Selling dispute. Please comment.

I recently sold a pair of mono amps and checked the box that indicated the original manual was included. I never use the manual for something like this and just assumed the manual was in the box as there were some various papers from the manufacturer in the boxes.

The buyer got the amps safely and they are in perfect condition as described. I shipped the same day the item sold. Unfortunately the manuals were not in the boxes the amps came in. These were the original boxes, but the manuals are not there according to the buyer.

I sent him the link to download the pdf of the manual. He is not happy with that. I offered to print a color double sided copy (on good stock) at Kinkos for $20 (at my expense) and ship that to him. He says that the original manual was promised and that I have to deliver that to him. And that he dervers two of them since the amps came in two separate boxes. He is threating to kill the deal and dispute with audiogon and paypal.

I admit that I'm in the wrong for mis-stating that the manuals were included. I will attempt to order the manuals from the manufacturer on Monday, but I don't know that the manufacturer will provide them even if I pay for them.

I'd appreciate comments regarding this problem. Thank you.
Well, while the buyer's response strikes me as a bit irrational, the fact is that there are a fair number of buyers on this site who put enormous store on having the original manual, and won't purchase equipment without it. And the simple, hard truth is that you did not accurately describe what you were selling. The honorable thing to do, it seems to me, is to offer a full refund, including shipping, to be paid when the buyer has returned the equipment to you in good condition (I would not refund the money until the equipment has been been returned).

Just one person's opinion.
I don't think not having the original manual should in anyway negate the sale. You are buying the piece of gear not the manual. I would have been fine with a pdf or the Kinko's option.

I feel that maybe the buyer is using this to offset buyer's remorse or maybe his wife is mad or etc. I think something else is going on here, but just my opinion.

IMHO, if you can procure a manual from the company, that should satisfy the buyer and sale.
Its important to be as accurate as possible in ads. Technically, you are in breach of the deal. It is slight, and you have offered to cure the defect, and the buyer seems a bit unreasonable. However, its still a breach of the deal. If the buyer is intent on backing out, there is not real loss to anyone, is there? I say if he doesnt want it, find another willing buyer. Just my 2 cents.
I tend to agree with Tbromgard, as your ad listed original manual and is therefore an "inaccurate" ad. Yes, the buyer is being difficult, but because he has received an item NOT "as advertised", he does have some ground to stand on. Personally, I've usually worked around such discriminations as a buyer and a seller, usually with some sort of discount involved. Fortunately though, I haven't had to deal with any irrational individuals....yet.

Hopefully you can procure a copy of the original manual from the manufacturer and that will bridge the deal. I wouldn't bother with two manuals, since I'm sure your ad simply stated original manual in the singular sense, and not original manuals in the plural sense.
The buyer is not 'unreasonable or irrational.' You said you had the manuals. Maybe he wants them in case he sells the amps at a later date, maybe, like me, he just wants the orignal equipment, boxes, packings and all else included. I lost the manual to my Nakamichi 700, got a copy from the company, but it's not the same, and I don't even buy and sell. Iif the buyer decides to take your offers that's up to him. Otherwise do the right thing. And if could be that he passed on other amps for sell just because you said you had the manuals and the other sellers did not.
If the manual is available from the original company,and is a printed original type copy, then those are sufficient.

My Bryston 4B-SST2 amp, And Bryston BP-26 and Bryston BP1.5 new two years ago, come only with photocpies. With a staple. Really.(cheap as Hell actually)
If the original manuals are not available, either because the company is defunct, or they will only send another photocopy, then I guess the seller is out of luck.
The buyer IS being picky, but that is his right.
(PS how then does the seller even know they weren't IN the boxes and the buying is making up stores? Far fetched yes, but still.)
Anyway, if original format owners manuals are not available from the company, You can take back the amps.
And sell them to someone way less picky!!!

I know Audio research sells original style copies of any owners manuals. As I have been sent one by a seller, and I myself purchased another to be drop shipped to the buyer of another Audio Research preamp. $15 with a phone call.

The real lesson here is to pay attention to what you are selling. If you would haved LOOKED in the boxes, this would not be costing you hundreds of dollars in shipping there and back.
And yes you have to refund 100% of his money and pay for your own return shipping. The items are NOT as advertised.
Pity, and a bit odd, a bit strange, but hey, it is what it is.
Personally i hope the guy never does find another pair of those amps in decent shape, and can cry in his pillow over his attitude about not accepting for YEARS.
What if buyer is a liar just trying to get some unreasonable discount or has buyers remorse?
Original boxes and original manuals give the product additional value. Just because a couple of people here feel it's not important to them is irrelevant. You advertised the amplifiers with original manuals and that is what the buyer paid for. However, I do not believe a set of mono amplifiers come with two manuals. If you can come up with one original manual I would consider it case closed.
Don't sweat it. Send him the best manuals you can procure and send it to him. If he complains, tell him to go pound sand...

I wonder about the parenting style of people who raised some of the "super-finicky" snobs that want things "just so". Sounds like you made a reasonable effort to ameliorate the situation. I couldn't possibly express how vindicated I feel when I encounter one of these types that try this kind of crap when they need something from me that falls under the rubric of my area of expertise.
I am most certainly polite, uber competent and EXTREMELY expensive. :)
If he has a problem tell him to send them back plain and simple.
It should be clear to all that the land of 'audiophiles' is heavily populated by very picky, finicky and over bearing humans, it comes with the hobby. So, buy and sell accordingly.

Oh, the buyer is in the right, so ask him to return the units. Paypal most likely will not require the seller to refund the return shipping as it is their policy to only refund the original value of the transaction, no less, no more. My guess is that the buyer is unhappy with the units themselves and wants a basis for return.
Rlwainwright, I have never given a seller negative feedback even though a few have deserved it. As we all know negative feedback can be very damaging to a seller in terms of his ability to sell and the amount he will receive for his equipment. Is it really worth telling a buyer to go pound sand especially when the buyer is in the right? I do not know how sellers have adopted the attitude that they are doing us all a big favor by selling us their used equipment.
Hi Jax:

My brother is a toy collector and he will often buy an item just because the original box is in better condition than the boxes of two of the exact same item that he already owns.

Assuming that this guy is cast from the same mold, offer a refund with return shipping included. Unless this an attempt to wrangle a discount out of you, unwinding the transaction is the only thing that will work.

Your positive feedback indicates at least 44 hassle free transactions dating from 2009. Unfortunately, representing that the original manual was included with your amp sale was a mistake - we all make them. You had the opportunity to verify the manual was present before listing the amps, and again before shipping them. Having the original manual is apparently a big deal to your buyer. If you cannot supply the original manual, or otherwise satisfy your buyer, let them return the amps (you pay shipping) and start over. Anything less and you have an unhappy buyer.
How much does he want to make it right? If it's a reasonable amount, give him a partial refund. I hate to say it, but I think I agree with Buconero - the guy has buyer's remorse and he's looking for a way out of the deal.
I'll bet the buyer simply changed his mind. But, you should have checked first.
You haven't provided any of the correspondence between the the buyer and yourself so I can't get an idea of the buyer's attitude. Basically, if the buyer is coming off as a jerk or worst yet, an asshole, then I think it's perfectly within your right to act like a prick to his asshole behavior. Take a hard line and if he gives negative feedback so be it. On the other hand, if the buyer seems like a truly nice guy, even an unreasonable, but still nice guy, then you might want to just cancel the whole transaction.

If you had one negative feedback and you could point to this thread as the reason, I'd gladly do a future transaction with you.

One last point, if people are going to get worked up about misrepresentations in ads, then a far more serious problem is the 1 thru 10 grading system describing the equipment's condition. Are there really that many pieces for sale that qualify as 9s?
I think you made a mistake, and it may cost you.

I would download the .pdf and get them professionally printed. Send to the buyer, and if he accepts then you're good top go. If not I think you need to eat it. That would suck, he's being unreasonable, but it's not the end of the world. Relist and move on.
"My brother is a toy collector and he will often buy an item just because the original box is in better condition than the boxes of two of the exact same item that he already owns."

I don't believe that is a fair analogy. This is not a vintage piece. Collectability is not a factor here at all. Professionally printed versions of the pdf would be indistinquisable from the original to any future buyer. There is no intrinsic value in the paper used by the manufacturer to print the original copy of the manual.

As Elizabeth pointed out earlier in this thread, often manufacturers include very poor quality manuals. I've often received normal copier paper stabled in the corner as the manual.

I contacted the seller that sold the to me on audiogon. He was the original owner. He claims the boxes never contained manuals. Maybe the manufacturer just directs people to the pdf downloads.
Since this is the most anal hobby known to man I would be a bit bent if something didnt come with the manual. I always like to have the original boxes, manuals & if possible original purchase receipt or copy of the receipt. It makes me feel that the product was treated with the respect it deserves. Like others, try to buy the manuals. If they come in photo copied from the mfg, see if they will give you a letter that states this is what they originalally supplied. If thats what they were/are and the buyer still doesn't like it, then they're just being an ass. Good luck, John
"One last point, if people are going to get worked up about misrepresentations in ads, then a far more serious problem is the 1 thru 10 grading system describing the equipment's condition. Are there really that many pieces for sale that qualify as 9s?"

On that point, I see clearly wrong ads all the time. In fact, the guy that sold me these exact amps, his ad said they came with "Remote". He checked the "Remote Included" box on his ad when he listed it. Now, of course power amps don't have remotes. However, should I make him give me my money back because he did not ship the remotes?

People make mistakes all the time in these ads. I've saw an ad yesterday where the expensive item was listed for $0. Should I demand that be honored?

A professionally printed version of the pdf, printed in color on thick glossly paper, printed in magazine format and center stapled like a magazine will be equal to or most likely far superior to the cheap black and white copy that was probably the original manual (which, by the way would probably have been folded and wrinkled too). And it surely would satisfy the future buyer should this guy ever sell. Which means there would be zero financial loss over the missing manuals. So how has he been damaged under those circumstances? It would be different if this was a collectible manual and the "original" version was somehow coveted by collectors and thereby added value. But that is not the case. Nobody collects "original" high end amp manuals. A quality copy has no less value than the original.

I don't see how a reasonable person would conclude that was not good enough. We are not talking about the amps OR any of the accessories which were all shipped as promised and were described correctly.
Can you contact the manufacturer and ask them if they can send you an original manual for the amp? If so, that should solve the problem. Unless it is a vintage or collectable, rare amp, I think they buyer is being VERY unreasonable, and just wants to back out of the deal.
I understand that the deal was breached, but the buyer is the kind of person I love to hate. I would have taken up that guys offer immediately and backed out on the deal with an apology. When the amps arrived back at my door step I would have a party. What Agon should ask of buyers is are they collecting gear to look at or are they buying gear to listen to. We all make mistakes and this guy doesn't seem to realize this and has his pantries in a bunch. He's playing you. I would call his bluff. Nothing in audio is a collectors item and anyone who says your amps are worth less without the manual is dillusional. Don't get me wrong though. This is clearly your fault. I just don't see what the big deal is.
I also agree about the rating system. I've seen 8/10 that looked like they took a belt sander to it and I've seen 9/10 amplifiers that are sitting on a paver patio for the pictures. How about speakers in a messy garage?
Perhaps the buyer has an alterior motive in wanting the deal cancelled and is simply using the lack of manual as his out. If for some reason he was disappointed with the amps (sound, looks, smell, etc.), he may be trying to reverse the sale due to his buyer's remorse. Integrity is subjective, and with some, totally absent.

On that point, I see clearly wrong ads all the time. In fact, the guy that sold me these exact amps, his ad said they came with "Remote". He checked the "Remote Included" box on his ad when he listed it. Now, of course power amps don't have remotes. However, should I make him give me my money back because he did not ship the remotes?

Of course that's not really the same situation. Yes, the buyer is being more exacting than most of us would be, but there's no real value in speculating about why he's being difficult. You clearly want to do the right thing. If you can't get an original manual from the manufacturer (and you might ask them whether they come one per pair of monoblocks), then have him ship the stuff back to you and refund him all of the money when you have them. I'd make it very clear, though, that if there's a fingerprint on them, you'll send them right back to him. (And I'd arrange to check them out before officially taking delivery.)
To those who say that the absence of a manual diminishes the value of the amps, I would ask them to provide evidence for that claim for the amps in question.

Hopefully the manufacturer will provide you with a replacement manual. But I wouldn't be surprised if your buyer objected to that, since Audiogon ads say "original accessories" and the replacement manual isn't the "original" manual. That sounds absurd, but so does demanding a refund on the basis of a manual. What is the feedback of the buyer like?

Jax, I agree with you on all counts. I respect that other people feel differently, but frankly I'm surprised you don't have more support on this. IMO, there are only two explanations for the buyer's behavior...

1. Buyer's remorse.
2. OCPD.

Neither one is your problem.

If I put myself in the buyer's shoes I'd feel a bit cheated. Strong word I know but the ad was misleading. Like you though Jax, I wouldn't have any need for the paper manual and your apology would be sufficient.
If this buyer is insistent on the original manual I would cancel the sale and have the amps returned. Move on to the next buyer.
You didn't know that the manuals were missing? How do you know that they weren't in the box? Maybe they were. Keep us posted if you get the original manuals, and if the buyer still wants to back out. Good luck.
I realize that the buyer is technically in the right here, as the item was advertised as coming w/ a manual, but come on -- how much of a manual do you even need for mono blocks? This isn't some complicated A/V receiver or all-in-one disk player, its a power amp for goodness sake. I'm sure the specs are available on the internet & there was probably no schematic in the manual to begin with, so what else is there? How to turn it on or something???

Unfortuneatly some get somehing stuck in their craw and can't let go. I think we all possess a little of this trait. Sad to say the ad read "manual included" and therfor if the manual in not there, the sale is not complete. But if you do obtain a manual from the manufacture, don't open the envelope leave it sealed so that he will know it as a factory original, or better yet have it sent directly to him. If it is not available then I would suggest offering him a partial refund for the cost of printing a PDF manual and a little something to compensate him for the trauma he seems to be going thru. But let him have it printed at Kinkos or you may be chasing your tail again with a "I wanted 20# paper and you used 18# copier stock" complaints. Now, personnaly I like to have the original, call it a quirk, but I feel I would be much more upset if it had a knob missing or a dent. After all it is an amp, most are capable of connecting an amp without the instructional DVD. Yes he is being a "pain" but he had expectations based upon the advertisment. Tough call for both sides, good luck, some times a buyer can be a challenge. But after more than 30 years in sales , most situations can be resolved with reasoning and appeal to sensible logic.
Thank you to everyone that has commented. I appreciate all the different viewpoints.
I once purchased a component from an A'gon seller who by all accounts is conscientious and meticulous in his many transactions, and the descriptions he provides, to a degree that is absolutely extraordinary. In this case his description of the item was precise down to the level of a small smudge near the rear of the component that was invisible unless illuminated and viewed at precisely the right angle. His packing job, on an easy to pack relatively small rectangular electronic component, was so exceptional that it probably took him most of a day to do. Nevertheless, the ad indicated that the manual was included, and it was not. I politely asked about this, and he was unable to find it. So I downloaded the pdf and that was that.

Given that the amps are not vintage collectables, I agree with the comments by Bryon and others that the person is being completely unreasonable, whatever his motivations may be. Unfortunately, though, if you cannot obtain two original manuals ("original" per whatever definition he insists on), you are stuck with having to negotiate some resolution with him. Various approaches to doing that have already been suggested.

Regards and good luck,
-- Al
IMO, the buyer is being an unconscionable jerk. What kind of FB does he have? Any? I'd love to know his A*gon ID so I'd never sell anything to him.

I saw some others here who pointed out YOUR mistake. Yes, you made a tiny, tiny, TINY mistake. But he can easily get a copy of the manual? Was the original printed on gold leaf & engraved by monks or something? I hope I never encounter this character.

How about this: offer to buy him a bottle of Xanax, & maybe pay for a couple of psychiatrist sessions. But If you get the amps back, pray he hasn't wrecked them.

End of rant, & Good Luck!
I surely hope the buyer has been reading this thread. He just may come around and realize how unreasonable he's being.

Or not.

All the best,
Seems as if the answer depends upon whose ox is being gored. At least with most of you. If it does not matter if the manual is there, why should it matter if the seller's idea of 9/10 is a little different from yours? What difference does a little dent make? It does not affect the performance. Esp if the seller is willing to pay for a can of spary paint. I bet a lot of you would be 'unreasonable' then.
No other lawyers here? Seller substantially performed, so Buyer has no right to reneg or undo the deal after delivery. Damages are calculated based on the financial loss the Buyer incurred due to Seller's inadvertant misrepresentation, which in this case, are trivial, or the difference in price between the value of the item as represented and the value of the item as delivered, which again, is a trivial difference. This is not the same case as a unique antique or collectable, where specific performance can be the applicable standard.
I would refund the money, MINUS shipping. The guy is being a prick, plain and simple. Once you get the amps back and verify they work, I would then give the buyer NEGATIVE feedback to let everyone know what a picky bastard he or she is.

He is really just looking for an excuse to get his money back. He is buying USED, so one should expect things like this.
I hope I truly never run into this buyer. What next, no warranty card? Yes, the seller had a small miscue. What would happen if the original shipping boxes got damaged in transit? Will that be a reason to demand a refund too?

Unless, the seller advertised the item as a time capsule type piece, 10, and thus, sold at a premium, and the item is were rare and almost one of a kind, I would say the seller has gone beyond the call of duty
Like most things in life, you play your own hand. At this point, certain facts have occurred and this really boils down to your desired outcome, which you can largely influence.
On one hand, you have your money, the buyer has the amps and a "copy" of the manual, and you can simply say "enough," or "piss off," - your choice. As Lloydc indicates, you substantially performed and damages are likely limited to the potential loss of resale value due to the missing "original" (vs. copied) manual - e.g. small. The likely outcome with this solution is that you will receive negative feedback and the buyer will not bother taking you to court over a stinkin' owner's manual.
On the other hand, you could ask the buyer "how can we resolve this so that you are satisfied and we simply forget feedback?" Be ready for requests ranging from a partial refund to return of the amps and full refund. This outcome probably results in some level of hassle and pain to your wallet, but does not affect your feedback, assuming the buyer agrees.
The cards are dealt, it really boils down to how you want to play it.
You didn't say who the amp manufacturer is. There are some that produce nicely-printed manuals, but many others for which the PDF you'd print at home is as good OR BETTER than what ships new.

A lot of good points made here. I want to add the risk involving shipping these back to the seller. I'm assuming these amps are heavy, and we all know how UPS & Fedex love to damage heavy items.
IMO, this matter could get a lot worse just because of a missing owners manual.
Lloydc, "No other lawyers here? Seller substantially performed, so Buyer has no right to reneg or undo the deal after delivery. Damages are calculated based on the financial loss the Buyer incurred due to Seller's inadvertant misrepresentation, which in this case, are trivial, or the difference in price between the value of the item as represented and the value of the item as delivered, which again, is a trivial difference. This is not the same case as a unique antique or collectable, where specific performance can be the applicable standard."

I've never considered myself a fan of lawyers, but I find your post the paragon of both reason and common sense.
CAREFUL! If the unit was paid through Paypal using a CC the buyer can demand a chargeback. Not as described. I hate to hear about things happening like this, but I think the buyer simply changed his mind. Did he sign for the package? That may be the sellers way out, but even if it is, the seller should do all he can to make it right and get the original manuals into the buyers hands.
Lloyd & Joe (Trelja), your points are of course well taken. But being on solid ground legally, as well as morally and by any other reasonable measure, doesn't necessarily equate to a practical solution.

In this case, the buyer is threatening to "kill the deal and dispute with audiogon and paypal." At best, that would lead to a lot of hassle and wasted time. At worst, it would lead to a charge-back, and possibly to the items being received back in damaged condition (as Mark rightly pointed out). And with the buyer being the party to whom the shipping service is contractually obligated, in terms of a possible insurance settlement! Which is why I said that as a practical matter Jaxwired is essentially stuck with having to negotiate, no matter how rightful his position may be.

-- Al
Well a little story once i sold my beautiful Dali speakers Helikon 800mk2
Original packing and extra outside we spent two days packing them.
My friend and i brough them to the ups truck ourselves.
When they get to destination were damage, owner claimed to credit card.
Credit card to paypal and my account was negat 4500 us dollars.
I brough ups to court but unfort i was overseas on graduate school at the time hearing took place if ever happened. No insurance save you, when you insured is trough a rip off company somewhere with trained people to speak like computers saying you did not package as per ups rules on and on.
End of the story my Dalis are on storage and will never ever used paypal again zero rights for sellers.
I ordered parts from Austria when i return to the US i will fix them and no sell them at any money.
Painful story maybe out of context but just cross my brain, still a fresh wound.
One point is the items should be shipped back BEFORE you refund the money.
Then if they are damaged in return shipping the (former) buyer is on the hook. for insurance and claims.
Since you can be trusted to send stuff after getting value, the refund should be in the same manner. He sends back the amps, you then refund.
Since this fellow has already threatened to dispute, if you can't get an original manual, I would offer the full refund & if he accepts, you'll know he wanted a way to back out. In the long run it'll be easier to resell than deal w/a dispute.

I've made copies of original manuals (Threshold comes to mind) that turned out better than the originals & the buyer was quite happy.

I don't think the lack of a manual or a copy makes an amp any less expensive (or desirable).
You need to make the buyer put in a claim first or return the item. Do NOT sign for it when it is delivered. Have the driver take it back to USPS, FED EX UPS or wherever and then go there and open it in front of them and a witness (and take pictures) to make sure there is no damage and that everything you sent him is in the box. I had someone strip parts off of a cassette deck once and I had a Sheriff come to my house and make out a police report but Paypal would not help me. I resold the deck after purchasing the missing parts and downloaded a manual for the new buyer. Unfortunately for the first buyer, I had his work # and with the help of a few friends, lots of quarters and pay phones, made his life a living hell untill they told me he was no longer employeed there after 3 weeks. I followed up on the calls every few weeks to make sure. I hope it doesn't come down to that but you have to be careful. You should call Paypal to ask how claims work so you'll know how to proceed. Just don't beleive that will go to bat for you in a dispute, the buyers Credit Card Co. makes the final decision. Best of luck.