Will Ray's Ebay Strategies
Auction Item: Zoom Fire 7010
Winning Bid: $85
I'm a sucker for portable amps that I can take out in my backyard or up in the mountains and play without the need for AC power. The Zoom Fire 7010 is a cool little amp with a 3" foldout speaker and 28 built-in digital effects-up to seven of which can be used simultaneously. Effects include compression, wah, distortion, overdrive, EQ, chorus, flanger, reverb, and delay, and you get 40 preset and 24 user programs. Six AA batteries or the supplied AC adaptor power the unit.
As 7010s were discontinued around 1998, I began searching eBay for a used one. I also did a search for completed auctions involving this product to give me an idea of what I could expect to pay. This 7010 appeared with an opening bid of $79, which was a decent price. I bookmarked the auction, and I checked back daily. With three days to go, I noticed that someone with zero feedback was the current high bidder. Now, I'm always leery of bidding against someone new to eBay with no feedback, because they often don't know the rules. They tend to bid way more than an item is actually worth, and then renege when it comes time to pay.
I e-mailed the seller with my concerns, and he was equally worried. When asked what I was willing to pay, I told him $80 was my limit, and he said if I would PayPal him that (plus $5.95 shipping), he'd end the auction early. He didn't have to ask twice. I wanted the amp bad, the seller had great feedback, and the shipping fee was very reasonable. From his perspective I was a sure thing, whereas the other bidder was a potential problem-a classic win/win situation.
Of course, eBay frowns on these types of transactions, as both buyer and seller are unprotected should a problem develop. I don't ask sellers to end auctions early very often, but sometimes a man has gotta do what a man has gotta do. The unit arrived within a few days, and I've been out in my backyard on weekends jamming away ever since.
-Will Ray, email@example.com
Here is where to go if you've ever desired to build or radically transform an electric guitar-or if you'd simply like to see what "underground" guitarmakers are up to. The site is a veritable treasure trove for DIY enthusiasts, with tutorials on topics such as building and finishing, electronics, setup, maintenance, and repair. There's also a Reference section with links to hundreds of pertinent sites, a Gallery with dozens of instruments on display, and an Interactive Forum. Shown here is the one-of-a-kind Geisha Girl guitar built by James Larson, and customized for its current owner, Henry Kaiser, who requested the large squid inlay on the neck.