Ebay: to buy from or not to buy from?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Thunderbird91, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. Well, The eternal question in bassists minds: Used or new? Well I have decided to go used but i am wondering if buying basses from ebay is recommended or not. Has anyone had any horrorific experiences with ebay? Any great experiences? Should I or shouldn't I?
  2. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002
    Only if it is something I REALLY want, and am willing to take a chance on, or if it is at an insanely low price, and I'm willing to take a chance. I prefer to do my buying on the Dudepit, and here. I've NEVER had a bad deal on the Pit, and I've only had one here, but that guy was a douche, and an exception to the rule. He no longer posts here.
  3. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002

    It's a forum, not unlike this one, but it is smaller, and is mostly populated by older bass players, such as myself. We do have some kiddies too, but they all behave. The site is owned by Steve "Dude" Barr's Vintage Bass Trading Company. You have to be a member to post gear for sale, and most members have been around quite a while, so I always feel extremely secure regardless if I'm buying or selling there.
  4. sweet im going to join... cheezewiz whats your name on thedudepit so i can saw you recommended me?
  5. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    I know exactly what you mean man... there's a couple of RBX6JM's on ebay right now (One in Turqouise blue, my preffered color, for a price I can actually afford, and one in red, not as preferred for a price I can't).

    Now normally given me being able to almost afford an RBX6JM (much less the turq blue one) would make me POUNCE on it (even given my amp situation), this guy had 25 positive points, no pictures of the RBX6JM, and a BIN-only sale. Forget that!

    So now I'm hot for RBX6JM instead of SR1006
  6. thekyle


    Dec 25, 2005
    Breckenridge, CO
    I know that there are many horror stories about Ebay, but I got a brand new MM Sterling off of there about a year ago. The guy who owned it had bought it a couple of weeks before, and then got a more expensive (I believe Modulus) and had to sell the Sterling to make a car payment or some other such nonsense. The bass still had the tags and everything on it, and I saved $600 bucks off retail on it ($400 over Musician's Friend) and have loved every second of it.

    Of course, this was a great deal, and you have to use caution. It is always a risk buying gear that you haven't played. If there is a good deal from an awesome seller, then I wouldn't hesitate to take it again, but I wouldn't throw a grand towards someone with low feedback scores.
  7. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002

    I would be cheezewiz there. You don't need a recommendation to join. Registering is free.
  8. Fred312b

    Fred312b What if I want to play jazz precisely? Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    like everything else on ebay, ask questions/see pics first, only do business with people with positive feedback, and pay with a credit card or paypal so if you have any problems, they can help you out... i've never bought a bass on there, but everything else i have ever bought was fine (including an amp and a pre)
  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    +1 on just about everything.

    I'll go for it if it's a great buy, or just something that has me drooling and is a pretty good price, something that if it isn't EXACTLY what I'm looking for, I can get my money back.
  10. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    The natural order of preference as to where to buy basses:

    1) In person, reputable store
    2) In person, private sale
    3) Direct from Dealer or Builder
    4) Talkbass
    5) Other good bass player forum (i.e.- Dude Pit)
    6) eBay
    7) long distance sale outside of eBay

    I've never been burned in any of the above. The further you go down the list, the chances are greater to get burned albeit, getting burned is not that common unless you ignore the following tips:

    1) Always make sure there are pics (not marketing collateral, but real pictures taken with the owner's camera). Having the owner take a pic of the bass with a current newspaper is a plus.

    2) Look at the sellers feedback (if eBay).

    3) Get a phone number and talk to the person if possible (especially if they are outside of eBay)

    4) Get a real address (no P.O. boxes) of the person

    5) Use a form of payment with some protection, like PayPal or a major credit card. Personal checks and money orders are not generally considered protected.

    6) Ask questions to avoid suprises. Ask if there are any dings, scratches, belmishes. Ask about the pots (scratchy?), ask about the frets or any other part you're picky about. Buying basses online are usually under a "No Refunds" condition unless you work a trial period out with the seller.

    That should do it. There could be more.
  11. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    "like everything else on ebay, ask questions/see pics first, only do business with people with positive feedback, and pay with a credit card or paypal so if you have any problems, they can help you out..."

    Good points. I won't buy a bass from anyone with less than
    99% positive feedback. I have purchased several lower end basses and two mid range basses in the last 24 months or so and they have all been as described. Yes it's a crapshoot but if you do your homework there is a good chance you can score great deals.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

  13. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    I've bought and sold probably twenty or more instruments (basses, guitars, keyboards) on eBay.. Haven't had a single bad experience yet....
  14. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I have baught a few things on ebay and have always been carefull (how to be carefull has been covered already in this and 100 other threads). Ebay is risky, and I would say if you are patient, almost every kind of bass will eventually show up on talkbass,(right now there is everything from an SX to a sadowsky and beyond available for sale.) and since you have to be a paying member to post, you are much less likely to get burned. I've bought a number of times here and always been very pleased.

    Also, If you don't see what you want, you can always post in the "wanted section"
  15. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I buy on ebay for things that im not sure ill be keeping long. IE: if i see a good deal or if itsa momentary GAS thing. If i know ill be keeping a bass for many years, ill buy from a person on TB or another classified ad site, or new.
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    An extract from the BBC (UK TV) website :

    "Internet auction site eBay claims to be 'one of the safest places to trade online'. However, some Watchdog viewers have found themselves victims of fraud, and feel that eBay doesn't seem to care about the people being ripped off.

    eBay has a unique feedback system where buyers and sellers rate each other's trustworthiness. But this doesn't always appear to guarantee a safe transaction. Both James McHardy and Dave Oram handed money over to sellers on the basis of their overwhelming positive feedback - both over 90 per cent - but in both cases, no goods arrived, their money was taken, and eBay said there was little it could do about it. Both used a Western Union bank transfer, which eBay doesn't recommend, but in Dave's case, he only did so after an email, supposedly from eBay, urged him to. Sadly, this email was a hoax - but still, eBay hasn't managed to recover his money.

    eBay says the safest way to pay is to use its online banking system, PayPal. But it would seem that even then you're not always fully protected. Drew Dyer used PayPal to pay for a £466 laptop. When it didn't turn up, eBay was only prepared to refund £105 of the cost, leaving him over £300 out of pocket.

    eBay claims to bring buyers and sellers together in a safe environment - but in these cases, all it did was introduce buyers to fraudsters who robbed them. "

  17. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    An important tip:


    This is a sticky term, and you can usually assume it to mean "this doesn't work". ESPECIALLY if you look into the sellers current and past sales and they sell musical equipment.

    I can't tell you how often I've seen a guitar, a cymbal, an effect pedal, or whatever go for a fraction of what it's "worth" because it's "untested"... it really gets me excited when I see it... but then I check their other sales, and see there's NO WAY that they "don't have the means to test this".

    They just don't want to come out and say that it doesn't work.

    Now, you'll find plenty of bulk sellers - auction houses and the like - who REALLY don't have a way to test the instrument... but just be careful. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Sometimes you get a great deal.

    FWIW, I only buy incidentals on Ebay - I bought an amplifier footswitch that I couldn't get elsewhere; I bought a cheap switch that would allow me to use two computer towers with one set of keyboard, mouse, and monitor (which, incidentally, doesn't work anymore for the mouse or keyboard); I bought a bulk package of lights, dimmers, controllers, etc (ten percent of which were unusable, but the deal was still worth it).

    I don't think I've ever spent more than $100 on Ebay.
  18. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I worked many deals on ebay, and for the most part, I seem to deal with the same group of poeple more times than not simply because I know them to be reputable. I have had some bad experiences, but the good ones far out-weigh the bad ones. One thing I will note, and I hope I don't get flamed for this, but I've noticed that all my bad experiences and disappointments in terms of condition of gear have come from ebayers on the east coast. I'm not the only one with this complaint because I have other aquaintences that have noticed the same thing as well. The bottom line is that it still comes down to having to do your homework. Ask all the right questions to make a correct decision.
  19. mondogarage


    Nov 29, 2005
    Longmont, CO
    I've had one great eBay experience, and one so-so. The great experience was about five years ago, when I bought a Fender Am Std J. Thing is, turned out the seller lived about 10 miles from me, and actually let me come over and play the bass before I even put in a bid -- that's not something often feasible. The so-so experience...well, I took a flyer on an old Epiphone EA-260 that just turned out to need a *lot* more work than indicated, but I still didn't feel ripped off.

    (Oh yeah, weird irony, the following year I bought a house about two blocks from the dude I bought the J from...weird).