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Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:33 pm
by KBD_TRACKER
Sorry, this is not about curtis filters or whether DCOs are less analog than VCOs.

It is a question:
suppose you are in a small midwest town say Akron OH, and walking by in a quiet street of small houses, you see a garage sale.
The guy, an older man in his 70s is selling stuff. Among all the stuff on the sidewalk you see a SH101 and a TR909 both a bit dusty but apparently in great condition, looking barely used, with their manuals and original packing. The guy tells you that the gear belonged to his son who moved out of state, and his son told him to get rid of it.

The older man knows nearly nothing about music instruments, even less about electronic gear, and he is asking for each $150 (but you can tell he would take $100 ...)

What do you do ??? ($ figures are just for illustration).

1. take the gear for $150 each.
2. try to get him to sell the gear for $100 each.
3. you want to be fair: you tell him it's probably worth more than $150 each and so you offer him $250-300 each.
4. tell him that each would probably fetch $1500 on ebay but you could not afford that price, so you walk away.
5. tell him that each would probably fetch $1500 on ebay but you could not afford that, so you offer him $250-300 for each.
6. none of the above.

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:59 pm
by meatballfulton
#2 would be my first option and #1 my second.

I would never pay more than the asking price, fairness doesn't enter into it.

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:09 pm
by Hybrid88
+1, remember it's up to the seller to ask what *they* want, not the buyer to tell them. Do you go into a family run supermarket and offer to pay full price on the specials? No.

Anyway, in my experience with vintage gear "apparently working" is always "got a few issues", so you wouldn't feel so charitable when you get it home to find the age and dust means the 909 buttons need replacing and the 101's keys are intermittent ;)

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:15 pm
by supermel74
meatballfulton wrote:#2 would be my first option and #1 my second.
This

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:18 pm
by Bitexion
Never talk UP the price. If the seller doesn't know better, well that's not your problem is it? To him the synth is worthless, so why should you pay more for it?

Let's say you find a Jupiter-8 in a flightcase for $500 in a thrift store. Would you go to the register and say "hey guys, this thing is worth at least $8000" and not buy it? Why would you do such a thing?

It's not the buyers job to set the prices for stuff in stores.

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:56 pm
by Dr. Phibes
Yeah, I'd be greasy and take it as is. Frankly, I've lost s**t loads over the years on this kind of stuff so I'm not going to turn down a bargain.

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:27 pm
by Walter Ego
It's really down to your personal character. Not a judgment call either way, but are you feeling especially generous on that particular day? You could do the old man a huge favor and tell him about the worth of his gear. But I don't think there's really any kind of moral imperative to do so. There's a famous addage, "one man's junk is another man's treasure". Sometimes, specialized knowledge translates directly to monetary gain or goods acquisition.

Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to fork over with the asking prices in this particular scenario. I see this kind of like winning a small lottery.

This kind of thing happens for all kinds of vintage stuff, whether it's cameras, hi-fi audio gear, golf clubs, rocks, computers, furniture, collectible toys, coins, whatever. If there's a market for it, there are people looking at garage sales for bargains, doing the same things we are. I don't think this particular vintage market is any different. Just because someone offers an item for lower than market value, I don't think there's a moral imperative to make them aware of it. Besides, you're connected to market (or you will just use the item), and he probably isn't--he doesn't have immediate access to the market. But if you wanted to really make an impression on the person, you could sell the item and give them part of the profit you made.

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:47 pm
by elmosexwhistle
Blimey, lots of sociopaths about =D>

I'd offer him double, that's the option where I get some bargain synths and yet can still live with myself. Then I'd use them and not flip them for a bigger price until at least 3-4 years of use later. I'd feel I was honouring the purchase then.

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:23 pm
by Rooftree
If it was a pawn shop I'd pay the asking price and zip out the door as quickly as possible. They're running a business and if they can't be bothered to figure out the true value then that's fine with me.

But in dealing with an old person who's selling on behalf of a family member, I'd try to be as fair as possible while still ensuring that I got a great deal. I agree that it's the seller's responsibility to set a price that's fair to themselves. But in this scenario the seller isn't competent to make a good decision. Taking advantage of his incompetence for my own benefit would feel slimy to me. Bumping the price up to $300 each would balance things: I get a phenomenal deal and he gets a significant amount of cash.

Profit = good
Outrageous profit = possibly not so good

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:54 pm
by meatballfulton
Rooftree wrote:Profit = good
Outrageous profit = possibly not so good
It's only profit when you sell it for more than you paid. If you keep it right up to the grave, then there is no profit.

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:29 pm
by Hybrid88
Oh give me a break, there is such a thing as a good old fashioned bargain. Again, it is up to the bloody seller to determine the price, not the buyer. If you pay what he asks where is the problem here? Did you steal anything or rob the man? NO.

There is nothing wrong with making a profit, if you think there is then you'd better rethink the structure of the society you live in. Value is only determined by what someone will pay, so if this guy doesn't value this item as much as you then lucky for you. Also if he's too lazy to ask someone or research the going rate, then again, lucky for you. :!:

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:25 pm
by Jabberwalky
Akron, Ohio!? Damn you. I grew up in the area and never stumbled on something like that.

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:41 pm
by supermel74
Since when is a city of almost 200,00 people considered a small town? Also, the thing about offering a bit more for the sake of fairness is that you may just trigger a light bulb in theit head and they'll probably say "oh really, well I think I'll hold onto it for a bit" and research the price. Kiss your once in a lifetime bargain goodbye. :(

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:42 pm
by KBD_TRACKER
Bitexion wrote: Let's say you find a Jupiter-8 in a flightcase for $500 in a thrift store. Would you go to the register and say "hey guys, this thing is worth at least $8000" and not buy it? Why would you do such a thing?
remember, this is NOT a store, it is just an average man selling synth gear he does not know anything about.
besides this scenario has become unlikely in a store: thrift stores and pawnbrokers nowadays do know the value of their stuff a lot more than they did in the 90s.
Bitexion wrote: It's not the buyers job to set the prices for stuff in stores.
so you never tried to get a discount or reduced price in a store ??

Re: Buying under-priced vintage synths

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:48 pm
by KBD_TRACKER
supermel74 wrote:Since when is a city of almost 200,00 people considered a small town? Also, the thing about offering a bit more for the sake of fairness is that you may just trigger a light bulb in theit head and they'll probably say "oh really, well I think I'll hold onto it for a bit" and research the price. Kiss your once in a lifetime bargain goodbye. :(

ok if you prefer, let us forget akron, and just say cuyahoga falls which is nearby... :mrgreen: