Pet Peeves - my Rants and Raves

Having been in this hobby for 30 years, I have seen it all. Perhaps it is just me but there seems to be more and more bad experiences being encountered. Not to be a whiner but here are my Pet Peeves and other observations.

1. "Nickel and Dimers" - this drives me nuts! You place a "For Sale" ad where a product is priced at or below the lowest price on Agon (in history from Blue Book)and you still get the lowball offers. I know, just ignore them...what about when they call you? It is a waste of everyone's time. Then you have the people who try to weasel out of paying freight or insurance or Paypal. I had a guy the other day buy speakers and request that I fund insuring them for 2x of what they are worth (this after paying 20% below mkt price and me eating Paypal fees). My advice, this is an expensive hobby. If you cannot afford it, do not waste other people's time. One other story...just last week on a $1k preamp purchase (full asking price) a member removed the batteries from the remote! Talk about cheap!

2. Refusal to call me on an expensive purchase or sale. I don't know about you, but if I am making a multi thousand dollar purchase or sale, I require speaking with that person. Call me silly, but over the years it has been my experience that the "gut feel" of speaking with someone generally is accurate. Particularly when dealing with members who have little or questionable historical Feedback. I find it more and more common for people to refuse to call or provide phone numbers. I know, avoid these people.

3. Packing materials - Is it just me or do packing "peanuts" drive you crazy? Seems like foam or bubble wrap work as well or better and do not get all over your house and the equipment just shipped to you. If you must use peanuts, be sure to seal off the equipment (including tubes) with bags so that the peanuts and residue do not get into the equipment. One other item, always wrap any equipment with a bag or something that protects it from rubbing against the packaging - this includes speakers not just electronics. Even if it is a garbage bag, this is better than nothing.

4. Tire Kickers - people who have no intent at all of buying your equipment but just want to compare it to theirs. If this is your intent, simply state it up front.

OK, these are my opinions. Nothing more, nothing less. Your thoughts or other Pet Peeves or Rants and Raves. It is good to get these out on the table as there are new people coming in. Some simple rules of etiquette may be helpful.
1. It bugs me too when I'm selling, but you really can't blame a person for trying to get the best deal they can. Whether buying or selling, I just try to be fair.

2. I've been buying and selling on Audiogon for almost six years and I think I've only talked to two people on the phone. I think it ended when a prospective buyer breathed into the phone, "what are you wearing..."

3. I got a preamp direct from the manufacturer that was wrapped in bubble wrapped and floating in a sea of peanuts. The thing that scares me about peanuts is that something might go undetected in there, like a rat or a human hand.

4. Tire kickers are part of the territory too. Sometimes they're just curious A'Goners wondering about the sonics of what you're selling. If you need the cash and are trying to make a quick sale it can be tiresome, but I like talking to people and trading ideas, so no harm.

My simple rule of thumb...and fingers is: "Treat others as you'd like to be treated." That's it.
Scroungers make this much less fun.
Tellthem to go to Goodwill if they want a $15 stereo.
I agree with much of the rant, but not the part about PayPal fees. Build the fee into your asking price if you like, but I (and many others, I'll bet) refuse to pay a fee that we consider simply a selling cost. Never paid one and never charged one for stuff I sell. If your Home Depot or whatever started charging you for using a credit card, I'll bet you'd pitch a fit. Same thing exactly, in my eyes. Thaqt's MY pet peeve.

But I do detest those peanuts.
One pet peeve I have is when the other party to the transaction doesn't leave feedback.

About the batteries not being in the remote...that's a good thing. You don't know what environmental conditions the shipper may subject the shipment to, or the age of the batteries. Batteries can leak or even explode . Professional movers will not take batteries at all if they know about it, unless they have great confidence in their insurance company. I recently moved across country. When the movers packed, all batteries were taken out of remotes and left behind with paint and other flammables. The least you should do is pack the batteries in a sealed, leak proof plastic bag, maybe even in a cardboard package and well away from the area of the box where the equipment is located.
That is not why they were removed. Your point is well taken and informative. These were removed due to value. That is my point. Thanks
Amen brother on the peanuts...who ever invented those worthless things should be subjected to 2 weeks non-stop Milli Vanilli, ABBA or something even worse.
After over 70 successful transactions, I have had three different buyers totally back out of "confirmed" agreements to purchase in the past month, for different items. These were situations where we had negotiated and come to mutual agreement to the point where I was simply waiting on their payment. Two of the three at least sent an e-mail with some excuse, while the other individual fell off the face of the earth and will not return my calls or e-mails. I generally don't have a problem with the little etiquette issues, but simply ask that folks do what they say they will do and operate honestly. Until these past three folks, it has been my experience that all the people here I have traded with do just that.
"Amen brother on the peanuts...who ever invented those worthless things should be subjected to 2 weeks non-stop Milli Vanilli, ABBA or something even worse."

On my sales I've used peanuts to pack the OEM box inside an over-box. If this is piss'n people off I'll stop - can't risk an ABBA attack.
Hey,...I like ABBA.

As a friend of mine once said, ABBA is a group that a lot of guys like, but won't admit it.
I like ABBA too. At the time, I thought the two women in the band were hot.
If someone is going to use those 'peanuts' - they ought to be the dissolvable kind that are made out of cornstarch. Just dump them in the sink - turn on the water - no more peanuts. Probably the reason these are not more widely used is (I bet) that the 10,000 year lifespan-Styrofoam peanuts are cheaper.
I think as a seller it is up to me to offer insentivs for the buyer to buy.I offer splitting the paypal fee or none at all.Just because you are offering the piece for below the cheapest price of one that sold on agon doe's not make it "book price".Many items are above blue book that have sold for the "agon price".I subscribe to Orion Blue Book for about $200.00 a year.I always ask the seller if that is their final price unless they state they will not go any lower in the ad.I especialy ask if the item has been listed for several days,I see nothing wrong with bartering by either buyer or sellr,after all you can just say no.Just my thoughts.
I agree completely wit Dopogue's comments regarding PayPal. I'm pretty inexperienced on this site, but I've not charged a "fee" -- a fine, really -- for using PayPal the couplafew times I've sold something here. When I see Product X listed for $2,000 and click on the listing to see what's what, it seems not a little disingenuous to read as a part of the description: "Add 3% for PayPal." So the seller is really asking $2,060 for the thing, right? PayPal is convenient for both the buyer and the seller. Why not consider that little fee a cost of doing business? I once saw a listing here in which the seller said that he did not charge "ridiculous" PayPal fees. Amen to that.
Jeff, if I wanted to speak with people on the phone, I would post an ad in my local paper. I have tried this and it brings in more loonies than even this site does. No thanks, don't call me. If you aren't comfy with my feedback and negotiating with the written word - which creates a verifiable record of the body of the transaction - you won't be one of my trading partners, and neither of us will lose any sleep. Just thought that I would share my pet peeve.
I have a rule of thumb that if a man can't admit to enjoying at least one song by ABBA, John Denver, and the Carpenters, then the maturity and independence of his musical taste is a little suspect.

As we grew up we all knew scores of people whose taste in music was imprisoned by their perception of what is cool. I suppose that's nearly unavoidable if your 13, but it is sure nice to grow up and hear music for what it is regardless of what other people think about it.

Mind you, I personally could not truthfully say I enjoy more than a couple of songs by ABBA, so none of you start to think I'm not cool....
what about crab grass and global warming
Exactly, Newmanoc, heheh.
I generally agree, but here's my added 2 cents:

1 - Nickel-Dimers - I hate them but have learned to live with the fact they exist. What drives me nuts is the rudeness with which most of them engage. For god sakes you're not entitled to buy at any price you choose. You're requesting agreement. Act like it. I had a guy rant at me over email because I wouldn't meet his price/terms which were 25% under my asking price, and he wanted me to do work for him. Every email from this guy was a dictate.

2 - Phone call - It may be nice, but not necessary IMO to have a direct conversation. Indeed it may mitigate potential problems, but I prefer detailed written communication even though it may be more work. If the trading partner has no feedback, I may require a phone call, or no deal.

3 - Packing Materials - my pet peeve is poor selection of packing material for the job. I've received too many shipments damaged for poor packaging. Peanuts are a mess and just bad for most uses, but can be great for cushioning a heavy boxed item (ie amp) inside an outer/2nd box. I've also seen bubble wrap misused (eg. Rel Storm SW destroyed because it was wrapped in bubble wrap and a single box - totally inadequate package). And finally, for god sakes wrap the component in celophane or a trash bag before packaging it. It drives me nuts to have to fish styrofoam out of the amp, preamp case.

4 - tire kickers - see #1.

Finally - this is an extension of #2 - sellers who won't answer questions, provide specifics about their components, or sale. I don't get it when they think a yes/no or one word response is adequate to reply to a detailed question. In this case I walk
I will say that a half styro-peanut placed at each end of the small box tubes come in is very helpful.
Thanks for the feedback. A couple of points of clarification to my initial post. Paypal - this was never a payment requirement by me - I would also take other methods but this would delay shipment (unless a USPO MO). The buyer proposed it. My point was the fact that even after a smoking deal, I still was nickel and dimed. I am a professional negotiator and have learned that if you have the possibility of repeat business or need for future service (or information), it is best to not "beat" the other party. Everyone is looking for the "home run" buy but understand that leaving the other party hurt does not always equate to a win for you. What goes around....Apparently some respondents do not agree with me and that is ok. I was also surprised by the phone issue. I guess that I am old fashioned in this regard, this too is ok but will not change my mind on making it a requirement for me - however, I will make this clear in my sales ads. Tire Kickers - again, my only point is to state this up front. Not all of us have excess time on our hands to shoot the sh.. on every piece of equipment. Peanuts - sounds like most people also detest them. If you must use them, be sure to isolate the equipment from them. Thanks again!
Beating the seller down is like some sort of sick hobby unto itself for some. These are either the basement dwellers that deserve their solitary existance or the blow hards that suddenly discover they are leading a solitary existance. What a small ego these victories must inflate.

I just got a phonecall from a guy that stiffed me on five hours of labor a couple of years ago. He just got HDTV and wanted me to tell him how to hook it up to the equipment I installed (for free). This would be the center-of-the-universe-entitled-A**-hole pet peeve.
I definatly agree about the one's that demand to get it at a certain price.I just say I can't do it.I to like a phone conversation with the person.I think you can tell alot about if they are on the up and up by talking to them.Several times I have met new audio friends that I end up keeping in touch with.I also like pictures,don't know if I would buy without photos.
I totally agree about speaking w/someone on the phone. Yeah, if it's a low-dollar sell OK, but once you start talking 500, 1000, etc, I want to know that I'm selling to an intelligent music-lover who isn't an idiot. Call me old-fashioned.