Originally Posted by zambizzi
It was at least partially tongue-in-cheek...but I'm somewhat serious too. Those are some general rules I've started following as you could end up blowing a lot of coin on something that definitely was NOT as-advertised. In this case, it's very hard to reconcile it, especially if the seller becomes difficult and won't refund your money.
Case and point: I bought some "3 ply early-70's Ludwig Drums - MINT!" - a 5pc. kit that was flawless...and by all appearances had a natural maple wood finish that was perfect. Well, I got the kit, it was wrapped, and it was a late-70's 6-ply kit...and it wasn't in as good of shape as I was lead to believe. I politely contacted the seller and asked for a refund - because it wasn't at all what was advertised. He got really rude and even used profanity - and told me he sold it for a friend and that's what his friend said it was...and he doesn't know anything about drums. But, he claimed that they're "good drums and the value is the same, regardless..".
I contacted eBay, filed my PayPal complaint and tried to force a refund. eBay waited 30 days and ruled in his favor - agreeing that the value was the same.
The moral of the story is; buy from people who know their stuff, are competent enough to spell the item correctly, and communicate well. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it! The other moral is; eBay doesn't care about you - they care about their commission and it's all the same to them, as long as they get their cut.
On the flip side, there are occasions when you can nab something good for the right price from someone who doesn't know entirely what they have. This is sometimes a risk worth taking.
What a story. I think I bid on that set. :)
I agree that guys who don't know the wood of the drum are a big red flag, unless as Harry said, I know better. But sometimes you don't know and can't tell the wood from the picture, and there's a big difference between a maple, bubinga, birch or a basswood snare. :)
If they don't know what they're selling, it's a big red flag because they can always say, well I told you I didn't know what it was.
Another one I like is "vintage drum with original head!"
Many of my friends have steered from using ebay because of the large amount of fraud, and problems as you suggested. It doesn't matter the value of the set if you bid on something that was described as one thing and it was something else. That is why I always pay by credit card, and now you have given me more reason to do so. They've gotten better than the mess they were in last year or so. It is more like it used to be.