Buying second hand

I would be grateful if those experienced in second hand purchases could offer any advice. I have always bought new so have not dipped my toe in the water so to speak. The seller has requested collection only which would involve a long journey but at least I can see what I am buying. Is it prudent to ask for a demo in these situations. I guess I can check the serial number also to confirm date of build.

If you are collecting I would take the opportunity to listen, even if only briefly to ascertain that the bit of kit works. Most people are pretty decent when it comes to selling gear, but there are some rogues out there, so it is wise to be cautious and if buying from a well know auction site, check how long they have been a member and the selling and purchasing history, but as you are collecting I think you can be pretty sure they are legit.


^^^^ agree with paul

(and most of our hifi kit is s/h)


I have bought ‘pre-loved’, quite a bit - most of my system now. BUT - all the big purchases have been from either Cymbiosis or TomTom. So I was pretty sure everything worked - and I was able to either hear them running, or try them at home. Nothing… has ever gone back…!!

I did buy my 72 & 140 on the Bay - and they were fine, too.

Naim kit is inherently quite robust, IMHO - and is a very safe ‘buy’. But - do factor in the potential need for servicing…!!

PS. You can do the Serial No/History checks before you travel. I would…


The fact that the seller is saying collection should give a lot of confidence. I’ve bought various bits secondhand and driven to collect: various speakers, a 552, Fraim. I’ve sold loads too, with people coming round to collect. I’ve never asked for a demo nor offered one. People you buy from aren’t your friends, they usually want you to hand over the cash, take the item and bugger off.

I always try to sell my stuff on Pink Fish. It’s a place where people either know or know of each other and it’s a much safer way to buy and sell.


You’d need to agree to do this with the seller.

I had one chap who turned up 4 hours late, tried to knock me down to cover his fuel and then parked his arse in my seat and wanted a demo! Needless to say he paid my asking price and left without a demo.


Good advice here. I have taken to always having a phone conversation with the seller. I may be naive but I think you can tell a lot even from a brief conversation - mostly by clarifying that the seller is another hifi enthusiast. If I were to speak to someone who had nothing to say about why they were selling, what they were replacing it with, what the rest of their system was, and so on, I would begin to wonder why they had it in the first place and how they had got hold of it.


I’ve had some dreadful people come round, who are really demanding, go on and on about their pet theories and are really hard to get rid of. I’ve had people who’ve slagged off parts of my system. Awful. The advantage of Covid was that people can be kept outside! I’ve met lots of lovely people too of course, but sadly it’s the pains in the neck I remember.


General rules of thumb:

Try to gauge the seller. Ask some questions before buying. Even if you know the answers. “How old is it?” “Has it been serviced?”. Someone selling an expensive piece of hifi equipment should have reasonable answers for this.

Get the serial number. You can usually see it in the photos. Ring Naim to see how old it is and whether it needs servicing.

The last bit of equipment I bought off ebay I got detailed answers from the seller explaining why he was selling and his upgrade plans. He was clearly a hifi fan.


I’ve had plenty of experience buying / selling on Pink Fish over the years most members (high percentage) on there are decent trustworthy people.


It’s not just me then :slightly_smiling_face:
I’ve met some lovely people too, one chap who bought my mint CB HiCap was so enthusiastic and chatty that it took his wife to keep pressing the horn on the car before he reluctantly left, with a smile and his Hicap :grin:
It had been half an hour of chatting Naim though so I could understand his wife was getting impatient.


Hi Stu, here is a run down of what I’ve done with the components in my now end game system:

CDP 555 new, added second 555PS as X-dem.
500 bought ex-dem 2012 and was later serviced and DRed.
S1 Pre ex-dem.
PMC Fact 12s ex-dem.
SL-loom new.
Fear not it all sounds pretty good to me :+1:t3: Best Peter


I’ve always bought new in the past but would never have the system i have now if it wasn’t for pre-loved or ex-demo kit.

I do always try to purchase if and when i can from a dealer though. Having said that i’ve had some terrific used bargain kit from a certain auction site. More luck than judgment I’d say. It’s just a case of knowing what you want and going in with the pounce at the right time.


Most of my system is second hand (usually from dealers) or ex demo with the exception of my NDX2 which I did purchase new. As others have said a demo is a good idea… I would also check if the item has been serviced by Naim or Class 1 if its near or past the point where a service is desireable. Generally Naim equipment is robust and reliable and owners tend to look after it as its good quality and expensive. Best of luck!



I’ve brought a 20 year old NAP250 of eBay and NAP82 off Pink Fish. No issues whatsoever, but I did then get them serviced straight away for piece of mind. They came back like new. I also recently got a XPS/DR from an eBay HiFi Shop - again no issues, and has allowed me to have a system that I could never have afforded normally


There is certainly no harm in asking and at the very least inspecting to see if it is indeed as described.

As an aside, being a cheapskate I do buy 2nd hand quite a lot. I have found it to be a great way to get good and often almost new kit for a fraction of the new price. One does need to take care for sure here is some protection with using eBay and the like, especially when paying by Paypal. One can also get some 2nd hand HiFi through dealers and with some kind of guarantee, there are also specialist online 2nd hand dealers. It is worth checking these out in my view and although the prices may be at the higher end you can get good deals.

For example last year I bought a NAP200 that had been fully serviced by Class A in Sheffield less than a year ago with full invoice details etc. The price was less than I have seen for some on eBay and came with a 6-month warranty.


If I was collecting from a seller I would expect to see the item working (not a demo). If all was ok then great. If something didn’t work that’s another matter. I would never try to barter someone down after I’ve bid or agreed to buy.

I once bought some speakers from a really nice guy and didn’t hear them…result one blown tweeter, my error.

Equally, when I sell, I want collection, specifically so I can show the buyer the item working and meets the condition I have described.

Only one seller has tried to get me to pay more than we agreed and all people I have dealt with have been good. I’ve enjoyed meeting them and love hearing about their systems…I don’t get out much!!!


Thanks for sharing your experiences. I will certainly ask some questions of the seller as suggested. The date of production indicates a service is a long way off so should be ok on that score. I would like to think I would be respectful and courteous when conducting a deal and would stick with an agreed price which seems fair. To me it seems reasonable to have a brief listen to ensure all is working fine before the deal is done and hopefully this can be agreed before making the journey.
The thought has occured to me to first discuss with my dealer if there are any opportunities for deals on ex-demo equipment, although I suspect I will have to pay more this way.

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Look out for graded stuff too from dealers. Small imperfections with A classification being practically perfect with 20% discount off and a reduced 2 year warranty make great buys. I bought my sn3 like that and got £700 off, plus the dealer still gave me a 5 year warranty. The first one that arrived was more like grade c and the front plate was loose presumably as a consequence of transit. It was returned and fortunately the dealer had another much better example sent to me

I’ve bought loads of stuff second hand and remember in the noughties carrying around thousands in pounds and meeting at Little Huts at motorway service stations. Those were the days. I think my most expensive second hand purchase was a 500 for about £6k in cash!

Repairs on Naim kit seems to have a set figure of £500 these days afaik. In case you should buy a duffer.

If buying from a private individual how do most people pay these days? Still cash or a bank draft? Or a bank transfer. I don’t like the idea of carrying around thousands these days in cash. When I used to sell myself , I would be nervous as hell until I got to the bank and the counter clerk counted it all out and stamped my payment book.

Obviously some risks buying second hand but you can pick up a really good buy. Definitely try to do your homework on the buyer and ask them some pertinent questions and you’ll soon spot a fraudster. Collection in person rather than an item being posted inspires confidence too. Totally agree about the Pink Fish website. You’ll find people on this forum often selling there too.

I can’t afford this Naim stuff new myself. I aspire to Naim gear but I earn an Audiolab like salary! It also works out much better vfm that way too.


Bought all my gear second hand… Naim is pretty much bullet proof…
Saved me thousands