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Author Topic: Thinking of Buying a High-Priced Mic On Reverb? Think Again.  (Read 666 times)

klaus

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Thinking of Buying a High-Priced Mic On Reverb? Think Again.
« on: March 06, 2020, 07:22:56 pm »

Here is the story of my nightmarish experience buying a high-priced item on Reverb. I share it as a warning to others who may naively stumble into a similar situation on that site.

I found a vintage guitar on Reverb, carefully studied the detailed description, viewed lots of high-res photos, and, though the seller conditioned “no returns”, finally pressed the “Buy” button.

First surprise: the sale was electronically routed from my Visa account directly to the seller’s Paypal account, bypassing Reverb- which I assumed would be my contractual partner, or at least trusty escrow-intermediary; yet not a hint about Reverb's 'non'-role on the item page, or an alert before I completed the transaction (more on that later).

When this “all-original” guitar arrived, it had substantial defects: a severely warped neck, a Chinese output jack, and other non-vintage components. I notified the seller immediately via Reverb messaging. He referred to his “no returns” policy stated on the sale, despite that none of the substantial defects had been disclosed on Reverb’s page. (In a subsequent email, the seller admitted to a "minor” neck warp that could be “steam-straightened” if it really bothered me).

Still feeling safe and protected by Reverb’s “Buyer Protection” shield prominently displayed next to the price, and trusting other written promises of support if things were not as represented, I started a claim, submitting a detailed description of the issues to a Reverb “Support Team Member”, together with JPGs and videos.

After three days of not hearing back, I called the team member who claimed he had not received the video and images, though I had sent the digital files via three different paths, with confirmation that the material had been downloaded. More calls and emails followed for days, but still no confirmation from the support team member who, I found out, was no longer on the case, neglecting to notify me or his colleagues.

Starting from scratch, I resubmitted my complete claim to another Reverb support team member. Despite repeated inquiries, again, no confirmation or communication. After yet more calls, another team member finally acknowledged having received my material.

Three days later I received a formal email stating that, if I do not submit a claim within three days, Reverb would close the case.
WTF! I was now sucked deep into Reverb’s kafkaesque vortex: contrary to promises prominently displayed on their site, no one communicated with me, followed up, or held my hand through their labyrinthian process. Seemed that, once I had pressed “Buy Now” I was on my own.

The next curve ball: after finally managing to have my case revived, just hours before Reverb’s filing deadline (which is not published anywhere), I was informed by a “Resolutions Specialist” that even under the best circumstances, I would have to file a claim with Paypal. Never mind Reverb’s “Buyer Protection” assurances, or the fact that Reverb never disclosed Paypal’s involvement in the transaction until I had pressed “Pay Now”.

Now I was getting mad: How could Reverb refuse accountability for a deal featured on its site, transacted entirely on its site, requiring me to pay on its site, but suddenly disavowing any responsibility for a deal gone bad?

I was determined to fight. In the meantime, I gently worked on the seller towards some goodwill, informing him that I had, at my expense, restored some of the aftermarket parts with period-correct ones out of my stash.

What followed were stressful conversations with the increasingly cold, unsympathetic Reverb’s Resolution Specialist: he would talk to the seller, even though, he sternly reminded me, I had no legal claim with Reverb.

In the end, the seller did budge only a tiny bit, and a foul compromise was reached: if I agreed to pay for both shipping charges and an undefined seller's restocking fee, the seller after inspection, would refund the original price. I made it clear to the Reverb guy that I would publicize my experience on my forum. The restocking fee was silently waved without further explanation.

Two months later, I now have most of my money back in my Visa account.

The lesson I learned:
Because Reverb’s role in disagreements between buyer and seller is not concretely spelled out, but nebulously undefined, and because its 'Buyer Protection' is equally vague, particularly when a transaction is routed through Paypal without disclosure by Paypal, I will not buy anything of value on that site again.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

RadarDoug2

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Re: Thinking of Buying a High-Priced Mic On Reverb? Think Again.
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2020, 04:25:50 pm »

Interesting Klaus. I have to say I had an opposite experience, although it was not for a vintage guitar, but rather for a not working Lexicon 224X. The seller was hard to deal with, but Reverb were very proactive. I eventually got the 224, and fixed it.
I find Ebay to be dreadful to deal with, particularly if you are selling out of US.
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klaus

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Re: Thinking of Buying a High-Priced Mic On Reverb? Think Again.
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2020, 06:23:08 pm »

Was this also a "no returns" purchase?
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

RadarDoug2

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Re: Thinking of Buying a High-Priced Mic On Reverb? Think Again.
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2020, 12:57:44 am »

Yes, it was a no return purchase, but correctly described as not working. It didn't have a LARC.
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Mannix

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Re: Thinking of Buying a High-Priced Mic On Reverb? Think Again.
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2020, 03:35:19 pm »

Well, I will never again buy even an inexpensive mic from any former East Block country.

I purchased an AKG D24 on eBay from the Czech Republic and after several weeks, nothing arrived. Low and behold, checking my eBay account, it said "delivered." It even had a tracking number. The funny thing was, the tracking number originated from a P.O. Box in Brooklyn, NY. Still I never received a thing. Total fraud.

So... being an eBay member in good standing for twenty-plus years, of course they backed me up and refunded my money, right? NO. They said essentially 'tough darts.' Paypal stiff-armed me at first also, but after several impassioned calls to their service (speaking to people with accents from former East Block countries) I finally reached a woman that listened to my plight, connected the simple dots, noting the seller had several negatives in the same vein and refunded my money.

Then, the crook seller got in touch and taunted me that even though Paypal refunded him (and banned him) he still had my money.  Lesson learned.
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