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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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Discussion Starter #1
I am posting this thread with the approval of the SOTW Administration to clear up the recent fiasco in the Marketplace this morning. This is in regards to a Yanagisawa A901 that I recently sold to Yellowhorn.

For full transparency:

I listed the horn. The lacquer was indeed close to 99%. Call it 95%, or 96%, or 97% or whatever you want. I never used the word mint. I said there were "hardly any blemishes" which means there are still some blemishes. Yes, there are some very minor spots of lacquer wear/acid bleed, which are blemishes. One of my pictures of the horn showed some of these spots, and I had plenty more pictures available for any potential buyer. Overall the horn looked absolutely fantastic. Lacquer coverage was amazing, there was no damage, it was in perfect playing condition. I worked in a music shop for years and that horn could have easily been a demo or "B stock" horn in our shop. Maybe other shops are/were different or your opinion of "demo horn" is different and that's ok; I was relaying based on personal experience.

The buyer sent me a PM offering $1500 for the horn. I countered with $1600. He said if I would pay the shipping at $1600 then he would agree. I said that I would pay the shipping if he agreed to pay for the Paypal fees. He agreed to my counteroffer, but then tried to send Paypal Friends and Family, which my account does not accept. He grew frustrated with not being able to send it, and so as a measure of goodwill I told him to send the regular Paypal and I would eat the fees for him, which counted towards about $50 or so. He sent the money and I sent the horn, paying for shipping which also cost around $50 or so.

When he received the horn, he texted me stating there was acid bleed and wanted to return the horn. I normally do not accept returns, and felt that what he was talking about was extremely minor compared to the overall condition of the horn and felt that I represented the horn accurately. The seller said he wanted to return the horn or asked me to take $200 off and he would keep the horn. To me, it felt like a case of buyer's remorse, or a flipper trying to make extra room on the horn for profit margin. However, I did not want to imply this, did not want to assume this, and did not want to solely make the decision, since this is a real human being I was dealing with and he was clearly upset, I wanted to figure out a fair way to settle our disagreement.

Since I felt this was a case of two people simply disagreeing about a description, I wanted to be fair to the seller, and suggested that we bring it to the Administration of SOTW for their opinion. I then sent the Administration the pictures that Yellowhorn sent me of his concerns, sent them a link to my original listing, and asked them their opinion. I told them of the options the seller suggested: should I allow the return and provide a full refund, give him the $200 off, or should the sale stand as final. I told the buyer that I would follow whatever course of action the SOTW Administration recommended, including a full refund if that's what they suggested. The buyer agreed to this and said it was the right way to handle the situation, that we both admired and respected the individual who would be viewing the pictures, the listing, and making the decision.

The Administration responded saying that the sale was final, that they felt the description followed the parameters of the forum and was accurate. I let the buyer know, to which he responded by criticizing the Administration. The buyer then called me, clearly upset about the situation. He was raising his voice and yelling, constantly interrupting me, and then begged and pleaded with me for 20 minutes to send him money. Comments such as "If you have any kindness in your heart, send me $200" and "if you think you're a good person, send me $200" and such. It started as $200, then went to $100, then went to "whatever I could do" and that he would forget about the situation. Throughout this nearly 20 minute phone call I remained calm and polite, despite being yelled at and interrupted whenever I would try to speak. I told the seller that I would indeed consider sending him something because of how upset he was. I relayed the outcome of the situation and the phone call to the Administration for their information and full disclosure. Whatever happened between him and the Administration is between them.

The buyer's response confused me because I felt like I had been fair to him during the transaction, offering to pay for shipping and eating the paypal fees for convenience of sending the payment. We then both agreed on a course of action because of our disagreement. I took the situation out of my hands and put it in a 3rd party who could see the original listing, see his pictures and concerns, and make a fair decision and I would follow whatever recommendation was made to me.

That is the full transparency of the issue. I have never been in the business of trying to screw anyone or decieve anyone. I was impressed with the condition of the horn and it was beautiful to look at and beautiful to play. I have been on the forum for nearly 20 years and have sold thousands of horns and mouthpieces over those several decades. I have also donated many mouthpieces, horns, and other knick-knacks over those years to those who need it. There is zero reason for me to try to deceive or mislead anyone. Anyone can disagree with me, and that's fine, but I do not like the insinuations and attacks on my character or integrity. I specifically took it to a universally trusted source for their decision, and we both agreed to follow that decision, whatever the outcome may have been.

I will CERTAINLY be more reserved and conservative in my future description of horns as a result of this situation. If I think a horn is close to 99%, I will say 90%, etc. I tried to handle it as fairly as possible to both parties and followed an agreed upon course of action. I do not condone his criticism of the Administration, nor his behavior thus far after the fact. I do not appreciate the attempt to assassinate my reputation or integrity, especially when I tried to handle this in an appropriate and professional manner. I do not appreciate how I was spoken to, yelled at, and insulted over the phone. Throughout all that, I remained calm, polite, and tried to be fair in the entirety of the situation.

I was with my SO's family last night, as she has an uncle in hospice and relatives flying in from around the country; as such, last night I didn't have much time to put thought into the situation. I woke up this morning, and against SOTW Admin recommendations, was going to send Yellowhorn some money because of how upset he was. While I don't agree with his view point, I don't want anyone upset, either. Then I saw all these posts trying to attack me. It upset me, as you might expect.

All that being said, even with the attempt to defame me, I have still sent Yellowhorn a $100 refund as a gesture of good will towards him, and to alleviate any future headache for the Admin team and for myself. I also sent him a polite message via text letting him know that I was disappointed in his actions, that I mean him no ill-will, and that I have provided him the $100 refund as a gesture of good will. I recommended we not do business again in the future, and wished him all the best for him and his family in their endeavors.


That is the entire truth of the situation. I hope this provides insight into the situation for any who were following it.

- Saxaholic
 

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Administrator
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13,985 Posts
Administrator note:

I've given the green light for this thread, given the fact that the Marketplace is closed for now. Either party can hash it out to their hearts content as long as they remain civil.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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32,946 Posts
Yikes, I was wondering what happened.

The moderators should not have do deal with this Stuff.

There are inherent risks in buying from long distance, and the buyer needs to accept that risk, or choose not to do it.

It’s just like gambling in the back of the tour bus - don’t risk more than you can afford to lose.
 

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Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
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9,738 Posts
Yikes, I was wondering what happened.

The moderators should not have do deal with this Stuff.

There are inherent risks in buying from long distance, and the buyer needs to accept that risk, or choose not to do it.

It’s just like gambling in the back of the tour bus - don’t risk more than you can afford to lose.
Agreed, really bad precedent to pull the admins even further into the abyss of marketplace transactions gone bad. I've had hundreds of satisfactory transactions and one ripoff which was eventually resolved by a stroke of good luck. Wish I could suggest a way to keep transactions safe and reduce the hassle for admins. My only suggestion is to never use family/friends Paypal for actual purchases, but that would probably mainly protect buyers.
 

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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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3,832 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I do want to clarify this was not an attempt to solicit "official" opinion from admins nor get them "involved", but rather obtain a trusted personal opinion on the situation. I expected that personal opinion to be the end of it, but it obviously escalated when the buyer felt a need to post all that stuff and attack the admins.

As an update, the buyer accepted my refund and wished me well. I wished him well in addition, so I consider the issue closed.

I think, even if this was seen as a negative situation, it at least sparked some very good constructive discussion in the other thread.

- Saxaholic
 
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