Posted by Anonymous Bidder on March 27, 2001 at 09:37:55:
In Reply to: Re: EBAY posted by Me too on March 27, 2001 at 07:57:08:
Excellent advice. I've purchased several instruments, but only one tuba (a helicon in need of serious restoration) on e-bay, with only two real clunkers -- an otherwise beautiful and excellent sounding trumpet with an intonation problem the seller didn't know enough to realize and a piccolo where the pads were not in the condition promised. You really have to be careful and know what you want and what you're looking at. Other minor disappointments have always been satisfactorily resolved with the seller.
My first rule is never get caught up in the auction (that is, decide what you'll pay, bid it at the appropriate time, and forget it -- if you decide you'll pay more come in at the end, but be careful.)
Second rule is never bid on any item unless you have had good e-mail conversations with the seller concerning any questions on the instrument -- you can identify potential problems, ask about them and if the answers are satisfactory, bid. If the item then does not conform to the answers, you are in a much better position to ask the seller for redress or go to e-bay.
My third rule is not to bid before the last day, preferably not until the last few hours.. The reason for this is if you put a bid in early, you get the interest of other bidders and price running. Your goal is to minimize what you pay relative to what you're willing to pay, so put your bid in late. If there are no other bids at that level, the end of auction run up (which almost always happens) will start at a lower level, if the bids already exceed what you're willing to pay, don't bother.