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Selling experiences on HFV

Wharfedale EVO 4.1 4.2 Speakers

reubensm

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Hi all, I was just reading through the unfortunate experience of our forum member flanker when selling his Jeff Rowland Capri Preamplifier. Thought I'll pen a few words as it is always the buyer's misery that is talked about but the seller is almost always forgotten. I personally know flanker, have visited him, bought stuff from him and kept in touch with him, and I must say, my buying experiences from him have been the best. All his gear is still in perfect functional use. Really sorry to hear what he went through.

I have had several selling experiences myself on HFV and luckily, I must say, majority of them have been good. As flanker has related to, many of us are not selling for profit or as part of a business. Its just that we have equipment that we have invested in, and find it difficult to part with. Hence we look out for fellow enthusiasts to take them over, often at prices much lower than what we've spent for them. Also remember that most of the time, equipment would have remained with us for less than a year before the intended sale. From the seller's perspective, there are risks as well. Most used electronics (especially mass market vintage stuff) may work well with the seller but after a shipping commute, may fail. Similar risks with shipping related loss or damage. I learnt lessons with packaging the hard way, but when a buyer reported damage, I always offered a full refund. Sometimes stuff which we advertise does not sell on the forum and despite getting offers from outside, most FMs keep dropping the price, increasing loss, just to ensure that the equipment stays within the forum.

Also a lot of us started small and have gone up the value chain with more expensive equipment and greater audio ambitions. Stuff that some of us advertise are very niche products and legendary in their own right. These are not mainstream mass market products. A lot of the entry-level or mid-level group of forum members may not understand or relate to the value of these pieces of equipment. Recently I advertised for 2 Technics SP10 MK2 turntables. I got some really funny queries, and some really weird offers :). One wanted to know how the SP10 MK2 compared with regular Technics turntables while another asked me why the price is 1.65L when I spent only 4k for it :) He forgot to read that it was 4k USD :) Just as like with Flanker, one request was for me to fly someone down to listen to it. Hence, I finally had to go outside of the forum and a wonderful opportunity to score was missed. A major headache is the part-payment syndrome. I have learnt how to politely decline despite being very uncomfortable with doing so. Then there is the buyer who is a fence hitter, not sure about the buying decision but keeps on at it for days and sometimes weeks together, thereby blocking the seller from offering the item to the next in line. Usually sellers like myself decide to part with something only if something better is waiting and funds are needed. When we buy from online sites like ebay or from private sellers abroad, they are usually not ready to wait for payments, hence we try to clear off stuff fast in order to raise the funds for paying them. These delays can get very frustrating. My advise to prospective buyers of high value equipment would be to do their research well, establish a buying intention (factoring the budget) and then move forward with discussions. When buying high value electronics, online price comparisons have to be done keeping in mind assumptions and dependencies. For example, recently a Technics EPA 100 tonearm was on sale on ebay.com with a but-it-now price tag of $50. The buyer had written a long story about the qualities of the EPA 100 tonearm and somewhere at the bottom mentioned that the advertised piece was damaged and was being sold for parts. The actual selling value of an EPA 100 tonearm in great condition if not NOS can go as far as $1000 USD. The rule often ignored is, while checking the price online, ignore the highest and lowest and look at the averages. Also don't just evaluate the price but read the advert completely and ascertain other facts associated.

Also, from my personal experiences, lower value stuff will pass on easily as the demand is higher, but for higher value stuff, keep alternate options open.

Disclaimer: this note is not intended to hurt the sentiments but to give a broader perspective to what happens behind the scenes. Also it is always a buyers right to choose whether to buy or not and that is duly respected.
 
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Naturelover

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What is really surprising, and sad, is the extent this man went to save a few thousand rupees, a few percentage points. I just can't figure this out.
 

sidvee

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This is a good thread started by Reubensm. While majority of my sales have been flawless and definitely nowhere close to FM Flanker's experience I have had a couple of scares myself. So now I am very particular of a few things:
1. If the unit is being picked up from my residence I always make sure that full payment is made prior to the unit being picked up, else if it is based on audition then I will only handover the unit provided full cash has been paid. I had one sale where the buyer did not bring the agreed upon amount at time of sale and when I let him take the unit, after a few days instead of depositing the full amount in my account he started negotiating for a lower amount.
2. Regarding pick ups and drop off from station/airport, I have been accomodative most of the time, but now I just provide a landmark near my home and I just pick up and drop off the buyer there. I am very clear upfront that I will be unable to provide pick up/off drop off and I always reduce the price of my items by 5-10k so that the buyer can plan his tickets and arrange transportation to my place.
3. Regarding shipping - if it is involved, I am now clearly stating in my ads. if the packaging I have is original and also the courier I will use to ship. I am using only fedex now because they come home and pickup the items and they are prompt in delivery. Yes they are expensive but I am very clear about this both in my ad. and communication to the seller. I also explicitly state that the shipping risk is entirely that of the buyer, I give them the option of buying insurance from fedex for the whole amount of the sale and it is their call. I also insist on air shipment because at-least the item is delivered in 24 hours. Lastly I leave it to buyer if he wants to use his own shipper and if so they (shipper) have to come to my house and pick up the unit. Once the unit leaves my house there is very little or no control I have so I try to be safe upfront. And I always offer reduced price for home pick up for majority of the larger and expensive items I sell, so the buyer can avoid shipping hassle altogether.
Like both Flanker and Reuben, I am not a trader or dealer, I am just a fellow audio enthusiast and I do take a lot of effort (both monetary and physical) to buy my equipment - whether importing from abroad, or bringing with me on my travels or even paying Indian prices to local dealers for them. So when I sell at significantly low prices most of the time 40-50% off international new price (which is often lower than Indian dealer price), I hope the buyers recognize this and act accordingly. So far it has been more or less ok but Flankers experience was really an eye opener.
Cheers,
Sid
 
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D

Deleted member 38504

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I had a bad experience with a forum member who went by the name "vinyl lover".

I bought lps from him a couple of times,I had spoken to him on the phone etc,he sounded like quite a decent person. I ordered more lps from him, paid him 5000, never saw the lps. Repeatedly tried to contact him but he won't answer calls or reply to messages.

Beware of such people . Problem is, he could just change his name on the forum and conduct business as usual. Get someone's confidence once,then cheat them!
 

efernand1

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Hi

That's why I prefer to conduct deals face to face and it has been that way for me. Cash and Carry!
 

Naturelover

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Well, I have bought quite a few items on the forum and sold one or two. All smooth sailing except for one or two minor hiccups.
If buying on the forum, its best to do so from well known members or those who have a reasonable number of posts. It's fairly easy to judge a genuine person from the quality of their posts.

There have been a few similar threads put up where sales have gone sour.
 

MaSh

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Oh my god, just read the experience and I am shocked. From the looks of it, the buyer seems a dealer and I wouldn't be surprised if the amp makes it to hifi ads or olx in a month's time.

MaSh
 

G401fan

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Sold a few, and bought a few, on this forum. No real bad experiences, but a few niggling issues:

1. Lack of basic manners. PMs are often not even acknowledged, let alone replied to. People ask for a price reduction, you reply, and there is no follow-up as to whether they're still interested, thinking it over, or anything. Meanwhile, there are others in queue, who are kept waiting.

2. No acknowledgment of receipt of goods. A couple of years I sold about a dozen lots of LPs to almost as many buyers, all outstation. Except for one, none of the buyers wrote back even to say they'd received the packages, leave alone provide feedback about whether they were satisfied with grading/condition.

3. It's amusing to have some buyers who sport systems costing a few lakhs - as listed below their posts - trying to bargain for, like, a thousand rupees.
 

elangoas

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Plz excuse me for posting it here.. The other thread has been locked before i could make a post there..

It is strange when someone who is buying an used equip for 1.6L would ask the seller to bear his flight ticket... Agreed there can be negotiation's, but asking the seller to bear a 50:50 commuting cost, this should have given a hint to seller..

But really feel sorry for flanker..

I have sold some equip here, and it has been smooth experience so far..
 

sampath06

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Sep 3, 2011
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Picked up a stereo setup without checking it and got jacked from a fellow member from mumbai. Speakers and amp was damaged but working. It was packed quite well so was apparent that the damage was from before. Worst was the Marantz BDP player was not working. He claims that he was using only USB, which I cant use since I don't have a monitor connected. As per his suggestion, i got a dvd cleaner after searching all the local shops. That didn't help. Took it to a service centre and they are now asking me to take it to marantz official service centre. I hope it is still usable after this :(

Bottomline, don't pick up items without seeing it and testing it.
 

sud98

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I think we should have some basic do's and dont's from a seller and buyer perspective.

1. While selling, make sure you get the money (full) before you handover the product. They can do cash or RTGS but no giving the product before receiving full money.

2. While buying, do a full test of the equipment. There is no point in cribbing later as its hard to know where the fault is (shipping, buyers place problems...)

3. For any purchase, pay the money and have someone collect it physically at the same time and then ship it. Any other way is too risky. IF we allow paypal, then probably its simpler, but as its not too popular, this seems to be the only solution.
 
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