Need some advice -- bass bought off ebay

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by SirCanealot, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Hi guys,

    I recently snagged a beautiful Ibanez 5-banger off of ebay (yes, I WILL post pics/sound clips in the bass forum when I get it ;)). All went well and the seller said he'd be waiting on the money to clear in paypal. Fair enough.

    Then the over day the guy sent me an email and said the money had cleared fine, but he had a problem: he can only insure the bass for shipping with DHL if he places the bass in a hard case, and his plan was to just place the bass in a well-padded gig bag. He suggested he could get a hard case for £10 and asked if I wanted to send him the money for the hard case, or just send it in a gig bag without insurance on it.

    He also mentioned being raped by paypal fees, so I sent him £20, saying I hoped it'd cover a little of the paypal fees and to just put it in the hard case and send it.

    Now he emails me back saying he's not sure if he can get the case for £10 (as he was buying it from a friend) and he's not sure what I want to do.

    A musician friend on shift here suggested a decent hard case would cost about £50 new. I'm thinking of just going to pick it up in person but train fares to where he lives cost about £40.

    Anybody have any opinions on this? It kinda sounds like he's trying to get more money out of me for the bass since it didn't sell for a very high price... Or am I just imagining things?

    What I'm wondering is if I do get the bass sent down in a gig bag (with some bubble wrap around it or something) whether I'm covered if it gets damaged? Since he can't insure it with DHL, am I still covered by ebay/paypal if it arrives with a snapped neck?

    Thanks guyys. First time buying a bass on ebay, so not sure how to approach this!
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    The opinion I'm about to give you applies primarily to the USA where I live, so please take that into account.

    As the buyer, you have one and only one responsibility: Pay for the item you won. Getting the item delivered to you promptly and safely are the seller's responsibility. If the original terms of the auction did not mention any further financial outlay, you should not be expected to cover any additional expenses that the seller could (should) have anticipated.

    It seems you've left a few questions unanswered, such as 1) what other shipping options are available?; 2) Why did s/he choose to use Paypal if he could have chosen other payment methods?; 3) Why did he not research his sale properly before the sale instead of burdening you with the cost after the fact? I could go on.

    Since you're in this pretty deep already, I see two courses of action available to you: 1) Ask the seller to stick to the terms of the auction He (or she) created and make the necessary arrangements to provide you with the item that is rightfully yours, or 2) Ask for a full refund. If the seller's honorable, he or she should refund the amount you provided post auction too, but I would not hold my breath.

    Above all, keep good and friendly rapport with the seller. You don't want the deal to go sour because of poorly chosen words, but you'd do well to be politely assertive and ask the seller to fulfill his or her responsibility. You did all you are required to do. You can also remind the seller politely that you are anxious to leave positive feedback once you get the bass.

    If all fails, get eBay involved. It seems a bit early for that at this stage, though. Good luck.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I have bought and sold many, many basses via Ebay. Believe it or not, a gig bag or a hard case makes little difference compared to the value/benefit of a proper packing box and proper packing technique. With a good external box and enough good bubble wrap (wrapped tightly and thoroughly around all points of the bass) you could ship a bass around the world with little risk of damage; whereas a hard case with insufficient packing inside it risks damage from banging around inside the case, and a gig bag for shipping is just a joke- hardly any protection at all, and may even cause damage from the zippers hitting against the bass.

    For 10 quid he can buy a really good large/heavy packing box and a big roll of bubble wrap. Failing that, he's just a whiner who doesn't know what he's doing.

    I'm pretty sure Paypal would only insure up to $200 if it is proven that the neck snapped before it got to you.
  4. Well I've already parted with another £20 over this already (not to unhappy considering I didn't get a bad price, and since it'll bost my karma anyway :p), so we'll see what he says.

    bongomania, thanks a lot! I edited your message down a little and basically sent it to him (minus the whiner comment ;)), with comments that it'd cost too much for me to come up and get it myself.

    I'll be happy if he spends the £20 I sent him to buy a nice box and a ******** of buttlewrap. That way I can throw the bass into the corner of my room when it arrives and spend hours playing with the bubble wrap! :p

    We'll see anyway. Thanks for the quick response guys :)
  5. He should do what I do sometimes - go down to my local guitar/bass music shop in Loughborough & beg borrow or steal a packing box from them - they give them to me for nothing.