Sound Advice: Determine value before selling old audio gear

  • Article by: DON LINDICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 9, 2014 - 2:32 PM

The auction website eBay is a good place to gauge the value of old audio gear.

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Q: Could you offer advice on what to do with all of the leftover sound equipment we have accumulated over the years? There are big names such as Tandberg, Theta Digital, Luxman and a few others that I know are expensive. Perhaps most of it is destined for the heap, but do you have any thoughts?

A: I’ve had a lot of questions about this lately. It must be from the spring cleaning season.

You can’t put the equipment on Craigslist and say, “Make an offer,” unless you have a good idea of its value.

I was speaking with someone once who bragged about how he got about $10,000 in high-end audio equipment from a widow. She advertised it after her husband’s death; he went and saw the gear and offered her $200 for it all. She naively accepted. Why this person was proud of his accomplishment and was bragging about it to me, I will never understand. I quickly parted company with this person and made it a point to avoid him in the future.

Good places to check the value of used gear include Audiogon (www.audiogon.com), ­Videogon (www.videogon.com) and the completed listings on eBay. This will give you a good idea of where to start if you post your gear on Craigslist. You would be surprised at what sells there.

I’ve bought and sold some esoteric gear on Craigslist over the years, and audiophiles check it frequently. You will get less than you would if you auctioned it on eBay, but you get to deal locally, you don’t have to ship and you get cash immediately. This is my preferred way to sell my surplus gear. You are bound to get lowball offers. Your best bet is to ignore them.

If you have good audio stores in your area (and Minneapolis does have quite a few), you might be able to get them to sell it for you on consignment. This will ensure that you get a fair value for the gear, because the shop will take a percentage, so it behooves the store to get the most it can for your old gear.

You also can try Vintage HiFi of Pittsburgh (www.vintagehifipgh.com) or Audio Classics (www.audioclassics.com) to see if one of them is interested in selling or consigning your old gear.

Mailbag is overflowing

Many of you have written to me and are awaiting a reply, and I apologize for the delay. April was quite a month for me, starting with a long trip to Europe and ending with serious health issues in my family, which happily were resolved with excellent medical care. I am wading through my mail now and hope to get caught up within a week or two. Thank you for your patience.

Send questions to Don Lindich at donlindich@gmail.com. Get more recommendations and read past columns at www.soundadviceblog.com.

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