haha this will sound quite funny to some of you more experienced players, but buying a bass on ebay isnt such a bad idea, here's my story. Well i found one of those deals "$548 great 4/4 bass with free bow and strings!!!! BUY ME NOW!!!" and of course, being an electric bassist, i said hey awesome! So yes i bought it, it came, i tuned the already attached strings and set the bridge up, and i could tell it wasnt quality. So after fighting with luthiers i found one who would take my bass. They fixed it all up, (resurfaced fingerboard, made bridge adjustable, fixed endpin, fixed steel cable which held the tailpiece in place and i think soundpost adjusted.) and put new spirocores on her. It sounds amazing. They even commented in the shop of how surprisingly nice of a tone it has. haha and this is even better. My school purchased a 3/4 size bass for me to use there, and I tried it out before I got my bass fixed and compared the two. The schools one sounded a ton better. Then after mine was fixed, it blew the school's one away. Comparing prices is the real kicker. 3/4 school bass: $2000 give or take (with bow and case) 4/4 My bass (fixed): $548 + $300 for repairs give or take some, ending out to be maybe around $900 after everything. So as you can see, my bass after all the repairs, sounds better, is cheaper, and bigger. Now im sure you'll say the strings or size of the instrument attribute to the better sound. Yes, I've taken all of this into account, and I do know a thing or two about acoustics, I like to read. lol. but mostly I like to listen. After the comparison the ebay bass comes out on top. Now of course my bass wouldnt compare to a new standard, or some 3k carved bass. But if you need a bass and you're in a squeeze for cash and have a decent luthier nearby who will take your bass in, then go for this. Well there's my two cents, any comments?