View Full Version : EBay Mandolin Scams

Jim Garber
Feb-03-2004, 1:05pm
I would like to start this thread to help notify the mando-community of these eBay sellers who are trying to make a fast buck with non-existent instruments. Ebay will not police them so we need to:

This auction (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3700497180) is over but the seller contacted me to see if I was interested in buying it. I told him that i saw the exact same photos at this site (http://www.vintage-strings.co.jp/gibsonf5mandolin.html) and the description with slight editing at Elderly's site (http://www.elderly.com/vintage/items/90U-3408.htm). Note that the description says "pearl block inlays" but the photos show different style inlays.

Feb-03-2004, 9:49pm
Great detective work !!

Feb-04-2004, 5:10pm

Feb-07-2004, 11:03am
Now here's my sort of thread

I decided I wanted to learn mandolin so I went straight to ebay to find a cheap instrument. My wife being a kind soul said she'd buy me one for xmas...

On the 18th of novemeber 2003 our bid wins us the privilege of paying $89.95 for a bestler semi acoustic with a stand and cable...

Two months later I received the mandolin after filing a fraud report but without the stand or cable.

So don't buy from any seller connected with www.internationalmusic.org

Jim Garber
Feb-09-2004, 9:38am
Well, it is not a mandolin, but it is a scam:
Gibson L-5 Custom (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3703219066) for sale on eBay. I did a quick search and found the copy and the pictures here (http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Museum/Guitar/Gibson/27L5Billy/1927l5billy.html).


Feb-10-2004, 6:02pm
Well, they took the L-5 off. Too bad, eh? As the jgarber suggested, this would be a pretty good topic to keep open for a while. So, if you see anything suspicious, post.

I really really dislike these guys.

Jim Garber
Feb-10-2004, 6:10pm
I just got an offer for an off-ebay sale of ostensibly the duplicate of an ornate antique mandolin currently on ebay. I asked the offerer to send me pics and he sent me the same pics as posted on ebay. I told him i wanted pictures of his mandolin not the one on ebay and that no photos, no deal. Another jerk...do these folks think we are so stupid?


Feb-10-2004, 6:15pm
Here's another one (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3703539703&category=621). The guy is located in France, and will only ship to the United States? Along with a word for word description from Weber's site. Yeesh.

Feb-10-2004, 6:17pm
No scams...but I saw a "professional" piece of plywood last night belonging to a man who's played in vegas with lots of country legends (I bet they were disappointed by the "quality" of his instrument). He also had a low-low-low-grade piece of wood for sale.

Feb-10-2004, 7:32pm
I was almost scammed by an Ebay'er who had a great "Loar era Snakehead". I was the high bidder and he insisted me using Western Union. He was listed in Canada, but after the close of the auction said he was in France, which made me suspicious. After he would not use escrow or other forms of payment that would protect me, I reported him to Ebay and they investigated it and took him off. Evidently there is a group of people doing this, and they keep changing their ID. Things to look out for:
The seller has zero or little feedback.
Seller will not accept escrow on a high ticket item.
Seller demands Western Union or some form of payment with no recourse.
Seller won't send additional pictures.

Feb-10-2004, 7:47pm
And, don't forget, out of the US. Unfortunately. There are tons of folks out of the USA that sell good stuff, but if they're foreign AND no feedback, it's pretty much assured it's a scam.

Feb-10-2004, 9:56pm
Greetings all!
I am reading this with great interest since I am presently looking on EBAY for an inexpensive starter A style.
I am posting because since I don't play any stringed instrument and I was wondering if you experienced players
recommend learning some guitar first?
I chose the mandolin to learn because I have always liked the sound of the instrument and hearing people play.
A gentleman last week showed me a little fingering, But I am just getting ready to take the plunge.
Thanks in advance for any response, I have really enjoyed this site and I appreciate all of the work you all
have put into mandolincafe. I have learned a lot here!


Feb-11-2004, 1:44am
Hi Chipoltle,
# #Never played a string instrument? #In that case, my advice is:

1) find a teacher to help you get started without forming any bad habits that will be hard work to correct later.

2) find a good shop and pay the few extra dollars for a properly set-up instrument and the words of free advice that you get by being a paying customer. #On string instruments set-up makes a world of difference, and a lower cost well set-up instrument will be a better starter instrument than any instrument with a screwed up set-up. #Unless you can set the instrument up yourself, E-Bay is probably not the way to go. #Some of the mail order places will also basically drop-ship a factory (non) set-up instrument.

3) Hopefully, the shop rents instruments. #Get that teacher mentioned above, and rent a "starter" instrument, even if it is a low end one. #After you have played for a while, you will be in a *much* better position to audition instruments.


Feb-11-2004, 2:13am
My wife and I took a music fundamentals course at the college. This is really important so a teacher does not have to waste time teaching you how to read music and the foundation of creating chords. When you are paying good money to be taught a instrument, it is wasteful when you have to learn how to read at the same time.

Jim Garber
Feb-11-2004, 8:12am
No offense to anyone on this thread but the last three posts are veering off topic. I would suggest that those interested can start a new thread.

In other words, these have nothing to do with scamming on Ebay.