These auction sites really make me cross...

plastic penguin

Well-known member
...or the people who sell their wares.

Most of you know I am so suspicious of these auction sites. Today I had a browse at different hi-fi products, and noticed a worrying trend: a lot of the companies are selling products higher than list price. Perfect example are the Sennheiser HD 380 Pro. The recognised retailers are selling these between £110.00 - £120.00, but I've noticed an auction retailer selling at £120. That concerns me because they claim to be a bonafide seller but most trade from home thus have little come back.

Wharfedale Denton speakers from the early 70s were selling for £900... WHAT!! There are loads of other examples but wouldn't want to bore you.

I don't doubt for one moment that good deals are to be had on these sites, but I'd rather pay slightly over the odds at a known retailer, knowing that I'm not dealing iffy companies.

Many of you buy hi-fi products from Ebay and the likes with 'a happy ever after' conclusion - fair play to all who do...

Am i right to be slightly suspicious, or an dinosaur that's allergic to change?
 

Paul.

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2010
745
55
18,970
The feedback system on eBay is generally pretty reliable, I tend to not buy off of people with less than 50 positive feedback, and at least 95% positive. I also only buy second hand off of eBay, never new (with the exception of my stand which came from the Alphason eBay page). As I said on the other thread, its a sellers market at the mo, you have to blame the daft customers really, cant blame a guy for trying to make a few quid (as long as they are not unscrupulous :) )
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
475
7
18,895
Caveat emptor. You're savvy enough not to make a poor purchase - if others can't even be bothered to google the product to see what it's selling for then so be it.

I too tend to use ebay for second hand. However, I have made savings on new products. It's all about research and careful thought.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
I understand the Feedback system, and sure that helps, but no matter how much research you do, chances are you goin to come across an 'Arthur Daley' and be stitched.

The only products I've bought off the bay was a DVD box set (brand new and still in the cellophane) and a couple of books and a CD which came with a broken case and had more scratches on the disc than a scratchy thing.

That's my personal choice and the only time I'll ever buy from auction sites is if a retailer I know is advertising.
 

shooter

New member
May 4, 2008
210
0
0
plastic penguin said:
...or the people who sell their wares.

Most of you know I am so suspicious of these auction sites. Today I had a browse at different hi-fi products, and noticed a worrying trend: a lot of the companies are selling products higher than list price. Perfect example are the Sennheiser HD 380 Pro. The recognised retailers are selling these between £110.00 - £120.00, but I've noticed an auction retailer selling at £120. That concerns me because they claim to be a bonafide seller but most trade from home thus have little come back.
Check that the feedback is good, the lowest i've bought from is 98%.

Regarding the £120 Sennheiser, yes they are at the top end of the price (and not out of it) but the margin's may be smaller so the price may be at a maximum, doesn't mean they are a bad seller because of it.

plastic penguin said:
Wharfedale Denton speakers from the early 70s were selling for £900... WHAT!! There are loads of other examples but wouldn't want to bore you.
If they are rare as hen's teeth and there is a market for them..

plastic penguin said:
I don't doubt for one moment that good deals are to be had on these sites, but I'd rather pay slightly over the odds at a known retailer, knowing that I'm not dealing iffy companies.
Thats your call..

plastic penguin said:
Many of you buy hi-fi products from Ebay and the likes with 'a happy ever after' conclusion - fair play to all who do...
Yes your right there are loads of bargains too be had and i've only had a couple of dodgy experiences, going with 100% sellers with loads of feedback is good starter for a good transaction all round.

plastic penguin said:
Am i right to be slightly suspicious, or an dinosaur that's allergic to change?
Don't be suspicious just be savvy.
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
107
1
18,595
plastic penguin said:
I don't doubt for one moment that good deals are to be had on these sites, but I'd rather pay slightly over the odds at a known retailer, knowing that I'm not dealing iffy companies.
eBay is the best after sliced bread.. may be just for me but I am so thankful that this exists in first place.

eBay auction does not judge me based on whether I buy or not or if I just watch, unlike my neigbourhood retailer

eBay lets me participate to my depth of pocket, unlike my neighbourhood retailer

eBay auction is in a way fair to me, unlike my neighbourhood retailer who might give me a better price only he likes me or me being dedicated to him in all my HiFi pruchases

eBay, as a seller, lets me sell of my gear and upgrade where as most of my neighbourhood retailer does not care much about my existing gear or only offers me such a low price that tears my eyes

eBay stocks all brands where as my neighbourhood retailer (or any retailer) only recommends from the brands he sells

... can go on.. just kidding!

I am aware of the auditioning advantages with a retailer and benefitting from their vast knowledge but in this world of surplus, I prefer the sites like eBay for optimized pricing.

Having said all this, I have two retailers whom I have dealt with in the recent past and I am so happy with them that I am reconsidering switching full time to one of them, given the awesome service I received on my used Inpol2.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
WishTree said:
plastic penguin said:
I don't doubt for one moment that good deals are to be had on these sites, but I'd rather pay slightly over the odds at a known retailer, knowing that I'm not dealing iffy companies.
eBay is the best after sliced bread.. may be just for me but I am so thankful that this exists in first place.

eBay auction does not judge me based on whether I buy or not or if I just watch, unlike my neigbourhood retailer

eBay lets me participate to my depth of pocket, unlike my neighbourhood retailer

eBay auction is in a way fair to me, unlike my neighbourhood retailer who might give me a better price only he likes me or me being dedicated to him in all my HiFi pruchases

eBay, as a seller, lets me sell of my gear and upgrade where as most of my neighbourhood retailer does not care much about my existing gear or only offers me such a low price that tears my eyes

eBay stocks all brands where as my neighbourhood retailer (or any retailer) only recommends from the brands he sells

... can go on.. just kidding!

I am aware of the auditioning advantages with a retailer and benefitting from their vast knowledge but in this world of surplus, I prefer the sites like eBay for optimized pricing.

Having said all this, I have two retailers whom I have dealt with in the recent past and I am so happy with them that I am reconsidering switching full time to one of them, given the awesome service I received on my used Inpol2.
After a house and cars, hi-fi and AV in general is the most expensive commodity we come across, and if I'm spending vast amounts on electronic gear I certainly won't buy before hearing... I've probably spent mega thousands over a thirty year period. Would you buy a car without a test drive? Or walk into an Estate agents and purchase a house or flat without looking at it first?

Last year I bought a pair of Grado headphones based on reviews alone, totally out of character for me, and no matter how much I try to convince myself how 'great' they are I can't live with them.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I think it's important to bear in mind that the vast majority of ebay sellers are on the level, and that the vast majority of ebay sales go well. Of course, buying or selling you have to use a bit of common sense, but isn't that the case when money's involved with anything?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
dont forget that both ebay and paypal take a cut of the final sale price so full-time ebay sellers need to account for this...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
i feel i must defend ebay becoz i would never have got the kit i have without it. like others have said-only use sellers with very high ratings, do your homework, and be patient and you will be rewarded.

for those that have limited budgets -like me and partners that would rather redirect our savings elsewhere, 2nd hand ebay allows us to listen to stuff beyond our means. i cant afford a mansion overlooking the sea, but i can afford to feed my soul beautiful sounds if im patient and willing to try ebay 2nd hand. have and am.
 

Big Chris

New member
Apr 3, 2008
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0
I take each item on its own merits. I wouldn't have been able to find a P85 anywhere other than second hand, and the fact I paid £199 for it was the icing on the cake.

I too have seen stuff going for more than you'd buy it in a bricks 'n' mortar store, but agree that if people are dumb enough to not spend 5 minutes checking this stuff out for themselves, then on their own head be it.

It's not just auction sites. Play.com, up until fairly recently, still had first gen Sony BD player (S300 & S500) for silly money on their site (and I'm not talking Playtrade dealers).
 

eggontoast

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2011
453
12
18,895
WishTree said:
I am aware of the auditioning advantages with a retailer and benefitting from their vast knowledge
Not all have a vast knowledge there are a few that don't know what they are doing, that really does annoy me personally as there job is to sell something the least they could do is know about what they are selling.

IMO eBay is great, it gives you a chance to try different gear by buying and selling. I have made loads of transactions on eBay and can count on one hand the number of bad experiences. I think the feedback system works well enough to stay clear of rogue sellers.

Obviously you have to check the price of goods but that is also true of shops surely.
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
107
1
18,595
plastic penguin said:
I certainly won't buy before hearing... I've probably spent mega thousands over a thirty year period. Would you buy a car without a test drive? Or walk into an Estate agents and purchase a house or flat without looking at it first?

Last year I bought a pair of Grado headphones based on reviews alone, totally out of character for me, and no matter how much I try to convince myself how 'great' they are I can't live with them.
PP - I am mostly with you on what you mentioned but my reasons have been very different and so was my experience.

Honestly - I do not know how many of us can be this honest - I bought the Pathos Inpol2 even with out hearing it one time, for that matter not even a single Pathos product was heard by me. Though I heard the hybrid amps like Unison or pure valve amps and have an idea about how they might sound. If you look at it from that perspective, I am almost gambling here. As I said, with my numerous show room demos, the only outcome is a show room demo is as good as listenting to the gear in a show but with less audience. It meant almost nothing to me. I bought brand new Dynaudio Excite X36 based on show room demo and they sounded bad at home. Then the retailer took them back, charging me for opening the boxes and I only get a big voucher for my next purchase which I sensibly bought a CM9 and sold them off eBay at no loss..

Long story short - eBay gives us options much more than retailer especially for used gear and I guess it is our sense of judgement makes it a very useful too for us. I agree that there are some people who sell / want to sell stuff at more than market price, even, which is alright.. I will just stay away from the price.

Also, just to share, MRP is Maximum Retail Price and I tend to buy anything beyond 100 Pounds at less that MRP as it is for sure that the dealer, retailer, shop who ever it is has enough profit to share some with us, the end customer. Above 1000 Pounds, brand new HiFi, my thumb rule is it has to be 20% off the MRP!

Sorry to hear about the Headphones story.. If it is brand new, I guess most of the eBay stores have some return policy.

Cheers!
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
107
1
18,595
plastic penguin said:
Would you buy a car without a test drive? Or walk into an Estate agents and purchase a house or flat without looking at it first?
PP - On a lighter note - if they deliver to me an Aston Martin at one third the market price for such a car and the guy says the car is in full working condition and have good ratings, oh yeah.. I would jump and buy


Regarding a Flat - A few months back, I bought one just based on its physical location (though unconstructed yet) but it is more like investment!

As I said, this is only on lighter note, in reality no car or no constructed flat with out thoroughly checking everything.. Aston Martin, example still holds good.
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
107
1
18,595
eggontoast said:
Not all have a vast knowledge there are a few that don't know what they are doing, that really does annoy me personally as there job is to sell something the least they could do is know about what they are selling.
I agree. We friends went for auditioning after a long waiting period and the sales men kept on talkin through out the audition which was quite a trouble as we could not focus much. The icing on the cake was, he even wanted us to believe that B&W 802D are much inferior to the shop's custom built speakers. Ofcourse, it was a carefully staged demo but thankfully I knew the sound of 802D.

To top it up, except one or two, all the showrooms I visited for demo, consistently tell me that they have very poor acoustics in the studio and the same gear would sound better at my home. I used to have B&W CM7 speakers then and they always sounded the best at my home or now at my friend's place (who bought them off me)

I do not understood the shop audition of the gear.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
WishTree said:
plastic penguin said:
I certainly won't buy before hearing... I've probably spent mega thousands over a thirty year period. Would you buy a car without a test drive? Or walk into an Estate agents and purchase a house or flat without looking at it first?

Last year I bought a pair of Grado headphones based on reviews alone, totally out of character for me, and no matter how much I try to convince myself how 'great' they are I can't live with them.
PP - I am mostly with you on what you mentioned but my reasons have been very different and so was my experience.

Honestly - I do not know how many of us can be this honest - I bought the Pathos Inpol2 even with out hearing it one time, for that matter not even a single Pathos product was heard by me. Though I heard the hybrid amps like Unison or pure valve amps and have an idea about how they might sound. If you look at it from that perspective, I am almost gambling here. As I said, with my numerous show room demos, the only outcome is a show room demo is as good as listenting to the gear in a show but with less audience. It meant almost nothing to me. I bought brand new Dynaudio Excite X36 based on show room demo and they sounded bad at home. Then the retailer took them back, charging me for opening the boxes and I only get a big voucher for my next purchase which I sensibly bought a CM9 and sold them off eBay at no loss..

Long story short - eBay gives us options much more than retailer especially for used gear and I guess it is our sense of judgement makes it a very useful too for us. I agree that there are some people who sell / want to sell stuff at more than market price, even, which is alright.. I will just stay away from the price.

Also, just to share, MRP is Maximum Retail Price and I tend to buy anything beyond 100 Pounds at less that MRP as it is for sure that the dealer, retailer, shop who ever it is has enough profit to share some with us, the end customer. Above 1000 Pounds, brand new HiFi, my thumb rule is it has to be 20% off the MRP!

Sorry to hear about the Headphones story.. If it is brand new, I guess most of the eBay stores have some return policy.

Cheers!
I understand the appeal of auction sites, and appreciate there are many genuine sellers too. In fact, without Ebay I wouldn't have bought my Leema, albeit the deal was done via a very lengthy telephone call, and sure, if I was in the market for a £100 CDP then I would check there first.

For me, though, there's nothing like walking into a hi-fi shop (but don't bump your head...:p ) and having a chinwag with the sales person, knowing you have total peace of mind.

Goin' back to the car thing: I once purchased a Porsche 911 without checking first. Mind you it me ages to get the cardboard box open...LOL
 

Gusboll

Well-known member
Aug 22, 2008
58
1
18,540
plastic penguin said:
...or the people who sell their wares.

Most of you know I am so suspicious of these auction sites. Today I had a browse at different hi-fi products, and noticed a worrying trend: a lot of the companies are selling products higher than list price. Perfect example are the Sennheiser HD 380 Pro. The recognised retailers are selling these between £110.00 - £120.00, but I've noticed an auction retailer selling at £120. That concerns me because they claim to be a bonafide seller but most trade from home thus have little come back.

Wharfedale Denton speakers from the early 70s were selling for £900... WHAT!! There are loads of other examples but wouldn't want to bore you.

I don't doubt for one moment that good deals are to be had on these sites, but I'd rather pay slightly over the odds at a known retailer, knowing that I'm not dealing iffy companies.

Many of you buy hi-fi products from Ebay and the likes with 'a happy ever after' conclusion - fair play to all who do...

Am i right to be slightly suspicious, or an dinosaur that's allergic to change?
If it's making you so cross then probably best to steer clear. The bargains will be scooped up by the rest of us!

Currently listening to: Gomez: Bring It On
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
I've bought 9 hi-fi items off eBay. All of them from hi-fi enthusiasts. All of them turned out to be in a condition as described in the listing, or even better than described. I had heard none of these models before purchase. But I had done some homework on them - generally reading info about them on the Internet. 8 of these items are keepers. 1 of them will go back onto eBay where I expect to sell it for a similar price to what I paid for it.

Dealers don't stock the sort of items I'm interested in. Dealers are too expensive for me. Some items on eBay are too expensive too. Some items on eBay are absolute bargains. Most items sell for a price that's not too cheap and not too expensive - a price that's fair to the seller and buyer.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I've sold a few items on eBay in the past and have been suprised how much they sold for. I've sold new things and they've gone for damn near the same price as you can buy them for in the shops. I've also picked up some real bargains. I think some people just assume that eBay will be cheaper and don't do the research. More fool them. My biggest issue with eBay is the market it makes for ticket touts. I forgot Slash tickets were on sale today, they've sold out and eBay et al are already teeming with inflated tickets.
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
107
1
18,595
alwatson said:
near the same price as you can buy them for in the shops.
I have seen this too. I once sold a pair of speakers for the same price as I bought from the retailer ! I see eBay too much and I guess some times we can even predict the price at which something will be sold off.. I am really thinking of developing this into a serious hobby (guessing the final price of the auction) and having some one develop a "Guess the Price" app around this
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,245
12
19,195
plastic penguin said:
These auction sites really make me cross...
(a) Don't use them then.

(b) Don't browse them either. Then they can't make you cross.

plastic penguin said:
...or the people who sell their wares.
Sorry. I must make you really, really cross as I have sold three items on ebay since January, totalling over £1500, and I fully intend to put another piece of my old system on there sometime soon.

What kind of 'ware' selling, evil s@# does that make me?
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
chebby said:
plastic penguin said:
These auction sites really make me cross...
(a) Don't use them then.

(b) Don't browse them either. Then they can't make you cross.

plastic penguin said:
...or the people who sell their wares.
Sorry. I must make you really, really cross as I have sold three items on ebay since January, totalling over £1500, and I fully intend to put another piece of my old system on there sometime soon.

What kind of 'ware' selling, evil s@# does that make me?
Ohh! damn liberty...;)

If it's someone I'm vaguely familiar with I'd be more inclined to look and perhaps purchase. In fact, last year when you first advertised your Nait 5, I was tempted. Mmm, true...
 

DIB

Well-known member
May 21, 2009
156
30
18,620
Ebay certainly has its place in the marketplace. Sure I don't like the fees, but I'm not forced to use Ebay am I?

A good example of the power of Ebay is when I sold my EB1 speakers a few weeks ago. New they were £485.00, and the only pair I had seen sold on any site was on Ebay and they had gone to auction and had gone for £400.00. Not a bad return, over 80% of the original price. Not wishing to put mine on Ebay because of the fees, I tried other dedicated hi-fi forums. using their private classified sections, asking for a price of £400.00. I did not get one single reply, not even one single ridiculously low counter offer that you sometimes get on those sites. I then subsequently put them on sale on Ebay, asking for a BIN price of £400.00. They were sold within 2 days, final sellers fees around the £15 mark, so all in all a good deal for me.

.
 

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