I recently bought a new Yamaha Bobby Shew trumpet on ebay. It’s the older model, but it’s in good condition. It has a few dents and scratches but nothing more than you’d expect from normal use and no red rot.
However, here’s something that I didn’t consider. It was filthy. I took one look at the mouthpiece and decided it was probably harbouring some hideous disease. I threw it in some hot water and salt and ran some cotton buds through it (I need to buy another mouthpiece brush after the ‘universal’ one I bought from Music Room doesn’t fit down a trumpet mouthpiece shank) to find the thickest black gunk I’ve ever seen come out of one. I’ve had to clean some gunge out of my mouthpieces before but I’ve never let them get to this state.
The trumpet was in a similar state. The main tuning slide and second valve slides are stuck fast, as are the bottom caps. Peering into the valve casing reveals that these also have a hearty amount of black deposit inside, but I can’t remove them to clean it off.
After a clean, the trumpet plays much more like you would expect this model to and it’s very nice. I will have to send it in for a service to remove all the stuck bits as I don’t have the correct tools at home. It’s an inherent risk with buying musical instruments off ebay. At £650 I can hardly complain, although it’s annoying to have to wait over Christmas until I can fully enjoy it.