happyponyland.net / The woes of selling musical instruments

Most musicians know the danger of "gear acquisition syndrome". I too have bought things I ended up not really using that much. However, I have given up on selling my old instruments.

Selling stuff second hand is an art in itself; it takes a lot of patience to deal with all the lazy haggling and no-shows. But what really gets to me when it comes to music gear are the hordes of overly anal nerds trying to deck me with bullshit questions. I would rather just give things away, to make sure they end up in a loving home (the same can be said for another of my hobbies; retro computing). Even if they no longer get much playtime, I still have some attachment.

Yamaha strat

I recently put some guitars up for sale, one of them was a basic Yamaha strat. I advertised it a bit tongue-in-cheek as "having had its battles". Some guy emailed me and asked "what is the model, and where/when was it manufactured?"

Let me clarify: This is a guitar I bought (used) ten years ago for 500 SEK (roughly €/$50) and it was already in pretty rough shape. I have since then lost one of the pickups (and replaced the pickup switch with a standard SPDT). I have also lost the tremolo arm and back plate for the tremolo cavity (they're probably in boxes somewhere, but not included). I changed the strings once and that's it. I'm not selling it as vintage, it's just a cheap practice instrument (pick it up tonight and I'll throw in a matching amp!)

Does this deal really hinge on where and when it was manufactured? What makes anyone think I would know these details off the top of my head? If you're the kind of connoiseur who happens to know the Korean plant had a bad run on maple in 2005, then this instrument is probably not for you. But who really gives a shit about any of this?

How is the action and intonation? This question is slighly more relevant, but the answer might not be useful. It's pretty ok by my standards, but maybe not by yours. Why don't you drop by and try it? It's kind of pointless to ask when you don't know anything about my playing skill or playing style, if I would even be able to tell an instrument was badly intoned.

This goes on and on. I was selling a Roland MT-32 and some guy started hassling me about firmware revision. Sure, I can look that up for you, but I'm not going to accomodate your whining about Wing Commander IV sending some obscure MIDI message that only works on post-1989 models. Get a life.