Ebay can be a great place to score that sampler you've been eyeing for months but at a great price. Ebay can also be an awful place for buying used gear due to un-trustworthy sellers engaging in fraud. Since we've been burned in the past by dishonest sellers, hopefully this post will help you navigate the murky waters of Ebay.
Note: These tips can apply to equipment other than samplers as well (i.e. drum machines, synths, keyboards, etc.)
Note again: These tips are for AFTER you have carefully researched the type of sampler/synth that meets your needs (i.e. rack, tabletop, groovebox, etc.)
- Photos, photos, photos - Stay away from sellers that only post one stock photo. In the age of digital cameras (they're just about on every mobile device post 2005), its hard not to have photos of the actual product being sold. If the price is too good to refuse and you must bid, shoot the seller a message and request additional photos of the actual unit.
- Dents/Missing Knobs - A tell tale sign that a sampler or drum machine has been dropped are signs of huge dings and/or dents. Missing knobs can also be signs of past machine abuse. Be pre-cautious about this unless you're purchasing for parts only...love thy machine.
- A price that's too good to be true - If the unit you're looking at costs $1000 brand new and the Ebay seller is willing to let it go at $100....that's a red flag. Do your research on the product you're looking to purchase. Check the MSRP on GuitarCenter.com. Check the price of the unit in general on other Ebay shops and benchmark from there.
- Sellers with no feedback - Ok, this one is not a deal breaker. Every Ebay seller has had zero feedback at the beginning of their career. Just be sure to ask detailed questions and as well, require a DOA (dead on arrival) return policy just to cover yourself from any type of fraud.
Ebay is not all bad, the goal is to cover your ass and be sensible about what you're purchasing and research the seller (feedback/other items for sale).