goodbye, eBay

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by screamingmorris, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    In the 18 months that I have bought items off of eBay, I have lost approximately $1,000.

    In some cases I wanted to buy a particular trumpet to see how it played, then I decided it wasn't what I wanted so I re-sold it for a small loss.

    But in more cases than I wish to remember, I have been cheated by dishonest eBay sellers.

    My latest eBay purchase has left such a bad taste in my mouth that it will probably be my last eBay purchase ever.
    On my very small retirement income I cannot afford to lose any more money on eBay.

    11 days ago I bought a 1955 Conn 22B for a “Buy It Now†of $100 plus shipping.

    I could see that it was in rather poor shape, with 2 medium size dents in the bell next to the valves, and the finish was in bad shape, and the seller said that the trumpet had other dents that were allegedly too small to photograph, and the outside of the case was in poor shape.

    But the seller, who *claims* to be the widow of a minister, assured me that there were no other dents, etc, on the trumpet.

    When the trumpet arrived, I was shocked to discover that there was a crease that completely encircled the end of the trumpet bell.
    It looked as though someone had slammed the trumpet bell rim onto the floor with tremendous force.
    When I looked back at the photos in the eBay ad, I realized that the crease was not visible in the photos because it was hid in the shadows at the bottom of photo “trump4â€.
    And the 50 other dents that were obvious all over the trumpet were every bit as big as a dent that she had photographed for me before the sale, showing that those other 50 dents were *not* too small to photograph after all.
    And the trumpet was un-playable because both spit valve corks were missing.

    The seller insisted that there was no such major damage to the trumpet, so I realized that it was her word against mine regarding whether the trumpet already had such damage when it was in her hands.

    I did not want a trumpet that has a 14-inch-long crease encircling the end of the trumpet bell, so I decided I would clean it up and give it to charity, suffering a loss of $100 plus $13.

    I unstuck all 4 frozen tuning slides and lubricated them.
    I oiled the valves.
    I replaced the 2 missing spit valve corks.
    I polished off all the red and brown tarnish and corrosion.
    I used my snake brush to clean most of the crud out of the lead pipe.
    Using the drum stick that was in the case, I reached into the bell of the trumpet and gently rubbed the 2 bell dents next to the valves outward to make the 2 dents half as deep.
    I used a hot glue gun to fasten down the loose trim on the outside of the case and then I cleaned and polished the outside of the case.
    The trumpet which arrived un-playable was now playable.

    But when the seller insisted “I have photos of every inch of that trumpet and there is no crease in any of those photosâ€, and she insisted that it is impossible for a trumpet bell to have a crease that is 14 inches long, that made me mad.
    So I put a dozen paper stickers on the trumpet bell marking exactly where the bell crease was, then I shipped it back to her at my expense of $16.
    She now had proof positive that I was telling the truth about there being a huge crease on the bell of the trumpet.

    When she got the trumpet back, did she admit that the crease was indeed there exactly as I described?
    Instead, she complained that one of the 2 mouthpieces was allegedly missing from the case.
    So I had to inform her that the mouthpiece was in the compartment under the trumpet, that I had put it there so that it wouldn’t bang around and hit the trumpet during shipping.

    I finally got so fed up with her continuing and worsening dishonesty that I left her bad eBay feedback, something I hardly ever do:
    “She didn't disclose BIG CREASE on trumpet. I lost $129. She won't even apologizeâ€

    She then posted this false accusation in the eBay feedback:
    “This man got the trumpet then did all kinds of things to it to ruin the value.â€

    That from an eBay seller who had an almost 100 percent positive feedback record, who claims to be the widow of a minister.

    So I give up.
    I cannot afford to lose any more money on eBay, so to protect my small retirement income I will have to say goodbye to eBay.

    - Morris
  2. Miyot

    Miyot Pianissimo User

    Jul 22, 2007
    I have seen it all, as I have run several businesses. I like to think most people are honest, but they can surprise you. I have many good stories. I have bought off of ebay, thinking I was treated fairly. Only to find out later I wasn't. I don't buy there anymore either. I have been cheated by doctors, lawyers, policeman and little old ladies. It was never substantial, thankfully. I try to maintain my trust in people. But it can be hard.
  3. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    On the other hand - I purchase a LOT of stuff from eBay with the credo of "Buyer Beware" and I have only been burnt (well singed really) once in hundreds of encounters (no I don't work for eBay nor do I have an axe to grind). My biggest beef with eBay is the exhorbitant postage costs - that HAS to be a rippoff - especially from the UK.
  4. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    1. Ebay is not for making $$
    2. In any business venture one must be prepared to be lied to, stolen from, cheated, and robbed. The pleasure comes when these things do not happen.
    3. Sorry you had this happen, you seem in your posts to be a good guy!
    I know that being in business for many years gives one a better outlook as you expect the worst, but hope for the best. I know how you feel but I won't go into the details...
  5. mrmusicnotes

    mrmusicnotes Piano User

    Nov 11, 2007
    Morris,Sorry to hear you got ripped off.I"ve purchased a few pretty big items the last couple of months including a Mendez trumpet and long cornet,both in great shape.Never had any trouble when dealing with 100% feedback sellers yet.I think you can arbitrate through Ebay, and if you used paypal through them also.I always look for the pro sellers,the ones with a lot of sales and always read the replies of the buyers.Check craigslist locally so you can check out the item before buying.Like Donnie Osmond says "One bad apple dont spoil the whole bunch girl, give it one more try before you give up on love L.O.L.Theres always a risk but on the whole Its pretty safe,maby take a break and try again down the road. Oh,and sorry for the corney metaphor Don
  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Sorry to hear you've had more bad luck on eBay, Morris. Maybe the thrift and pawn shop route would be a safer bet - a lot harder to find what you want, but at least you can look and play before you buy.
  7. JoeD

    JoeD New Friend

    Feb 20, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  8. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    I now realize that the crease in the bell is *not* hidden in that big irregularly-shaped shadow in the eBay ad photo, because the crease is actually *causing* that big irregularly-shaped shadow.
    A regularly-shaped trumpet bell would have almost no shadow at all at the bell rim.

    The eBay ad has a close-up of the trumpet bell facing downward.
    I saved a copy of that photo onto my computer, then I opened it with Windows Picture Viewer and I enlarged it.
    The irregular edge of the crease encircling the end of the bell is clearly visible, along with those strange teeth marks that are just above the edge of the crease.
    And in another photo of the ad the bell appears to be out-of-round.

    But the eBay seller is still insisting this morning that the trumpet had no bell crease when it was in her possession, even though her own eBay ad photos prove that she is lying.

    It's like the eBay seller in Texas who insisted that the Holton 304 he sold me did not have that severe bell damage when it was in his possession, that it must have been damaged in shipping, even though there was no damage at all to the trumpet case and to the cardboard box.

    And it's like the long-time member of Trumpet Herald who sold me a trumpet without disclosing the very large dent in the bell next to the valves, a dent that did not appear in any of the photos because he strangely didn't take any photos of that one area.

    And it's like the Conn 6B I bought recently in which the 3 valves wouldn't even insert into their valve casings, even though the eBay seller had assured me that the valves moved up and down just fine.

    Oh, well, no sense in re-living bad experiences.
    The sooner I say goodbye to eBay, the sooner I can get on with life.

    Losing all that money in eBay has taught me a valuable lesson.
    I just wish I could have learned the lesson a cheaper way.

    - Morris
  9. Puukka

    Puukka Pianissimo User

    Jan 27, 2005
    Krems an der Donau
    Sorry to hear about your mishap.
    I personally would never buy a trumpet without testing.
    The main reason is, that no picture can show the condition of the valves.
    So if only one is slow, I can forget the whole trumpet. Also if they are not airtight anymore. Seller´s "the valves move freely" could be also a bad sign.

    The other one is, that I couldn´t say if I like it before testing.
    Each piece of the same model can vary a lot. That´s normal, because they are mostly handmade with tolerances.
  10. Decentplayer

    Decentplayer Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 11, 2008
    I'm surprised you didn't know about the joys(lol) of ebay already.

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