Saturday, June 23, 2012

Alternatives to Audiogon part II

That note below about the A'gon complaints seems to have drawn much traffic and some private emails. My defense of A'gon is that it remains the best out there  until someone or other is prepared to put the effort into a real alternative. Well, it seems some folks are willing to walk the walk, with varying degrees of success. A recent push mail from AVGuide contained a link to SoundOffers which offers a gear selling structure similar to the 'Gon. Nice enough interface but the experience is seriously hampered by the lack of product. Multiple categories of product have nothing listed and even the most populated categories have but a handful of items listed. Still, it's a reasonable effort that holds promise with basic listing only costing $3 for 30 days and, as far as I can tell, none of the commission rates that annoys so many with A'gon. It's local too, at least in as much as the publisher for TAS has interests in Austin. Worth keeping an eye on as this one has marketing back up that might grow it into something significant.

A much more grass-roots oriented effort has been launched by the guys behind the Canuck Audio Mart.  Named, perhaps not surprisingly US Audio Mart, these folks really are pitching themselves as an Audiogon alternative with a full statement to that effect off their home page. Most exciting, since the owners rely solely on advertising revenue from manufacturers and dealers, the process of buying and selling gear is free, it has sufficient product for sale even now to make it feel worth using, you can improve that by revealing listings form the Canadian site that sellers will ship to the US, and it has member discussion forums. Right now it's showing sufficient energy for optimism about its future. For those of you still annoyed with A'gon, this is definitely worth checking out. I've registered and will be working my way slowly through the content and forums over the next week or so but for now, this is the one to watch.

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