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View Full Version : Bought a "Brand new" ukulele on eBay... what I received was not like that at all!



kissing
03-04-2015, 10:19 PM
This is going to be a bit of a rant.

I saw an auction up for a Vorson electric tenor described as

“This is brand new, never used. it is out of its original packaging but that is the extent of the use.”


Since the total price was approximately $20 cheaper than it would be from a "Brand new" instrument that is not out of its original packaging, I took the plunge and purchased it.

The package just arrived today, but before I even opened it up, I was displeased. The packaging job was absolutely awful! The seller had just stuffed it into a thin box, which was barely big enough to fit the instrument. And there is ZERO padding or cushioning inside. Inside the box, the ukulele is simply there in a nylon-thin gigbag!
It's a miracle the ukulele didn't arrive all the way to Australia from overseas smashed into pieces. I can only imagine the trauma that this instrument went through. To top if off, part of the box was even breaking apart at the top - and I suspect that the postal service patched it up themselves with tape..


Secondly, the ukulele was NOT as described!
"Brand New" my bottom! "Removed from original packaging, and that is the extent of its use" my donkey!

The instrument was covered in handsmudges, scratches and tell-tale signs of use. I know the difference between a used and a "brand new" ukulele. And in case it was not glaringly enough obvious that this is very much a "used" ukulele, the seller had even put on alternative strings. "Brand new" Vorsons come strung with a low-G tuning, but this ukulele was tuned with high-G strings. The parts of the strings and fretboard near the nut have that extra corrosion/oil stains that show that this ukulele was definitely used extensively.

I hope the seller responds soon. I am hoping to either get a complete refund (including shipping) OR a significant partial refund that would satisfy me enough to keep the "used" instrument.

Here is the following message I sent on eBay.


I have just received this Vorson electric ukulele today, and I am very dissatisfied with your listing and the way you packaged it for shipping.

This was the worst packaged instrument I have ever bought. Have you ever posted an item? You have stuffed it into a box that is not even big enough for the instrument with absolutely no padding or protection. Part of the box at the top was broken when it arrived to me.

Furthermore, the ukulele was described as “This is brand new, never used. it is out of its original packaging but that is the extent of the use.” From the condition of the instrument this is simply false. There are signs of extensive use! The instrument is covered in scratches and smudges from lots of handling. I also know that the strings/tuning has been changed. It is installed with high-G tuning, not low-G as it would be brand new. I am greatly dissatisfied, considering I could buy a BRAND new one for $18 more.

I want a full refund incl. shipping or a partial refund!



Le awesome packaging:
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y121/pactio_kiss/20150305_194026_zpsaq0qyqa1.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/user/pactio_kiss/media/20150305_194026_zpsaq0qyqa1.jpg.html)

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y121/pactio_kiss/20150305_194126_zpslxccqi6v.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/user/pactio_kiss/media/20150305_194126_zpslxccqi6v.jpg.html)

I took these photographs immediately after removing from box.
Apparently this is what "Brand new" looks like:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y121/pactio_kiss/20150305_194624_zpsuwwwabce.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/user/pactio_kiss/media/20150305_194624_zpsuwwwabce.jpg.html)

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y121/pactio_kiss/20150305_194632_zps2gnao8mn.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/user/pactio_kiss/media/20150305_194632_zps2gnao8mn.jpg.html)

kissing
03-04-2015, 10:21 PM
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y121/pactio_kiss/20150305_194639_zpsuqs6whts.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/user/pactio_kiss/media/20150305_194639_zpsuqs6whts.jpg.html)


May the buyer beware!!

bazmaz
03-04-2015, 10:46 PM
Looks very used to me - or at least - ex-demo stock. Terrible

kissing
03-04-2015, 11:37 PM
My gosh, upon closer inspection, this thing has been played a LOT.

On some areas, the gloss finish is scuffed and worn down..

I've had electric ukuleles that I have owned for YEARS that did not have this much wear!!

Olarte
03-05-2015, 12:37 AM
Good luck. That is very disappointing. I would ask or a full refund and open a claim with eBay and or PayPal

Cornfield
03-05-2015, 01:21 AM
Good reason to make the uu marketplace the first place to buy and sell ukes.

Doc_J
03-05-2015, 02:13 AM
Wow. FedEx or UPS would not have excepted packaging like that. The Post Office accepts everything (I think they may have to by law). It's amazing that it wasn't in pieces and you got it.

If you end up keeping it, automotive scratch removal/polishing compound may buff out some of those scratches. I've had good luck with a product called Scratch-X by Meguires.

Jon Moody
03-05-2015, 02:35 AM
I understand your frustration. Your email to the seller seems a little more based on emotion, at which point the buyer may be less inclined to deal with you reasonably.

As per Olarte's suggestion, file a claim through eBay. With your pictures, this should be pretty easy to take care of.

Rllink
03-05-2015, 03:18 AM
I understand your frustration. Your email to the seller seems a little more based on emotion, at which point the buyer may be less inclined to deal with you reasonably.

As per Olarte's suggestion, file a claim through eBay. With your pictures, this should be pretty easy to take care of.I agree totally. I would file a complaint with eBay.

deschutestrout
03-05-2015, 03:29 AM
and if you paid thru paypal, i believe they have protection too ... i had a similar situation once. filing a claim through eBay will greatly damage this seller's ability to sell again. threaten him with the eBay claim and see if he quickly resolves, then file the claim anyway. that seller's a crook.

Down Up Dick
03-05-2015, 03:30 AM
I've read lots of horror stories about bad musical instrument buys on eBay. I don't know why anyone would go there to buy anything in the first place. One guy bought a flute, and, when he received it, it was just junk!

Caveat Emptor! :old:

DownUpDave
03-05-2015, 03:35 AM
That is very unfortunate, seller was definitely deceitful. It is always a gamble buying from an unknown source but as long as you paid through Paypal you are fully protected. Sometimes trying to save $14.00 is just not worth it. Good luck and make sure you report him and file a claim against him. I would take it straight to ebay and let them fry his arse so he can't do the same thing to other people.

Icelander53
03-05-2015, 03:39 AM
Well I just went through a problem on Ebay. I received a defective item and they told me I was responsible for return shipping costs. I hit the roof but it was my fault because I did not read their return policy. Lesson learned. BTW I talked them into sending a call tag and I did get a full refund. Look, on ebay you need to really be careful and experiences like yours are one way you can learn. I prefer to learn from others mistakes but don't do it often enough. So... first things first. Check out the seller ratings/feedback. You can learn a lot right there. Good luck and this is why I'd almost always rather do business with HMS. They do it right.

Down Up Dick
03-05-2015, 03:51 AM
I like to buy stuff from stores. That way I can examine things first and maybe even play an instrument or two. I don't even like to buy stuff from Amazon unless I hafta. I know that not everyone has a store nearby, so I guess those people will hafta use a reputable mail order dealer.

If people buy stuff from stores rather than trying to save a few bucks, maybe there will be more stores. :old:

bazmaz
03-05-2015, 04:00 AM
I agree with Down Up Dick - but am one of those who doesnt have a reputable store anywhere near me. Thankfully in the UK there are about three main and very highly regarded uke specialists who as well as selling online have bricks and mortar stores - so buying there does support local suppliers.

Direct from Amazon ukes (and I mean that Amazon ship -not marketplace sellers) are a complete minefield!

Brenda Wong
03-05-2015, 04:28 AM
I like to buy stuff from stores. That way I can examine things first and maybe even play an instrument or two. I don't even like to buy stuff from Amazon unless I hafta. I know that not everyone has a store nearby, so I guess those people will hafta use a reputable mail order dealer.

If people buy stuff from stores rather than trying to save a few bucks, maybe there will be more stores. :old:

I flew to Hawaii to buy from HMS store and ended up with one that is probably played by many many many many people before me . There were no discount for being 'used as display sample'. :-( Just can't win.

Jon Moody
03-05-2015, 04:30 AM
I flew to Hawaii to buy from HMS store and ended up with one that is probably played by many many many many people before me . There were no discount for being 'used as display sample'. :-( Just can't win.

As long as there aren't any visible dents, dings or what have you, on a floor model, why should you get a discount?

Down Up Dick
03-05-2015, 04:46 AM
C'mon, OBM, when one flies to Hawaii to buy from HMS, I'm sure she wanted an especially beautiful ukulele for good memories, if nothin' else--have a heart. It should have been a special treat for her!

Well, I hope you had a nice trip anyway, Brenda. :old:

Icelander53
03-05-2015, 04:51 AM
I flew to Hawaii to buy from HMS store and ended up with one that is probably played by many many many many people before me . There were no discount for being 'used as display sample'. :-( Just can't win.

Well it's always worth asking.

deschutestrout
03-05-2015, 04:57 AM
I flew to Hawaii to buy from HMS store and ended up with one that is probably played by many many many many people before me . There were no discount for being 'used as display sample'. :-( Just can't win.

They should have charged you more because you received one where the top had likely opened up a bit from all the playing :cool:

Icelander53
03-05-2015, 05:00 AM
And you know it's a good sample. If it was in good condition I'd prefer it. And you skip the set up wait.

Jon Moody
03-05-2015, 05:01 AM
C'mon, OBM, when one flies to Hawaii to buy from HMS, I'm sure she wanted an especially beautiful ukulele for good memories, if nothin' else--have a heart. It should have been a special treat for her!

Well, I hope you had a nice trip anyway, Brenda. :old:

She got to travel to Hawaii and visit a legendary ukulele store. That in and of itself is a good memory!

Her entire comment seems more centered around the fact that it's a bad thing that she DID NOT get a discount for a floor model, as if that is an entitlement. Musical instruments are meant to be played; I've tried countless instruments at many stores (some of which were specialty places that I traveled great distances to visit), and never gotten a discount for buying the floor model.

If the instrument was visibly worn or aged due to demo use, different story. However, if you want a completely, brand spankin' new instrument, buy one that has never left the box it was shipped in.

Olarte
03-05-2015, 05:03 AM
How was the sellers feedback? I start with that before I buy most things on Ebay.

While I usually only buy from our favorite vendors or here, I did recently got a "mint' condition Godine Uke for $500 about $200 off, and I can't find any fault at all with it. I love it.

Ironically, I believe you sold your Godin a week after... I would have preferred buying from you, as the two instruments I got from you were exactly as described !

Down Up Dick
03-05-2015, 05:11 AM
Wow, some of you guys are cold! Poor Brenda, but I guess bidness is bidness. Well, again, Caveat Emptor! :old:

deschutestrout
03-05-2015, 05:13 AM
She got to travel to Hawaii and visit a legendary ukulele store. That in and of itself is a good memory!

Her entire comment seems more centered around the fact that it's a bad thing that she DID NOT get a discount for a floor model, as if that is an entitlement. Musical instruments are meant to be played; I've tried countless instruments at many stores (some of which were specialty places that I traveled great distances to visit), and never gotten a discount for buying the floor model.

If the instrument was visibly worn or aged due to demo use, different story. However, if you want a completely, brand spankin' new instrument, buy one that has never left the box it was shipped in.

I agree. And the strings were settled in so she got a very accurate representation of the beautiful instrument she was investing in. I wanna go to a uke store in Hawaii!!!

haole
03-05-2015, 05:18 AM
The only place that would consider that uke to be in "new" condition is Guitar Center. Hope you get at least a partial refund.

Icelander53
03-05-2015, 05:46 AM
If the fault is really on their end then don't forget the scathing review. Sometimes it's your only satisfaction. I suggest you get good at complaining for the future. How you go about it often determines success or failure and bad vibes. Honestly I usually get satisfaction if I keep my temper in check and instead blind them with superior logic and I try to keep it friendly even if I'm complaining. When I believe all is lost however I've been known to unload until the weapon is empty. ;) My bad.

Jon Moody
03-05-2015, 06:00 AM
If the fault is really on their end then don't forget the scathing review. Sometimes it's your only satisfaction. I suggest you get good at complaining for the future. How you go about it often determines success or failure and bad vibes. Honestly I usually get satisfaction if I keep my temper in check and instead blind them with superior logic and I try to keep it friendly even if I'm complaining. When I believe all is lost however I've been known to unload until the weapon is empty. ;) My bad.

When I look at reviews - of ANYTHING online - any scathing ones I usually discount (the same goes for the tremendously glowing reviews as well). Leave negative feedback, but be clear about your reasoning. You'll have more impact that way with future prospective buyers, and still get your karmic satisfaction.

Icelander53
03-05-2015, 06:39 AM
By scathing I'm not talking about abusing anyone. I'm talking about a fully articulate and accurate portrayal of what you have just gone through. And imo if you skip the best and the worst you've just cut one leg off. I've gotten plenty of great info from both groups. You just have to use your noggin.

Jon Moody
03-05-2015, 07:12 AM
By scathing I'm not talking about abusing anyone. I'm talking about a fully articulate and accurate portrayal of what you have just gone through. And imo if you skip the best and the worst you've just cut one leg off. I've gotten plenty of great info from both groups. You just have to use your noggin.

Ah, that makes sense.

Well, I should've been clear. The ones I avoid are the 1 star, "This company SUCKS! Don't EVER deal with them!!!" reviews as well as the 5 star, "This is the BEST COMPANY EVER!!!!" reviews. Those are based more on snap judgement and emotion over actual noggin-usage. Give me the 2-4 star reviews that, as you said, accurately portray their experiences any day of the week.

mds725
03-05-2015, 08:16 AM
The OP was trying to talk about his situation with an eBay seller. While I understand that Brenda's plight is discussionworthy, it ought to have its own thread. Please don't hijack the OP's thread.

Down Up Dick
03-05-2015, 08:29 AM
Well, mds725, then the thread is over. Everyone gave his/her opinion of what to say and do about the mishandled Uke. What else is there to do or say?

Goodbye all and Happy March 5th! :old:

Icelander53
03-05-2015, 12:58 PM
It's not over until I sing.

Rllink
03-05-2015, 03:17 PM
Dalek: Stay on track. Do not stray. Failure will result in thread death. You are warned. :rolleyes:

kissing
03-05-2015, 08:54 PM
How was the sellers feedback? I start with that before I buy most things on Ebay.

While I usually only buy from our favorite vendors or here, I did recently got a "mint' condition Godine Uke for $500 about $200 off, and I can't find any fault at all with it. I love it.

Ironically, I believe you sold your Godin a week after... I would have preferred buying from you, as the two instruments I got from you were exactly as described !

Thanks Olarte.

The seller had 100% feedback, BUT only had experience of selling 8 items.
I gave him the benefit of the doubt and believed that when the instrument was listed as "Brand new", that it would be true.
The photographs in the listing were vague, but didn't really show the ukulele close up.


I am still awaiting for the seller's response. I am sure eBay buyer protection will help me, as the return policy on the listing says the seller will take full responsibility.
However, it is frustrating to be stuck with the worn-out instrument and waiting to see how cooperative the seller is.

I suspect that the seller perhaps hoped that a person inexperienced in buying instruments would make the purchase and stay silent. Alas, I have a large collection of ukuleles and have researched Vorsons quite extensively.... bad luck for him!

If he doesn't respond by 10th march, it seems eBay will step in and do something.



edit: I don't mind the topic drifting a little. I am enjoying the discussions here and the empathy people have shown me :)

kohanmike
03-05-2015, 09:26 PM
Bad timing on my part. I bought a Vorson Tele style a few months ago from Sweetwater for $139 US. As it happened, I never played it so it truely is in like new condition. I changed the knobs to Fender black and did change the strings because I didn't realize it was low G and over tuned the G string to breaking. I replaced them with much heavier strings, which turned out to be a mistake, hard to hold down. So I put it aside and last week I decided to sell it (with the strap) along with three other ukes. I brought it to U-Space, who's waiting for a customer to decide on buying it. They will ask $100 and give me $80. But, if it doesn't come through, do you want it? I don't know what shipping will be, where are you?

http://www.fairfax67.com/images/Vorson Tele mine.jpg

kissing
03-05-2015, 10:13 PM
That's a lovely offer, but I have discovered that the Vorsons can be bought locally (in Australia) brand new for not that much.

I will also have to wait to see how the seller wants to proceed.
I would not particularly mind keeping the "Used" ukulele if he refunds half the money. But any less than that, I will go for a full refund and spend my money elsewhere.