That's a poor generalization. Can you get a lousy flute on eBay? Absolutely yes. Can you get a great flute on eBay? Absolutely yes. The difference is knowing the signs to look for and being sure that the seller allows returns and has good feedback. An educated buyer can get a great flute deal on eBay. I have bought and sold a number of musical instruments on eBay, but I shop carefully and assess the risks associated with my purchases. If someone buys a $50 flute from a seller with only a previous sale or two, the risk is much higher. If a seller with many musical instrument sales and 100% positive feedback is selling a flute, the risk is much lower. Yes, one can still buy a dud, but eBay provides some protection against that. When I buy on eBay, I go in with my eyes open and I've never had a major issue with any experienced seller with good feedback. One time, I received an instrument that was missing an item listed in the description. After contacting the the seller, he shipped it out to me and I got everything I paid for.Never ever buy a used flute from eBay, places like Fluteworld.com would be okay, but as a general rule you should never buy a flute without trying it previously or being able to return it. Never, ever buy a used flute from eBay, craigslist, or a newspaper, etc without being absolutely positive the flute works.
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