Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

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themilford
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Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by themilford » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:42 pm

So, We'll use a recent purchase of mine as an example... but I am more interested in the general ethics of the situation. To what degree do we nitpick and hold the seller accountable... and to what degree is it "caveat emptor"?

So I recently received a Roland RS-09 I won for a very good price... The item powers up and for the most part fits the description aside from a few annoying and otherwise difficult to remedy issues...

Here's the seller's description:
"This is a very nice vintage Roland RS-09 Organ/Strings 09 analog synthesizer. It is in very good clean condition and excellent working order. There are some normal minor scratches and wear but overall it is very nice. There is a minor dent on the control panel right on the "d" in the word the Roland (see photo, very minor). One key has a very minor hairline at the front edge (also extremely minor, see photo) but it is all intact and there are no other cracks or breaks. The Tuning knob appears to be a replacement but all other knobs, sliders and switches are original, intact and in good working order. Pots and sliders are quiet. Plug on the end of the power cord is missing the ground prong but otherwise cord and plug are in good shape. Keys are all level and it plays and sounds Great. It weighs about 14.5 lbs and measures approx. 27" x 12" x 3.5". Overall a very nice vintage Roland Organ/String synth in very good clean condition. Works and sounds great! No Reserve!! 5 DAY AUCTION. Buyer pays $25 insured parcel post shipping. International bidders please contact me before bidding. Thank you."


So first off... the Release switch is non-functioning as is the Ensemble I/II switch. These are probably routine repairs due to age and I'm not all that worried...

The knob situation is a little more frustrating than the seller described... and it was hard to tell from the photo... the Tune knob is the correct one and was swapped to the volume pot. So the volume knob is missing/replaced with the smaller TR808 "fine" knob. The RS-09 larger/volume knob is IMPOSSIBLE to find. the bummer is that if it was as described I could just have bought a TR808 "level" knob and that would be that.

The most annoying thing is that the little plastic "clips" Roland used to hold the control PCB to the chassis are all broken on the bottom row so that the knobs and switches are sorta bouncing and loose. From what I can find these are IMPOSSIBLE to replace as I cannot find a part # or a similar part so a retrofit of some sort will have to be used. Looking at the pictures now it is clear that they are missing... but unless you know what you are looking for... and it is possible that this loose PCB is what damaged the switch function in shipping.

I have to still open it up and do a once over... but how much of this is my responsibility? His description seems to imply these types of things would not be the case... and I've never seen those clips broken before in person so there's no way I could have speculated... Also, The item was packed beautifully and it arrived promptly.

How would you guys deal with a situation like this? Should we be very strict with descriptions or is it on us to sus all of this out beyond what seemed like a detailed description. It's obvious to me that some of this was ignorance on the seller's part... Oh, and am I just nitpicking? ;)

So, I don't really need item specific advice... this thread should be more a discussion of seller/buyer ethics and clearing the line of rights.

Cheers,
D

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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by rschnier » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:00 am

Personally, I would have a problem with this one. "Excellent working order" means that all functions work, so the release and ensemble I/II switches not working is a nonstarter right there. The rest of the description attempts to portray that the unit has cosmetic issues only, nothing to interfere with the functionality of the unit. The little plastic clips being broken are definitely not cosmetic issues and do affect its functionality.

Therefore it is not being nitpicky, I think, if you contact the seller to negotiate a solution.
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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by Shreddie » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:09 am

+1.

The seller has been somewhat economical with the truth it seems.

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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by nathanscribe » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:25 am

themilford wrote:The most annoying thing is that the little plastic "clips" Roland used to hold the control PCB to the chassis are all broken on the bottom row so that the knobs and switches are sorta bouncing and loose. From what I can find these are IMPOSSIBLE to replace as I cannot find a part # or a similar part so a retrofit of some sort will have to be used.
Dealing with this first, they are very possible to replace. I bought a bag of 100 recently. They are bog standard plastic rivets, 6.4mm head diameter (or 1/4"), 5.1mm peg depth, 3mm base diamteter. The ones I have were made by Richco and purchased from a regular component supplier here in the UK; they are as near to the originals as you like.

Regarding the general issue of desriptions matching goods, it is possible for things to be shaken in shipping and thereby damaged - my SH-09 was photographed before being sent and itg looked a bit wobblier on arrival - including the broken rivets, which looked as though they had been broken by having a load placed on top of the package, pushing down on the sliders and shearing the rivets. Screws can work loose, ICs can work loose, connectors can work loose... but if there's a major discrepancy between your item and the seller's spiel, it has to be up to you to decide if the hassle of reparation is worth it. It might be easier and cheaper to let them know, "just for info" and just fix it up. You don't want the pain of losing a synth, paying for shipping, and dealing with weird angry people or Paypal, necessarily...

Good luck with it. Let me know if you find some of those rivets.

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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by vin14 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:02 am

For me it would depend on how good the price was. I've only bought 2 synths on ebay and both were as described. However I've similar experiences with vintage hi-fi. Stuff not quite as described. The sellers didn't lie, just didn't mention, or perhaps weren't aware of the issues or perhaps hoped I wouldn't notice. In each case it wasn't worth the cost of return shipping for a refund.

I've come to expect these issues as the nature of the game with ebay, to the point that sometimes it takes a couple of goes to find an item that's close to perfect or even acceptable condition.

That been said, I'm mostly talking about items costing up 50 to 200 euro here. If I'd taken a chance on something that was say in the 500-1000 euro range, I'd be a lot more picky.

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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by madrasputin » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:17 am

Wow, the seller really was "liberal" with his use of "minor wear" huh? Ethics are what you asked for so I'll tell you what I think ethically. First off it's totally spirit crushing when you get a piece of equipment from a seller Ebay or anywhere else and it's totally not as well off as it was described in the advertisement. I think sellers (especially on Ebay.) should have to be very specific about what they know is wrong and or totally fine with whatever item they're selling you. Obviously he/she has some knowledge of what could be problematic with a synthesizer due to the terminology he/she uses in his post. But, then again he/she could have just copied most of the technical terminology from another ad on Ebay and is truly ignorant about the topic. It actually kinda seems that way to me man. But back on the ethics issue and what we as buyers should let go and not let go, here's my thoughts on that. If a seller tells you out in the open in his or her ad for the item that something is wrong with said item and you buy it knowing it's something fixable, cool. But if you were deceived on any level and you totally were by his/her very seemingly positive ad even though it came to you all sorts of messed up then you should be picky as h**l about it and ask Ebay to go ahead with the refund process and do their little "tribunal hearing" on whether or not the ad was accurate enough for the seller not to be liable. What bothers me most about the ad after reading it in your post is that he/she time and time again says things like, "Sounds and works great!" Over and over again. Almost like he/she had to convince you and himself that he was pulling a fast one. Or they're auditioning for being a salesman or something lol. So yeah, ethically he/she really dropped the ball and you should have every right and feel comfortable about bitching to the seller about the obviously incorrect statements they made in the ad. I hope you get your RS-09 in good working order again or are able to return the item and get a refund!

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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by themilford » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:25 am

Thanks for the great replies guys. So a few things I wanted to wait to say after I got an initial response.

I got the item for about $100-$150 less than they normally got for... I think got a good deal.

I sorta put in a bid thinking... well if I get it for that low It'll be a deal and if it needs some work it'll be standard market price after I get done with it. I saw the dent, cracked key and the scratches but figured that's ok since I'll be gigging with it... little TLC and I'll be happy.

I didn't notice the missing rivets but they are clear in the pictures... I also noticed the knobs but mistakingly assumed only the little, more common one was the wrong one. I should have looked closer and asked questions... right? How could I have known that the controls are loose? Why would I have asked "are all the controls working" if it clearly states that: "sliders and switches are original, intact and in good working order"

So this is clearly a issue of, I got a good deal and I need to pick and choose my battles, right? But then I realize the principal is that the seller may not have been forthwith. It's a blurry line methinks. I have the upper hand in terms of eBay. I can leave him negative feedback regardless of how he handles this. I really don't want to return it. The good price will cover any parts I will need to get it up to shape... but then I think about what my time is worth and how I kinda need this thing functional for a recording session in January. A good deal becomes a ok deal with a little headache.

I'm honestly not that upset. But I worry that I'm being a d**k if I hassle this guy for a partial refund to cover repair expense (time or parts). I'm just trying to be fair and give the benefit of the doubt before I decide which action to take next.

We've all been here before... so I hope this is helpful to discuss.

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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by tallowwaters » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:29 am

Well, the obvious thing to do would be contacting that seller before pulling some s**t like a negative feedback.
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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by themilford » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:13 am

tallowwaters wrote:Well, the obvious thing to do would be contacting that seller before pulling some s**t like a negative feedback.
Of course, I would only leave that based on the final experience... in fact, like I said I'll be giving him the benefit of the doubt... If I didn't make it clear from my posts, I'm not even sure I want to make a case from an ethical standpoint regardless of my "right"... that is my dilemma.

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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by tallowwaters » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:52 am

Right, I just didn't see anything about contacting him in the previous post. I've sent things to people that had issues that I hadn't previously noticed (or happened in the mail), and had they not contacted me, the situation could have been more unpleasant for both of us. Likely, he's decent folk that will offer some sort of recompense for your trouble.

On a similar side note, I once had a buyer leave me a negative because he didn't like the presets on some cheap Casio he had bought from me. I finally had it removed after nagging the ebay folks.
Brains can be used like a "stress ball," but only once.

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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by GuyaGuy » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:58 am

I expect the item to be 100% functional unless otherwise stated.

Aesthetic condition is open to interpretation so I always hope for the best but expect a bit worse. So if it's an item where aesthetics are important to me I ask for better pics, etc so I'm not relying on a random stranger's definition of "good used condition."

Ethically, that's what I expect from the seller and that's what I try to provide as a seller.

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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by themilford » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:22 pm

I sent the seller a friendly letter describing only the main issues (non functioning controls) but I didn't ask for anything... we'll see what his reply is.

Also, can somebody measure a Juno 6/60 volume knob for me.

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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by themilford » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:30 pm

Guy wrote back...

"Hi David, Sorry to hear about the issues. I didn't realize it was missing anything. Although I'm not a keyboard player I did check every function thoroughly and the Release and Ensemble (as well as everything else) were were working fine. Hopefully it's minor, just let me know."


Roland has the slider pot in stock and I ordered it... hopefully the guy will cover the $15 for it.

Not a huge deal, since I'm doing the work... but I feel out of principal he should give me a break.

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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by nathanscribe » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:00 pm

If it really was a bargain, I'd just soak up the small cost. If he's a nice guy he may offer to pay, but it'll already have made him feel bad that it didn't arrive 100%. What's $15?

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Re: Just How Picky Should We Be With eBay Items Recieved?

Post by garranimal » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:22 am

We're talking about vintage synthesizers - much of this stuff is 30+ years old. Some stuff rolls from the factory w/ issues like the JX-10's infamous operating system, the Polysix battery issue, etc. Then this old gear gets bounced all over the world touring the road or flipped in multiple shipments. Buyers/sellers can't know everything before they buy/sell. Ebay is a c**p shoot. I always ask questions that I can, then bid accordingly.

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