"What are FAQ’s?"
Frequently Asked Questions. Hey if you
don’t ask sometimes you’ll never know.
didn’t you answer my email?"
Generally we try to get most emails answered with in 72 hours of
receipt, sometimes within minutes (responses
for parts inquiries can take considerably longer at times). Due to the volume of traffic and
email we receive, we usually don’t answer emails that either have
nothing to do with what we do as a business, or that we can offer
help or further information on. As stated near our
contact information, we do not respond to emails for appraisals or value
judgments on customer items for lots of reasons including legal ones. We
also get a lot of emails from individuals wanting to sell us items. A
non-response can mean that we aren't in a position to purchase any
additional inventory, or the purchase wouldn't be prudent.
We would love to be
able to respond to everyone, but with the amount of traffic we are
currently getting it’s just not possible and takes away time that would
be better spent assisting customers we can actually offer help to.
Many times we do
not have the answer right away and need to research or do further
investigation to be able to give a definitive answer. This sometimes can
take more time, especially if it’s a parts inquiry (*see notices on our
parts pages) or if we query another party and are waiting a response
from them. These emails can sometimes take many days or weeks, to source
the information needed to answer them.
Occasionally an email
has an attachment either by design or due to a virus. We accept very
few emails with attachments. One reason is that our anti-virus programs
most times won’t allow them in.
Also, we've experienced issues with replying to
emails from certain services. Emails from "AOL" and a few others seem to
be 'hit and miss' on whether our replies are received, and commonly are
not, leading folks to believe we are 'ignoring' them.
email may not even be getting to us, no matter how many times you sent
We may try and manually
remove the attachment prior to reading the email. Also with
the tremendous amount of traffic we get, there is also a tremendous
amount of Spam and junk e-mail that we must wade through. This also
takes time away from responding to our true customer emails.
If you send a photo
make sure it’s in “jpeg” format, FOCUSED and no larger than 100K in
size. We preview email on the web and delete or try and clean emails
with questionable or large attachments prior to downloading to the
official. Sometimes in the cleaning process we loose the email
altogether. Sometimes when cleaning either file attachments or the Spam
emails we accidentally delete emails from legitimate customers.
Be sure and send emails with topics in the
Subject Line related to
our business and / or what is needed.
Emails with "No Subject", "no subject",
"hi", "Hi" or similar non-descript
wording will likely be deleted without being read. There are many things that can happen with email, so if you have not received a response within a reasonable time frame,
please simply re-send your
We have also had situations
where we have responded repeatedly to emails with the sender wondering
why we haven’t yet responded. Generally they have gotten filtered into a
"spam" or "junk" email folder on your email server. Not sure why this
happens, but it's out of our control and you need to check those
folders. That is likely where the response is. We've also learned that
there are other 'server' issues that can cause 'disconnects' between
email senders and recipients. Without getting too technical, and easily
beyond my understanding as well, email 'ip address' are commonly put
together in groups. If one email user sends out 'spam' or some other
nefarious message(s) it may get flagged as a 'spam source' and that
address, as well as any other 'innocent bystanders' whose address were
grouped with the 'spammer' may / will be banned / filtered from a
particular server. In other words, if 'one bad kid' does something, the
entire class may / will be punished. Not the best way to approach the
issue in my opinion, but that's how it is. A particular email user
(sender or receiver) may never even realize it's going on, as if they
don't get an email, or a 'bounce-back', then there's limited ways that
the issue would become known.
With the huge amount of traffic
we get emails may sometimes simply get overlooked or often, accidentally
deleted, or frankly, we're just toooooo swamped. Sorry. We apologize
in advance if that happens, and it does.
about parts / spares sales
* Our "parts units", parts / spares
and related reference information are primarily archived for the purpose of
restoration / repair of "Oak Tree Vintage" units first. Only if we do not have a
"viable" unit in yet, either already in process or in line to be processed, that
may potentially need parts from a "parts unit", will we release available parts
for sale (even though they may appear as available for sale to the public). As
many of you know, the restoration of a unit can be a long, time consuming
process. We may "lock up" parts that we may potentially need in the restoration
of a unit (and not necessarily get it marked 'Hold' or 'Sold' on the site
right away). Parts are priced according to the "potential value" of the unit
they can be applicable to (meaning the amount WE would be willing to pay for
the part if that was all that was standing between us having a "shelved unit" or
a valuable / sellable unit), time to extract, their rarity & their condition
to name a few criteria and likely will be completely unrelated to the original
cost / price of a part when it was currently available from the manufacturer.
Parts Photos; We get a number of requests for 'photos' of a
specific part. Unfortunately, in most cases that is not practical as the amount
of time involved in posting that exceeds the value of the 'unique' part. We will
sometimes post photos of less 'unique' parts, if there is a greater chance of
them being available in multiple quantities, or on a more 'repeat' basis.
Parts, general condition / circuit board condition; Most of
our parts are from 'salvage / donor' units. While we don't sell parts that
are 'known' to be bad, occasionally parts will need further adjustment,
cleaning, 'tweaking', or in the case of circuit boards, may need old,
conductive glue / epoxy further cleaned, and some 'common' parts /
components replaced due to 'green / black / furry' legs, or because those
parts were marked as 'sold separately'. Some circuit boards may have 'tired'
"landing / solder pads" which can require 'jumpers'. Unless noted, circuit
boards will be 'crack / split / break' free.
Parts pricing; Most of our parts price / value will be based
on a few things. Firstly, we are in the restoration / refurb business, so we
consider what we would be willing to pay for the part if we needed it (which
again, is what the parts are listed for in the first place, "our units").
Secondly, the rarity / value of the unit the part(s) fit. The 'Tuning Knob'
for a receiver that has a final value of $350 will likely be much less than
the "Tuning Knob" for a unit with a final value of $1500 or more (a set of
tires for a typical sedan will be $400 to $600. A set for a Lamborghini can
be $16,000). Thirdly, the 'rarity' of the part. Forth, the 'condition' of
the part. Fifth, the difficulty to extract the part, or success rate for
extracting certain parts. Sixth; frankly it's a LOT of work and time to part
out a unit. Most take 1 to 3 days of shop time to process. Not only the
disassembly, but the 4-15 hours of pre-testing / servicing and just as time
consuming can be the amount of time it takes to do all of the research we do
and the info we list on many parts for cross-referrencing to other units
that my use the same parts by scouring service manuals. On many circuit
boards we will list every 'semi-conductor' which is also very time
consuming. Lastly, every call or email for a part can require 20 minutes to
sometimes over an hour of 'phone support', often (about 50% of the time)
with me convincing the potential purchaser that they don't need the part I
have to solve their problem.
Sorry to sound like a "whiner" about selling
parts, but "time is money".
Shipping: Shipping on most 'small' parts if typically via Postal
first class or Postal Priority for both domestic (USA) and international orders.
Larger parts such as transformers and drivers (speakers) are typically via FedEx
Some parts sales such as those for empty 'speaker cabinets', empty 'component
cabinets / covers / bonnets' and 'speaker grills' and most are 'doomed'
from the start. Due to their size and required packing supplies, the cost of
'packing for safe transit' and shipping are commonly 'disproportionate' to their
cost, typically nearly equal to and
sometimes greater than the cost of the part. Think about it. An empty
speaker cabinet or stereo receiver case is essentially the same size as a
complete one. Yes the weight will be less, but most of items that size are
calculated on 'dimensional weight', not actual weight so are commonly just as
expensive as shipping a 'complete unit'. Secondly empty component
cabinets have to be packed to disallow breakage, typically requiring nearly as
much packing materials as an entire unit. Speaker grills have to be 'sandwiched'
between foam sheets in large, custom ordered boxes (all relatively expensive).
It is what it is....
A non-response to an email of phone call /
voice message request for a part that we don't show on one or our
pages, or is already marked "SOLD" will be typical. We simply don't have the
time / man-power resources to respond to every query we get for items we
don't show as avail. Most folks get that. Having said that, I / we may
respond if we have information on a substitution or other useful information
relating to it.
A non-response to an email of phone call /
voice message request for a part (we may appear to
have, but typically 'highlighted in
Orange or Yellow'), likely means that we are still determining which parts we are going to
need for the restoration or repair of one of our units. Again, the parts
are first for the restoration of our units and secondarily for the public
market. Since we list the parts available for ourselves, it is not much effort
to modify the menu's for web publication, which in turn makes the reference
information and occasionally the part available to the public. Frankly,
publishing them to the web, in many instances, makes it easier for us to
determine if we have the part for our needs as well. The alternative to all of
the above would be to not offer them at all to the public, however most parts
are available to the public for sale. Also, parts requests can
occasionally take time for us to respond to. While we may have a part
listed, and we like to keep the website 100% accurate, occasionally a part
will be 'used by us' or 'previously sold' and we by oversight, and we did
not get the web listing marked "SOLD", or the part gets 'mis-placed'
or 'lost' (laid down somewhere in the warehouse(s) and then it get's lost
track of (that happens to our coffee cups all the time, then we find it
months later with 'a good batch of 'penicillin' growing in it), so we like
to 'lay eyes on it' prior to responding. Sometimes we just can't figure out
which cabinet or drawer parts were assigned to (and we're working on a
system for that one).
Some folks email / call and want us to respond either way / whether we
have the part or not. Again, we simply do not have the time resources to do
that. Our time must be utilized on the requests we can fulfill.
Sorry for all the excuses, but that's how the 'system'
(or lack thereof) works.
you don't see it, we likely don't have it.
Thank you for your understanding.
"Why so much more than commonly on internet
There are many sources for much of the inventory we sell. Our goal has
never been to be the cheapest source for an item. Auctions and discount venues can be a great
source for items as long as a buyer has weighed the risks associated with purchase from those types
of sources. Ask lots of questions,
ask for their definition of “works good” (sic)
(see what’s happened to us many times on the lower half of this page), ask
for referrals if the seller does not convey an appearance of legitimacy,
realize that a heavily discounted
price usually means discounted service /
product quality (if your main purpose in purchasing
an item is to save money, then you should probably just keep your money in
the bank), and
realize that most (read almost all) of these items are 20-40 years old and
are in need of some degree of service / maintenance if you are actually planning to use them.
We are not selling gear so much as "piece of mind" /
warranty that comes from purchasing a properly serviced
and competently and fully tested / "burned-in" unit. You can go anywhere
and buy a unit that will have
a dozen issues (some may be easily repairable, some terminal) for a lot
less money than from us. If all you require
is that the unit have a brand name / model stamped on it, have it power up
with some lights, make some sound and
have no smoke coming out of it, then by all means instead of spending
$200-$1000 with us, you should go purchase
one of the $10-$50 units, as that's about all most 25-40 year old
electronics are worth in "as found" condition. "As found"
means that nothing of any substance has been done to the unit and it's
just as the "middleman" (read on line auction
seller) found it at the garage sale, auction, thrift store, dead uncles
closet, dumpster (we're not kidding) etc. If that
is all you require from your audio / electronics gear, then by all means,
don't spend much money. In fact you should
try and convince the seller to give it to you, as you're still going to
have to spend $30-$75 to get this "boat anchor"
shipped / delivered. Does that mean that you can't get "lucky" and get a
well working unit from one of these sources?
Not at all. You just have to have a LOT of luck, the planets have to be
aligned and you obviously are a "gambler"
whether you want to admit it or not. That's what auctions are all about.
Risk and gamble.
The bottom line is, you wouldn't purchase a car that you knew had been
sitting for the last 15 or 20 years, unused
and expect to hop in it and take a trip. Even if the seller put in new
gas, a charged battery, some air in the tires
and advertised it as "runs great and everything works perfectly" (and all
he did was get it started and drive it around the block
to make that determination). If you knew it had been sitting that long,
you wouldn't purchase it to actually use, without
knowing it would require much attention to make roadworthy or wanted a
Unless otherwise specified we have already done the service / restoration work needed to make it ready to use.
Without exception, every item we acquire needs some degree of service performed on it, no matter how good it may look, or what kind of care was extended to it throughout it's life. Generally every unit will require at least
an hour, more commonly 2-3 hours, sometimes 4-6 hours and on occasion an item has required as much as
10-18 hours of labor plus parts. If you are saving $50 or even a couple of hundred
dollars by buying an auction item, but must turn around and invest an additional $50-$75 per hour of
tech labor, if you can find it, plus parts if you can find them (we have a “bone yard” of parts units
for sourcing discontinued and hard to find parts) then you will likely spend much more than we might
have charged for that item already ready to go with a warranty.
Lastly the chance of an item actually getting to you
"intact" due to most individuals lack of ability to pack fragile
anywhere close to adequately is incredibly small. I know from many
examples of personal experience, customer traffic
and from the degree that my parts business profits from "flea-bay"
disasters. My typical customer is on their 3rd, 4th or 5th "e-pray"
unit. By the time they get to me they have spent just as much or more
than the units original investment would have been with me.
"What does the warranty cover?"
See our warranty page
do you leave all the sold stuff listed?"
Years ago when we originally designed this web site we had to make a
decision about leaving sold items showing on the web page. We realize
that with every decision we make concerning our business comes with a
certain element of risk. We knew then and now know that the vast
majority of visitors to our web site would appreciate us leaving the
sold items posted, in some form for most of the reasons we have listed
below. We also knew that a certain number of visitors might
be disappointed by our decision, but that goes back to the calculated
risk. In 'hind site', we have gotten many times more positive response,
than negative. We hope everyone understands.
There are a number of
reasons why we leave items that have already sold still showing on the
web pages, and it’s not just bragging rights (although there’s a certain
amount of that we are entitled to, sort of like displaying the photos of
your fishing trip pictures). We know it can sometimes seem like a “wild
goose chase”, but there’s a method to our madness. Most of our web pages
have a sold department located at the bottom section of the page. We
don’t always have time to get the thumbnail photos of the items moved
down to those areas as quickly as we would like, but we do eventually.
We leave the photos and text intact and in placed for at least 90
days following a sale in the event we, or the purchaser needs to refer
back to them for any reason. We also know that we will acquire many of
the same items again and since it takes 2 to 8 weeks for an items’
information to get into most search engines it cuts down on that time so
when you do a search for the item you will find it. It also alerts you
to the type of items we have had in the past thus indicating the type of
items we will likely have in the future. Many times an item will sell
within hours of being listed and there hasn't been time to get the item
Also many visitors
find our "SOLD" area a great resource for identifying their items'
brand, model or year. They also find it a valuable resource of
information when doing a search on other web sites as it gives them
photos of brands and models they can look for in other places. For every
one email we get saying "how come you guys have all this sold stuff
listed? It's frustrating!", we get 10 that say something like, "WOW,
what a great trip back in time seeing all this stuff from my past" or "
thanks for the great web site. It is an invaluable source of
Lastly with all the
pages and departments it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the web
editing and we may just simply not have had the time to move the item to
the sold area. We apologize for any inconvenience.
don't you leave the prices of the "SOLD" items listed?"
The main reason is that vintage and collectable markets move very
rapidly and prices / values are 'fluid'. Sometimes almost overnight.
Most items will typically
rise in price, some go down.
Sometimes dramatically. Prices more than 30-60 days old would
meaningless. Some of the "SOLD" items were from
'years ago' and are simply 'archived', and again, any posted price would
be meaningless, and likely, unreasonable 'skew' the market.
In addition each items price is
determined, primarily by the technician time and final condition of that
specific unit and is not likely applicable to another of the same
model by a different seller.
The vast majority of people see ONLY the model number
with an associated price, and assume that that is what ANY example of
that item is now worth, not realizing nor being aware of the 'added
value' by Oak Tree Enterprises that is behind the establishment of that
price (believe us, we've seen that 'assumption' literally thousands of
times with units we currently have for sale)
3rd, some of our customers
purchase for resale and would not be too interested in seeing older
prices being listed on the website. There are other reasons for not
leaving the prices intact, but the above is sufficient for here.
are many of the actual specification numbers on the
"SOLD" listings "X'd" out?"
There's a couple of reasons for that at this point.
One is, especially when relating to testing results we obtained on our
test bench, they would only be relevant to that 'specific' unit, and not
necessarily applicable to other units. The second is simply that we
invest A LOT of time resources into compiling our 'Features' menu, the
'Specifications' menu and the balance of the text. We are archiving that
text out of public view for future use.
"Why do you all the parts 'listings'
for parts you don't have for sale?"
The 'parts' pages are also 'reference' pages. They
commonly have very valuable 'cross-reference' information on them. A
better way to look at those pages are as 'Reference Pages' firstly, that
may occasionally have parts available 'for sale', as well.
do I find 'anything' on your website or web pages, or, "how do I locate"
items on your site / page, or, "does your site have a 'search' feature?"
There is a 'Search Bar' located at
the bottom of most of our web pages (there's 'hundreds' of pages). Type
in words / text related to your search and it will pull up page results
ordered by most likely relevancy. The first 3-4 results will be 'Google
ads' and nothing to do with search results from within our site.
To search any single page (at least while utilizing "Microsoft's
Internet Explorer"), type "Ctrl+F" and that will pull up a window that
says, "Find", or "Find on this page". Then type in what you wish to
search for on the 'existing' page and it will 'jump' you to the first
instance of the 'search term' it comes to, and tell you how many
instances of that exact 'search term' are on the page. To utilize this
you must be 'exact' in our search criteria, as the function will only
look for things that are an EXACT match from our page. For
instance if you are searching for a part that is officially listed as
"AWX-023", you would need to type it in exactly like that. "awx-023" or
"awx023" or even "AWX023" will not work. The search is case sensitive
with all 'punctuation' intact. If in doubt, you could punch in "023",
but you may get 'extra' results to wade through. Also, if there
was an "AWX-023-B" and you type in "AWX-023 " (space after the "3") it
will not find that, as the listing has a "-" after the "3" and before
the "B". May be confusing to grasp, but once you get the hang of it, it
is an incredibly 'handy' function for any web page or document. I use
the 'Find' tool many times a day.
"Can you notify me if you get something in?"
Yes, likely, but only for 'complete' units. Not practical for us to
do when regarding 'parts' or accessories. The way we are able to do that
is through emails. We have a set of “Wish-List” folders in our email
program that we can list your email in. If you are interested in more
than one item, please send an email for each separate item as we can not
duplicate the emails to multiple folders. We will try to send alerts to
the earliest email senders first, but it may be a race to be the first
to contact us for the purchase. They will often “slip through the
cracks” so it would be to your advantage to periodically check the web
site to see if the item you are seeking has been added.
PS. This is not available for parts, only for
restored, complete units.
"Why can’t you give appraisals?"
There are many
reasons why we don’t. Some business and some legal. First we are not a
member of any Appraiser's Guild or licensed to do “official” appraisals.
Secondly to do an
appraisal over the web is just not practical as it would be impossible
to get a feel for the true condition of an item without being hands on
in person with it. To value another's gear based on the prices seen
posted on our site is likely, COMPLETELY meaningless, as we are
primarily charging for the tech time, warranty, our solid experience and
the value added. Without those added values, most of this gear would be,
to us, are ten dollar "boat anchors"!
Thirdly there are
many potential legal ramifications to giving what might be considered an
errant up or down value judgment.
There are a myriad of other reasons we don’t offer them, but the above
is sufficient enough.
"I’ve been watching your site for a long time
and it doesn’t seem to update, yet the date changes.
How often do you update the site?"
We have a very extensive web site with many departments and
pages (over 800 pages). While
some pages may not change
for weeks or even months (if there's nothing to add,
there's no reason to update), other pages may see updates as often as 2-3
times a day. Sometimes the 'update' is simply marking an item
'SOLD' or 'tweaking' a specification.
The site generally has 'maintenance' and updating
happening to select pages somewhere 6-20 times per day, virtually every
"Are you able to repair my...?"
Due to limited resources we are only able to do restorations /
repairs on our inventory and unable to take outside repairs.
Click Here for possible
assistance with repairs.
"What makes this stuff so much better than the
Some of it isn’t. Most
of it is. The old adage “They don’t make ‘em like they used to” applies
to much of the "vintage" market. That’s one of the main reasons many
items are collectible in the first place. Many of the items were built
in Japan or the USA, both considered to be superior for
their craftsmanship. Many items were built using designs that were meant
to last as opposed to “the design that was the cheapest to construct”.
Many items were designed using parts and manufacturing techniques far
superior to today’s methods. None of the above is to imply that
there are not quality items being built today, and just because an item
is 20-50 years old means it is better, but you could probably draw this
conclusion when looking at vintage items as a whole.
"What makes this stuff as much or more than when
"Why are your packing / shipping costs higher
Just as you can have
superior products, you can also have superior service and a huge part of
any mail order / web retail business is the ability to safely and
successfully get your goods delivered to the customer in the same
condition as when they left. We have seen all too many times
the consequences of inadequate, inappropriate, unprofessional, un-safe
and incorrect packing. About one third of the items we receive from
senders (almost always individuals) are damaged or destroyed due to
inexperienced packers. What good is it to save $5, $10 or even $20 on
packing, insurance and shipping only to take a huge chance of receiving
damaged goods. We had one week a while back when everyone of about half
a dozen items we received from individuals arrived damaged or completely
destroyed due to inadequate or inappropriate packing. Just today, as of
this writing, we unboxed a package of three components. I requested the
seller be extra careful packing as I have many items arrive damaged due
to inadequate packaging. Upon shipment he emailed back that “…they are
packed to survive a bomb blast”. When they arrived all three had been
stuffed into a single CD player box and shipped via 4th class mail. They
were packed using one “sheet foam” envelope (about 1.5-2mm thick) that
some components come new wrapped with instead of a plastic bag, woven
one time between the components to separate them. The small amount of
extra space that remained in the box was filled with very well used foam
peanuts. So used that some were “foam peanut dust”. Many of the
components’ edges and corners were actually touching the box. None of
the components were even put into plastic bags so a couple
were inundated with small pieces of foam particles. Surprisingly they
arrived in reasonable condition, but we were both lucky. I was in
disbelief of his description “packed to survive a bomb blast”.
Many shippers including will not honor an insurance damage claim on
electronics unless they are shipped in their original packaging or are
double boxed. Most local shipping companies will not offer damage
insurance unless they are the ones who pack it. We have been shipping
items for about 20 years professionally. A good rule of thumb is if the
contents will survive a tumble down a flight of stairs, or could be
dropped from 4' then it’s probably packed adequately.
We know what works
and what doesn’t. Any one who has received an item from us can tell you
that we do it right.
We don’t skimp on packaging. We won’t cheapen our ways of packing, but
you can be assured you will receive you package as safely as possible
and for a reasonable price.
PS. Here's some text regarding shipping costs
from an auction I just saw for a McIntosh Tuner,
likely worth $600-$1000, open chassis and very fragile.
"The least expensive method will be used." ......
Some folks just don't get it.
"Why do I not see a “Secure Server” or Shopping
Cart program on your site?"
We do have "Buy Now"
buttons on some of our "repeat / drop ship" products, but for our more
"unique" gear, such as Hi-Fi components and many parts, we do not and
will not add that. Since most of the items we deal with are "one only"
and collectible there are too many potential compatibility issues to not
have “one-on-one” conversation with the purchaser. We still like that. A
phone call will usually route out any potential problems with a
purchase prior to shipping. While the customer is always "The Boss",
they ARE NOT always Right. We have nipped many potential "disasters" in
A phone call will usually allow us to qualify that the customer / item
“fit” is right on the front-end of the purchase.
"Why must I phone with my credit card info?
Can’t I just email it?"
Since email is not secure, we wouldn’t recommend it.
See also above.
been 10 days, 20 days, 30 days, etc. Where's my stuff?"
In 21+ years of business and with
over 20,000 shipments under our belts, we have so far had
packages go missing (one
was an address in India that had in one line of the address, "to the
small building, behind the train station". The other was to the wrong
"suite number" for Goldman Sachs (our fault), and the person who
received it 'next door' kept it and didn't simply walk it next door to
the correct recipient or send it back or refuse it.. That is an incredible statement
(probably just jinxed it though by writing this). Not many shippers can
claim that. We have had a handful of '3-day Priority Air's' go as much as
30-40 days tardy. In ALL cases either a notice was left that never got
discovered by the receiver, or the package was left at a back or side
door that the receiver did not think to check. While we will do
investigation on our end to find the package, it is usually 2-6 hours of
work for us and the Post Office that is un-necessary if the customer had
simply checked with their local Post Office / Carrier or at another
door. We also had one package we sent to India come
back almost 2 years to the date with 'no such address', and another come
back months later from a location in South Africa with 'twelve lines of
text for the address' (I didn't have 'high hopes' for that one from the
Again, we will do it, but it takes
us away from more productive tasks. Interestingly, 100% of the time
(about 6-8 in all) the customer saw no way that it could be anything but
the fault of the carrier or us and that there was no way a note had been
left or the package could actually be on their premises without them
of our On-Line Auction "Buying" Experiences:
Every week we get phone calls or emails from people who have purchased
items from individuals selling through on-line auctions such as e _ _y,
Y____o or one of the others. They are usually wanting to know if we do
repairs or what an estimate on repair of their unit might run in hopes
of getting some relief from the seller due to unknown problems. Now most
people selling on e _ _y and similar auction sites are truly honest,
it’s just that the vast majority of them have no training
or the necessary experience to accurately evaluate a piece of
electronics gear, guitar, keyboard, microphone or the like. I can’t tell
you how many listings I’ve seen for things that describe an item as
being “Mint condition” and then go on to further state something like,
“…we do not know if the microphone works as we have no way of
testing it” and / or “…thus we are selling it As-Is”.
is when a seller follows with “We don’t know
if the unit works or not as we have no way of testing it, but from the
looks of it we see no reason it shouldn’t.”
I always have to chuckle
about that one. We have a lot of things that no matter how much we
polish them up and admire them, for some odd reason they still won’t
work. Anyway how can a seller describe an item as being “Mint
or Excellent condition” without having a clue as to the working /
operating condition? The answer is they can’t. It can and could only be
a reference to 'cosmetic' aspects. Very few items can qualify as mint in
the first place. Mint pretty much means it’s either never been opened or
may have been removed from it’s original packing, but then restored back
to the packaging in EXACTLY the same condition.
Recently we found a Receiver on a
VERY popular internet auction site, that we were very interested in
bidding on. It was a very high-end Sansui that we needed to fill a hole
in our inventory. We had seen them before, but this one had a lot of
very nice photos and a decent description. The seller described it as
“works and looks good” (sic). We were ready to bid, but thought we’d
better make sure of his definition of “works good” (sic). We did the
“Ask Seller A Question”. Here is the email we sent and the reply:
"Hi, I noticed the auction for the
Sansui receiver. Your photos look great! I just have a couple of
questions. You refer to the unit as working fine, by that do you mean
that both FM and AM reception comes through to the speaker outputs, that
all the inputs are passing a signal and that both speaker outputs sound
strong with no distortion or low output? It appears from the photos that
all the controls and knobs are original and intact. I don’t mind
scratchy / dirty sounding controls and / or burned out panel lamps as I
expect that and will fix, but I just want to know that you have
verified the basic operating condition of the unit. Just let me know the
answers to all of the above as I am very interested in this receiver.
Thanks in advance for your time, Jerry at Oak Tree Vintage"
"Jerry, Thank-you for the interest in my
Sansui G series receiver. Upon further testing I discovered
that one side of the FM did not come through, there is no AM response,
one of the tape monitors does not work when I hooked up my CD player,
and the right side speaker output is very low in volume and just
distorts. I have since pulled the plug on the auction. Thank you for
stopping me from screwing up bad. Are you interested in the unit for
parts or repair. I guess when I initially just plugged it in and got
some sound that I assumed a unit of this caliber could not have
Let me know if you have any interest in it.
We dodged a bullet on
that one and definitely re-learned to ask lots of questions, even if
they appear to be answered in the listing text. I do not in any way
think that this seller or that most sellers are being dishonest, I just
know that most individuals listing electronics are not educated as
to the proper procedures to adequately test a piece of equipment. Simply
powering the unit up and getting some sound does not mean the unit is
functioning. Click HERE to see some of the procedures we put our gear through before
it gets offered for sale. This is no joke, but I once had
an electronics technician working for the same retailer I worked at that
with 35+ years experience most of the time assumed a piece of gear was
“good to go” if it powered up and no smoke came out. Due to
hearing problems he could not hear most of the more minor audio problems
a unit might be producing. I recently saw a couple of listing’s from two
different audio traders that just made me shake my head. These are both
individuals that move 20-100 pieces of gear a month, simply because they
both sort of “fell into the business”. One listing had the specs for a
pair of speakers with the typical wattage, frequency response, system
type, etc. When it got to the “Sensitivity = 91 dB 1Watt @ 1Meter”
he followed that with, and I quote “whatever that means”. I saw a listing for a receiver from the other seller
that when listing the features of the back panel when he got to “has 2 AC outlets 1 switched and
1 says un-switched” he followed that with “but I’m not sure what
Now if you don’t know what
those things mean either that’s ok, as I assume you’re not in the audio
business, but anyone seriously dealing in audio gear had better know
what those things mean and how to read and use a standard spec sheet.
One last example and
I’ll get off my “Soap-Box”. I had my personal B&O 2400 receiver
“go South” on me and outputs didn’t seem to be available anymore, so I
just went on the hunt to replace it. I found one on a VERY popular
internet auction site, from what looked like a seller that I could
believe 100%. I asked my standard questions even though the listing said
that "Everything works perfectly”. When
I received it I was initially very happy to have my system back up and
running, but upon further investigation I made some discoveries. On a
B&O 2400 receiver the controls are hidden behind a fascia panel
top plate. Your only clue as to what’s going on are indicator lamps and
light gauges under a smoked plexi face plate. Well the Bass and Treble
bar graphs were out and the phono indicator doesn’t light.
Now I know those aren’t big things, but the unit was
listed as “Everything works Perfectly!”. Oh well even we get
screwed once in a while. I guess everyone just has a different
definition of Mint, excellent & Perfect.
I just have to add this one that went down recently. I was considering the
purchase of a receiver from an FleeeeeB_Y seller. This is the first one in a while.
Below is the following "listing text" (I edited it a bit to make it
>*BANG & OLUFSEN BEOCENTER 7700
*CONDITION/DEFECTS: FAIR TO GOOD (DIRTY/LOCALLY SCUFFED AND NICKED). UNIT POWER
UP AND PLAYS FINE THRU HEADPHONE JACK. SPEAKER OUTPUT NOT TESTED. REMOTE CONTROL
UNIT NOT INCLUDED (MISSING). ASSUME THIS UNIT NEEDS SOME WORK!!! *LIST
PRICE:$1999.00 *WATTS PER CHANNEL:30 *FEATURES: TURNTABLE WITH CARTRIDGE AND
LIGHT; STEREO CASSETTE DECK; FM RADIO(P6 TUNER NEEDS TO BE FIXED)
*FUNCTIONS/CONTROLS:TURNTABLE(33/45/STOP/TURN); CASSETTE (PLAY/REC /FF/ REW); FM
TUNER/5 PRESETS/MANUAL TUNER); TIMER 1/2;SET CLOCK/COUNTER; RECORD LEVEL; DOLBY
NR; SPEAKERS 1/2;STORE VOLUME/DISPLAY VOLUME; COUNTER ADDRESS/RESET;
RECORD-OPEN; METAL TAPE; BASS; TREBLE; BALANCE; VOLUME-INPUT PUSH BUTTONS;
DIGITAL DISPLAY; LOUDNESS *INPUTS/OUTPUTS: HEADPHONE JACK; MIC INPUT; ANTENNA
CONNECTIONS; SPEAKER CONNECTIONS; TWO PAIRS OF RCA INPUTS(?) *ADDITIONAL INFO:
ALL CORDS/ANTENNA INCLUDED; SPEAKER CORDS CUT. GREAT B&O STYLING. A CLASSIC!!!!!
PLEASE NOTE: ALL ITEMS ARE SOLD ON AN AS IS BASIS. NO WARRANTY IS EXPRESSED OR
IMPLIED. ITEMS SOLD ARE USED AND MAY HAVE COSMETIC DAMAGE, PIECES MISSING
(SCREWS, KNOBS, ETC.) AND POSSIBLE ELECTRONIC COMPONENT DAMAGE (DUE TO THE AGE
OF THE PRODUCT).<
Follows is an email of questions I sent the seller
and his / her response back:
"Hi, Just had a few questions about your 7700. Do you have any reason to believe
that the speaker outputs do not work other than you don't have the correct
connectors, or did you talk to the previous owner about it? Tuner 6 is the
manual tuner. Does it really not work, or did you turn the larger tuning knob to
try and get a station? Is the cartridge on the table, and if so which one is it
ie: mmc1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, and did you try an album through your headphones? Does
the cassette deck play, FF and REW fine? Do both sides of the top cover open,
close and snap shut fine? I am in Colorado Springs and would be nervous about
having something of this mass and fragility packed for safe shipping. I come to
Denver periodically. Could the unit be picked up? Just let me know the answers
to the above if you get a chance. Thanks in advance for your time, Jerry at Oak
PS. If it would be easier to answer the above over the phone just let me know
how to contact you, on my dime, sometime before the end of the auction and I can
give you a call."
Their response (un-edited):
"Unit is sold as is..
I do not have time to
answer all your questions. Thank You!!!"
Needless to say, I passed!