Unreasonable expectations

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Mystic Michael, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Friends, I don't know how many of you have observed this phenomenon that I am about to relate. But I'd surely be interested to know if you have... :meh:

    From time to time, I buy & sell gear - as many of you do. Not only on TalkBass, also on Craig's List. But mainly on TalkBass.

    While most buyers are pretty cool about keeping their expectations in check when they're purchasing gear from me, I notice - more & more frequently - the presence of a certain type of would-be buyer who doesn't seem to grasp that I'm not an online musical instrument retailer. I'm just a player, like they are. :atoz:

    I've been fielding inquiries from people who ask for guarantees; mostly guarantees that the gear won't malfunction. I'm being asked for detailed technical product information - the kind of data that only the manufacturer would likely know. I'm getting asked for all kinds of special customer service perks & privileges. They want me to train them in how to use the gear. Sometimes they keep following up with me - days and even weeks after the sale - to ask me to help them troubleshoot problems that arise from not knowing what they're doing. And so on... :atoz:

    One guy in California PMed me last weekend to make an offer on a Carvin B2000 amp head I have for sale on TalkBass right now. It was a reasonable offer in terms of the amount he was prepared to pay. The deal-breaker was that he would do the deal only if I guaranteed a delivery by Saturday (tomorrow). I had to explain to him that I don't ship until the PayPal payment hits my bank account, and that in this case that wouldn't happen until mid-week, probably Wednesday - leaving only three days at most to ship the head cross-country from New York. The only way to make such a deadline would be to ship it via UPS Three-Day Air (or FedEx) - at a cost of some $175 or so (as I recall), which would have cut deeply into my proceeds from the sale.

    The only two options that wouldn't completely sabotage my purpose for the sale would be: 1) for the buyer to wait three (3) more business days for the head to arrive, or 2) pay up the exorbitant shipping premium in order to make his deadline. (As far as a "guarantee" is concerned, I'm not in a position to guarantee anything. I don't control how fast or how slow UPS moves.)

    Of course when I declined to be so disadvantaged, the would-be buyer lost interest. OK, fine. He's not ethically obligated to buy. My question is: Why waste my time in the first place? What was the point?

    Here's really the point, folks: I'm not a retail store. I'm not the manufacturer. I'm not tech support. I'm not customer service. I'm just a guy who plays the bass, and buys & sells gear along the way - just like you. Other than my playing experience with the gear, I don't have any special knowledge that you don't have - or that you couldn't readily discover with just a little bit of online research (which also is not my responsibility).

    If you choose to do business with me, I'll treat your fairly - just as I do with everyone. I generally communicate well & often. I represent the gear honestly & ethically. And I'll do what I promise to do. That should be enough. It really should be sufficient. :eyebrow:

    As of today, I have 31 documented transactions via TalkBass, a 100% satisfaction record amongst my buyers & sellers, and two pages full of glowing recommendations. I take my online reputation seriously, and I stand by it.

    Please don't be making any ridiculous, needy demands upon me. And don't ask me to accept terms for a sale that you wouldn't accept yourself. I wouldn't treat you that way. Why should you treat me that way?

    That is all...

  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Hear hear!

    Attached Files:

  3. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    I honestly thought I was the only one that noticed this sort of thing here on TB. I'm not an active buyer or seller. I buy bass stuff, and keep it for years and years and work hard to play it well to the best of my abilities. Odd thing, I know, but I press on regardless. :p

    I've been involved in retail, logistics, and the commerce involved in these pursuits for many years. There's certain accepted ways of doing business, which are largely based on common sense, reasonability, and mutual respect.

    That said, the ideas of common sense, reasonability, and mutual respect are seemingly lost on a significant portion of the population, and it seems to be getting only worse. Some of the stories I read here and the stories I hear about Craigslist dealings make me shudder. It's particularly bad in the dealing of musical equipment because of the high instance of flakes and people expecting to be treated like rock stars. However, this sort of behavior as mentioned by the OP occurs in markets for anything of appreciable value.

    I've only done maybe 5-6 dealings involving selling used bass stuff through online channels and the majority of them were a total pain. Never again. I'd rather deal with a pawn shop or trade in to a music retailer at this point. I've never bought any used music gear through an online venue, Ebay included, and I don't plan to. Just don't like the vibe.
    Mystic Michael likes this.
  4. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    pretty soon they'll be asking for a DNA sample and a BCA background check :rolleyes:
  5. I wait until the funds are in my PayPal account before shipping. You are doing something different?
  6. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    As sad as it sounds,even considering the loss you take on what you get, on some items it's not much different than the hassle of shelling online and shipping.