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?
Thanks again everyone. I've bought and sold some things over the years but never a big-ticket/niche-market item. 

One thing that does seem true to me from observation is that Audiogon and AudioMart sellers generally have a sense of the audiophile world, know what questions to expect, know how to evaluate equipment. It feels a bit looser to me on eBay. More kinks and stories. (Just yesterday there was a pair of Pass 60.8 mono blocks for auction, sold by a pawn shop going out of business with the seller away for a month. Today the ad is ... gone. It's even gone from my "recently viewed" items.)

For audio I will not shop eBay, to many scam artists.  I have used flea bay non audio related items and had very good luck.

NO eBay for audio.

For audio, I’ve used them 3 times:

(1) Year 2000, bought a Marantz 4140.. seller shipped me a 2240. A clear case of fraud. It took me a month and I ended up paying 50 bucks for the receiver because I didn’t want to have to ship it back... eventually I gave that away, not one of Marantz’s good receivers.

(2) Year 2015, bought Radio Shack APM-200 power meter from a seller that carries only audio. Good transaction.

(3) Year 2021, bought another APM-200 from a mixed seller. POS. Took me 6 weeks to get my money refunded.

I buy a lot, sell a little, of audio stuff and I NEVER use eBay for electronics anymore.

Pretty much use eBay for buying. Selling got to be too weird, with fees being raised, taxes collected, then hey PP too. I gave up. For buying, it is really a joke to read that the unit has been tested and works 100%. I know better that this is BS. Fortunately the component that I am looking to buy will be completely rebuilt and it doesn’t matter about working order, or up to spec crap.

If I want to have an interested party offer to buy my equipment, then this is the place. Less tire kickers, generally more knowledgeable about the product, and hopefully don’t think that this site is a yard sale.


Packing properly is a concern for both buyer and seller. Nobody wins when a product gets damaged in shipping.

Buyers have absolute power on ebay. Provided you purchase using an ebay approved method, you can return merchandise for any reason real or imagined.