What responsibility does a seller have to tell a customer an item has been serviced?

A few months ago I bought an expensive pre-amp from a dealer here on audiogon. This is a long time known dealer with an 100% approval rating.

I went to his home to listen to it and there was one quirk about the design I didn't like about it but I thought I could live with it. I had spent so much time and effort to get it. A pretty long drive. When I brought it home and within 24 hours by the afternoon of the next day I realized I couldn't live with it I called him to return it. 
He didn't want to take it back. On his website he has a 30 day return policy. Unfortunately not being an experienced buyer I did not know there is a hidden tab on audiogon saying no returns. Why is this not stated on the main page?!

I was furious and he said he would take it back if I forced him to but he already had another buyer for it. I felt bad and there was a (hidden) no return policy so I let it go.
I had given to him two excellent pieces, the pre and an integrated, and cash for it so I lost quite a bit of money on the deal. I'm obviously not an experienced savvy customer.
I asked him to just give me the pre back for the piece he sold me and keep the rest but no deal. And he told me the pre I gave him in perfect condition, the one I wanted back, wasn't working so he had to send it in for repair. But I shouldn't worry about it. What?!!! I drove it to him I didn't ship it! And why shouldn't I worry that I gave him a non working component when I told him it was in perfect condition?!

Then about a month later I saw he had it listed for sale. This was about 2 AM and I immediately wrote him asking for it in exchange for the item I bought being that the sale he had fell through. Early the next morning hours later he told me it was sold and he had taken it down.

He did list my item he sold to me on audiogon for a couple of months at his expense but no sale. I finally at an extreme loss as I said was able to use it for credit towards another item being sold by another audiogon dealer. This dealer told me he spoke with the American distributor of the brand who told him the first dealer had sent it to him for repair. This was not told to me. Of course I was outraged. But I hadn't asked. If I had known I would never have bought it.

So this is my question: What obligation does a seller on audiogon have to tell a client an item has been serviced if a dumb customer doesn't ask?

Still burned by the loss of so much money and the jerking around and what seems to be a couple of lies.


Showing 7 responses by roxy1927

There was no problem with unit operation however I was wondering if an item had an issue in the past and therefore more than likely have another issue in the future does the consumer have the right to know without asking.

Let's saying you are selling a pair of speakers and you blew out a driver and it had to be replaced. The customer comes to your house. They play beautifully. The customer does not ask you if there have been any problems and takes them home. Later he finds out from the company that a driver had been replaced on one of the speakers. If he knew he would have had more info on making a decision. This might give pause for the purchase or try to negotiate a better price. Is that simply a case of sorry Charlie you didn't ask enough questions? Why should the dealer tell you if he makes a faster better deal without full disclosure on his part. 
Yes I admit he did offer to take it back if I insisted. But I agree everything he did on his part of the deal was fair which is why I didn't insist. And audiogon has a no return policy. This is just a post finding out how people feel about the issue and kicking myself for a made in haste not being a smart consumer decision.

But then why the games? Why not say simply I'm sorry we made the deal I made my part of the bargain. What was up with him telling me it didn't work but don't worry about it? Doesn't this seem strange to you Elizabeth? Why tell me 'I have a customer' then a month later list it ,then when I notice it take it down when I ask can if we can still work it out. He could have simply said the deal fell through and now it's listed on audiogon accept it. None of this hiding stuff and you gave me a nonfunctioning piece of equipment that I had to return to the company for repair but it doesn't matter nonsense. If it's not working what seller would have accepted that when originally told it was in excellent condition? That's pretty insulting. This is ok behavior? 
Steve I just saw your last line. Wow. Are you a psychic? Not the brand but the quirk.
lou, thank you for your interest but evidently it's not a popular component and I was able to get a little bit of value out of it as a trade in with another dealer. I hope he can sell it or has sold it and make a worthwhile profit on it. But he's a smart no nonsense guy who has been in the business a while. He's the one who tipped me off on the repair. I was mortified. I'm the one who should have known and told him when I wanted to use it for credit.
Steve gosh no. He has an excellent approval rating with many encomiums which is why I did business with him in the first place. But not everything goes to one's liking.
'Anyway he is not obligated but it would have been a nice gesture.'
Yes and as I said he DID make the offer. But being that he told me he already had a customer for it I felt it incredibly unfair to take a sale from him when he kept his part of the bargain.

When I found out the deal fell through I decided to take him up on it. You know what happened next.

Then of course finding out from the guy I gave it too that it had been a serviced component was pretty embarrassing and it got my goat. Remember I was not being transparent with the guy I traded it to. I'm guilty of what the seller did simply because I did not do my homework. Just kicking myself that's all and wondering do you offer important information that can hurt a sale if people don't ask? Or do you keep quiet and hope you have a dumbo.
You do realize that if a component has been repaired it's trade in value is less? How can you all not know this? And to find out from the dealer I gave it too?!!

The hysterical outrage and mockery particularly by the barking dog simply because I've questioned their finely honed used car salesmen tactics that they practice with such commitment is beyond the pale.