Previous Ownership...does it matter to you?

I'm curious as to how others feel about knowing the previous ownership history when purchasing used audio equipment. Not necessarily who specifically owned as that's usually not possible but how many owners.

It might give you a glimpse into whether the item has been shipped back and forth from coast to coast in the US, Canada, or another country and if there's something not as advertised with the item since it continues to change hands too frequently.

I recently exchanged messages with a seller of a previous set of very nice speakers I previously owned. I knew the complete history, the buyer listed himself as the third owner when in fact he was the fifth owner. When I shared the details, his response was "could care less about ownership and how many times it's changed hands....".

I was surprised by the response. The obvious reason to understand ownership it's one of the listing rules from both Audiogon and US Audiomart in regards to the rating scale. Both Audiogon and US Audiomart are specific that anything a 9 or above must be single owner. In the case I reference above, the seller lists as a 9 even knowing he's the fifth owner. 

What is your approach to knowing ownership history? Does it matter or not to you?


@alerrico You just made my point perfectly. Nearly all of my equipment has been bought used. If we all (as a community) respect the equipment and are honest in our dealings then I don't see an issue with how many times something has been sold. Just like your DAC, I bought an amp from a guy that was in excellent shape. I take it out of the box, put it in my rack plug it in and enjoy it. I don't beat it up, I take care of my gear and when I sell it, I take it out of the rack, put it back in the box and it's in the same condition as when I bought it. How do I know if the guy that sold it to me is telling me the truth about how many owners it has had? Why would he necessarily even know? It's "X" piece of gear in "X" condition for "X" price Take it or leave it!

@alerrico BTW, If I were in the market for your DAC I would buy it without concern. I don't care about its history.

I try to get as much information about the type of pet hair all over it, and what tobacco was smoked in the presence of the unit in question. Purebreeds and Cohiba smoke are an added bonus I'll pay a premium for. If the seller can provide a receipt from the thrift store where he found it for less than 400x what he's asking, I'll even shell out for the paypal fees and shipping costs. Cheers.

All of the comments on here has merit

Buying used is perfectly fine if you do your due diligence. Buyer beware is a good mantra. Audiophiles are for the most part  good, hard working intelligent people. We all have income levels we have and what we can afford, and want for our systems. Ebay has less quality equipment, and is so cost prohibitive. I just dont use it, If I dont have to. If it doesn't have the original packing, I am skeptical, there are exceptions. Giving a honest trail of ownership is a way of promoting trust. Just be honest about your shape and cost of what you are selling. I have a rule of thumb of %50  of new. So, most of my equipment, I have is used and I have had some experience with this topic.Good pictures with good customer service, and realistic expectations, and you will be successful and maybe gain a new audiophile friend to promote this hobby.