Sellers Obligation To Respond

For the second time in a week, I have had sellers not respond to my offers. Listing items for sale is a right that comes with obligations. By the very nature of this forum, and others, there will be more lookers than buyers. That's how it is in the real world as well. At a minimum sellers need to respond to e-mail inquiries. They don't need to answerer at length. But common courtesy dictates that, at a minimum, an acknowledgement of some kind be provided; a "yes", "no", "sold”,” if after I answer all your questions, are you prepared to buy". This is an e-mail based forum, so responding in e-mail is the correct method. If people are not prepared to respond to e-mails (buyers too) don't use this forum. Harsh but frustrating.
I agree, and equally frustrating is taking the time to answer questions then never hearing from the buyer again. A "decided on another piece of gear", or "I'm going to take my time sorting through my options", "found what I wanted for a great price" never hurt anyone either. Works both ways. The tire-kickers are a huge waste of time, never understood why someone would contact you regarding someething you're selling, but not really know enough about the product to make an informed decision, or not have the funds available to buy. I buy stuff I know I want, at a fair price, VERY quickly.
I agree also. But, I also have a habit of not responding to low-ball offers that are so low, they are laughable at best and insulting at worst. I've had offers of 10% to 20% of list price, for mint/as new items, that sell in a day at 60% to 75% of list.
I feel your frustration Luc but it seems that some Mom and Dad's didn't spend enough time on something so simple as common courtesy with their offspring.
No way can we teach everybody common courtesy. Just isn't going to happen. I responded to someone's 'wanted' ad. He had the price he was willing to pay. / I had the product. Next to brand new w/box and manual,offered to throw in a freebe cable and pay the shipping in my response.In his responce to me, I get 5 dumb questions on how it works and with what etc. like he wanted a review.Turns out he read a review I hadn't. Go figure??? Part of doing buisness I guess.
Avguygeorge, happens way too often. I'm selling a Seismic Sink right now, some guy wrote me asking how it compared to Vibraplane. How the hell would I know? Bizarre
I agree with all of the above. I will admit though, that I was taken by surprise, by the volume of email that an add can generate. I try to reply to all inquiries. Serious, lowball, screwball, repeat, you name it. But I'll admit that I'm not perfect and I may miss a few. As a buyer, I'll send a 2nd email if my first one isn't answered. If I don't get a reply, I just move on.
Jeff,I'd have told him about 4500 dollars apart, or what ever the exact Mrd;sorry I aint blessed with your self control. I just try to respond with the same dedication as the sender;maybe a bit more.Generally,if they want to buy;I can tell. Just ain't up to bowing and scraping for the lookie loos.If I had to do this selling for a living;well,then I'd have to be polite to everybody, unless I worked ay Brian's place.
There are a number of things that could be said about the way both buyers and sellers should conduct themselves in the negotiation process. I've considered posting here what I think might be a number of helpful guidelines to make the process of buying and selling more efficient and effective for all. Perhaps I will one day. I had been more of a buyer for the longest time, but a growing stack up unused equipment has turned me in a seller of late. I've suddenly found myself much more sympathetic to the sellers out there. A qualified buyer should step up to the plate and make it known from jump that he's serious. "I'm prepared to pay your asking price in full and split the cost of shipping. First, I'd like to know the answers to the following questions:..." That tells the seller volumes about your level of commitment, and he can adjust the attention he gives to your email accordingly. I've spend up to 30 minutes researching and answering very detailed questions from buyers with my own equally detailed responses only to have the buyer turn around with a lowball offer that proves he was merely troll fishing all along. And sometimes, the buyer never even responds. I sympathize with Luc to an extent. Serious offers deserve at least a "No thanks" or "Sorry, already sold" out of courtesy. But some of the ridiculous offers I see don't deserve even that. Also, don't waste a seller's time with questions like, "Is this piece still available?" "Are you still taking offers?" "Would you consider an offer for less?" etc. Just state your best offer. Whether the piece is sold, or whether the seller is no longer taking offers, or whether the seller won't consider an offer for less are all things you'll find out just as quickly if you, the buyer, just state your offer. It's not a secret, so spit it out. The worst a seller can say is "No." In the process, you'll save time and bandwidth that could be better spent elsewhere. 75% of the responses to my ads are from people looking to get the component for a bargain if not a song. As a seller, your patience starts to wear thin after awhile.
Sorry, but there's one more thing I must add--One of the best ways to tell a seller that you're not a serious buyer is to ask questions that are already clearly answered in the seller's ad. A serious buyer will at least take the time to read the ad (if not research the product) before inquiring on a piece. "Do you have the original box?" "Does your LS3B have a remote?"----"Please go back and read my ad." Ok, end of rant.
Macm - Right on! Equally frustrating is when you (as a seller) make a reasonable counter-offer and then hear nothing else from the prospective buyer. The point about reading and understanding ads as posted is critical. I've had folks make me offers on equipment I had on auction whihc were well below the posted minimum opening bid, and well below the going "market value". I have recently subscribed to Audiogon's Blue Book, and I find it quite useful to set fair prices. By now, I am mature enough not to let "lust" for a new component force me to lose my shirt on a sale. For the most part, a lot of us sell to "upgrade", but what we are selling is perfectly functional equipment with a lot of life left in it.
Luc, I empathize with the frustration that prompted you to begin this thread. It's easy to see from some of the responses that sellers are equally frustrated as well. Can't we all just get along? Seriously though...I've been a member of AudioGon since week one. And in that time I've bought and sold regularly from this site and others. Suffice it to say that I've bought and sold a fair amount of components, and have some experience at this.

By listing components for sale regularly, it doesn't take anyone very long before they come to a quick realization that the majority of email inquiries on for sale items, are nothing more than folks looking to get something for nothing. I like a great buy on a component as well as the next person, however, over time, repeated ridiculous offers conforms a seller to ignoring the ridiculous offers altogether. You all know what type of offer I'm speaking about. The one that is 25% of retail for a current model item in mint condition. Get real! Sorry, but this type of offer merits no response from me, and is hardly worth the time it takes to delete it from my inbox. Does that make me discourteous? I've not given any thought to that, nor have I given thought to the buyers motives by sending it my way...frankly, it's not worth my time to reply to ridiculous offers, and it doesn't do one any good to become emotional or frustrated about the situation. I simply see it as the cost of doing business on the web...nothing more.

Bottom line. A fair offer for an advertised item deserves a prompt reply. A ridiculous offer deserves nothing, IMHO. If your listing is priced competitively, a QUALIFIED buyer will step up to acquire it eventually. Patience is a prerequisite for selling any used gear.

For the record, a vast majority of the ridiculous offers I've received in the past have been sent by individuals inquiring from AudioGon. Over the years, we've all observed reserve auctions on items that don't generate enough bids that come close to meet a sellers respectable reserve price. I suspect this same mentality carries over to many members making inquiries on classified ads. My belief is, one can ask what they will, but I'm not OBLIGATED to reply out of some sense of courtesy. Why dignify a ridiculous (lowball) offer with a reply? I won't waste my time with it.

I agree with Coltranel and very well put This site was put together for serious audio people and not for kickers If it was not for audiogon and most of its good members I never could of put together my system I do agree that a person should respond to serious offers only but the low ballers why waste the time Thanks
I agree with you folks. Wierdos come in buyers and sellers form I guess. Since we're sharing seller's horrors stories, here's mine. I put an for sale ad for a 1998 forest green toyota 4 runner. Soon after, I recieved 3 calls from potential buyers. After taking time off of work to show these idiots the car, they all said the didn't like the color and they were all looking for something lighter like silver or white. For god sake, I posted my ad saying that the color is green. The funny thing is that I also included some pictures. I can't believe share the earth with so many morons.
I dont respond to cheap bottom feeders.
OK,I need to get a life,as this is my third contribution.I didn't think 'my' problems were so commonplace.Just wanted to say,when you inform these folk the ans. to their questions are within the ad /what color/finish,how old/how much, they get hostile, repeatedly.Yup,one guy asked 4 questions;3 of them contained within the ad.Are the same 3 people responding to everybody's ad?? What web sight does one look up,seeking a life??
hey George! You know sometimes people go out of town or their email server is down (like ours is tonite) or life just gets in the way - something unexpected happens. We had some tubes that never came and found out the sellers were in a terrible car accident. They shipped them as soon as they got out of the hospital (we told them not to worry, but they came through anyway) Sometimes it may be so simple as these things and not a flakey seller. Just things to pack away and be aware of before assuming the worst.