one making it. I have made several deals on audiogon and have had very good luck. Yes, there are low-life crawling around in every arena regardless of the safeguards on this or any site. I also agree with Kthomas that the same problems can and do exist with audio dealers and local face to face deals. People is people.
The only thing I don't like about reading this thread and another one that is currently going is the apparant distrust being shown. Let me say I have been truly burned exactly one time in what I am sure is over 500 deals, and even then I just think the guy died or something, because it was only $60, not really worth screwing someone over. If anything, buying and selling on the sites has reinforced my faith in the basic goodness of people, especially audio people. I don't know how many times I have sent or been sent goods telling or being told to look at it 1st before
you pay. Yeah there are always sharks in the water, but they only go for the weakest of prey.