Buying Used Speakers

Want to get the group's thoughts on buying used speakers.  The value proposition in many cases is compelling.  However, there is a pretty good element of risk as well, even from reputable Audiogon sellers.  What exactly does, "completely tested mean?"  Or "performs flawlessly?"  You don't in most cases get a warranty for starters and you're at the complete mercy of the adds and pics.  Some of the sellers are broker dealers (with stellar reputations), so do they even know how they were treated?  Prob not.   Let's face it - the vast majority of condition ratings are based on the cosmetics IMHO.  

Has anybody bought expensive speakers on AG or elsewhere?  What questions did you ask the seller to help ensure they're as sonically good as cosmetically?  Did you test them yourselves once you received them?  Any good lessons learned would be much appreciated as well.  I know for starters to get a complete  description of how they're going to ship them.  Thanks in advance!   


I purchased my last few pairs of speakers new but have bought a number of speakers used over the years.   Paradigm Studio 100,  Klipsch CF 4 , KEF Ref 3, B&W cdm 1nt, Sonus Faber  Concertino...   All of them had one thing in common, I could not afford them when new.   

I purchased a pair of Klipsch Heresy II for my brother  a little while back. Time capsule for $500.   Some great speaker deals out there. Even better if they are big and hard to move!!!  

I prefer to buy speakers locally for the obvious reasons, confirming they work and avoiding shipping .

I have dealt with TMR on several occasions and they are good to deal with. 

In my 3 years getting back into this hobby I have purchased 3 pairs of used speakers without listening to them prior. I did spend many hours doing research reading reviews, forums, magazines and word of mouth. Fritz Rev 5 SE, Goldenear Triton 2 and Ohm Walsh Tall 2000 all on Audiogon from sellers with good reviews. Why used? All of my speakers were below 50%+ off msrp, less than 5 years old, stated in very good condition. If I didn’t like them or didn’t stick with the hobby (unlikely) I could resell them without much financial loss. You do have to be risk adverse and accepting of some imperfections and in some cases do some minor fixes/ mods. My Goldenear Triton’s had one of its built in subwoofer amps stop working. Goldenear has superb customer service and swapped my amp out. I had to do the install but took an easy 10 minutes. My Ohm’s arrived with veneer peeling back at the seams and black paint wearing through exposing high wood grain. Glue, clamps and some dye and they look great. Fritz were mint. Love all 3 and none had driver or cabinet issues and sound excellent. But it is a risk you have to be comfortable with.

Pretty much every speaker besides a few when I was in my teens early 20s were bought used. Out of 20+ shipments received and shipped I’ve not had a single issue. I always buy the insurance also. If money was no object yeah I’d buy new, why not. if it’s within a 2 or so hour drive I’ll just go get it. 

I've bought all my speakers used. Shipping just gets expensive and being able to listen to them and evaluate their condition is crucial. Once you narrow down what you are looking for I would search locally on FB marketplace, Audiogon, US Audio Mart and used hifi dealers or maybe even Craigslist. Take your time finding what you want. The last set of speakers I bought used were 3k less than current retail and only 2 years old. I drove 2.5 hours each way to demo and then buy.   I recently bought a sub and saved over $ 700 vs new and that included shipping. Both in excellent condition. Well worth the savings to me. 


Definitely talk to the seller by phone if you can. Research their location and if not comfortable arrange a public meet up or wait for something else.  I have found most people selling high end gear are great to work with and can provide valuable insight as well.