thought on eBay?

I've bought and sold things on eBay, but never $$$ audio equipment. I have had good experiences with Audiogon and AudioMart but I'm cautious about eBay, if only because many sellers often have little history with audio gear. I'm looking at an item that will likely end up in the $4k range from a seller who doesn't accept returns and has almost no record of selling audio equipment but does have an extensive and excellent record of buying and selling other things. 

1) In general, would you guys spend many thousands of dollars on eBay if there are no red flags--or do you say "never eBay" for big purchases?

2) Can anyone explain the reality of eBay's policies? I can see the "money back guarantee" if the item arrives "broken, damaged, or faulty." But I've also heard plenty of horror stories out here about companies that offer similar guarantees in theory but are awful to deal with in reality. I'll add that sometimes "faulty" for stereo gear can be a vast grey area.

So, bottom line: would you make a big audio purchase through eBay, especially from a seller with little visible audio experience?
I would stick with audiogon and audio mart. If it is a unit for under a thousand dollars I take my chances. I always contact the seller and ask questions. If the seller knows about audio it will come out in the correspondence. If I do not get a response then I move on. Good luck. 
No. I have never bought anything for hi-to on eBay that worked out l.Every single piece of gear had to be repaired, with the repair person sometimes telling me that the item had already been tested and traced with the faulty aspect having been marked. I got tired of it. Tried it again recently and paid for an NAD receiver before discovering the seller had misrepresented the number of amplifiers in the receiver. He claimed it would be the correct number if I added a couple of external amps. Also found out at that point that something was wrong with one of the rear channels and it hadn’t been divulged since they only used it for two channel and they assumed anybody wanting it would only use it for two channel. At that point, some other minor repairs issue also surfaced, I can’t remember what. And just two weeks ago, I got a refund on a Norstone rack after the seller never responded to any of my correspondence, including touching base and asking for tracking. Eventually eBay stepped in at my request after enough time passed. At that point, the seller accused me of being on drugs and called me scum of the earth in two separate responses. I asked him to clarify his reasoning or to explain not responding. Crickets. I got a refund when he couldn’t provide tracking. But at one point, eBay glitched out for about 15 hours and when it wasn’t glitching, it was telling me my purchase was no longer eligible for protection because too much time had passed. I really thought they were going to try to screw me, and I believe that was their attempt (maybe I’d go away quietly). Up until that time, I had to carefully navigate their land mines labeled "close this case" which popped up as the only prominently positioned clickable button on several pages I had to navigate through. I truly felt that if I wasn’t a tech savvy person, I would’ve accidentally closed the page or not figured out how to get it done without too much time passing. And according to eBay, I started the process too early, and they moved the date of the day I could take action, twice. I’m still going to look on eBay, but I really doubt I’ll buy anything of value again. I also recently got a refund on a ceramic Chris King bottom bracket that was sold as a particular current model and it was an older one that has been replaced with an improved version. The tracking on the item was extremely sketchy when I sent it back. The updates were wildly inaccurate and had me very worried ($275). Turns out, the guy took it to another town and dropped it back in the system somewhere. It was lunacy. After about a week of wondering what happened to it, it finally showed up at my house. eBay sent me a refund and I was very surprised. Just realized I should put it up myself, but label it correctly. I need the money for some snake oil I charged, lol.
I sold my integrated amp, a couple of phono amps on eBay also several different cables and floor standing speakers. The speakers was sold with self local pick up option only. All other stuff was shipped to the buyers via UPS or USPS. All with No Return Policy. Both sides was happy. No complaints. 
I’ve had great success buying on eBay, but from actual dealers. I won a Bryston 4b sst2 sold by Overture. I also WON a BAT VK-30SE from a small dealer in New Hampshire, I think. Most recently I won a VPI Scout with a TNT 4 platter and prime sig feet from Music Direct.

Be cautious, be patient, and be a little lucky :)
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