THE NEW AUDIOGON

quadlover -- Sun, 01/22/2012 - 11:32

I posted this question on Stereophile and it has been a hot topic so I decided to post it here.  What does everyone think of the new Audiogon?
 
Let me start off by admitting my bias...I loath it.  It is poorly organized, lacks the catagories of old Audiogon, finding the discussion posts is far more difficult...I could go on and on.  Audiogon is not responding to the comments by me and a number of my friends, begging them to either redo the change or go back to the old way.  I am an active buyer and seller on Audiogon, as are my friends.  Based on # of items in daily listing we estimate audiogon's new listings are down at least 30%-40%.
Audiogon has been one of the most game changing parts of the audio industry in the last few years, probably second only to digital playback devices.  There is NOTHING that compares to it for the audio world...not Ebay, Craigslist, Amazon or (sorry TAS) Soundoffers. 
Change is not a bad thing but when you kill off business and alienate your core market you better change fast, change back, or you'll fade off into the sunset!
Maybe Audiogon will read these posts and address these issues.

Mauidj -- Thu, 03/29/2012 - 04:12

Sorry but you sound a bit like a troll.

The new Audiogon is a disaster.
The search function does not work.
The classifieds lists change when you are clicking on links.
It looks like s**t.
It's one thing to change up the look but another to completely destroy the functionality of it.
I used to browse around it daily.
Now I never go there.
And it seems like I am just one of many ex users....including many dealers..... who have now abandoned the site.
AG is over......stick a fork in it!

DaveC -- Thu, 03/29/2012 - 11:20

I think you're right, probably one of the teenagers running the site these days. There seems to be an influx of bogus listings also, same overseas address but w/ different user names, equipment w/ descriptions that an owner would not write, grammatical and spelling errors that betray any real knowledge of the component. For me the most important element lost is trust.

jax4736 -- Thu, 03/29/2012 - 06:50

I am an ex-user too. Hate the new layout.

Ejcj -- Sat, 03/31/2012 - 02:05

i could pile on but I won't.  I am very frustrated with the site and it's disfunctions.  My question is what are some audiophile alternatives?
 
Thanks,

 The Big Blueberry

RonR -- Sun, 04/01/2012 - 00:38

One thing I find very frustrating is there is no way to look up Audiogon members to find out what they have listed for sale. I also miss being able to contact members to ask questions regarding postings or share ideas. Audiogon is alienating its members in an attempt to extract every dollar possible. Audiogon is no longer a stereo website, instead it is just another classified website with ads popping up that are totally unrelated to hifi. I used to enjoy visiting Audiogon's forum, but I don't even do that anymore. As far as I am concerned Audiogon is a total waste and I will not go back as long as it remains the way it is.

vhiner -- Sun, 04/01/2012 - 00:53

 I am perplexed that neither TAS nor Stereophile has run a story, letter to the editor or an editorial on this subject. Can't believe we're the only people whose purchasing decisions have changed as a result of the decline of Audiogon. 

wiremanagement -- Sun, 04/01/2012 - 14:22

In response to vhiner-

Absolute Sound is aware of these issues and chooses to ignor them. Let me re-post Mr.Stone's comment:

Steven Stone -- Sun, 01/22/2012 - 11:39
For me, not much on Audiogon has changed since I don't use the search function or the discussion groups. I merely log in and see what's new - it usually takes me less than five minutes to go through the new listings...
reply

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications.

Steven Stone -- Sun, 04/08/2012 - 09:08

wiremgmt.

While it's nice to know that folks notice my posts, taking them so out of context is not so nice. I wrote this post 1/22 - about two weeks after the change-over.

I am ME, not TAS. To assume that a writer IS a magazine is dumb.

Since the post I have received to phishing emails purported to be from Audiogon, seen multiple scam posts, and heard from several ex-users who have had scam attempts connected to audiogon.

Audiogon is a privately-held company whose owners can do with it what they wish, and seem destined to make a small fortune - too bad they started with a large one....

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

quadlover -- Sun, 04/01/2012 - 12:32

 It's been nearly 3 months since I first posted discussions regarding the new Audiogon both here and on on Stereophile's forums.  The overwhelming majority of comments are negative to say the least.  I don't know what Audiogon's ownership is thinking but when your core users, both buyers and sellers, are that grossly disapointed with the product, what, other than vanity, is keeping them from changing back?  To correct a website's poor layout which is causing a major wildfire in the audio community does not cost so much that it is worth losing your business over. 
ATTENTION AUDIOGON OWNERS...YOU TRIED TO UPDATE THE SITE...IT IS A TOTAL FAILURE...FIX IT, RETURN IT TO ITS ORIGINAL GLORY, OR SELL THE SITE TO SOMEONE WHO WILL LISTEN TO ITS USERS!
Yes I know writing in caps is not politically correct but I mean it as a shout out.
I agree 100% with the previous writer who ask either stereophile or The Absolute Sound to do an editorial or article.  Without an way to dispose of used equipment, retail stores and high end manufacturers will suffer. 

Lance -- Fri, 06/15/2012 - 02:26

quadlover! You’re 100% correct! Stereophile and TAS should write an article pointing out the obvious failure of AudioGon of not listening to its members! Without a site to sell HiEnd used gear, the effect will have negative repercussions in the Audio Industry and will Negatively impact the advertising revenue of TAS, Stereophile, Tone Audio, Daggo, PF (Positive Feedback) and more! I see no reason for these online rags for not getting in the Frey to preserve the Viability of Selling Used HiEnd Gear in a secure and user friendly environment!

nirodha -- Sun, 04/08/2012 - 09:03

Agree with all. Just not with the "you will have to adapt" view. Such a (stupid) remark leaves no room for an opinion or a complaint.

goozoo -- Wed, 05/16/2012 - 17:29

 Mr stone,I am not sure what you mean by adapt or die. i think you have not looked at the reason for the frustration within the Audiogon community so statements like "all is well" is simply short sighted at best. the site is not operating properly ,is not responding to complains or technical difficulties due to inept IT personnel. it also is short changing its members by not paying them properly while still charging for services not rendered.it does not allow proper feedback and has due to lack of technical expertise within its own community had manifested into an absolute shit for a buy and sell web site.so please stop throwing hasty generalization such as "adapt or die" if you are not an active member you simply have no opinion of any value.If  you only surf for pleasure ,then I can underestand why you are so indifferent but the site is a massive failure and it is they that need to adapt or it is without a doubt they that will die.  

Kevin Saffari

Steven Stone -- Wed, 05/16/2012 - 18:41

goozoo, please read my last as well as my first post.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

RonR -- Wed, 05/16/2012 - 17:59

Steven Stone, I would think, of all people, you would be concerned with the lack of satisfaction of the Audiogon members. Audiogon has set out to break up the audiophile community nationwide by cutting off communication of its members. Don't you think this is a problem? Audiogon's desire to extract every dollar possible, as if they weren't making enough already, is at the cost of jeopardizing the future of high end audio as we know it. I guess if you only want to sell equipment it's no big deal, but ebay would work just as well and most people think it might be better.

Steven Stone -- Wed, 05/16/2012 - 18:40

Ron, Did you read my most recent post. Please do.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

vhiner -- Wed, 05/16/2012 - 21:50

 Steven,
I have always appreciated your journalism. Any theories as to why the main audio publications are so thoroughly ignoring this story? I think there's an interesting piece here and it doesn't have to center on disgruntled members. Is the health of the high end being affected by the decline of audiogon? It seems worth pursuing. I'd pay to read the story. Just my two cents.

Steven Stone -- Wed, 05/16/2012 - 22:20

There's news and there's other people's business.

For me this falls into the grey area that would be better examined in retrospect, perhaps by a business school prof, than by an audio journalist such as myself.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

RonR -- Thu, 05/17/2012 - 11:05

Steven, I never said you are TAS and I am not dumb, This is about Audiogon's impact on high end audio. You and "AND" TAS and anyone involved in high end audio, in any way shape or form,  should be very concerned. This is an example of how greed can damage an industry. If you don't care about the future of high end audio just say so. You don't have to beat around the bush.

Steven Stone -- Thu, 05/17/2012 - 11:31

Ron R, please see my response above. If Audiogon were a publicly-held company, the situation would be different. I seriously doubt you would want a journalist nosing about in your privately-held company's business. The Golden Rule still applies....

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

RonR -- Thu, 05/17/2012 - 11:50

Steven, i understand where you are coming from.

goozoo -- Thu, 05/17/2012 - 13:40

 I am a bit frustrated with the response from Mr Stone regarding the site "adapt or die" applies only if we were to assume that the SEO of the site is superior and we are as users "Idiots" and do not know how to operate the site. Far from it Steven,the site is an absolute failure .I am a business user as well as casual user and find your remark a bit short sited and not applicable to complains. The site has many short comings that affects businesses as well as normal users.You as a casual user are probably not in the position to see this due to lack of experience with the site.The IT company responsible for design or redesign of this site has absolutely no clue about "Auction site" design and therefore has no business designing this site.I say this because I am familiar with this site and can say with confidence that the site is designed to fail.PERIOD. They are taking money for services that they are not providing.They are asking for their share of money at the end of transaction prior to finalization and closing. This means that Agon is requesting the sellers to pay the 2% commission even before the paypal deposit happens. This simply means that they have designers with no more than high school diploma although even those can figure out the request for funds should be upon closing of the transaction /The site has also attracted a high ratio of crooks using fraudulent cashiers check and Agon has no repercussion for users to report the problem.The company is no longer controlled by an audiophile Entreperneur or an Entreperneur period.Any business man can see that what they have designed is not remotely advanced to even deserve words like "Adapt or blah blah"......  
 

Kevin Saffari

Steven Stone -- Thu, 05/17/2012 - 13:59

goozoo,

repeating the same thing over and over, doesn't add much to the conversation. and perhaps, just perhaps, I meant that THEY, not YOU must adapt or die.

Just sayin...

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

lcross -- Tue, 05/22/2012 - 16:55

I have found the new site to be challenging - very tough to find things that were once very easy.  Also, there is a major effort by someone or some group to scam the site, offering to buy directly outside of the formal mechanism.  The language used by the scammer is quickly identifiable, and they keep changing their username though the offer language remains with the admonition to email them directly.  I always report them and AudiogoN takes them down immediately, but this has left a bad taste as it never happend to me with the old site.  I am now wary.... I also don't like the commercialization of the site.  That being said, I still don't know a better place to sell high-end audio components.  This is really an unfortunate situation, wish it could go back the way it was.  But that never happens, does it?
 
Larry

RonR -- Tue, 05/22/2012 - 17:10

I just wanted to pass this along. I recently Googled www.audiomart.com and a new stereo website came up. There is only a place for your email address at this time, but I will be notified when the site starts up which should be this fall. It is exciting to know we will have an alternative. Regards, Ron

brion -- Thu, 05/24/2012 - 16:42

 Frankly, I think we should all just shift to Sound Offers, although it needs to beef up it's capabilities. This would be an ideal time for it to take over for Audiogon's pathetic, abysmal Scott-Thompson type attitude (the ex-Yahoo CEO, who, when told his employees were angry, said he'd fire them all and get a new staff. This was, of course, months ago - before it was found out he lied about his credentials and was fired). Maybe someone will fire the owners of Audiogon. I would imagine if there was another site built up to resemble the old Audiogon, they'd go under.
I was re-reading Steven Stone's comments about sharpies making deals outside the forum. True, I'm sure, but Audiogon decided to not only charge for ads, a la Ebay, but also to get some of the profit. Reasonable, I suppose, but not when they make the site impossible to enjoy. I tried to leave feedback for a user I'd sold something to, AFTER I HAD SIGNED IN. Guess what? It asked me to sign in AGAIN to leave feedback -- and THEN, it rejected my user name and password, the same one I'd just used. This is pretty incompetent computer coding.

wiremanagement -- Thu, 05/31/2012 - 11:43

Did some calculations based on very recent numbers reported on the Quantcast web site (http://www.quantcast.com/audiogon.com).  The results of which predict the number of people visiting AudiogoN should equal their all-time low in 13 days. Based on May 2012 numbers, they are currently losing 333 people visiting the site every day.  In slightly over 13 days that reduction in people will be 4404 which will then bring the 1 week count of people visiting their site down to the all-time reported low of 80,835 people who visited the site during the January 08-14, 2012 change-over fiasco. Something else to ponder:  As recorded by Quantcast, the very first reported weekly number of people visiting the site was 82,567 when it started up way back in May 12-18, 2009.  Incidentally…..the highest recorded number of people visiting the site during a one week period was from February 27th thru March 5th, 2011. That number was 151,242 or 177% more than the current number.

RonR -- Thu, 05/31/2012 - 13:03

Audiogon's attendance explains why I have seen so much more stereo equipment on ebay. It is the simple choice, but it would be nice to have another stereo only site, There is not much happening at SoundOffers. Maybe the new Audiomart will be the answer. I can't help wondering if Audiogon's owners have figured it out yet. I have finished complaining because I do not believe Audiogon will change for the better. It is time to move on.

Lance -- Thu, 06/14/2012 - 23:33

 
 I agree with all the Posts!
AudioGon still has issues!
It’s still better than FleaBay!
Their site looks like a cheap Affiliate Marketing website!  
Not to mention Scammers Galore!

I'm getting a lot of offers from my ads from new members with Zero Feedback
Also their site has been down for over 30 minutes from 8:50pm PST tonight!

JA FANT -- Thu, 06/28/2012 - 17:09

I miss the old A'gon.

RonR -- Thu, 06/28/2012 - 18:10

If you haven't already, check out the USaudiomart. The USaudiomart was created by the people at Canuckaudiomart and it is FREE. There is no charge for advertising and selling your stereo equipment. The USaudiomart like the Canuckaudiomart is supported by advertisers.

jeffstake -- Thu, 07/05/2012 - 22:13

For ten years, I have run a very small hi fi shop, with sales so far this year at $300. Part of the reason for the lower than usual sales is that A-gon was my primary sales outlet (even local people found me through A-gon) and my inquiries have dropped off almost completely. There are at least two possible reasons. One possible reason is that there is less traffic on A-gon. Another reason is that A-gon edited my ad to take out all references to my store name, jeff stake hi fi, and my phone number and email address. After they edited my ad (which had been about the same for years), I asked A-gon what it would cost me to replace my phone number and email address in my ads and was told that I'd have to pay $250 per month. Well, that alone would put me in the red for most years, so A-gon's change in advertizing rules has put a big dent in my operation. I hope the hi fi market will coordinate around some new e- location.  

Analogfever -- Thu, 07/05/2012 - 22:43

Jeffstake. I had a similar situation with Agon and is topped all my business with them in April. Now I use Audioown.com and I am liking it. Free to list and now I am paying $10 for monthly ad with them. Good luck

jeffstake -- Thu, 07/05/2012 - 23:52

Hi Analogfever.
Thanks for the advice I'll check it out.
And good luck to you too.

heavystarch@gma... -- Wed, 10/10/2012 - 14:51

Hey Jeff,

I'm in the exact same position as you. I've been a member of Audiogon for 11 years. It was great when it started; affordable, effective and friendly. I mainly used the $1.00 No Reserve Auctions because it garnered home page visibility which drove the most traffic to my business. Each auction was $6.00 and I would generally take a hit on the sale price because people generally bid less than the price I wanted to get. However I figured the auction loss as just part of the cost t of doing business but it would send a few more sales my way so it all balanced out.

In 2012, the "new" Audiogon no longer offers $1.00 No Reserve Auctions (with home page visibility) so that option is out of the question for me now. I tried a basic listing without the home page visibility and I saw a 80-90% drop in traffic from Audiogon to my website. That was not an option for me.

The next best option I tried is the Featured Listing. A Featured Listing is $24.00 and nets home page visibility on Audiogon as well as being listed at the top of that particular product category. A Featured Listing is 4x more expensive compared to the old $1.00 No Reserve Auctions I used to post on Audiogon. Yet again I assumed this is the cost of doing business so I went for it. I saw Audiogon referral traffic to my website come back up to near normal levels. With a fourfold increase in ad spending I would liked to have seen a significant improvement in referral traffic and subsequently sales however sales didn't come up. Not good if you're looking at it from an ROI viewpoint. Still it was driving sufficient traffic to my site that to keep going. Just had to bite the bullet and eat the increased costs.

Then suddenly something drastic happened. I lost all Audiogon Referral traffic to my website. Like Jeff, I noticed that Audiogon started editing my advertisements by removing my Business Information: my Website URL, Phone Number and Email address. This has negatively impacted my sales

Audiogon staff seems to think that every user viewing an advertisement on their site is going to sign up for an Audiogon account, submit an offer and wait for a response. Audiogon staff doesn't understand that some web users would rather click through to the site selling the products and just buy it right away. They don't want to sign up for Audiogon since they are not buying from Audiogon.

I got an email from Audiogon stating that only "Featured Dealerships" get to list their Business Info. The cost of adding 1 line of info to my Featured Listings? $250/month!

I'm already spending 4x as much as I used to on Audiogon ads but now they want me to spend another $250/month for was used to be a normal standard feature of Audiogon.

If I was selling products for $500-$5,000 or maybe dozens of my own products per month, then these fees would not be a big issue. However my products are $80-$100 and I only sell a handful every month so my net profit margins don't support a $250 Monthly Fee ($3,000 annually!!). I'm not in business to send most/all of my profits to Audiogon. Audiogon Staff ignore the fact that every Dealer/Vendor is unique and may have different advertising needs based on their level of business. Instead Audiogon has chosen to offer a "One-Size-Fits-All" approach ignoring the smaller vendors requirements may be different than the big mega buck dealers.

I feel like Audiogon is using their weight to back me into a corner. I've got from spending $6 per ad to $24 per ad and now they another $250/month on top of that?!? No way. At this point I'm in the process of negotiating with Audiogon Staff right now but I keep getting canned responses that offer no understanding of my particular situation. IT makes me feel like Audiogon Staff do not care about vendors. They must forget we Vendors, even small ones, probably post more advertisements than basic users looking to sell a few used hifi bits in a year. I do around 3 Featured Listings per month. What does the typical user post? 3-4 basic listings per year? I should be given modest preferential treatment for the amount I spend vs. what a typical user spends. Instead I'm pressured into spending even more than I already do in order to get less ROI. Audiogon forgets that Vendors like me are in business to PROFIT. We are not looking to sell used gear at a loss or break even like most Audiogon users.

Audiogon ignores that competition is moving into their territory and could displace them if Audiogon isn't careful. I'm already using Audioown.com, Stereolist.com and USAudioMart.com. I'm testing these other services to see how much traffic I can get to my site. Most of them are offering Free Ads and very reasonably priced featured listings.

jeffstake -- Fri, 02/01/2013 - 10:59

Hi Heavystarch,
Thanks for the confirmation that I'm not alone in finding the new Audiogon useless for my small business. I sell only a few products from Harbeth and Parasound and make only a few sales per year. Please post again if there is a new watering hole where we can all congregate.
Jeff

studiosteve -- Mon, 07/16/2012 - 08:06

 Audiogon is just pursuing their ''control freak'' philosophy thinking they can dictacte consumer behaviour.
A few years ago, I noticed that in the forums, anything that I would say to report a bad experience from some selected manufacturers (their selection, not mine) would systematically be deleted within hours.
Then on one occasion where I had a bad purchasing experience, I was sold a ''mint'' product that looked, on arrival, as if it had gone to hell and back - nowhere near the condition I spent my good money on. I was UNABLE after REPEATED actions, to post any kind of negative feedback on the seller. I tried 5-6 times, but nothing. I wrote them emails explaining my bad purchasing experience, but I never got the respect of a response from them.
Now, with the ''new'' Audiogon, it is virtually impossible to get a quick, direct, buyer to seller direct connection, as everything must go through ''their'' hands. And if you dare ask the seller to contact you directly to your email, by mentioning this in your initial email - my guess is that it won't even get delivered. I am not totally sure of this last thing, but I did not get any responses when I asked such information in the first place.
I obviously hate the ''Big Brother is Watchin You'' method and I totally diseaprove of it - ESPECIALLY since they charge you money for their service.
For a change of pace - they the new USA version of canuckaudiomart.com. Nowhere near the encyclopedic nature or Audiogon, but if you just want to buy and sell, this is as good and as simple as it gets, and no control-freak attitude too.

heavystarch@gma... -- Wed, 10/10/2012 - 17:24

I'm curious about that particular point as well.

If I get an offer from someone and I put my email address in there as an alternate means of communication - is Audiogon filtering my message? Are they editing out my email address? Are they blocking my reply entirely?

I gotta be honest the forceful attitude of Audiogon is extremely upsetting and is driving me to other outlets.
If I find that I can generate the same level of sales revenue with other outlets - A'gon is history for me.

scoly -- Thu, 07/26/2012 - 10:12

 Been away from agon for a while and returned to find the "new" version.  Stumbled around for a while wondering what 6th grader came up with the changes.  Didn't know how the marketplace was working so tried to post a question about it.  Question was not derogatory, just  how does it work.  The czars at agon refused the post.  Moderator approval?
Though I have purchased several items on agon it now goes to the bottom of my list.  Never say never attitude is the only reason it is still on my list.  
Marketplace?  What a misnomer.  At a marketplace you pay the price and get the merchandise.  Not even an auction.  You can offer the highest bid and not get the item because the seller wants to sell item to someone else who offered less.  What a joke!
My search has begun.  Will be surfing for an alternative and will encourage others (my friends)  to do the same.  Found Usaudiomart.  How is it.  Any other suggestions.
 
 

RonR -- Thu, 07/26/2012 - 10:50

I have had better luck resolving problems with Audiogon by contacting their marketing department instead of customer service. It appears customer service and the moderators are one in the same. The marketing department is the only way I have found around them. Give it a try if you have a problem and be persistant.
I think USaudiomart is a good alternative. It is the US version of Canuckaudiomart which has been successful in Canada for many years and it's free with advertisers supporting the site instead of members being double charged.

scoly -- Thu, 07/26/2012 - 13:19

 Thanks for USaudiomart info.  Will be giving them a close look.
As to resolving problems I have to be clear.  I have no problem with them.  Their site, their business.  They can run it any way they choose.   As a previous patron who has recommended the site to many people it is now on me to either accept their changes (not) or find another site more suited to me and my needs which also corresponds to the needs of my personal and online friends.   USaudiomart may be the place.  
 
 

heavystarch@gma... -- Fri, 02/01/2013 - 12:42

 I just got setup over at StereoList.com and so far it seems like a wonderful alternative to A'gon. 

It was a good website while it lasted - sadly StereoList.com has closed down. I knew something was up towards the end (which was close to the beginning). My ads never would update properly and the site seemed stagnate.

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