Miscellaneous Rumbles

Consignment hell…

1

Put a very nice guitar up for sale on consignment at the local shop. Not naive, expected a little mileage on the odometer. Long story short, went to the shop for a pedal repair, pulled the guitar off the wall for a quick reunion and WTF? What was formerly a flawless finish now had swirl scratches everywhere, rusted pickups, buckle rash and a small chip on the back. Looked as if had been heavily gigged.

Embarrassed to admit that borderline violence crossed my mind. Doing jail time is not in the cards for me, so placed the guitar back on the wall and just left.

Anyway, back tomorrow to confront the owner. Any cooler heads or better yet, shop owners out there to suggest the best course of action? Lesson learned on my end...

2

Don't trust others with your things.

Sad state of affairs, but there it is. The damage was likely caused by both the shop (polishing swirls, scratches, rust due to improper conditions) and those looking at the guitar (buckle rash, chips). You weren't there to protect your investment, and the shop doesn't care nearly as much as you. I was taught that when entrusted with others' things to treat them better than I would my own---to return it in better condition than I got it. Good luck on any recourse from the shop.

As Muldur on the X files taught us---"Trust no one."

3

Wow! Sorry to hear. That would anger most of us.

4

Do you have any pictures of your guitar from before that would make the changes in appearance obvious as well as show the serial number? That could give you some leverage, otherwise it's probably "you said, they said." I would be, as you are, righteously pissed-this injustice effectively takes money out of your pocket through their negligence and /or carelessness by lowering the value of your guitar. Sorry to hear about this.

5

You could suggest that, to be honorable, they might buy your guitar for the retail price they posted on it.

6

This reminds of a Car Repair event I heard about...

Apparently, somebody at the Shop, most likely the Owner, took a customer's Minivan on a 900 mile Test Ride, hauling a bunch of Junk Yard salvaged car parts, rough duty...then acted as if the car was dropped off in that condition.

I think Sir Proto has your starting point...whatever $$$ you would have cleared on the transaction is what you seek as a remedy before all other nasty recourses.

7

Umm, sounds like you got some free relicing, but I'd surmise that's not what you wanted.

...------

8

Have him whacked!

Sorry...I'm from New Jersey.

It's just our knee jerk reaction.

But seriously....I know people.

9

Have him whacked!

Sorry...I'm from New Jersey.

It's just our knee jerk reaction.

But seriously....I know people.

– crowbone

This is priceless, CB!

10

Have him whacked!

Sorry...I'm from New Jersey.

It's just our knee jerk reaction.

But seriously....I know people.

– crowbone

LoL, I like it! Let 'em jam with the fishes...

11

Rusted pickups makes me wonder - like, light tarnishing is one thing, but rust?

12

That’s bad news!

How does in work in the US. Is the retailer obliged to purchase the item if it is damaged?

13

Curious how long you’ve had it at this shop? Rust on pickups doesn’t happen over night. Sure it’s not just a little funk that would clean off?

14

Have him whacked!

Sorry...I'm from New Jersey.

It's just our knee jerk reaction.

But seriously....I know people.

– crowbone

.

15

Whether or not the store will compensate would be in the fine print of the paperwork involved, I would think (although I'm not a Lawyer). Sounds fishy and sux for sure.

16

Haven’t made it back to the shop yet. Gonna’ shoot for Friday, but just to respond to some comments:

  • Been in the shop for 3 months.
  • The is no “fine print” in the paper work to address this issue.
  • Yes, I’ve got time stamped pics shot the day before I dropped off the guitar
  • By rusty pickups I meant pole pieces on the rear pickup rusted over.
  • The swirl marks are severe. Think sandy beach towel…
  • Swirl marks / buckle rash can be rubbed out, chip’s a keeper.
  • Have the owner wacked (really funny, and I’m originally from Jersey too)? Figuratively speaking I get that, but you see, therein lies the problem. He’s the sweetest, kindest, most honest guy you’d ever meet. Got a great business relationship that I’d rather not screw up. Just makes things all the more awkward and complicated. No idea how to settle this.

Bottom line, I can no longer sell the guitar for what I’m asking, no way. Will let you know how this plays out. Thanks for the interesting feedback.

17

Jeesh! Almost makes you wonder if they've been renting it out, or letting people (or themselves) use it for gigging. I also think Proteus is on the right track. If maybe not to get the full retail price they may have put on it, but for you to get the money you wanted for the guitar in the condition it was in when you left it there- potentially the asking price less their consignment fees as would be normal for that type of transaction.

Yup, sounds like an open conversation with the owner to point out that damage has been done to the guitar, and to let him know that you don't find it in a condition now that is acceptable for you to take it back. You could say the only solution you see, is for him to purchase the guitar from you. Naturally, have your price in mind when you go so you are prepared and I'd ask for more to leave some negotiating room.

As a side note.. unfortunately I'll bet this happens a lot with musical instruments left on consignment. I had my own experience, but to a lesser degree. I had a Vaporizer amp sitting for awhile at a local store. Things were not looking good for the business, so I made sure to get it from them. It was MINT when I left it, and now it has a small rip in the tolex on the front and marks on it's top. It's not an expensive amp but still...Ugh...

18

I will likely be in the minority here and believe me, no disrespect is meant towards you in my response:

I sold a guitar via a local shop on consignment. Like you, I happen to be one of those people who try to keep their instruments in pristine condition. So, when discussing the consignment with the dealer (a guy I've done business with for 25+ years) I specifically asked him about damage "in the store". He told me that he would do his best to keep damage from happening by putting the guitar on a high hanger to keep the younger kids from easily handling; and that he would also try to keep an eye on folks while they were trying out the guitar...but, he also told me that he could not promise that nothing would happen to the guitar while on display.

In my mind, when you decide to consign something, you have accepted the risk of granting the general public access to the instrument. It is one of the risks of displaying merchandise to the public in a store...I am sure that the shop owner has had several instances of his merchandise being damaged while on display.

Now, if you can prove that the shop owner let the guitar out on rentals for gigs and that is how the damage occurred, then my response would be different. But short of that or willful defacement on the shop owners end, I think you are on the losing end of this one.

In any event, if the instrument is being damaged to the extent you describe while in his shop, I believe I would end the agreement to consign, and take it home with me having learned a hard lesson about him being someone you could trust.

Good Luck!

19

you see, therein lies the problem. He’s the sweetest, kindest, most honest guy you’d ever meet. Got a great business relationship that I’d rather not screw up. Just makes things all the more awkward and complicated. No idea how to settle this. -- A441

The way that you resolve it is by talking to the owner in a direct, but non-confrontational manner. No accusations, no criticisms. Rather, you tell him frankly that you took the guitar in there to be sold and that it has suffered damage while in his care and control and that the guitar will now sell for less than what it would have when you first consigned it. And that you think that something needs to be done to make the matter right. And then let him talk. You will learn by listening to him. Then you will know how best to respond.

On the other hand, in my mind at least, I think that whenever you are selling a guitar on consignment in a store, you have to expect that there is a risk of some damage to it because people are going to take it off the wall and play it. That is the only way that people get excited enough about a guitar to buy it. As such, you can't reasonably expect that the guitar will suffer no harm whatsoever while it is there. I would think that retailers experience this ALL the time. That is why the high-priced items are high up on the wall and only the entry level stuff is down low. With the high-end equipment, the retailer wants to be able to size up just who it is that will be allowed to play it. And, if the guitar is entrusted to someone to play, the retailer can then observe them playing the instrument to make sure that they don't damage it or to hold them responsible if they do.

Now, this sounds like some pretty extraordinary damage and it may well exceed what could reasonably have been expected to occur during the consignment period. But, be prepared to have to swallow a little of that damage simply because you are selling it through a store.

20

He’s the sweetest, kindest, most honest guy you’d ever meet. Got a great business relationship that I’d rather not screw up. Just makes things all the more awkward and complicated. No idea how to settle this.

If this is truly the case, then you have nothing to worry about. The two of you will work it out equitably. Two individuals of mutual good will can always work things out.

How to introduce the topic, how to get into it?

"Got a minute? We gotta talk about my guitar, man." Get the guitar, maybe make sure you're not on the sales floor within earshot of others. Show him the wear. Look sorry and concerned. "It was in great shape when I brought it in...and now, not so much. Geez, what happened to it? It still hasn't sold, and I don't think it's worth what we were asking now."

Then stop talking and wait for him to pick up the theme. Take it from there.

21

"Almost makes you wonder if they've been renting it out, or letting people (or themselves) use it for gigging." There are 3 perpetually booked practice studios upstairs. Made it clear that 2 hour 2nd floor test drives were not OK. Apparently not clear enough.

"...you can't reasonably expect that the guitar will suffer no harm whatsoever while it is there." Knew that going in, but...

"I would end the agreement to consign, and take it home with me having learned a hard lesson about him being someone you could trust." Yup, that's exactly how l think this'll end.

FYI: This is an almost exclusively consignment shop, though new amps, pedals and gear are everywhere. All high-end stuff. Not a Squier or Epi in sight. Actually, my guitar is probably the the least expensive on offer.

22

And the key advice, stop talking! So many people sell what they need to and by the end of the conversation they've bought it back.

23

Right, Curt! There's an old saying in sales, "Don't sell past the close" .

24

Closure for those who commented on this thread:

Went in to meet the owner and at the suggestion of others took an “aw shucks” approach to the problem. Pointed out the chip which turned out not to be a chip but just some thin white film stuck to the body (yea!), swirl scratches, buckle rash, rusty pole pieces and the appearance of heavy use in general. Reaction? Owner apologized profusely, polished the guitar from top to bottom including the ravaged pick guard (not sure of the product but it worked wonderfully), performed a set up (4 months hanging on a wall did some weird $#IT to the neck) and slapped on a new set of strings, no charge.

Didn't expect that. Got lucky given the situation. Happy ending. All good on my end. Again, lesson learned…

25

So is it still in the shop or back at home?


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