Phony buyers on Audiogon

Here's the story:
I'm selling an amp and I get an offer from a non-member to buy it at my asking price. No questions about the amp whatsoever.
While I'm a little suspicious what can I do? So I send him my name and address. Never get a check so send him an e-mail. He has no money and can't buy the amp.
Why would someone offer to buy and want my name and address when they don't intend to? Should I be worried?
probably changed their mind but just don't want to admit it, so made up the "I'm broke" excuse instead. Doubtful that someone would hunt you down for a $950 component if that's your concern? Don't lose any sleep over this one...
Nothing unusual here by my of luck with your sale, and take Bob's good advice.
You SHOULD be worried. If someone just offers to buy at your asking price without asking questions about your amp, then tells you that he has no money, I reckon he is after something else. The problem with Audiogon is they allow non-members to make offers so you have nowhere to trace back to the phony buyers or leave negative feedbacks because they are non-members.
As far as I am concerned, if a buyer makes an offer and the seller accepts his offer, then it is a binding contract. I know in reality a lot of buyers opt out of their offers after they find out the bottom line of the sellers. This is something that Audiogon should enforce to allow sellers to leave negative feedbacks on phony buyers or non-serious buyers so that the sellers are aware of them before they start negotiating the deals.
Belfran; I'm sure management has plenty else to do, than concern itself with "deals-that-don't-go-thru". As a buyer or seller your job is to know the game and proceed with intelligence and caution. Always check the feedback of a buyer---AND---seller.Wait for funds to clear before shipping. BTW,an out of state check from a small bank "can" take up to 14 days.(not the commonly thought--10-days.) I would NEVER do a COD,unless the buyer has at least 15+'s. The feedback system is there for our protection;and about as good as it gets--use it.
You could state in your conditions that buyers must be A'gon members and even have a certain amount of pos feedback. while it may cull some out, if they really want it, it is up to them to convince you to sell it if they do not meet the conditions.
I agree with Belfran.
Nothing unusual about this. Unfortunately, people, for whatever reason, will want to buy or possess something and out of impulse they will "buy it!!". Explains why a lot of us are in credit card debt. Anyway, it is not uncommon, as another example, for people to bid on your auction and not come through if they win. Apparently, they think they win the item as a prize if they're the high bidder. It's the same with buying - the desire is strong but the money is not there.

If someone should offer me what I'm asking asking with no questions asked or without a lower offer, I would either suspect that either (a) my asking price is too low, (b) they're just kicking tires or (c) they actually want it. If they don't come through, so what. From where I sit, there a plenty of decent folks on this site - one potential buyer who didn't come through shouldn't worry you.
I have always made it a practice to have a live conversation with potential buyer before taking unit off of market. I also believe a postal money order or cashiers check should be sent prior to any COD to cover shipping cost and provide a good faith deposit. If buyer is unwilling to do this move on to someone else.
Belfran, read the A'gon rules for leaving feedback. In this particular case, the guy probably got cold feet. Are lowballers, lookey-loos and phony buyers annoying? Yes. I have had it done to me a countless number of times, but did I feel the need to leave negative feedback or even want to? No. Like it or not, people have the right to change their minds. Life is too short. Lesson learned and move on. The guy wasn't even an A'gon member. Red flag anyone?
May be it is about time Audiogon changes its rules for leaving feedback.
No, you are wrong in stating that people have the right to change their minds. NOT if a buyer offers and a seller accepts his offer. This is a binding CONTRACT !!!!!!!!!! If a buyer or seller changes his mind after they have formed a contract, then he is in BREACH of the contract.
If you are saying that you can't red flag a non-Audiogon member, then the management of Audiogon should start think of a new system of either not allow non-members to bid or to leave feedbacks on them.
Next time you bid an item, think hard, you could be sued if you opt out, my friend!!!!!!!!!
I think it's important to honor our "agreements". The seller (if honorable) may have refused a latter offer(perhaps for more money) that may not reappear again for some time. In the interim his piece is losing value over time. A contract is a contract. The premise of this site would crumble should the validity of these contracts be lost.
Do I think it is important to honor a verbal contract? Of course I do, but not all "verbal contacts gone bad" are as cut and dried as someone backing out or changing their minds. There could be other reasons, but you would have them all slapped with negative feedback regardless of the reason. In any event, There are more important things to concern ourselves with even if it is a simple case of cold feet. 'Tis easy enough to move on to the next buyer. If your equipment is priced fairly it will sell. With an auction, especially a dealer auction it usually states "Your bid is a binding contract". That is a different issue. Until A'gon decides to change their policies concerning this issue with private buyers/sellers try to deal with it as best you can.
Annoying as the practice of backing out or disappearing may be, I disagree that there is anything legally binding or contractual contained in a potential buyer's making an offer or claiming they will buy an item. Auction bids are often described to be considered this way, although I don't really believe that this principle would hold up put to the test, but with regular classifieds, an item isn't truly sold until the money is in your hands.

Permit me to offer a little bit of professional perspective, since I have spent most of my life's work so far doing commissioned retail sales. The absolute, most surest sign that you are never, ever going to see someone come back through that door again, is if they confidently proclaim that they definitely are going to buy an item and will be back to get it soon. If all the salespeople in the world sued every time this "contract" was broken, there wouldn't be enough lawyers in the world to litigate it all.

And just so no one misunderstands, I am not blaming or chastising customers for behaving this way at all. Of course a small minority of customers might actually return and really buy, but in general, the words "I'll be back" are widely understood by professional salespeople to be pretty much directly translatable as "No" (but we know that's when our real work is just beginning). Despite that most of the time, the no-sale is not the customer's responsibility but rather the salesperson's, the "I'm going to buy it tomorrow" approach simply represents a more comfortable way of communicating a negative sentiment for many folks than a direct rejection. Customers changing their minds or saying what they think the salesperson wants to hear will always happen, and there are always underlying reasons for it, although even a good salesperson may in some instances never discover exactly what the reason is. Just human nature and a fact of life.

Anyway, my point, as it applies to Audiogon, is that since a sale usually can't be consumated in real time, and communication isn't truly continuous or complete during the selling process, the seller's ability to influence or ensure the outcome of a transaction is necessarily limited. There is simply no way of accomplishing the equivalent of a customer's saying "Yes, I'll take it", making the payment on the spot, and taking the item away with them. The time and contact gap can be fatal to the deal. Selling anything is like trying to hit a pitched baseball - you must be prepared to fail a majority of the time in order to be successful in the end. Frustrating, but true. Again, Bob's commentary about not losing any sleep if you can is still the most realistic advice you're going to get.
I fully agree with Unsound's comments.