Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby Solderman » Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:08 am

I must confess I should have worded that question as "Which is the greater tragedy?". But all points taken.
Also perhaps there is some middle ground, where a person has talent but lacks inspiration. What better kind of inspiration for a musician than an instrument with some favorable character? Even if it never gets used in the final mix. Although as Hybrid points out, this is likely not a significant factor in the rising demand and rising costs.

Either way, ebay is the quick and easy path. The dark side. Consume you it will.

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analogue. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." - Brian Eno
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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby nvbrkr » Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:30 pm

[edit - strange double post]
Last edited by nvbrkr on Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby nvbrkr » Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:39 pm

Christopher Winkels wrote:If Minimoogs still sold for $400 and Jupiter-8s for $500, would anyone be making new analogue synthesizers? Would Tom Oberheim be selling his new SEM? Would Dave Smith bother with a Prophet'08? Would Moog Music even be in business as we understand it today? Of course not. Those high prices for used gear fuel the market for new instruments


You're probably more enamoured by that thought of yours than anything. These type of arguments are currently voiced in many other industries as well - housing for example - and they have no basis in how things actually work, mind you. Moog Music inc. or Dave Smith Instruments do not rely on very modest designs of the past being suddenly priced at 5-6 times higher than what they were going for just a couple of years ago. These companies were also in the business when people weren't commonly asking 1000+ dollars for a Korg PS 900 and the like (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0456388289). It's an entirely different thing to operate in a balanced setting for the prices of used commodities and newly manufactured ones, than to turn either end solely into a form of luxury.

I for one welcome high prices.


Don't be too surprised if people sometimes fail to take you too seriously if you voice out these type of things in public places.

Singling out people who try to make a profit and painting them as parasites and (your use of word) "assholes" is misguided. It has nothing to do with decency, it has to do with a buyer finding a seller and both of them agreeing to mutually acceptable terms.


Why wouldn't it have anything to do with decency? A lot of people are reacting to the excessive amounts of money being asked for those items very negatively, so that should be proof enough for it having everything to do with notions of decency.

Who am I to criticize if someone wants to sell or pay $1,200 for a Juno-106? What if the price was $1,000? $700? $500? $200?


Well, what I've noted of your own manner of articulating yourself, you probably wouldn't criticize such things in the first place anyway. Just don't wonder why some other people are criticizing it nevertheless.

At what point does the seller cease to be an "asshole", and who makes the determination wherein they descend into a state of assholery? Is it a binary yes/no thing, or can they be a 17% asshole for pricing 17% over an arbitrary non-asshole price? :lol:


I really fail to see the point there. Derogatory expressions are used to convey personal disdain. They are hardly quantitative in nature. Of course, the joke's on me when I even try to provide replies to such nonsense, I admit.

Rangoon wrote:
nvbrkr wrote:In fact, I fail to see how that would count as a concrete act of criticism in the first place.


It's a "putting your money where your mouth is" type of criticism. Otherwise, your actions can be construed as an attempt to scare off other potential buyers so you can aquire that item (the SH-2000) from that seller for less money than the other buyers would have offered....


Yes, I can see the importance of yourself heeding the same values that you preach. But it has more to do with the attempts at silencing criticism and discussion on the topic as also can be witnessed on this very thread. All these "why do you care?" -type of comments inadvertedly tend to serve that function. I'm not asking anyone to sabotage those "for sale" ads on this very forum either - be my guest though if you really desire to do so and risk getting banned - but attempting to push the whole issue entirely to the side isn't okay either.

There's no reason why the current situation should be universally accepted without pointing out its problems.
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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby Rangoon » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:53 pm

nvbrkr wrote:
Rangoon wrote:
nvbrkr wrote:In fact, I fail to see how that would count as a concrete act of criticism in the first place.


It's a "putting your money where your mouth is" type of criticism. Otherwise, your actions can be construed as an attempt to scare off other potential buyers so you can aquire that item (the SH-2000) from that seller for less money than the other buyers would have offered....


Yes, I can see the importance of yourself heeding the same values that you preach. But it has more to do with the attempts at silencing criticism and discussion on the topic as also can be witnessed on this very thread. All these "why do you care?" -type of comments inadvertedly tend to serve that function. I'm not asking anyone to sabotage those "for sale" ads on this very forum either - be my guest though if you really desire to do so and risk getting banned - but attempting to push the whole issue entirely to the side isn't okay either.

There's no reason why the current situation should be universally accepted without pointing out its problems.


OK, an OFF TOPIC question for nvbrkr...

Is the Hotel Presidentii still there in Helsinki, across from the train station? I used to play in the nightclub there in the mid-1980s. A paradise of blonde females and Russian hookers...
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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby tallowwaters » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:55 am

nvbrkr wrote:
but attempting to push the whole issue entirely to the side isn't okay either.


Yes, when there is no issue apparent, pushing aside a non issue is a completely legitimate move. Let me break it down:

They own the synth. It's theirs to molest, burn, explode, dress in tiny sweaters, give away, or request a wheelbarrow full of wampum for in its exchange.

You do not own that synth, and as such, have no say in how its existence is implicated. To believe that you do means you don't understand of basic code of ownership. Maybe your parents used to let you have whatever you want, maybe you're a rapist/murderer/thief that takes whatever they want, maybe you come from a culture where possessions and hard work mean absolutely nil and people can take and give as they please, but the end result in this capacity is that you have no bearing on said piece of gear, no matter how much gnashing of teeth takes place, and for however much you complain about said piece of gear, people are more than likely to assume you are one of the aforementioned characters.
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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby Christopher Winkels » Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:50 am

At what point does the seller cease to be an "asshole", and who makes the determination wherein they descend into a state of assholery? Is it a binary yes/no thing, or can they be a 17% asshole for pricing 17% over an arbitrary non-asshole price? :lol:


I really fail to see the point there. Derogatory expressions are used to convey personal disdain.


Care to answer the question then, rather than ducking it and obfuscating? I mean, you said I basically have no idea of how the synth industry works, yet you offered no credible business plan for how Moog would manage to sell enough new Voyagers if vintage Minimoogs were still $400 like they were 20-25 years ago. To sell a competitive product to go against used gear, Moog would need to come in at a price point close enough to make people buy new rather than used. Selling a competing product for $400 might just cover the barest costs of parts and most of the direct labour on a Voyager, but it certainly wouldn't allow for R&D on new products, marketing, shipping, warranty service, a website, dealer markup, indirect labour, overhead and (god forbid) a profit margin. Care to enlighten us on how that business model of yours works? I'm as much of a socialist as the next man, but I do recognize that the profit motive does make most people get out of bed in the morning. And I know better than to argue against Adam Smith when it comes to simple supply and demand economics.

Since you didn't address my original question, can I ask what is the fair price for, say, a Minimoog? A Jupiter-8? A 2600? Or, if you prefer, pick another vintage synth. Tell us how you arrived at a non-asshole price and what that price is. I'm curious to know what your calculations involve.

Let's assign that non-asshole price a value of "X". Now, does a price of X plus 1% equal a seller who is an asshole? If so, why? He's selling at a price in excess over your finely honed figure, so he's an asshole, right? Otherwise, why not?

What about a price of X plus 10%? is the seller an asshole now? What about X plus 25%? Plus 50%?

At what point does he switch from being your platonic good guy to an asshole? And how does one arrive at this point? Discuss whether assholery is a sliding scale or a discrete quantum. And how are we to characterize the buyer? Does he or she become the opposite of an asshole by paying more than "X"? At what point does that benighted condition kick in, and is it in direct inverse proportion to assholitude? And since the buyer could conceivably pay less than your ideal figure, does he begin the spiral into a state of assholery if he only shells out, say X minus 10%? 25%? 50%?

I'd really like to know, since you didn't answer the question in full the first time around.
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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby Hybrid88 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:23 am

Oh dear... I think we should all take a break for a while, this thread is now far from contructive.

Though I will ad that I think you are forgetting the depreciation factor in this discussion. I don't have the figures, but I imagine that when the mini D was new it was roughly about what a voyager costs new now, but naturally enough take it home use it for 10-15yrs and expect to sell it for about half, or less of what you paid new - same goes for the Voyager, BUT if you start adding the "collectability" factor into the equation, more demand, less supply - basic economics will tell you that the price will increase.

Now that is all fine and good, but when the average market value (market value being what it's actually deemed to be worth) of an item is X amount of dollars and some enterprising fellow comes along and doubles the asking price on his, then I think that is where some people take a strong opinion of the seller. It is perfectly legal, but to me at least, it's not morally decent - though remember, everyone will have their own opinion ;)
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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby Solderman » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:25 pm

I think the trick here is deciding what is "ridiculous", while still trying to be as objective as possible. What might be useful is an average selling-price history that goes back to, say the mid 90's, for each item at VSE. I know it would be a hell of an archive project, and would likely require alot of user input and taxing of fuzzy memories, by querying folks the questions "What did you buy/sell X synth for in X year?", "What country and currency?" and "What venue was used for the sale?". An Anonymous poll form web page, linked from the VSE page for the synth, might be sufficient, assuming everyone was honest and correct.
Thus, more common methods of selling gear, like auction sites and music shops, would get a higher percentage score than grandma's yard sale. Countries where that item is scarce would receive a handicap score unless the poll count for each item exceeded some threshold. Calculating the answers for each year could yield a line graph that would be adjusted for inflation just before the final plot points are recorded. The original manufacture retail price, averaged from global sales, also adjusted for inflation, could be marked above the graph for reference. I'd guess the currency type for the graph would be Euros.

I realize a sudden increase in demand would not be very helpful there, but might still serve as a good reference. Just seeing how a used synthesizer's price has fluctuated over time could tell you alot.


As far blaming the rising prices on collectors, I'd say it's got to be a wider market to blame than that. A possible allegory would be a suburb that becomes overrun after enough word gets around that it's a "nice place to live", effectively making it less so. My first inclination is "nuke it all and start again". Perhaps the new generation of analogs fits that mentality. What was that Frank Zappa quote about the end of the world coming about by either paperwork or nostalgia?

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analogue. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." - Brian Eno
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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby Z » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:30 pm

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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby Ianh » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:25 am

Not that I really want to get to involved in this I just feel that one simple plain truth is being overlooked. People arguing this point seam to have forgotten what "value" is. Value is Simply what people are willing to pay for something. The consumer is what drives up the price not the "asshole" sales people. People will rarely price an item at a price for which there is not precedence. And if someone does place an item at a "ridiculous" price and some one does buy that contributes to such an overpriced market. Where as if a seller places an item for sale and no one buys it, the seller will be forced to either lower asking price or wait for value to change.
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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby Ianh » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:30 am

So let me ask those who are complaining about the high prices of used gear... If you had a minimoog, arp, etc would you sell it for what YOU think it is worth, or what the market value is?
Rephrased:
Would you sell it for what you would WANT to pay for it?
Or would you sell it for what people WILL pay for it?
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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby 30h5 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:48 am



yup...$860 BIN...A steal
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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby nvbrkr » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:23 pm

Rangoon wrote:OK, an OFF TOPIC question for nvbrkr...

Is the Hotel Presidentii still there in Helsinki, across from the train station? I used to play in the nightclub there in the mid-1980s. A paradise of blonde females and Russian hookers...


Yes, but it's a few hundred meters to the north actually. Quite close to the Parliament House. Not that I stay over there myself.

Oh well, onto the next...
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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby nvbrkr » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:34 pm

tallowwaters wrote:Yes, when there is no issue apparent, pushing aside a non issue is a completely legitimate move. Let me break it down:

They own the synth. It's theirs to molest, burn, explode, dress in tiny sweaters, give away, or request a wheelbarrow full of wampum for in its exchange.

You do not own that synth, and as such, have no say in how its existence is implicated. To believe that you do means you don't understand of basic code of ownership. Maybe your parents used to let you have whatever you want, maybe you're a rapist/murderer/thief that takes whatever they want, maybe you come from a culture where possessions and hard work mean absolutely nil and people can take and give as they please, but the end result in this capacity is that you have no bearing on said piece of gear, no matter how much gnashing of teeth takes place, and for however much you complain about said piece of gear, people are more than likely to assume you are one of the aforementioned characters.


No wonder moderator behaviour at VSE is laughed at other gear forums.

None of this is at issue here and you're simply just trying to put words into other people's mouths. Nevertheless, If you are willing to deem opportunism as an unavoidable aspect of contemporary form of capitalism, you should be also prepared to accept that people are also going to complain about the various forms of excesses that are observable to them. Of course, the transaction of items at any price that suits either end of the deal isn't in most cases prohibited by the law - there are some instances where overpricing items is actually attempted to be controlled by the state[s] though. However, it is only the outsider reactions to such procedures that can bring forth a change. These reactions will vary from person to person. Some have apparently been also more extreme in their nature (such as the one VSE'er telling the seller to "die"). I am myself mainly protesting against the efforts at suppressing discussion when it's clearly in order.

People having a legal right to do whatever they want with their property is not the issue here. Any action that is carried out in the public will nevertheless grant the right for other people to criticize its consequences on a larger scale. That's how societies and also smaller communities have operated for ages. "Ownership", "transaction" and "consequences" are entirely different things, so don't lump them together based on such a vague basis. My own comments concern only the last two.

Care to elaborate a bit more how the inflation of the bidding prices of synths is a "non-issue" on a synth forum? Also, please use a fair amount of logic in your argumentation this time around.
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Re: Ridiculous eBay 'Buy-it-now' and starting bids.

Postby nvbrkr » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:44 pm

Onto the last one...

Christopher Winkels wrote:Care to answer the question then, rather than ducking it and obfuscating?


Before accusing anyone of obfuscation please notice that you were asking rhetorical and joke questions youself in the first place. If you use words against their common usage and use them in an attempt to insult the other person's grasp on the issue, you really shouldn't expect an answer. However, several of these questions are a whole lot better and I think we can reach some common ground here:

Care to enlighten us on how that business model of yours works?


I am not disagreeing with everything what you have stated regarding this issue. If you'd actually read my post, I was stating that I seriously doubt the success of Moog or DSI relies on very modest vintage units being attempted to be sold for over 1000 at the internet. Mind you, the Moog Little Phatty has been nevertheless selling very well for years, even if vintage units that have had similar specs have gone for about 50% of its price.

So I don't think your reasoning is entirely truthful. It applies partly, of course.


Since you didn't address my original question, can I ask what is the fair price for, say, a Minimoog? A Jupiter-8? A 2600? Or, if you prefer, pick another vintage synth.


Okay, I can spot the misunderstanding here. The above-mentioned items are very capable instruments and I would dare to say they have a lot of cultural value as well. I don't see anything particularly shady about asking the same price or more for a Minimoog - that's in working condition - as the current price for a new Voyager is. Even if the prices were high already 3-4 years ago, I would say that they were about accurate then. Instruments from 70s and the 80s are hardly antique, but they are very capable units for music production. Living in Finland, I'm perfectly prepared to pay 20% more than what the current prices for most units in the States are, and nowhere did I say that Minimoogs should be sold at 400$. That's just something you are yourself attributing as being a part of my own argumentation in order to make it seem less rational. Nevertheless, the logical consequence from the most sought-after units going at higher rates doesn't mean that absolutely everything that uses a similar method of sound production should go through the same inflation of prices. These two are quite unrelated issues and it does not form a serious threat to the production of modern analogs. Unless the modern analogs sound like shit and people won't buy them anyway, of course.

The problem is how the internet provides great anonymity for a certain group of individuals, who'd have no chance to operate in a similar manner in the outside world. I don't see a difference with the people attempting to sell their SY-1 / 2s, PS 900's or Micropresets for a 1000 as any different than what the general conduct at sites like 4chan is. In the real world, you'll have to face people's disdain directly if you were a shop keeper and asking such prices for used units. Many wouldn't necessarily enter the store the second time.

The same phenomenon applies also for units with serious functional problems, such as broken keys, completely unfunctional sections etc. 200% price inflation within a year or two for anything that's vaguely analog can be attributed to the unsubstantiated, overall hype (this has happened locally over here). Yet as already stated by someone else, even the units that don't end up sold at too high prices will eventually just agitate the inflation. These units just get listed again and again at those prices and also increase the overall value for pretty much anything associated with the word "vintage" - so, yes, I would be inclined to call people who keep on doing this as "assholes". Especially considering that some of them seem to have several of these things, as well as other overpriced items like CDs / LPs, listed [i}all the time[/i].

Pardon me for making also such brash generalizations, but I think many of us have had also very negative experiences of how these very same individuals have either lied about the condition of the items, or, have failed to deliver the items without delays, tried to sell them to someone else for a higher price even when the deal has been already agreed on, etc.

The last array of your questions at the bottom of your post aren't worth answering to. Don't ask nonsense questions and expect to get answers. Thanks for reading anyway.
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