With plenty of secondhand CB’s always available for sale you can usually get your station up and running even if you are working on a budget. But how to go about buying a second hand CB radio and make sure you are getting a good deal and not getting something that has been played around with by someone who has no idea what they are doing. Here are my rules and a few tips when looking at a secondhand radio…….

The Geek Friend

Most of us know that one person who has embraced a subject or hobby and made it their mission to learn all they can about it. Some people may think that this is a bit sad but the truth is these people are worth their weight in gold, if you can get access to the “radio geek” the task of buying a shiny secondhand radio is going to be a lot easier.

If your geek friend asks the seller if its OK to take the lid off and look inside your in very safe hands.

Buying from a Trusted Dealer

Nearly all retailers who sell CB and amateur equipment will have a selection of used items for sale sometimes taken in part exchange against brand new radios. Buying from a good dealer will give you at least a limited guarantee on the product and the knowledge that your secondhand purchase has been reconditioned by people who have an understanding in this field of electronics as most are licensed amateurs with years of experience repairing and building transceivers.

The market for radios can be small in some countries and a dealer will not want to get a bad reputation by selling faulty goods as this can get around the CB community very quickly.

From Markets and Car Boot Sales

I have on the very rare occasion picked up a radio from one of these places but only after having a good look at the inside and being able to power it up and play with it, any seller who is serious about CB radio will have a way to demonstrate the unit working. If you cant see it working then walk away and don’t look back.

If you see what you want and it all looks in working order then don’t forget to try and haggle the price down a bit, the vast majority of people walking past their stall will have no interest in the CB so if a sale is on the cards you may be able to get a discount.

Reputation on auction sites is everything, because of the easy access to the feedback left by buyers and sellers those who try to scam people are found out quickly and drift away as their sales dry up.

First thing to do is take a good look at the advert, are there good pictures of the item for sale and has the seller described the item well. Examine the sellers feedback and look for any warning signs like sending out goods different from the one advertised or a very poor response in dealing with any complaints and check they have posted proper contact details so you can get in touch if you need to.

If you have any questions about the CB send them to the seller before you bid!.

Try to go with one of the business sellers or individual sellers with a good solid reputation, remember that you are buying secondhand goods that you have never seen so judge each item accordingly.

The protection for eBay members is the best it has even been and as long you follow the guidelines above you have a good chance of bagging a deal.

My Main Rules

Now you have an idea of what to expect when looking for a secondhand radio lets go over my main rules when buying.

Try and take someone who knows more about what you are buying than you do, if only to see the fear on the dodgy sellers face when they realize that are about to be rumbled.

Always ask to see the unit working and if they have another radio on hand check that the one you are buying actually transmits.

Ask about any repairs or modifications carried out on the set and who were they done by, remember not all mods are going to improve the radio and a mod done badly can seriously mess thing up.

I have never paid good money for a dud by following this set of rules.