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Things to look out for when buying used


This forum has been the worst for comfort shoppers. Just one week of returning and I’ve been tempted into buying either a Rex Ambassador or a Timeless. However, the problem is that they’re quite pricey instruments, and I don’t like reselling anything once I’ve bought it - hence I’ve decided to pick up a used one if I can to try it out, and move on to a new one if I like it.

My questions are - if you’re buying used (not from BST, from that auction site or that social network for example), what things do you look out for?

If an item is described as ‘used’, would you still expect that item to function correctly, e.g. the dial on an Ambassador should work as expected?

Any thoughts or advice about buying used appreciated, as I’ve only ever bought new before this.

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Beware of auctions where the photos are poorly focused or not showing a part of the razor. For example if the have several photos but none showing the top cap. You have to ask yourself why. Inspect as well as you can from the photos. Zoom in if possible and look closely. Research before you buy and not after. I am often guilty of not following that advice!
+1 On asking the seller and know what you are looking for.

A lot of times people selling things on auction sites are just pushing things out the door and aren't really that well informed on what things should or shouldn't do or look like (example, the Upside Down Baseplate Appreciation Thread :eek:)

Just ping them and give them what to look for. For example, someone was listing a Gillette razor but didn't list what year it was from (it was a Slim). I sent them a note of where to look and they responded with the info.

Also, if I bought something I would expect it to work correctly unless it was indicated that it was broken. I have purchased many razors from the bay and only had an issue with one of the them (seller didn't realize the head on a SuperSpeed is not supposed to come off :biggrin1:). A quick note to them when it arrived and they refunded my money promptly.

I will say that purchasing from the BST on this site will help with any uncertainties as they are fellow members and will do their best to fully describe what it is they are selling because they know what they have.

Good luck!


Thanks all, going to attempt to bid on a Rex later in the week, from the looks and sounds of things it’s a fairly worn specimen which will be perfect for me, so long as it still works!

I think with adjustable razors like this one, there is the added concern that the warranty won’t apply, but that’s a relatively minor concern I suppose.

In the meantime, went and picked up another of my “grail” razors... a Feather AS-D2. I should just go to sleep!
Buying razors on auction sites can be hit or miss, but I've had good luck this year on auction sites. I bought in February a 1934 Aristocrat in very good shape in an original box in equally good shape. There were several other serious bidders, so I paid a bit more than I expected to get it, but it's a great razor and probably my favorite among my vintage Gillettes. The razor looked good in the auction photos and the seller seemed knowledgeable. In April, I bought a 1915 Milady Decollete and original box for a very good price. Again, the photos looked good and the seller was knowledgeable. The razor and care look nearly new and hardly used. I attribute the low price to the pandemic and the fact that the Milady is a women's razor. It's too beautiful to use frequently, but it shaved well the couple of times I used it. Among other things, you need to know something about the particular used razor before you bid on it and study auction sales to know what's a fair price. Also, if a razor is your holy grail, I say go for it. Unless you're bidding on a Gillette Toggle or some other rarity, you aren't talking about big money in the scheme of things.
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