How do you feel about buying gear on eBay?

etvedt

Member
Messages
147
Hey all,

I'm about to buy my first guitar on eBay. How does the guitar geek world feel about buying guitars sight unseen, in general? Do you think it's an absolute must to hold the guitar in your hands and play it before purchasing? Or can we trust our most trusted manufacturers to give us a great guitar?
 

saf_1

Member
Messages
667
I feel just fine about it. 90% of the gear I buy - and have bought in the last 14 or so years - has been off of ebay. And I'm not talking about junk - I'm talking high end guitars; Gibson & Fender Custom Shop, Grosh, PRS - as well as boutique and regular production amps, too many types to name. Not just a few - a lot. And I have never been burned on a deal, or not gotten exactly what I expected. You have to be smart and judicious about how you bid and what you bid on. There are definitely scammers out there - and I think scamming has gotten worse over the years. But if you are careful, and know what you're doing, there is no reason not to be able to use ebay to pick up a great deal.
 

vintage66

Member
Messages
6,650
I've only bought pedals but have had terrible luck with malfunctioning pedals, from totally non-functioning to staticky background noises. Of course you can get your money back in these cases, usually minus shipping. I've gotten a couple good ones, but the bad has outnumbered the good. I pretty much avoid ebay for pedals now unless I can't find it anywhere else.

Never bought a guitar on there. Neck issues would be my number one concern. Other than that, find out the weight so you're not surprised-not a valid reason for return unless you were lied to, but not something you want to get stuck with. Other than that, you can roll the dice. I prefer playing a guitar in person though to see if it's a good player or not. I've tried plenty of high end used guitars that I thought would play like a dream that were dogs, at least the way they were set up, and plenty of low end stuff that I couldn't put down. You won't know until you get your hands on it. I would be more confident with certain brands than others of course.
Try to determine what condition the frets are in also-lots of guitars have tons of wear in the "cowboy chords" positions, or just general wear from years of playing. A new fret job can turn a good deal into a not so good one.
 

Luke

Senior Member
Messages
11,898
Most of my gear is from eBay. You have to look a the description of the item and the seller's feedback. I always bid with thought the item is 20% worse than stated. If a undisclosed scuff is going to bother you, eBay isn't for you.
 

wilblee

Hack sans shame
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,068
Buying guitars I've done alright. I still own 12 that I bought off eBay and have sold maybe 10 more that were perfectly fine, but I just didn't bond with them. I only ever had to return one and the seller was way more than decent about it.

Other sound gear, not so much. Several high-dollar items either arrived defective, or crapped out after a couple of months. And getting one's money back from eBay on a high dollar item can be a hassle. Any more, if I need a piece of PA and/or processing gear, I just wait until I can buy new with a warranty.
 

Serenity

Member
Messages
3,506
I've bought most of my gear off ebay. Never had a problem. Just be sure to check the sellers feedback. I'd rather try first, but there are some great bargains on ebay.

My best buys have been a 50's Classic Esquire for £200 in mint condition, Ibanez Iceman IC400 for £200. Also picked up a Marshall Class 5 for £199. Had loads of pedals and never had a problem.
 
Messages
6,839
Make sure the seller has stellar feedback, and call them and have a real conversation about the item you want to buy. I've bought two pedals and two Gibsons off eBay with no problems whatsoever. They were better than described and I couldn't be happier.

As long as you've done your due diligence (verify serial numbers, checked seller feedback, etc) and called the seller (if possible), I don't see why not.
 

GibsonLives

Member
Messages
2,756
As someone who lives in an at best mid-sized city, My choices for hands-on guitar purchasing are extremely limited, and a drive and/or flight to a big-market town makes no financial sense. For me, it's better to take a calculated risk, knowing I can either resell without a great loss or take advantage of a return policy where applicable.

Steve
 

chrisrocksusa

Member
Messages
2,089
I've done it A LOT in the past, now I pretty much rely on in-person and emporium (tgp) buys.

never had a bad experience with ebay, but the fees are much higher now and I don't care to take risks anymore after all the nightmare stories I've heard.
 

dangeroso

Member
Messages
4,475
Expect actual condition of gear to be a little worse than described. Other than that, transactions typically go well.
 

65DuoSonic

Member
Messages
4,971
I've bought and sold several guitars on ebay and it has always been great. As long as you don't pay too much for an item, you can always flip it with minimal loss if you don't like it for some reason. If the item arrives and is not as described or whatever, you're covered by ebay/paypal buyer protection - minus the return shipping, unless the seller is real nice and covers that too.

Just do your homework on the item in question, ask 'lots of questions, request extra pictures if need be, and it should work out fine. With patience, you can find almost anything on ebay, and buying lightly used items is a money saver. When I was looking at Fender CS guitars on ebay, I would send the serial number to Fender consumer relations and request a spec sheet/shop floor traveler in order to make sure everything was legit. Gibson and other companies may be able to look up serial numbers for you too, but I'm not sure.

Also, check out Reverb.com. There is some cool stuff on there too, and if you pay with paypal, you have buyer protection. It's always nice to see an item in person, but sometimes this can be limiting in terms of what is available nearby.
 

dcooper830

Member
Messages
762
I've bought at least 15 guitars off ebay.

Never had any problems with any of them except for me having to set them up.. which was expected.
 

samarshll

Member
Messages
533
I only shop ebay for local purchases (within a 1 hour drive). This way I have little risk of a bad deal and I can walk away if it isn't right. So far so good.
 

ixnay

Member
Messages
4,059
I used to buy on eBay all the time, but I don't even bother anymore. Seems like everyone prices their items at ridiculous prices hoping to hook the first sucker than comes along.
 




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