I was looking at a used Sage, and the warranty card had already been sent in. I called Sage, and asked how much they would charge for a new tip section if I broke it. They said $150 w/o a warranty. With a warranty, they still charge $50, so if the price is right, you might be getting a deal (especially if it's a discontinued rod and not available new). I've only broken one rod in 35 years, and that was in a truck door (18 yrs old, and no case
As far as ebay, I'd look at the person's feedback, as well as the other items they're selling. I've seen sellers with a feedback score in the thousands, but they're mostly selling plates and salt shakers. If a seller is mostly selling fly fishing gear, I'd feel much more comfortable.
A strong light and a magnifying lens should be used once you receive the rod, and run along every inch of the rod. That's what I do with new rods. You never know....
P.S. Ard Wrote:
One more thing, do not get caught up in bidding when the price is spiraling upward. Know what the rod is worth and stop there.
I found myself doing that a couple of times, determined to win at any cost. I have a max amount now, and won't go a dime higher. I don't buy collectible gear, and the stuff I'm looking for comes along regularly.