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.