Suggestion for buying and selling on the site

I would like to see a system based more on the way Ebay does things. When you back out on a deal on ebay you get bad feedback and eventual removal from the site.

Could we have something you click on that finalizes the deal and confirms the purchase? There could even be a make offer box and if accepted it would insert the name of the buyer.

I have noticed a growing number of people saying that they want it and then you never hear from them again or one step further and they say they will send payment and never do.

This makes it hard because it can cause you to loose other potential buyers. An ad does its best when it is brand new and you loose sales when you tell everyone the sale is pending and it falls through.

We need something that signafies a purchase. Something we can add feedback to if the person says they want it and then back out.

What do you think?
The only way to back out of a deal on Ebay is to win the auction and then not follow through on the transaction. While the rules here are stated somewhat differently, i don't think that anyone involved in this website or hobby would have a hard time with leaving negative feedback for someone who won an Audiogon auction and then backed out.

As to leaving feedback for "tire kickers" that make promises that they don't keep, that may be another story. I know that it can be EXTREMELY frustrating to say the least, but what else can be done other than what is being done ? You have to draw the line somewhere and Audiogon's decision as to where that takes place is quite clear. Otherwise, you would have "whacko" sellers leaving negative feedback for everyone that contacted them and didn't end up buying, "whacko" buyers that were upset and leaving negative feedback because they never received follow up information on their inquiries, etc...

I have seen some folks leave negative feedback regarding "transactions" that weren't really "transactions" as Audiogon describes them though. If you see one comment that says "backed out", etc... you kind of have to take that with a grain of salt. When that person has several comments like that, the person making the feedback obviously felt strongly enough to warn others. They did this even though they knew that there was no actual transaction involved and that they were actually "breaking the rules" to do so.

This one is kind of a two sided sword: it can cut either way and requires great care in handling. While i am grateful for some of the "non transaction based feedback" that i've seen in terms of being warned, i know that it borders on slander and would boil down to one person's word against the others. Like anything else though, you can't force someone to buy something no matter what they've said or done in the past. Just like they say "buyer beware", i guess we now have to say "seller beware". Both parties should work on covering their own "assets" : ) Sean
Nice post Sean. Yet I understand what PI is saying, and I too like the "finality" of an eBay auction. If the item sells, a legal CONTRACT then exists between the two parties. I think PI is saying it would be nice to implement something like a CONTRACT with Audiogon's classified ads.

But of course this would require audiogon to be much more of a party to all transaction, and would also likely have some legal implications.

Contracts with classifieds anyone? Craig
I think though we could pull it off if there was an icon to click that says I will buy this item. Once its clicked it would dissapear because the item would be sold. It would garentee the sale to the one that clicks it.

You could take it one step further like ebay and only be able to leave feedback for the people that clicked the icon and vice versa. Then it wouldnt be up to the individual to judge whether it was a transaction. This would also stop someone from inflating there own feedback.

You could of course still email with questions and maybe even have an icon that says make offer. The seller would then either accept or deny. If accepted then again the icon would dissapear.

This would also cut down on the false offers because of the repercusions of the action.

Its not a perfect system but I think with a little thought it would work.
I must disagree with Perfect. You simply have to manage your own dealings; not expect someone else with a big stick to force the issue. There may be perfectly legitimate reasons for backing out of a deal; it's happened to me both ways. Sure its kinda disappointing, but having feedback postings regarding everyone's little bitches does not serve anyone & clogs the system with irrelevancies. In the end I've always ended up with a better buyer anyway. Ever made an inquiry, expressed some interest, then you ended up going in another direction? I have & plenty of others have. Punitive policies such as the proposed would only discourage business & gain me nothing. You can easily manage other inquiries & offers by stating that "while interest has been expressed & the piece may be spoken for, I haven't seen the $ yet, so the unit may still be available to you. I'll get back to you within X days". I always do this as a matter of policy. The system works well enough as-is; I say leave well enough alone.
I agree with Bob. I recently had a buyer back out on a
sale of an item here for what I consider a very minor
reason. Despite that, I'm sure I will sell the item to
someone else. I did not feel it was necessary to post any
feedback on the buyer - as the reason he backed out my be
very legitimate to him. Again, it is simply a matter of
my word vs. his.
Life is full of all sorts of uncertainties - and we
all have choices we choices to make. My feeling is that
if you want a sale with some sort of certainty; you have
the option of going on E-Bay. They play by different rules
there - and if that's what you want go there. As it
currently is right now, I enjoy the Audiogon board a lot.
I've had very good success buying and selling so far -
and look forward to more transactions in the future.
I have experienced the "disappearing sale act" many times from buyers via the web too! However I don't think making a forced sale is the way to go. My advice (for what its worth); 1.) Include "serious inquiries only" in your ad. 2.) If you have multiple people interested, then let them know that you will make the sale to the 1st person with a firm commitment who responded with a price your agreeable with. 3.) Be patient, they are a lot of gold diggers out there!
When you go into a car dealer and tell the salesperson you want a new car, do you want those words to be legally binding, and you have to buy one before your leave the dealership? (They try to make you feel that way).

I've had sellers vanish in the middle of a deal as well, so it is not just buyers.

We need Kelly (Cornfedboy) to get in on this thread in his new official capacity!

I think that Kelly is too busy listening to tunes to worry about us anymore. He may be the only one with the right idea out of all of us : ) Sean

PS... I'd like to commit to siding with one point of view or the other on this thread, but i think i'll just continue to ask questions or make comments as the need arises. I would hate to feel like i was expected to follow up on something that i said that i would do : )

Good thread Perfectimage. We have been working on a system for some time now, to better define the "Offer-Accept-Sale" mechanism. This seems like a good time/place to get some feedback. An outline of our proposed model can be seen at:

Classifieds: Offers

Nothing is "set in stone" yet, but the general goal is to provide a definitive mechanism that would be somewhat "optional". We may not require it, but it should offer enough motivation for parties to use it. Please check the above link, and post any suggestions/comments.
I am suprised at the unanimous opinion against this. I would think the more structure the site has the better it will be for everyone.

Audiogon is offering a unique oppertunity to let the members guide them in the lay out of this site. If you dont like this idea tell them why. You may see potential pitfalls that we dont see. If it is something specific tell us what it is and we can work on making it better for everyone.

I liked the lay out but I would change one thing. When making offers it has to be a percentage of the asking price. There should be some way to offer trades. I have received many offers to trade different equipment that I have up for sale. I like this idea and we should have a system that still allows this.