“Wait. You mean I can get an M1 driver on ebay for $200?”
Well, let’s not get crazy.
But ebay can save you some of your hard earned dollars if you are willing to be patient. Of course, nothing is perfect and there are plenty of counterfeit clubs out there. However, with the many of the safe guards ebay has in place, you can feel confident in buying online, and in fact, you can even score some really good deals.
Having fallen in love with Mizuno irons from the get go, (My first set was the T-Zoid pro, though I really wanted the MP-33’s, but my game wasn’t ready for blades.) I’m always interested in their latest and greatest.
So when it was time to upgrade, and I had saved enough pennies, I decided to get myself fit for a combo set of MP 58-68’s.
And I did.
AND THEY WERE SPECTACULAR.
I used them so much that over time, the faces wore and I needed to replace the PW through to 7 iron. Not wanting to lay out full price, I hopped on ebay and began to search.
It didn’t take long before I found an almost new looking full set of MP-68’s (3-PW). What was even better, was that they were located in Canada, so I would save on the import duties. (Aside from the fact that clubs listed in Canada usually get less hits than the US counterparts.) I won the auction at $225.00 plus 45.00 for shipping and scored myself an almost brand new set of Mp68’s with Dynamic gold S300 shafts.
COST: $295.00 SAVINGS OVER NEW: $946.87 (based on MSRP of $1099)
A QUICK NOTE ON SPOTTING FAKES.
Once the item is received, I visually inspect them for authenticity. Obviously, I am not expert but some of the tell-tale signs of a fake are; upside down logo’s (yes, this happened), larger or smaller logo’s, flaws in the paint. While these don’t necessarily mean they are forgeries, they should at the very least warrant further investigation. I always like to place a call to the manufacture to confirm the serial numbers as well. Mizuno is always happy to run serial numbers, though keep in mind, this also does not guarantee a clubs authenticity.
Above: These are the MP-68's I bought...almost two years later
The clubs have served me well, but this year I wanted to upgrade to the new MP-15’s to try and eek out another one or two more greens in regulation. (See my review of the MP-15’s here.)
I had been eyeing them at the local Golf store. Retailing for $1099CDN plus taxes, this was just not in the budget for this year.
**As a side note, It needs to be said that Mizuno is currently offering free upgraded shafts and grips on all of their irons – A significant savings over, say, the Titelist AP2’s which retail for $1599CDN. Then, if you wanted to move to a project X or any other shaft and grip you’re going to pay for the upgrade. As a huge fan of Mizuno, I’m not sure the AP2’s are worth almost $1000 more than the MP-15, but I’ll leave that to you to decide.
So off to eBay I went. And in a few short days, I had placed my max bid at 325.00 USD for a set of MP-15 irons with Project X 6.0 shafts. They were rated 9/10, and judging by the pictures, looked amazing.
In the last minute, I was outbid. With only 3o seconds left, I quickly increased my bid to 330USD, and wouldn’t you know it – I won. So even with the terrible exchange rate, shipping and duty, I saved almost 50% off the price of new.
COST: $630.00. SAVINGS: $611.87
These are the exact irons I bought.
When they arrived, I was blown away. They are indistinguishable from new. A quick call to Mizuno confirmed the serial numbers and I couldn’t have been happier with my purchase.
SO WHAT IF I BELIEVE THEY ARE FAKE?
As unfortunate as it is, it does happen.
A few years back, I bought a Taylormade R9 driver off an ebay seller. He had a decent reputation (Hint: always make sure you read the reviews and feedback of the seller before you bid or buy it now.)
When the driver arrived, I knew right away something wasn’t right. The club felt good, and even looked good. Call it a spidey-sense or an inherent golf sense, but something was just…off.
I compared it to pictures of the actual R9 from the Taylormade site, and there were subtle differences. For example, the R9 logo on the club head was much bigger than the original. The graphics were slightly off (the white lines were wider than they were on the orginal.) and the shaft seemed to be put in carelessly (the hosel seemed to be goopy, for lack of a better word.)
I immediately ran up to the golf store and had one of the managers compare it to the ones on the rack. In his opinion, it was a forgery – a very good one, but a forgery nonetheless.
SO WHAT RECOURSE DID I HAVE?
The first step is to always contact the seller to see if a mutual agreement can be reached. I emailed the seller, explained that I was not happy with the club, that I believed it was a fake, and that I would like a full refund including the shipping and return costs.
Three emails went unanswered.
At this point I contacted ebay, and launched a formal complaint. A customer service rep replied quickly, saying they would be in touch with the seller and would get back to me.
About a week later, the customer service rep emailed me saying that the seller refused to honor the return. So she asked me to provide a letter from an “expert” (which meant someone in the industry) stating the he/she believed the item was a forgery, and to list the reasons.
I complied it, and in the weeks following I had a credit in my Paypal account for the full amount paid, including shipping.
SO, THE LESSON TO BE LEARNED? ALWAYS USE PAYPAL WHEN YOU BUY FROM EBAY.
Because I paid using paypal, ebay was able to actually go into his paypal account and withdraw the funds. That’s right. Accrding to this CS rep, they can withdraw funds from your paypal account if your are found to be in direct violation of their terms of service.
So, what happened to the club?
According to eBay policies, it had to be destroyed. I had to send pictures of the club in pieces and dispose of it.
SO, WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE US?
In my opinion, there is money to be saved by buying from eBay. But you have to be smart about it. Here are my takeaways for scoring yourself a deal on eBay, while keeping yourself protected.
IF THERE’S A PROBLEM:
Hope you found this information useful.
What are your experiences with ebay?
Comments are always welcome, and be sure to like and share. It’s what keeps me writing!
Until next time,