Purchase breaks well within 30 days


Hi,

I purchased a $3750 dac used from a member and within a few weeks one of the two channels stopped working inexplicably.

The dac is under warranty but because the authorized repair shop recommends the entire dac board to be replaced it may take 4-6 month to get the part as the manufacturer is way behind because of covid and has limited capacity to manufacture things.  At minimum will be 3 months.

I would think
If repair estimated to be free and within 60 days or so the buyer should just be patient and not ask for refund.

But if a very lengthy repair timeline I am of the mind that a refund is appropriate but wanted input of others.

For sake of discussion lets assume seller had no idea there was problem and buyer did not contribute to problem

Thoughts?
atwatervillagelawyer
If it worked as described and was in the physical condition described upon arrival, then it is not the seller's responsibility. Fortunately for you it is still under warranty and will be repaired. The warranty is with the company and not with the seller.
 If I was the seller and the return was covered under the rules then it wouldn't matter to me I should have known that going in. 
The rules seem to say that if the unit worked when it was received, the seller is not required to take it back, unless the ad specified otherwise.  I'd ask the seller if a return is acceptable, but I don't think the seller should have to take the unit back under the AG rules.  At least the repair is under warranty; a lot of buyers aren't that lucky.
csm golf is 100 percent correct
The seller shouldn't even have been contacted.  It arrived as contracted.
It is a shame that this happened but I agree with all the comments above. 
It's under warranty and being repaired.  Covid induced inconvenience not covered nor should it be.  
It’s unfortunate that one of the channels stop working. The seller is not obligated to take the unit back regardless of how long it would take to get the repairs done.

As others have suggested, pursue the repairs with the manufacturer. Hopefully it will provide years of trouble free operation after being gone through complete health check.
There's some misconception here how was the DAC paid for makes a difference. Credit cards give 30 days, if you want to pursue it you would most likely win an arbitration since it broke within 2 weeks. Depends on how you wish to proceed and how it was paid for and if you have contacted the seller to see if he's willing to do anything. 
I agree that the seller isn’t obligated to do anything. If it’s working fine at the time of sale how could they possibly know what would happen in two weeks? It’s different in this way from, say, a car, where one might know (from a mechanic) that a timing belt is going to need replacing or the brakes are in their last month of usable life. A DAC just isn’t predictable in this way, right? And the seller wouldn’t have any way to assess its longer-term durability nor would that kind of responsibility be appropriate for the practice of private audio gear selling. That’s at least my initial take.
You're a lawyer, and asking this question? It's used merchandise, an "as is" sale, unless specifically stated otherwise. The idea that the seller should offer a remedy better even than the manufacturer is absurd.  Every unfortunate thing that happens isn't necessarily someone else's fault.
Whether or not the seller knew is only relevant from a personal ethical point of view. What legal recourse the buyer has is spelled out in the various rules that apply. If this sale went through PayPal and he used a credit card and the device broke within 2 weeks and he wants to pursue a refund I would use PayPal arbitration. You'll probably get your money back. 
The component functioned as advertised for, "a few weeks".    That it failed afterward is simply bad luck.       Trying to hold the seller responsible is a cheap shot, especially given it's still under warranty!      
(csmgolf, hilde45, et al = +1)
Have bought and sold here for a long time and I too agree with the overwhelming response you are getting from the other members.
As a lawyer, you understand risk and reward....the reward of buying used is the lower (than new) price, the risk is situations like you have experienced, in addition to risks associated with shipping damage, payment issues, fraud, etc.  That the manufacturer is honoring a warrantee for other than the original owner is rare....consider yourself lucky. 
Do not cry get it fixed and move on.
Bummer, but not the seller's fault.  You're lucky the manufacturer will honor the warranty.  Many won't unless you're the original owner.  Buy yourself something like a used Schiit Bifrost to tide you over until the repair is done and flip it when you get your unit back.
it is under warranty so get it repaired  no the sellers responsibility  this is the reason why i make sure that I email the person I am dealing with to state the terms of a buy or sale.
I would not unilaterally complain to CC company as that is over the top but I would likely take back if shoe on other foot and I was the seller.  

I think seller should back product for 30 days ....

Here lasted like two weeks and used less than ten hours probably like 5 hours.

I left it with seller that broke too soon and too little use and repair will take too long but if he would not want to return it if he was the buyer than so be it.

If you bought it NEW and it broke in two weeks, your recourse would be to send it for repair.

You bought used, paid less, and you want the seller of the used product to offer a better return policy than the manufacturer?

Why would you possibly think the solution is equitable?

Remind me to never make a sale to you.
I agree with most of the responses. The item was sold used/as is. And I assume not at the cost of a new item. But I wouldn’t think the seller has any responsibility to do anything.

I see that the op only has one completed transaction.  I assume the transaction is the one we are talking about. It’s a bummer that the OP only transaction worked out like this.

 Certainly CC dispute is a option, but imho not in the spirit of buying a used item. And if someone did that to me, I would never sell to again.
I must agree with csmgolf.

It's fortunate that the manufacturer extends the warranty to subsequent owners, lucky for you, most do not.

Every time I evaluate purchasing a new vs. pre-owned item, I always factor in the risk into my purchase price offer.
The seller is not a dealer. A dealer might take it back to maintain a good working relationship with the purchaser but there is no such benefit for the seller. Patience is a virtue and this is the kind of deal you cut when buying used equipment. 
This doesn't seem to add up compared to the many transactions I have accomplished on this site. The OP's mention of a CC makes me wonder if this was a dealer of some sort (used equipment dealer maybe?) or maybe the OP is talking about PayPal. Also, the OP's discussion of 60 days and then 30 days implies some form of formal trial period, which is rare but not unheard of for used equipment resellers (such as The Music Room). However, that the OP doesn't seem to know if there was a trial period, how long that period was, or the exact terms, supports what has been assumed here, that the "member" the OP purchased from is a private seller.   If the OP is in fact a lawyer, he/she should have a better understanding of the need to review the terms of a deal.  In the future, the OP should probably purchase their gear new to receive the protections offered by working with a dealer.
ethically a refund is not appropriate...it's the chance you take buying used equipment...certainly is difficult with the covid repair delays...even though others have mentioned a refund may be legally possible...
Four to six months seems like a long wait.  I might try to politely talk with someone about the possibility of speeding things up.  Something mentioning it's the best DAC you ever heard and you are anxious to get it going again.
First of all I appreciate all the opinions surprised so many adamant ones.

Neither party is a dealer.

The transaction was not the one in my transaction history.

I have bought a lot of used equipment just not on Audiogon but rather from dealers in the past.

Nothing has ever broken in less than 30 days let alone 6 months.

My point perhaps not properly emphasized was that the repair is not trivial but rather necessitates replacement of the entire board of the dac.

I agree if repair minor of course return not appropriate.

But where repair substantial and will not be completed for 4-6 months and occurred so soon after purchase I would expect seller to be more understanding.

I guess you guys think the deal part of buying it used means you lucky it works at all.

I think its also relevant to consider that this dac purchase was expensive.  The dac sells new for 6K and I bought for 4K and was told its like new.

My expectations are higher if paying a lot and discount was good but not much more than some dealers give for new.

In conclusion I am not demanding anything from seller just expecting more for premium price sale but you guys have calibrated my expectations.  I would have taken back if repair substantial and wait long and premium product advertised as like new.

I will focus purchases from dealers especially now going forward as the prevailing sentiment here seems to be that you got a deal so you lucky it works at all or has a warranty is a bit too cavalier for my taste.
I'm surprised that the manufacturer hasn't stepped up and offered you a new replacement since the repair time of your unit is excessively long. It would certainly be a nice gesture on their part.
Say you purchased an expensive used vehicle from someone and the price included a free bumper to bumper warranty. A few weeks later the engine blows. Mechanic tells you you are to receive a brand new engine at no cost to you, but it will take some time. Would you demand that the guy who sold you the vehicle take it back, or would you be stoked about receiving a free brand new engine? It seems to me your gripe is you simply don’t want to wait so long to have it repaired.
If I bought a premium car would expect sale voided....if bought cheaper car different story. 

Premium product sold as premium deserves higher standard.

I would take car back fix it and sell it again or offer buyer premium discount for inconvenience.

BTW The dac manufacturer is low on new inventory due to covid so would not expect them to give me new one...
Was it made clear to you the sale did not offer a return policy of any kind?
You asked for our thoughts, but don't like the answers your getting.

it's difficult because the problem is the manufacturers inability to do timely repairs, and probably everyone involved acted in good faith, but these are difficult times...
atwatervillagelawyer
I guess you guys think the deal part of buying it used means you lucky it works at all.
No on here has suggested that at all. There seems to be universal agreement that if the item hadn't worked properly when you first received it, then a refund would have been in order.
I will focus purchases from dealers especially now going forward as the prevailing sentiment here seems to be that you got a deal so you lucky it works at all ...
That's your sentiment, not the prevailing sentiment. It probably is best for you to work with dealers in the future, though. It's a dealer's job to work with customers who have an issue.
I have been hesitant to buy used components because of experiences I have had that are simiar to the OP’s.

Bought an expensive amp - it worked for 2 hours and then began to buzz loudly through one speaker. Bought a power conditioner - its built in circuit breaker kept tripping soon after I bought it. Bought a universal disc player - it would not play hybrid SACD’s.

In each of these cases, I suspect the seller knew something was wrong and did not make full disclosure of the history and condition of the unit that they were selling. They offloaded their problems to a sucker, who happened to be me. But I understood that I was buying "as-is."

Buying used can cost less, but because of my poor experiences buying used, most of my system now consists of stuff that I have bought new, demo, or from a respected dealer.

The exception is my speakers, which are kind of rare and something I really wanted. I vetted the seller really well and crossed my fingers, and it worked out. But vetting did not work for the amp that buzzed - I bought it around the same time that I bought my speakers, from a seller who had 100 percent positive feedback and thousands of posts. His ad said nothing of the repair history of the amp - I learned after buying the amp and deducing from some of his posts that it had been to the repair shop many times. Live and learn.

Fortunately, the manufacturer stepped up in the first two cases. I bought a Square Trade warranty for the disc player. Shout out to Nick Doshi who fixed my amp for free, and to PS Audio for offering a brand new power conditioner for 50% off, and to Square Trade for a hassle free experience in getting my disc player repaired.
So most of you guys are gung ho pro sellers that is fine just wanted to get a pulse for the crowd here.

Now excuse me while I go clear out my audio closet to list here.

Seriously though timing and price matters to me....if buy $500 dac would have low expectations but 4K different.

I also doubt some of you would be whistling dixie if broke after 48 hours but at couple weeks it's cest la vie.

I can wait till 2021 to get dac back and recalibrate my expectations of how I would treat my fellow man if situations are reversed
Did you call the seller to inform him as to what happened? 
If yes, what was his response?

If no, what is stopping you? He may very well be willing to take it back.
You won't know unless you contact him.


Seriously though timing and price matters to me
So according to you, each buyer gets to decide the price level of their comfort and the amount of time a USED piece of gear is required to work or a refund is due? This is where on-line scams come from and why the line gets drawn where it does. In case you hadn't noticed, scamming is pretty common on the internet these days. What proof does the seller have that you didn't accidentally do something that damaged the piece? 
I also doubt some of you would be whistling dixie if broke after 48 hours but at couple weeks it's cest la vie.
You make an awful lot of assumptions, based mostly on the fact that people aren't agreeing with your first assumption. If you weren't being made whole by the manufacturer, maybe the response would be more sympathetic. But you are being made whole, just not in the time frame that suits you. 
I can wait till 2021 to get dac back and recalibrate my expectations of how I would treat my fellow man if situations are reversed
Maybe you should. In your shoes, I would have never asked for a refund let alone come here to incessantly whine about not getting my way. Add that to all of the bad mouthing of the members here and you get the reaction you have received.
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1.  When you made the purchase what discussion did you have with the seller regarding a "warranty?"  Any?
2.  How did you communicate your expectations regarding the period wherein you expected the item to work with no problem?
One or more posters suggested that, moving forward, you work/buy through dealers.  This is sage advice.  But furthermore, work with dealers that offer warranty periods for used items.

Or, stick to buying new wherein the item will come with a warranty.
asked and answered

many times already

next
@csmgolf      +1, on all points, again.
Thanks for all the input its way eye opening especially the ones who seemingly were mad at me for expecting more from fellow audiophiles when buying a premium product.

I failed to express my expectation to seller prior to sale that if doesn't work soon after receipt and requires a major and lengthy repair that I would want to return it during first thirty days.

I did not insist that seller take it back nor did he offer to take it back.  I did tell him that such an offer would have been forthcoming had I been the seller.  I left it at that.  

Happy Listening 😊 


I agree with the majority view here - price is immaterial. The seller made a representation that the unit worked for him.  It worked for you when it arrived as well as for a couple of weeks afterward. In the absence of an express warranty agreed to between buyer and seller, the seller has fulfilled his obligations and has no further obligation unless the jurisdiction(s) involved have statute law that imposes a greater duty on a seller.

If the seller had concealed a known (to him) condition that the unit worked sporadically it would be very different, but that would be hard to prove.

All audio gear is subject to failure sooner or later. Too bad for you that it was sooner, but as long as the item was represented to you correctly, I don't think you'd have any expectation of redress.

OTOH, if I was on the seller's end of such a deal and the gear went wrong, I would certainly cooperate with the buyer in making a warranty claim as the original owner if that was required (in your case it is not).

And I hold these opinions not as a hobbyist/layman, but as another lawyer, though in a different jurisdiction than yours.
It is a real bummer when this happens (breaks soon after receiving it). I think you are lucky that it will be repaired, no charge.
If I were the seller, completely unaware of any problems, sold it. I would not accept a return.
 Simply because it worked perfectly when I sold it. It could've been tossed around when shipped, buyer may have screwed something up...
 It's too bad this happened, but, the seller isn't responsible from what you have stated.
Wow. Life happens and not always the way we intend.
You bought a lemon. Way less of a problem than so many out there today are facing. And you have an out. You get to make lemonade out of those lemons, you have a valid warranty. Get it fixed and move on.
Grasshopper, your answer(s) lie in Karl's Crazy Code, as amended.
Have you asked the seller to approach the dealer he bought it from, since it's still under warranty maybe they would be willing to replace it and deal with the manufacturer.