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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:49 pm 
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Location: Everett, WA, US
Greetings All:
Just a small observation or feeling I would like to discuss with other USAM members and it is this:
Not too long ago I posted about another topic which discussed items or phrases included in audio sale ads and in that discussion one member stated that he found it irksome when people cannot take the time when replying to include a friendly opening and/or closing to his inquiry, or perhaps theirs as well. I understand this. Very recently I made an inquiry on a rather pricey pair of speakers. Unfortunately for me, the seller and I are almost as far apart as one can be and still be in the lower 48. As such, I needed a ballpark figure for shipping so I could factor that into my budget. I sent a message, explaining my interest and my frustration that he(seller) and I were 3000 miles apart. I asked for a rough approximation of shipping costs, and closed with a "thank you" for taking up some of their time.
I received a two word reply, and that is a stretch as the answer was mostly numbers. There was no "Hi, thanks for the interest" or anything that would resemble the slightest bit of cordiality. Needless to say I did not buy from that person. In fact, I spent a little more and bought from a person who was engaging, helpful and seemed genuinely interested in conversing with me.
I am no salesman, but I did work with the public for 39 years in what, at times, were stressful and saddening. I learned early on that kind words and actions paid dividends on the backside. I would not buy a house, car, suit of clothes and certainly anything audio from a person who strikes me as put out by taking some time to compose a pleasant reply.
Is it too much to expect a nice greeting, answer the question(s), ask if there is anything else they can do, and close pleasantly so one might wish to continue the dialogue? Perhaps I am being naive; I was raised by my father telling me that "the way you do anything is the way you do everything"...

Thank you for your time....


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:42 pm 
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Welcome to the internet.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:05 pm 
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:(


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:57 am 
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Another poor attempt at humor. I should've used the winking emoji. :wink: :wink:

But seriously, I agree with your post except I'm not sure how much the quality of a seller's reply would affect my decision to purchase. Feedback would be a bigger influence on me.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:25 pm 
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zkidd wrote:
Is it too much to expect a nice greeting, answer the question(s), ask if there is anything else they can do, and close pleasantly so one might wish to continue the dialogue? Perhaps I am being naive; I was raised by my father telling me that "the way you do anything is the way you do everything"...


Your father was a wise man; good words to live by.

Unfortunately timrhu is correct. Behavior like this is the www status quo and the new norm: the fewer the keystrokes the better, although obviously not everyone chooses to roll this way. It's much easier to be flip, short and/or rude when sitting behind a keyboard than it is in person. But I think it's plausible that the speaker seller that you chose not to deal with would probably exhibit similar personality traits if you met him in person i.e. the fewer the words the better, let's get this deal done and the show on the road.

Some people are just naturally friendly and outgoing...conversely others will say and do only what has to be said and done at the bare minimum. And speaking from experience a lot of those tight-lipped folks aren't worth getting to know anyway.

So don't take it personally....it certainly won't be the last time you receive a blunt, terse and to-the-point reply devoid of any greetings and chummy repartee. It's an unfortunate sign of the times and it 'tis what it 'tis.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:17 pm 
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hifijones,
I agree with you and timrhu as well. For whatever reason, being short with responses seems to be the wave or current trend. And I really don't take it personally. It is annoying to me but I don't feel that I lose sleep over it or feel the need to climb into a tower with a high-powered rifle and wear a clown's nose. Nope. It is just a matter of "I have money to spend on (fill in the blank) and where and to whom is that money going?". There are a lot of ads where people are selling the same or similar items so, to me, it makes more sense to be sociable in an attempt to make the buyer feel more comfortable, and that his/her money is going to person who likes people. I translate that care of people into also making sure that the customer is happy with me and what they are buying. If I feel a connection with the seller/buyer, it makes me (and I know it might be just me) want to go the extra distance to take care of them. And if they are happy with me the first time around, then maybe they will be more likely to buy from me another time, because we all know that almost no one in the world of "audiophilia" keeps things for long as the upgrade bug bites us more often than not.
Both you and timrhu make good points. Feedback is very important as well and I do consider that when deciding from whom to buy. I don't need a largely loquacious individual to respond; just a few pleasantries can go a long way is all I saying. Why not err on the side of caution and use a few more words than less? I wonder if a study of sales on USAM were to be commissioned if one would see a difference between sales made where the seller was more engaging than less? A short reply (that with the least amount of words and no greeting) translates to me that the person just wants my money and could care less about anything else. At a time when the internet and texting are making things less personal it is not necessarily the correct thing. I agree with everyone's observations. I have kids who cannot call to take care of things with a 30 second phone call but would rather text for 15 minutes to take care of the same matter. Makes no sense to me. That said, I look at the short answers from the perspective of USAM and "that other place as" a "community", a place where we, the few, can communicate with people of like minds and tastes. If what I read is correct, the high end is shrinking, and not growing. There are always articles about "how to get others involved or interested in the high end"? Do we not like places were people are friendly and seem to care about us? In the the first store where I ever bought my first high end system the salesman spent three house with me. He was the most enjoyable man I have ever met in the high end and to this day I am not sure who was having more fun, him or me. I miss that man and I spend way more than I had planned because he was extremely friendly but also he was trustworthy! He answered all my questions (and I am sure many were lame) and I bought from that store for years, and still do. It is like the old title song from "Cheers" used to say, "You like to go where everybody knows your name". Perhaps this is why I find the short answers annoying.

Again, my thanks for your time and also indulging me. And yes hifijones, my dad was a wiseman. I use that saying in my life every day. Perhaps I hold the bar too high...


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:20 pm 
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Ugh! It should read "where people are friendly" not "were people are friendly". Mind was moving faster than the fingers...

Sorry....


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:26 am 
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I was a big user of Audiogon for many years. That was until they got so controlling with rules denying contact between buyer/seller in any form other than messages through their system. This bugged me because I didn't like being told how to communicate with fellow members, but more importantly, I like talking to sellers via telephone before sending off large amounts of $$.
Any deal I've made with a cost north of $500 over the last few years has been done with a personal conversation. It just makes me feel better. USAudiomart has no problem with this so I prefer to buy and sell here instead of AGon.

I want to comment on your dad's words of wisdom, and I mean no disrespect to you or your dad. His words remind me of advice I got from a guy training me when I joined the Air Force way back when. I was working on something and must've wanted to take a shortcut. You know that old saying, "good enough for government work." Anyway, my boss said, "any job worth doing is worth doing well." After finishing up the job with him I thought about this for a while. At some point later on I had a conversation with him about this philosophy and said I agreed with the idea, but I argued there are a lot of "jobs" we were called to do that weren't worth doing.

Does this make me lazy? Have you ever been in the military where you are constantly doing "make work" to look busy? A perfect and very simple example in the military is shining your shoes. I kept my shoes shined to an acceptable level and for special occasions would give them a really good shine. I also knew people who would spend hours shining their shoes to that glossy spit shine. Just my rambling thoughts.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:48 pm 
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timrhu:

I could not agree with you more on many of the things you pointed out, and I take no offense because there was nothing mention that was offensive.

I was not in the military but I did work in law enforcement for 39 years, which in many ways is not different than the military. I know what you mean by "looking busy" and some jobs were not worth doing, and add to that, some of the people who told me to do certain jobs had no idea of what they wanted or meant, so again, to me, the jobs were not worth doing. When I mentioned that the way you do anything is the way you do everything, I should have been a bit more clear on that. I look at that saying as applying to one's own work when one is assigned a task that is a worthwhile one. As a supervisor of a patrol crew, then a whole section of town, then a whole division within the PD as well as a separate investigative unit for the county, I looked to the investigators to give me the best work that they could. It was not fun when one had to count on someone doing a certain task in a "stellar manner" knowing full well that they had never done that a day in the life. And how they got to some of the positions they held was beyond me. As a reader of many reports, and also a teacher of report writing, I told cadets and officers both that people may know nothing about them as a person other than what they were reading, written by them (the officer). Their reports could be read by defense attorneys, prosecuting attorneys, judges, other law enforcement officers, federal agencies, insurance companies and so on. What was written may tell others a lot about them, and it might leave a good impression or not. Hence, when I get a single word answer, or maybe two, it causes "PTSD" for me and reminds me of the people who could not be bothered to do things well. I once passed out to a class I was teaching a copy of a report where an officer used hardly any punctuation, no capital letters when needed, a 42 word run on sentence, several misspelled words and so on. I asked the class to evaluate the person based on the report that they had in their hands. The description of the officer was not flattering, and they had him pegged as an uneducated person who should not be in the position he was in. They were flabbergasted to learn that the officer had a four year degree and was a veteran of at least 10 years at the time. The pen here, was a sword on which the author of the document impaled himself. Do I expect perfect English, complete sentence structure, and all in an ad or reply? Of course not. Police documents are different than ads, but why not try to leave or make a good impression?
As to the old Audiogon vs. the new, I am so with you on that. I remember the old Audiogon had pages and pages of things for sale and to this day I still have friends with whom I stay in contact from their ads in the days of the old Audiogon. I also agree that the new Audiogon is run by greed and is so controlling. I hate to post there and I try not to. Unfortunately USAM does not seem to yet have the following or exposure that Audiogon does and I am forced to use them at times, though I try to resist. I remember when I first joined Audiogon the fee for an ad was $2 and there were no percentage points taken off if one made a sale. It was truly more of a community environment back then. A quick story: my wife and I attended a RMAF shortly after Audiogon made the switch from "good" to "evil". My wife and I were in the bar getting a drink and a stranger struck up a conversation with my wife. I think he found himself charming and was trying to impress him but she quickly came over to me and introduced me to him as her husband. So, I am not thinking much of this guy in the first place, and then he goes on to tell us about how he controls the used audio market and how much money he is making, blah, blah, blah. He soon tells us that he is one of the new owners of Audiogon. I tell him that I liked the old style better and it seemed that many others did too (as at that time there were some serious blogs and all crying "Foul" about the new Audiogon). His reply was "Well, then try and sell your stuff somewhere else and see what happens". He left us not too long after that. My wife, who normally would not say "poop" if she had a mouthful, came up with some colorful descriptors of the man in question. After meeting him I can see why the website is the way it is.

BTW, spit shines are not really good for leather shoes but I can still do a mean one. It is amazing how many people do notice a good shiny black boot. It works well on Allen Edmonds black cap-toed oxfords... :wink:

Good points all the way around. There is no disagreement with me on any. And thanks for the service to the USA.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:47 am 
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Location: Milton, ON, CA
For the life of me I cannot figure out why anybody still chooses to sell on audio gone. When they have USAM or CAM as an alternative. Whenever I have purchased an item from there I'll be sure to tell the seller about USAM. Good story about meeting one of the owners, it totally fits…


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:27 am 
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analogluvr wrote:
For the life of me I cannot figure out why anybody still chooses to sell on audio gone. When they have USAM or CAM as an alternative. Whenever I have purchased an item from there I'll be sure to tell the seller about USAM. Good story about meeting one of the owners, it totally fits…


Audiogon is in the midst of a long s-l-o-w decline and that downward spiral will be unabated as USAM and CAM continue to gain market share as an alternative to the Audiogon business model.

They send me emails every month for discounts on classified ads; that's never happened before. It's clearly a sign that overall revenues are down and they are really starting to feel the heat. USAM and CAM are definitely making serious inroads that are affecting their bottom line and profitability.

Don't shovel dirt on their grave just yet.....I think that Audiogon will always be an entity but imo they will be a shadow of what they once were in a few short years.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:52 pm 
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Location: Portland, OR, US
I am thrilled by those that are uncomfortable with sellers for various reasons. It just drives the price of the goods from these sellers down as they narrow the spectrum of committed buyers. So thanks for bowing out; I genuinely appreciate it.

I love to buy from those with no pictures, no decorum, English as a second language, poorly worded and confusing ads and a general lack of knowledge about the gear that they are selling. But it costs them in dollars and cents, as all of these things push the price down further.

So you guys out there with the horrible ads, the OP won't be buying from you. But no need to shed a tear, I'll be along sooner or later cleaning up the spoils.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:33 pm 
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Some insightful posts here and interesting anecdotes, thanks for sharing. USAM/CAM doesn't have any official policy on how much effort sellers and buyers should put into communications with each other, but our mission is to try to foster a more community like atmosphere and try to encourage positive exchanges on the site - this is a hobby after all, so that naturally means that more transparency, more information, and more friendly and informative communications are what we hope to foster.

Also hats off to viridian's tongue in cheek response.

On the topic of the Agon, we're encouraged that users see fit to use us and some may prefer us over them, but there should be no illusions: they are the industry leader and will be so for probably a very good long time (perhaps for as long as this hobby exists). I personally think they have done tremendous work on improving various things the past few years and I would be wary of assuming anything about what the future holds. I know many people argue about greed or fees on some marketplaces, and while USAM has fewer fees I think every marketplace needs revenue to continue to operate and we are not immune from needing some fees for some things. I don't buy or sell the story that one or the other marketplace is greedy or evil - every market place has to do what they deem works out best for them, and we're always learning about what does and doesn't work. I guess because we have done this for so long I understand both perspectives enough.

Our goal here was never predicated on being a replacement for any other marketplace. We believe in a certain set of values and we hope those values help make this a good marketplace for enough people to let us keep growing and keep going. I value the idea that people can build lifelong friendships or relationships centered around a common set of interests, so that's what we've tried to use as a guiding focus in our work here. My point of view is that we should work hard, we should encourage a certain positive energy, and we'll reap whatever rewards we can. So far, that's working out very well for us, and I hope it continues to do so.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:55 am 
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I hope that my original post did not come off sounding "snobby" or elitist. I simply have come across some things over the many years that I have been in the high end, and especially when I started selling. Perhaps the fault is mine for having expectations, and assuming people would react to things as I would, and do, and by that I mean replying to questions, posting ads and so forth. And perhaps I should again curse my upbringing as again, I go with the default of "the way you do anything is the way you do everything" family mantra.
As to my one post about coming across the one owner of Audiogon, and the comments made, it is difficult to get that out of my mind. It is, as you say, a small community that we are in. The man came across as that one neighbor who bought the biggest house in the area, and expects all the neighbors to pay homage for He is obviously the one who is going to bring up everyone's property values. I was left with the taste in my mouth of "I can do more for you than you can for me, and it will cost you every time". While I agree that things at Agon have improved some, to me, it still lacks that sense of community it once had. I think the reason is that there seem to be more dealers and less individuals. While dealers are often helpful, I rarely get the same type of reply from a dealer that I do from an individual seller.
I recently had the good fortune to meet a very nice young man who purchased some speakers from me. The sale was local and we spoke about audio for a goodly amount of time after merchandise and cash exchanged hands. I left with a feeling about the high end that I have not had in some time, and it as of "hope". Hey, I do not want to sound corny and all, but this young man was really knowledgeable and truly interested in what I thought, asked for some advice, and it was a great insight into what the high end can still bring to some. Again, not to sound corny, but I feel that some of us who are the elder statesman should be in a mentoring type of role or place in this hobby, and what better place to demonstrate that in how and what we advertise, and also in our replies. My wife and whole family are teachers, and I am a retired detective lieutenant and we often comment that one never knows what it is that we say or do that will have an impact or influence on a student, or victim / contact in my case so why not be the best you can be all the time?
I will exit the pulpit now. I have truly enjoyed reading all the comments people have posted. They have made me smile and glad that I took the time to start the post. My thanks to all who have replied.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:56 am 
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And don't forget to peruse the Canuck audio classifieds.Many of us are quite willing to ship stateside and the currency differential favors the US buyer.


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