Great post and excellent advice, if I may say so!
"5 Ws and a how" !
"5 Ws and a how" !
Yes, the ad was "off the beaten path", but the readership number was helped by being an inexpensive tube amp. Curiosity drew me in (I read the ad-- and was surprised to discover it was an old Harman Kardon, Eico or something).
The ad writer seemed in love with his voice-- really, some editing would have made it even sharper. However, the ad did what was intended in selling the amp, and served as a soapbox for the author. A few of these ads would be plenty. I am glad to see diversity in ads, though, and some attempt at humor, even rant. One ad today rejected any offers of "$200 and some magic rocks" which I thought pretty funny.
Thanks for the comments.
Vander, glad you like your amp, and for pointing out the validity of my premise: what you write MATTERS.
Sones, having to edit myself pretty rigorously, I can forgive someone who says too much far more readily than I can forgive someone who doesn't even tell you enough to know what the hell is being sold. Those ads make me crazy. Okay, crazier.
I wish that all members would read this and take heed. Some ads are way too short with no information (and no picture!) and others are far too long, and include transcripts of magazine reviews. Good ads are written in an off the cuff manner that comes off as being open and honest. And of course, as you said, by all means include pertinent information! On the other hand, members who respond to ads should actually read them first, instead of immediately sending emails asking the seller questions that are already answered in the listing.
WoW the few times I menetioned something similiar in years gone by here on the Gon, I have been skewered big time. To be candid unless that ad grabs me I just move on. I want to be sold, there are far to many places to drop my coin. Unless you can sell me then that member has no sale from me. But heh I am no doubt in the minority here. But glad Audiogon Bill has stepped up to the plate, beware of the bean ball though.
The lack of information in many audiogon for sale postings of very expensive items really galls me sometimes. My favorite common statement is "if you're looking at this, you know what it is" or something to that effect.
No, do not assume I am so smart. It's your gadget. If you want to sell me an expensive item, at least tell me the basic specifications, like how many watts/ch, or something meaningful that distinguishes the item. If you can't spend the time to publish the basic relevant facts about an item, I will probably assume that whatever else is said is meaningless rubbish and look elsewhere.
Thanks for listening to me vent.....
Hi Mapman and Audiogon bill,
I consider pictures of the unit for sale to be more important than the specifications. I will list the power of an amplifier, and make sure that speakers have the grilles removed so that people can get a sense of the driver complement-- but past that, why not let the interested party find out what they will about the unit?
I am not suggesting a complete lack of specifications (and I, too, think the "if you're looking at this, you know what it is" phrase is false) but for me, a short statement of the flaws, if any, and anything interesting about the history of that unit is what the potential buyer would want to know. Audiogon ads are not an encyclopedia of audio gear-- the internet as a whole does that.
Mark (aka Sones27)
I'm not saying I expect the seller to sell that product IN GENERAL, with a full product-brochure. I do think the seller needs to provide full details on THAT SPECIFIC UNIT.
I just saw a pair of ads for expensive pieces that said only, "full details at manufacturer's website." Do you want to SELL your units, or simply IRRITATE people? The manufacturer's website doesn't provide any info on your specific piece, bub (or bubette). And that's what you're trying to sell, innit?
And while I'm ranting: PLEASE punctuate, PLEASE use the shift key. Those ads that look like a text-message from e.e.cummings make me want to punch the seller. ADS THAT SHOUT ARE IRRITATING,TOO!!
If you don't remember how to write a business-letter, or never knew, break out the Turabian from college, willya?
I don't expect ads to be formal; in my eyes, character and humor go a long way toward selling a piece. But DO provide information, DO be civil, DO make it readable.
End of rant. For now. ;->
I was afraid your post was going to lambast Dertubemeister's Ralph Gleason ad, and was relieved as I read on that your take on it was one of appreciation and admiration. I guess you also agree that 'fun' and 'perfectionist audio' can actually coexist.
It also occurred to me that no one who wrote an interesting and fun ad like that would slap together a crappy homebrew amp and try to pass it off on the A'gon community, unless he was a total scheister.
While I'm at it, I enjoy reading your missives as well. Keep it up :-)
Some paragraph breaks would have been nice. Streams of writing are great but even the writer has to stop for a breath of air (or massage that hand cramp). Good writing is an art form. And in this venue of get-in get-out, one has to be respectful and cognizant of the audience and their expectations of the material. I took a look at that ad and hit Back before getting a quarter of the way through it. You're making me do a lot of work deciphering your foot-long column of words, bub! A wall of text like that I find a bit disrespectful.
Still, I'd take ads like this all day over someone's 4 word all caps "WORKS GREAT NO ISSUES" ad with no pictures. Or the mother of stream of obnoxiousness ads -- the Daki Om ones. What the hell is that dude selling anyway? Has ANYONE read one of those things all the way through and found out? Talk about a soapbox! I actually emailed him once because I couldn't take it anymore -- suggesting that the sheer length of his ad was standing between him and me buying the product. He emailed me back, and said this:
If you don't get the message then you are either a dumbass or a smartass.
What ever is the case, go to hell."
It was like a punch in the face. This from a business? Hey, at least he was short and to the point. Sorry, that was a bit of a tangent but it truly was an unbelievable response.
Nice topic of discussion by the way -- there's a thread around here about worst audiogon ads. It's hilarious because everyone has seen them before. I think for ads, the simple thing is you need to write from the reader's point of view.
I really wanted to buy the Ralph Gleason partly out of my respect for him as a music critic (he and Lester Bangs were my favorites) and partly because I felt the ad was "real" and spoke to me. Not to mention that I do think Lance might be on to something with his opinions a design philosophy. I didn't get this amp because it sold quick, but in my correspondence with Lance he seemed to indicate another one was forthcoming.
So I've been keeping close tabs on the tube amp ads and low and behold last night saw the ad for the Daniel. The ad was just as captivating and "real" to me as the Ralph Gleason. I thought what could it hurt to spend $500 and see how these compare to my VAC Auricle Musicblocs. As a friend told me nothing ventured nothing gained.
Well this one didn't last long either. Wonder who got them;)
Entering the Lions Den...If you see a pair of Auricle Musicblocs for sale you'll know what happened.