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Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
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Every now and again I see folks that are obviously ill informed and are the epitome of : “ a little knowledge is dangerous”, like recently this lady whom is selling a R&C F.I.S.M. ( which dates it in itself around the ’70) “ De Luxe” model.

Now this was, at the time, their “ top model” but, good though these saxophones are, they are NOWHERE near as valuable as a contemporary R1 or R1 jazz or even the contemporary “ De luxe” model (which is still in the catalogue along the even cheaper “ Super” model).

She is mistaken, she got the impression that the new stuff price has any influence on the old stuff value. It doesn’t. R&C was a rather more humble maker back then than it is now.

I have been gently breaking the news other times to people but I have always got not only a suspicious reaction ( I always tell them that I am not interested and that I am only sharing my expertise on the matter) but more often than not an hostile one.

I have sold at least two tenors and an alto here and I wish they would have sold in the ballpark where this lady is placing her horn €2850... but sadly they never did :( :whistle: and were sold at their value which is at best €1000 overhauled
 

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There is really no point to “inform” sellers of the actual market value if it is much different from what they believe it is. Indeed, a hostile reaction is all you will get. Even happened to me once when I pointed put that an asking price was much below the market value!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
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Discussion Starter #3
that’s a first :) !
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
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Everybody takes bad news differently - most not well. If you feel its necessary, tell her gently - hope for the best - expect the worse - and gracefully accept the outcome. Good luck!
 

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i've seen listings on ebay / craigslist where the seller has made incorrect statements about an item and i've sent a pm to let them know; assuming of course that they are honest mistakes. generally, i get no response and often the seller won't even change the listing.

re: prices, i think a thing is worth a) what someone is willing to pay or b) the price that someone is willing to take to be parted from the item. to me, many / most selmers are ridiculously overpriced, but if someone is willing to buy them then clearly they are not.
 

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Any time I'm dealing with someone and they trot-out their "expertise" I tune-out or politely cut the person off. Same thing happens when the roles are reversed and I tread on my "expertise" as an appreciator of vintage musical instruments and motorcycles - I'm not surprised when they tune me out or otherwise don't care.

Fact is, no one likes to (figuratively) be told "Look, you're too stupid to know what your property is actually worth." Especially when it's in the context of a negotiation where the self-proclaimed "more knowledgeable" party is trying to buy an item for significantly less than the asking price. It's a bad tactic that comes across as sour grapes.

When I find myself in these situations, I generally say something like: "I know you've got it listed at $2800, and that buyer may be out there. I'd rather not insult you with a lowball offer but, based on my experiences with these horns, I'd be interested in it around $1000, which, again, I know is significantly lower than your price. That said, if you reach a place where you're ready to let it go, please contact me. Good luck with the sale, and thanks for showing me your horn." I've had more people contact me -months- later after saying something like that than I have giving a seller a lecture on saxophone manufacturer history. YMMV.

In short: the market will eventually teach a seller that they're asking too much for a horn. You want to be first in line for a phone call when a seller learns that lesson.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
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My friend jokes t hat I like to "police" local used ads.

It's just I'm always looking for good deals. And seem to know within a few clicks of a button how much things generally tend to sell for.

That being said, when I see some ads here that are blatant cash grabs trying to make money off of someone who just doesn't really know any better I feel I have to shake my head. And maybe sometimes post it on facebook...... :D

Here's a $150 sax stand that is worth maybe $15

https://www.usedvictoria.com/classified-ad/SAXOPHONE-STAND_22228632

They've had this item listed every month for the past 4 years. And after 3 years they raised the price. Their entire sellers list makes my soul hurt.

On the other hand. There are the odd few people out there who are not by any fault of their own just completely oblivious to these things. Generally aren't super savvy with computers. And aren't really trying to mess anyone over.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010
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Maybe Ive just been lucky. I dont do it often but most of times that Ive sent messages to ebay or craigslist sellers to point out factual inaccuracies or things they have missed, and wished them good luck with their sale they have thanked me and made changes to the listing.

There are still some ******** out there of course, but I try not to let that fact put me off trying to do the right thing, and I think that the vast majority of people dont have any genuine bad intent, they are just trying to make it through the day like the rest of us.
 

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Any time I'm dealing with someone and they trot-out their "expertise," I tune-out or politely cut the person off. Same thing happens when the roles are reversed and I tread on my "expertise" as an appreciator of vintage musical instruments and motorcycles - I'm not surprised when they tune me out or otherwise don't care.

Fact is, no one likes to (figuratively) be told "Look, you're too stupid to know what your property is actually worth." .
Ha! How true that is. There were a few occasions when I tried to tell someone, politely as I could, that the item they were selling was overpriced. Never once did anyone say, "Oh, thank you for sharing your expertise! I will adjust my price accordingly."
 

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I actually think it's delusional to interfere with auctions and sales for things we don't want to buy. The market will correct itself, and for all the seller knows, you could be a scammer. Sure, you think you're doing good... but for all those Ebay Avengers and helpful market guides... how many times have you screwed something up or been flat out wrong when trying to help? Come on... be honest.
 

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In my experience it generally pays to mind my own business. Dupes buy overpriced merchandise sometimes. Sometimes knowledgeable folks can snatch up a good deal on an instrument that is under priced. Do we contact the seller and inform them they are asking too little and offer to buy it at the fair market value? My pet peeve---there is a local want ad service where a college student constantly advertises used saxophones at inflated prices and passes himself off as a "professional technician" who has "gone completely through them and put them in tip top condition". I have had one of his saxes come across my bench after the student who purchased the sax was referred to me by the student's private teacher because the sax didn't play well. I ended up replacing 8 pads, straightening bent keys and rods, tightening the leaking neck tenon, etc., etc. I did well over $200 worth of work but only charged her $75 because I felt bad for her because this phony ripped her off charging her $700 for a YAS-23 in such poor condition.

I was really tempted to contact this individual myself, but decided against it for professional reasons. I did suggest to the student that she email him a copy of the repair ticket listing all of the work that needed to be done to put the sax into good playing condition so he could at least get some feedback.
 

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I ran into a Pan American alto at a flea market, no pads, 2 or 3 missing keys and the guy was asking $150.- I offered him $10.- (wall deco) and he got all mad ...
 

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If you are taking a consignment horn, and the seller wants Euro 2.800 for a Euro 1.000 horn, it is probably best to simply refuse the consignment. Literally, send them to your competitor. By putting that horn in inventory for sale, you are going to have a customer out there complaining that you can’t get much of a price for anything, or that you are not a very good shop...because when that horn doesn’t move, they are going to blame YOU.

You can’t actually tell the customer that they are charging too much, because they will think you are trying to rip them off. It is an automatic thought......and again, they will tell your friends that you are a crook.

If the customer doesn’t know the market, and they aren’t asking your opinion, you have a mess on your hands that will neither lead to revenue nor a good reputation.....but you can’t fix the customer, so you just have to say no.

You can say, “I can’t get Euro 2.800 for the horn....if that is the price you need for it, it is best to find another shop.” If you are honest and send them away, some of those horns might actually come back to you....though it will take 6 months.

I am a salesman myself, and my most loyal customers are the ones to whom at some point I said, “I won’t do that for you. Find someone else.” When they come back, it is for one reason only. It is because they now trust my integrity.
 

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Forum Contributor 2014-2017
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Any time I'm dealing with someone and they trot-out their "expertise," I tune-out or politely cut the person off. Same thing happens when the roles are reversed and I tread on my "expertise" as an appreciator of vintage musical instruments and motorcycles - I'm not surprised when they tune me out or otherwise don't care.
Fact is, no one likes to (figuratively) be told "Look, you're too stupid to know what your property is actually worth." Especially when it's in the context of a negotiation where the self-proclaimed "more knowledgeable" party is trying to buy an item for significantly less than the asking price. It's a bad tactic that comes across as sour grapes.

When I find myself in these situations, I generally say something like: "I know you've got it listed at $2800, and that buyer may be out there. I'd rather not insult you with a lowball offer but, based on my experiences with these horns, I'd be interested in it around $1000, which, again, I know is significantly lower that your price. That said, if you reach a place where you're ready to let it go, please contact me. Good luck with the sale, and thanks for showing me your horn." I've had more people contact me -months- later after saying something like that than I have giving a seller a lecture on saxophone manufacturer history. YMMV.
In short: the market will eventually teach a seller that they're asking too much for a horn. You want to be first in line for a phone call when a seller learns that lesson.
This is my view also. It's a wise and courteous procedure to follow when in face-to-face negotiations. Blatant fraud on places like eBay should be reported of course, otherwise I generally MYOB. My belief is that some ignorance, like unrealistic expectations of worth, will eventually be overcome when repeatedly confronted by reality. I know I've learned that way on occasion and been appreciative (and embarrassed) in retrospect of people who have politely suffered through my ignorance.
 

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There's no point in telling them, they will figure it out eventually unless they get really lucky and make a sale. Some of the SOTW marketplace sellers have this same problem, I see ads on the front page that have been up 3-4 years with no sale.
 
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