Whether you’re new to eBay or an old pro, here is a checklist on how to buy a shortwave radio on eBay.
1) Know the seller. Look at the seller’s history including their feedback rating and length of time on eBay. Click on the feedback number and read some of the comments left by other eBayers. Negitive feedback can be a red flag. Also click on the feedback left for others. You might see a naughty or nice seller.
2) Look closely at photos. It is much easier to decide on buying an item if the seller includes one or more good photos. Look closely and if the item doesn’t look quite right then email the seller for more photos or clarification on the condition.
3) Ask questions. If the listing omits information that is important to you, ask the seller through eBay’s email system. If the seller responds soon that’s good. If they don’t, buyer beware!
4) What’s the shipping cost? Are you willing to write a blank check to a stranger? That’s what you are doing if you use the Buy-It-Now button or win an auction without knowing the shipping cost in advance. If the shipping cost is not posted or able to be calculated within the listing, ask the seller to commit on what your cost will be.
5) Beware of the AS-IS Listing. Many sellers of ham and/or shortwave radio equipment use the silly and pervasive statement “as with all electronics sold on eBay this is being sold as-is” nonsense. Then they might use another useless phrase “it’s guaranteed not to be DOA”. First, I have never found any rule on eBay that states all electronics have to be sold as-is. Furthermore, just what does “Not DOA” mean? It could mean that only a dial light comes on! Does it work right or not? If the seller does not say so in the listing, ask him.
6) Can you return it? A return policy says a lot about a seller. Look for the seller’s return policy in the listing. If it says there are no returns then expect to get stuck with it if it is not up to par.
7) How much should I pay? Do a search of the item you are looking for under active items. Check prices along with the exact items included in the auction. Also compare shipping costs and the condition of the item(s). Do a completed search and see what comparable items sold for. Condtion and return policy influence the value.
8) Who owned it, owns it now. Did the item come from the son of a dead SWL (shortwave listener) whose brother-in-law gave it to a friend of a friend to sell? Does the listing say the owner took great care of all of his gear and there can’t be anything wrong with it? Or another silly and worthless statement that it worked great the last time it was on! Or “It worked great but I have no way of testing it”. If those listings don’t have a return policy you should be careful what you pay for the item.
9) Don’t get ripped-off. Is there a Buy-It-Now button with a price that is too good to be true? First, be very careful of paying too little. There is a higher chance that something is not right. Second, don’t fall for those short time listings that offer a too-good-to be true price if you will just contact the seller via the email link in the body of the listing. Use the eBay message system so both you and eBay will have a record of the message sent. DON’T PAY VIA WESTERN UNION OR MONEYGRAM. You will never see your item or your money again.
10) Trust your gut feeling. Finally, trust your gut feeling on whether to buy the item or not.
Best Regards, Roger, N7YV.
PS If you found this guide helpful, please vote yes below. Thanks a lot.
If you are new to the world of amateur radio, you are probably buying equipment for the first time, and are wondering how to get the best deals and equipment for your money. There are certain thing you should look for when purchasing a short wave radio, and being armed with this information should make things much easier, especially for first-time buyers.
Do you want digital or analog tuning? Of course, digital tuning is much more accurate than analog tuning, but if you are just starting out and your budget is limited, you may consider purchasing a lower-end model. If this is the case, you probably will have no choice but to get a model with analog tuning. Just for the convenience of it, you may want to seriously consider spending a little bit more for a model that does have digital tuning.
Of course, you are going to want to be able to listen to as many radio stations as possible with your new short wave radio. Modes and the number of bands that the radio can be tuned to will be an important factor when choosing your radio model. You want a model that offers short wave, AM amd FM (most do anyway, so it’s just a matter of how expensive you want to go).
Do you like to listen to the radio through speakers, or with a headset? This is another factor you need to consider when deciding what model of short wave radio to purchase. You will be very limited if the model you choose only has a built-in speaker. It is best if you purchase a model that has a mono earphone jack. This way, you can plug in a speaker or hook it up to another audio system.
It’s not just a radio you have to worry about when getting into amateur radio. Once you have decided which model you want, you will need an antenna. Most models have a short, telescoping rod type of antenna, and some have a built-in antenna. But, if you purchase a model that has an external antenna jack, you will be able to get much better reception. This type of antenna can be as simple as a wire running from your radio to an outside location, such as a tree or the side of your garage. But, for optimal results, you should consider purchasing the proper gear.
You also want the shortwave radio model you choose to have more than one power option. Basic models may be battery-operated only, while with more expensive models, you will also have the option of being able to plug your radio into a household electrical outlet. It is best to have a model that offers both options, for a couple of reasons. For one thing, having a battery-powered unit can come in pretty handy in the event of power outages, especially if the outage is due to a storm. You will be able to learn about weather conditions, and tune into the emergency frequencies. Also, using your household power will save you batteries for when you really need them, such as the above-mentioned emergencies. Better yet, get rechargeable batteries, making sure they are always fully charged for when you need to use your radio without household electricity.
There are a few other things to look for when purchasing a short wave radio, including:
- Does it light up, so you can easily read frequencies and other information in the dark?
- How heavy is the unit, and will it fit into the area I have set aside for it?
- Is it waterproof? This may seem like a strange thing to want to look for, but it does make sense. Anything can happen, from rain coming in through open windows to spilling drinks.
Here is a list of some shortwave radio models that are popular today, all priced at less than $200:
Grundig Satellit 750 FM/AM/Air/Shortwave Radio
Grundig G3 Globe Traveler Radio
Grundig G6 Aviator Buzz Aldrin Edition Shortwave Radio
Grundig S350 Deluxe AM/FM/SW Radio
Grundig G8 Traveller II AM/FM/LW/SW Radio w/ ATS
Eton FR350 Water-Resistant Radio
Eton FR250 Emergency Radio
Eton FR300 Multi-Purpose Radio
Dynamo Emergency Crank Radio with AM/FM/NOAA Bands
KA1102 DIGITAL AM FM SSB
Sangean AM/FM 12-Band World Band Receiver
USA KA1103 AM FM SSB HF Short Wave Radio Receiver
These are just a few of the models that are available. You can get more details about these short wave radios, and other models, at various stores and online. Try the Radio Shack website…there are a number of models available. Also, you may want to check out E-bay auctions for some great deals on amateur radio products.
- Tecsun Dual Speaker Digital Radio (boingboing.net)
- Five Star Shortwave Receivers – AOR thru Icom (newshuntergatherer.wordpress.com)
- Five Star Shortwave Receivers – Japan Radio thru Racal (newshuntergatherer.wordpress.com)