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Why is the vast majority of gear listed on auction sites powered off in ever photo?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
Why is the vast majority of gear listed on auction sites powered off in every photo?

I've been going through a big buying phase recently and one thing puzzles me when I search through photos of used gear. Almost every seller has their gear powered down, which makes no sense unless listed as 'not working', as most gear looks better switched on, plus it shows a buyer that the item is working and gives us less reason to return it, usually at the sellers expense. It has to help a sale if a buyer can see gear working, right?

There has to be a reason then, so can somebody explain why most sellers sell stuff with every photo showing a unit powered down?

I'm asking because I want to see the trend reversed. I want to know what i'm buying

Last edited by Jiglo; 2 weeks ago at 12:42 PM.. Reason: Tried to edit the spelling mistake for every in the title, but doesn't look possible
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Nut
 

I do it to sort the wheat from the chaff.

If something as simple as not liking how I photograph something would be enough to cause complaints, then I can be pretty sure that they'll be a problem buyer for a myriad of other unknown reasons - far better to stop them at the gate than have to deal with whatever.

For the record, everything I ever sold has been in perfect working order.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Shadowkast's Avatar
I see idiots on craigslist trying to sell homes with no picture. Some people just suck at the internet.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
Sounds like a reasonable thing to do then FlappyD00 I hadn't thought of the possibility that screens were hard to photograph.

All being equal though, I would still choose the gear that was showing to be working than something that might not have been photographed because there's a screen problem, or a led not working or something.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

it dosent really make no odds to me. as long as its stated as tested and working.
i would sooner buy with the confirmation of 100% fully working in wrighting than a photo that looks to be just to be powered on with less/no information.

but then again... i used to buy things off adverts like the exchange & mart & the green papers.

i still today buy records with no online audio. just off where it was made and who was involved in it, with no idea of what it sounds like.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
Yes, there are a lot of 'Powers on, but untested' sales that I avoid like the plague too, unless they're worth the risk somehow. I do ask if the seller omits to add 'fully working' in the listing, before buying, but I know i'm protected without asking unless it's sold as 'parts, or not working'.

I've just been looking at a few things which look amazing when powered and lit up, but surprised the sellers haven't turned them on to demonstrate this as it's draws attention. I guess as FlappyD00 states though, it perhaps attracts a more serious buyer that isn't dazzled by bright lights.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiglo View Post
Yes, there are a lot of 'Powers on, but untested' sales that I avoid like the plague too, unless they're worth the risk somehow. I do ask if the seller omits to add 'fully working' in the listing, before buying, but I know i'm protected without asking unless it's sold as 'parts, or not working'.

I've just been looking at a few things which look amazing when powered and lit up, but surprised the sellers haven't turned them on to demonstrate this as it's draws attention. I guess as FlappyD00 states though, it perhaps attracts a more serious buyer that isn't dazzled by bright lights.
Yah, the way i see it there's already pretty good buyer protection in place. Each to their own, but I've always been happy with the end result of how i do things.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Something else to add is that lights off can help give off the impression that the buyer is somehow "winning". Kinda like that feeling when you notice that bit of gear in a pawnshop that everyone else walks past - and you gotta snap it up before anyone else does.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
satatek's Avatar
because the pics are taken where there's a better light and not where they are being used...but thats not always the case. if the condition of the unit is clearly described why bother
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiglo View Post
I've been going through a big buying phase recently and one thing puzzles me when I search through photos of used gear. Almost every seller has their gear powered down, which makes no sense unless listed as 'not working', as most gear looks better switched on, plus it shows a buyer that the item is working and gives us less reason to return it, usually at the sellers expense. It has to help a sale if a buyer can see gear working, right?

There has to be a reason then, so can somebody explain why most sellers sell stuff with every photo showing a unit powered down?

I'm asking because I want to see the trend reversed. I want to know what i'm buying

after looking at tons of classifieds and buying stuff over the years, my statistic is: if its a (digital) synth that features a display, and picture shows it turned off, you can bet display backlight is dead, as in hardly readable. always a warning sign.


on the other hand, with analogs its not as important. while picture shows you cosmetics and physical condition, seeing its power led on doesn't tell you much "how" they work, and this is where potential problem/service lays.,, tuning, dead oscillator etc.

and as such it cannot be communicated with a picture, but only with a video/audio demo, or seller coming clean about the issues.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
3bc
Gear Nut
 

When I sell something of real value I always go through the effort of taking professional pictures with my $5k camera/lens setup. Often times I will set up an off camera flash/soft box as well. I also described everything in full detail. I will sometimes even create a video of that item being used. This is for things sold for more than a grand. My stuff always sells fast and for top dollar. I’ve sold $2500 guitars in 24 hours while identical guitars sit for weeks or months listed for $2100. But I make my guitar look better than even a Sweetwater pic does.

I will say somethings don’t photograph well powered on. A DeepMind for instance with it BIG bright screen could throw off contrast beyond what a camera can smooth over. But I suspect for the most part it’s because people are clueless and or lazy and don’t think about it.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Photoshop a few lights on.../evil laughter.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
grasspike's Avatar
I recently purchased several things from Reverb.com

Some were photographed outside in the sun where the light was way better, others were photographed in the studio powered on.

The only one with an issue was a rack mount synth that would power on but not boot up. Shipped in a beat up box with only a dirty old towel wrapped around it as the only padding.

It was listed with a bunch of pics showing it powered on and working.

The seller was unresponsive and it took over 3 weeks fighting with Reverbs so called "Buyer Protection Team" to get a refund.

The way I figure it if a seller takes the item some place where the light is better to photograph it they are a better seller than someone who does not.

I am buying used gear from other musicians, most of them are not professional photographers and the only camera they have is attached to their phone

Last edited by grasspike; 2 weeks ago at 01:12 PM.. Reason: Typo big hands small phone
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Couldn't care less about the pics in the ad.
I always communicate with the seller and ask for detailed pics (including the serial number) and at least a short video showing the seller operating the machine.
It's so quick and easy to do nowadays, that if the seller is not willing to do it I'm simply not interested in going further with the transaction.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
if you take pictures in good light if the object has VUs or screens those will look like they don't work. All the LEDs come out fine usually because they are so bright, that makes it look like you should be able to read them because all those LEDs are lit. What I do is still take the pics like that but include one taken in the dark focused on the VUs or screens.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
All my gear had power on photos.
I think it’s basic.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 
daviddever's Avatar
It depends on the space available–if there's no AC outlet nearby, I'll shoot items without AC mains power. The aim is to provide auction / listing photos in the most accurate light.

A device either works, or it doesn't; if it's the latter, the seller is either honest, or isn't.

If a prospective buyer wants proof-of-life, the resulting picture need not be pretty. It's as simple as that; it's not intended to be an elaborate production.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
A glowing LED or an illuminated screen doesn’t prove that the device functions well. It only proves that it powers on. Most online transactions are dominated by the rules of ebay and/or PayPal, both of which provide an enormous advantage to the buyer in disputes. Because of this the seller’s written description about the operational condition is of utmost importance. Therefore photos of powered gear are of little value.

Many buyers care about the cosmetic condition of the device. The best way to communicate that is through photos that are taken to show off the condition of the knobs, paint, end panels etc. Those types of photos require bright light, shallow camera angles and sometimes zooming. It’s often difficult to get a display or LED to show up well in that sort of photo.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
breakmixer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiglo View Post
I've been going through a big buying phase recently and one thing puzzles me when I search through photos of used gear. Almost every seller has their gear powered down, which makes no sense unless listed as 'not working', as most gear looks better switched on, plus it shows a buyer that the item is working and gives us less reason to return it, usually at the sellers expense. It has to help a sale if a buyer can see gear working, right?

There has to be a reason then, so can somebody explain why most sellers sell stuff with every photo showing a unit powered down?

I'm asking because I want to see the trend reversed. I want to know what i'm buying
I'm the opposite of your thinking, I don't like seeing photos of equipment for sale still racked/amongst other items covered in dust and without all sides visible. It shows a lack of 'being bothered' to me.

When I sell I remove item from set up, make sure it's cleaned then place it somewhere to take photos of only that item(floor/tabletop and in good light), at this stage I'm taking photos at all angles(often moving the gear about) so buyers can see it's in tip top condition, having it plugged in at this point would be a hindrance to taking these photos. The item description should state any defects IMO anyway and I try and zoom in on those.

However if it had a fault related to a garbled display or dead lights etc I'd then power it up to try and show the fault, this however has never been the case with any items I've sold.

I also like to see photos of it back in box and open to see how its packed and photos of the sealed box to see what I expect to arrive.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Acid Mitch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiglo View Post

I'm asking because I want to see the trend reversed. I want to know what i'm buying
If you have such little trust in sellers best not to use them.
When buying new you don't normally get to see the particular unit you're getting switched on either.
Doesn't mean the shops are tryimg to rip you off.
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