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Selling Or Buying Process?


Jody Kruskal
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I’m sure this question has been addressed before though I can’t find it.



When selling or buying from a distant and private seller not on ebay, how do both parties make sure payment is made and item is shipped without one or the other being ripped off? Is there any way beyond blind trust?


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That is something I have pondered.

 

One idea that came to me was that both parties use (and pay) a trusted third party who really knows concertinas, can provide an impartial assessment and can fix any problems if needed.

 

Somebody like Greg Jowaisas for example.

 

The seller sends the concertina to Greg and the buyer sends the money. Each adds a fee for Greg's services and for various shipping costs. Greg checks the concertina over and assesses if it needs servicing and, if so, provides an estimate of the cost to both parties who must then negotiate if the servicing should be done and who should pay for it. Once everybody is agreed then Greg does any work specified, sends the concertina on to the buyer and the money onto the seller.

 

AFAICT nobody is providing this service. Maybe the various repairers here might be interested?

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I’m sure this question has been addressed before though I can’t find it.

 

When selling or buying from a distant and private seller not on ebay, how do both parties make sure payment is made and item is shipped without one or the other being ripped off? Is there any way beyond blind trust?

 

Unless the private party is a known member of the concertina community, or can be vouched for by someone in the community, I won't do it as a rule, though I made an exception once. That's when the buyer had a friend in my area, who acted as the buyer's agent. Everything was pre-arranged and the concertina was sold "as-is."

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I have bought instruments like this a couple of times in the past. The first time I really felt I was taking a huge leap of faith, but happily it worked out fine. the second time I did it, I also got a really great friend out of the process... Both times, phoning the person and having a chat on their landline helped give me the confidence to go through with it, but I guess even with the best will in the world, you can never be 100% certain there'll not be disappointments.

 

An additional problem once you've sorted out the honesty bit is when you buy something from outside your customs area, and having paid duty on it, it's difficult to return it to the seller so that you get your customs duty back and the seller is not charged duty themselves once it's been returned. I know that in most jurisdictions there is a way to do this correctly, but it often involves customs agents and the inevitable fees.

 

Adrian

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Actually, I blush to admit that the instrument I covet is not a concertina at all. Still, the buy/sell notion is congruous with the concertina world.

 

I'm lusting after an autoharp, my latest passion. The autoharp is very like the concertina in that it's a music machine that has buttons... and that's about it.

 

The seller is in a near-by US state, and I'm thinking that even though it may mean a four hour drive there and another back... it might well be worth it. I would love to give the instrument a see and a try. Then the $ situation will be simpler and I get to take the precious thing right home for a solid good strumming!

 

If we have to ship her... that's when the agent idea could be useful I suppose. Still, I would like to avoid that with its added complications, agent and shipping expenses... insurance etc.

 

What about online escrow services? Any luck with those?

Edited by Jody Kruskal
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Paying through paypal can give the buyer some protection. Not sure of the details but it might be worth investigating. I think they call it the buyer protection programme.

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I have used Amazon Payments for a (non-concertina) related acquisition. This was several years ago and the seller was an active member of a moped related forum. I believe that his feeling was that they offered more protection for a better price point. However, my confidence was won due to his expertise and good standing in the forums/greater world of moped enthusiasts. I am not sure if Amazon still offers this service. It was their attempt at providing an alternative to Paypal.

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I don't know how expensive autoharps are Jody, but for a concertina, I'd not have any scruples over a four-hour drive - I once even went to Newcastle for the weekend to get one...

(Sorry Theo - couldn't resist it!)

 

Adrian

It's not a secret story Adrian. It was a compliment to me that you came in person. Face to face is always best if its possible.

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Fifteen years ago I used a commercial escrow service to buy a concertina from another country (not the UK) it was slow (due to shipping) but worked fine and the seller paid the escrow fee.

 

Ken

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Has anyone been involved with an escrow service transaction where something went wrong? I'm curious what happens if, for example, the item is lost or damaged in the post, or the buyer claims the item they received isn't what was described.

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Ive sold a couple of melodeons to members of the 'internet' melodeon community. Ive assumed that while i did not personally know them, they seemed like reputable people. melodeons tend to be cheaper than concertinas so even if i had been completely ripped off it would have been for hundreds of £ rather than the potential thousands that concertinas go for.

In each case i had contact with the buyers initially online and then subsequently via the 'phone. I then got them to transfer me half the money. I then sent the boxes, insured and signed for, gave them a week or so to verify that the boxes were as described then they sent the rest of the money. If they were not happy I would expect the box to have been returned. signed for and insured and upon receipt i would have returned their money.

i guess there was an amount of 'unknown' for each of us in the transactions but working on the basis that most people are essentially good, a rip off scam in such a specialised community as ours, while certainly possible, would probably require such effort and knowledge that its unlikely to be worth the time and effort.

 

Whats more likely is a genuine difference of opinion. i.e I describe my box as 'as new' but the purchaser disagrees or some such. Thats why i have done the 'pay me half now and the other half when you're satisfied that the box is as i described.

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I'm lusting after an autoharp, my latest passion. The autoharp is very like the concertina in that it's a music machine that has buttons... and that's about it.

 

Since this seems to be a "confessional" thread, I'll confess to having more autoharps than concertinas. :o

 

I bought most of them online - admittedly via eBay. As you say, the buttons are about the only thing in common between autoharps and concertinas. The main difference is the price of used instruments. Autoharps tend to be in the 2-digit Dollar range; concertinas run into 4 digits.

 

A further difference is the work that has to be done (and the money invested) to make a sub-optimal instrument usable. With the concertina, we're looking at pads, valves, bellows, bushings that may need renewing, even reeds that may need tuning.

To get an older autoharp up and running, all you really need is a set of strings and a set of felts for the chord bars. And these are things that you would have to replace after a couple of years' heavy playing of a new autoharp anyway. The work involved can be carried out by most players themselves.

 

And, if you're serious about the autoharp, you'll probably want to get rid of some of the standard chords and substitute them with chords that are more useful for your music genre and preferred keys. And that means refelting chord bars anyway!

 

As to the autoharp as such, I reckon it would sound pretty good together with a concertina - unfortunately, I'm the only person in my neighbourhood who plays either concertina or autoharp ...

 

Cheers,

John

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I am currently involved in a purchase of a concertina advertised on this site. We agreed to use Cash on Delivery (C.O.D.) via one of 3 common carriers. The USPS does COD's less than $1000 cash or larger amounts by various types of checks. UPS also does COD deliveries, but does not accept cash, checks only. We choose FedEx COD for the transaction because they accept larger amounts of cash for payment than any of the other services. Making a purchase COD using cash protects the seller from bogus checks and insures the buyer the instrument is delivered prior to paying for it. The downside is, the buyer has to depend on the seller to accurately describe the instrument condition and playability. In my case the seller was a member of this site, and I could trace the instrument back to the builder to verify it was indeed what was advertised. Not a perfect solution, but better for the buyer and seller than blind trust.

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I have done a lot of this with mandolins. I think PayPal gives some (not a lot) of comfort. Plus if you use a credit card there are some protections afforded through them too. Always get a trial period or don't buy! I have even been guilty of a straight up trades where both parties send off there instruments on the same day. I have yet to have an issue, but that's not to say I won't in the future. It's really a crap shoot.

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A word of caution on dealing through Paypal. Their policy on counterfeits has resulted in a 'mislabelled' violin being destroyed:

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jan/04/paypal-buyer-destroys-violin

 

Concertinas are not always easy to identify, and labels may be missing or incorrect. What would Paypal make of a Jeffries-stamped instrument made with parts from Crabb? The risk seems to fall on the seller, if the purchaser challenges the provenance of the instrument. An unscrupulous purchaser could then destroy a cheap substitute, keep the original and get their money back from Paypal.

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