|Bang & Olufsen
Buying a Vintage Receiver
There are a number of venues to buy a vintage receiver. Craigslist, OfferUp, Reverb, Facebook Marketplace, and of course, eBay. If you can find what you want locally then that is usually the best option as you can test the unit in person as well as avoid any shipping issues. But, you can’t always find what you want locally so you’ll need to use online marketplaces instead. Remeber also, that you can search eBay for items that are near you. In that case you can buy the unit off of eBay and still pick it up yourself. Just be sure to ask the seller if that’s possible before buying.
The most common place for buying vintage audio gear is still eBay. There are a number of things to keep in mind before buying a receiver, turntable, or other audio item off of eBay.
Here are some tips for buying a used vintage stereo receiver on eBay:
- Ask the seller lots of questions – does it power on? Any issues with sound, buttons, knobs, lights, etc? Ask for photos of the actual unit for sale. Some sellers just use stock photos so you want to confirm condition.
- Check feedback ratings of seller. Look for sellers with high ratings (98%+) and a history of selling electronics. Avoid sellers with low ratings or no history.
- Know the model – research online to learn the typical issues or flaws with that particular vintage model. See if repairs are feasible and parts still available.
- Confirm which inputs/outputs are present and working. Older units may lack certain modern connections.
- Ask about cosmetic condition – inspect photos closely looking for rust, corrosion, dents, scratches etc. Vintage often means wear and tear.
- Shipping worries – ensure safe original factory packaging if possible. Double boxed is best. Insured shipping recommended.
- Price – check past eBay sales to gauge fair market value. Be wary of prices way below average as too good to be true.
- Consider a unit that has been restored, recapped, and tested by a reputable seller – may cost more but helps reduce risks.
- Know return policies before purchase in case the unit has undiscovered problems not as described.