Yes, there's always some risk with the purchase we do remotely without personal checking the instrument. But sometimes we agree with such risk.
I don't use E-bay at all, but more times in the past I couldn't resist to try the risky purchase. My last one was Kurzweil Midiboard. I had more reasons why I have risked it:
- about 25 years ago this instrument was my biggest dream but it was impossible to get it in my country in the Eastern Europe behind the iron curtain, no chance to buy it abroad and bring it there, and the price was horribly high because of high dollar rate (besides it was not possible to get dollars officially by changing currency in the bank, only on the black market in very high rate, and there's was no official way how to get such foreign currency abroad)
- I could fulfil my dream few years ago when I found one Midiboard on Japanese auction. I have risked the purchase and had good luck. Just completely disassembled it, cleaned and repaired some small problems. As I know every detail how it is done, I can only admire how advanced it was in its times, and even now. Bob Moog cooperated on the development... Revolutionary capacitance system used for key triggering can produce in the same time initial and release velocity, and polyphonic aftertouch! And it has wooden piano keys (similar as my Kurzweil K250, another vintage gem in my collection).
- So when I have seen a rare opportunity to get another one on the second market in my old country in January, for good price, immediately I have contacted the seller and did agreement by e-mails. I didn't have cash, but he knew me from the old times (sometimes it is advantage to be a little bit famous), trusted me, closed the auction and waited 9 months for finalizing the deal! We did it in September. And he even offered to bring the instrument to my brother 100 km from his place without additional payment! I don't know him personally but he sent some pictures of instrument, did some testing I have asked and all looked OK. I couldn't resist also because this second Midiboard is the same late Japanese (not US) production series as that one I bought here in Japan. The only difference is input voltage - that one works on European 220 Volts.
End of story. Now just to arrange transport from Europe to Japan (together with some more instruments I still left there)... Aint I enough crazy person to do all this?
Well with the next one i purchase i am going to check and insist that the item is securely wrapped and parceled. There were no Fragile or Handle WIth Care stickers on the wrapping and in my opinion was very poorly prepared for transport. Personally, i would have never taken such a risk with a musical item.