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. :)

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