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Author Topic: Should I stay away from eBay for HF rigs?  (Read 5988 times)

Posts: 26

« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2008, 08:37:32 AM »

"I've never been "burned" buying anything at a hamfest, because I carefully inspect, and test, anything I intend to buy and carry out."

I agree completely, you'd be a fool not to do those things. That won't, however, account for intermittent problems that don't appear until the unit has been on for hours or some obscure menu setting buried deep and seldom used etc. Bottom line is, there's no full proof, 100% guarenteed way to avoid inheriting someone else's problems other than just not buying. Sometimes we have to have faith in our fellow man, so to speak, and just do it or get up off the pennies for new. Even then you can still get a lemon Smiley.
Best of luck,

Posts: 31

« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2008, 09:33:37 AM »

I have bought several HF rigs on eBay, as well as an antenna tuner, and mics.  In my view, it's reasonably safe, as long as you stick with hams (you can find out things about them), check the seller's trading record and use payment methods that are trackable and offer some protection.  Yahoo and hotmail e-mail accounts should be red flags.  Ask questions - if someone won't reply, I abandon their ad.  Obviously, a local contact is the best bet - you can see the equipment and try it out before committing.  But my experience is that most hams are honest and you can probably avoid the most dubious by applying some common sense.  Hope this helps

73 de Chuck

Posts: 165

« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2008, 11:25:40 AM »

Just starting out i'd stay away from ebay. AES has a good used equiptment listing with a 30 day exchange on them if you don't like what you get...but they do check them out before they list them and will answer any questions you may have about them.

I'd go with a new 718 though to get my feet wet and back in the hobby. New rig getting back in the hobby is the way to go.

The older rigs like the 430 etc have lots of relays and problems to go along with them since they're now getting age on them.

On top of that there are screwdriver masters who think they're really good at what they do and have some of those little rigs set up to right at 200watts output. You never know what someone has done to one of these older rigs, too late after you've bought it and put it in line and the drivers blow out the heat sink.

Good Luck...i hope you just buy a new rig!

73 John WR8D

Posts: 172

« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2008, 11:42:11 AM »

From my experience, one should use caution when making any online purchase, whether it is from eHam, QTH.COM, or ebay.  As long as they will porvide a phone number and no red flags are raised in communicating with them I think you should be safe.

I have never had a problem with ebay specifically.  If you win an auction for more than a few hundred dollars then ask for a phone number from the seller so that you can speak with them before you complete the transaction.  This gives a chanceto judge their character and ask them directly what happens if the item does not arrive in working order.  In my experience, the sellers that cooperated with this request provided a great product and told me that they would have no problem with me sending the item back if it didn't work.  On one occasion though, the seller simply stopped returning my emails after this request and a few days later I received a notice from ebay that their account was terminated due to suspected fraud.    

As far as what rig to buy, the IC-718 is a great basic radio for the new price.  An advantage to buying used though is the ability to sell a transceiver for the same price you bought it.  Sometimes you have to play with one for a month before you decide whether it meets your needs.  If you want to try something different, just post an add on eHAM and get something else.  I usually try about three transceivers over a a few months before I find one that sticks for a few years.  One time I even ended up going back to the first.  By utilizing the used market, I ended up makeing a few hundred dollars as a result of my indecisiveness.

All the best,


Posts: 47

« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2008, 08:19:28 AM »

Hello Joe N0NS....I'va had good luck with QRZ, and will probably have good luck here too (I became a paying member of eham yesterday) for buying/selling gear. I've posted stuff on QRZ and sometimes would sell the same day. The on air swap nets in my area aren't worth the bother. Those are the chinciest cheapest people I've run into ever. Most of them seem to deal in antiquated junk.

As far as ebay, I'd be real careful buying anything over $300.00-$400.00 dollars. Ebay has it's share of crooks and idiots. Look at some of the listings, and if you know anything about the gear you are looking for, you may deduce the same thing. I've only ever bought one radio on ebay which was a 706MKIIG. The guy listed it as excellent condition. The pictures weren't that good, but he had several hundred transactions and a 100% rating. Got the radio and although it worked okay, it was dirty, and had lots of scratches that didn't show up in the pictures on ebay. Far from excellent condition and he had bought it used from another person before selling it to me. I paid $750.00 for it. Too much. For another 150 maybe more I could have had a brand new one in the box with warranty. I was the idiot on that one for buying it.

I've bought and sold a fair amount of radios to get the ones I'm finally happy with which are IC-756PROIII, and  IC-7000. Bought both brand new, and don't regret it at all. Some times folks cut their nose off to spite their face. They stumble over dollars trying to save pennies and it's just stupid. I'd stay away from ebay unless you really know what you are doing. At least with QRZ and here you deal with mostly amateur radio operators.

Posts: 45

« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2008, 01:14:21 PM »

Hi everyone,

Just to let you know the good news as I am the original poster...

I put a "want ad" up at work and managed to get several hams who wanted to part with their HF rigs.  I managed to pick up a Kenwood TS450S at a very fair price and was able to test it out at home before paying for it.  Of course working for a company that sells radios (Rockwell Collins) helps because this place is crawling with hams! :-)

So, for me I was successful in not rolling the eBay dice!

Thanks for all of your input!  Joe N0NS

Posts: 122

« Reply #21 on: February 29, 2008, 06:56:34 PM »

I am not trying to plug AES, but I have NEVER been stung by used equipment from them. I purchased a tuner online (ebay) from a minister of all things. The front of the tuner is scratched to hell, (no pun intended) and was never disclosed, however the inside of the tuner is pristine and does work really well. I would be hesitant to spend that kind of money online, but I have sold rigs online, and get this "IF people would have bought it at the buy it now price, instead of bidding it up trying to save money, they could have received a better price. I have had people pass my buy it now price by $125.00 already.    HuhHuhHuh??

Posts: 12

« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2008, 07:49:29 PM »

So far I have bought a number of radios off eBay. Being a new ham most of my earlier purchases were receivers (R-392, Collins TCS, Heath GR-54). I also won a HW-101 in really good shape.

Most of the time I look for rigs being sold for part or repair. They make good restoration projects. I got a second HW-101 for $50 because the seller was selling the tubes (I inquired about the knobs, he offered the entire rig). I picked up a chassis for a HW-32 the same way, it had a broken PCB (full of PCB type tube sockets!).

Best thing is nearly all of my past purchases we funded by sales... parted out my basket case BMW R-75/5 and a friends Suzuki 1100 (yes, he was aware & split the cash!).

But by all means beware. Paypal does offer some protection. Check feedbacks. Ask questions.

Steve KI4WGI
aka "slack-man"
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