What does "absolutely mint condition" mean?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Hawkeye, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    I recently took delivery of an Ampeg SVT 3 Pro amp from a seller on Ebay. The amp was described as (and I quote) "absolutely mint condition".

    I assume this to mean basically "like new" with no cosmetic imperfections and perfect working condition.

    The unit arrived with numerous scratches on the top of the face plate that go through the finish, lots of small scuffs and nicks, permanent ink identification scrawled on the top of the unit, no feet, and the fan working full time sounding like a B-29 taking off. The SVT III Pro has a variable speed fan and temperature circuit so that it only cuts in when it's getting hot, not full speed all the time even when you first turn it on so something is wrong with the unit.

    Is it just me, or was this a misrepresentation by the seller of the condition of the amplifier? To me, "mint condition" means that the unit should not look obviously used, and that it functions as intended.

    I've brought these things to the seller's attention and am requesting that he help resolve the issues.

    What's your interpretation of "absolutely mint condition"??
  2. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    +1. That about sums it up for me. Good luck getting this resolved. :meh:
  3. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    absolutely mint IMO means as fresh as if it just came off the assembly line.
  4. Lecollectif


    Mar 2, 2004
    I think I read somewhere that the fan is only supposed to cut in when it gets hot. But yeah, bummer on the stick deal.
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    The seller lied to you. :spit:

    No excuse for that. It's unfortunate that so many sellers abuse the term "mint". I especially hate when an ad says, "this item is in mint condition except for (yadda yadda)". It's the same as saying, "this item is perfect except for the imperfections". Look moron, describe the product as it is, not what it would be if it wasn't what it is!
  6. "Absolutely Mint" means 100% perfect, never used...period. If something has a VERY few light cosmetic flaws, it could be "near mint" condition but when there are both cosmetic and functional flaws (like the fan on your unit), it isn't anywhere close to mint. I'd get my money back and return the unit if I were you.
  7. Mel Monihan

    Mel Monihan

    Mar 30, 2004
    It means exactly what you think it means,like new.I am a frequent ebay buyer (and to a much lesser extent , seller).You have a valid complaint, and any respectable seller on ebay will take the unit back in a heartbeat if you are not happy.Those negative feedbacks are killers for real sellers.Your main problems are ,if this is a first and virtually only time seller, of if you paid cash (certified check, money order etc.)You should always pay by credit card (on paypal, or on your own).This gives you ultimate control, because you have your own credit card company to fall back on.There is the dispute process also, if the seller is being unreasonable.Ebay sellers can be almost put out of business by negative feedbacks, so tell the seller that you are not happy with the transaction and that you would like to return the preamp for a refund.If you continue to have problems, contact me , and I will walk you through some things you can do to get your money back.Always try the easy way first though, just tell him you are not happy, most good sellers will reverse the deal without much hassle.Good luck.
  8. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    Absolutely mint condition is a selling phrase that means "i'm selling this unit for more money than its worth. Condition is in the eye of the beholder. Mint is supposed to imply never circulated. It comes from the coin collecting world although it has found its way into most collectable fields. An amp that was never in circulation would be in brand new condition, with absolutely no defects mechanically or physically.
    Send the unit back as there are definitely issues with this one. The fan alone is an indication something's wrong.
  9. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I'd send it back......unless you got the "mint" SVT3 for like 200.00 bucks or something.
  10. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Maybe they forgot to mention that the mint was pre-chewed?
  11. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Good luck getting your money back, make sure you leave crappy feedback detailing the problem.
  12. rockindoc

    rockindoc Daily Lama

    Jan 26, 2002
    Bonham, Tx
    I agree that the seller lied, and deserves negative feedback, as well as remedial education regarding the definition of mint. Unfortunately, negative feedback to the seller will almost certainly result in retaliatory neg. feedback for you. If you're willing to take the hit, go for it, but then you'll be stuck with what you bought. I'd ask to send it back, and also ask that he pay the shipping, since his description was false. Threaten neg. feedback if he refuses. Ebay does frown on misrepresentation.

    I've always felt that a buyer should receive pos.feedback as soon as the seller receives instant payment, or as soon as the check clears, because he has kept his part of the bargain. When I'm selling on Ebay, that is what I do. It's the fair thing to do, even though it leaves me defenseless if I happen to sell to an a$$h..e.
  13. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    OP....were you really expecting any other response from us? Come on now. The dude ripped you off, you know it. Showing him this thread won't make him give you some of the money back.

  14. iualum


    Apr 9, 2004
    Good luck getting your $ back. Hope it works out. eBay sux. They may FROWN on misrepresentation, but I think they seldom do anything more than that. Next time you buy used, buy TB used, maybe Harmony or one of the other boards you are comfortable with.
  15. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    To tell the truth, I had an idea in my mind what "mint condition" meant, but wanted to be sure I wasn't off-base with that interpretation. I wanted to establish the every day, normal use of the term "mint condition".

    Ya know, maybe you're right. Maybe the seller won't be forthcoming with any type of compensation. BUT, I'm certain he'll realize that what he thinks is "absolutely mint condition" is not what the majority of other bass equipment buyers think.

    This in itself serves a purpose. Maybe he'll think twice before using terminology that does not accurately describe the condition of items he has for sale next time.

    Plus, it's a "Good Thing" as Martha Stewart would say to agree on when to use, and when not to use, certain descriptive terminology to minimize ambiguities and promote a common understanding of terms that we can all agree on.

    Thanks for your post.
  16. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    It sometimes means the voice coils are blown but it comes with a few packs of LifeSavers. :rolleyes:

    Caveat emptor
  17. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004


    100% credit card payment is the only truly secure payment to my knowledge - those ebay/paypal gaurantees are just suckerbait to increase their cash flow (and have no use for if you use a card). And even then you're still stuck with return shipping.

    But if for whatever reason you can get the cash back - it sounds like that would be your preference. It's bad enough to dish out coin when you get what you expected.

    But to ad some balance to that coupled from similar experience, if the amp is actually working as it should, it is probably at least in the condition it would be when you go to sell if you kept it for any length of time. So if the price wasn't way out of line for what you got - you're not going to be much if any better off if you have to take a hit to return it - unless you think it's recieved a lot more wear than you've been lead to believe and think it might like melt down a month from now. You should be able to get some idea of that with close scrutiny - popping the hood to have a look, slop in jacks, or things of that nature.

    It's usually only it retrospect than you know if a purchase was a good one.
  18. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Quote from Luknfur "those ebay/paypal gaurantees are just suckerbait to increase their cash flow"


    It's taken 2 months to get everything resolved from the day I won the auction to the time I have a fully-functional SVT 3 Pro.

    Ampeg was kind enough to cover the repair under their 5-yr. transferrable warranty. Kudos to Jim Moon @ Ampeg, a very helpful and supportive guy. All contact done by me, seller was useless.

    The unit is still kinda banged up looking, but with a fresh set of Electro-Harmonix tubes, the sound is quite good and I am, for the time being, satisfied with the performance of the amp.

    As for Ebay and their "buyer protection" and their "Square Deal" intermediary services, I say Phooey!. They were absolutely no help whatsoever and turned out to be a gigantic distraction and waste of my time. The Square Deal intermediary services charged me $20.00 to send a couple of emails. When they weren't answered they told me that they weren't going to do anything else. This kind of service is no service at all.

    If there are no negative consequences to sellers who misrepresent items (like censure or suspension from Ebay) then these buyer support services are nothing more than marketing to get people to bid on stuff.

    On Ebay, you're pretty much on your own, with the buyers at the mercy of the sellers. I will have to think very seriously before I bid on a high-buck item again on Ebay unless I can see it for myself and pick it up.

    Item descriptions which include such vague drivel as:

    "as far as I know"

    "I'm not knowledgeable about these things, but I've been told..."

    "unit powers up but I do not have the equipment to fully test it"

    "to the best of my knowledge"

    Weasel lines like these are pathetic attempts to float a cloud of obfuscation and should be red flags to anyone of even meager intelligence intending to bid on Ebay.

    There's something reassuring about being able to look a buyer in the eye when you ask a question about the item he's selling. Feedback, descriptions, pics, mean nothing in the end if the seller intends to misrepresent the item.

    Caveat emptor.
  19. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Hawkeye, I'm very sorry you've had such an unfortunate experience. But I thank you for sharing it here, so the rest of us can learn from it too.

    I've not yet conducted an ebay transaction as buyer or seller, and at this point I'm not sure I ever will. Hopefully most rip-off artists will stick with ebay because it's so popular, and stay away from Bassgear and the TalkBass classifieds... :bag:
  20. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I personally wouldn't discourage anybody from using ebay, you just need to know the ropes to minimize risk. You do have some leverage on ebay in terms of thier feedback and practically everybody is up front and legit. Virtually everybody that sells on ebay buys as well so there's a check's and balance there to help keep things in line. I personally feel at least as comfortable buying on ebay as talkbass, then bassgear. Harmony central I've never bought anything off and seems least trustworthy but most of the ads there are on bassgear and/or talkbass anyway. Regardless of where you buy, paypal with 100% credit card payment is the most secure pament and gives you all the leverage you need if the seller has misrepresented an item. But you'll still be stuck with return shipping.