Hmmmmm. We're trying to buy a good secondhand instrument for my daughter and have come across one via Gumtree that just seems too low a price for what it is.
When we enquired, the seller sent several messages in reply that sort-of answer questions but not quite. For instance, it's advertised as being in London, but apparently it's currently in Scotland. It apparently belongs to the wife, but it's the husband's phone number and he is the one we've spoken to. No names or addresses (yet) given. Incidentally, googling the phone brings up someone on a local music society from 10 years ago, but apparently that's not him .
They were happy for us to come and look, but then suggested couriering it to us on approval instead. No deposit wanted, just our business to arrange a courier and insure it for transit.
There are enough oddities here that we're wondering if it's a scam -- but if so, how?
Or maybe they're lovely people genuinely wanting an old friend to go to a good home! How do we try to find out?
We buy and sell instruments all the time, nothing suspicious about this at all. We send some on approval and have been sent some ourselves on approval. Best asking the teacher to try one with you at a music shop, or an exchange that sells second hand.
We got a beautiful bargain of a second hand instrument in very similar circumstances... but I had big reservations at the time. I arranged courier etc myself and pId by PayPal so the seller received very little person information about us
Are there any images in the ad? do a reverse image search on google.
I wanted to buy a second hand instrument that is normally very expensive, and found versions offered on prevloved and gumtree for much much cheaper. They were all located in Scotland - often Shetland, so that you'd be less likely to want to come see it.
Reverse image searches showed that the instruments had been previously advertised by a shop in America, and the scammers had just taken the photos and the details (word for word, almost) from that, and so couldn't answer questions properly.
However, they just wanted it paid for and couriered as a purchase, not as a testing thing, so this might be more genuine. But I'd check out the reverse image thing first, just to see.
That’s the thing - we were about to throw in the towel when it changed from ‘ come and see it’ to ‘actually it would be easier to courier it to you as I’ve got rehearsals’. But I’m failing to see how they make anything out of sending us an instrument if we’re the ones to arrange the courier! Maybe send an empty box and claim insurance? Or maybe the wife (who is never available) is under the patio and he is selling her instruments to fund his cunning escape.
Will definitely reverse search the images and description.
Does anywhere specialize in transport of delicate instruments?
It’s brass, so heavy, bulky and delicate all at once.
No way, gumtree gives you no protection for this at all and they always have notices up warning you not to do it. If you want to buy at a distance always use eBay. If they were legitimate sellers they would be using eBay to sell it.
I don't know either; maybe they send you something other than what's in the picture, or claim something on insurance? I don't know how the ones I was looking at worked either, other than if you actually transferred money and they didn't send it, but it seems to happen often enough that they must get the money somehow from someone.
But i'm sorry to hear it was a scam. I remember how disappointed I was when I couldn't buy my instrument, after thinking I'd finally found one I might be able to afford (it's a really expensive one, and this was about half the usual price).
I have no idea how this would work as a scam - I am clearly not clever enough to scam anyone!
Have you tried your local instrument service man? Mine works from his garage and when I took an instrument in for service I asked him if he ever learnt of any for sale. He actually had one for sale, completely stripped down and serviced by him. It was about 70% of the price of one in a shop.
That's a good thought. We already have scouts out, so to speak, in all the local music shops and via her teacher, plus the regular secondhand dealers. DH knows the local instrument repair chap so I'll get him to ask.