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Buying Radios off Ebay???

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Old 08-18-2003, 04:52 AM
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Cessna26
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

Is buying radios off ebay a good idea or a bad idea. There are some great deals for some radios and i do not want to pay full price on one. Most of the sellers have good feedback but i would like some advice from some real RC people.
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Old 08-18-2003, 05:10 AM
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Lynx
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

Make sure you get as much information about what you're buying as is humanly possible. Like has it been dropped. Physical defects ect.. and most importantly, the reason for selling.
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Old 08-18-2003, 05:56 AM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

Only if you know exactly what you're buying.

I know for a fact there are a lot of "illegal" radios being sold. By that I mean radios that DO NOT meet the current FCC rules. I'm sure a lot of sellers don't know the difference because if you look at the other items some of the sellers list, you can tell the other things they have sold is like yard sale stuff. But I know some sellers appear to be unscrupulous modelers trying to unload illegal radios on unsuspecting buyers. It's pretty easy to tell when you check their other items for sale (or do a search of their ended auctions or their feedback history to see what they've sold in the past) and you see only model items. I call it unscrupulous IF they don't bother to mention that the radio they have for sale is no longer legal to use. And if they aren't going to mention it's not legal to use, would you really trust them to say if anything else is wrong with it? Checking their feedback history is helpful - at least you can see what other buyers have to say about their transactions with the seller. But bottom line is, you really need to know what you're bidding on and the place to get the answers may not be from the seller. It's always buyer beware when buying from someone you don't know.
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Old 08-18-2003, 07:12 AM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

Have bought 3 radios on Ebay and sold 3 or 4. I have received good systems and sold good basic transmitters. Good feedback should mean a lot but do look at other items sold and ask a lot of questions before buying. Make sure a "system" is a normal "system". Make sure you are looking at actual photos, not "brochures".
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Old 08-18-2003, 01:43 PM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

I buy and sell tons of RC stuff on ebay. Make sure the seller has lots of pos feedback and no neg and you are fine. I did almost $10,000 on there last year and had no problems.
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Old 08-18-2003, 10:48 PM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

I just bought a Futaba Attack 4 AM transmitter and receiver off eBay a couple of weeks ago. I chose to go with eBay because I did not want to invest a lot of money into a new hobby. When the radio arrived I found that it was brand new! The 'kit' was missing the servos and battery pack because they were installed in the original owner's airplane. The transmitter and receiver were not needed so he sold them. Everything worked perfectly! This was one of several radios on eBay that seemed like a good deal. Ask questions and check for good feedback on the seller!!!
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Old 08-19-2003, 11:39 PM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

Ya i guess they are good the only problem is they go quick with the buy it now option. I had one i wanted but got bought. Well thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-20-2003, 01:31 AM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

I've sold and bought lot of stuff on EBay including a Laser 4 and 6. I felt I gave them good deals. I see very little 'illegal' items for sale. I don't know where that comment comes from. Some items are BNIB and are legal for countries other than the US (like 35mhz), but if you are that much of a beginner that you don't even know the legal frequencies, then you should not be on Ebay!


I've gotten some good deals, some 'fair' deals, and some dogs. For example I bought a Futaba 7UAFS PCM 1024 tx only or 100 bucks. A fair deal. I bought a Prism 7x with Spectra for $140. Remember the Spectra sells for $99 bucks itself. A 'fair deal'. I've bought some Modules for the 7UAF for 30-40 bucks. "Fair" deals. None of these are run away bargains. But they are decent savings over equivlent new items. I bought a legal Futaba FP-T6FG/K six channel with a FM frequency module for $30. What else... a Wattage PF-12 charger for $39. Several RX's like a 6ch GWS for 25, a HiTec Feather for 20, a Hitec 555 for 35. "Fair deals" over new. IMO I've saved 100s over buying equivlent new stuff from my LHS which is often no help whatsoever.

Best of all I rarely have gotten 'screwed.' It wil happen if you buy enought stuff on EBay but I find it rare. Especially if you stick to your price and don't go a cent more (and watch out for shipping!).

Jeff
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Old 08-20-2003, 02:32 AM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

By illegal I'm referring to radios that do not meet narrow band requirements. And I've seen quite a few.

I don't know how you feel about it but I'm not crazy about the prospect of unknowing folks purchasing these radios, and maybe operating them close enough to me to cause a problem with my "legal" radios.

We all know the best advice to give a beginner is to get in with a local club or with an experienced modeler. But I worry about the guy that buys one of the cheapy backyard fliers (like from a department store), then decides to graduate to something more complex. He knows enough to see what the new radios cost in the hobby shops, but sees some "really great deals" on eBay. If he feels he can "do it one his own" without help from more experienced fliers, he's a candidate for picking up one of those illegal "bargains" on eBay.

I also know some folks don't care squat about whether the radios are legal or not. I've personally seen statements like, "This radio doesn't meet the new narrow band requirements but if you fly out in the boonies, it doesn't really matter". I have a problem with that.

I don't have a problem when the seller makes it known that, "This radio is no longer legal to operate and is being sold as a collector's item only". Seen quite a few of those, too.
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Old 08-20-2003, 04:31 AM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

I have not seen radios like you mention come up for sale that often. How I feel about it is just like you feel: that is 'one incident' is all it takes to reflect poorly on us all. I do not endorse using anything other than legal, narrowband, equipment.

I am saying your post gives the impression that the sale of such items is rampant on Ebay, and I am positive, unless you are looking at places I am not, that is not so and you are overstating the practice. I see, right now, dozens and dozens of 'relatively' recent models (models that range from new to almost 7 years old) for sale. I see virtually NO FM models for sale that date from before 1992 or earlier. There may be one or two, but I am either not seeing them, or I am not looking in the correct area.

If you are a saavy enough EBay'er to consider buying a TX or RX on EBay (and know if you are getting a deal or not) surely you also know how to do a quick Google search and find out the vintage of a TX or RX under consideration and if you can't find it via a Google search, assume it's older or more obscure than you as a beginner should be considering.

I just do not see that many 'illeagal' TXs or RX coming up for sale, and I have been watching EBay for deals for the past 4 months as I build my own R/C base.

JMO
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Old 08-20-2003, 05:11 AM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

I've purchased several transmitters, numerous receivers and alot of servo off of e-bay without a problem. As with anything ask the seller questions, check his feedback rating and know what you are buying. There are alot of good deals out there if you buy right you just need to be patient and don't overbid.
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Old 08-20-2003, 07:11 PM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

Jeff, I never said it was 'rampant', just that it happens.

What the original post asked was, "Is buying radios off ebay a good idea or a bad idea". I stand by my original answer. Know what you are bidding on - because there are both folks selling stuff they have no idea what it is and SOME that are trying to unload old, outdated equipment.

If you haven't seen some of these posts, then you are missing them because I see them fairly often. I see sellers state something like, "I got this from an estate sale and don't know anything about it" or, "I know nothing about these so am selling as-is". Those are the ones that have no idea what they are selling and if it is legal or not. Those are not being dishonest - they just don't know what they're selling. I've been watching (and buying and selling) on eBay for 4 years and I still see old radios being offered. I know the ones I'm referring to aren't legal because they ceased being manufactured long before the narrow band issue came along.

Then you've got the ones that are modelers (you can tell because they buy AND sell mostly model items) and they don't state an older radio is no longer legal to use. Rampant? Of course not - but I've seen it. I don't have a problem with them selling the older stuff when they state something like, "This equipment is no longer legal to operate and is being sold as a collector's item only".

So I still stand by my original comment: Bid only if you know exactly what you're buying. But I never implied I believed most modelers are unscrupulous or that it was 'rampant'. Just be careful what you buy.
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Old 08-20-2003, 07:31 PM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

Sorry if I mistated your position.

Sure I see few "I got this from an estate sale..." ads. Mostly older Kraft or Futaba stuff. But even as a newbie, "Don't know anything about it, sold as is..." ads, ought set off all sorts of warning buzzers in ones head.

Guess I am a trusting soul. I assume if they say they got it at an estate sale, they did. I also assume if they say they know anything about it, they don't. And if they don't, and I don't, then I come here and ask! (or don't bid!)


Best wishes,
Jeff
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Old 08-20-2003, 09:43 PM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

You're doin' it right, Jeff! You're taking the time to check it out.

I found another modeler (in another thread) that also feels a little upset by the scammers out there. Check out this thread (and the response by flyinhigher):

http://www.rcuniverse.com/showthread...655&forumid=37

I guess I get upset about those that will take advantage. I like to think we're all in this together and it's all about helping each other..
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Old 08-29-2003, 04:20 AM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

Be smart when useing ebay some people try to scam they suck and say it worked fine the day before I shipped it. Ask questions get shipping insurance feedback very important watch out for crazyeyes bad bad bad ebayer!
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Old 08-30-2003, 03:31 PM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

"I just do not see that many 'illeagal' TXs or RX coming up for sale, and I have been watching EBay for deals for the past 4 months as I build my own R/C base. "

I used to look for this specifically in the past, curious to see how active an issue it ws and also hopeful to educate some modelers. I saw about 15-20 illegal radios sold on ebay per month, without any notification in the listings. So that is a noticable amount, IMHO.

Remember, for FUTABA at least, if its FM its legal, regardles of year of manufacturer, as Futaba produced all its FM equipment in narrow band. Now, if its AM, its another story...
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Old 08-31-2003, 11:33 AM
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

I don't buy much used stuff on line,because! I listen to what guy's at the field say and talk about, it is statements, like if i don't get this thing running right today, it will be on rcuniverse tomorrow I'm not just talking bad of rcuniverse either, e-bay i'm sure is just as bad. If it say's new in box now that's another story . Karma is very important. When i crash a plane the receiver goes into the trash with the Chrystal in it ,not all people do the same thing! :devious: I hope this helps TomBob
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Old 08-31-2003, 05:16 PM
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Default Ebay

I have bought and sold radio's on ebay. As for as illegal when the seller post it as wide band consider I have sold radios as far away as India to remote locations where people have limited US $$ and noone else to fly with. Some have bought the radios and converted to freq legal in their country which might have never been legal in US. So consider that ebay is world wide sales and not just for US.

I also have just + feedback but would accept back anything I have sold had there been a complaint. What I have found is that most modelers are upfront and honest. If buying used I would ask "If I take it out of the box you send it in and take it to fly immediately will it work?" Get a yes / no answer.

I have bought radios that were listed as working.. and when I got them they needed over $100 to make them flyable. Working, might mean only turn on and not capable of flying. So be direct in asking a question.

When I sell equipment I have flown I will state so in the add. If I have not flown it I will also so state. However I also assume no responsibility after the sale for a crash. Just many points to consider.


have a nice day.
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Old 08-31-2003, 08:52 PM
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Default BUYING RADIO EQUIPMENT ON EBAY

I've bought radio equipment on Ebay and haven't gotten screw yet on the equipment I buy.
I look at what the natative says, If the item is listed as new. I look to see if the seller has a returned item policy. If the seller doesn't , I dont buy it.
The only time I was taken was when I send the payment and the guy didn't send the probuct. I did a check to see if the money order was ever cashed and it wasn't. I was able to stop payment on the money order and got my money back.
It was most likely the check got lost in the mail.
I mostly try to buy from sellers close to my area and not half way around the world.
NEDYOB
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Old 08-31-2003, 11:20 PM
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MO_Radio_Tech
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Default Buying Radios off Ebay???

I have purchased hundreds of $$$ worth of old "illegal" radios off ebay. I bought them for parts for legally narrowed radios.

The whole gold sticker program was a good idea with serious flaws.

I can still take many wide radios and make them narrow and safe, but it is not technically legal to do so. I don't fly these radios. I cannibalize them for fixing legal ones.

I have been getting away from this lately, because I like the radios made in the last 15 better anyway, and I am working less in the shop and doing more flying with kids.

Computer radios have greatly improved the hobby.

I only bought radios for parts, thus I would only pay "bottom dollar" for anything. I never got ripped, in fact I sometimes felt a bit guilty and overpaid a little for deals that were too far in my favor.
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