Opinions, Is this better for the Members?

What do you guys think about the new Audiogon feedback rating system. At the end of the process and a remedy is not reached will it be possible to leave a negative feedback on a member. Below is the new policy.

"This system is being implemented so that transactions are verified by both parties prior to posting of Feedback. It provides documentation of a given transaction and allows both members to review the feedback involved before any feedback is posted. Consequently, any disagreements arising from such transactions can be mediated from a basis of fact. Furthermore, this system increases the value of Feedback as one criterion by which to judge the standing of fellow members.
The old system allowed any member to post feedback when certain written criteria were met. Now, feedback will not be posted until both members agree that there was a transaction. Also, in the past, if a member did not agree with feedback given, they only had the option to file a dispute to get it removed. Now, they can disagree with the proposed feedback before it is posted."
seems a bit too complicated; the original system worked fine for me, but this is probably alright too I guess?
I had to resort to posting negative feedback in order to receive proper settlement from a member that behaved very badly.

Under this new system, I would have no recourse.

I think the old approach was better. If I understand the new approach, anyone wishing to avoid negative feedback only has to disagree that a transaction took place & then it can't be posted.
Also, you can'y leave negative feedback when people commit to a deal & then don't follow through?
How would someone leave bad or neutral feedback for a flaky buyer that backed out of a deal with the new feedback system? I think that deserves a feedback, too, even though no transaction took place. That's an important piece of info. And something sellers should be aware of.

PS. I was a flaky buyer once. I can admit it.
So it isn't really a valid feedback system.

It's like the opposite of feedback (feedforward?) The 'new' system essentially makes the posting of negative feedback difficult, if not impossible. So why have feedback at all? I could have a positve FB of 200, with 20 recent pending negatives and no one would ever know about the negatives?
It doesn't make sense.
A better way might be to have the negative feedback removed after a number of subsequent positive transactions. Like having bad credit and working towards repairing it.
New system does not allow for trades.

I left fb for a dude who did not return the favor, after what I thought was a fair and honorable trade. Either system works in this case!
Assuming your post is correct, I can only say:
"What are they thinking?"
This is a complete waste of time, IMHO. In fact, it is worse, as it is a mockery of the concept of feedback.

This method's only purpose is to post positive feedback.
Negative feedback would not only be discouraged, it would basically be obliterated. (Unless someone was stupid enought to agree to have negative feedback!)

Audiogon needs to realize that we learn not only from OUR mistakes, but from other's mistakes as well. In order to learn from other's mistakes, we must know about them.

Please do not implement this system. In fact, you should toughen up the existing system. While Ebay's system is not perfect, it is better than the current Audiogon system. My opinion is that Audiogon would do better to adopt Ebay's feedback system, where feedback is given freely and individiually, and not a consensus of the two parties. I realize that this would be difficult, as Audiogon does not use auctions for most transactions. But still, it should be possible to adopt something similar.

(The only thing I like about this new system is that it is only possible to leave feedback for someone you actually had a transaction with. Currently, you can leave feedback for anyone, at any time, regardless of any transaction having taken place. This makes it incredibly easy to manipulate the feedback system.)

Does anyone else get the feeling that this new policy is being adopted to avoid legal action against Audiogon for allowing individuals to post negative feedback against other individuals? (I thought Ebay had already fought and won that battle in court?)

My two cents worth anyway.
Sounds like it would make the feedback system totally useless to me. Seems like most everyone (so far) agrees that this is a mistake.
It seems as if the site is trying to encourage resolution of disputes through the feedback process so that anything for which a negative WOULD be left has a chance to get worked out by the parties before the feedback is permanently recorded. That said I, too, question how a negative could result from this system if one party decides to "hide" the transaction or not complete the feedback process for it.

Perhaps there is a way to achieve both goals - 1) encouraging both parties to participate in the feedback process so that there is an opportunity to resolve issues in the case of potential negative feedback, and 2) allowing for posting of negative feedback (even if the other party disagrees).

Would introducing a "delay" help? -- ie, the other party has X days (say 30) to respond to the feedback - after which, if there is no response, the feedback left would become permanent. Or, in the case of a pending negative feedback that, the party that left the feedback can return 30 days later and re-confirm the negative feedback (if there was no resolution). This would allow the other party to be "put on notice" and give them time to fix the situation before a potential negative feedback could be made permanent on their record. Just a thought.
Seems to me the new system is aimed at reducing false positives and false negatives. Also, gives the parties a chance to work things out before a negative is posted. If I felt I'd been slimed by a seller, I'd rather have a chance to work things out -- posting a negative is less satisfying than getting a seller to comply. The negative becomes a tool rather than simply a complaint. I didn't think you could leave a negative feedback for someone who agrees to a deal and then backs out. I've never done that. I find that fairly common when I sell gear here. It is usually just a temporary set-back and I would rather not try to force someone to buy if they are trying to get out of the deal. I also think it is prudent to make sure there was an actual transaction before letting someone have a positive feedback. A dealer could simply get his entire staff to join Audiogon and post positive feedbacks -- and I suspect this has been done before.
I have come to rely on the old feedback system. Meaning I would not do business with a person who has a neutral or negative feedback. It seems to me that a person only gets negative or neutral feedback from not following through on a transaction. If you have a deal and you need to backout because of funds or your dog died that shouldn't automatically lead to negative feedback. If you string someone along on a buy or sell something that is less than advertised than there should be recourse. I for one would stop buying through this service if I get the feeling that I can no longer determine if the total stranger that I am sending my money to is trust worthy. To the good people at AGON what is the percentage of people with negative / neutral feedback to the total number of subscribers? If that number is low than the system is working. I can appreciate that you guys are working hard to keep AGON from becoming a like EBAY. Please don't ruin a great system. Would you consider letting the members vote on whether we would prefer the old versus new feedback system. Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts.
Actually, I just had a case where the member backed out of selling an item and was very poor in communicating what the situation was. The deal, payment, and shipping details had already been agreed on. Once I had not received the item, and he had not received any payment, he was able to go by Gon's new rules, and get out of receiving any negative feedback. It almost seems like one would have to be monetarily taken advantage of before a negative feedback would possibly be able to be posted.
I agree w/comments that the old system is better. Once a committed buyer flaked out on me, and ultimately completed the purchase only after I threatened negative feedback. Now the carrot remains, but the stick is gone...Cheers,
The new system was designed to provide more feedback security and strengthen the integrity of the feedback. It allows us to preemptively address problems and protect members where the old system did not.

Please be aware that negative feedback can be posted. When a member disagrees with a negative feedback, it will be posted unless the member has a strong case against it. This allows us to protect members that have unjustified negative feedback posted to their accounts and limits abuse of the feedback system.

In addition, generally, feedback has a maximum 2 day pending period. If a member with pending feedback doesn't respond, the feedback gets posted whether it is positive, neutral, or negative.

Since the new system has gone into place, we have posted about 50% of all the negative feedbacks. With the old system, we had to remove roughly the same percentage as a result of disputes.

We hope this shows that the new system does indeed allow negative feedbacks to be posted even if the member disagrees with it.
AGon staff I agree with most of your above remarks. There seem to be numerous concerns from members who feel that they should (still) be able to post feedback when in fact no transaction ever occurred; money/property did not exchange hands. Apparently the rules are being ignored, perhaps due to fb policy ignorance? That was the exact problem that I once encountered from a vindictive buyer who repeatedly tried to bully his way with me, and I finally decided to cancel the whole transaction as he kept on trying to alter the inital agreement to his further advantage. So in order to "get even" he would post negative feedback on my account, AGon staff would subsequently delete it, he would repost, on & on until his membership priviledges were called into question should the illegal behavior continue.
Feedback isn't about that; it's about whether honesty & trustworthiness in fact do exist when dealing with any particular seller.
Thanks Audiogon. That post was a lot more specific and clear than the quote that leads off this thread. With the additional information, I'm sure many of us will feel at least a little more comfortable with the new system. Unfortunately (unless I'm missing something), it still doesn't seem to have any way to address buyers or sellers who back out of an agreed upon deal prior to payment being sent. How are we supposed to weed out potential buyers who routinely fail to follow through with payment or sellers who routinely break commitments to sell, presumably because they got a higher offer than the one they already agreed on, if we can't leave feedback until a faulty partial transaction has occurred? Am I missing something?
I liked the old system better. I don't like the delay in the new system. BTW, I had zero issue with the old system. What was wrong with it?

Did you ever hear the expression "an armed society is a polite society." Well having a non-refereed system is like arming buyers. Sellers have to try to make buyers happy. The new system weakens the little leverage that buyers have. I'd leave it alone. The old system puts some pressure on sellers to be fair, honest and accountable.
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Although it is not the main concern of those who have responded, the situation described by Tripper can certainly be an annoyance. That's where the transaction goes well, but only one party leaves favorable feedback due to the laziness or indifference of the other party. My suggestion to remedy this unfairness is as follows: if one party leaves favorable feedback and the other party does not leave any feedback at all within thirty days, the party who left the favorable feedback can have it removed.
Dont like the current feedback system. Should of asked us active Agon users what we think before they went live! Simple fact is the current system is to long and involved and feedback is not getting posted at the rate it should or used to. Old system was fine and this should be considered a test with Agon now hearing our opinions.

Do the right thing and go back. To many steps!!!

Get rid of the "Price Paid." This is NOBODY'S business besides the buyer and seller.
I totally agree with Granny Bill! Go back! The "test" was not a success. Too many steps. Lastly, I really dislike that the users name does not get "pre-populated" into the field when you go from "member lookup" to "leave feedback".


Tom In Cincinnati
"Reubent" if you need to supply my user name because the system doesn't do it for you anymore.........
Audiogon Management should take a page out of the Coke playbook and abandon this new feedback format. It has too many negatives to ever succeed - IMO.
It would be nice to see a format where sellers or buyers who deserve negentive or neutral feedback get it rather than having feedback watered down to the point where it is meaningless.
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I think I can't add much beyond what those who favor the old system except to say I agree with them 100%. Dump the new system.
Prior to the new feedback system, in one instance, I wanted a seller to trust me based on my feedback. His response was that I could of had friends post all that feedback just to make it look good. Granted they are all legitiment but with the new feedback system there will be no question, as feedback is now tied to a real tangible transaction. My only critisism would be that the product name, model, & price paid is for all to read. Maybe more info than I want to share but will take some getting use to.
It is better than the old one I think atleast, it gives a chance for both parties to try to settle the dispute one last time..I dunno I dont worry about negs anyway.
Another thought could be that if one party refuses to answer about transaction it should be recorded and viewable by others so that red flag may be flown
Well I too have an opinion.I like all parts of the new fb system. Only FB for actual goods and bucks changing hands is a good thing,to me. Naming the product is good as well. It tells us the caliber of equipment--- i.e. can this guy be trusted to ship a 5k amp??Not all +s for selling software. If one examines my record they would see a couple of doubles for the same sale. (Thanks guys) I see many still feel they should be able to post negs. 'cause the buyer or seller backed out??? Hey, comes with the territory,as I see it. When the right buyer and seller comes along you have a completed transaction. I for one understand when someone changes their mind.---Sometimes the funds just didn't happen or the wifie wouldn't allow the purchase. How you gonna make these guys buy your item?? A Smith & Wesson?? While some refining could help I think this is a good base.---I can't think of a way to refine this new system; others may be able to---I just haven't read to many real changes that should be implimented.
I aggree with Avguygeorge in regards to the right to change your mind about purchasing as long as the buyer contacts you within several hours of acceptance. I have never given negative feedback for this scenario nor would I. My only complaint here is when you hold a product for 24 hours or longer for the buyer and then he tells you he has changed his mind. This type of buyer can cause you to actually lose a sale with other interested parties. I think a good policy is take a small non-refundable deposit from the buyer if it is agreed upon to hold the item. However to this day I never gave anyone negative feedback.
A good product isnt only going to be desired by one person, and it should sell to another, I got burned on a deal I was holding for someone but hey get over it, life goes on. I do not agree with AVguygeorge in one aspect, one should not think to question another persons honesty based on lower scale purchase...we all gotta upgrade sometime right? and sooner or later a "Audiophile" is going to take it to another level. One should ofcourse be very careful about a member with no feedback, and slightly concerned for 2-3, but after that one can see that this guy has got the bug and does what he says he is going to do.
I might not have stated all of my thought on displaying the item; and the resulting benifits.A part not mentioned could be a seller whom might have joined with a friend or so and padded his feedback based on all small inexpensive items. You wanna send this guy 5/6k in a money order???---Not me!!--(Just because he might have sold 4 or 5 small inexpensive items.)You gotta give it to the scammers---they know how to play "their" game. There are members I'd take a personal check from and members I insist on Postal MOs.Seeing what items and the price level of these items allows for a modicum of confidence;and should be, to everybody. There are a couple of sellers whom deal in 20k to 70k items. Their ads state such and it has to make a buyer feel confident in these hi-dollar transactions.---I in turn feel the same can apply on "MY" level; by disclosing THE item.
But you just seemed to solve your own delima, just hold whatever payment to verify its value and send sold item after...its not really a big deal. I f anyone wants a peice of equipment on that price range a newbie or a long time member will surely have the brain power to know you need to cover your ass on a purchase. I just5 think the bottom line of the new system is that it isnt that bad..nothing is perfect...hell if we all demanded perfect this site wouldnt be here....IMHO
I did my first transaction under the new Feedback system. Though slower all went well. One thing nice about the new system, it allows more info to be left. Has anyone seen a negative or neutral feedback left on a member on the new system yet?


Feedback based on the type/value of a product can also work against you. I have 75 feedbacks covering 5 years. However, since the new feedback system went into place, I only have 3 transactions. Unfortunately, they were all inexpensive products.

Hopefully someone doesn't get the wrong idea about my buying/selling history here......

I've bought/sold items from $10-$3000+. I hope my new feedback doesn't send the wrong message.


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I think when looking at someone's feedback;----HOW far back, is also important. Along with their participation in the forums.It all contributes. All in all, the 'new' is less flawed than the 'old'.

Yep, its an interesting phenomenon. The longer I stay in the hobby, the less expensive and more simple my system becomes! Currently the most expensive piece of Audio gear I own was $1000 bought here nearly 3 years ago. Of course, 3 years is a record survival rate for any piece of equipment in my system!

After having gone the de-cost-ifying route, I can't imagine spending thousands of dollars for a single item ever again. My current 2-channel system is "simply blissful".

Here's the budget system I now own. BTW, it would not have been nearly as "budget" if it weren't for a couple of screamingly good deals that I got right here on AudiogoN.

Quad 99 CDP CD player with remote variable volume control

Channel Islands VMB-1 monoblocks. The Quad is connected direct to the amps

Reference 3A MM Decapos- A screaming deal 3 years ago at $1000 in perfect condition.

But, Alas, none of the feedback for the items shows up with product purchased info in the new feedback system. Neither does the $3500 CD player, $3000 integrated amp or $2700 speakers that I sold when I bought these items.....


Isn't there a way to incorporate the best parts of both feedback systems? I feel negative feedback will never be posted, due to the inevitable diputes that will arise...By the way I've had several people back out on deals here but have not posted a negative feedback on anyone yet - It happened TWICE on my Rowlnd Concerto sale...
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Tvad, I agree with your second paragraph. If you want feedback left from a fellow member this will need to be part of the transaction. Each member should discuss the leaving of feedback in their emails to each other. Of course if the transaction goes bad, all bets are off...
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