Here's the scoop:
I have a friend on the other side of the country interested in picking up an inexpensive mandolin for travelling.
I found just the thing! "Callooh! Callay!", he chortled in his joy.
The only catch is that the seller is located 300 miles away from me. I'll be a little bit closer this w/e helping my in-laws with a move, and offered to meet him halfway to make the sale (it's been sitting unsold for nearly a month now), but he's pretty reluctant to do that.
The first time he responded to any of my four email inquiries was just this morning, in fact, since he figured anyone even remotely suggesting travelling 300 miles for a $250 mandolin was scamming him. It's just a hard mando to find, and a good deed for a friend. I understand his suspicion.
If it were you, how could I convince you:
1) That I was a legitimate buyer;
2) To make the 3-4 hr round-trip trek on your own time / gas to meet me halfway to make the sale (I just don't think I can swing the 8-hour round-trip to his actual location in the middle of this move, but 4-5 hours might be doable; this would probably be the difference between me buying it or not).
Thoughts? I'd like to get this mando this weekend and have my mother-in-law (experienced eBayer) give me some thoughts for packing it up to ship to my friend, but I don't know whether it's going to work out under these particular circumstances. Still, it seems like it should be doable?
Who knows. Maybe my seller is even a registered member here and would be able to tell me straight from the "horse's mouth"! (If you are here, I hope you're not offended! Just count this as evidence of my sincere interest in the instrument.) Maybe someone else has done something similar?