Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bad Salesmen

I've been looking in eBay for a ham radio. I was a ham when I was young and I was thinking about taking it up again. Here's a typical eBay auction blurb:

UP FOR BID WE HAVE A [radio make and model].  THE RADIO COMES ON, LIGHTS UP AND MAKES NOISES.  I DO NOT KNOW THE HISTORY OF THE RADIO.  I HAVE NO ANTENNA TO TEST THE RADIO WITH SO I AM SELLING AS IS.  NO WARRANTY.  NO RETURNS.  EMAIL WITH ANY QUESTIONS.

First of all, why would anyone bother asking a question when it's a certainty the answer would be "I dunno". Most of the ham radios for sale on eBay are from estate sales where the ham's widow or kids sell the gear to a hustler vulture hyena entrepreneur.

Like Danny DeVito said in Ruthless People, "Bad salesmen make me sick". A good salesman knows something about his product, even if he has to expend some effort to learn or ask someone familiar with the product. Can you imagine someone putting an ad in the paper for an automobile, thusly:
 
FOR SALE: [CAR MAKE AND MODEL]. I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS VEHICLE. I OPENED A DOOR AND A LIGHT CAME ON, BUT I DON'T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THE CAR TO TEST IT. CALL ME IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.



Yeah, that would bring the buyers flocking to you.


Anyway, here's a tip for all the ham radio sellers on eBay. Describe the radio. Do the switches and tuning dial work smoothly? Stick a length of wire in the antenna socket. Hear any signals? Is the noise coming out of the speaker normal static or is it just 60 cycle hum? Be a detective and find out the history of the radio. Did the late ham have a habit of covering the radio when it wasn't in use? Is the radio rusty and dusty, or is it spotlessly clean? Take lots of pictures, especially if you're looking to get hundred of dollars for the radio. 


                                    

2 comments:

  1. People are lazy, and they can get away with it because people are stupid too. Some dimwit will buy that radio, unfortunately, and just hope it works. The cycle continues.....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Mayberry,

    Unfortunately, that wasn't just one auction--they're all like that. Almost all of the radios on eBay are for sale by estate vultures. Makes it really difficult to find a good one. And you're right--people are snapping up these radios like candy, and paying outrageous prices for them. I thought we were in a depression.

    Dave

    ReplyDelete

All comments are welcome.