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I really wish customers would read my advertising blurb!

Profile picture for user paulears

Just a desperation rant really.

I sell quite a few microphones, via my own website and on ebay. Now I always explain what they are for - and long ago I realised that you have to tell typical ebay buyers that MUST have 48V phantom power means, well, you MUST have it - but still, even after the warnings people buy them.

I have some rather nice small diaphragm condensers that come with cardioid, hyper and omni capsules, that are modelled on the original AKG 451s, but made from much lighter alloy, but daftly, still using the very fine pitch capsule thread. In the ebay ad it says this:

These microphones are ideal for classical and orchestral recordings, in a near-coincident set up, and with a pair you could also experiment with more complex microphone setups. Equally, they're happy on drums as an overhead - really crisp cymbals and high hats. They are too sensitive to use on ultra loud sources like snare drums or close to a trumpet bell, for instance - but are lovely on saxophones, and strings.

We ordered these microphones to use as multi-mic sets for large events, and they're even ideal for table stand mounting and can be used for conferences, as they are slim, and discreet - and very light.

They don't sell very fast - a bit too specialist really, but I sent one out this week - he asked for fast, so £4.30 later he gets it delivered. He says it's a bit rubbish, really light, and worse still doesn't work. I ask if he has turned on the phantom. Turns out he has it plugged into a guitar pedal with an adaptor. I ask what he's using it for - to sing into! It's actually ok, used in the old fashioned way, with a foot or so's distance, with the small foam windshield - but yelling into it will pop badly and need the pad because they're pretty sensitive.

So he says he's going to send it back, which of course is his right - so I lose the £4.30 plus the soft protective packaging just because he can't read! I read about people moaning about their ebay purchases, but selling on ebay this kind of kit is a total pain. You now can't even use the paypal money for a month in case they demand a refund - sometimes, I don't know why I bother.

I'm pretty sure another guy used the complete kit he bought for a recording, then sent them back - beggars belief!

Rant over - just very wound up.


pcrecord Wed, 01/28/2015 - 09:20

There is dishonest people everywhere. I had up and downs on eBay.
My last sell took 2 weeks to get a payment and I had to ship oversea on boat.. so it took 3 more weeks to get the money. and it was a buy now thing lol !!
I don't accept returns and insure everything I ship..

Profile picture for user paulears

paulears Wed, 01/28/2015 - 12:45

Worst thing is that my best selling microphone (for two years) suddenly stopped selling - from 2 or 3 a day, down to none in the past year! I buy them in white box format, which means the makers name position on the body is empty, and I apply my own, add the label to the plastic storage box, and the outer cardboard box. I discovered Thomann now do the same mic, and it's even being sold on ebay - worse is they are selling it for two pounds more than I buy them for. Wiped me out completely with probably 16 or so on the shelf. I took ages to find an excellent product, and ordered 50 at a time, but I guess Thomann ordered 5000!!

Profile picture for user dvdhawk

dvdhawk Wed, 01/28/2015 - 15:51

Sadly, a sign of the short-attention-span times we live in Paul. People can't be bothered to read anything more than a few words. They will spend 10 hours scouring forums to find someone who will spoon-feed them the answer, rather than read the blasted owner's manual.

Also related to your returns and 'Feedback' woes, in theory retailers that post "User Reviews" sounds like a great idea. In addition to sorting through the fake positive reviews, you'll read a totally negative review, and realize the biggest problem was a "User" who clearly did not understand what the device in question was designed to do - and did absolutely NO research on the product BEFORE purchasing it.

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paulears Wed, 01/28/2015 - 23:09

I actually buy quite a bit from them, they're a very useful and upfront company - just annoying they found the product!

Some of the Chinese stuff is awful, but with careful searching there are some really nice things out there. I had one who would make me fairly small batches of stereo mics - 1" capsules, omni-fig-cardioid that sat on top of each other, and you could swivel the top capsule up to 90 degrees. I kept one for myself, and sold the others. Then they stopped making them. I found something similar, but the sample revealed a different design inside, and it didn't sound as nice.

I'd have liked to have had some more of the ones I had - but it doesn't seem to work like that. They're very small businesses, in large buildings, and the people I bought from were pcbs manufacturers. I discovered the mic elements came from another firm in the building, the metal work was from a tubular alloy business, the components were put in by hand by another, and all the assembly and finish by another. It only takes one of these to not be able to do their bit and the system falls apart. The poorer alternate design had identical body parts, but the pcbs and mic element were obviously from somewhere else?

The one Thomann sourced was from a much bigger mic manufacturer who have hundreds in their range, and they just found the same one I found. I still have one popular mic they've not found yet - but at some point ...............

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paulears Sat, 02/14/2015 - 13:24

No - sadly not, the thread fits , but the centre pin is longer and doesn't allow an AKG to screw onto the Chinese fully. As they didn't fit, I don't get around to even powering them up. Sadly, I can't get any more. I've plenty of the cardioid only versions, but I only have a few of the multi capsule left. To be honest, I can get more, but I'd need to order at least 100 as the factory aren't interested in anything less than that, and they'd never go! They copied the threads very carefully, complete with the very fine thread that can cross-thread if you don't watch it. A real shame they didn't copy the inner design too. Yesterday somebody wanted one but couldn't work out how to enter a cheque number into Paypal - I explained Paypal checkout uses a Paypal account or a credit or debit card - he doesn't use those online because they can empty your bank account, so a cheque arrived in the post today, obviously written by a very elderly person who had ignored the make cheques payable to bit, and put the website address on the cheque. I bet it gets rejected! I sent the mic anyway, and will have to sort it out later if it goes wrong.

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DonnyThompson Thu, 02/26/2015 - 02:36

Just checking back to see how things turned out with the check made payable to your website LOL.

I don't understand the confusion these people have, yet I see it all the time. Very specific instructions on how to pay for an item, along with detailed technical info regarding the item, and yet so many people just ignore these things.

I once sold two SM58's on ebay, (for like $150 or something) with very specific descriptions of exactly what they were buying, making it very clear that the mics would not come with XLR cables. The buyer contacted me a few days later, and wanted to return them because "they don't have the wires to hook up the mikes!" - 0h, and because they didn't come with mic stands. Yeah... I know. I can't find an emoticon right now that would come close to accurately describing the look on my face upon hearing these complaints.

When I told him to re-read the description of the items he bought, he said "well, I don't care 'bout no XLR cables or whatever, but I thought that they would at least come with the wires to hook them up to my guitar amplifier, and stands so me and the wife didn't have to hold them all the time." Completely ignoring the whole part about connecting the mics to a guitar amplifier, I tried telling him that it would be highly unlikely that - even if he bought them new from a music store - that stands would be included. He started saying something about his cousin's dog's sister's husband owning a music store in Alabama, and how he was sure that if he bough the mics from them, they would give him stands and "wires"... so, I finally just agreed to let him return the mics, on agreement that he wouldn't give me a negative rating - and at his own shipping cost, of course.

I got them back about 2 days later, and put them right back on auction - and sold them a few days later.

To his credit, he actually did hold up his part of the bargain and never did give me a negative rating. In fact, he added a positive comment, saying that as a seller, "I was very easy to work with". LOL Go figure.

Or, spoken with his particular accent, "Go Figger!"