Stupid Asking Prices- Why Don't Sellers Read Audiogon The Blue Book First?

I’m amazed at the prices most people ask for used equipment. I frequently see 15 year old tube gear with 2000 or so hours on the valves offered for sale at insane-nobody-is-that-stupid prices. Frequently the seller lists the original retail price of the item in the ad then asks 1/2 of that- imagining that it must surely be worth at least 1/2 of retail right?

I’m perplexed as to why a seller does not consider the reliable Audiogon Blue Book as a guide, and consider the condition of the gear as a factor in resale value.

I have also seen sellers refuse an at market offer and say "for that price I’ll just put it in my storage place" while it further depreciates.

Is it that most guys with high end gear are rich enough to ignore the value of moving money because their sense of value is offended?

Asking for a friend......😎


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I’ll look for a specific piece and sometimes I’ll wait 2-3 yrs.. I know in this hobby, if you’re patient and emotionally detached, you’ll eventually get what you want. It seems when I wait, I always get an even better deal -and it makes it that much sweeter. 

Please hop in a time machine and teach a younger me this lesson 🤣

I find it amazing, and sad, that just because a seller’s listing price doesn’t conform to some preconceived expectation then their ethics and sense of fairness is considered suspect.  An ethical issue would be misrepresenting the condition or some other form of fraud.  How does the word fair even enter into the discussion of an asking price?  Fair is living in a country where every one of us are free to both ask and/or offer whatever price we want.  This word fair is thrown around way too much these days when somebody doesn’t get what they want.  

Too many seem to confuse fairness with equal opportunity.  Fairness does not mean that everybody gets what they want.

At the risk of sounding pretensious, I think I may have a bit of objectivity to share based on a project i just completed that I started during the first year of the pandemic.

First, a word of explaination.  I am an 83 year audiophile who has rarely bought any gear new at full list price.  This goes back to when I was in my thirties, after my very first system.  Currently I have three full systems (bedroom, den, and living area) and two back porch rooms where used audio gear coexists with excess photographic gear.  Currently this amounts to 64 pieces of audio gear (not counting things like record pucks, etc. (now you know why I can't afford a Porsche :-) ). 

What I started during the shutdown was a list of all my gear, and then using my collection of old catalogs finding the year (or close to it) of introduction and the introductory price.  I then went through the A'gon BlueBook to list the average private sale price for each piece.  If the BlueBook didn't suffice or didn't seem right I often cross-checked with eBay completed sales.  And sometimes I checked AudioMart for seemingly completed sales.

Finally, and most recently, I ranked the items by date of sale and used the latest CPI calculator (March 2023) to project the current introductory value of each piece.  I then calculated the percentage of those introductory prices (original and inflation-adjusted) for each item.  Finally, I took the average value "around" each five year mark and charted the results.  Here is a summary of the results (sorry I can't show you the chart:)

Years After Intro    Used vs Original    Used vs Infl-Adjstd

     5                                118%                     53%

    10                                 85%                     39%

    15                                 50%                     20%

    20                                 40%                      15%

    25                                 50%                      18%

    30                                 40%                      12%

    35                                 61%                      18%

    40                                 57%                      13%

    45                                 91%                       17%

    50                                 61%                         9%

    55                                 62%                         8%

Versus the original price, used prices dropped to roughly 50% of new after 15 years, and to only 20% of an inflation-adjusted "new" price.  But after that used prices versus new stayed at the level for another 15 years and then began to rise.  Prices against inflation-adjusted :"new" prices stayed pretty constant from that point on at 15-20% until the items were 45 years old or so.

Now, obviously a lot of other factors can affect individual prices, but this seems to answer the question some of my friends ask ...."what do you think my xxxx might be worth".Moreover it suggests that if the item you are interested in satisfies your individual audio needs, purchase of used gear that is 15-20 years old gives you a good chance of facing no further depreciation and perhaps even a small gain if you resell it within another 15-20 years.

Ask any questions, and let me know what you think.

I just noticed I said I ranked the items by "date of sale"  I meant by "date of introduction".  Sorry.  Also, I should point out that each date, except for the first and last, has a least four-five items averaged to come up with the value.

I had an integrated for sale below prices I could find on US and Ebay (there were none here). It still didn’t sell, in spite pf the fact that it’s performance couldn’t be touched for probably twice the price. I lowered the price once and still nothing (Except some clown that thought I was going to pay for shipping and reneged. What am I? Amazon?)

I put it in my closet for a spare. Ain’t giving stuff away.