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  1. #1

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    I bought a Gary Willis bass off reverb. It was in "new condition" but a year old, unplayed, etc. When I got it, it literally sounded like a sitar as you can hear below.

    It had an extreme backbow and a hump at the 3rd fret to the extent that the top 3 strings were touching the fingerboard. The bridge was already adjusted pretty high and the truss rod was already almost completely loosened. I loosened the truss rod another 1/4 turn and raised the action about 3-5 turns per bridge piece and it only got marginally better. I sent the video to my luthier and he confirmed my diagnosis and said it would likely need to be planed but warned me that on the indonesian instruments, ibanez dyes the fingerboard and that it might look like hell unless he re-dyes the fingerboard.

    So I told all this to the seller who said he'd refund me but not pay return shipping because he said he told me it would need a complete setup. I pointed out to him that when he told me that, it was *AFTER* he had shipped the instrument and that the time to have told me that was beforehand and that he should have offered to allow me to cancel the purchase prior to shipping when he noticed the "setup" issue. But he told me he didn't like my attitude and wouldn't be continuing any further conversation so I registered a dispute with reverb.

    It's been 3 days since then with nary a peep out of them. If I don't hear from them today, I will contact my CC company. Once before, reverb's support threatened me with an account cancellation if I did that and I caved but I won't this time. Ebay's support is better than this. Even Etsy (who owns reverb) does a better job IMO...


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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Buying used gear is a gamble. LTBB.

  4. #3

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    Sorry to hear. Thanks for posting, and good luck. Reverb customer service seems very hit or miss.

    Question: wouldn't you tighten the truss rod to get rid of back bow, not loosen more?

  5. #4

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    I have had 100% positive experiences with Reverb. But I engage with the seller and cover all of the "what-ifs" before I open my wallet. Maybe I've been fortunate, but I like to think I do my due diligence and then I'm responsible for my choices.

    Sorry you got a lemon. I hope you get satisfaction.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by HeyNow
    Sorry to hear. Thanks for posting, and good luck. Reverb customer service seems very hit or miss.

    Question: wouldn't you tighten the truss rod to get rid of back bow, not loosen more?
    Tightening the truss rod removes "normal" (concave) bow such as when you go from light to heavy strings. To correct for that, you tighten the trussrod. Convex (backbow) happens typically when you go from heavy strings to light strings. To correct the latter, you loosen the truss rod.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Just Fred
    I have had 100% positive experiences with Reverb. But I engage with the seller and cover all of the "what-ifs" before I open my wallet. Maybe I've been fortunate, but I like to think I do my due diligence and then I'm responsible for my choices.

    Sorry you got a lemon. I hope you get satisfaction.
    I did all this. The seller just misrepresented the item in this case and then told me about the issue (AFTER) he shipped it. And I wouldn't consider a fingerboard planing or dye-job as a setup.

  8. #7

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    If you factor in taxes and the expected cost of having to deal with returns and reverb support, I don't think it's worth shopping on Reverb. Reverb is for mindlessly scrolling (the latest opioid), not for buying. If I want to buy something I usually contact a store, not an anonymous stranger online with an utterly meaningless star-rating. Perfect example: I recently got an EH 185 from Retrofret. If you know these amps you know how many loose and delicate parts there are. I should have taken photographs of the packing job because it was the most incredible packing I've ever seen. So for me it's simple: pay a premium for certainty vs purchase something unpredictable for an apparent discount, which is not even a discount after taxes? Buying from an individual on Reverb can be like getting a variable rate loan from a sketchy used car dealer. Build lasting relationships with dealers and you'll find yourself better off.

  9. #8

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    Reverb another nightmare and reason to avoid. I wish there folks would read this forum and the joke it happens to be. I myself would need direct contact with the seller. It is true that buying used gear is pretty much a gamble.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    Reverb another nightmare and reason to avoid. I wish there folks would read this forum and the joke it happens to be. I myself would need direct contact with the seller. It is true that buying used gear is pretty much a gamble.
    I did have direct contact with the seller. It's now been 4 days since I received an unusable piece of gear, 4 days since I contacted reverb support and all I get are crickets. I informed them via email that if I don't hear back from them by EOB today I will be disputing the transaction with my CC company. I suspect I'll hear from them then.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    I did have direct contact with the seller. It's now been 4 days since I received an unusable piece of gear, 4 days since I contacted reverb support and all I get are crickets. I informed them via email that if I don't hear back from them by EOB today I will be disputing the transaction with my CC company. I suspect I'll hear from them then.
    One time I had a conversation chat with a reverb specialist about paying import taxes and they were lost. I keep telling the person is was an american made guitar and there would be no import duties all. They just keep texting the chat saying the fees would be sales taxes and any import duties. I told them it was an American Made Gibson so no duties........the person was worthless for helping and clueless. Since that conversation I lost all respect for the outfit.

  12. #11
    so they lied. they said they'd get back to me within 3 days. I contacted them tuesday. It's EOB friday and no response. This will be the last big purchase on reverb for me.

    Also, when you call their support number, you get an automated message which tells you to use their website and then disconnects.

  13. #12

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    I agree with Jack, just because you communicate with the seller doesn't mean the outcome is likely to be any better. I find the problem here is that people don't know anything about what they're selling. I recently went through a nightmare experience on Reverb. The seller seemed reasonable and intelligent, so we made a deal for a heritage 535 that ticked off what I was looking for. What I found when the guitar arrived was that the fingerboard had severe damage from aggressive cleaning/scraping, a low factory neck set that left the bridge adjusted all the way down to the body, and a huge rising tongue. With all this it wasn't clear that a refret could even salvage the guitar. The guitar was unplayable of course but the seller claimed it played just as well as the rest of his 50 guitars! He did allow a return but it cost me $175 in shipping to and from. I was polite and professional in our messages, but he was a jerk and just insulting. Then after the guitar arrived back to him he left me bad feedback despite the fact he wasn't out one dime while I suffered a $175 hit for the privilege of doing business with him. Reverb customer support was largely unsympathetic, although they did give me a $75 credit towards future purchases.

    It's clear to me that the Reverb community, at least in the market I'm interested in mainly consists of collectors selling guitars to other collectors. Cosmetic issues are what these folks are interested in, not the functionality. I've purchased guitars with bracing falling off, cracks in the neck, maxed out truss rod nuts - fatal flaws that weren't disclosed. I think the best you can hope for is that the seller is a brick and mortar music store and they'll stand behind the sale if there's a problem.
    Last edited by vejesse; 04-17-2021 at 10:41 AM.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by vejesse
    I agree with Jack, just because you communicate with the seller doesn't mean the outcome is likely to be much better. I find the problem here is that people don't know anything about what they're selling. I recently went through a nightmare experience on Reverb. The seller seemed reasonable and intelligent, so we made a deal for a heritage 535 that ticked off what I was looking for. What I found when the guitar arrived was that the fingerboard had severe damage from aggressive cleaning/scraping, a low factory neck set that left the bridge adjusted all the way down to the body, and a huge rising tongue. With all this it wasn't clear that a refret could even salvage the guitar. The guitar was unplayable of course but the seller claimed it played just as well as the rest of his 60 guitars! He did allow a return but it cost me $175 in shipping to and from. I was polite and professional in our messages, but he was a jerk and just insulting really. Then he left me bad feedback. It couldn't have been a worse experience.

    It's clear to me that the Reverb community in the market I'm interested in mainly consists of collectors selling guitars to other collectors. Cosmetic issues are what these folks are interested in, not the functionality. I've purchased guitars with bracing falling off, cracks in the neck, maxed out truss rod nuts - fatal flaws that weren't disclosed. I think the best you can hope for is that the seller is a brick and mortar music store and they'll stand behind the sale if there's a problem.
    Even the brick and mortar stores are painful to deal with. I bought an archtop from a fairly well known dealer in atlanta and the dealer seemed pretty reliable. I went through my standard set of questions:

    1. neck straight, no humps, no tailrise?
    2. Action can be adjusted to 4/64 (high E) and 6/64 (low E) without buzzing
    3. truss rod functions in both directions?
    4. frets do not show significant wear and will not need refretting ?
    5. neck joint solid with no sign of separation in the finish?
    6. braces are solidly attached to the body?
    7. top does not show any signs of sinkage?
    8. parts are all original other than indicated in the verbiage of the ad?
    9. any modifications or repairs not indicated in the ad including pinned/glued bridge?
    10. do you agree to give me a 48hr trial period from the day I receive it?


    Many times people get upset when you ask this level of detail. I figure if they do, it's a sign I shouldn't deal with them. If they answer all these questions then I have a laundry list of data to compare to when I get the instrument. But in the case of the archtop the body sunk to such a degree at the neck pickup that the pickup ring couldn't conform to the sinkage and there was a 1/8" gap at the center of the pickup ring due to the pickup ring having to be bent to accommodate the sinkage of the top in that area. Additionally, the guitar buzzed almost as badly as the bass in the video on this thread.

    The dealer was ok about letting me return for a refund but when he refunded me, he subtracted out his shipping from ATL to CLE. So basically, I paid $200 because he was too lazy to do a real quality check and I had to pay shipping both ways.

    But in general I've found that the majority of folks just don't know enough to even answer those questions. I don't think they are necessarily con artists. It's just that are collectors or don't really care about the same things I care about.
    Last edited by jzucker; 04-17-2021 at 08:44 AM.

  15. #14

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    Whenever I sell a guitar on Verb, I take meticulous pictures of the neck. Usually no less than six. Looking all the way straight down along high e and low e, then back up the other way, and good shots from the sides. When I am considering purchases, I have asked others to take a shot looking straight down the neck. If they don't, I walk away. Of all the issues on a guitar, for me the neck is by far the most important.

  16. #15
    Still no resolution on this issue. Apparently, the resolutions team was off-site for team-building on friday so my issue didn't get addressed by the promised deadline. I contacted them again today and they said they would try to push my issue to the top of the queue to be examined today. Again, the fact that you cannot call them when you have a problem is a big issue IMO. When you call their support line, you get a pre-recorded message that ends up disconnecting at the end.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Whenever I sell a guitar on Verb, I take meticulous pictures of the neck. Usually no less than six. Looking all the way straight down along high e and low e, then back up the other way, and good shots from the sides. When I am considering purchases, I have asked others to take a shot looking straight down the neck. If they don't, I walk away. Of all the issues on a guitar, for me the neck is by far the most important.
    Do you have a link to a sale of one of your guitars. I'm thinking of selling a couple and would like to see how to take pictures.

  18. #17
    Their support is beyond atrocious. After promising to get back to me friday, i called this morning and they said they'd get back to me by 5. I didn't want to waste another day so I called at 3pm and was told that it was in the queue. I asked Alex L. if I could speak to a supervisor and he told me "no". He said there are no supervisors. I asked him if he had a manager and he disconnected the chat.

    Pretty unbelievable...

  19. #18

  20. #19

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    Wow!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker

  21. #20
    and they are closed. They promised to get back to me again by EOB today. Nothing. I just filed a complaint with BBB, cc company is next.

  22. #21

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    I actually would like to see this forum do some sort of a formal process of calling Reverb out on what they do and charge. I believe we could maybe help all our causes here because they practices they have with shipping and payment. Then of course the usual garbage we get they have zero customer support and customer include sellers.

    There are some large big name dealers who do not deal with Reverb. Ebay is a much better way but certainly for focused guitar buying right now Reverb has the upper hand......just not if you need any help.

  23. #22
    i agree, i would like it if these forums empowered users to get good service from organizations like reverb. It's too bad their service has deteriorated to such a great degree. Folks used to complain about ebay but ebay is 10x better. I was really shocked when the tech support person in the chat flat-out refused to allow me to speak to a supervisor and then disconnected the chat. That is just unfathomably bad customer service. I guess they're too big to fail?

  24. #23

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    BBB:
    "Customer Reviews are not used in the calculation of BBB Rating"

    I think a company has to sell you something and not ship it- ie, outright fraud- for the BBB to count as negative in their metrics.

    Now you (& I) know which side they're on....

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph2
    BBB:
    "Customer Reviews are not used in the calculation of BBB Rating"

    I think a company has to sell you something and not ship it- ie, outright fraud- for the BBB to count as negative in their metrics.

    Now you (& I) know which side they're on....
    that's not what I'm pointing out. I'm not talking about the BBB rating, i'm talking about their 1 star customer review rating. Out of 60 reviews, they have an average of 1.05 stars.

    https://www.bbb.org/us/il/chicago/pr...stomer-reviews

  26. #25

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    I pretty much do not need any more guitars in this lifetime. After reading threads like this one, I have to remind myself of that fact.

    Reverb.com, EBay and Paypal are all big corporations that will beat you in the end. They are so big and control such a large share of the market that they can get away with it. Where else are people going to go?

    Where is Teddy Roosevelt when you need him?

  27. #26

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    The problem with EBay is that they always side with buyer - I had a fellow flat out lie during the arbitration process (claiming the color wasn’t as pictured in the listing). In reality he just didn’t like it for one reason or another and he realized taking advantage of the system was as simple as that. Selling online sucks even more than buying. On the bright side the hassle at either end has greatly abated my accumulation of gear.

  28. #27

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    Frankly I have NEVER seen what I considered a really good deal on Reverb. Add to that a high risk buy and Reverb not being customer focused.

    Jack file a cc dispute, get back your $ and cut the rope with Reverb forever. Reverb sounds as bad as UPS is.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris236
    The problem with EBay is that they always side with buyer - I had a fellow flat out lie during the arbitration process (claiming the color wasn’t as pictured in the listing). In reality he just didn’t like it for one reason or another and he realized taking advantage of the system was as simple as that. Selling online sucks even more than buying. On the bright side the hassle at either end has greatly abated my accumulation of gear.

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris236
    The problem with EBay is that they always side with buyer - I had a fellow flat out lie during the arbitration process (claiming the color wasn’t as pictured in the listing). In reality he just didn’t like it for one reason or another and he realized taking advantage of the system was as simple as that. Selling online sucks even more than buying. On the bright side the hassle at either end has greatly abated my accumulation of gear.
    Ebay doesn't always side with the buyer but they are limited by CC company terms and conditions. And the CC company is very picky about "all sales final" terms and will generally give a refund to the buyer if he shows that it was returned. In one case, I bought a guitar that had a warped neck. The seller claimed that it must have happened in shipping and advised me to file a complaint with UPS. I told him that he was the client of UPS and not me and that he needed to refund my money and take up a dispute with the shipper and I volunteered to cooperate with the shipper and take the instrument and box to UPS for them to examine. He flat-out refused. And ebay sided with him. So I contacted my CC company and they advised me to return it. I contacted the seller and asked if the return shipping address on the label was valid and he refused to validate the address so I paid for a reverse find on his name and phone # and confirmed it was his address and shipped it back to him. I emailed him and said he would be receiving the guitar back and gave him the tracking #. He advised me he would refuse to accept it.

    AND.HE.DID...

    The guitar got returned back to me!

    My CC company then sided with me and said he had forfeited any type of seller protection since he refused to accept it back. They reversed the transaction so at this point, they credited my account and then ebay/paypal debited *HIS* account. I figured they would cancel my account after that but they did not. So now, he doesn't have the guitar or the money.

    He contacted me a few days after he got charged for it, demanding I send it back to him AT.MY.COST!

    I refused and told him that I would ship it back if he sent me a pre-paid shipping label. He called me all sorts of names and insisted it was my fault that he refused to accept the package. I told him that legally, I could keep the guitar, get it fixed and sell it and that I didn't owe him anything. Unfortunately, he was totally unable to see any point of view but his. Eventually, he sent me a label and got his guitar back.

  31. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Frankly I have NEVER seen what I considered a really good deal on Reverb. Add to that a high risk buy and Reverb not being customer focused.

    Jack file a cc dispute, get back your $ and cut the rope with Reverb forever. Reverb sounds as bad as UPS is.
    Add to this that when you factor in shipping and tax, the deal you think you got is many times negated...

  32. #31
    by the way, i just received a message from reverb saying they were asking the seller to confirm his return shipping address. Nothing else, just that. This is the 8th day since I originally notified them of the issue. I replied back to the email saying that I already had his shipping address and that wasn't the issue. The issue was him paying for return shipping. Nothing from that email. They said they will followup in 24 hours. Onto day 9 of this debacle...

    I did submit a BBB report.

  33. #32

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    Caveat Emptor . . . would you ever marry a mail order bride? Nothing like a good workout to check the quality!
    Play live . . . Marinero

  34. #33
    I have had bad experiences with Reverb. You as you know can get a pretty good bass at a pawn shop for about 75$ as far as a Fender Squire goes.

  35. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero View Post
    Caveat Emptor . . . would you ever marry a mail order bride? Nothing like a good workout to check the quality!
    Play live . . . Marinero
    My sister in law met her husband online and he lived 2500 miles away. The first time they met was when he moved to cleveland to be with her. They've been married for 13 years and have an 11 year old daughter and are very happy!

  36. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by steve burchfield View Post
    I have had bad experiences with Reverb. You as you know can get a pretty good bass at a pawn shop for about 75$ as far as a Fender Squire goes.
    This is a gary willis bass. They are very rare and have very specialized setup with lined, fretless, ebony fingerboard, special bartolini pickup and preamp, ramp for the fingers, etc. There are no gary willis basses in any stores in cleveland. Besides, we're still in the middle of a pandemic!

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    My sister in law met her husband online and he lived 2500 miles away. The first time they met was when he moved to cleveland to be with her. They've been married for 13 years and have an 11 year old daughter and are very happy!
    Hi, J,
    Congrats to them and the internet age. The above testimonial is very interesting. Were they aware of the modern convenience of airplanes? Just kidding. Great story! Play live . . . Marinero

  38. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero View Post
    Hi, J,
    Congrats to them and the internet age. The above testimonial is very interesting. Were they aware of the modern convenience of airplanes? Just kidding. Great story! Play live . . . Marinero
    i was corrected yesterday. Apparently, my SIL flew out to CA once before he moved to cleveland. So, I guess that would be akin to me flying to NY, trying out a bass and having it shipped back to me.

  39. #38

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    Yeah, I’m not saying you were wrong of course - over the years I’ve had a couple returns I’ve made due to an ignorant seller not disclosing damage to an instrument. Lately it seems with EBay ,though, that they’ll always side with the buyer and force a return....even after weeks have past. As mentioned in my case all the buyer had to do was lie about the color being misrepresented. Even though there were accurate pictures in the listing and the buyer took and posted his OWN pictures during the arbitration process that looked (although the lighting was changed) the same! It was a no return listing but EBay will always side with the buyer nowadays and force a return on your dime.

  40. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris236 View Post
    Yeah, I’m not saying you were wrong of course - over the years I’ve had a couple returns I’ve made due to an ignorant seller not disclosing damage to an instrument. Lately it seems with EBay ,though, that they’ll always side with the buyer and force a return....even after weeks have past. As mentioned in my case all the buyer had to do was lie about the color being misrepresented. Even though there were accurate pictures in the listing and the buyer took and posted his OWN pictures during the arbitration process that looked (although the lighting was changed) the same! It was a no return listing but EBay will always side with the buyer nowadays and force a return on your dime.
    Again, that's not ebay's fault. They capitulate to the credit card companies and almost any credit card company will side with the buyer if the item was returned. I think ebay and paypal and even reverb tried to fight this but eventually realized that if the customer issues a charge-back, there's not much they can do. The difference is that reverb regularly threatens buyers if the mention chargeback. Reverb also posted some personal information about me on this forum once when I complained about a bad transaction. They really are not a good company.

  41. #40

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    I used to love buy and sell on Reverb, but after the Etsy buy, as a seller, I had nothing but headaches. I've since deleted my account, and refuse to do business through the platform.

  42. #41

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    I don’t think there is a great way to sell online nowadays....too easy for the buyer to put the seller in a bad position through a return and/or haggling for money back after the POS.

  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris236 View Post
    I don’t think there is a great way to sell online nowadays....too easy for the buyer to put the seller in a bad position through a return and/or haggling for money back after the POS.
    i'd rather buy or sell on thegearpage or here or facebook TBH...

  44. #43
    they finally sent me a return label yesterday evening so it's now on its way back to the seller.

  45. #44

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    I just got an email form "Reverb" titled "Important Information about your Reverb Account" that included a link that I could click on to change my password. Yeah, right.

    Nothing to blame on reverb or relevant to this thread, but I thought I would pass along the always timely advice that messages like that are almost always pfishing emails.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by nopedals View Post
    I just got an email form "Reverb" titled "Important Information about your Reverb Account" that included a link that I could click on to change my password. Yeah, right.

    Nothing to blame on reverb or relevant to this thread, but I thought I would pass along the always timely advice that messages like that are almost always pfishing emails.
    The ones I got are legit, but good point - not a good idea to click on any suspect email links and type in your password.

  47. #46

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    Yeah I'm pretty sure it's legit but you're right not to click an email link from Reverb or even your bank. If there's an issue with your account, log in on the website or contact them directly. Scamming / phishing is one of the largest financial fraud threats today.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    Yeah I'm pretty sure it's legit but you're right not to click an email link from Reverb or even your bank. If there's an issue with your account, log in on the website or contact them directly. Scamming / phishing is one of the largest financial fraud threats today.
    It’s posted on their web site. But I agree, if the email includes a URL, it’s best to ignore it and go to their page.
    Important Information about Your Reverb Account – Help Center Home

  49. #48

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    Reverb is worst company ever.
    They lie, seem to talk with robots.

    Ebay is much better

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by archtopdream63 View Post
    Reverb is worst company ever.
    They lie, seem to talk with robots.

    Ebay is much better
    Facebook has entered the chat.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by archtopdream63 View Post
    Reverb is worst company ever.
    They lie, seem to talk with robots.

    Ebay is much better
    Ebay is fine for the buyer but can be awful for the seller. It is standard protocol to take the side of the buyer 100% of the time.