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Best practices for purchasing a banjo from a non-business?

Feb 1, 2023 - 8:40:20 AM
1 posts since 1/30/2023

Hey everyone, I'm in the market for a new banjo. That said I know I can find deals on forums and sites like this but I want to make sure it's secure. Any tips on how to ensure I get the item I'm paying for? is PayPal the best option? Thanks

Edited by - Texasbanjo on 02/01/2023 14:18:54

Feb 1, 2023 - 9:17:42 AM



3470 posts since 10/23/2004

Check the Buy/Sell forum on this site...

...I'm sure you will find the best bang for your buck here.

Feb 1, 2023 - 11:44:02 AM
Players Union Member

Texasbanjo (Moderator)


28514 posts since 8/3/2003

Just remember: Caveat Emptor: buyer beware.

Vet the seller the best you can. Is he/she a member here? How long? Any negative reports? Has he/she sold other merchandise and if so, have the buyers been happy with their purchase? Can you call and talk with the seller? Will he/she send more pictures or a sound clip? If not, why not? And any other questions you can think of to ask.

Be careful about sending money. PalPal is okay, but beware of anyone asking you to use the friends and family way to exchange money. There's been too many scams because of that.

Feb 1, 2023 - 12:06:46 PM
like this

2678 posts since 11/17/2018

The best way to ensure you get the item you pay for is to purchase in-person.

You can inspect and play the instrument, and deal with the seller face to face.

Know what the "market price" is for the instrument you're buying by searching for similar instruments that are currently for sale.

Escrow services are an alternative to PayPal -

Feb 1, 2023 - 1:28:46 PM

banjo bill-e


12901 posts since 2/22/2007

The fact that they are a member here or that the ad is on BHO means nothing in regards to ensuring a safe transaction. I will not send money sight unseen to any but a legitimate seller such as Elderly Instruments, and will use Visa for that.

Feb 1, 2023 - 2:18:39 PM
Players Union Member

Texasbanjo (Moderator)


28514 posts since 8/3/2003

I think this thread should probably go in the shopping forum where it will get more reads and more answers. I'll move it for you.

Feb 1, 2023 - 3:12:42 PM



1093 posts since 12/4/2012

When I bought my first banjo through a member here, we arranged a video phone call via Skype (at the time, I don't know if that's a thing still). Seeing the seller and seeing and hearing the banjo made me feel a lot more secure about the transaction.

Feb 1, 2023 - 6:49:53 PM
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2539 posts since 7/18/2007

Bought and sold many banjos on here. Check the sellers feedback and buy from someone who has a proven sales record and a history on BHO. Stay away from anyone who just created an account and posted an ad or has never sold before or participated in any forums. You can tell a lot from their history. Lastly make sure they are willing to talk to you in person. The odds of getting stiffed are pretty small if you do your diligence.

Edited by - banjoez on 02/01/2023 18:52:00

Feb 1, 2023 - 8:02:59 PM

15183 posts since 10/30/2008

Ask the seller for references, if you have a network of banjo people you know. Then check the references, or at least one or two.

INSIST on 48 hour approval with the ability to return for full refund at your shipping expense.

I like to put my offer in WRITING (email/text too) and have the seller sign or endorse before money moves. SPELL OUT all your expectations and get the seller's agreement or correction.

I found that PayPal insists on having access to your bank account for larger $$ amounts, at the time I found this out I think it was $2000. I don't give ANYONE access to my bank accounts, so I didn't (and don't) use PayPal. I use personal checks, bank checks and postal money orders (postal money orders have a max value that's not all that high, so you may have to buy multiple money orders to get the total needed).

Talk to the seller on the phone, and set up live video of the seller with the instrument.

So far, I've never gotten screwed. I follow many of the other recomendations given above, like not dealing with someone who just created a BHO account, apparently to offer a banjo for sale.

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