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eBay Issues: Buyer wants $450 for fret level

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ChadHidsley, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. ChadHidsley


    Jul 26, 2012
    Sold a bass and 10 days after the buyer has had the bass in possession he says that theres fret buzz on all strings below the 12th fret.

    He says that rather than wanting to return it because he likes the bass so much he would like me to pay 450 bucks, which a guitar repair shop quoted him to level frets, etc.

    I may be crazy but that seems like an insane price for fret work, (edit) without a truss rod or not. I have video proof of the basses playability as well as my word that it played fine and had no out of the ordinary fret buzz or any other problems prior to shipping

    How do I go about this?
  2. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    I had a complete refret and board planing for less than that and this was at Toronto's best (and expensive) vintage guitar shop.

    $450 for a fret level/crowning is just stupid IMO.
  3. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Tell him to pound sand. No fret level costs that much. Maybe he shouldn't be doing his own setups.
    nataku333 likes this.
  4. ChadHidsley


    Jul 26, 2012
    Ive heard that eBay never sides with sellers though, and I doubt the Indian eBay Claims outsourcer will understand clear knowledge of fret buzzing and fret work
  5. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    If it's on all the strings below the 12th fret then that doesn't suggest the frets are not level. rather that the truss rod is a bit too tight. If the frets were uneven, then you'd get buzz on different strings on different frets and clear notes on others. A unform problem does not even hint at unevenness.

    Besides, a fret level is not an expensive job, even a full refret would cost a lot less than this guy is looking to scam out of you.
  6. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Spector-Dingwall-Aguilar-DR-Tech 21-Darkglass
    The buyer is either an idiot or thinks that you are; the neck obviously just flattened out a bit too much, likely due to the change in climate at it's new home, and all he needs to do is loosen the truss rod a bit.

    No one, anywhere, charges anything close to $450 for a fret level; even a guy like Eric Chaz here in LA only charges $80, with a complete refret running ~$150!

    If you want to allow him to return it to avoid the hassle, fine, but don't pay him a cent.

    It's been a week and a half since he received the bass, any issues that arose after he took possession are on him.
  7. generation zero

    generation zero

    Jul 24, 2012
    It's likely just a truss rod adjustment, but even so I've had a complete setup including fret dressing and leveling done at Guitar Center for WELL under a hundred bucks.

    I would in no way be willing to pay $450 for a fret leveling job for a buyer, unless possibly he pays for it first and sends you the receipt for reimbursement. I would also demand that it be a proper receipt rom a reputable repair shop that you can verify the existence of online and verbally by telephone.

    As a compromise, offer to have him send the bass back to you, and you will have your tech check it out and do any setup work required. I doubt he will bite. Aside from that, I'd say it's all or nothing, either he returns the bass for a full refund, or he deals with any setup issues that may have happened due to shipping. I've never bought a used instrument even locally that didn't end up needing a setup... it goes with the territory. Brand new with factory warranty, sure, I don't expect to have to do anything but tune it. But any used gear is sure to need a little TLC. Even so, $450 for a fret leveling is insane.
  8. heavytrash13


    Oct 30, 2009
    i will never sell on e bay again-too many douchiolas
  9. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    You could have him "whacked" for a lot less.
  10. Burwabit

    Burwabit Likes guitars that tune good and firm feelin women Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Lubbock, TX
    To begin with, buzz doesn't mean it needs a fret level.

    If it does, I had one done for $90 within the last year on a 5 string Lakland I bought here on TB. I got two quotes on it and both were within $5 of each other.

    Unfortunately, eBay is known to be buyer friendly, so get your facts together. I'd find a reputable luthier yourself in his area and ask him to take it there. Maybe it would shut him up.
  11. markorbit


    Apr 16, 2004
    Only you know how the bass went out. If there was NOTHING wrong with the bass then stand your ground and offer to take the bass back and offer a full refund. Frets don't miraculously grow and shrink in transit.

    Is the action super low that temperature could have moved the neck enough to cause a problem? Has the buyer tampered with the setup? Does it simply need a truss rod tweak?
  12. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida

    If he doesn't agree to that then tell him his only other option is to return the bass. Be sure all correspondence is done through eBay.
  13. Timmah

    Timmah Supporting Member

    May 19, 2011
    I got a local luthier to do a fret leveling and a bridge reset for $130- there's no way that it should cost anything more than that. I would tell him to loosen the truss rod a little bit and see if it helps- that you're offering a solution and being friendly rather than accusatory. If he demands that amount of money after that, he's definitely trying to scam you.
  14. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    I charge $450 for intonation tellhim to send the bass to me when the fret work is finished I'll send him an invoice.
  15. autotech6506


    Mar 3, 2014
    EBay has a history of siding with buyers so you have a battle ahead of you. I highly recommend that you tell the seller to return the bass or live with it. Sounds like a scam if I ever heard one. If you offer to take it back and he refuses that will make eBay lean towards your side in the long run. Also explain setup varies with conditions and save all communications.
  16. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    This why I refuse to sell anything on eBay because sellers can't leave negative feedback buyers are running rampant knowing that they will get their money back it has gotten so out of control stories like this one are becoming all too popular.
  17. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Spector-Dingwall-Aguilar-DR-Tech 21-Darkglass
    ^ This +1

    The buyer is either very ignorant and an unscrupulous local shop is trying to take him to the cleaners or a very incompetent scam artist himself.

    A bass needs a fret leveling only when there is buzzing on certain frets of certain strings (buzz on the 8th fret of the A string but not 7th or 9th, etc.)... buzz on all frets below the twelve fret simply means the neck currently has some back bow and needs to have the ross rod loosened to add some relief.
  18. tobias3469

    tobias3469 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2013
    West Los Angeles
    Yeah.. he doesn't know what he's doing and may possibly be trying to take advantage of you and the system.

    I would let him know it's standard procedure for a bass to need adjustments after landing in a new town, with different humidity, different altitude, possibly being exposed to heat or cold during shipment, all of these variables can cause instruments to change slightly.

    Like one of the other members said, it probably only needs a minor truss rod adjustment and a standard set up (by someone who knows what they're doing)
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

  20. ChadHidsley


    Jul 26, 2012
    The bass was listed as having no truss rod, as to be clear to potential buyers.

    Even then I also believe unleved frets can still be leveled properly, whether it is a ski jump on the heel or buzzing on individual strings