stratospheric rarification of audiophilia

msaab90

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Dear FM's,
Today I feel rather disturbed by the interaction I had with a well respected and experienced FM. The gentleman has put up for sale a much vaunted turntable on the sales forum with much fanfare and fairly robust explanation. As is evident from his first update on the post, many of us are unable to resist the temptation. Sadly I am one of those prone to sleepless nights at the mere mention of fluff. So I offered this gentleman full immediate payment for his wares. But instead of straightforward information, I expected of availability/unavailability of the equipment, I was greeted with à rather disturbing story of the whole world holding their breath for some kind of lottery. FM stated that at least 5 people are waiting in line to get the turntable and he will inform if none of them materializes. This begs a simple question, we as mere mortals put the status of equipment "on hold" even if one FM has asked us gently to wait. But in this case we are exposed to utter aggrandisement and tomfoolery. Audio enthusiasts have long suffered from this disrespectful behavior in the name of highly esoteric entitlement. Put simply this is contrary to spirit of this hobby and care should be taken to avoid this impression even inadvertently. My humble request is to maintain transparency so as to encourage further interest from the seekers and to shun ivory tower treatment for us mere mortals.

Comments in support or to the contrary are welcome.
 

powerslave

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I think I know which for-sale post are you referring to; I can empathize with you however to be honest seller is being professional by sticking with FCFS convention, given the risks associated with used equipment online, often sellers prefer to deal with buyers in the same city.
 

reubensm

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Dear FM's,
Today I feel rather disturbed by the interaction I had with a well respected and experienced FM. The gentleman has put up for sale a much vaunted turntable on the sales forum with much fanfare and fairly robust explanation. As is evident from his first update on the post, many of us are unable to resist the temptation. Sadly I am one of those prone to sleepless nights at the mere mention of fluff. So I offered this gentleman full immediate payment for his wares. But instead of straightforward information, I expected of availability/unavailability of the equipment, I was greeted with à rather disturbing story of the whole world holding their breath for some kind of lottery. FM stated that at least 5 people are waiting in line to get the turntable and he will inform if none of them materializes. This begs a simple question, we as mere mortals put the status of equipment "on hold" even if one FM has asked us gently to wait. But in this case we are exposed to utter aggrandisement and tomfoolery. Audio enthusiasts have long suffered from this disrespectful behavior in the name of highly esoteric entitlement. Put simply this is contrary to spirit of this hobby and care should be taken to avoid this impression even inadvertently. My humble request is to maintain transparency so as to encourage further interest from the seekers and to shun ivory tower treatment for us mere mortals.

Comments in support or to the contrary are welcome.
Thanks for your comments and your feedback,

The situation is that the first enquiry (as being 'very interested') came from a gentleman FM and good friend, who wanted a day to think about it before confirming the purchase. He had not confirmed that he was buying and said he will come back. As there was no absolute confirmation from him, the deck could not be put on hold. Just a few moments ago, I got a confirmation from the same gentleman that he is not going ahead and hence I have offered the deck and tonearm to the next in line. When he confirms, I intend to mark the post as "sold".

How I read the expressions of interest is as follows:
  1. For PMs like - I have a question related to your sale - the enquiry is replied to, but not put in queue
  2. whatsapp queries - replied to, not put in queue
  3. Expressions of interest via PM from FMs - eg: I am interested will get back, I am very interested and need a day to think, I'll take it, I am confirming, Please send the bank details - these are the FMs in queue based on the order of receipt.
  4. Expressions of interest vis whatsapp, same as point-3 but placed in queue after the FMs who PM'ed (I believe that if I use our forum for selling, those who purchase via the forum must be given preference. The trail of our PM conversations also goes on record.
I hope this gives clarity on the process followed.

I understand your anxiety and frustration and I can relate to it as we all have been through this at some point. I still recall the many nights I've sat up bidding on auctions only to be beaten at the last second. The intention behind detailed posts is to provide as much as info as possible and not to cause any distress or harm. I have also replied to all PMs so all those who enquired know exactly where they stand in line, with due respect to all of them. Common sense would suggest that one simply picks a payment offer and closes, but I prefer to be respectful towards absolutely anyone who enquired or expressed purchase interest. Perhaps these are old-school and outdated sentiments but unfortunately, I am an old man too :) Sorry again if I've caused distress.
 
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Pancho

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Dear FM's,
Today I feel rather disturbed by the interaction I had with a well respected and experienced FM. The gentleman has put up for sale a much vaunted turntable on the sales forum with much fanfare and fairly robust explanation. As is evident from his first update on the post, many of us are unable to resist the temptation. Sadly I am one of those prone to sleepless nights at the mere mention of fluff. So I offered this gentleman full immediate payment for his wares. But instead of straightforward information, I expected of availability/unavailability of the equipment, I was greeted with à rather disturbing story of the whole world holding their breath for some kind of lottery. FM stated that at least 5 people are waiting in line to get the turntable and he will inform if none of them materializes. This begs a simple question, we as mere mortals put the status of equipment "on hold" even if one FM has asked us gently to wait. But in this case we are exposed to utter aggrandisement and tomfoolery. Audio enthusiasts have long suffered from this disrespectful behavior in the name of highly esoteric entitlement. Put simply this is contrary to spirit of this hobby and care should be taken to avoid this impression even inadvertently. My humble request is to maintain transparency so as to encourage further interest from the seekers and to shun ivory tower treatment for us mere mortals.
.
Comments in support or to the contrary are welcome.
msaab90 - all what we have in life - you and me is this "very moment" - with no guarantee as to what the next second / minute would bring or look like, if we have one. We live in a very complex world where everyone is different - which is exactly why life itselves is interesting.
I certainly have had my share of experiences and do empathise with you but the more you worry and judge about the injustices meted out, the more it gets to you...nothing else!. If someone wants to have a different ride - let him, it probably isnt worth your time or energy.

Without trying to be philosophical - I share this forward - the story of SOS.

An Airbus 380 is on it's way across the Atlantic. It flies consistently at 800 km/h at 30,000 feet, when suddenly a Eurofighter with Tempo Mach 2 appears.
The young pilot of the fighter jet slows down, flies alongside the Airbus & greets the pilot of the passenger plane by radio: "Airbus, boring flight isn’t it?
Now have a look here !
He rolls his jet on its back, accelerates, breaks through the sound barrier, rises rapidly to a dizzying height, then swoops down almost to sea level in a breathtaking dive. He loops back next to the Airbus and asks, "Well, how was that?"
The Airbus pilot answers: "Very impressive, but now you look !"
The jet pilot watches the Airbus, but nothing happens. It continues to fly stubbornly straight, with the same speed. After 15 minutes, the Airbus pilot radios, "Well, how was that?"
Confused, the jet pilot asks, "What did you do?" The AirBus pilot laughs and says, "I got up, stretched my legs, walked back of the aircraft to use the bathroom, then got a cup of coffee, said hello with the pretty hostesses who handed me a chocolate fudge pastry."
The moral of the story is:
When you are young, speed and adrenaline seems to be great.
But as you get older and wiser you learn that comfort and peace are more important.
S.O.S.: Slower, Older, but Smarter.

Relax - its only a turntable !

Note; no disrespect towards anyone :)
 
D

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All of us make decisions differently - some follow absolutely objective rationale, some prefer applying certain subjective criteria that are important to them as values/principles. There’s nothing wrong with either. It’s important though that the same is explained to the other party, who, if doesn’t agree with the logic, has to decide whether they want to adapt or opt out.

In this case the seller has applied a subjective criterion (familiarity and reputation) along with queuing (objective) to allow the first in queue some time to decide. That’s absolutely the seller’s prerogative. Remember, he is also taking the risk of losing another ready-to-pay-immediately buyer in the process.

The only moot point remains is ‘whether the status should have been changed to ‘On Hold’ during the waiting period?’ We need to check the forum’s interpretation of ‘On Hold’ status. (Mods, please help here - I couldn’t find it anywhere).

Finally, while the OP’s frustration is understandable in his position, he could have avoided the strong labels (fanfare, fluff etc) that seem overboard and potentially hurtful.
 
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dillihifi

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After all the owner can change his mind any time before accepting payment. Further I may list the item and take all negotiations and discussions offline as I am more comfortable with the same. This is not some kind of public procurement portal which has to comply to any order but is just a platform enabling potential buyers and sellers to meet so I don't think it is justified in demanding that a label is put on the listed item as long the owner has disclosed the same. Many of members are busy and may revert at the end of the day and it may not be possible nor mandatory to change the labels in real time.
 

reubensm

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thanks all for your interest, i have updated the status on the advert.

on a lighter note, if I were to see an advert like this on HFV and receive a 'you are in queue' note, the way I would think is - this seller has honestly (or stupidly, depending on how you look at it), let go of 2 famous audiophile secrets in his detailed description - (1) what he has in the cupboard and (2) how he got it and at what price. Very few actually speak openly about these, especially (2).

If i received a 'you are in queue note' I would have understood that my chances are grim straight away and given that i know what's in the seller's cupboard, would have asked to be considered on priority for the next one coming up :).

We guys have an odd sickness. We go to great lengths to collect stuff, never intending to sell anything, but when this bout of madness strikes, we do. No enthusiast has ever been buried with his equipment.

Sorry this time and all the very best for next time :)
 

nikhilblr

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thanks all for your interest, i have updated the status on the advert.

on a lighter note, if I were to see an advert like this on HFV and receive a 'you are in queue' note, the way I would think is - this seller has honestly (or stupidly, depending on how you look at it), let go of 2 famous audiophile secrets in his detailed description - (1) what he has in the cupboard and (2) how he got it and at what price. Very few actually speak openly about these, especially (2).

If i received a 'you are in queue note' I would have understood that my chances are grim straight away and given that i know what's in the seller's cupboard, would have asked to be considered on priority for the next one coming up :).

We guys have an odd sickness. We go to great lengths to collect stuff, never intending to sell anything, but when this bout of madness strikes, we do. No enthusiast has ever been buried with his equipment.

Sorry this time and all the very best for next time :)
This thread is a good example of the challenges people in this hobby face when we are looking for good quality equipment in India It's so sad that due to the unrealistic customs duty and GST charges imposed by the government on personal imports it's just not feasible to regularly buy stuff from ebay or other sites outside India. Just today I had to pay a ridiculous amount as customs duty for some vinyl records I purchased online and I am seriously thinking about giving up this hobby. Once upon a time until the until the eighties we actually had companies in India ( cosmic, Arphi, Murphy, philips) which used to manufacture tape decks, turntables amplifiers speakers and unfortunately they all had to close down or downsize. I understand that the Indian manufacturers were not exactly producing audiophile equipment but I still can't understand how we went from the days of cosmic to now relying on Chinese imports for reasonably priced items.
 

Pancho

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This thread is a good example of the challenges people in this hobby face when we are looking for good quality equipment in India It's so sad that due to the unrealistic customs duty and GST charges imposed by the government on personal imports it's just not feasible to regularly buy stuff from ebay or other sites outside India. Just today I had to pay a ridiculous amount as customs duty for some vinyl records I purchased online and I am seriously thinking about giving up this hobby. Once upon a time until the until the eighties we actually had companies in India ( cosmic, Arphi, Murphy, philips) which used to manufacture tape decks, turntables amplifiers speakers and unfortunately they all had to close down or downsize. I understand that the Indian manufacturers were not exactly producing audiophile equipment but I still can't understand how we went from the days of cosmic to now relying on Chinese imports for reasonably priced items.
You are spot on - it’s indeed a shame - if you want to buy any serious piece of gear - the imports and customs tariff does make way out of hand .... it is disheartening for example - when we discuss streaming services or related equipments - most of the gear that is being discussed here are just entry levels units - far far from audiophile grade that’s easily available in many other countries!
 

msaab90

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All of us make decisions differently - some follow absolutely objective rationale, some prefer applying certain subjective criteria that are important to them as values/principles. There’s nothing wrong with either. It’s important though that the same is explained to the other party, who, if doesn’t agree with the logic, has to decide whether they want to adapt or opt out.

In this case the seller has applied a subjective criterion (familiarity and reputation) along with queuing (objective) to allow the first in queue some time to decide. That’s absolutely the seller’s prerogative. Remember, he is also taking the risk of losing another ready-to-pay-immediately buyer in the process.

The only moot point remains is ‘whether the status should have been changed to ‘On Hold’ during the waiting period?’ We need to check the forum’s interpretation of ‘On Hold’ status. (Mods, please help here - I couldn’t find it anywhere).

Finally, while the OP’s frustration is understandable in his position, he could have avoided the strong labels (fanfare, fluff etc) that seem overboard and potentially hurtful.
Hi,
I did intend for the post to be sarcastic but definitely not hurtful. I Was indeed bothered by my interpretation of the tone of the meassage I received to my proposed offer. Again my take on the message was that it conveyed untouchable status of the equipment, as in you are just a part of a long que. That is the reason for the loaded title. I do understand that this may not have been the explicit intent of the seller, and my feeling might have beeen hurt just by my usual naivete. I may have been verbose but expressions mentioned in the post eg. "fluff" are more a reflection of our hankering for the gear as audio enthusiasts and do not belittle anybody in particular, just meant as a mild rebuke to us as a group of audio fetishists.

As for the sale process ( Response to your musings rather than the seller): I do strongly believe that any seller offering his wares for sale should base his judgement of the buyer on his ability to complete financial obligation within the stipulated period. If the sale is contingent upon other non fiduciary factors it may violate terms of sale and veer in the direction of discrimination. If the deal is to be offered to a select group of people based on any selection criteria chosen by the seller, a public "for sale" notification can be avoided. That is the reason we all prefer to accomplish these transactions in our closed groups before forum postings.

Hold Status: I do not mind any seller informing me about "hold" status of an item, when he is just unsure of the fidelity of the previous offer and failed to update status. But I would definitely feel disrespected if I am told that I am 6th in line, and if the previous five offers fizzle out I will be the privilged one. Just to be transparent my offer was for full immediate payment, and I had asked for the bank details for the transfer. To my surprise "for sale" status even after my explicit and 5 previous offers was being continued.

I sincerely believe that seller acted as he saw fit, and did not commit any gross violations. There were some irregularities that I felt obliged to openly discuss coupled with general expressions of equipment glorification that we are all can plead guilty to. I am only worried that this was interpreted by my fellow FM's as "sour grapes", and as pains of rebuked lust.
I may have been harsh in my interpretations and profusely apologise for it to the respected seller. Certainly no disrespect was ever intended. Hope my ruminations are taken as harmless banter.
 

dillihifi

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I dont think there were any irregularities on the part of the seller and your postings are not harmless banter.
 
D

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As for the sale process ( Response to your musings rather than the seller): I do strongly believe that any seller offering his wares for sale should base his judgement of the buyer on his ability to complete financial obligation within the stipulated period.
You are entitled to your belief, as others are to theirs. As @dillihifi mentions, this isn’t a public marketplace, but a community forum. There’s no stipulated/binding ‘decision mechanism’ for the seller. You can practice your strong belief when you put up an item to sale while ’accepting’ others following their own beliefs while selling their stuff.

If the sale is contingent upon other non fiduciary factors it may violate terms of sale and veer in the direction of discrimination. If the deal is to be offered to a select group of people based on any selection criteria chosen by the seller, a public "for sale" notification can be avoided.
Nothing in the facts available in this thread points to ‘discrimination’. The seller hasn’t refused to sell to you on any grounds. He is just following a ‘give reasonable time to the first in line before offering to the next’ approach. There’s no reason to believe that he isn’t applying it uniformly. He might have extended the same time to you if the previous enquiries didn’t materialise. That you don’t need it is another matter.
 

IndianEars

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Just read this very active thread by msaab90, and wanted to share my thoughts (since msaab90 has invited comments).

I have been on BOTH sides of this fence, during the past few months.... As a Rejected Buyer and as a Seller who has had to address quick & overwhelming responses to my "For Sale' Threads.

I can’t say that I have been 100% perfect in my responses from buyers, but the responses have made me more aware and highlighted to me the need to keep in mind several factors, which I am sharing.

I stress here that the points I am making below are based on my sense of priorities & ethics. Your views may vary.

1. I strongly disagree with a comment that it is the privilege of the seller to take any course on action, until the money is accepted. The Seller has ASKED Buyers to approach him, and the Buyers must be dealt with appropriately.

This is a forum, and not only buyers, but sellers too are required to act properly.

2. When an item is put up for sale here, it is a PUBLIC NOTICE, which should be made AFTER exhausting all options of sale to friends / persons known to you.

Once posted on the forum, one should not prioritise friends or show any other favours, against another forum member willing to pay you your asking price immediately.

a. If you prefer a local sale, it should be stated explicitly in the For Sale Notice, preferably with a time frame eg:
"I prefer a local sale and will wait 7 days for any local sale opportunity, before offering it to others."

b. The For Sale Thread status should be changed IMMEDIATELY to "Hold" or "Sold", once the seller has decided on the sale.

Maybe it is extreme, but it is probably only fair that a "HOLD" be permitted by the forum for a max of 1 or 2 days?
This will also work in the selller's favour.
If the HOLD status is extended beyond the stipulated time frame, the post should be deleted from public view, by a moderator, with a should be 6 week hiatus for a new post of the same items.

3. All responses should be politely and promptly responded to, with the exception of low ballers, who could be ignored.

4. Sellers often state that their price is firm and final, but after a while, prices are dropped, more than once, to sell the item!

Such “Fixed Price” posturing posts should Not be permitted to revise their prices. Sellers who state their price is firm should be required to open a new thread, after maybe after a 6 week hiatus.


To conclude, I generally concur with msaab90. This was a rare and expensive piece of equipment that deserved to go to a genuine buyer via a clean sale. Holding it for someone who has not even decided to buy it, and keep 5 other forum member "in Line" is inappropriate.

On the other hand, based on years of posts from reubensm, I believe he is a gentleman, and an extremely knowledgeable one at that. I am sure his comment (as mentioned by msaab90) meant no disrespect, and was probably simply careless, at worst.
 
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dillihifi

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Well I too have been on both sides during selling and buying and still think that this forum is a place for individuals who share a common interest. Maybe in cases where the item is rare and more sought after we find such type of posts. Well I do remember way back when the receiver from emotiva had such interest that the owner had started an auction :) . Well mostly these type of matters spill out in the open when the items have more demand than supply.

Now if a person has received interested offers then payment is not an criteria to decide the priority rather it should be the order in which he has received the enquiries about the equipment and if has received any counteroffers is he ok with the same. Now the extreme case arises that if somebody who responds later and offers more than the asking price should he be moved to the front of the list ?

Having put up air india for sale the govt can withdraw till the last moment after receiving all the responses for interested buyers and in this sale post too until the transaction is concluded the gentleman/seller is at liberty to do as he pleases.

Who is the arbiter here ? Who will decide whether the price is very low ? Who will decide whether a buyer is genuine or not ? If a person wants a day to think it over I think that since here we all are bound by a common purpose so I would like to extend a little time to the person who responded first and then go ahead.

Once having published a for sale post then is the member obligated to keep on checking the pm's in real time and updating the status thereto ? I think not. I may not have time to respond to each and every response very promptly as I may be busy and further this is not a commercial platform for sale. so to cast aspersions that this sale was not handled this way or that way is just venting out frustrations of not getting the product. Here we are not commercial entities but bound by trust.

Obviously all the above is my perception of the whole transaction and other members view may be different. Neither I am defending anybody nor I am taking any sides but this is my personal take on the whole situation.

On the lighter side maybe in future we may need to have some sort of bidding document and CVC manual and some Security Deposit from the prospective buyers :) for a sale post and the time stamps of messages and transactions to be displayed.
 
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IndianEars

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The Air India example in this case is, I believe, inappropriate.

The govt has invited BIDS for Air India.

In this forum sale, an Asking Price is stated n buyers are requested to buy at this price.

There is an IMPLICIT COMMITMENT by the seller to sell at this price.
 

Gerry_the_Merry

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It is perfectly fair to give a bit of time to enquirers and maintain the queue order. Entirely upto the seller how he approaches it. That is why the queue is not public.

However that is not the only legitimate way. If
I were a seller, I would close the transaction with the guy who pays up first. Asking for time to decide is a risk that earlier enquirers who have not acted fast have taken.

Many of us have bought outside this forum...main life lesson is that good deals don't last for long. If you want to snag the fish you act fast. As a seller I would reward a prospective buyer who offers to pay immediately.

Just my two cents.
 

dillihifi

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The Air India example in this case is, I believe, inappropriate.

The govt has invited BIDS for Air India.

In this forum sale, an Asking Price is stated n buyers are requested to buy at this price.

There is an IMPLICIT COMMITMENT by the seller to sell at this price.
Well I just wanted to highlight that until the transaction is completed the seller can reconsider his decision. By inviting bids the same commitment for sale is there by the Govt. however they can withdraw from the sale at any point of time that is the main reason why in standard procurement notices there is an disclaimer to this effect. Well in this case you are also inviting bids though on First come First Served basis at a price fixed by the seller (The telecom spectrum was earlier sold on this model).
 

mahaaprasaad

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Though I am not so much mature to comment on the sale/buying process on this forum, with my experience of involving in Govt procurement as an advisor/consultant to Government since last 3 decades in procurement activities, I just like to mention that, we have(both in Government and Corporate) 3 major types of approaches, when we move some procurement/sale activities based on the nature of requirement and other variables.
1) Expression of Interest
2) Request for proposal
3) Tender/Bid

Though all the three look similar from a layman's point, bifurcation of buy/sell activities under these titles and the specific terms and conditions involved under each, play vital role when the transactions subjected for scrutiny of Court/Law/Arbitration.
Any how, I am not intended to open a debate on the Government/corporate buying/selling activities in this forum or to follow that. Also, they may not fit here due to presence of non-commercial elements like individual sentiments and rarity/difficulty in getting it). Just wanted to share some information that, there are well established methods to draw clear lines about how the buying/selling activities can be carried keeping both the parties in similar situations on a common platform.
 

dillihifi

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Well on the lighter note there is a lot more to procurement than only EOI, RfP and Tender /Bid

We can specify the type of procurement as QBS/QCBS/LCS and in each case there can be different types such Single Stage Single Envelope/Single Stage Two Envelope/Two Stage etc. Then of course we restrict or open up competition further using DCB/GCB and further have control on the prices by conducting eRA. :)

Well the interested FMs can find out the meaning of the acronyms from the web. :)
 
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