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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000131.txt from 2000/07

From: "F. S. Sterns" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Bass Clarinet/EBAY
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2000 19:59:15 -0400

Much as I respect your opinions, Dee...and you have been enormously helpful to
me personally on several occasions...I must challenge your view of the eBay
experience....without going into a lot of detail, permit me these

> Stung in what way?

...the seller claimed the pads were good...after the fact he admitted they
"looked" good but said he was "not a musician" and so couldn't he held
responsible for an "honest" error [hah!]

> I always approach it from a buyer beware and don't bid too high philosophy.
> Of course the seller's descriptions should be taken with a very large grain
> of salt. My expectations were never based on those descriptions

...most people do...certainly I follow these principles, and did in this
case...but still was not insulated from being cheated...

> Although a few of the sellers will do that, it is not the norm. Most say
> "as is" and "all sales final". It is an auction for heaven's sake. Treat
> it like one. Just because it is on the internet, doesn't mean it's any
> different than going to an estate or farm auction. You can't return things
> there either if they turn out to have hidden flaws.

...every "real" rather than "virtual" auction I've participated in allowed
prospective bidders to view the merchandise. I think you're wrong in saying an
online auction is the same as an estate or farm the contrary,
being on the scene makes a world of difference...

> To use the auction system successfully, you need to do a lot of research.
> 1. Ask lots and lots of detailed questions of the seller. For example,
> spring condition, pad condition, wood condition, key condition and so on.

...I did exactly that and was still stung...a second major problem, beyond bad
pads, was that the case and sections of the horn that had so much mildew and
such a bad smell I was never able to fumigate it...

...this message is long enough permit me to say only that I followed
90% of your advice intuitively but was misled and deceived by the seller
anyhow...I don't know what his history on eBay has been since then but I
certainly took the opportunity to comment on him...

I've sold a variety of things on eBay and on a couple of occasions took items
back, not because they didn't satisfy the descriptions to the letter but
because they didn't meet the buyers' subjective expectations...and I don't
think that was a mistake...and I further believe others should follow the same
policy notwithstanding technical escape opportunities...but that's something
completely apart from being cheated by nondisclosure or misrepresentation...FSS

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