How To Buy Used Guitar Pedals Online Without Getting Ripped Off
Deciding to buy a used guitar pedals online can potentially save you a lot of money, but you also want to be careful; used pedals can be defective or even missing parts sometimes. Unfortunately, there are also scammers online who deal in deception. In this article, we'll outline how to reduce your chances of getting ripped off when buying used guitar pedals online.
One of the best ways to buy used pedals cheap is through auction sites. Obviously, eBay is one popular choice, but there are also many other auction sites online, some of which focus exclusively on guitar gear. But before you bid on a guitar pedal up for auction, there are a few points to keep in mind.
ALWAYS investigate the reputation of the seller before deciding to bid. Most auction sites have a feedback and ratings system. This will allow you to see what kind of experiences others have had purchasing items from a particular seller. While it is practically impossible for a seller to have 100% positive feedback rating (after all, some people will complain about anything), you do want to make sure that the percentage of happy buyers is very high. A 98% or higher positive rating is preferable.
You also want to consider how many items the seller has sold at auction. If their positive feedback is 100%, but they've only sold two items, you can't be really sure what kind of seller they are. On the other hand, if you see thousands of successful auctions, and a 98% positive rating, it's a pretty safe bet that the seller is a straight shooter and is not out to rip anyone off.
It's also important to thoroughly investigate the condition of the used guitar pedals being offered. Most pedals sold on online auctions will include a photo, so you can get a good sense of the condition of the unit. You can also e-mail the seller with any questions you may have, and this is actually a good technique to find out how responsive the seller is to customer service. After all, if they do not respond promptly to questions before you buy the pedal, they probably will not respond promptly to problems after the sale.
Guitar pedals are made to be stepped on, so by definition they are usually quite tough. However, if you're purchasing older used guitar pedals it pays to ask questions about the condition the unit is in -- especially if the pedal is being offered at a really cheap price. Remember the old saying, "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is."
In particular, you should ensure that the input and output jacks on the pedal are solid and noise-free. Often, quarter-inch jacks on the sides of used guitar pedals become loose, and can cause random annoying "clicking" sounds. Don't hesitate to ask the seller directly if the input and output jacks feel solid to the touch and are quiet.
You'll also want to make sure the pedal has a reliable AC plug. In the case of some older guitar pedals, buying a "wall wart" AC plug will cost nearly as much as the pedal itsel. So you definitely want to be sure it is included in the sale.
Finally, consider your gut instinct before bidding on any used guitar pedal, especially a cheap one. Does the seller provide adequate information about the pedal? Is there a clear color photo of the unit? Sometimes an auction will just seem somehow "fishy," and you're not even sure why. In these cases, it's better to hold back and listen to your gut instinct -- it will usually be right.
You can buy all kinds of used guitar pedals at online auctions, and prices are normally cheaper than you will find in music stores or pawn shops; however, always take your time and thoroughly investigate both the guitar pedal and the seller before making a bid.
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