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The first time I bought a used bowling ball online, it was a rush job and I unfortunately paid the price for it.
My local pro shop charged $110 for one of my favorite balls, but on eBay the same ball was going for less than half that price!
Maybe you already know, but when you buy a used bowling ball from someone on eBay or Facebook, they’ll tell you all about how great the ball was for their league and what kind of strikes they got with it and whatnot...
Unfortunately, they won’t tell you that now, it has a smashed pin!
Or, oh I don't know...that the ball was used for cheating!
Good luck trying to negotiate a full or even partial refund. Not gonna happen. Sorry.
My point is, there are hidden dangers when it comes to buying bowling balls on eBay or Facebook…
And if you’re going to buy used bowling balls from sellers in either of those marketplaces, buy smart.
How can you buy smart?
Right now I’d like to share 3 common mistakes to avoid when buying bowling balls from eBay or Facebook.
If you’re not buying a new ball, there are many other problems that could arise.
Maybe it's a damaged ball. Maybe the bowling alley where the ball was used couldn't keep up with its maintenance and now that ball has become too scratched up to use anymore.
So buy new when you can.
Here's a trick if you can’t and a used ball is your only option:
Ask the seller if you can see more pictures of the ball...but this time with today's date and your eBay username (or real name if the offer is from a Facebook Group or Facebook Marketplace) written on a piece of paper next to the seller's ball.
The date and your eBay username next to the seller's ball guarantees that the seller at least has the ball...
But just because a dishonest seller has the ball…
It doesn’t mean they still can’t take your money and then send you a box of moon rocks, because they can!
So this trick won’t guarantee that you get your bowling ball, but it at least proves that the seller possesses the ball, which is step one when buying anything, right?
Remember, especially on eBay, the burden of proof is on the person claiming to have a real product, so wait for them to prove they've got exactly what they're telling you they've got.
If there's no way to verify whether the ball's condition is what the seller claims, then don't buy!
This is another mistake to avoid when you’re buying a used ball: ignoring the lane conditions the ball was used in.
"Are there marks on the ball?"
"Do you see any other signs of wear?"
"Did the ball get used on tournament conditions or did it only get used on house conditions?"
"How was the ball stored over the winter and when not in use during lockdown?"
These are all good questions to ask. Why?
Well, sometimes pictures just aren't enough - the way light can reflect off of a bowling ball might not reveal marks on the ball.
And so when pictures aren't enough, you need to ask the seller to describe the ball's condition in words.
If you're not satisfied with what they tell you, go spend your hard earned money somewhere else!
This third one is another mistake people make when buying a used bowling ball: they don't ask about the finger holes.
A good question to ask is:
"How deep are the finger holes?" Depending on the depth of the finger holes, the ball might be illegal according to official USBC rules. Plus, the effect that deep finger have on ball dynamics can completely throw your game off.
Another question you can ask is how well the finger holes were drilled. Sounds silly at first because a machine drill can do amazing things, but truth is, no machine is perfect...
A drill wears out over time and could leave you with finger holes that aren't perfectly round. It doesn't take much to make finger holes that are slightly off and ruin your game.
So before you buy someone's used ball, make sure the seller shows you clear pictures of all the finger holes.
Buying used balls on eBay or Facebook can be tricky...
At the end of the day, when you’re buying a new or used bowling ball off of eBay or Facebook, make sure that you ask plenty of questions.
You can even ask how the ball was used and how it was stored (this is equally important for new, undrilled balls, too); this way you avoid getting stuck with an expensive but unusable item.
When you buy from an individual reseller from eBay or Facebook Marketplace, I recommend asking if the seller can send you a picture showing today's date and your name on a piece of paper next to their ball; this way you know whether or not the product is real before you send them any money.
This article should help keep you out of trouble when shopping around for new gear!
Here is a link of the Latest Bowling Balls!