Buying instruments off e-bay

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by englishgill, May 17, 2006.

  1. englishgill

    englishgill Member

    Does anyone have any experience of buying instruments off e-bay? I am looking for a tenor horn of my own as I currently borrow one from the band I play in and am more than a bit dubious about parting with in excess of £1,000 without actually trying (or seeing) the instrument. Are there ways round this, how do I safeguard my cash if I end up buying rubbish?

    Any advice on this and any other ideas about where I could find a sovereign tenor horn (new or second hand) would be gratefully received

    Thanks guys!

  2. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    In my opinion buying something like a horn or any type of brass instrument off Ebay is a little risky.

    If you are looking for a good quality horn for a good price try JP Instruments who sell their own Virtuosi brand and for the price they are cracking little instruments

    I am not in anyway connected to them I have just spoke to them and tried the instruments and found them to be of really good quality

    I hope this helps
  3. Kiz7

    Kiz7 Member

    i have bought instruments from Ebay but generally only from those people who have over 90% positive feedback. Also, i tend only to use the sellers that have verified paypal addresses and never spend more than £500 so that i am still protected under Ebay's buyer protection scheme.

    Most of the instruments I have bought have turned out well - I had one very dodgy baritone and in fact that was from a seller in Gloucester (40 minutes away from me) and as soon as I went to collect it, I knew I had made a mistake but i had to live with it. As it only cost around £80 I put it down to learning experience!

    You could always try making contact with the seller and asking a few more detaild - such as serial number, approximate age and the history of theinstrument/

    Hope this helps


    p.s. I have tried Virtuosi and was not a great fan personally. You CAN get better deals on Ebay if you are careful.
  4. Bones

    Bones Member

    Have a look at this article

    Hopefully it will give you an idea of the experience I have had recently.


  5. Active Member

    Or if the seller is not too far away from you, ask if you can inspect the instrument before making a bid. I'm sure something like this must happen when people are buying and selling cars on eBay although I hasten to add I've never bought or sold a car this way myself.

    Some sellers have their own eBay shops. For example, I know a firm called McQueens is selling a refurbished Sovereign horn and a refurbished Schilke soprano cornet at the moment.
  6. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I've bought several instruments via ebay now and just checked out the description and pictures very carefully, along with contacting the seller to verify condition and history (keep the reply as hard copy). They have all proved to be excellent buys in good condition and well worth the money. However if if I was looking for a Primary instrument, I'd want to try before bidding.
  7. Steve

    Steve Active Member

  8. Daz Polish

    Daz Polish New Member

    Yes i bought a Cornet from ebay once. They sent me a Cornetto:(
    As you can see by my picture, i loved it :)
  9. JonP

    JonP Member

    I use ebay tons, and as long as you use paypal, your money is protected should the seller turn out to be a con artist. The majority are cool, but you have to be sure they have lots of positive feedback etc, so your safe. Dont buy anything off someone with no feedback because they acn just dissapear.

    On the point of not trying the instrument, if you bought it on ebay you can sell it too, so if you dont like it just wack it back on. Go for IT!! Normans is dead, get on ebay!!
  10. gawber

    gawber Active Member

  11. JonP

    JonP Member

  12. tinytimp

    tinytimp Member

    Obviously everyone has their own stories about buying from Ebay, so thought I may as well share mine too!

    I bought a second instrument from the site, just to keep myself in practice of other instruments as well as my main one! I had no problems, the seller was more than happy to answer any questions I had and there were enough photos there for me to be confident enough to buy. It arrived in one piece and is still going!

    Obviously if you wanted to try the instrument that's a different story, and I'd say be wary of selling it again if you don't like it - I've never got as much back for an item I've sold on! Maybe if you were thinking of spending that much I'd go to an actual shop.

    Good luck!
  13. JDH

    JDH Member

    I have had some experience of buying instruments off eBay. Always contact the seller and ask questions and enquire about visiting to try the instrument. That helps to sort out the genuine sellers - they will have no trouble with you inspecting, while the con-merchants will make excuses, if they bother to reply. One I had was, the seller was supposed to be in London, but when I asked about trying the tuba, they said it was currently in Spain! I dropped that one double quick. Conversely, in another case, I found out the seller was a well-know brass soloist, so had no hesitation about bidding.

    So use your instinct and either use Paypal, or pay on collection.
  14. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    I've bought 3 instruments off EBay.

    A mint condition not very old Coutois professional 156 flugel
    A good condition B&H 400 student trombone (Bought just for fun)
    and a brand new Stagg Pocket trumpet

    I think I got an absolute bargain on each deal - much, much less than if I had bought them from a shop 2nd hand.

    I echo the poster above regarding Virtuosi - a fellow band member bought one of their trombones and couldn't get rid of it fast enough. The fact that they stamp Virtuosi England on the bells when thay are made in China should tell you everything you need to know.
  15. Mister 4x4

    Mister 4x4 Member

    All of my horns were from eBay, and I've had good luck so far, minus one purchase.

    I bought a cheap euphonium from Great Tunes, and they kind of misrepresented it. After not having been in touch with the whole band scene in over 20 years, I figured I'd get a cheap no-name horn to see if I'd enjoy it and stick with it (unlike some of my other hobbies). Well, I got a cheap new Selman and in a word, it was junk - brand-new junk... but junk nonetheless.

    The euph that I bought to replace 'El Cheapo' is a Jupiter 470 (also purchased via eBay), and it's been an absolute dream so far. It's in very nice shape and only cost about 1/4 of the price for a new one.

    I also got pretty much the same deal on my Blessing Marching Baritone as well.

    I would suggest the same as others have mentioned, and pay close attention to what it is that you're hoping to purchase - do some research. There are actually lots of deals out there, but obviously, you won't be able to test drive them before purchase, so go in knowing what you're after.
  16. Kiran

    Kiran New Member

    I dont like ebay