PREFACE Ebay and Paypal have been inextricably linked, despite claims that they are now separate companies. To be fair, it’s hard to separate them when they continue to exchange information as they always have. But, we’re told, there’s change in the air. Even Ebay is fed up of PayPal’s BS. SO it’s possible that they won’t be attached at the hip within a year or so. But back to the point:
The author purchased a relatively inexpensive dobro/resinator on eBay. Their ad promised that they weren’t selling junk like the other guys. The thing they sent is unplayable and lacks any of the sonic characteristics of that type of guitar. The seller started off polite and apologetic, but as soon as his supplier said that changing the strings (I put good ones on in hopes of improving the sound) was deemed a “modification of the instrument and voids all warranties” he became a jerk and refused to stand behind his product.
But that’s okay, I paid with PayPal. They’ll protect me, right?
Ebay might have. Paypal has few or no musicians on staff, it would seem, and apparently no brains either. If it wasn’t a piece of junk, I woudn’t have wanted to return it. Moreover, they took the word of a scamming seller over that of a guitar dealer and tech?! Not once, but twice. They said the same thing in the appeal, that they couldn’t say that changing the strings wasn’t a modification of the instrument, so my claim was being denied. I’m stuck with the thing.
The good part is that, being a tech, I can fix it, and I’ll only be out my time. Most people would have to pay someone else to do so, and would either turn it into a project, an expensive lesson, or toss it out. The bad part is that I’m left with little choice but to ditch PayPal altogether, since they don’t actually protect against scammers.
Sum up: If you buy from Reverb, fellow musicians will be making the determination, and can be expected to be fair and impartial. Buying from eBay at this time means going through Paypal, and it would be foolish to let those buffoons hold the fate of my money… or yours.
Steer clear of PayPal. Spend your money with fellow musicians. I just became a bigger fan of Reverb.
Why did I write “never pay with Paypal”? Because if they can’t manage to figure out that changing strings isn’t a modification of an instrument, it’s unlikely they can get other nuances correct either.
It’s still safe to do business online and remotely, but know and count upon the integrity of your seller, because PayPal doesn’t seem to have any.