First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

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merzky_shoom
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First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by merzky_shoom » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:14 pm

Curious about everyone's experience on the used market. I just received my first used eurorack purchase and of course what was listed as "FULLY FUNCTIONAL EXCELLENT CONDITION" on Reverb is actually a seemingly-operational Disting Mk4 with a busted X input that won't complete a connection and will barely even hold a cable. I'm mostly disappointed because of how challenging it was to even find an Mk4 right now, and the fact that I (knowingly) overpaid ($190 +20 shipping) just to avoid the potentially long wait on new production modules. And now, my impatience has come home to roost. I assume no malice on the part of the seller. Most likely just that they powered it up, saw the flashing lights, and said "Great it works!" then posted it for sale. How do you all tend to handle these situations? Obviously let the seller know immediately, but is it generally a full refund and return situation?

I've always 100% avoided online-only used gear purchases. Never really trusted them. I've had enough issues with used gear that I actually had a chance to inspect before paying, so the prospect of buying based on a photo and a stranger's "word-for-it" has never appealed to me. Obviously, this "local, in-person only" restriction isn't as easy to maintain with modular gear as it is with many other types of gear. Just not a large enough population of modular enthusiasts in my area to make it feasible.

How common are poor-testing of modules by sellers, misrepresentations, and other issues when dealing in the used modular market? I'm sure experiences like mine are in the minority, but also that I expect them to be more commonplace in this community than in others. Not because of the people or the culture, but because of the price, demand, obscurity of the craft/techniques and many shop owners lack of enough knowledge to know how to properly test a module and see if it's fully functional, and the general delicate nature of some units (I'm a eurorack wiggler) combined with the generally more constant patching/repatching in modular.

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NeolithicElectrophones
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:30 pm

The jack issue is pretty well known at this point by users, but it isn't really something that seems to be a priority to fix. They have a really hard time holding any of the cable brands I tried. That would include erthenvar, ad infinitum,doepfer polar noise, ctrl, braided. If the unit is faulty get a 100% refund and return it.
So the x input isn't responding to anything at all? Have you tried different modes that for sure have the x as a cv input?

On to the next question about the used market in general. I've bought a large amount of used gear over the years, often over the net and I'd say its got to be around 20% or less that had any sort of issue not disclosed and most of those were small cosmetic ones so no big deal. With modular it's been less. Maybe just lucky though and the fact I avoid ebay for gear. As far as sellers ignorance, yeah it tends to be people who flip a lot of gear and don't use it much that cause bad shopping experiences for buyers. I'm of the opinion that if you are selling a module you should understand how to test it is fully functioning or state you don't know and adjust price accordingly.

Getting a lemon sucks but I wouldn't let it squash the possibility of enjoying the used market. You can't sell anything here until you have 100 posts but you can buy from anyone and I'd say if they have been on here a while with more than a couple hundred posts and have good feedback in the good traders references thread the risk is quite minimal of something going wrong.

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acgenerator
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by acgenerator » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:36 pm

If the cliff socket is loose, there is a way to tighten it

http://www.doepfer.de/home_e.htm
"The 3.5 mm miniature jack sockets used in the A-100 system before about 2002 have been very sensitive to the diameter and shape of the jack plugs of the cables used to interconnect the modules. If you have contact problems with older modules please try the following procedure:

Disconnect the A-100 system from mains due to safety reasons
Remove the module from the rack and disconnect the bus cable if necessary
Insert the jack plug into the socket causing contact problems
Press down the hollow of the "hot" contact very carefully using a slotted screwdriver (see picture at http://www.doepfer.de/faq/s6pc.gif)

This should lead to a good contact between jack plug and jack socket
If the result is not good enough repeat the procedure without inserted plug but pay attention that the upper contact spring does not slip below the lower one. Use the screwdriver very carefully !
Connect the bus cable to the A-100 bus board (if removed)
Assemble the module into the A-100 frame
Connect the A-100 system to mains and turn the system on
Now the contact problem should no longer occur"

merzky_shoom
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by merzky_shoom » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:47 pm

Thanks NeolithicElectrophones and acgenerator. There was very momentary contact being made, but it was all short blips and "trigger-length" connections. Heard back from the seller. Turns out he was well experienced with Euro and had been using the module for years in his setup and pointed out the greater, well-known issues with those jacks. I said I would play with it a bit more before deciding whether to send it back. Plugged in a few cables, noticed that it felt like the X jack had less "click" and less haptic-feedback in the fingers which felt like the clips that contact the tip and sleeve had been bent out of place most likely by years of use and probably leaving cables connected in the jacks for extended periods of time.

Pulled the module out and noticed that (thankfully) those clips are exposed on the jack bodies and I was able to carefully and delicately force the clips back towards the barrel of the input connector. Lo and behold, we've got input. So basically the directions you posted acgenerator. Thank you again.

Good tips for the used market and thanks for the feedback and experiences. Much appreciated.

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Zymos
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by Zymos » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:51 pm

Just to restore your faith in humanity, I’ve purchased easily over 50 used modules, with literally zero actual problems.

The worst experiences I’ve had are a few modules that reek of cologne or air freshener, but that goes away in a couple of days.

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Red Electric Rainbow
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by Red Electric Rainbow » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:00 pm

i’ve been doing this for almost 15 years and have only had 2 bad experiences. Those were both from sellers who had acquired gear from a third party (death of a loved one, and a storage war type acquisition). Otherwise no complaints.
TOO FAR GONE

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NeolithicElectrophones
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:01 pm

Zymos wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:51 pm

The worst experiences I’ve had are a few modules that reek of cologne or air freshener, but that goes away in a couple of days.
Same regarding euro purchases and trades. What is the deal people?

Kawouddd
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by Kawouddd » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:04 pm

Last month or so.

Rene v1 - not convinced by the prg buttons but tbh it works pretty well as it should. Happy with the price.
Rene v2 - appeared the day after I’d ordered the v1 🤦‍♂️ Fantastic condition, bang on as described, very happy.
Pressure points + brains - works fine, but I will be looking out for “smoke free home” in future 😂

Anyone want a Rene v1?

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electricfence
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by electricfence » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:07 pm

Zymos wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:51 pm

The worst experiences I’ve had are a few modules that reek of cologne or air freshener, but that goes away in a couple of days.
I think it’s vape juice.

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Hi5
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by Hi5 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:32 pm

Most gear I buy is used and over a decade have only had 2 broken/issue items. These all came from new Euro users who didn't know the item they had wasn't working correctly in the first place. All resolved without issue with the sellers. All from Muffs so everyone was very accommodating.
tetno: https://soundcloud.com/richard-holhburn
Goiks: A eurorack setup is a contemporary folk instrument. Relatively accessible and portable. Largely by, of and for the people.

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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by colb » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:12 pm

Out of 30ish used modules bought mostly from ebay, I've had a few duffers. I've always been able to return them or sort out a deal to keep them in turn for a partial refund.
Worst was a Tonnetz Sequent - I really wanted that, and they are very rare, but when it arrived, a corner of the board was destroyed, looked like it had been trodden on. Got a refund for that and ended up getting a few other good deals from the same guy.
Others - A138u mixer, Ladik sequencer, A118 Noise, were all DOA with fried chips that I was able to replace (all "as new condition no rack rash" lol'). There was also a DIY logic module with literally blindingly bright LEDs (they were lighting up the inside of the case enough to light up the sockets of other nearby modules from the inside, and were too bright even when taped over). After communicating with the seller, it was clear that he knew this was an issue but hadn't mentioned it, but he gave me a 50% refund, and I replaced the LED's.
I wouldn't be buying used gear if I didn't feel confident enough to do basic repairs myself.

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Lux A Turner
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by Lux A Turner » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:24 pm

electricfence wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:07 pm
Zymos wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:51 pm

The worst experiences I’ve had are a few modules that reek of cologne or air freshener, but that goes away in a couple of days.
I think it’s vape juice.
Any modules I ever sell will probably smell of incense.


It may stop, but it never ends.

My Rack - v1.0

merzky_shoom
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by merzky_shoom » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:47 pm

Thanks all for the experiences and reassurances. Glad I could very simply resolve this issue and am definitely more comfortable with the idea of the used modular market after reading your tips and histories.

colb wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:12 pm
I wouldn't be buying used gear if I didn't feel confident enough to do basic repairs myself.
This is something I’d really like to implement, I’m just not comfortable with SMD parts quite yet. That’s what scares me 😱

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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by papastratman » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:01 pm

Probably the worst experience I've had was buying a used Circadian Rhythms and finding it had been in a very smoky environment. The front panel had yellowed and the smell when it powered up was awful. Fortunately, I removed the front panel and washed everything very carefully and thoroughly and it's fine now (even removed the yellow residue from the panel).
Otherwise, I've purchased 30+ used modules and haven't had a problem.

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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by Sleepfc » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:44 am

I always hear about smoke damaged but have never experienced it myself. I guess that may be a good thing haha

As far as buying used, I don’t think I’ve encountered bad transactions.... I’ve must have bought at least 30+ and have yet to encounter anything other than slight wear and dirt along with rack rash. I guess the best thing I could say is that you take a risk buying from muffs or modular groups, but reverb, as much as I hate them, are pretty good at helping you get your money back as a buyer. Always read seller reviews, if you see one too many bad reviews, I would steer clear. Specially if there are any signs of seller negligence being tossed around ie late/poor shipping, items not as described etc

I’ll continue to buy used as I have saved quite a bit of money and have found some killer deals. I’m just not too picky as long as things function properly, and have clear written indicators of wear/things to notice

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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by thelowerrhythm » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:28 am

I've been buying and trading gear online since the early days, and in all that time I've only ever been screwed by someone in person. In terms of gear communities, I've found modular folks to be a kind, thoughtful group that takes good care of their junk,
"Ah yeah, you’ve got that strange blend of apathy and self-flagellation that somehow gets you where you want to go."

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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by colb » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:57 am

merzky_shoom wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:47 pm
Thanks all for the experiences and reassurances. Glad I could very simply resolve this issue and am definitely more comfortable with the idea of the used modular market after reading your tips and histories.

colb wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:12 pm
I wouldn't be buying used gear if I didn't feel confident enough to do basic repairs myself.
This is something I’d really like to implement, I’m just not comfortable with SMD parts quite yet. That’s what scares me 😱
I probably overstated my position there. I guess I would still buy used stuff, but would end up returning all the duffers instead of rescuing them :)

I don't do SMD either, not through fear though, I just haven't got the kit for that - particularly a suitable magnifying device and hot air station.
however most of my rack is Doepfer and Ladik, and those are really great from a maintenance point of view, nice big through hole components, and socketed chips. The only exception being one Ladik sequencer with a fried microcontroller that I will have to get from Ladik at some point because a replacement needs to be flashed with firmware, and I don't have the firmware or the programmer device.

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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by Sonic0boom » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:37 pm

Sort of the flip side here ... I've purchased quite a bit of stuff on Reverb and eBay and had a few things i wanted to sell in order to offset recent purchases. The first was a Mother-32 that i actually had racked. I put it back in its original case and since it was working fine in the rack, i didn't test it out (mistake #1 as a seller). Well, it sells in no time and the buyer must have been a first time buyer because he kept checking in on the status (hey, i get it; i was excited when i originally bought the M32!). Anyway, i get the delivery confirmation and within a short time, i get a Reverb message that something is stuck in the out jack, and he includes a picture. I'm freaking out a little bit since it's my first sale, but i ask if he's able to remove whatever it is. Well, it turns out that the tip of the 1/4" cable somehow got detatched and was stuck in there. Fortunately, he was able to remove it and was able to get to making some jams in short order. I apologized profusely, still managed to get 5 start feedback (of course, i would have accepted a return if he couldn't get it out), and learned my lesson to always check the gear before listing it.

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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by Kattefjaes » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:34 pm

electricfence wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:07 pm
Zymos wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:51 pm

The worst experiences I’ve had are a few modules that reek of cologne or air freshener, but that goes away in a couple of days.
I think it’s vape juice.
Ewww god. Vape can smell rank, often it's like toilet cleaner-style artificial stench, it often makes my skin itch. "Non-vaping home" sounds like a winner alongside "non-smoking".

Nearly as bad as when I tried out some headphones in a shop and my own face smelled of someone else's douchey aftershave until I could get home and wash repeatedly. What is wrong with people?

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electricfence
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by electricfence » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:57 pm

Kattefjaes wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:34 pm
electricfence wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:07 pm
Zymos wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:51 pm

The worst experiences I’ve had are a few modules that reek of cologne or air freshener, but that goes away in a couple of days.
I think it’s vape juice.
Ewww god.
I don’t have the data handy, but I’m pretty sure that “Eww-God” is the #3 best-selling flavor of vape juice in the Austin (Texas) market. Coincidentally “Ewe-God” is a very popular vape juice flavor in Central Australia, iirc.

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Kattefjaes
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by Kattefjaes » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:15 pm

electricfence wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:57 pm
I don’t have the data handy, but I’m pretty sure that “Eww-God” is the #3 best-selling flavor of vape juice in the Austin (Texas) market. Coincidentally “Ewe-God” is a very popular vape juice flavor in Central Australia, iirc.
:yay:

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bwhittington
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Re: First experience on USED market went as feared... Yours?

Post by bwhittington » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:22 pm

Lux A Turner wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:24 pm
electricfence wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:07 pm
Zymos wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:51 pm

The worst experiences I’ve had are a few modules that reek of cologne or air freshener, but that goes away in a couple of days.
I think it’s vape juice.
Any modules I ever sell will probably smell of incense.
I did a trade for a Synthi that slightly smelled of weed, but that is almost to be expected given the instrument, and I'd call it quite the opposite of the worst trade I ever made.

:tardis: :rastanana: :tardis:

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