Anyone have experience buying "factory refurbished" speakers from uBid.com? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-06-2004, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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uBid.com (business-to-person auction site) has had some extremely good deals on Wharfedales, Quads, and a few other speakers. Most are "factory refurbished" with a factory warranty. I typically avoid the word "refurbished" in electronics, but I'm thinking with speakers, as long as I get the warranty, there isn't so much to go wrong as in, say, an AV receiver. They should either work properly or not.

Now, I've already pulled the trigger... Went and listened to some Quad 22L's and was very impressed. A good upgrade from my aging AR's with the cracking foam surrounds. Plus I'm saving about $2000 off new prices for 5 speakers (22L mains, 11L rear, and center). I just can't find speakers in the same class for the same price new. But, as I'm waiting for them to arrive, I must admit being a little nervous.

So has anyone else had good or bad experiences buying speakers from them?
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-06-2004, 04:29 PM
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I personally thought the Shipping costs were extremely high, however I did get the speakers and they were in good shape. I didn't calculate the shipping and handling costs before I made the purchase, so I was a little surprised. My mistake, I wouldn't purchase speakers from them again. I would suggest trying to negotiate with a local dealer on price.
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-06-2004, 04:33 PM
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I have a DVD player and car speakers that I bought though UBid w/o any problems. All were factory refurbs.

Thanks for out bidding me on the Quads. Now I don't have to explain to my wife why I needed more speakers. :D

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ~ Henry David Thoreau
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-06-2004, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Oboy
I personally thought the Shipping costs were extremely high, however I did get the speakers and they were in good shape. I didn't calculate the shipping and handling costs before I made the purchase, so I was a little surprised. My mistake, I wouldn't purchase speakers from them again. I would suggest trying to negotiate with a local dealer on price.
Oh yes, the shipping charges are ridiculous. I think they make half their money right there. However, the Quads aren't a really well known brand, and so they didn't get as much bidding activity as some items. Even with shipping, I'm getting them for about a third what the local dealer quoted me, and he's not going to negotiate that much!

It was a hard deal to pass up, so I'm glad to hear from a couple people happy with their merchandise, if not the shipping charges.

Sorry, Tex-amp! <eg>
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-06-2004, 05:02 PM
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I just bought the 22L's from UBID in a beautiful yew veneer finish and the matching L series center in black for about $750 US total. Of couse the shipping was just over $100 for all 3, but still a smoking deal compare to the MSRP.

Now the bad news, Fedex must have dropped one of the towers off of a 6 foot loading dock beacuse one of the top rear corners is bashed in pretty well. Probably about a 3/8 inch chunk of the finish gone and the veneer underneath marred. I have to say the towers were not boxed very well, although it appeared to be the original Quad box and form fitted styrofoam packing. In contrast, the center was double boxed and arrive unscathed.

I could probaobly get a refund on one of the speakers from Fedex (after much delay and hassle no doubt). My quandry is thay I don't know what pair of speakers I'd get that i would like nearly as much for the same $$$.
I'm inclined to keep them, but I'm still a bit dissapointed.

I don't want to sour anyone else's experience. The speakers are gourgeous, and I'm very pleased witht the sound. I prefer them to the B&Ws I just sold on Ebay (CDM series). They do everything the B&Ws well (imaging, clarity) but better and with much more bass authority.
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-06-2004, 05:39 PM
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I have bought speakers from UBID, along with many other pieces of audio equipment through the years.

Purchased 2 sets of Wharfedale Emerald 97 towers in Walnut back in '02 from Ubid (actually bought one set...loved them so much had to get another set a few weeks later). Best audio purchase I ever made. Have to say that was when Ubid was a different place than today and the deals, the variety and the supplies were even more incredible.

The speakers were listed as new but close examination of the frontal wood surface after grille removal showed the kind of irregularities and fine scratches one could expect from sample and demo units. But I couldn't find any flaws on any other surfaces so they could have simply been seconds/cosmetic imperfects...either way there are many ways an item with some history can be listed as new...the most common being simply because it was never previously sold.

Packaging however was first rate and the pristine inner boxes certainly looked like the items were fresh from the (then) new factory in China. Subsequently I have never had reason to think of them as anything other than new in terms of overall appearance (superb wood work) and most importantly performance.

Remain very satisfied even with the 'comical' S/H charges for which Ubid is famous. Mine wasn't too bad though considering the weight and packaging of each shipment. Funny thing was each delivery was made by the skinniest UPS guy I've ever seen. How he got those boxes to my front door without a hand truck I'll never know.



Have all that you want ... just want what you have.
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-06-2004, 08:27 PM
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I am a regular Ubid participant. Every item bought was "referb". Each was excellent! Except for "referb" marking on packing materials, "copies" vice original documentation, and the warranty I have to say that the product itself was new.

Shipping is expensive and I always choose the least expensive option. Fulfillment (i.e. delivery) always meets their commitment (schedule with tracking and quality).

I will continue to use Ubid.
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-06-2004, 08:32 PM
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I used to use uBid.

Run away! Run far away!

No matter where you go. ... There you are.
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-07-2004, 02:54 AM
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I have not had good experiences. I recently purchased a KLH sub for my Dad. He loves it and his hearing is not great. I know KLH, but hey I won the bid for 15 dollars. They charged over 40 dollars for shipping. I paid about 57 dollars.

I was fine with the cost. I knew shipping would be high. 15 was my high bid.

Well, they stuck the thing in a box half full of styro peanuts. It arrived and a corner was smashed, one carpet "spike" was broken off. It was floating around in an oversized box, not packaged properly. I may use them again but don't trust them with any large amount of cash!
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-08-2004, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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OK... More than a little nervous about packaging and shipping now... <g>
Packages should arrive tomorrow or Monday. I'll post results.
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post #11 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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All speakers (2 22L's, 2 11L's for rear surround, and a Center L) have now arrived undamaged by the carrier.

I did expect, being "factory refurbished," that I'd encounter some scratches or other finish problems. The 11L's are perfect. Look like new. Even came with the pair of white cotten gloves originally packaged with them for handling. The center was obviously used, it has some minor scuff marks on the bottom where it's been slid on a shelf, but otherwise good. The 22L's are another story. Each has a long hairline crack in the laquer finish right in the front. It's just in the finish, not noticeable accept in daylight, but it's there. Luckily I think I can repair them (or at least hide the defects). In the end, I saved a lot of money, and although the cracks were more damage than I expected I still think I got a good deal. Full retail for these is out of my price range.

Most importantly, they all work just fine, and the sound of the Quads is more than enough to make up for any finish defects. My old AR's were pretty muddy sounding in comparison. I'm hearing details in music at all frequencies that I never noticed before. They don't tolerate poor recordings well, you hear every defect. But a good recording is truly amazing.
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post #12 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 10:55 AM
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Glad that worked out to your satisfaction.

I've bought a lot from UBID, though never speakers. I'd say I've been about 95% satisfied. No problems with refurbs ever.
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post #13 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 11:13 AM
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I've bought speakers, headphones, electronics and computer stuff without a problem. Every piece looked brand new.

I would almost prefer the "factory" refurbs becuase they have an extra level of testing done at a technical level to ensure the unit works.

One guess is most of the units are:

A)Returns that still work correctly but still must be checked before they are sold again

B) A "Cwafty Wabbit" way to sell overstock or discontinued items without competeing with traditional distributors. I bought Sony 7506 headphones for $30 which are still sold through Sony retailers for $79. If the retailers object, Sony can say the UBID units are not really "new".

Pretty sneaky, don't you think?
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post #14 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ceccacci
they all work just fine, and the sound of the Quads is more than enough to make up for any finish defects. My old AR's were pretty muddy sounding in comparison. I'm hearing details in music at all frequencies that I never noticed before. They don't tolerate poor recordings well, you hear every defect. But a good recording is truly amazing.
Congratulations. I hope you enjoy them for years.

What I can afford, when I can afford it...
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 09:16 PM
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Question about the Quad 22L. I purchased a pair of the 22L in Yew finish.

My Speaker cables have Banana plugs and there doesn't seem to be a way to use Banana plugs.

Am I not seeing it, or is the only option to use bare wire?

How do you guys have your 22L connected?
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post #16 of 17 Old 07-15-2004, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by TjMV3
Question about the Quad 22L. I purchased a pair of the 22L in Yew finish.

My Speaker cables have Banana plugs and there doesn't seem to be a way to use Banana plugs.

Am I not seeing it, or is the only option to use bare wire?

How do you guys have your 22L connected?
I think the only option is bare wire. At least, there's no way you could use banana plugs with the terminals on mine.
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post #17 of 17 Old 07-15-2004, 12:22 PM
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I talked to Walter at Underworld Hi-Fi, and he instructed me what to do.

If you look at the connection terminals, there are four of them. Two for "HF" and two for "LF".

On each one is a metal plug with a little Red or Black piece of plastic, which indicates Positive or Negative. It's in the center of the head... of the metal plug.

You can unscrew the metal plug (by turning to the left) and remove the plug completely. Then, turn the plug around, and you'll see a cylindrical channel , which runs through the center of the plug. You can take a thin hole puncher, or long needle...and gently push the Red or Black colored plastic right out.

Screw the metal plug back onto the terminal (turning right) and .....just insert your banana plug.

I wondered if those Red and Black tabs were removable ..last night. But I was afraid if they weren't ...I'd screw some thing up. So I called Wally.

Thanks Wally!
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