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Buying Bass from eBay

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mrbill180, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. mrbill180


    Dec 28, 2001
    I'm thinking of buying a bass using eBay...what do's/don'ts would you recommend?
  2. I do almost all my shopping online these days, mostly on Yahoo and Ebay. In my opinion, it's a fast and efficient way to get things done and bought. Unless, of course, you mean the auctions. I like the auctions, but can be a pain in the butt. I don't like having to check back every few hours (days) to see if you are still the high bidder. True, you can find some great deals, but 9 times out of 10, twenty other people find the same great deal you did. Then the bidding war begins. Another drawback from using Ebay, you never quite know what you are getting, or if the seller is even being honest. And the fact that the seller has your money long before you see your item. Be careful and read the feedbacks people leave on these sellers. Many sellers will do honest business with low priced items, but screw you on the big ticket items. There are risks any time you buy online, you just have to decide for yourself if the risks are acceptable.

    My .02
  3. PJR


    Jun 20, 2001
    N.E. PA
    I've bought/sold much equipment from Ebay in the last 2 years....... including 5 basses.

    I've been very happy with 95% of all the Ebay purchases !!!

    Here's my list of 'Do's' :

    1. Ask all questions prior to bidding, even the stupid ones.......this accomplishes 2 things; to make sure the product is truly what you expect , and to see how attentive the seller is about returning emails (this is important)

    2. Know fully about the product . Do your homework! Be an informed buyer.

    3.Use Proxy Bidding, and make sure you don't let yourself get into a 'bidding' war with others. Set it for your max price you are willing to pay.....and stick with it.

    4.Be patient. You will 'lose' more auctions than you win.......this is OK.

    Drop me a PM if you have any other Q's about Ebay.....I'd be more than happy to help you.

  4. I just sold my Hamer Cruise four on ebay for $180.
    This is a great bass in like new condition. Not a scratch on it. Somebody got a great deal just because it didn't say Fender. That's the thing with basses on ebay. If it's not a popular brand, then it sells cheap. Like the other guys said. Look at the feedback and ask questions. If the seller does not answer your questions promptly, then don't bid.
  5. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    1. Thoroughly question seller. Test honesty.
    2. Try to deal with individuals, rather that pawn shops and the like. The people who buy and sell basses because they are players are less likely to pull one on you.
    3. Deal only with ebay guys with unblemish records.
    4. Play the basses in the local stores before you begin to bid. Know what you are bidding on.
    5. Ask for as many photos as possible. These need to be quality photos that can be enlarged without loss of clarity so that you can see the knick.
    6. Recognize that there is some risk, but the reward is an instrument that can be well below the cost of the guitar you just played in the store.
    7. Dictate packing requirements and shipping method. Get insurance. Always get a tracking number. Try to keep seller obligated through shipping process. None of this: "Seller is not responsible for goods once they are shipped."

    Bought and sold many basses on ebay. You'll be OK.
  6. I too have bought and sold on eBay. I concur on the following...

    1. do know the instrument you're bidding on, play one, or two, at a store or something first.

    2. deal only with reputable sellers

    3. do realize that each and every bass sounds and plays a little different, so even though you've checked out a similar one, the one you get may sound and feel a little different. This was my experience with my Marcus Miller Fender I bought, I was never 100% happy with it, through no fault of the seller.
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Tons of good info. already!

    Set your max price BEFOREHAND because sometimes it turns into some kind of macho bidding war where beating out the other guy becomes more important than getting a good deal

    My only other addition is - if the price hasn't been bidded up beyond reason and you really want the bass, be there to bid up till the last second. IME, I was the winning bidder a couple of times because the guys with the second highest bids weren't around at the close of the auctions. I guess they thought they had the auctions locked up when they made their bids 15 minutes before the auctions ended.
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    This is all good advice. The only thing I'd add would be to look elsewhere, too. Depending on what you're looking for, www.bassgear.com has some of the best deals I've seen anywhere, especially for higher end gear. Individuals and dealers post there and it's up to you to make sure the transaction is financially secure.

    My experience there has been exemplary, with one recent exception (hey, weasels happen). It's a great place to buy and sell and it's not an auction so you can find out sooner whether you're getting what you wanted.

    Oh yeah, one eBay tip... READ the description CAREFULLY!!! There have been situations where the seller puts up a picture of a box and then shipped an empty box. Make sure you know exactly what you're supposed to be getting. eBay itself is pretty useless when it comes to problem resolution, IME.

    One more thing, Luke... trust your instincts. If something smells funny, leave it alone... and don't fall for shill bidding.
  9. punkbassist

    punkbassist Guest

    Dec 3, 2001
    New Jersey
    I say you should find a person that has a bass like a musicman or a lakland up for auction on ebay that has no bids on it. this is what you should do, since you have so may basses email him and make a trade.
  10. punkbassist

    punkbassist Guest

    Dec 3, 2001
    New Jersey
    i thought brad johnson was the one who started this post sorry
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    I'm way past the "thinking of using eBay" point:D
  12. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    joining a twelve-step program?!

    I am an eBayer...
  13. punkbassist

    punkbassist Guest

    Dec 3, 2001
    New Jersey
    if u have been on ebay lately, you might have seen a natural sterling bass that has been up for auction since july i had won the auction one time and he didn't like the price i bidded. I bidded like 1100 for the bass. What a greedy bastard.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    If you won the auction, what was there not to like? If there was a reserve and your bid was "over" it AND the "highest" bid...
  15. punkbassist

    punkbassist Guest

    Dec 3, 2001
    New Jersey
    i emailed him and he said that at his shop it is going for 1300 not 1100 that greedy bitch
  16. Kurt M.

    Kurt M.

    Dec 11, 2001
    Reading, PA
    to punkbassist: you were ripped off! I hope you lodged a complaint with eBay. All auctions are binding contracts between the buyer and the seller. But, alas, there will always be deadbeats.

    I agree with those that say bid at the end of the auction. NEVER, I mean NEVER bid early you'll just drive the price up. I use bidding software and bid with about 20 seconds before auctions end. I'm almost always the last bidder. I don't win all the auctions but I can win most.

    Good luck,
  17. punkbassist

    punkbassist Guest

    Dec 3, 2001
    New Jersey
    i never sent him money. If i had sent him money and he had never sent the bass to me i would prosecute him
  18. i know ebay has ways of making sure you dont get ripped off and helping you if you do get ripped off, but do sites like bassgear.com have any sort of buyer protection thing? or to make sure do you just use something like paypal?
  19. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    No. Some buyers like PayPal, using an escrow service, or UPS COD (the recipient doesn't give the driver a check, they don't leave the box).
  20. Don't forget to watch out for those idiots who like to call basses 'rare' or custom. I'm sorry but a discontinued finish on a $200 bass does not make it rare... and a changed pickguard doesn't make anything custom.

    You probably already knew that, but those guys really annoy me.

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