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Buying an Amp off Ebay

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JmD, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. JmD


    Sep 13, 2005
    Anyone got any experience?

    It will only be my 2nd bass amp, and my 1st secondhand so what should I look out for?

    I'm after something around the 100-150watt range, what sort of price should I expect to get one for (obviously this will differ depending on quality).

  2. I have successfully bought 4 amps and 6 instruments on ebay. Know what you are buying. Develop trust in the seller through emails and reading their feedback. Understand the used market for the item. Pay with a credit or debit card through PayPal for their warranty. I buy and sell on ebay all the time from amps, to swim diapers for the grandkids to cars. I have only had one bad experience and if I had read the ebay feedback, I wouldn't have dealt with that person. I have also developed some very good relationships with people who sell regularly on ebay and some I can call with a custom order for an item at a price I could get nowhere else
  3. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    agree use paypal to have a electronic trail in case something goes wrong. email, ask for cell number, talk on the phone if you can. if you get a funny feeling from any communication wait for another seller with similar unit.

    read listings thoroughly, some people try to burry info like "unit use to work fine, but now has rattling sound" or other 'something not quite right' about them. if the bids are real low and the listing has been up for a while (4-5 days) this might mean others know something you don't about this particular item, or brand in general might be questionable.

    do a advace search of "completed auctions" to see if it has been listed before, maybe the price is too high for market. if there are alot of units for sale that might mean people are not happy with it. of course they will say something like "love the amp but have to pay bills" or something dumb like that just so they can pump up their image of the amp.

    Some "buy it now" prices are higher than retail for new and sometimes even for a used item. some people expect "I paid $1000 new I should be able to get $900-1000 for it!" but if your patient you can usually save 1/4 to 1/2 the cost of new.

    be sure to search reviews about an item to get an idea about realiability since the unit is probably used try www.harmony-central.com or http://www.bgra.net/ or talkbass reviews. pay attention to the NEGATIVE reviews they usually more helpful than the "I've been using the amp for 5 minutes and its AWESOME!!!" reviews.
  4. JmD


    Sep 13, 2005
    Thanks Guys,

    I'll try and look out for some stuff on e-bay, and then read through the reviews.

    Thanks again for the advice
  5. All of the advise given above is rock solid. The most important thing is to have patience. If you are at all unsure of the situation don't do it! You need to spend some time gathering information before you can make an informed purchase. There WILL BE more items available later! You don't need to get this one!

    If a product gets my interest I will put all of the available items on my watch list to see what they are selling for. I will then check Prepal to get the current used price on the item. Then it is time to scour the web for reviews, descriptions, manuals etc.

    Once I feel I know what the item has to offer I will check in on the closed listings until I have a good idea of what the fair market value is. It is then time to check feedback and get an understanding of what messages the description is giving. Check for conflicting information. One example would be if someone describes the item as being in good condition at the top but then lists flaws near the bottom. To me that indicates someone who is unwilling to be totally honest.

    Good luck and good shopping! :bassist:
  6. +1 to all the advice given so far!

    I've bought my cab off ebay and got a great deal!
  7. Ive bought two bass amps, two cabs, 3 basses, a guitar and a guitar amp of ebay, not had any problem

    Picked up the cabs and one of the amps in person tho, and my SVT needed new tubes fairly soon after i got it, but i got it at a steal of a price so its ok

    Ive not had any problems with the stuff i got, pickup if you can, easier changing hands of money, and you can try it before buying to make sure its working
  8. +1 to all so far,
    One nice little Q i like to ask;
    "Can i pick it up?" even if you have no chance of doing it, just to make sure its a genuine seller. And ask for an internal photo of the amp - specifically of the OT transformer, making sure of no scouring/burning marks.
    Good Luck
  9. sync00


    Nov 23, 2005
    If it's not a genuine seller, why wouldn't they lie and say 'yes' when you ask if you can pick it up?
  10. sorry - i should been a little clearer - i should have added, that at the same time to get their phone number and address to organise a time. Sure it's possible to still rip someone off - but that's possible at any one time anyway - i feel a lot safer talking to someone over the phone VS the net.
  11. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I have bought most of my equipment on ebay (head, many cabinets, some pedals) and havent had any problems.

    I always like to shoot the seller a few questions so I can test the waters, depending how soon and how they respond. Feedback is a good indicator too.
  12. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    All good advice so far.

    I have purchased one amp, two cabs, and one bass through Ebay with no problems. I have purchased a lot of other types of gear as well without incident.

    Follow the advice given above and you should be fine.
  13. jbassbob

    jbassbob Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Boise ID
    Other important questions to ask, besides the obvious, is where the item was stored (ie, stinky basement) and if the item was exposed to cigarette smoke. Two important questions. Nothing worse than opening the box and going ewe, what's that smell! It's happened a couple of times to me.
  14. sync00


    Nov 23, 2005
    I've bought and sold on ebay for years with few problems. These days I wouldn't buy or sell anything there if the amount was so large that I'd be upset if something went wrong.

    Accounts with high feedback can be hijacked. Dormant high feedback accounts can be purchased by a scammer.

    ebay is an increasingly popular place to unload stolen merchandise, counterfeit goods and substandard goods sold as first rate.

    Most of the people on ebay are legit. But ebay is a great environment for crooks also.
  15. gravaged


    Dec 9, 2005
    My favorite way to shop for stuff on Ebay is to type in "guitar" or "bass" and sort the 14146834 results by distance to my city, so I can see what's close enough for local pickup.. I wouldn't want to pay for S&H or risk damage on something that big.