I usually start to open my stuff while it is still in the UPS guys' hands.I don't know who those guys are;other than maybe "really,really" excellent at re boxing??
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There seems to be several variations of this that all are perplexing - "2 yrs old, been in a box for the last 23 mos.", or "one year old - less than 20 hours of use". Who buys a super nice piece of electronics and then never uses it? The only recurring pattern that does make a bit of sense are the ones where somebody buys something, the significant other gets angry, so they sell it almost immediately.
I think that you get dealers of some sort doing this a lot. They buy too many units and need to reduce inventory but they can't sell below certain prices per agreements with the manufacterers thus they buy them themselves using their employee discounts and sell them on places like this. Also I know of a couple of home installers who are dealers themselves and sell new gear below retail. NHT is having a big problem with that one right now, it is easy to find their gear at 33% off on the net.
On the other hand...Try remodeling your house and, at the same time, attempt to purchase new gear. You might be amazed at what happens. In my case, a new wall changed my listening space more than I had imagined it would. Suddenly you've got brand new gear that has been delivered and paid for, so what to do? Open it up anyhow, confirm your suspicions,and take a few hundred dollars loss on the open box or sell it"NIB" and recoup as much as you can? IMO,When purchasing I would always ask why it's NIB, but let common sense prevail.
I had that happen twice with my purchases on Audiogon.
I bought a PS Audio P10 power regenerator, when it arrived the factory tape hadn't been breached. I reached out to the guy who sold it to me (at a loss, I suspect) and he said he bought one for each monoblock, didn't need two of them. He was a Cardiologist.
The other sealed box was for a McIntosh MCD500 SACD player. The guy was a high-end investment advisor and when he son found out that he ordered that, he worked with his dad to build a music server, so he didn't feel he needed the disk player.
Just a quick observation that I am guilty of. I have several pieces that are indeed new in box and have never been put into my system. The reason, I wanted a replacement that mated with my tastes and I new I would be happy with regardless of future tinkering. When they went on sale or closeout I made the purchase. Two REL subs and a Nordost Quantum QRT QB8 mk II. I also have a new BSG QOL, an extra Sony ES 9100ES SACD/CD/DVD player (circa 2005) and a few brand new Shunyata and Synergistic Research power cables. Not all sellers are trying to pull one over on the buying public.
I did this only once. I purchased an Oppo 205, one of the last in fact to use in a bedroom system. I soon changed my mind on the setup for this room and went in a different direction. I never opened the box and I already had a Modwright 205 in another system. About a year later I sold it. Im embarrassed to say for how much.
I have bought and sold NIB/Never used/only opened to check shipping for :
Belles Aria Integrated
Belles: I was purchasing a new turntable and DAC from a dealer. The dealer offered a 'bundle' to me... an in stock unit at a ridiculous price. Why the price? I did not ask. I had heard so much about the Belles that I thought I would try it. After owning for about 6 months I realized I was happy with my system and rather than just 'try' it I could sell it for more unused. The new owner was thrilled.
Harbeth's: I found a brand new pair at another very aggressively low price on another site (non-Harbeth/unauthorized re-seller). Thought I would use them for a second system. The speakers were received and opened by me. they were mint. Here is the catch....they traveled around the world. Came through Greece. A dealer there left the AD network and liquidated out of market. I never hooked them up but they were verified authentic by Harbeth and I sold them to an Agon member. He is happy.
Cables....commonly, not always, available new at reduced prices that are easy to re-sell. In some cases, dealers are reluctant to advertise them as 'new' and opt for 'demo' but when I received some of them them it was clear the packing was never opened. Some I never used.
All of the above were sold at a modest financial loss.
FWIW the advertisements are sometimes legit. Caveat emptor.