Secondhand HiFi - What to look for?

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Oxfordian

Well-known member
I have an entire system in my bedroom purchased second hand from ebay. No problems.

Never had an issue with a purchase, but did have one that didn't turn up ebay refunded me immediately.

Unless you are chasing a really rare piece of kit the trick is to be patient, don't overpay or buy something that looks unloved, there will always be another one.

Also look for "collection only" near where you live. They often sell for a fraction of what they would get if the seller would post/courier them.

Look for items in cosmetically good condition and known brands. If you don't like them, you can always sell them on again.
Thanks for the feedback, very helpful.
 
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Jasonovich

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No problem. I think your ‘homework’ gets repaid by more certainty about the item and the seller.

As a seller I’ve always been paid so far, and no disputes. (The guy in Vienna said my Sneaky was duff until he found he was using a faulty Ethernet cable, and then was hugely apologetic).

Forgot to add that many dealers use their own websites, but not necessarily eBay. So, David at thelittleaudiocompany in Birmingham, and Rick at Musicraft in Derby, who both post here, have used or ex-dem items advertised often.
I think also, eBay is a great outlet for giving small dealerships some market exposure.
I confess I bought a lot of Chinese orientated brands from Aliexpress but in terms of volume most of my purchases new and secondhand have been with dealerships selling their wares on eBay.
 

Dom

Well-known member
eBay is generally good, even excellent, but I advise caution and practice due diligence when making purchases on the platform. This prudent approach, as with any online marketplace, ensures that you are well-informed and cautious and help mitigate potential risks or issues that may arise during the purchasing process.

In other words if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

My 2 penny's
 
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Gray

Well-known member
I'll (almost certainly) never buy a new car, but I can't imagine ever buying used hifi components.

But that's just me - I know, with a bit of care SH could be a very cost-effective way of buying (certainly has been for the few people I've sold to).

(I've bought plenty of brand new, small switches / electronic stuff from e-bay....at some unbelievably reasonable prices).
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
I'll (almost certainly) never buy a new car, but I can't imagine ever buying used hifi components.

But that's just me - I know, with a bit of care SH could be a very cost-effective way of buying (certainly has been for the few people I've sold to).

(I've bought plenty of brand new, small switches / electronic stuff from e-bay....at some unbelievably reasonable prices).
I'll buy a new car or a used car as long as it is from a reputable dealer and comes with a warranty.

Photography which is one of my hobbies and has been for just over 4 decades has seen me buy both new or used cameras and lenses, I've not had a dud yet (closest was a viewfinder display going awol whilst under warranty and fixed under warranty). It was this reliability in all the photography gear that gave me the idea of looking at pre-loved hifi, whilst I know my way around the photography market I am very much the newbie in the hifi world even though I bought my first Hifi separates system 30 years ago.

I plan to upgrade my system in 2024/25 with a mix of new and pre-loved kit, just need to understand the best places to look for the pre-loved kit.
 
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Jasonovich

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I'll buy a new car or a used car as long as it is from a reputable dealer and comes with a warranty.

Photography which is one of my hobbies and has been for just over 4 decades has seen me buy both new or used cameras and lenses, I've not had a dud yet (closest was a viewfinder display going awol whilst under warranty and fixed under warranty). It was this reliability in all the photography gear that gave me the idea of looking at pre-loved hifi, whilst I know my way around the photography market I am very much the newbie in the hifi world even though I bought my first Hifi separates system 30 years ago.

I plan to upgrade my system in 2024/25 with a mix of new and pre-loved kit, just need to understand the best places to look for the pre-loved kit.
You mentioned photography, I'm looking out for a used Nikon mirrorless Z9 or even a Z8 on eBay. More wishful thinking really, even secondhand it will be beyond my means, maybe in a few years when it is much cheaper and here we are thinking, HiFi is expensive. :)
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
You mentioned photography, I'm looking out for a used Nikon mirrorless Z9 or even a Z8 on eBay. More wishful thinking really, even secondhand it will be beyond my means, maybe in a few years when it is much cheaper and here we are thinking, HiFi is expensive. :)
I'd like either camera as well but at the moment both are as you say beyond means, for now I'll settle for my secondhand D5 bought as an absolute bargain this time last year with only 2k clicks such a brilliant camera and so underrated.

The new Z9h and Z6iii later this year might drop Z8 and Z9 prices to more acceptable levels but I think it will be another year before they become affordable.
 
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record_spot

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Buying 2nd hand has *mostly* been okay for me. A couple of duds along the way, but for the most part, it's been alright.

I guess these days I'm more inclined to go with a seller on Ebay that is either a company and offering a return period, or the goods have been serviced (and ca' canny with that - I'm not convinced many of these services are anything more than a wipe down with a duster - so check what the element of service was), or they're a long standing audio independent seller (i.e., not a business) and feedback is excellent.

My current stereo has a 35 year old Kenwood DP990- SG as my main player, bought a couple of years ago from a charity in Manchester that specialised in refurbishing electronics, my speakers (AVI ADM 9RSS actives) were bought from 2ndhandhifi and I think they were NOS. Cambridge 752BD was new ten years ago, Cambridge Alva ST & DACMagic 200M were "opened box" from Cambridge in 2023, but really absolutely mint. Wharfedale SW150 subwoofer was new just the other day, so everything is a bit of a mix.

My spend on used gear these days is limited to around £100-150 for a CD player. That'll get you some really nice old Sony models, a brand I rate very highly - they turned out some terrific gear and well worth a look. Much of their ES range is hopelessly overpriced, although some of the lower end of that range is coming into more realistic pricing.

I used to have the Sony CDP-911E which was a fantastic purchase - I think I got it for around £75? It lasted just over a year (or at least, I wasn't going to pay any more to have it fixed, so it went to recycling). Then I picked up the Kenwood.

Shop around, be patient, wise up on the gear you're interested in, and remember what Tony Bennett once said - "buy right, buy once". :)
 

Jasonovich

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I'd like either camera as well but at the moment both are as you say beyond means, for now I'll settle for my secondhand D5 bought as an absolute bargain this time last year with only 2k clicks such a brilliant camera and so underrated.

The new Z9h and Z6iii later this year might drop Z8 and Z9 prices to more acceptable levels but I think it will be another year before they become affordable.
So true
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Buying 2nd hand has *mostly* been okay for me. A couple of duds along the way, but for the most part, it's been alright.

I guess these days I'm more inclined to go with a seller on Ebay that is either a company and offering a return period, or the goods have been serviced (and ca' canny with that - I'm not convinced many of these services are anything more than a wipe down with a duster - so check what the element of service was), or they're a long standing audio independent seller (i.e., not a business) and feedback is excellent.

My current stereo has a 35 year old Kenwood DP990- SG as my main player, bought a couple of years ago from a charity in Manchester that specialised in refurbishing electronics, my speakers (AVI ADM 9RSS actives) were bought from 2ndhandhifi and I think they were NOS. Cambridge 752BD was new ten years ago, Cambridge Alva ST & DACMagic 200M were "opened box" from Cambridge in 2023, but really absolutely mint. Wharfedale SW150 subwoofer was new just the other day, so everything is a bit of a mix.

My spend on used gear these days is limited to around £100-150 for a CD player. That'll get you some really nice old Sony models, a brand I rate very highly - they turned out some terrific gear and well worth a look. Much of their ES range is hopelessly overpriced, although some of the lower end of that range is coming into more realistic pricing.

I used to have the Sony CDP-911E which was a fantastic purchase - I think I got it for around £75? It lasted just over a year (or at least, I wasn't going to pay any more to have it fixed, so it went to recycling). Then I picked up the Kenwood.

Shop around, be patient, wise up on the gear you're interested in, and remember what Tony Bennett once said - "buy right, buy once". :)
Thanks for the input, I am getting the feeling that some careful research and taking my time could get me some nice bits of kit at an affordable price.
 

mightyquin

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All of my current hifi was bought used.

I have bought via ebay, facebook and forums. If you can, buy 'locally' so you can collect in person (and most genuine sellers will offer to demo the gear before you hand over the cash).

As many people like to continually 'upgrade' it seems that there are some great used hifi bargains out there to find!

Another thing with used gear is that you can buy, try, and if you don't like something you can usually sell it on again for the same that you paid for it, so you can have some fun trying stuff out with little risk.
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
All of my current hifi was bought used.

I have bought via ebay, facebook and forums. If you can, buy 'locally' so you can collect in person (and most genuine sellers will offer to demo the gear before you hand over the cash).

As many people like to continually 'upgrade' it seems that there are some great used hifi bargains out there to find!

Another thing with used gear is that you can buy, try, and if you don't like something you can usually sell it on again for the same that you paid for it, so you can have some fun trying stuff out with little risk.
The more I look the more I am realising that there are some who just have to have the latest and greatest and as such the perceived old lesser quality unloved gear is off loaded to a new owner who is delighted to get such great gear at a bargain price.
 
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Revolutions

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The more I look the more I am realising that there are some who just have to have the latest and greatest and as such the perceived old lesser quality unloved gear is off loaded to a new owner who is delighted to get such great gear at a bargain price.
I didn't answer your earlier question, sorry. But yes, this.

When I buy 2nd hand equipment it is almost always well-regarded products. You're likely buying from a likeminded hifi geek who's looked after the equipment until upgrading, or it's from a trade-in at a shop & should be tested fully working by them.
 
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Fandango Andy

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I didn't answer your earlier question, sorry. But yes, this.

When I buy 2nd hand equipment it is almost always well-regarded products. You're likely buying from a likeminded hifi geek who's looked after the equipment until upgrading, or it's from a trade-in at a shop & should be tested fully working by them.
My greatest hifi bargain was my record player. The ad said he purchased it along with a few records when vinyl started to become fashionable but didn't like the fuss. Only used it twice and hade lost the power adapter when he moved house. Thought it sounded too good to be true, but it was so cheap it was worth the risk. It was like new, not even the slightest mark on the easy to scratch lid. New genuine power adaptor was £20 but all in it cost a fraction of what other more used examples were going for.
 
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FrostMan

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I was bitten on Facebook marketplace a few years ago with a Cambridge Audio amp that the power supply had failed on. A local repair shop fixed it for me but that cost me way more than it was worth in reality...that said it's still going strong and it's lovely to listen to
 
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JDL

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I've bought everything second-hand. Through eBay with buyer protection. I've had some very nice equipment from eBay and some real bargains. Any problems whatsoever and I demand a refund immediately. I've had to send a couple of things back in the past but it's never been a problem. It's very easy in fact.
I think unless you know exactly what you're looking for, just keep on and on Googling reviews of a product you're not familiar with if it interests you. Read everything you can from reviewers
and various forum contributors. Look at images of the insides of a unit you're considering to try and guage its quality. When you do that you'll find a few more bits and pieces to read. Compare it with other similar items and mull it over carefully for a while and decide if this is what you're looking for.
Personally I've enjoyed the experience of buying secondhand Hi-Fi separates.
Speakers for me were the hardest thing to get right.....
 

Jasonovich

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I've bought everything second-hand. Through eBay with buyer protection. I've had some very nice equipment from eBay and some real bargains. Any problems whatsoever and I demand a refund immediately. I've had to send a couple of things back in the past but it's never been a problem. It's very easy in fact.
I think unless you know exactly what you're looking for, just keep on and on Googling reviews of a product you're not familiar with if it interests you. Read everything you can from reviewers
and various forum contributors. Look at images of the insides of a unit you're considering to try and guage its quality. When you do that you'll find a few more bits and pieces to read. Compare it with other similar items and mull it over carefully for a while and decide if this is what you're looking for.
Personally I've enjoyed the experience of buying secondhand Hi-Fi separates.
Speakers for me were the hardest thing to get right.....
Absolutely. Speakers are the most challenging. I tend to add preference to dealerships using the eBay portal even if it is costing more.
If it is a private seller, I want to see full disclosure, historical account, adequate photos and references to dents on cones, cabinets or defects relating to the sound.
If it fails the scrutiny, I'll move on to another seller.
 
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