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Thread: Selling 'on consignment'

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    Selling 'on consignment'

    I sold a couple of my own personal amps on consignment through a local music store. It struck me that I had no contractual terms - just a verbal agreement that the store would sell the amps and I would get what I wanted to clear on them. I then thought about if there was a problem - who would handle the return, and if necessary, who would make any refund and what happens to the commission. I should have though this out better. The owner of the store is a decent guy, but it's still a contractual agreement without specific terms to refer to if things go wrong.

    I'm interested to hear how others deal with this.

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    Nearly every amp I currently own I bought on consignment. Generally, they were sold as-is, no warranty, no shop or seller responsibility for any issues once I buy it and it leaves the shop. Now, what my shop <DID> do for me was to let me try the amp, open it up, look for problems, and otherwise poke around if I thought there was a problem. Sometimes they'd let me take it overnight, which I thought was sweet! Usually there WAS a problem, and several times it involved safety. They would then call the owner, and have them either fix the amp, sell it at a much-reduced price, or please come pick it up.

    I got a Bassman 100 for $150 because it came in "needs power tubes" (from a tech) which I knew could mean anything from "sounds funny" to "catches on fire." I asked if anyone had tried the amp, and nobody had. Turned it on, stand by off, fuse blows immediately. I guess it seriously needs power tubes... they called the guy, said they can't sell a broken amp... he said he wanted to get $100 out of it, so I offered $150. $70 and a few resistors later, I sold it for $400.

    The only ones I never worried about were when the owner sold a personal instrument or amp. I ended up with a few of those over the years.

    Justin

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    I've sold a couple amps at a local music store and it has been a good experience. The one I use gives a receipt and terms of the agreement that you sign when you drop it off. They also test all amps at that time and if anything goes wrong after that they take responsibility. I also found that they are sometimes able to sell an amp for much more than I can get on Craigslist. I had a Mesa Triple Rectifier listed on CL for $800 for months without a single cash offer, put it on consignment for $1100 and it sold within a week, so even after the stores 25% cut I still made more than I was asking on CL. They are the local Mesa dealership so that helped. I haven't had as much luck selling some Crate amps there, but one did just sell, but I had dropped the price a couple times to get it to move.

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Many places don't offer return privileges on used gear, and if they do you have to pay for it, one way or another. If there are return options that's normally built into the consignment fee.

    I'm typically on the other side of the transaction as a buyer. When I buy an amp I make it clear that the transaction will stick, no warranty required, no returns possible. I'm just buying the amp as-is and taking it out the door forever. I'm more than happy to pay in cash and just get a receipt marked No Returns. Addressing the sale that way can really help to bring down the asking price, especially if you can demonstrate an issue and the seller knows that you'll never try to come back with the amp.

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    I've also been on the other side and bought gear as-is and had some good deals where there's been some defect that's resulted in a discount. Being able to fix stuff is a real advantage in any bargaining situation, whether it be electronics or mechanical. Another aspect is I've had gear that customers want checked over before buying on consignment and the store (as well as the owner) has been willing to let them take it away for inspection.

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    GC has their 45 day "no questions asked" return poiicy on used as well as new equipment but of course they don't handle consignments.

    With small local stores I normally do not ask for a cash refund unless the item is defective. BTW most of the stores around here that handle some consignments do not identify the items as such unless you try to negotiate the price and they explain that they would have to check with the seller. And whatever policies the store has for used gear would apply to consignments as well. Hint: quite often the hand written pricetags and receipts (remember those???) would have the initials of the seller so they would not have to look it up.

    Steve A.

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    Many places don't offer return privileges on used gear, and if they do you have to pay for it, one way or another.
    True dat! Any business really needs to factor in the possibility of returns or call backs when setting their prices so that they can gladly honor whatever guarantees they offer their customers. They will grumble thinking only of the lost revenue in that particular transaction while ignoring the added revenue that they should have been collecting in all of the transactions that did not result in a refund or a no charge call back.

    And yes offering to buy as is with no returns should result in a decent discount especially if you can point out repairs that need to be made!

    Steve A.

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