There’s a person who thinks it’s his job to take me for a sucker born every minute.

Just listed a barely-used Martin Backpacker with case & strap for $185 on Craig’s list. Almost immediately I got a response demanding I sell him my guitar for $100 because “that’s what they cost on eBay,” complete with a link to a listing that had an “initial bid” amount of $100. I guess the fellow thought I was an idiot.

But he isn’t the first and he won’t be the last. Rather than taking offense, I wrote back:

“I just listed this, so I might come down a little, but I have $250 into the thing and it’s in great condition with case and strap.

“If you think you can find a better deal on e-bay, you should probably go there. I just checked on current listings and there might be a couple worth checking out.

“For example, Musician’s Friend is listing one “like new” on eBay for $175 with case and free shipping. I’ve done a lot of business with Musician’s Friend, and they’re pretty good about returns, so that might be a good bet.

“I’ll go down to $175 if you’d still rather buy locally. Obviously if you see one from a trustworthy mail-order vendor with case in EC, for a much cheaper price (once you count in shipping), then you might want to go that way.”

Notice how gently I called his bluff? Maybe he’ll think twice next time. By the way the eBay/Musician’s Friend guitar I wrote him about sold a few hours later, so it must not have been too bad a deal.

Back in the pre-ebay days when I used to buy and sell a lot of recording gear online in early discussion forms, you’d always get one hopeful scammer who would say something like “One fell off a truck in my neighborhood and the paperboy found it and sold it to me for $50, so that’s all yours is worth.” As though one freakishly good deal sets a permanent price point for all similar exchanges going forward forever.

Right. To paraphrase the old con-man’s saying: “There’s a person who thinks it’s his job to take me for a sucker born every minute.” Gotta love ’em!

I might be asking too much, but I think I’ll let the market decide, rather than taking the word of hopeful idiots.



About Paul

Paul Race has been writing and playing all kinds of music since the 1960s, though he tends to favor acoustic and traditional songs. He has created resources like,, and to help other musicians get a good start on their own journeys.

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