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The Sad State of eBay

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by alembicbones, May 26, 2016.

  1. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I think I'm like a lot of you and peruse eBay to see what's out there in the way of basses. In my opinion, it used to be a place where you could find quality instrument at a price point that you were willing to pay. Now all you see are ridiculously priced Buy It Now's and the super sketchy "From Japan" listings that are just a joke. For example, do a search on "Sadowsky Bass" and literally 30 listings come up that are so wrong that I just laugh. 3 or 4 might use the same picture and you'd be a fool to buy from these outlets.

    It's really a shame. Ebay used to be so cool. Now, it's just a waste of bandwidth.

  2. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I agree. I still have a couple of saved searches setup, and thankfully they're not for items that come up often, so I don't have any real sifting to do. It was much nicer when the big box stores and scams weren't on it, just individual selling to individuals.
  3. MCF


    Sep 1, 2014
    Yep. Ebay is a wasteland. There are nice postings on Reverb, but the prices are always premium. Where i to buy used over the net, it would only be from one of the members here.
  4. Matt O

    Matt O

    Feb 19, 2013
    The Mitten
    Naoki at guitar traders Tokyo gave me the scoop on what's happening with those Japanese listings on eBay. There are guys that swipe pics from Japanese guitar shop websites and post them on eBay with a BIN price way above what the shop is selling the guitar for. If someone buys it on eBay, they just go buy it from the shop, ship it and pocket a hefty profit. He said sometimes his guitars would be in multiple auctions on eBay and there's nothing he could do because eBay doesn't care.
  5. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the explanation Matt O. It's really a shame. I don't think I'd ever buy another bass from eBay.

  6. JellinWellen


    Oct 18, 2012
    eBay hasn't been on my radar for a long time. It's like the "Internet Explorer" of online purchasing, an outdated relic.
  7. JellinWellen


    Oct 18, 2012
    Interesting, you'd think the shops would react by making it easier for people on the other side of the Pacific to buy their gear.
  8. Anachronism

    Anachronism Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    It depends what you're looking for. Buying or selling boutique instruments on eBay is probably not the best option, but it can still be good for less valuable gear.
  9. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    eBay is useful for me as a buyer, but I haven't sold anything on there in over 10 years. Just yesterday, I bought a cool vintage off-brand neck plate for a bass I am building.
    BlueMINI, wmhill, seang15 and 2 others like this.
  10. tbz


    Jun 28, 2013
    Pretty sure most of the folks in the US or Canada in the know just use Reverb now.

    eBay is a hassle for a lot of sellers. They tend to side with the buyer, which can be brutal if you sell a legitimately expensive ($2000+) instrument there and the buyer gets remorse.
  11. Matt O

    Matt O

    Feb 19, 2013
    The Mitten
    They do make it pretty easy for US sales, but the scam only happens to shops that don't sell on eBay. I found all this out because I bought a bass that had just popped up on Naoki's website for about $800, then a day later the bass showed up on eBay for $1400 BIN. I emailed Naoki and he told me about the scam. Naoki marked the bass "sold" on his website and a couple days later the auction was cancelled. Got the bass no problem. He said that he puts a guitar up on his site and within a day or two it's on eBay, sometimes multiple times.
  12. I agree with most points but there are still bargains to be had occasionally. I got my Godin for a stupidly low price. It was less than $400 (Aussie Dollars) and came with a stand, good quality lead and flats already installed. Although it was two years or so old it was unmarked in any way whatsoever and basically new. I also picked up a cheap Greg Bennett Corsair shorty for $105 which got turned into my travel/camping bass.

    If you're looking for something specific it is a lot harder, but if you're just looking for a random bargain, they can be found.
  13. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Hello, Bones. It depends on what you're looking for, I think. eBay itself hasn't been cool for at least 15 years, now; so that itself isn't the news.

    Matt O points out one of the main symptoms of eBay's non-coolness: they just don't care, so long as they can make a dime either way in any deal.

    But I still find legitimate, rare and fine items there at good prices: vinyl, perfume, vintage vacuum tubes and capacitors, Native jewelry, etc. Even bass guitars! During the past few years I got on ebay
    • gently used Fender Custom Shop Precision and Jazz Basses, complete and at excellent prices
    • a 'time capsule' 6-string Sukop bass from the late 1990s; low price, barely ever played
    • most of my best and rarest Menatone pedals (that I happen to prize as players, not just collectables), either directly from the site or on the side after a successful first deal on the site
    • a new, sealed QSC power amp at below market from an authorized dealer
    • a set of Jazz Bass pickups that I attribute to 1966 Fender make, at a low price
    • a 4-year old NOS Curtis Novak split coil P pickup that blew my mind (at a good price)
    • a connection to a pickup maker who is now one of my favorites, and I only buy from them directly.
    So no, eBay is not cool. But yes, if you search well, do your homework, and deal carefully, you can still find the goods there. It does take patience and a strong stomach, I will admit. :D
    Sixgunn and Monster Truck like this.
  14. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Ebay is what you make of it. There are still deals to be had (depending on what you're looking for).
  15. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I'm on Reverb now haven't used eBay for anything expensive in years haven't sold anything even longer because the scammers are so prolific on that site it's no longer worth it. I blame eBay for not giving sellers the same protection it gives the buyers.
  16. Matt O

    Matt O

    Feb 19, 2013
    The Mitten
    Yeah, I still buy on eBay. Mostly small stuff or something hard to find or a super good price on something. It's not all bad. Just mostly bad :)

    Also, not all Japanese sellers are crooks, there are actuall some really good ones on there. Batfuk is one guy that usually has the good bass stuff for cheap.

    If you do see a bass you want from Japan and it's crazy overpriced, check some online Japanese guitar shop sites, chances are you'll find it for about half the price. The good Japanese sellers are great to deal with.
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  17. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    eBay continues to be very good to me as a seller (not music instruments). Specialty consumer electronics. Very few buyer problems, prompt payment, good feedback. Only 2 returns out of 155+ sales.

    On eBay your experience all depends on what you're selling or buying and the seller & buyer pool for that product.
  18. Ebay is still the best for me. I buy all sorts of stuff off ebay, although I don't see as many interesting bass items these days. It's definitely a safe place to buy from, it's virtually impossible to get ripped off.

    Reverb has been mostly a waste of my time as a buyer. Highest prices, lame descriptions often lacking even the most basic info, and not enough fresh listings to be interesting. I get the sense that Reverb sellers think they've found some new virgin territory, chock full of potential buyers who somehow don't realize that much of the stuff on Reverb is also listed concurrently (by the same sellers) on ebay, and sometimes for less money.

    Many (most?) Reverb sellers seem to have such small feedback numbers that it's hard to gauge their integrity. At least on ebay, when I see a seller with three feedbacks, I understand that, while I might be dealing with an idiot, my money is safe. No clue how the Reverb buyer protection policy plays out when things "go badly", and I don't plan to find out the hard way.
    StayLow likes this.
  19. I don't know what ebay you guys talking about, but back in the "good ol' days" ebay was a veritable mine field of Bad Sellers, big and small. Caveat Emptor was always in play because sellers could lie, cheat, and steal and get away with it. I ran into plenty of those jerks, myself. Thankfully, those days are long gone.
  20. Brian Wright

    Brian Wright "Oh, it looks good on you though!"

    May 7, 2015
    I blame Talkbass
    climber, Edgar, theretheyare and 4 others like this.

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