Why was Audiogon started?

I had always thought that Audiogon was started to allow audiophiles to sell their pre-owned equipment as well as have discussions about everything audio in the discussion forums.However, over the last two years, it has appeared to me that Audiogon has become a Haven for "direct-selling" manufacturers and a refuge for high-end dealers. As an example, I recently bought a new item from a dealer and it didn't work out in my system. I tried to get a return authorization from the dealer, but because it was a special order( a lot of dealers don't stock items that they carry to keep inventory cost down)the dealer couldn't take it back, unless I upgraded to a more costly item. At this point, I was either stuck with the item or could take another option to re-sell it on Audiogon( where the dealer also advertises heavily).I put the item up for sale on Audiogon( much to the chagrine of the dealer as I advertised it for much less than I bought it from the dealer( It was now a used item)I finally sold the item after a couple of weeks and a few "price-reductions" . After marking the item as SOLD, I got a friendly e-mail from the previously mentioned dealer who asked me to kindly remove my ad now that I had "sold" the item. I e-mailed the dealer back and told him that I would remove the ad, but only after I had shipped the item and the buyer had received the item and acknowledged that all went well, hence making the sale final.I'm just concerned that the original intent of starting up Audiogon might be turning into a chaos of commercialism. Any comments in agreement or disagreement would be appreciated.
I just offered the facts, Elizabeth, not an angry response. I just have grown tired of the whole "I've been taken advantage of" and "I'm a victim" outlook that many have in today's society. Grow up. Take responsibility for yourself. From my veiwpoint, the whole situation could have been avoided by asking for a Return Agreement with the dealer. Tell me I'm wrong.

I made a reply to your post regarding $10 records here at Audiogon that you spend hours digging through dirty boxes to buy for 18 cents. My response was that some value their time more than their pennies. Let me make it simple for you; If you work part time at minimum wage, you will have the time (and perhaps the desire) to dig through dirty Thrift Stores. If you work hard for a better living and make suitable income, you will not have the time, and likely no desire to dig through the Thrift Stores. It is a mindset, Elizabeth. One that you may never understand.
Thank you all for your responses. I wrote this thread late at night,thinking not so clearly, and should have phrased things better. I probably should not have used the term commercialism. Commercialism is a normal part of our economy and fits in with the intent of what Audiogon is partly about. I can see now why the initial posters might want to attack some things that I said. I am not against dealers being on Audiogon. There are some legitimate dealers trying to make a living and I empathasize with them for having to compete in a very small and competitive environment.But there are also a few unscrupulous dealers out there( I don't feel that the dealer I mentioned dealing with in my initial thread is one of them) who take advantage of their relationship with manufacturers and use Audiogon as a tool to promote discounted equipment which they have agreed "not" to discount with the manufacturers. They do this by using various usernames, posing as private sellers instead of the dealers whom they actually are.This is really another issue.Where I am disappointed, and this is where my initial thread is intended to focus, is when the dealer became my competitor because I was reselling his product, and then he e-mails me to kindly remove my ad. Now that bothered me and that's where I was looking for other's input to see what they thought about it. I was hoping not to stir up a "hornet's nest", but to get some constructive feedback and that has happened.
Good discussion. Dealers placing ads on Audiogon is fine, but just as with an individual seller, know who you are buying from. From dealers, especially know their return policy. One suggestion: I don't know if the AudiogoN staff has the resources to do this, but it would be nice if classified were more for individuals reselling used items and ads were used by dealers for demos and other discounted items they are selling at a fixed price.
Lugnut, yes it is the dealers( the beloved middle men) who have to sell in order to make a profit and it is the buyer( people like myself),especially those like myself who compulsively "buy to try" who generally take a loss or at best break even, when they re-sell that item.I, for one,have lost money in selling used items on Audiogon( that means I've given other Audiogoners a great bargain),but I also have received great bargains from fellow Audiogoners who have also taken losses and that's part of what makes Audiogon so wonderful.For me, Audiogon has been both a blessing and a curse. Because of Audiogon, I've been able to try a lot of products which I normally would not have been able to afford or have access to( that's the blessing).But I've also spent a lot of money( my wife's not too happy about it( that's the curse). But I've also had the opportunity to build a decent system thanks to Audiogon and in the long run, I'm glad there is an Audiogon.My compulsive buying is my own problem( do you hear that Jes45? My glass is half-full, what's yours?)) and not Audiogon's.Thank you fellow Audiogoner's and thank you Audiogon.
After speaking with Arnie, the founder of Agon, my take may be different than many others. If you get to know Arnie, it is quite obvious that the gears in his head are ALWAYS turning. He is very inventive and creative. As such, he saw the potential for a business opportunity that was not being "tapped" and jumped in with both feet. After establishing the viability of this site via high consumer approval, he took the steps to recoupe his investment and now operates this website like the business that it is. Nothing wrong with that and just further proof that a well devised plan can pay off in dividends.

Having said that, i have NOTHING but respect for Arnie and Agon, even if i don't agree with everything that they do. Yes, there are things that they have done that have pissed me off and that i don't understand. Then again, i don't know all of the things that go on behind the scenes. As such, it is possible that i would agree with everything that they do / have done if i were privy to the same information. Either way, Agon as a source for audio gear and the forums function with or without "personalities" as has been proven many times over.

With all of that in mind, i come here and use Agon because it is useful, convenient, well executed and the forums are loaded with "good people". When you've got something that works, you don't mess with it. Having said that, i just need to apply that same mentality to dealing with my audio system : ) Sean