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Guide: Buying Gear on Ebay!

So you’re on the internet bored at work/school and you stumble upon a great deal on a piece of drum gear you have been drooling over for weeks on ebay.com. Is it to good to be true? Let this guide help you determine that!

Things to ask/look for when buying gear on Ebay:

1) Look at the sellers transaction numbers. This is the first thing you should look for when buying something from someone on Ebay. At the top of the page you can find the person that is selling the item look at the number right next to his name, this is his transaction number, or how much feedback he has received from buying/selling products on Ebay. You want too look and see if this number is high or low. A high number (50+) will let you know that this person has been selling on Ebay for a while and is not new to how things work. A low number (1-10) will tell you that the person is rather new to Ebay and is usually the first red flag when making a purchase on the internet.

2)The next thing to check is the sellers feedback, this is what the little number next to his name represents (remember? :D ) . To check the sellers feedbacks simply click on the number next to his name. This will take you to a page where it will show all the sellers feedback he has received from buyers. At the top of this page will show the seller’s feedback score. A low score (surprisingly on ebay that’s anything under 98%) is a bad sign; I would recommend not doing business with anybody under 98 percent. If the person is under 98% find what people were saying for the negative feedback, and make your decision if you want to make a transaction with this seller based on other people’s statements.

3) Read the description of the item through and through; make sure that it is described very well. If there are things you need answered don’t refrain from asking the seller. If you don’t get any answers back that is usually a red flag about the seller. When buying drums make sure you know what drums your buying, for instance make sure that the item pictured is actually the item pictured. Make sure you are getting the right stuff.

4) Check the pictures if you are buying cymbals look for any key holing (chips/dents around where the cymbal sits on the stand) and check for finish blemishes and cracks on the surface. If anything is found or looks fishy make sure to ask the seller about it. Or simply don’t bid. If you are buying drums make sure to check out the pictures of the drums. If there are any cracks/chips/dents in the drums these are usually bad signs. It’s best to ask the seller about anything if something doesn’t look right, especially before you bid.

5) Check the price for shipping, sure the $1.99 buy it now price sounds enticing for that new Tama Starclassic kit, but the 3 grand shipping will kick you in the rear. Sometimes sellers will put a low buy it now price, or starting bid to get the potential buyers attention, and crank up the price when it comes to shipping to avoid ebay fees. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and look how much shipping is. And if It’s not listed (common with “buy-it-now” only auctions) ask the seller.

6) Set a budget and stick to it. Set your high bid to that price and leave it at that. Ebay will automatically bid for you up to your set amount. If you get the item sweet, if not some one else ended up paying more for the item!

7) Always pay with Paypal. Although there are fees every time you use it, It’s worth it when you actually get ripped off. Paypal has an insurance program that will reimburse you for your losses when the event arises.

Well we hope that these tips help you out in your quest for Ebay domination! Ebay can be a great place to get killer deals, but there are also the shady characters lurking around waiting to rip you off. Just keep your eyes open and ask questions!

About zildjianmatt

An avid drummer, educator and author on all things drums!

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