Good advice, thanks!
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Yeah, although I have had good experiences with all but one AudioMart seller, it is true that they expose your email address to the other party when you contact them. They do warn you before contacting a seller that has no feedback.
Back before Christmas I wanted to buy my elderly Dad a vintage setup as a gift and saw a Kenwood tuner that I knew was good offered by an AudioMart seller (with no feedback as it turned out), so I contacted him, ignoring the warning about him being a "no feedback" seller. Turned out that this guy was a certified nutcase. I simply asked him what the total price of the tuner was including shipping (as I was ready to push the button on the purchase) and he responded with the most hateful rhetoric and threats, of course accusing me of lowballing! All I asked was what the shipping charge would be. He continued to send me threatening emails (directly to my personal email account) for over a week (stuff like that he hoped my father died a horrible death and all manner of slurs about people from Texas, etc.). When I contacted AudioMart about it, forwarding all of his messages to the moderators (they can’t see them since they are sent to your email account), they seemed ambivalent about it at first. But, as they corresponded directly with him, they quickly realized the extent of the problem with this seller and barred him from the site. However the threats and insults continued (actually worsened) after that until he grew bored with it (I did not reply). Since he had my email address, there was nothing AudioMart nor I could do about it.
I had no idea that the seller would get access to my personal email account when I clicked on the "contact seller" tab.
This in no way disparages the 99.9% of great sellers on AudioMart, just a warning to exercise care when contacting AudioMart sellers with no feedback (most of which I am sure are great people too). You just never know.
Interesting story Dave. I've never heard anything like it!
How come you could not block that seller's email address in your account?
Did he keep emailing you from various other accounts?
I've been on Audiomart for years, and have never encountered anything like this. The traffic is lower than on Audiogon, but it is free, and I tend to find that the contacts I have are from a more serious brand of audiophile.
Audiogon is full of dealers and lowballers nowadays. Yes, I get more replies on Audiogon than Audiomart, but most of the replies are only good for chuckles.
I suppose that Dave's issue above, that the buyer gets your email address is potentially a security issue. Contact can be a double-edged sword.
Audiogon prevents contact, to make sure they get their fees. Audiomart allows contact, because there is no fee.
As for security in transactions, it is no different from Audiogon. Neither Audiogon nor Audiomart offer the buyer/seller any security.
The only thing either site will do is ban an account, as Dave mentioned.
Banning an account will not fix a problem, or get your money back though.
If you use a credit card through PayPal, that is your only defense.
I've been buying and selling on AudiogoN since 1999. I've never had a significant issue with either buying or selling. And that something like 100 transactions. It's pretty inexpensive IMHO @ $10 for a standard classified ad (I've never paid for upgrades and I've been 100% successful with selling).
AudiogoN may not be perfect, but for me it has been a tremendously successful tool for both buying and selling over the years.
Good Luck and Enjoy........
@reubent , I've been buying and selling on Audiogon since 2000.
I had one significant issue, as a buyer, about 12 years ago.
No, $10 isn't bad, but that's only for stuff < $999.
Stuff over a grand escalates pretty quickly. A $1,500 toy will cost you $50 to list.
My last listings were about 6 months ago, and I paid $200 for 3 ads, quite a bit more than $30.
I do not notice buyers on Audiogon to be any less thrifty than buyers on Audiomart, so I save the fees and split them between the buyer and seller. At least that's the way I look at it anyway.
It requires a tad more patience, but everything sells eventually.
Sigh.....perhaps I just miss the good ole days, when the ads were $2 a pop, and all buyers were serious. Now the rates are much higher, and the offers are much lower.
It's more like a business than a hobby nowadays.
On the plus side, the market seems to have cured my desire to buy and sell on a whim. I used to rotate gear quite frequently years ago.
Today I think very long and hard before I buy anything, usually because it means that I have to sell something. And I hate selling these past couple of years.
Sort of like the cigarette tax getting so high that one quits smoking. ;^)
$50 to list is definitely too high. Charging something, not much, when the item actually sells is another matter.
Yeah, everything is more and more like business, but each of us contributes one way or another, you know.
So in the spirit of the tradition when I buy or sell here I suggest check as a payment. And if I don't like how the person on the other end sounds I avoid the transaction.
Audiogon is still the best way to expose your gear to the largest number of potential buyers. I'm not sure if that makes it good enough to keep everyone in the market happy. Until an online service comes along that addresses the costs and shortcomings and presents a better transaction, this is the way to go.
I've used all the sites for buying and selling, and I'd say that Audiogon has given me the best overall experience as a buyer and a seller. Just MHO.
Selling costs are too high now on gear that sells for several thousand and above. You cannot share your contact number and speak directly to a potential buyer unless you pay the full ad price upfront. Paying over $100 upfront for a listing that may not sell is simply too much risk for some of us. The inability to speak to a potential buyer on a big dollar purchase is simply not reasonable. A $7000 set of speakers often demands a phone call to discuss, answer questions, handle details, etc...No way I am paying over $120 upfront for a listing that may not sell. Agon has to fix this.
I only list low dollar stuff here and go elsewhere on high dollar sales now. Gear is not selling like it used to as the used market is slower than ever before. US Audio Mart and AA Trader are two good alternatives for higher dollar gear.
We both go way back with Agon as well as several others on this thread. I have to share the fact that Agon has placed two (x) marks against me because I shared my phone number with potential buyers of $7000 speakers. One more (x) and I am kicked out! Very few have listed and sold as much gear as I have on this site over the years. The only way I could effectively communicate with the buyers is by speaking directly with them. I did not share my number to avoid the Agon system and avoid the sales fee. That is not me or the way I operate here. Agon could care less about my long and stellar history, but just treated me like a crook. Yes, this upsets me and has caused me to list elsewhere.
It is simply not reasonable to pay over $100 for a listing that has a good chance of not selling. Today’s used highend market is slow and there is a pretty good chance your listing won’t sell. Audiogon must address this issue by refunding the fee, or high percentage of it, if no sale is made. That removes the risk. There are other ways to fix this glaring issue and make this site better suited to today’s marketplace realities.
I would never buy any piece of gear costing over $5000 without talking directly to the seller first. This is especially true of speakers. To many questions and complexities for the printed listing alone to suffice.
@grannyring , yes Bill, we both go back a loooong way.
That is a shame what Audiogon did to you, with the strikes. Ridiculous!!
In my opinion, if I’m paying $10, $25, $50, $100, or more for an ad, it should run until the item sells. The two month period is much too short, especially in this depressed market.
Hell, I can run an ad for free on US Audiomart for 6 months! Then relist it free again if need be. If I’m paying $200 for 3 ads, as I stated here yesterday, I would expect those ads to run until the items sold.
They did not.
It doesn’t make any business sense to this consumer to spend so much money on a short term ad.
Sure, Audiogon gets many more views than US Audiomart, but not many more serious offers.
Why spend so much more for an ad that runs much shorter, and doesn’t allow communication between buyer/seller?
If I see an ad running on Audiogon AND Audiomart, by the same seller, I will ALWAYS contact them through Audiomart.
It's very nice Howard but it sounds like you work for audiogon. I'm just being a little funny and nice here and not rude at all, but you did take a lot of trouble writing all this advice to us dummies ( I'm just kiddin' around ). I only disagree with #5. I sell my stuff for what I want for it not for what the buyer wants. My policy is if the buyer thinks I'm too high, I respect that and it doesn't hurt me at all but I just tell the buyer politely to look somewhere else. If they want it bad enough they will come back to me. You are right about one thing though, a buyer will only pay what they will pay, but sorry, I'm just not going to give my stuff away and I no longer sell here, I sell on USaudiomart as it's cheaper to list the AD, it's actually free. Very nice writing on your tips on how to sell. All the best Howard, all the best.
You're idea about counteroffering what "you" perceive to be low-ballers is an excellent idea. I once made an offer of $650 on an $850 item. I was willing to go to $750, which I thought a fair market price. The seller (a regular seller) never responded. Two months later he lowered the price to $750 and it was still sitting there for a while after that. Meanwhile I had moved on and bought it elsewhere for $725.
I'll add something to your list - don't be curt in your correspondence. I asked a seller one simple question. The tone of the reply was "don't bother me with questions, just buy the damn thing". I always avoid buying from someone with that attitude because if they're a problem before you buy it, chances are they'll be a problem if something goes wrong with the transaction. I moved on.
A third problem I had, which is actually similar to the "curt" problem I mentioned above, was after bidding and attempting to make a payment I got a return email saying the payment didn't go through because the seller's account had a problem. I informed the seller (I believe he's a business because he sells a lot) about the email and the reason stated. He basically said pay up or else. After some digging I found out something had gone wrong with the Audiogon-to-PayPal connection. I reconfigured it and sent the payment again and it worked. But due to his attitude I'll never buy anything from him again. And in fact, there have been several instances where I've come across an item, saw it was him, and moved on. So the lesson is, don't assume someone is jerking your chain. There may be a legitimate problem.
I do not work for Audiogon. My suggestions above were based on my experiences of selling 5 items in the last 90+ days. I hope that others will benefit from my experiences and suggestions.
I agree that pricing, #5 above, is very important. As I said, there are no set rules and everyone has to decide on a starting price. I started high on 2 of my items and received no acceptable offers. I decided I was going to sell these items so I reduced the price and developed the above strategy for myself. As others have also indicated, I also posted items on eBay and US AudioMart.
In other situations, I have pulled my ad after 30 days since there were no offers and I was unwilling to give it away. This is an excellent "strategy" where you re-list the item later (or, maybe keep it) and update your pictures, descriptions and maybe the price, depending on the situation.
I continue to believe that "great" pictures and a well written "description" greatly help selling audio equipment. Posting on multiple sites also helps selling the piece since more people are seeing the ad (maybe the same people). Of course, being polite and answering all questions is very important as was stated above.
Thanks for your comments.
Thank you all for your comments and insight. It has been a long time since I have sold on Audiogon (I just keep buying), so I was surprised to learn of the "new" costs and other issues. I have always used my real name as my user name for transparency, both on Audiogon and on eBay, and all of my transactions have been cordial and satisfactory (usually splendid), with the sole exception of a pair of speakers that were slightly cosmetically damaged by UPS. For me, Audiogon still feels like a family of honorable gentlemen.
I'm unfamiliar with US Audio Mart and Audio Asylum Trader, so I would like your advice on whether to use my real name as my user name when I register there. Have any of you noticed an increase in spam since signing up for either? The story about the angry seller is appalling but presumably rare. Are there other issues I should consider? Obviously, I'll have zero feedback to begin with, for instance. I don't mind giving Audiogon more money than in the "good old days," in part because my ad costs in the past have been so low, but I don't wish to be fleeced either.
I have a high-end Wadia CD player, an entry-level Wadia CD player, and a Rowland amp and preamp I should sell, as well as a few less valuable components that need new homes. I'll probably stick with Audiogon, but all advice and comments on what I should consider will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Jmcgrogan & Grannyring: Interesting comments about selling on A'gon as opposed to AA and Audiomart. I've been doing this for a very long time too and totally agree with you. A'gon needs to change their structure to allow phone numbers so people can talk to one another. People in the hobby are getting older and we want to be able to talk with one another when consummating an expensive transcaction.
Selling audio gear is just like selling a home. If its priced too high, it will sit. If it sits long enough, the ad gets stale. Removing the ad, waiting a few weeks or months and relisting it at a lower price makes it appear fresh again and if its priced right, it will sell. And just as in real estate, when a listing is new, your first offer is usually your best offer
Dave: I had a similar experience with a nut job seller on US Audiomart. I was selling something a few years ago and listed the reason for selling. It was to raise money for taxes and also to get other gear. The prospective buyer called me a liar, unethical and all kinds of other nonsense. When I explained that 1/2 of the $ was going to paying taxes, the other 1/2 was going to be used to buy other stuff, he continued on his rant calling me the worst of things. Now, I have been doing this (buying, selling, and even trading audio gear for 30 years and also sold audio at the retail level for 2 years in the early 90's and have never had a problem).....I soon realized that he was a complete nut job and told him to loose my email address and I stopped answering him.....but for the one night that we went back and forth with messages, it was very upsetting. I wonder if you had the same guy from the West Coast? I think he was really fond of Phase Linear and JBL gear?
There was a big exodus from Audiogon years ago when the new owners changed things around to such a degree, many left in disgust and vowed not to come back other then to check the forums once in a while. I am also a member of us audio mart and have sold several items there with great success. I have also purchased items there and I am very pleased with the results.
I have noticed that much gear that sold for around five hundred to a thousand dollars a few years back on A'gon is now be listed at much higher prices as if the sellers were trying to retire. Of course you can sell for any price you see fit but many folks here that have been buying on A'gon for sometime now, know what the average selling price for most items. But also one should consider that some sellers inflate the price only to settle for less on "make offer".
I'm unfamiliar with US Audio Mart and Audio Asylum Trader, so I would like your advice on whether to use my real name as my user name when I register there.
I have changed my user name on other sites. My moniker is basically my name here because, well I was still an internet novice when starting here.
I learned along the way that a moniker doesn't have to be your name.
My moniker on all other audio sites is: Justlisten2.
I have not noticed any increase in spam joining any other audio site: Audio Asylum, US Audiomart, Audio Circle, Audio Shark, What's Best Forum, etc.
The angry seller story is appalling, though this could probably happen on any audio site. Seems more like a Craigslist story.
I guess it couldn't happen on Audiogon due to lack of communication on this site. However, lack of communication in a sale can have poor results as well. Communication, or lack thereof, can be a double edged sword either way.
As for feedback, yes, you would be starting anew. However, Audio Asylum Trader and US Audiomart both allow you to import feedback from external sites such as Ebay and Audiogon.