Anyone bought a used flute online via ebay?

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

Moderators: Classitar, pied_piper, Phineas

Post Reply
User avatar
joolz
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:07 am

Anyone bought a used flute online via ebay?

Post by joolz » Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:00 am

Thinking about it - have been advised against it. Flute will cost me half the price of a new one ($4000 vs $9500). Everyone I know tells me not to do it. Husband looking at $$$ and thinks I should go for it. Seller is a flute store o/s selling the instrument on consignment. Tells me it's 5 years old (although the maker tells me it was actually produced and sent to the US in 1999 so hmmm....) Pads are very good, just needs a clean/adjust.

What to do???

Joolz

User avatar
vandoren
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:25 am
Location: Scotland, UK

Re: Anyone bought a used flute online via ebay?

Post by vandoren » Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:04 am

joolz wrote:Thinking about it - have been advised against it. Flute will cost me half the price of a new one ($4000 vs $9500). Everyone I know tells me not to do it. Husband looking at $$$ and thinks I should go for it. Seller is a flute store o/s selling the instrument on consignment. Tells me it's 5 years old (although the maker tells me it was actually produced and sent to the US in 1999 so hmmm....) Pads are very good, just needs a clean/adjust.

What to do???

Joolz
If you have used eBay before then you should know all about feedback etc etc and how to get some degree of confidence on the seller - if you haven't then stay clear.
IanR..................

.............still trying to become a musician at 66 years of age !

User avatar
flutepicc06
Posts: 1353
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 11:34 pm

Post by flutepicc06 » Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:22 am

Frankly, I would NEVER consider buying such an expensive instrument sight unseen. While the seller says that it just needs a little cleaning up, what you actually receive may or may not match the description. Not to mention that for that amount of money, you're clearly looking at a handmade flute, and each and everyone one of these is different. Even if you playtested instruments locally and settled on Model X, if you bought the "same" model on eBay, you could easily wind up with a flute that you hated. It's just not a smart move....For $4000, you need to KNOW what you're getting, and how it performs for you.

I have bought several instruments from eBay, but they never cost more than a few hundred dollars, and they're more collector's items than instruments I'll play heavily (An Eb flute, Db piccolo, etc.), so whether or not they fit me well is not horribly important. If you do decide to go after this flute (which I would strongly advise against), be sure the seller has a liberal return policy, plan for some significant repairs (I always factor the cost of an overhaul in to the actual purchase price), and use an escrow service to be sure you get your flute.

There are many excellent flutes (some handmade ones as well) that can be had for $4000 from very reputable sources, such as Fluteworld, the Flute Center of New York, etc. so I would recommend looking elsewhere.

fluteguy18
Posts: 2311
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Post by fluteguy18 » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:19 pm

I would steer clear. For that kind of money.... that is a huge risk. I bought my yamaha picc on ebay [for $1000, and saved about $600-800], but then again, I tried MANY of that specific model, and I liked all of them equally. So, I wasn't too worried about getting something I hated. But, there is a big difference between $1000 and $4000.

What company/store is it? I was happy with the dealer over ebay that I worked with, but yet it was pure luck that the picc I ended up getting I liked the best out of all of those I tried. I didn't even need the 1 week return full refund policy that came with it.

I know it seems tempting, but for 4k, I think that is too risky. Things already look shady if the maker is saying that it was sent to the US in '99 and the dealer says it is only 5 years old and they are overseas....

I wouldn't do it. I took a significant risk with my picc and was very fortunate that it worked out well [I was also in a position where I had to upgrade without a choice in the matter, and didn't quite have all of the neccessary funds to get EXACTLY what I wanted... so it was a plastic student picc or a entry level pro wooden picc]. I was lucky I wasn't burned.

There was a thread here recently where a few individuals tried purchasing a $1500-1700 wooden flute through a dealer on ebay and they got scammed.

I would just avoid it altogether. Even if you do get it, it doesnt mean you will like it. And, if you have a flute that is a poor match for you, it could actually be counter-productive to your improvement as a flutist.

I advise waiting. Save up more money, then go to a convention and try out several flutes in your price range. Higher price doesnt neccessarily mean a better flute [*for you as a player of course*]. I tried a $37,000 flute at a convention [Gold and Platinum] and I hated it. Or, as flutepicc said, try fluteworld.

User avatar
sidekicker
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:58 am
Location: Scottish-American in Oklahoma

Post by sidekicker » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:33 am

fluteguy18 wrote:There was a thread here recently where a few individuals tried purchasing a $1500-1700 wooden flute through a dealer on ebay and they got scammed.
It was the one labeled "Orpheus Flutes" in this same category (just scroll down). And, so far as we know at this point (although it's been a while since they have reported in) a flute was never delivered.

I've never purchased anything on Ebay. Not that I wouldn't, but it seems to be a really risky venture for a flute that you intend to be your primary instrument. The only people I've heard of here who have bought off Ebay have been people looking for a junker to practise tech work on, a decent second flute that would bail you out if your primary instrument is in the hands of a tech and you have to play a gig, or getting a picc on the cheap for one who only occasionally (not regularly) has to play picc and doesn't want to spend a fortune on one considering how often it is played.

So, although I haven't gone the Ebay route, I agree with the others here who advise against it in this case. Flutes in the semi- or professional category really need to be played before they are purchased. As flutepicc said, I too would never spend that kind of money on an instrument I haven't had in my hands and played for a while.

Good luck!

SK

fluttiegurl
Posts: 882
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 11:05 pm

Post by fluttiegurl » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:42 pm

I have purchased instruments for students on ebay with great reaults, but I know the risks and $4,000 is a little too risky in my opinion. I agree that an instrument of this level is one that should be play tested before making such a big investment. If you are looking to buy used, check out places like The Flute Exchange or Flute World consignments. These companies will allow you a trial period before paying the full amount as well as some form of guarantee that the instrument is as stated. You can get a great deal on a used flute that you know has been checked out and play tested before it ever reaches you.

Also, no matter how trustworthy a seller is on ebay, if they really know nothing about the instrument, you could really get ripped off. Even if someone has good intentions. $4,000 seems like a lot of money to take that kind of risk with and there is no guarantee that if the instrument is a dud, you will get your money back.

brina
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:46 am
Location: Piran, Slovenia

Post by brina » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:04 am

don't buy it over the Internet!!!! If you are spending so much money, you have to be sure to get a great flute!!! Buying a beginner flute is one thing but, a professional is something else. really.

Post Reply