Buying a radio on eBay

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Buying on eBay can be great fun and save you a lot of money BUT

Its probably one of the easiest ways to pick up a bargain IF you're savvy to learn a few basic rules !
I buy quite regularly, as a valve radio enthusiast and a collector of transistor radios from the 60s' et but also IF this price is right sometimes
acquire the NEWER more up to date CD Radio et
So how do I go about NOT acquiring a dud ? and especially an expensive dud ?
Most people want a radio thats clean, tidy and working. Simple ? Yet how many ignore the basic factors such as doing a little homework first
to truly secure a radio that meets that criteria AND is a bargain ?
Lets take a particular RECENT purchase NOT I should add by ME and I will leave you to draw your own conclusions !
Bush radio TR82 REPRODUCTION set ? NOTE repro NOT the original transistor set from the 60's but a new IC chip version with VHF
Nice looking set, cool to have an up to date version cept for some of us we prefer the older set - heres some reasons why CLICK the link !
Now Argos at this time are selling the REPRO set BRAND NEW for just £29.99 which when you compare it to a customer buying it on eBay
at the £15 plus Postage and packing of £8 ?!! = £23.00 in total  OK you don't need to be an accountant to see that a new one with guarantee would only cost you £6.99 extra !! Collect at Argos et
Now in fairness if that set were collected then its cost them just £15 half price of the new one ? ME ? Wouldn't have gone anywhere near that price !
What I'm trying to
point out is the importance of doing some research and noting what is said on the actual ad, perhaps the buyer thought they were buying an original not a repro ?
Find out if its fairly new what the catalogue or online prices are ! set yourself a MAXIMUM price and DON'T forget that postage et included !
DON'T fall into the trap of overbidding on it ! If its £10 more NEW remember it will probably have a years guarantee with it !
I work on the calculation = a third of the price secondhand plus an acceptable p and p. Which brings me to another important aspect of buying from eBay et ! WATCH HOW MUCH they charge for postage and packing ! Sometimes its deliberately HYPED on the basis that they will sell it cheaply and bolster the loss of the sale price by OVERCHARGING on the postage and packing ! If it doesn't seem reasonable to you then do as I do FORGET IT !
If its VINTAGE radio such as VALVE and or similar remember the condition varies enormously,the WEIGHT if you're planning on using a courier and or collecting ! If you're not into repairing VALVE radio's then make sure its in working order and where possible its been serviced !
Most old Valve radios suffer from a multitude of problems electrically ! Its dangerous to just buy one and plug it in !
If its just for ornamentation then great otherwise stick to the more up to date radios and there are a vast amount of them available !
NOW on the subject of DAB Digital radio, YES THEY want to turn off the ANALOGUE signal which most radios use and turn on the DIGITAL signal leaving us to suffer the consequences of OVER HYPED DIGITAL RADIO prices. and yes they are MILKING the market with their OVER PRICED digital radios ! Most can be easily produced and sold for 2/3rds of what they sell for now !
eBay is a great place if you're addicted to buying a digital radio, most are substantially cheaper than you'll find in the main stores ! but again pay heed to my advice and counter check or cross check prices first ! PURE is one of the most well known makes BUT they trade ON NAME and whilst NOT disputing quality bear one thing in mind !! ALL DIGITAL radios have to conform to a given standard re their signal and performance ! So whilst you're paying over the odds on the PURE sets others are buying the cheaper sets and enjoying the quality at half your price !
Nor forgetting, the fine line between QUALITY and CHEAPNESS re the build quality, the sound quality and ease of use et  I don't nor ever will advocate going for the cheapest 'tat' but don't get conned on the higher prices OR the mid price sellers ! COMPARE, DEBATE and then make your mind up !
READ the descriptions the seller advertise and don't be afraid to ask questions ! Remember if its broke but in good condition ask yourself HOW much will it cost to get it repaired ? Most items unless its i.e vintage radio or memorabilia, collectables AIN'T worth the repair bills !
Has it been cherished, one owner et ? receipts et ? history ? sometimes that can be surprising 'Been in the family since new et ' so they know whether its working and how well its working ! Check out some of the sites on radio et advice, forums and more ! 
if you're into vintage radio its a good start !
As I'm disabled I often ask if certain items can be delivered locally ?
You will be surprised at the number of people who, if you pay their petrol for doing so WILL deliver for you !  
Remember that what distinguishes us from the other living beings on this world is COMMUNICATION ! use it !! EXPRESS it ! not just on feedback and et but in asking QUESTIONS ! If the seller has nothing to hide then they'll soon get back to you with the answers you need BEFORE the final bidding !
NEVER expect a secondhand radio to be as immaculate as a new one ! It will have some scuff marks, sign of wear and tear that you can see or you can't see re the components themselves. What you will find is that there ARE bargains to be had ! My recent Panasonic Alarm Clock CD Radio unit cost me just £10 !! Perfect working order and the manual available ONLINE !! to download re setting the clock et ! which raises another point
MANUALS !! can instruct you on programming et setting memory for radio stations, functions et !! DON'T dismiss it lightly IF there's no manual available ! DO YOUR homework and check out the model number the make and see if there is one ! If there isn't then the price should reflect accordingly YOU not having the full use of the set !
REMOTE controls can sometimes have features or total control of the equipment ! CHECK online and see if there is a remote available ! DON'T be fooled by the prices of some UK companies, A Pioneer surround sound unit I bought on eBay had no remote ! I got it from HONG KONG for just under £14 !! In the UK they wanted OVER £45 for one !! exactly the same !!
Extra fittings and adaptors, including power adaptors, earphone adaptors et Take care to make sure IF it needs a specific unit that its available or with the equipment !! For example a small Sharp Minidisc player recorder = If it does not have the adaptor for the earphones to listen to it which is unique to that unit and SONY have their own plug and play adaptor - then forget it !! unless you already have another with it et IT WILL COST you OVER £45 for that small adaptor interface re headphones !!
BATTERIES does it use specific types of batteries ? Are the batteries available or obsolete ? You will be surprised !! especially with older types of radio !
CASSETTE RADIOS et A VERY important FACT to remember PLEASE TAKE NOTE !! Almost always the cassette mechanism will NOT work because they used rubber drive belts that have worn out !! It can be extremely expensive if you don't have a clue about how to replace one to get em replaced ! If the cassette section is not going to be used and the radio is a good price make model VALUE for money a BARGAIN then fine otherwise IF you intend to use the cassette section REMEMBER MY WORDS !! This also applies to other pieces of equipment you can buy on eBAY such as VIDEO RECORDERS, REEL to REEL recorders and et !!
Belts for some video recorders such as PYE, BUSH, THORN, PHILLIPS
et can be found on eBAY ! look up drive belts et .BUT they still require you to have some ability to replace them ! mechanical and electrical sense !
OVERALL its buyer beware BUT common sense, some research will net you a bargain or something you felt was worth the price ! and that truly does represent what this is all about, the satisfaction that you have what you want at the price you wanted to pay !
Lastly remember there are and I have known people to get unfortunately snared by those who advertise goods but don't have them !! Pay using PAYPAL where you have some protection over your purchases re your money paid et or by PAYMENT on COLLECTION or DELIVERY !!
Don't BLINDSIDE by being stupid to pay up front with little or no protection ! especially on medium to large amounts ! Check sellers scores !
its a good indicator of people doing business with them and feeling satisfied with the products and the service they got from the seller !
The real beauty of eBay lies in finding some real 'treasures' memorabilia that takes you back to a given time or place such as the Waltham music centre I recently purchased, pure sentiment at a knock down price but doesn't reflect the pleasure I had from such a unit in my youth ! Great to have that restore it and remember back to the times that truly were memorable !

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