For those who need one more reason NOT to buy from Ebay

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by GibsonLives, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. GibsonLives

    GibsonLives Supporting Member

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    Over the weekend, I've been looking at vintage ('70s-era) Les Paul Customs and 25/50 Anniversary models. Apart from exorbitant prices on a lot of this stuff that is simply not in line with either published price guides or this "buyer's market" we keep hearing about, I found yet another anomaly: Ebay inflation. Specifically, a couple online stores I looked at had items listed on Ebay as well as on their company websites. Now, I realize that prices might be a bit higher on "Feebay" in order to offest...well, fees, but I saw discrepancies of SEVERAL hundred dollars, including one with an asking price of over a thousand bucks more than that listed at their store site. I guess asking for crazy prices on Ebay has its benefits: those who don't research might pay a higher price without associating the company with the discrepancy, and those who do their homework (or, as in my case, just sort of stumble onto the truth) will be rewarded with a lower price, which would eventually draws those "in the know" to their actual site, providing more web-traffic, which in theory at least, leads to more sales. What it's done for me is essentially make me swear off Ebay altogether in favor of a) reputable dealers who offer in-hand descriptions, approval periods, etc., and b) actual company sites instead of Ebay listings, which, as I've recently learned, tend to offer far better prices. Anyone else notice a major difference between the same pieces listed on both Ebay and a company's official site?
    Steve
     
  2. supa-fuzz

    supa-fuzz Member

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    No matter where you buy there is overhead, I don't really see any price advantage locally from Ebay to a "brick n' mortar" store, there is mark-up everywhere, but I am in a large metropolitan market. Ebay fees definitely are a factor, between them and Paypal collectively its like 6-10% of the selling price between the two now? Noone wants to loose money, hence price goes up to offset those fees. Buy local and you pay taxes and employee wages and a percentage toward rent, etc..the only advantage to Ebay is broad market, try contacting sellers and do the deal "offline" many will cut a better price, so not to raise a flag with Ebay, just type your email in code like; henryj at gmail dot com
     
  3. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    What sort of logic is this? This demonstrates that you shouldn't buy from THOSE STORES, not eBay as a whole.

    In any event, if someone is too lazy to know the market price for what they buying, that is their own issue, separate and apart from eBay.
     
  4. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    It used to be that ebay set the prices. Now it seems to be the economy in general. As in all purchases, do your homework, and you'll be OK. Paying higher at ebay is no different than shopping at different brick and mortar stores, some will be higher than others. But in the brick and mortar you have the ability to flash bills at the salesman and talk him down in price, much easier to negotiate.
     
  5. RAILhead

    RAILhead (real name is Maury, BTW) Gold Supporting Member

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    Why anyone would buy a guitar off eBay is beyond me -- you're just asking for issues. eBay is a GREAT tool, but just not a great tool for buying gear "sight unseen."
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  6. marko

    marko Member

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    i have bought and sold plenty of gear and guitars through Ebay. you do have to be careful and ask questions and understand the risks. Seems the same risk as any other online or real store shopping. For example a no questions return policy is a must when I buy anything anywhere!

    I had a dude(weekend musician) win my parts strat and he returned it as "unplayable" :huh He giged with it over a weekend too, came back dirty and messed with, jerk. I relisted it on ebay and sold to a full time musician and he loved it! The neck was a $400 Musicraft & EJ body! That's the only return or complaint I ever had, but I cover myself, disclosuse and post tons of pics!

    Recently sold an old '82 Hamer sunburst on Ebay that had plenty of player wear and some other issues. Sold it for little more than I had pay several years ago. I listed it here on TGP and got endless low ball offers or promises to pay. I sold it immediately on Ebay for more than all the TGP lowball offers! Ebay works if you handle it right and it has a place.

    I have bought plenty on Ebay too and only had to return a few small things that were not as described or as pictured. I have had to file complaints on 2 sellers, got my money back and return shipping paid.
     
  7. OM Flyer

    OM Flyer Member

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    eBay is a great resource for buying and selling gear. Do your homework and communicate well, and you'll have no problems 99% of the time.

    Bought on eBay with zero issues:

    Gibson Melody Maker
    Epiphone Casino
    Fender Aerodyne Tele
    Fender American Series Strat

    Sold on eBay with zero issues:

    Gibson J-45
    Martin SP0016R
    Gibson Melody Maker (2)
    Epiphone Casino
    Fender California Tele
    Fender American Series Tele
    Fender Aerodyne Tele
    Gibson ES-339
    Fender American Series Strat
     
  8. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    :agree Ebay like is a cross between Guitar Center and Musician's Friend. Like at GC, you need to do your research before you go in so that you know exactly what you're looking at without help from the seller; if you do need to ask a question, and you don't get a satisfactory response, just walk away. Like MF, you can't see every individual detail of the specific guitar you're going to get, so there's always a risk. Statistically, if you do enough trading on Ebay, you'll eventually get burned. The key is to take the necessary steps to minimize this possibility, such as requesting more photos and return policies.

    Like any other retailer, if the price is right, don't buy it there. It seems pointless to forsake all of Ebay because a few products can't be had at reasonable prices.
     
  9. whitehall

    whitehall Member

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    I'll take ebay any day over the stores. Why ? 30 day return policy. Vintage guitar stores are going the way of all little music vendors. The uneducated consumer is still their best buyer. Used to be just the prices on Gbase were laughable. Now with 30day listings it has spilled over to those same stores advertising on ebay- although often under a different name. The flawed logic is lets put this on for some ridiculous price. Sooner or later someone will want it bad enough and will pay for it. This doesn't work well in an information age. If you want it bad enough ,you will look for it. And with the world at your keyboard you will most likely find it.
     
  10. Badfrog

    Badfrog Member

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    I just skip right on past the listings that are asking too much $$ (and there are a lot of them). Just bought a 2007 Highway One Strat last week in that hard to find Daphne Blue color and it was killer guitar at a good price. Without Ebay I would probably just about never find that guitar that I've been looking for.
     
  11. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

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    Speaking to the 'feebay' part of this post - I was surprised to see recently that they now charge a 'final value fee' on the SHIPPING.

    Really? Shipping isn't a profit center for the transaction, so why treat it as such? Unless eBay actually decides to become a logistics and shipping company, I don't see why they should get a piece of the shipping charge.
     
  12. slugworth

    slugworth Supporting Member

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    That serves to edge their profits higher, sure, but it also serves to discourage price gouging with shipping charges, and to encourage "free shipping".
     
  13. SlyStrat

    SlyStrat Supporting Member

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    I've sold hundreds of guitars on ebay. 100% positive feedback. And the price is less than GC.
     
  14. Summa

    Summa Silver Supporting Member

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    I think what the seller was trying to do was to lead a buyer to a off ebay sale. Not unusual.

    I've had good luck with a few purchases on ebay. However I don't like to sell on there.
     
  15. patentcad

    patentcad Member

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    If you can employ the brains God gave you along with some common sense and homework, you can do deals on eBay all day long. Many sellers get real on the price when they are presented with a knowledgable buyer with cash in hand. The ones that don't can re-list their gear ad nauseum until they do get real. That's not your problem.
     
  16. dave_mc

    dave_mc Member

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    yeah i often notice a difference in price between ebay and the store's online shop. I always chec both, just in case.

    i'm not looking at really expensive vintage stuff, but even with cheaper stuff there's often a difference.
     
  17. supa-fuzz

    supa-fuzz Member

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    90% of my collection was purchased on Ebay, granted not all were keepers, part of the hunt, and I definitely flipped more than my share to improve my position (no actual household income may be spent on guitars). But in ten years or so maybe I returned 1 out 30 guitars that a seller was either unaware or dishonest about a problem.

    I don't shop at GC or Sam Ash stores, their markup is absurd, and never bought an instrument thru Musicians Friend or any large online retailer with stock photos, who knows what the heck you will get, like I am going to risk some minimum wage warehouse person to carefully select my guitar out of a pallet of 100? Forget it, gotta see real pictures, ask qustions, do your homework, shouldn't have a problem. If Ebay sellers don't have an open dialog, clear description/photos, and answer questions in a timely manner, I walk away to avoid a potential problem later. Common sense people.
     
  18. scolfax

    scolfax Member

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    I've bought and sold a lot. Only bought two things that I wouldn't have if I had known their true condition or shipping cost.

    A *very* small price to pay for the ability to find almost anything you want, and to sell things for what they are worth.
     
  19. GibsonLives

    GibsonLives Supporting Member

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    Tele, I'm with you. Not that I want this recession, or want to have people suffering, but damnit, as long as the media are pumping it, and people keep talking about how bad things are, I'd like to know exactly where this "buyer's market" that everyone claims we're in is hiding lol.
    Steve
     
  20. snowblind56

    snowblind56 Member

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    They did this to discourage sellers from selling a small item, say a belt buckle, for $.99, but having $20 in shipping. Basically it would be the same total price, but they wouldn't get dinged with fees.

    What that did, was screw the honest people like us. Try shipping a speaker cab. They are heavy as hell and cost a legitimate $100+ to ship. So we get screwed out of more money because .005% of the sellers were trying to skate around fees.
     

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