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Buying off eBay... few details but good feedback

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by scyzoryk, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. scyzoryk

    scyzoryk Supporting Member

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    I'm looking at buying a bass off eBay. The seller has very few details about the bass and can't seem to answer basic questions about weight, type of pickups, etc, other than that the bass is in "MINT" condition and that I can get specs online from the manufacturer's website.

    The feedback on the buyer is 100%. Given that these purchases are covered by Paypal's guarantee, is there any risk buying this bass off eBay?
  2. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

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    Both ebay and PayPal have your back if that bass is anything less than advertised. The seller is quite stupid avoiding answering simple questions. If that bass is anything less than perfect, he'll have to take it back.
  3. Kmonk

    Kmonk

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Fender and Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    There are a lot of scams on ebay. People who hijack other user accounts and post items that they do not actually have. Red flags to watch for are lack of responses to questions, ads in which the seller asks that you contact them directly prior to bidding. I have seen a jazz bass listed more than a dozen times and in each ad, it was listed as being in a different city. The pictures in each ad were exactly the same.

    As far as ebay and PayPal having your back, I couldn't disagree more. About 10 years ago, I purchased a 1978 Jazz bass from an ebay seller. He described it as completely original. When it arrived, I noticed that 2 bridge saddles had been replaced and it had also been re-fretted. The fret job was so bad that the binding was cracked on both sides of the neck at every fret. I contacted the seller and he refused to do anything. I submitted multiple claims with ebay and PayPal and never received a response. To make matters worse, my credit card was charged twice for the purchase. It took me more than six months to convince the credit card company to give me a credit for the duplicate charge. I ended up selling the bass shortly after I bought it.

    Since then, I only buy in person or from trusted online retailers.
  4. scyzoryk

    scyzoryk Supporting Member

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    The seller seems to have sold many high-end basses in the past (MTD, Fender, Alembic), all with good feedback and relatively few details in the description. I don't feel like its a scam, but I'm wondering why a seller would provide so little information and not know details about the bass.
  5. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

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    ebay today is very different than ebay 10 years ago. If you'd used ebay during the last decade, you'd know this.


    ebay has been redesigned to give buyers both safety and satisfaction. The sellers are saddled with all the risk. Just follow the purchasing rules set by ebay and PayPal and you'll be fine.
  6. Dmwphoto

    Dmwphoto what does this light/\ do? Supporting Member

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    try to get him to talk to you by phone
  7. Kmonk

    Kmonk

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    Endorsing Artist: Fender and Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    It could still be a scam. As I mentioned, ebay accounts are hacked all the time. It will look like you are buying from a legitimate seller when in fact, the person who hacked the account is using it to try to get you to pay for an item that they do not actually own. What usually happens is you bid and then they contact you to arrange payment. By the time you realize that it was a scam the fake seller already has your money. I would try to get the seller to respond to emails and see if you can get to speak with you on the phone.
  8. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

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    Could be that he runs a shop and doesn't have the time or motivation to respond. He's a total dope for doing this. Most potential buyers don't ask questions that are out of line. By not responding, he's losing bidders.
  9. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

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    Scams are VERY uncommon. 99.9% of ebay transactions are entirely legit. And those that are scams are laughably transparent. Just pay through the ebay/PayPal process, and you'll be fine.
  10. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty

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    What else is likely is that the seller is selling the instruments for someone else so doesn't have any knowledge about the particulars and is unable to answer you. In some cases, the seller is a friend or relative of the owner of the instruments who doesn't have an ebay seller's account and posts those items for them. I think that's what's happening here. I would check the return policy with the seller- especially who would be responsible for the shipping costs if it were returned.
  11. Nephilymbass

    Nephilymbass Supporting Member

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    I've sold around $10,000 in gear on ebay. But I've spent less than a grand buying stuff on eBay. Honestly i wouldn't be comfortable buying something if emails and information about the item for sale are so difficult to get. When i have stuff for sale on eBay i check my email at least once a day.

    As for hacking I've never had a problem with that on eBay. My local craigslist is worthless though, I've tried to use craigslist a few times and it's always people trying to pull off western union scams.
  12. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

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    That's right. Even if were a scam attempt you will not lose your money. The system is virtually bullet proof these days, as long as you follow the rules.

    As far as the seller not answering questions, that's not the ominous red flag that it used to be. Just ask your questions through the ebay PM system so they will be on record. Only communicate with sellers through ebay.

    My latest ebay adventure involved a seller who listed two basses in separate "Best Offer" auctions with absolutely no description whatsoever, except the word "Mint" in the title. The seller did not respond to questions, and had no history of selling music gear.

    My faith in the ebay system now is such that I went ahead and made offers on both auctions, which were accepted. The basses came and are in absolutely dead balls "mint" condition.

    A few years ago I wouldn't have gone anywhere near auctions like that. You have to try pretty hard to get screwed on ebay as a buyer these days. As a seller....that's another story.
  13. JustForSport

    JustForSport

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    Been lucky so far on ebay, quite a few purchases.
    As mentioned before-possibly the seller is a relative/friend or maybe a pawnshop or handles estate sales or "that the seller is selling the instruments for someone else so doesn't have any knowledge about the particulars and is unable to answer you"-
    may have no musical instrument knowledge/ experience at all.
    In which case, carefully ask your most important questions (with this in mind) to get the answers you seek.
    Also, you can ask for more pictures, close-ups of areas, etc that will show what the seller is unable to describe.
    I've had good success with all this.
    Good luck.
  14. hsech

    hsech Your opinion doesn't trump mine. Gold Supporting Member

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    Somehow I doubt your credit card was charged twice and I also doubt that multiple claims were submitted to EBay and Pay Pal with no response. Me thinks there might be a little embellishment of the facts. Just saying......
  15. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

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    +1

    ebay has always acknowledged claims, and has always notified all parties of the results of disputes.

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