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eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? Empty eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really?

Post  dragnse7en Mon Oct 24, 2022 5:54 am

Hello everyone out there who buys used Cox engines on eBay,

I have run into some bad experience with a few purchases I made on eBay, and want some advice to avoid getting burned again.

Some eBay sellers list their used Cox engines with the term "turns over smoothly with good compression" or a phrase very close to that. Well, the reality is that their definition of that is WAY OFF. So far, two engines arrived in my mailbox practically begging to be boned apart for spare parts because a fart with lumps would have more compression.

What more could I do to avoid this dilemma? I'm sure that some of the sellers think in their minds that the motor they're selling is okay, and I am not placing blame for that. I know I can ask the seller for more details, but if they're not savvy in this hobby then what is one to do?

I don't want to risk another crap shoot on a future purchase, but something tells me that some sellers that aren't familiar with the hobby are just copying and pasting other sellers' descriptions, which I see now can be puzzling and somewhat frustrating.

Any specific advice?
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Post  rsv1cox Mon Oct 24, 2022 7:14 am

Before bidding check the sellers feedback and return policy. Ask questions prior to bidding and "Buyer Beware."
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Post  GallopingGhostler Mon Oct 24, 2022 10:04 am

Bob is correct, especially his last statement, "Buyer beware." I too have been cheated a couple times by deceptive wording of sellers, some of whom interestingly enough had good feedback ratings. Particularly suspect are sellers totally unfamiliar with engines and utilize an "expert" friend to give them descriptions.

Here is one example: https://www.coxengineforum.com/t12115-kb-35-stallion-acquisition
eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? 2018-031

Seller's description of crankcase aluminum casting occlusions during manufacture, the only thing manufactured was his description. It had been carefully sand or bead blasted to remove incriminating evidence it was damaged by water and corrosion. (This wasn't an engine of the 1950's, later research revealed it was produced in the mid 1970's.) Fortunately, I was able to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse, description of its condition my restoration work is in the thread.

Another, I purchased a K&B .20 Sportster R/C, described in good running condition. When it arrived, the chrome plated piston had chrome eroded away completely at combustion side and cylinder heavily scored.

eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? Kb_spo12

Fortunately, a Brotherhood of the Ring forum friend, Dennis Lipsett (a personal friend of @Ken Cook) sent me 2 parts engines for cost of postage, to which I was able to repair it to running condition.

This post explains how I was able to obtain M7.0x1 metric nuts to prop an Enya .35-III TV E-Bay buy. Local Fastenal store in my rural town came to my rescue:

https://www.coxengineforum.com/t16219-prop-rod-engine-screws-and-restoration#210113

eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? Enya3510

This is the deceptive photo by seller. He used an ANSI nut loosely placed over the shaft but did not fit the screw threads, making for a good photo.
eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? Enya3512

Now I understand why I was the only bidder and fortunately got the engine for a very reasonable price. That is the key, I just made sure I didn't invest a lot of money in my bids. More often than not, I came out ahead, Very Happy but I did have a few sour apples along the way. Doh!

Yet, I did come out a winner with a brand new without box K&B .45 Sportster R/C engine:

https://www.coxengineforum.com/t16607-i-found-something-cool-i-think-need-a-kb-expert#214792

eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? 2022-069

In another case, I got a good, used Cox .049 Medallion mislabeled by seller as a Tee Dee, which steered sellers away, for less than $30 US shipping included.

https://www.coxengineforum.com/t11964-will-td-049-carb-body-fit-medallion-049-crankcase#152837
eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? 2018-014

There are some good sellers out there, of course our Cox International and Ex Model Engines, gatafish, Bob Brooks, a gentleman from Las Cruces, NM, etc. With those, I was always satisfied with my buys.

But like Bob says, "Buyer Beware". Fully examine photos, descriptions, seller feedback, etc. If there are discrepancies, step away. Life isn't over if you thought you missed out on the deal of the century. Use Peter Parkers Spidery Sense. Laughing
At least for me, where I got a bad deal that could not be fixed, I didn't spend a lot of money to begin with. Stereo
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Post  944_Jim Mon Oct 24, 2022 12:59 pm

I've been burned the same way too many times lately. Several duds showing up after reading "good compression/smooth turn over" and "pops like it should."

I bid short, or offered to buy short. I figured it could only be a short loss, or a good win! Too many short losses later, and I've changed my habits. Now I'm willing to spend more money if the engine was proven running recently...as in, show me a benchtest video. I know that just about doubled the increased labor for the seller, but I'll be assured my dollars and going for potential junk...and so I'll pay for the "pre-purchase" check out. It will also keep me from collecting shelf trophies.
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Post  sosam117 Mon Oct 24, 2022 1:06 pm

Yep,
Besides *bay, R/C Group is not as good as it used to be either.
The Classified sections are getting more and more scammers and the like.

Last year I purchased from the Engine Classified section a very "Rare" CS Boddo Mills .75.
It was posted as "New In Box" (NIB) ran on test stand a couple of times and was listed for $130.00

The seller had many good "trader feedbacks" and has been a member for about 3 years with a few postings elsewhere.
So, I thought it was safe to purchase from him?

I was able to contact him by PM and paid the $130.00 plus shipping (about $150.00 total)

Well, I go the engine and it looked great! The engine looked like the photos except one minor problem.

There is a crack running from the prop drive washer to the main journal on the crankcase.

eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? Crack_13
eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? Crack_11
eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? Crack_12
eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? Cracke11
eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? Cracke12
eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? Cracke13

I pointed it out to the seller and asked him how this crack could have happened and asked to ship the engine back at his cost and for me to get a refund as this engine was not in good condition with a crack crankshaft housing.
He didn't reply ---- no answer ---- nada?
So, I gave him a bad review. Then I noticed he had many other bad reviews (oops. -- missed that step on the sellers background)
Then, he blasts me on the discussion section of R/C group for being a bad buyer for not knowing that the sale was "as is"
Now there were then "trolls" that backed up the bad seller with all of their troll replies and I was just a pathetic bitter buyer.

I shipped the engine to one of my Aussie friends (Allan) for him to keep.
Allan knew the two Aussie engine guys well (may both of them r.i.p.) and I figured he might be able to get a new crankshaft case for The Boddo CS .75 Mills?
As what Allan told me Boddo's son might have some parts available in his dad's shop?

So, *bay and R/C groups I stay away from. I'll look but then think otherwise about purchasing it.
The Japanese auction site is much better but I'm more selective there because of the shipping costs from Japan to the USA .

https://buyee.jp/item/search/query/Cox/category/25464?translationType=1

If you do any bidding on the Japan's auction site, be aware of the Japan's Aviation restriction law with anything to do with the word "engine". Model or otherwise.

SEE EXAMPLE:
From: Buyee Customer Support
Sent: Sunday, October 23, 2022 9:32 PM
To: sosam117
Subject: [164436091-1]<> Regarding your package [A2210230010]

Dear sosam117,

This is the Buyee Customer Support.
Thank you for using our service.
We are writing about your package【A2210230010】, which is registered to your [My Page].
Upon confirmation of the package contents, in accordance to the Aviation Law and International Postal Regulations, the following item included in the package is prohibited from being shipped internationally using any couriers including Japan Post and UPS.

Package information:
-----------------------------------------
Auction ID:【R22102101735】
Prohibited Item:
【Engine】
-----------------------------------------
Please choose one of the following options on how you would like to proceed with your package:
OPTIONS:
Ⅰ. Ship your item to a domestic (Japanese) address.
Ⅱ. Discard your item.

*Please note*
* Buyee is unable to cancel the transaction and return the item to the seller.
* If you choose option Ⅱ. and would like to discard your item, please note that we will require a payment for all the fees (such as domestic shipping fee, consumption tax, etc.) that were generated during the shipment to our warehouse.

In addition, we are unable to refund the item's purchasing cost if you choose to discard your item.
Please let us know your preferred option at your earliest convenience, and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions or concerns.

Sincerely,
Seki
Buyee Customer Support
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
Buyee Customer Service Office Hours: Weekdays, 10:00~17:00
(JST
)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, what is my restricted package 【A2210230010】?

eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? Enya_179

I won the auction and the engine cost me $82.15 (USD) then the shipping cost from seller to Buyee's warehouse ($6.31)
Then Buyee's auction fees of about $9.00 for a total of about $97.46 (USD) and since it is restricted, I'll have to pay for the shipping to my "dear" friend's domestic address in Tokyo Japan to where then he will ship it to me.

How do I have a good friend in Japan? He asks me for some parts for American engines that he can't get in Japan.
So, If the Yen goes up, it costs me less (as it has been for the last 4 months).

Nice looking engine? It has the original box, tools, glow plug and instructions (though the instructions are in Japanese language)

If it is restricted, then you'll have to either forfeit the item (even though you paid for it) or ship it to a "friend" in Japan for him to send it to you as "toy parts -- motor."
One other thing. You have to have a proxy buyer (I have Buyee as my proxy buyer) to bid on the items for you on the Japan's auction site.

One thing I like on the Japan's auction site is, if a bid is placed in the last 5 minutes the auction is extended another ten minutes.
So, what happens is you don't get this last second guy getting the last bid over yours and you lose out.
It's more like how much are you going to pay for it before you drop out? (too high of a price for you?)


Last edited by sosam117 on Mon Oct 24, 2022 2:10 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling mistakes // lase second bidding / restrictions)
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Post  balogh Mon Oct 24, 2022 1:39 pm

Sorry for your disappointing experience, CEF mates.

As far as I am concerned, with more than 70 COX engines purchased on ebay so far, I have not burnt my fingers yet with an over-stated engine quality by the seller (knock on wood!!!) . I try to figure out by the photos attached if the used engine shows a shiny piston in the exhaust port, or, the photo shows a greyish, scratchy, obviously fairly or extensively used piston. The general condition of the engine - burrs on the exhaust port where wrench may have been stuck in, goo collected on the fins, etc. - may also disclose that the engine is either past its retirement age or, was just simply abused.

I avoid using my cellphone in such judgement situations, but rely on the much larger and sharper screen of my laptop. I know it is still not a 100% guarantee that what you buy remotely will really prove when delivered  to be what you were hoping for, but so far it has worked out well.
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Post  cstatman Mon Oct 24, 2022 2:24 pm

i think the nail on the head was some discussion about - maybe got description from friend, or copied

I try to look at the seller, and understand if they are selling airplane stuff, or just any sort of antique junk
is it possible they bought the motors in a lot at garage sale, and have NO IDEA what it is?
or is this a "known" cox seller, who knows what they are talking about

then I look at photos.
THEN - I figure out how much, exactly, I am willing to COMPLETELY LOSE on the deal
thats as much as I will bid. My price is my price, and I think "if I tore up all these dollars, threw them in the street, and lit them on fire, would I be okay?"

Sure, I WANT one of the .010s looks new in box. but I am not willing to lose $100+. once the bidding passes my top price? I mark the auction to watch, and see what it went for, but I don't get caught in bidding.

sorry to hear about the folks who got raw deals. I've had a few. it made me sad.
but I've also had some great deals, that offsets the bummers.

good luck, and feel free to ship me all your TDs you don't want anymore... Smile
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Post  balogh Mon Oct 24, 2022 2:43 pm

Maybe one more recipe of finding engines with better compression: I avoid buying later production engines with the smooth/even piston top, see the photo below..pistons with the dimple on the top indicate earlier production with genuinely tighter fit...meaning these latter pistons will better seal after the same running hours than the loosely fit smooth top piston...at least in my experience. The smooth types in my NIB engines in carton boxes are falling through the cylinder due to the loose fit.

So if the seller offers a photo into the cylinder with the glow head removed, you have a chance to " look into the horse's mouth"


eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? 16666410

I am not sure why older pistons came with that circular dimple on the top, (maybe the balljoint cap was swaged into the older pistons from the top??, and machined by lathe into later ones from the parent material???) but I find those with the dimple much better fitting than newer ones.

Of course the fit has nothing to do with the dimple itself (which is just an age indicator), but with the production year, whereas the production tolerance mandate in earlier COX engines was given up in younger engines as one of the cost cutting efforts.
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Post  dragnse7en Mon Oct 24, 2022 3:01 pm

Thank you kindly guys!

After reading all these replies, I realize that we've all experienced pretty much the same, albeit some extremes. You're all a great help.

All this info has made me see the bigger picture. One thing for sure - in the future, as tempting as it is for me, I will be definitely avoid any listings for auction or sale ANYWHERE from an estate seller or one of those storage wars owner/seller people - no matter how tempting the photos may look of the engine. If it's not new, then no thanks. I just got to practice my sarcastic "aww! how pretty!" to myself any time I see this sort of thing down the road.

Wow - it seems that Japan decided to use Cox's name to make weird funko pop looking VW beetle toy cars - "Awww! Aren't they butt ugly?!?" hahaa

thanks again - keep the advice and input coming!
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Post  GallopingGhostler Mon Oct 24, 2022 4:26 pm

balogh wrote:eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? 16666410

I am not sure why older pistons came with that circular dimple on the top, (maybe the balljoint cap was swaged into the older pistons from the top??, and machined by lathe into later ones from the parent material???) but I find those with the dimple much better fitting than newer ones.

Of course the fit has nothing to do with the dimple itself (which is just an age indicator), but with the production year, whereas the production tolerance mandate  in earlier COX engines was given up in younger engines as one of the cost cutting efforts.
András, perhaps the dimpled piston crown was a tell-tale sign that the cylinder was the more preferred tapered one with better compression and life? Smile

sosam117 wrote:Yep, Besides *bay, R/C Group is not as good as it used to be either. The Classified sections are getting more and more scammers and the like. Last year I purchased from the Engine Classified section a very "Rare" CS Boddo Mills .75. It was posted as "New In Box" (NIB) ran on test stand a couple of times and was listed for $130.00 [...] Well, I go the engine and it looked great! The engine looked like the photos except one minor problem.

There is a crack running from the prop drive washer to the main journal on the crankcase.
eBay listing descriptions - "Turns over, Good compression" - really? Crack_12

[...] Then I noticed he had many other bad reviews (oops. -- missed that step on the sellers background) Then, he blasts me on the discussion section of R/C group for being a bad buyer for not knowing that the sale was "as is". Now there were then "trolls" that backed up the bad seller with all of their troll replies and I was just a pathetic bitter buyer. [...] So, *bay and R/C groups I stay away from. I'll look but then think otherwise about purchasing it.
Sorry to hear that you got stiffed by an RCG seller, @sosam117. That is not an as-is case. The crack omission is a gross, dishonest misrepresentation by the seller. I suppose one could drill a hole at the end of the crack, if not in a critical area and plug it to prevent further crack propagation. Then machine a collar 0.001" undersize and press it on the prop end of the crankcase to hold it together. But, that would be for someone with the tools, short of a replacement crankcase, and change its historic looks, although might salvage it as a runner. (But then, any engine could be used as a runner.)

dragnse7en wrote:thanks again - keep the advice and input coming!
Perhaps a safer bet may be the seller's forum in Stunt Hangar. It is a smaller more tightly knit group. Not saying that you will not have a bad deal, but may be a bit safer than the 'Bay or other major model plane forums, social media, etc. There is also our for sales area here in CEF worth keeping an eye on.
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Post  sosam117 Tue Oct 25, 2022 6:12 am

dragnse7en wrote:Thank you kindly guys!

After reading all these replies, I realize that we've all experienced pretty much the same, albeit some extremes.  You're all a great help.

All this info has made me see the bigger picture.  One thing for sure - in the future, as tempting as it is for me, I will be definitely avoid any listings for auction or sale ANYWHERE from an estate seller or one of those storage wars owner/seller people - no matter how tempting the photos may look of the engine.  If it's not new, then no thanks.  I just got to practice my sarcastic "aww! how pretty!" to myself any time I see this sort of thing down the road.

Wow - it seems that Japan decided to use Cox's name to make weird funko pop looking VW beetle toy cars - "Awww! Aren't they butt ugly?!?"  hahaa

thanks again - keep the advice and input coming!


Cox teamed up with Sanwa in Japan in the later years.
And Sanwa was/is a large manufacture of many things. Even today in Japan.
I have a Sanwa analog and digital volt meters. They are still making R/C radio gear (which use to be Airtronics radios).
If you don't diversify your product line and sell only one thing, you won't be around for long?

I was fortunate enough to be stationed in Japan for a while in the US Airforce.
Things were really cheap in the mid 1970's when I was there. (USD to the Yen -- about $1.00 = ¥350)
A new in box Enya .09-III could be had for less than $16.00 (wish I could get one now for that price?)
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Post  getback Tue Oct 25, 2022 6:54 am

I myself look for the engine having the right parts , mounting lugs wear , even locked up engine shows i was running and yes the description matters, this seller i have bought from also and he is short on words most time and that is an indicator right off if trying to sell (push) the engine or whatever . And when you sell on the Bay sometimes get the option of using someone else's pics./phrases to sell your item .. for me that didn't iron to well as said , i don't use that option . eBay policy is pretty much if you don't like your purchase you can get a refund , even if the seller will not !!!! I Love This Forum! sunny
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Post  dragnse7en Tue Oct 25, 2022 7:33 am

getback wrote:I myself look for the engine having the right parts , mounting lugs wear , even locked up engine shows i was running and yes the description matters, this seller i have bought from also and he is short on words most time and that is an indicator right off if trying to sell (push) the engine or whatever . And when you sell on the Bay sometimes get the option of using someone else's pics./phrases to sell your item .. for me that didn't iron to well as said , i don't use that option . eBay policy is pretty much if you don't like your purchase you can get a refund , even if the seller will not !!!! I Love This Forum! sunny

That last part rang out to me. A couple of years ago, in 2018, I had to get tough with an HK 'Bay seller after I bought one of the 1st Tamiya TA07MSX kits, and paid an extra 90 for expedited shipping. The car kit wasn't available in the USA at that time, and I was eager to get it. I contacted him over and over again regarding shipping it out, which he took forever to do. After 4 months of getting nowhere with the seller, I asked 'bay to step in, and they gave me back a full refund on the seller's behalf, and would turn to him to settle it.

By that time the car was finally available in the USA, and I used my refund and snatched one up from one of the major hobby distributors in Champaign, IL for about 30-40 bucks more.

Four more months go by. A mailman knocked on my door, handed me a big box literally covered with stamps - every square inch of it was covered with Chinese postage - looked like Andy Warhol pooped colors on it the stamps were bland colored and ugly. It was the 1st kit I ordered.

Long short, I got a second $789 kit for free, because the seller tried to use the regular snail mail by boat, adding more stamps and thinking it would get delivered faster.
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