Buying Used Equipment on the Internet

Hello all, 

Had a question for the more experienced hi-fi enthusiasts here. I'm new to this hobby and currently still trying out new gear to see what I like. I was looking into trying out the Parasound Halo Hint 6 amplifier and found a used one through AudioMart. 

My question is: what advice would people have for buying used equipment online? The pricing is attractive but there's also no option for returns once the transaction goes through. What's to stop someone from offloading a lemon on to an unsuspecting buyer?




You might consider a site like The Music Room for a first used purchase.  It will likely be a little more expensive, but a much more controlled environment for your first purchase.  I've sold quite a bit of gear with them and always have a good experience.

I wouldn’t consider myself an experienced HiFi enthusiast, but I usually pass when I see sellers request PayPal Friends and Family only. When you do this as a buyer, you’re losing out on all of the purchaser protections that PayPal provides - I feel like you’re really gambling at that point; regardless of the how many positive transactions the seller has had.

On the topic of gambling, from least risky to most risky: The Music Room, Audiogon, US AudioMart, Ebay - but again, not the most experienced on this site.

I've purchased a few items from US AudioMart and sold a half dozen or so. I've always had good luck.  This includes items up to about $10K. I look at the seller's feedback and don't purchase anything that does not include decent photos and a description that sounds like it was written by someone who knows what they have. If it's an expensive item (for me, that's more than a couple thousand $), I'll arrange for a phone call and try to check out the seller if possible. 

I always use Paypal for purchase, and unless I know the seller personally I don't use friends & family payment. Paypal provides pretty good protection for the buyer (less so for the seller) if there is a problem.

So far, so good.

Good advice here. If you are new to the game, you might start off with TMR,ebay or this site. Buying used IMO is when you know what your want and looking for a good price. I did one friends and family purchase, but I did contact the person I bought from. I got a good felling from the person and he had what I really wanted. No issue, but it is definitely a gamble. I have even found good deals from dealers overseas. You sometimes have to deal with customs, but I have gotton some very good deals on new audio. Again, nothing beats experience. You never can do to much research.

TMR does painless returns.

The only sure go for "friends and family' is '"on approval."