First and Formost...Check the sellers Feed Back! This will tell you a lot about the seller you are looking to buy from. Most sellers are stand up people! a few are ripoff con artists
I have bought a few used parts and guitars on Ebay over the years, most of the time everything is good. There are several sellers I buy from quite often. However there are a few sellers I would never deal with and should be ban from Ebay. These are the sellers/ripoffs that won't like what I've wrote, sad thing is, it's the truth! These are the people you need to watch for and avoid.
There are 4 kinds of sellers on Ebay selling used guitars and parts
1: A legitimate buisness ( Music Store, Pawn Shop, ect.) selling used/new/striped guitars/parts or trade in items
2: A person selling a used guitar or guitar parts
3: People that use Ebay to buy cheap and re-sell/part out (Guitar wrecking yards)/Flip guitars/parts for more money (Flipper) These sellers buy up every deal they find. A few buy a brand or two only and try to resell parts for 10 times what they paid, their prices are a joke.
4: Scum/Lowlife sellers.....Sellers that buy junk guitars/parts from other Ebay sellers, ect. sold as junk/scrap/ect. Stamped Used/2nd's then re-sell as good or repaired to unknowing buyers. That I know of there is only a handfull of these sellers, a couple have a lot of feedback from buying junk and selling junk to unknowning buyers. They know nothing about repairing guitars, they scab it (if that) and resell leaving out the details like it was sold as junk. Sellers that buy new parts, most cheap Import copies then re-sell and claim as vintage or NOS (Never Originally Sold/New Old Stock) fall into this group. Sellers that have a total BS story, cover up or leave out damage or repairs that effect value and operation. Sellers that buy cheap junk Import guitars under one User ID then Re-sell it or parts under another User ID. These Re-Sellers add/claim Big Brand names and likeness all over the title and discription to pimp their junk as something it's not.
Read sellers buying feedback and feedback left for others. Sellers feedback will quickly show what type of above mentioned seller they are. A lot of the re-sellers, part out sellers and flippers are now learning to not leave feedback for the item they bought. Most of the time the original seller will not leave buying feedback, this way there is no link to what the re-seller bought dirt cheap! A lot buy cheap junk guitars and part them out adding a major brand name to misc parts. Paying $20 for cheap junk pickups or tuners that came off a new $30 guitar is not a good deal to me.
Read all information and ask questions! look at pics, ask for better pics. Seller has to fully disclose any issues to buyer or PayPal will deal with them.
Sellers that out right lie when the truth sounds better! I would avoid these sellers at all cost, if you have to lie or come up with a toal BS story and mislead the buyer that bad it must be junk.
*Parts Mutt* These are guitars that were assembled out of misc parts, different brands, wrong parts, mismatched parts, ect. Some are fine playing guitars, others are good for nothing but firewood! There are a lot of so called "Custom Guitar builders" selling on Ebay that have no clue what a real guitar "Luthier" is or anything about guitars! A lot of these "Mutt" guitars are not quality guitars or playable. A body that was made for a 22 fret neck will not play or tune (Intonate) with a 24 fret neck or vice versa. Guitars that the handy man used a hammer and screwdriver to make the parts fit! Guitars with sloppy fitting necks, oddball trems and other ill fitting parts are not even close to a good playing insterment. Guitars sold as "Made in USA" when they were built by the seller with cheap import parts. A guitar built with $50 in misc. cheap junk import parts in your house does not qualify as "Made in USA".
*Guitars/Parts with issues* Some issues can be fixed, others can't.
*Necks* A warped or bowed neck is firewood no matter what the seller claims, the truss rod can not fix it! Necks with bad or broken truss rods are not cost effective to fix or are junk to begin with. Beat up edges,fretboard,back of neck, worn frets, ect. will all be felt while playing and can and will cause playing issues. Cracks and repairs, most all will lower the value to half. Some can be or should have been professionally repaired, some moron with screws and Elmers glue does not quallify as a Pro. Any non firewood issue a neck might have will need to be repaired or fixed, if you know what to to fine, if not plan to pay someone more than you paid to fix it. Plan on paying a minimum of $50 for any basic repair/issue that needs to be delt with, file sharp fret ends ect. Replacing frets or broken headstocks will be $200+
*Body* Bodies with cracks, stripped screw holes and modifications will all need to be addressed. Same as with necks some issues can be fixed others can't or at least fixed cost effectivly. Neck pockets are not all the same, wider, deeper, longer, different scale, ect. Bodies are either real wood or plywood, there has never been nor will there every be a High Grade or USA body made with plywood. Real wood bodies are 1 piece or more, more pieces = lower grade. Guitar bodies should use "tone" woods, not some junk wood, Elm, Weeping Willow, ect. are not a tone wood.
Guitars/Bodies that are so called "Custom Painted" that look like they were painted by a 1st Grade art class, or were painted with cheap stenciles are not "Custom Painted" or " Custom Air Brushed" or have $900 in paint. Check these sellers buying/Selling Feed Back to find the truth. A lot of these Custom jobs were beat up $15 bodies with $10 in paint with a $3 stencil no matter what the seller claims. Some of these Custom Painted bodies were cracked, chipped, dented, ect. they have scab repairs and a poor re-finish job by the seller, beware.
*Guitars/Parts stamped USED or 2ND* These were stamped for a reason! Some of these were warranty returns, some have dents, paint blems, bad neck, cracks, ect. or other issues that may or may not matter how it works. Either way in the real world the guitar/Part value is at least half of what it was. Same as selling a car that has a "Rebuilt/Restored" title, banks don't even want to loan money for them, what does that tell you?
*Pickups* Seems simple enough, however some sellers use big brand names or brand models to sell cheap import junk. Calling a $3 junk import pickup a "Super Distortion" or "TZ" refering to a real Dimarzio model pickup when it's not. Calling cheap *Select by EMG* (made in China ect. for EMG) "Real EMG pickups" when they are not. Claiming they are the same as or like a brand name pickup when they are not. "Duncan Designed" are not real (Seymour Duncan) pickups, they are cheaper imports that don't sound like the real USA made Seymour Duncan pickups. It's either a brand name or it's not, it's that easy. There are also getting to be a few custom pickup builders, Google their names and claims, you will find the truth.
*Tuning machines/Tuners* Same as most other parts, they are either brand name or copies. Used parts either work and are in good condition or they are not and/or wore out, Simple as that! Some will be honest and say (insert brand here) "------Style" some sellers state the (Style) brand name and leave out the word "Style" to fool the buyer into buying cheap copy parts. Some fake brand copies are better than others, some are plain junk. Just because it is a brand "Style" doesn't mean it will fit and work like a brand name. If you want and expect what a brand name parts offer dont buy cheap junk noname Import parts.
*Misc hardware*, (Strap Buttons, Tremolos, Pots, ect) Same as everything else, it is either a brand name or a copy! "Floyd Rose" has to be the biggest brand names I have seen attatched to anything remotely looking like a REAL Floyd Rose trem or not! I have seen who knows what brand tremolo called Floyd Rose. Strap buttons are strap buttons, locking or not, either branded or wanabe copies of a big brand, the quality who knows?. Potentiometers, there are 3 big brands and the rest, they either work right or they are junk.
As with all parts that are brand name copies, they may or may not work with real brand parts, 99% of the time they do not work with the real model parts or like the branded parts.
*Guitar wrecking yard sellers* A lot of people hate these sellers, they buy up every guitar deal on ebay and sell it off screw by screw. I am on the fence, while I don't agree with how or everything they do, we all need parts from time to time and I fall into that group. If you need a part it's out there, good, bad or other wise. On the other hand most of the time these parts seller bought the whole guitar for half of what they are selling the neck for. You could have had a whole guitar for the price of a single part.
*Reliced* Guitars or parts that someone has tried to make look old or used. Some peoples work looks better than others, some are just beat up junk. Most of these are cheap Import guitars and parts, so know what you are looking at. No person in his right mind is going to take a hammer to a real vintage guitar or parts or throw it down the road and beat the crap out of it to make it look used. My question is Why would you pay someone $100 over new cost to beat the crap out of something? Most parts look like junk not "used" parts.
*Vintage* Another term that is over used on Ebay and about everywhere else. Vintage is not a cheap junk Import guitar or parts that are 6 years old. Sellers stick this name onto everything you can think of from real Vintage items to flat out junk, know what you are buying.
*RARE* This is the most abused, over used, BS word on Ebay! There are very few RARE items in the world or on Ebay. A cheap junk guitar with a beat up Krylon spray painted plywood body, warped neck and junk parts is not classed as a Rare anything!
Read and Research before you buy! I wrote this to help you the buyer, most all sellers know what they are selling and are honest. I have nothing against (most) sellers, most sellers are stand up people. I just want the new guy or young kid building/buying his first guitar to have it turn out as he hoped and not get ripped off! I have seen things sold and re-sold and parted out that would make you sick, I'm sure whoever ended up with it was. There are a few sellers that I wonder how they sleep at night knowing what they are and do. I do not claim to know everything and anything, I am not a "Pro" anything. I know right and wrong as all people should know, but some will do or say anything for a $1. I build guitars for fun and to play, it's a hobby, I have more money into most builds than they are worth. Building most guitars a part at a time is not cost effective so the most important thing is to have fun.
If this info helped you then click the button and let it be know! All the info is plain fact, a simple Google search away, guess well know who left negitive responces.