You know the routine. It’s 2019, and which of us doesn’t go out and trawl around on eBay for repeater parts or commercial radios? I wanted to take a moment and outline why you get what you pay for, and why you might want to pay a little more to work with a reputable vendor.
KS-DMR recently made a bulk purchase of MTR2000s from Sunny Communications in Lakewood, CO (they also run used-radios.com). Readers who are repeater builders probably know what we’re talking about. These are the $475 40W UHF units they’re selling on e-bay, their website and directly.
Because we were buying a bunch of them, we worked directly with their sales staff and got a little bit of a discount, as well as made arrangements to pick them up and save on the shipping (Thanks Justin Reed, NV8Q). Shipping a pile of MTR2000s isn’t cheap for anyone, no matter how good your UPS discount is!
Long story short, we noticed that a couple of the radios in the pile had the wrong receivers in them. All were supposed to have receivers with the built-in varactor-tuned preselector (TRX4014), rather than the no-preselector receiver (CRX4004) that requires a mechanically tuned external preselector.
Well, anyone can make a mistake, and this is one of the finer points of the MTR2000 station that is generally misunderstood. One e-mail to our sales person, Zac Hill, at Sunny Communications and the problem was solved. They’re making good on it right away and shipped out parts almost immediately.
While I’ve had some sellers on eBay, etc. treat me this well (shout out to Chris Stevens in Broken Arrow, OK, eBay ID datapit7), it’s a rarity and always a gamble. And this is exactly why it might be worth it to do business with a reputable used radio shop.
In case you’re wondering, yes, this is a testimonial for Sunny Communications in Lakewood, CO. The radio you get from them may cost a little more than the one from “repeaterguy27 (123) 98.7% Positive Feedback” on eBay, but if there’s a problem, they’ve got your back. Sunny is a great example of one of the many resellers out there who stand behind their product. When you buy from them, you know you’re getting a good radio, and if something does go wrong, they’ve got your back. The premium in price you pay is because they’re taking the risk and eating the failures then they acquire the used inventory themselves.
The next time you’re looking for used radio gear, ask yourself… What if I get a dud and have to eat it? Then decide if it’s really worth it. Sometimes I’m willing to roll the dice, and I’ve won some and lost some. But when I don’t have the time or money to risk, I go with a shop I can count on.