Buying on Ebay

Is buying a kayak on ebay safe? I mean you don’t know what the boat really looks like up close. The seller can chose what he/she wants to show so you think your boat is in good condition. What concerns me the most is leaks. Don’t some being sold on ebay having leaks you can’t see until you try it out? If anyone has purchased a kayak on ebay please tell what you experience was. The boats do have very good prices but it looks almost too good to be true.

I’ve bought 3 yaks through
classifieds.been very pleased dealing with actual paddlers rather than someone who just may have come across a boat.

I have purchased 2 boats on Ebay
Last year I picked up an Aquaterra Chinook for $200. It was in decent condition and had no oil canning. It is at my sister’s not being used. I also picked up a 13ft speedski surfski for my son. He never got into paddling so I sold it. For $250, it was a solid little boat. I have also picked up great deals here, the last being a Nordkapp for $600, Just had to drive from Reno to Seattle to get it and I put in some hours modifying it to fit me but it is my favorite kayak. I have been over 95% satisfied with my ebay purchases. As an aside, stuff I tried to literally give away here and could not sold on Ebay.

I bought one on eBay, sold two there, have bought two others used through online classifieds (P’net and another) and a new boat online direct from manufacturer.

On eBay, just use common sense. Just as you would through any classified ad. Start with email(s) to seller early in the auction. Check out their other items. Often there are no others listed as it’s a paddler only selling a boat and not a regular Ebay seller. Other times it’s a dealer and it becomes clear if they have other items, and eBay store, etc.

Most individual sellers will trade emails, then phone numbers, and are very upfront with info. If not, move on. I’d say there are very few if any scammers selling kayaks. Sometimes you do find people who know little or nothing about their item (can be good or bad for you!), and sometimes you get people withe reserve or opening bids at near retail (usually dealers).

A combination of eBay and PayPal gives you two layers of buyer protection (three of you use CC through PayPal). It may not be that great, but classifieds offer none. To me, that’s about the only difference.

check the thread on the other board…
…bottom line is, eBay is the real world. There are lots of honest people & a few VERY DIShonest people. And YES, sad to say, if you get ripped off, eBay & Paypal are too overwhelmed with pleas for assistance to be of much help. If you want to be advised of some of the more recent scams, go to “Community” (Discussion Boards) & click on the “Safe Harbor” thread…its shocking how many ripoffs are reported and nothing happens!! If they do get kicked off (its rare), they’re back later the same day with a new ID.

Use lots of common sense & always READ FEEDBACK!

Have you credit card company
cancel the payment to pay pal, pay pal will threaten you but cannot touch you. Your mileage may vary.

Bought 3 without any problem and one on

ASK, Ask, Ask, and keep the responses. I seem to be able to tell a great deal about the seller from the language of the response and the language of the listing itself. On a bigger item go ahead and ask the seller for their phone number. A forthright seller will be genuinely helpful, cooperative and accomodating. Often a “selling service” is a layer between buyer and seller used by more shady sellers, usually concerned with setting up ther rules for collection and overly negative in tone. You can tell a better seller. Ask, Ask, Ask

It worked for me!!
The Prijon that I bought was brand new and was actually put up on e-bay auction as a fund raiser for a nature education/conservation group in Montana. A local outfitter had donated the kayak to the organization. It was a great buying experience which saved me $500 and they even paid for the freight charges.

It seems like with bigger ticket items for auction on e-bay that in general sellers are even more careful to disclose all details about the sale item to ensure a smooth transaction of a well represented product. I’ve done lots of buying on e-bay and continue to search for kayak deals that are posted.

Good luck,


Ebay kayaks
Recently purchased a CD Solstice GTS on Ebay.

Great price. I was concerned about shipping damage but it arrived in satisfactory condition. Discovered a few nicks that will have to be reparied but, overall, I’m very happy. Seems like it was sitting around for several years unused and some of the strapping etc had deteriorated but for the price, it was well worth it.

Exactly! Communication is the key…
…to a satifactory transaction. Although I haven’t bought any boats on Ebay, I’ve done several thousand dollars worth of transactions, both and a buyer and a seller. If there’s something you’re interested in, contact the seller well in advance of the deadline and discuss it. While email is good, phone communication will give you a better feel for the person. Check the seller’s Ebay feedback, too. If the seller is communicative, answers questions directly and has a good reputation, the transaction will probably go without a hitch.

Ive bought one Ebay kayak
and several other things off Ebay as well. So far so good. Everything has been exactly what it was advertised to be. I got a really good price on the boat I bought but by the time I payed for shipping, I probably could have picked up one local for the same if I could have found one.

I’ll echo what everyone else has said. Check the sellers feedback. If he has lots of good feedback, chances are hes not going to suddenly start ripping people off. A no feedback or little feedback situation is tough to gage. Communicate often with them, Ask questions and try to get an idea what kind of person they are as well and how soon they get back to you. Whenever I’ve bought stuff off Ebay, I usually mentally write the money off as a loss and when my package shows up, Im pleasantly surprised. Its a shame to feel like that but it can save lots of frustration if things dont go well.

Many good tips here on using eBay. I’ve personally bought and sold a couple of hundred items without a problem. One additional thing you may want to consider for big-ticket items is using the escrow service. Basically, you deposit funds for the item with the escrow agent and, after you receive and inspect the item, you release the funds for payment. If the item is not received or is not as described, you return it. I’ve used it for things like expensive cameras, computers, etc. Now, returning a kayak may be problematic but having the escrow arrangement gives you some leverage. Of course, you should check with the seller before bidding as to whether or not they will accept the escrow form of payment. If they won’t, then maybe that’s a warning sign.

Good luck!

Check the feedback!
I’ve been buying and selling on ebay for 7 years, and feedback will tell you a lot about a seller.

Don’t sweat a negative or two, sellers ocassionally get jerks that give a negative feedback for a crappy reason (I got a negative from a buyer because after buying the item he found it for a cheaper price, and accussed me of ripping him off).

I have bought one kayak (brand new WS Cape Horn for about 1/2 price), and lots of kayak and camping gear. Also bought a $10,000 truck, 22’ fishing boat, pick-up camper, and several other items.

I usually try to pick up (or have some one I know that lives close by check it out and pick it up for me) any large or expensive item I buy, so I can check it out before paying for it.

I refuse to deal with anyone that won’t respond to email questions, provide a phone number, won’t show an item beforehand, or refuse to allow local pick-ups. I am also leery of sellers that don’t disclose their location on the auction.

Jeff in South Dakota

Limited value of feedback
Feedback ratings are great for checking volume sellers and long time eBay members, however:

Many kayaks are the only thing that person is selling, or has ever sold - unless it’s a dealer. Not fair to hold no feedback against someone only selling that item. These may be the “regular” paddlers you want to be dealing with.

Same for any relatively new seller.

Also, some people have great ratings, but as buyers, and that doesn’t tell you much either.

Best bet, email and call.

I sold a kayak on Ebay
I’m a frequent buyer/seller on Ebay. I specifically stated that I would not ship, though I did offer to transport it to any of 3 locations about 1 hour away, for an extra $20. I had the buyer pay a deposit via Paypal, and he paid the balance in person when he picked it up. That’s the kind of arrangement I would expect if I was buying an expensive item that required face-to-face delivery.

Didn’t mean to sound negative on ebay
in my earlier post. Most of my transactions have gone well. I just learned that when you discover a dishonest seller it is alarming how slow ebay & paypal are to weed them out. And how easy it is for them to continue their scams.

One way dishonest sellers can manipulate feedback is by selling hundreds of inexpensive items to build up an impressive rating, & then suddenly switch to very expensive stuff (plasma TV’s. etc) & move in for the kill. Big ticket items are where most of the ripoffs occur. Its just inevitable in a wordwide marketplace that there will be that element to watch out for.

Use yer noggins, folks!