Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How to do business

So I have this guitar for sale on Craigslist. It used to be my father's. It has some sentimental value but, that isn't what is determining the price.

It's an older guitar (made in the late thirties), likely a Harmony, per the two professionals who have played and worked on it. Both of them said it was worth "around a grand" to a collector, based on how it plays and the condition.

Based on what they said about the guitar, I put it up for sale at a starting price that I think is reasonable. I'm open to in person reasonable offers on the guitar. I don't expect to get my asking price, but I'll listen to what folks are willing to pay when they play it.

I get this email from a guy who who claims to be the owner of a local used music store. are a few excerpts:

"your guitar is worth $350-400 no matter what it means to you personally

you should keep it

only a fool would pay even half what you ae asking. Its cool, you just clearly are clueless about its value"

Not a good opening...badmouthing the price (a common tactic) and calling me clueless. But then...

"Also, this guitar was not made in the 30s but rather the mid to late 40s or early 50s.

Your ad is dishonest sicne Harmony was not even a company then"

Accusing me of dishonesty. I'm not being dishonest. I'm going on what I was told about the guitar by experts and what I could find in research.

It may not be a Harmony -- it's what the luthiers thought it likely was.

But wait, there's more..


youll see. bring it down to my store.

I own Trading Musician. I have dozens of your guitar

So, a person who calls himself the owner of Trading Musician wants an idiot to bring a guitar down to his store so he can...wait for it...wait for it...see the end.

"You are one ignorant bitch

some people you just cant reach

put it on ebay and watch what happens big man

you just have no clue.

noone in their right mind told you that guitar was worth $1100

It was sold by Sears and Roebuck in the 50s"

Readers may note that my father owned this guitar when he was 13, during WWII.

"It is a cheapass guitar that doesnt even have a trussrod to adjust the neck

you will be lucky to get $400

slow learner. again, bring it to my store.

I will give you $300 cash"

wait for it...

Offer me $300 cash.

What a business man. Why, I think I'll run right down there today, just because I've been browbeaten into selling it.

Here's the thing. The guitar may not be worth what I was told it was. I'm trying to represent it as best I can. The price may be too high but I'm completely open to offers from people with respect and manners. If someone comes and plays it, loves it, and even offers me half of what I'm asking, I just might sell for that amount. Respect and manners go a long way.

I will admit that I did not respond kindly to this tactic in email but, hey, I'm not the one trolling Craigslist and insulting sellers to get a good deal.

So, if the owner of the music store does business like this, people should know about it and take it into account.

Hence the Yelp review. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Plan -- and a change.

It's good to have a plan, to figure things out, to plot, conspire, until you have just the right path to take to, dare I say it, rule the world?

Well, my world, at least.

I've been thinking about stuff, and lost dreams.

I've been thinking of all the plans I made (be an architect, a photographer, a writer, a pilot, a cop) that didn't come to fruition, for whatever reason. Everyone has false starts, dreams that never come true once you wake up and have to go commute an hour to the job that pays the bills that keeps your lovely wife and beautiful children in a home, with good health care, in a good school system, in a community 40 miles from where you really want to live.

And now they are gone, grown, out on their own, and you have a chance to live the life you dreamed of, you read about, you drew up plans for that never got executed because the needs of other people came first above your own. I'm a Daddy - it's my job.

But, it's not my job anymore. I am answerable to myself and my new wife.


What now?

Well, the house is for sale.

My guitars, my books, my bicycles, my motorcycles, my bar, my tools, my furniture, guns, gun safe, ballistic vest (interesting life, no?), the movies, the records, the stereo, computer, not the art -- it goes in storage, the stuff I don't need to carry anymore -- it's all for sale.

And, we are moving, after the house sells.


To a yacht, on Lake Union, the Ship Canal, or Shilshole Bay, to live simply, in a small space, that is a sailboat.

And when the muse strikes us, to slip lines, raise a bridge or two with a sixty foot mast, and take our hearts and our souls to the open water; living an adventure under sail, on the water, with the clouds as our shade, and the wind as our horses.

Wait till you see the chariot.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


George Carlin (bless his departed soul -- wait, he didn't believe in God), once said, "you need a place for your stuff. Then you get more stuff. Then you need a bigger place for your stuff. Then you get more stuff..."

To that, I ask, "what if you got rid of your stuff?"

What if you got a place so small you can't get more stuff.

Would that free you from stuff?

It just may.