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Ebay (Was Re: Selecting vendors)

>Something no one has mentioned is buying from Ebay vendors.  You 
>often can find people with new items that are in stock when no one 
>else has them and at a lower price than many.  A lot of them have 
>decent return policies and ship reasonably fast.  The great thing 
>about these people is FEEDBACK.  How is this vendor?

I write the following based on my experiences with ebay in the last 
12 hours. Without a doubt, ebay has its upside. Here is its downside:

I decided to buy a new Yamaha Motif ES 6 keyboard. They aren't 
available yet in the US. However, they are already available in 
Japan. A dealer (offshore?) on ebay is already making them available 
to people in the US (or anywhere else for that matter) who want one. 
I did some checking around. His feedback is impeccable. He was fast 
and responsive to my emails--although I was never entirely clear 
exactly where he was located (both US and Japanese offices, I was 
told), or how he was getting the product I wanted. His price was a 
bit better than what US retail would be. Fast shipping. What more 
could someone want?

Well, I inquired about the warranty. He would honor the warranty. I 
figured, ok, no problem--most likely anyway. But today, after talking 
with a US dealer about my purchase, I was sternly warned that If I 
buy this or *any* Yamaha product from an unauthorized dealer, I would 
be a virtual pariah.  No support at all, including technical support, 
which I will surely need at some point. No service--ever! They were 
telling me they would be unable even to touch the unit if anything 
should ever go wrong. No nothing. I would be left completely out in 
the cold. Furthermore I was warned (perhaps a scare tactic?) that the 
units may not be the same as the US releases. It may have software 
bugs or glitches, a different, earlier OS, and so on. In short, I was 
urged not to go through with the purchase and to try to get a refund 

This, my looping friends, is the downside. I'm not sure who to 
believe. The dealer I was talking with (and from whom I made an 
initial purchase) is almost without question reliable and honest in 
his dealings with buyers. It is, however, a "grey market" product, if 
you ask Yamaha, and they simply will not touch it, and they would 
have nothing to do with any customer who purchased such a product.

Here's the kicker, however. Yamaha knows about this particular 
dealer, and yet they offer no warnings to consumers about purchasing 
from him or others like him. They know about ebay, of course. Do they 
make any attempt to cancel his auctions? Maybe they have no legal 
recourse for doing so?? Also, I even spoke with technical support 
people and mentioned to them that the ES was already for sale on 
ebay. The reply?? "Oh, well, yeah, they are already out in Japan. 
He's probably just getting them there." No warning, no mention of the 
product not being supported--nothing. What's up with that? I just 
don't get it.

In any case, I'm now sitting on pins and needles waiting on my 
refund. I also would've/could've gotten a free PLG plug in board with 
my purchase--which is quite tempting indeed. And yet, in the long 
run, I will feel infinitely better about my purchase if it is deemed 
"legit" by and through a US dealer, however coerced I may feel about 
buying in that fashion.

Any thoughts/comments?