From the Desk of our Executive Team

To Our Members:

It has been six months since the launch of the “New Audiogon.”  For those members who haven’t visited us in a while, it’s definitely worth the trip.  While the reconstruction was challenging for us and our members, it has brought a lot of new traffic to the site. We are proud to let you know we have over 15,000 new listings a month – a significantly greater amount than we had before our transition.

For those who don’t know, we are a very small company that grew from humble beginnings in the basement of the Accutronics store in Ann Arbor, MI.  Audiogon is owned by audiophiles and is dedicated to expanding the number of people committed to this hobby. Fast-forward 14 years, and as a company, we had reached a point where we could no longer grow and improve.  Our technology platform was dated (to phrase it mildly) and thus did not allow for us to move to the next level.

We are the first to recognize that our launch did not go as smoothly as we had intended.  However, over the past six months we have worked to handle and remedy some of our initial missteps and provide new functionality that was not possible in the past.  This experience has taught us a great deal. The first thing we learned is how passionate and caring our community is.  Secondly, we quickly realized that we needed to do a better job of supporting our members.  Since, the start of this year we have put together a highly qualified team to meld our incredible database into the new technology platform.  Once this is complete, our ability to serve the audiophile community will grow exponentially.  Moving forward we will be able to implement features and improvement more quickly, thanks to our talented Web Developers.  Our knowledgeable Technical Service Consultants are serving people with support questions in less than 24 hours.

If you are a member who has not visited the site since mid-February, please log in and see what has improved.

To name a few new or improved features:

  • Find items using Zip Code by Radius, designate how far away your zip code that you would like to view listings.
  • Single Sign-on, now members are only asked to sign in once to the site to access all areas.
  • One click re-list functionality on sold and expired items allowing users to simply click and re-list from their MyPage.  This will soon be available on items you are selling as well.
  • Improved sorting so you can sort by expired, sold, or bought items.
  • Increased anti-spamming measures, site speed, and site capacity.
  • Enhanced Intelligent Search functionality so you can search/sort by any or all filters; the system essentially tries to “figure out” the items you want to find. Coming this week: partial word search.
  • Updated feedback scores so they are displaying appropriately on the listings.
  • Communicate with other members through our on-site messaging system this will launch in the next few weeks.

Additionally, we’ll be launching “The Hub by Audiogon” this summer. The Hub is a Community section on our site through which all members may interact with each other.  It will have areas for articles, the return of the “Cool Pics” section,  event announcements, live chat sessions for members to debate hot topics, video tutorials, story and photo sharing among members, and an area for local Audio clubs, plus much more.  As we continue to design this social Hub, please let us know what else you would like to see on the Hub by sending us your suggestions here.

Our focus is to continue building a site that will be loved and used.  We want to work very closely with our Members to ensure that the remaining updates are implemented more transparently and address your needs.  Below you will find a Q and A we have compiled with some our most frequently asked questions that we hope you will find helpful.

These are some of the common questions or comments we’ve received:

Q: Why are the Newest Listings drawn out over several pages? Why can’t I just see one big list?

A: When you view New Today listings, the page automatically returns the first 50 results, but you can change that to view 200 results per page.  That being said, however, we are working on modifying New Today so that all results will be shown on one page shortly.

Q: Why can’t I contact Members directly?

A: Safety is key in any online marketplace and in an effort to keep our Members safe, we needed to remove any chance for cyber criminals to gain access to their personal email information and protect them from fraudulent transactions.  The on-site messaging system will add another layer of security, plus the opportunity for Audiogon to provide better support in the case of mishandled transactions.  Currently, Members are able to communicate through the “Ask the Seller a Question” feature on listings, and we will be unveiling the Inbox function shortly.

Q: How will you raise the sense of community?

A: As this site is about and for the Audiophile Community, we’re excited to launch “The Hub by Audiogon” this summer. The Hub is going to be be a Community section on our site for all members to interact with each other.  It will have areas for articles, the return of the “Cool Pics” section, event announcements, live chat sessions for members to debate hot topics, video tutorials on how to use the new site,  story and photo sharing among members, an area for local Audio clubs to update, we’ll highlight members Audio rooms, plus much more.  This month we will also be sending our first newsletter, The “Audio Files” by Audiogon.

Q: How do I search for items by Zip Code?

A: One of this issues we ran into on our old platform was that we could not change the Zip Code function from a simple search to a radius search.  We felt that adopting a radius search was more user-friendly because Members would be able to determine just how far outside their zip code to look for items.  Zip Code Radius Search is now available.  To learn more about it, please read our post or watch our video tutorial.

Q: Why haven’t my feedback scores been showing correctly?

A: Converting the feedback scores was an involved process, but they are now updating correctly.  Over the summer, Feedback will be displayed on a new page that will transition into an area in which you’ll be able to both read and leave feedback.

Q: After my transaction, how do I leave Feedback?

A: Feedback will be updated to be included in the final step of the transaction process soon. In the interim, you can leave feedback manually by visiting the feedback here.  You would then choose whether you bought or sold the item, choose the transaction, or if it is not listed, look up the user, and proceed to leave your feedback. For a step-by-step view of this process, please see this article.

Q: Why can’t I see the offers I’ve made? Why can’t I see who’s made offers?

A: We understand the need for being able to track offers and counter offers, and apologize this feature is not available yet. We do have plans to improve the visibility of offers over the summer and are working towards this goal.

Q: How do I re-list an item?

A: Currently, you can use the re-list function from the Expired Items or Sold Items directly on your MyPage.  For items that you are currently selling, you’ll need to create a new listing, but we will be adding a re-list function for those items soon.

Q: How can I see the number of times my listing has been viewed?

A: The number of views each listing has received is now shown at the top of your ad just under the item’s title.

Q: How can I search for items?

A: Another one of the updates possible on the new platform is Intelligent Search – where we try to figure out what you’re looking for.  You can enter several keywords to narrow your query down to the specific item.  For more on this feature, please read our article or check out the video tutorial via this link.  A partial term search is on the way, as well.

Q: I used to be able to keep tabs on several items I was interested in on the old site.  How can I do that now?

A: We will be bringing this feature back in the form of a “Watch List” for users to tag items they are interested in and monitor the listings from the “My Page.” We intend to have this ready by fall.

If you have questions that haven’t been answered, or would simply like to share your thoughts, please comment below or send us an email here.

16 thoughts on “From the Desk of our Executive Team

  1. dtc says:

    One additional feature I like is that the Ships From column now has both the location and the zip code. This is a big help. It would also be useful from non-US entries to put in the actual location. For example, L3R3E6 does not mean much as a location, except to say it is not in the US.

    With the new platform, there are still several user friendly features I would like to see. I have submitted these suggestions several times, but have not gotten any feedback on them.

    Now that you have sorting capabilities, how about multi-level sort support? For example, fix the first sort column (e.g. category) and then allow a sort on another column (e.g. price). A simple check box under the column heading could indicate the primary sort column and that is should be fixed for other sorts. I hope you did not make your new system already obsolete by designing around a single level sort design.

    How about doing a sort automatically on the results of an original search? The most common automatic sort would be on category. The best way to do this would be to put an check box option in a users profile to allow the user to pick the field on which to do the initial sort. But doing it on category by default would be a nice start. Right now the results seem to be a random order.

    On the screen that lists the search results, the category column is really sub-category. How about changing the content of that column to Category – Subcategory. Abbreviations would be fine – like Amp – Solid for Amplifier – Solid State. It would make the column easier to use. For example, Tube can be either an amp or a pre-amp and there is no way to know unless you know the model numbers.

    Sorting by Item should be case independent. Current all upper case entries sort before all the mixed case entries and lower case entries sort below all the mixed case entries. This should be a very simple fix.

      • dtc says:

        Thanks for looking at these suggestions.

        It looks like most, but not all, the items from Canada now say Canada. Not sure why, but some do not seem to register as from Canada like j7j1h1 and T9K0J7. Also, having both the ZIP and Canada, like the US has Zip and City, would be nice.

        Looks like the case insensitive sorting is working on Item sorts. That is a big help. Thanks.

        It looks like the sorting options (automatically sorting by Category after a search and multi-level sorting (2 levels would be fine)) and the listing of both Category and Sub-Category have not been implemented. Hope those can be added. Automatically sorting by category after a search should be very easy to implement. The others probably take more effort, but I think would be nice additions.

        Thanks.

      • Glad you like the adjustments. We’re looking at the best way to handle the interface for parent/child category sorting. That’s the most complicated thing about it right now. We’re looking at abbreviating the parent category like you’ve suggested. Keep these types of suggestions coming! We’re constantly working on improvements as well as restoring features that have fallen off on the new platform compared to the old.

      • dtc says:

        It looks like something happened to sorting. I searched on Sonus Faber and then sorted by item. The first 5 items are sorted then the order starts over for the rest of the items. Not sure what happened. Does not seem to have anything to do with case sensitivity. Hope I didn’t miss something.

      • dtc says:

        It seems that the sorting problem I reported on June 30 has not been fixed. Sorting by item results in some (5 or 6) items sorted at the top and then the rest sorted below that. I would think this would be an easy fix. Try a search of Sonus Faber and sort by item for an example. It sorts 5 at the top and the rest below. Same thing for Cary returns 6 sorted at the top. Am I missing something?

      • There were actually 2 problems. The case sensitive sorting issue has been fixed. The other issue is that extra spaces between words are messing with the sorting. This is scheduled to be corrected in our next deployment. Thanks.

  2. David says:

    Doing a search for “ps audio” yields no results, but going through the listings manually reveals that there are lots there…

  3. Gary says:

    Hi, Something to consider updating. I have problems with buyers on the shipping charges. When an offer is made or buy it now. I thing you should include ( on offer page ) IF OFFER INCLUDES SHIPPING OR NOT. It would save a lot of miscomunication between buyer & seller.

    THX Gary ( Garcom )

  4. Jefferson Kolle says:

    Why does it take up to eight hours between the time a member asks a question about one of my listings and the time I get an email notification that the question was asked. This is a fairly recent problem that never happened until 3-4 days ago. And, of course, it never ever happened with the old Audiogon.

    • We’ve recently deployed another anti-spam measure to ensure that Members are receiving valid requests for information, and this will occasionally “hold” the question until it is cleared for delivery. Thanks for your question.

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