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Discussion Starter #1
I've been burned twice buying horns on ebay. I won't go over all the details. Suffice to say that a tenor and an alto I bought, regardless of the pictures and descriptions, were junk. They were "major" brands from the middle '50's too, so-called "vintage" horns. Leaks, dings, finishes more worn than shown. No returns or limited time returns, etc. Over a grand spent for brass paperweights.

How in the world anyone thinks that "older is better," or that "overseas made" are better is beyond my comprehension. Aren't the "best" saxes made in Germany, Japan and France? isn't that "overseas?" Why is "hand made" better than CAD design? The two horns I bought are supposedly U.S. made "quality" horns. Designed and made by U.S. "craftsmen.' Yet comparing them to say, French or German, Japanese or yes, even some Taiwan horns, they fall short of the quality of those "overseas" instruments. Why take a chance, spend $500 for a Conn 10M, say, only to find that you need to spend another $500 or more to put it in playing shape? Is it that good a horn? Is it now worth a grand? Gonna sell it for a grand? Bet you can't. Unless you're a dealer on ebay of course. Or is it ego driving the need to own one?

I won't ever buy another horn off of ebay. If you can't see it, touch it, play it, return it, why buy it? Its foolish without an iron-clad return policy. Spend $500, $600, even $1000 for a "perfect condition, plays beautifully, rebuilt in my shop? And get a wall decoration? That's sorta like putting on a blindfold, whipping out the plastic and telling the seller - "hey, go ahead - shaft me!"

I made a couple mistakes. Just like many others on these pages. Last time for me.

Sorry for the rant - needed to vent:cry:.
 

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I've been burned twice buying horns on ebay. I won't go over all the details. Suffice to say that a tenor and an alto I bought, regardless of the pictures and descriptions, were junk. They were "major" brands from the middle '50's too, so-called "vintage" horns. Leaks, dings, finishes more worn than shown. No returns or limited time returns, etc. Over a grand spent for brass paperweights.I made a couple mistakes. Just like many others on these pages. Last time for me.

Sorry for the rant - needed to vent:cry:.
I feel your grief ..... I have made the same pledge to myself to never buy a horn off eBay again unless I factor in that it WILL need a complete overhaul. So with that in mind, just bid on the ones that openly state it will need a complete rebuild and bid accordingly. I have no local tech and was leary about sending a sax off for rebuild but the guys at Tenor Madness has changed my idea on that. I just wish I had a tech within one hour driving distance.
 

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I feel your grief ..... I have made the same pledge to myself to never buy a horn off eBay again unless I factor in that it WILL need a complete overhaul. So with that in mind, just bid on the ones that openly state it will need a complete rebuild and bid accordingly. I have no local tech and was leary about sending a sax off for rebuild but the guys at Tenor Madness has changed my idea on that. I just wish I had a tech within one hour driving distance.
This is great advice..Assume it needs an overhaul and bid accordingly.
 

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Um, this is why you ask for pictures and rely on feedback. And you should really know what you are buying. I've bought, and students have bought, horns off of Ebay with no problems. I bought a Loree Oboe off there for $4200 (a steal since new ones are now $7K+). Heck, I just bought a replacement bicycle to the one that I had stolen off of Ebay from a guy in Ohio. All carbon fiber, for $800. A steal. Arrived in perfect condition. It took about 2 months to find this deal, and the seller and I had many email exchanges.

You have to research the item, and the seller. You also need to insist on good, clear pictures. The seller can easily email pictures to interested parties outside of eBay.

I think it is not really fair to say that a horn you get off of eBay is going to need a complete overhaul. That is pure FUD.
 

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This is usually the case,its not often you buy a horn on ebay" and it does not need any work needed to it, unless its reasonably new"..its pot luck" really and yes to a degree you are taking a chance?..so yes you have to almost put back money for some work etc!..
 

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I assume any horn I get on ebay will need a repad.
So do I when purchasing a horn from a private seller (as opposed to a dealer); and as should anyone who wishes to take part in discounted pricing for horns sold on Ebay. You should also work in the price for such a repad and/or overhaul when contemplating bidding. But for the OP to tear apart the process and malign vintage horns because they went in over their head isn't going to get a lot of sympathy from those who put in the time to learn the bidding/research process and how to easily spot scams. Heck, I lurked on Ebay for two years before ever bidding on a horn. Currently, both my tenors as well as my go to alto were picked up on Ebay, as well as another alto that my son played for years. All of these horns needed work, and as I knew that going in, I made out very well in the process.
 

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I'm not ancient but as a teenage (early 1980's) pre-ebay finding horns was nearly impossible. A local musician had to die or need cash before used pro equipement became available. I spent every weekend looking though classified sections. Sure one could buy a Mark VI for $600 in those days but you had to find it. I didn't know anything about serial numbers, relacquers, etc.... Now, anything you want at the moment you WANT IT.... I'm sure as this very moment there are 10 to 20 Selmer tenors available on e-bay. Not to mention vintage horns and mouthpieces. I buy, try, and sell. Sometimes I win and sometimes I loose but the good ole days we're so good.

ere a recent example. I just purchased a Rolled Tone hole 10M - fully expecting it needed an overhaul. Tried to do a quick resell which didn't work out. So I'll spend the money and get a chance to play a 10M from the golden age. I don't expect to keep it - will sell the horn hopefully not loosing money. But I will have become more educated about vintage Conns. For me E-bay is a hobby/educational experience. It's also a bit like gambling....never spend more then you're willing to loose.
 

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I've returned several horns bought on ebay that were not as described. It was simple. Just open a claim stating that the instrument was not as described and ebay will almost always approve the return. Even if the listing states "no returns". Usually the seller will not want negative feedback and opening a claim is not necessary. The buyer will get stuck always for return shipping but this is the case no matter where a horn is bought. On the other end, I have sold several instruments and I've never had a return or complaint charged against me. If you buy from sellers with 100% positive feedback from many buyers you won't get stuck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Um, this is why you ask for pictures and rely on feedback. And you should really know what you are buying. I've bought, and students have bought, horns off of Ebay with no problems. I bought a Loree Oboe off there for $4200 (a steal since new ones are now $7K+). Heck, I just bought a replacement bicycle to the one that I had stolen off of Ebay from a guy in Ohio. All carbon fiber, for $800. A steal. Arrived in perfect condition. It took about 2 months to find this deal, and the seller and I had many email exchanges.

You have to research the item, and the seller. You also need to insist on good, clear pictures. The seller can easily email pictures to interested parties outside of eBay.

I think it is not really fair to say that a horn you get off of eBay is going to need a complete overhaul. That is pure FUD.
Its called "due diligence" and I did all that. No matter. If you can't actually see the horn you're taking a chance. One of the horns I bought was from a "100% Positive Feedback" guy. I agree with Smokey - assume the instrument's going to need work and bid (or don't bid) accordingly. It's the ones that say "near perfect" or "like new," or "my tech checked it out" that you have to watch out for. There's no "B.S. Meter," on the Bay.
 

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so... are the horns that bad?

I've ordered a few things and been pretty disappointed when I got them and they werent EXACTLY as described or as I imagined and I thought the whole world was terrible and everything in life was going to hell. Then, later, realized it wasn't quite as terrible as I thought.

Or, maybe they're awful. Just wondering.
 

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Somebody got his feelings hurt... OP is whining... eBay has bargains, welcome to marketplace economy... If you take your time and study the scene on eBay one can catch a deal now and then...otherwise, there are honest sellers that are members here... Just remember what Tom Hanks said in that movie... 'There's no crying in SAXOPHONE!'
 

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I recently purchased my Cannonball Excaliber Alto on Ebay for a few dollars less then $400.00. Had it checked out by a reputable tech shop and they were very impressed with the condition and price of the horn. All it needed was adjustiment. The horn sounds and works great. You just have be careful, ask lots of questions and use your instincts. Also, as already stated, Ebay has very good policy of protecting buyers if the product is not as described.
 

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Your not going to get a bargain on e-bay on something like a Conn 10M or a MKVI. Many times the sellers are not qualified to evaluate the horn or describe it accurately. You also cannot really tell for sure if it is original lacquer even if they say it is and you definitely can't tell if it will play. I think it's a bad place to buy a horn, you are trying to get something cheap that is going to play and it ain't going to happen. Expect to pay 1800 to 2500 or more for an original lacquer nice playing vintage 10m tenor from a qualified tech and much more for a VI of course.

I bought an advertised original lacquer MKVI for 3000 in an auction about 5 years ago off e-bay. I didn't know what I was doing. When I got it it was a relaq that didn't play all that great. Certainly not as described. I kept it though and had it redone because I could tell it would have the sound and $800 or more later it plays very nicely, better than some 8k horns according to my tech. It was no bargain but about what the going rate is for an overhauled relaq.

I think that 1800 to 2500 for a Conn 10m is a bargain for a horn that plays that consistently well compared to the MKVI pricing.
 

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How in the world anyone thinks that "older is better," or that "overseas made" are better is beyond my comprehension. Aren't the "best" saxes made in Germany, Japan and France? isn't that "overseas?" Why is "hand made" better than CAD design? The two horns I bought are supposedly U.S. made "quality" horns. Designed and made by U.S. "craftsmen.' Yet comparing them to say, French or German, Japanese or yes, even some Taiwan horns, they fall short of the quality of those "overseas" instruments. Why take a chance, spend $500 for a Conn 10M, say, only to find that you need to spend another $500 or more to put it in playing shape? Is it that good a horn? Is it now worth a grand? Gonna sell it for a grand? Bet you can't. Unless you're a dealer on ebay of course. Or is it ego driving the need to own one?
Gee, comparing 50 year old or older used horns with wear and tear on them to brand new ones is kinda unfair, isn't it? Saxes made since 1980 seem to be doing worse (at least the ones I see on ebay). The modern saxes may have better ergos, but all sound rather bland to me nowadays (JMO). Maybe because they fine tuned the uniqueness out of them by using to much CNC machines nowadays? It's all a matter of opinion and some prefer modern saxes. I'd rather take a chance on a vintage horn on ebay rather than some modern Chinese sax even though people say they are getting better. Either one could be junk and BTW if you put $500 into a $500 Conn 10M I'll bet you'd get $1000 or turn a profit if it's in good shape. I bought saxes on ebay knowing they probably need work and may not get what I pay into them back, but some of us enjoy the vintage sound. If you want a pristine and guaranteed working vintage sax I would not use ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Somebody got his feelings hurt... OP is whining... eBay has bargains, welcome to marketplace economy... If you take your time and study the scene on eBay one can catch a deal now and then...otherwise, there are honest sellers that are members here... Just remember what Tom Hanks said in that movie... 'There's no crying in SAXOPHONE!'
Oh, dear me, I'm "whining." No, I'm not. Your patronizing response is really uncalled for. The two horns I bought were absolutely not near "as advertised." I'm pretty much p.o.'d that I'm potentially out about a grand and had I decided to get them repaired I'd be out easily another grand or more. I'm not a babe in the woods. I sure as heck know how to research and find accurate pricing for most anything I consider buying. I'm just saying - and I'll try to make this understandable for you Eugene, that buying from the bay is a crapshoot at best. It doesn't necessarily matter how much research one does - you're still wearing a blindfold when dealing on the bay. If I can't get the seller(s) to agree to take the horns back I'll "open a case" with ebay. That's probably a 2 - 3 month process. In the meantime, my dough is floating somewhere other than in my pocket.

And BTW, the accurate quote is ". . . there's no crying in baseball." If you're unhappy with my discussing my experience - move on down the road amigo.
 

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Of course I was paraphrasing bout' cryin'... As NON devil's advocate here I just railed a bit against your own railing... eBay is a common market, you get what you get away from the deal with... If your horns were misrepresented you should have filed a complaint, I had $223 returned for a 'playable' but actually heavily bent alto... Better luck next time, oops 'place', next place you go to an 'auction'...
 
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