Other guitar-y things

Online sales…

1

Just wondering what other people's experience with online sales has been. I suppose this is a little bit of an opportunity to vent some frustration. I was looking at several guitars online for a very specific project and wanting kind of a quirky old guitar with certain attributes. Based on a description of one saying that it "plays beautifully" I contacted the store (which has a good number positive ratings), and wanted to negotiate price. In the course of the conversation I casually asked if the frets and neck where in good shape, after a little while their tech tells me that first thing this guitar will want a refret to play properly. Then after I ask more questions, he tells me the neck has a slight bow in it. This to me does not seem like "plays beautifully" material and I say so, then he tells me "well it's a matter of opinion." or something like that. I tell him I'll need to think on it. I don't think I really have any real question that I'm asking, but when I list a guitar, I am super forthright about every ding, fret that buzzes, tone knob that has some scratchiness etc. I think it's the right thing to do, especially when it's a ling distance deal and the prospective buyer can't try it out. and this guitar has a whopping $200 shipping fee which would be non refundable if I did buy it and would want to return it given that it would need something like $400+ work to get it "playing beautifully". sorry for the rant, please ignore this and move on if you want, but feel free to add to the rant if you want to. (of course my life is blessed and full of everything I need, so to complain about something like this is truly a waste of time, but here I am anyway).

2

Buying online can be dicey.

I just don't pay shipping fees where someone is clearly trying to pull in some dough that way. I just bid under if I have to shell out for excessive shipping.

Still shipping prices are up, and FedX ground from East to west coasts, etc can be $125. But $200 is absurd.

Still this sounds a bit squirrely

3

How far away is the shop??? Is it maybe possible to do an in-person visit and see for yourself?

I tend to buy locally, or at least within a comfortable drive, say no more than five or six hours. I call them "excursions" and can usually find a nice boutique nearby for my lady to browse at the same time.

4

Caveat Emptor. Trust no one. If I can't see it in person, and play it, then I skip the deal.

5

How can a shop simultaneously claim that a guitar plays beautifully and needs a refret?!

6

I'm with Tsar Nicholas on this one. Good call on making a phone call. It seems that this shop isn't so forthright about everything with their instruments. Whatever will sell them, I guess.

7

I've had a few glitches buying new from the majors, but nothing I couldn't fix myself, and nothing I had to return. I'd probably have to think REAL hard before pulling the trigger on something big-ticket/ vintage. Fortunately for me, Wildwood is local and I've dropped most of the really big bux there.

In context of the recent Facebook crash, I'm wondering if the Internet bubble is about to go poof.....

8

i've been quite fortunate buying guitars online. other than the dry fingerboard on the Fender Lead II which was fixable without too much trouble i've not had any major issues. and eleven of my guitars were bought over the internet. even Reverb has been good to me. and i've gotten some killer deals like the Duo Sonic clone and the Alvarez 12-string jumbo which was about $230 remaindered from MF. the Special Jet did have some finish chips along the edge of the body that weren't mentioned, but i didn't buy it for condition, i bought it to play.

9

I have mostly had really great experiences with on line sales. I am careful to work with sellers who have a high rating and I ask detailed questions so that in writing I have a good idea what I'm getting into. I'm also happy to buy gear that needs work if I know what it is ahead of time and can take that into consideration for the price. I guess I've had few experiences recently where sellers took a while to divulge key details like the refret mentioned above, and having a hefty shipping price feels a little shady to start with but it's definitely a way for them to keep some profit in case of a return. I'm also finding some sellers where I ask very specific questions who avoid the questions and/or say they have answered them. Also have gotten responses about whether a guitar has a bow in the neck and been told "that's a matter of opinion" seems to me like that is a very measurable thing, and if it is there kind of a pain in the butt with any non adjustable truss rod guitar. I think in general I'm seeing people's communication to be entering into more blurred lines and avoiding direct inquiries (even when they say "please ask any questions"). I think there is a little bit of negligence/ shadiness in some sellers listings, but I also think there is a fair bit of people just not being able to communicate in a clear and direct manner. Again for he most part I have had wonderful experiences both as a buyer and seller on line. I really appreciate being abe to hunt down obscure gear on line.


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