ebay?    14:28 on Friday, October 31, 2003          
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I was wondering how I would go about buying a flute on ebay. I`ve heard about hidden prices and the such. Does anyone have any suggestions on what i should look for or how to do it.

Re: ebay?    10:34 on Sunday, November 2, 2003          
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My friend bought a flute off ebay and has had to spend over $3000 on hidden flaws in the instrument.

Never buy an instrument unless you:

1. know the seller is reputable
2. can check out the instrument before actually buying it.
3. know what is exactly wrong with it.

Re: ebay?    16:26 on Sunday, November 2, 2003          
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I had great luck when I bought my flute on eBay. (Luck may be the operative word there!)

The thing is to do a lot of research in every possible place first and know exactly what you are getting into. I`ve heard that a lot of repair shops will actually refuse to work on some of the cheaper flute models being sold on eBay (I don`t know whether this is true or not).

So first, make sure you are getting a brand that is recognized. If you see a flute that looks to good to be true, it might be exactly that.

Browse through eBay`s flute selection, try looking at the "ending today" items and get a feel for what people are willing to buy. Poke around forums and see what models interest you most and narrow your eBay search as soon as possible.

I knew that I wanted an open hole flute with a b-foot joint, a solid silver head and at the very least a silver plated body. Once I researched elsewhere on the web finding which models had those characteristics, I went back to eBay to see what I could find.

The one I picked is a Gemeinhardt that has open holes, a gold plated lip on the headjoint, a B-foot and each piece is solid silver. It was under $400 including shipping for an instrument that retails somewhere between $1500 and $2500 depending on who`s website you feel like believing.

Now granted, this was the biggest risk I have ever taken with my money and I could have easily been falling for a scam, but at least for me, the whole eBay flute thing worked out quite well.

Also important is the fact that I was in e-mail contact with the seller for the duration of the bidding. I figured that a scammer would probably not be spending all that time personally responding to all of my little questions.

Re: ebay?    17:34 on Sunday, November 2, 2003          
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Re: ebay?    06:26 on Monday, November 3, 2003          
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I am currently awaiting a flute in the mail that I purchased off of eBay. I am confidant that the instrument (Gemeinhardt 3SB) will be in great condition when I receive it.

In terms of general tips, I would encourage the following:

Be intimately familiar with what you are pruchasing- know the different models of the flute, what the different terms for options mean (you should know this if you play the instrument), and what a good flute should look like. You can`t really see bad pads in a picture, but you can at least spot a poorly cared for body vs.. a good one.

Always, always, always, closely check the seller`s feedback rating. When buying, i never, ever, buy from someone with lower than a 100 feedback rating. Also, read their actual feedback. In the case of my purchase, there were numerous previous instances in which the seller had sold flutes, and the buyers all said that they arrived in great condition, as described- making it a pretty safe buy.

Also, look for return options. A lot of actual music shops sell on eBay, and they are pretty good to deal with.

Re: ebay?    14:09 on Monday, November 3, 2003          
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Bill`s preference in choosing sellers with 100+ positive feedback is good safe advice but that will limit you to professional eBayers (i.e. music stores that have eBay seller ids-- dominicsmusic comes to mind). I got my flute from a seller who only had one feedback at the time but I was in e-mail contact with her before, during and after bidding to ensure that all was well.

eBay can be very unpredictable. I once got scammed on a $15 video, they advertised the real thing and sent me a cheap bootleg that they made, but then I got an absolutely stunning flute for 1/5 list price.

It`s definately a buyer beware situation, but as long as you`re smart and patient about it, you can find a great deal.

Re: ebay?    15:10 on Monday, November 3, 2003          
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