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> Buying Guitar Of Ebay, any tips and advice?
-Zion-
post Aug 13 2008, 09:09 PM
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Hi everybody

Well, for a couple of months now i have been looking around to buy myself a new guitar.

I'm going to San Francisco and Los Angeles in September, and my original plan was to go down to the local GuitarCenter store and check out a lot of guitars.. (and i am still going to do that.. one is a guitar freak, right?)

I just wanted to hear your thoughts on buying guitars through ebay.
I mean, if I have played a similar guitar in a store, even though it wont be the exactly the same, it will be pretty close, so i guess there should be no trouble doing this.. or is there?

Have any of you bought guitars of ebay and what are your experiences with it?
I am asking because i've actually found a nice guitar on ebay which looks pretty good, and have all the "specs" i have been looking for in my guitar, but have sort of nightmares on how these transactions might end up.. you know.. wrong gear.. broken gear.. etc..

And since i live in sweden the shipment from the us.. fear of getting caught in customs etc.

btw.. It's not like i'm buying a guitar *right now*.. I am definately still going to check out the stores in the US, but i just want to keep the one on ebay in my mind.. (depending on your oppinions on such transactions)

Thank you in advance
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Henry Dietzel
post Aug 13 2008, 09:23 PM
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Hey dad,

How's your lady and the baby doing? I purchased an Alvarez Jumbo and had it shipped from Arizona to Boston. My experience was great. The shipper was excellent, speedy, and the guitar came just as promised. It required some minor cosmetic setup stuff but that was all. However, I have had bad and even horrible eperiences with many other products. It's sort of the gamble with ebay. I used to live in SF. Guitar Center there was drastically overpriced when I was there and the morons that work there are not allowed to barter in price.

Good luck hope you have a safe trip!

This post has been edited by Henry Dietzel: Aug 13 2008, 09:23 PM


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MickeM
post Aug 13 2008, 09:26 PM
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The prices of guitars in the US are often about 50% of what they cost here. A Gibson I was browsing just an hour ago in a US store sell for 5400 SEK while the local shop (in Stockholm) is asking 11995 for the same model. It's ridicilous. That covers a trip to the US get the guitar and you still saved a buck.

I think buying low end guitars off of eBay is a bad idea. But if you're going for a brand and model known for it's quality, how bad can it get? In worst case you get a Gibson for 5400 SEK that's the quality of an Epiphone that you'd pay the same money for here in Svedala. At least it says "Gibson" on the headstock. laugh.gif Seriously, I think it's rather safe.

Sure, you can sit in the shop and try some guitars and find the one that's right for you. The sound and the feel of it is just right from start.
But these expensive guitars like PRS and Gibson USA for that matter to name a couple have their strict quality control to avoid bad eggs. They use quality parts and quality wood and the craftsmen are skilled and aim for high quality rather than high quantity. (or maybe a bit of both)
So even if you get a guitar that opposite to the one you try in a store and fall in love with you'll get one made from quality parts and I think it will just be the otherway around, you have to get used to your guitar.

like always when going from one guitar to another it feels wierd at first but it's possible imho to learn to like a guitar, at least it is if it's a high quality one.

So if you go for an expensive guitar (with that I mean high quality) I think you will end up with a good one from eBay.
For a low end guitar... I'd think again.

EDIT: A reservation for if you get it off eBay and if something is broken or in any other way bad with the guitar. That's when your problem starts. dry.gif But if you're willing to take that risk I think it's worth it. I mean, you could get the guitar at GC store and find out only later when you're back hom in Sweden that it's broken in some way. Same problem in that case regarding returns.

This post has been edited by MickeM: Aug 13 2008, 09:55 PM


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Martin la guitar...
post Aug 13 2008, 09:26 PM
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QUOTE (-Zion- @ Aug 13 2008, 10:09 PM) *
Hi everybody

Well, for a couple of months now i have been looking around to buy myself a new guitar.

I'm going to San Francisco and Los Angeles in September, and my original plan was to go down to the local GuitarCenter store and check out a lot of guitars.. (and i am still going to do that.. one is a guitar freak, right?)

I just wanted to hear your thoughts on buying guitars through ebay.
I mean, if I have played a similar guitar in a store, even though it wont be the exactly the same, it will be pretty close, so i guess there should be no trouble doing this.. or is there?

Have any of you bought guitars of ebay and what are your experiences with it?
I am asking because i've actually found a nice guitar on ebay which looks pretty good, and have all the "specs" i have been looking for in my guitar, but have sort of nightmares on how these transactions might end up.. you know.. wrong gear.. broken gear.. etc..

And since i live in sweden the shipment from the us.. fear of getting caught in customs etc.

btw.. It's not like i'm buying a guitar *right now*.. I am definately still going to check out the stores in the US, but i just want to keep the one on ebay in my mind.. (depending on your oppinions on such transactions)

Thank you in advance


im a little old - fashion when it comes to buying guitars. I really do not rely on buying something from ebay, as you never really know the condition of the guitar. But i dont think im the right guy for this, since i've never bought something at the web.

Good luck smile.gif
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-Zion-
post Aug 13 2008, 10:54 PM
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QUOTE (Henry Dietzel @ Aug 13 2008, 10:23 PM) *
Hey dad,

How's your lady and the baby doing? I purchased an Alvarez Jumbo and had it shipped from Arizona to Boston. My experience was great. The shipper was excellent, speedy, and the guitar came just as promised. It required some minor cosmetic setup stuff but that was all. However, I have had bad and even horrible eperiences with many other products. It's sort of the gamble with ebay. I used to live in SF. Guitar Center there was drastically overpriced when I was there and the morons that work there are not allowed to barter in price.

Good luck hope you have a safe trip!


Thanks you.. I will do whatever i can to make it a safe trip.

wow.. cant believe you remember that.. biggrin.gif
well, the lady is doing just fine.. I've heard many nightmare tales of the woman going completely bananas and her hormones going crazy and taking it out on the guy, but not my lady. She's practically the same as before she became pregnant.. can you believe it? All she does it take a bit more care of her stomach area. Good thing, because i tend to forget that she has something precious inside. I know it sounds weird, but when everything is practically "normal", if you aren't thinking about it, you almost forget it.. She will be 6 months pregnant on our trip to the US..
Oh.. i forgot.. She's having some trouble walking as fast as she used to, but thats the only thing really besides what i have already mentioned.. Baby is also doing fine.. A couple of weeks ago we went to the second scan which also went great, and i got to hear the heartbeat for the first time.. crazy stuff.. smile.gif

I have no idea about the prices in guitarcenter stores.. I just assumed that they were about the same price as on their website, which is 30-50% cheaper than here in Sweden.

QUOTE (MickeM @ Aug 13 2008, 10:26 PM) *
So if you go for an expensive guitar (with that I mean high quality) I think you will end up with a good one from eBay.
For a low end guitar... I'd think again.

EDIT: A reservation for if you get it off eBay and if something is broken or in any other way bad with the guitar. That's when your problem starts. dry.gif But if you're willing to take that risk I think it's worth it. I mean, you could get the guitar at GC store and find out only later when you're back hom in Sweden that it's broken in some way. Same problem in that case regarding returns.


The guitar i've found is a Custom Gibson, and yes, it's in the high end. About ~$3000. It looks good, and i guess you are right about the returning thing.. It's not like im going back to the US to have it fixed if the guitarcenter guitar is broken.

Oh, btw.. An old friend of mine told me that if i get the salesguy to write "To be repaired" or something like that, customs will let it pass through without putting taxes on.. know anything about that? I would rather save the ~28% taxes on a $3000 guitar.. wink.gif
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Déjà vu
post Aug 13 2008, 11:23 PM
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QUOTE (-Zion- @ Aug 13 2008, 01:09 PM) *
Hi everybody

Well, for a couple of months now i have been looking around to buy myself a new guitar.

I'm going to San Francisco and Los Angeles in September, and my original plan was to go down to the local GuitarCenter store and check out a lot of guitars.. (and i am still going to do that.. one is a guitar freak, right?)


I've been to the SF guitar center. It is one of the nicer ones I've been to... But, honestly the guitars aren't. People come in all day and mindlessly poke around on those instruments (not discluding myself). I saw a Steve Vai Jem with a broken e-string, a few scratches, and a missing cap on the pickup switch. I know those problems aren't major, but I would just be careful when buying something from them (especially of that value)!
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MickeM
post Aug 13 2008, 11:52 PM
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QUOTE (-Zion- @ Aug 13 2008, 11:54 PM) *
Oh, btw.. An old friend of mine told me that if i get the salesguy to write "To be repaired" or something like that, customs will let it pass through without putting taxes on.. know anything about that? I would rather save the ~28% taxes on a $3000 guitar.. ;)

I'm not sure the customs will even bother about a single guitar. They might if they have enough staff and time on their hands but a fair guess is that narcotics, ciggarettes, alcohol and if you tried to patch 100 guitars through would catch their eye.

We've (my family) been quite a bit in asia and when going from f.ex Hong Kong to another asian country or going home we always tear stickers and stuff off and ditch the original package. Eveything should look used ;)
Passing through customs in some countries there they will turn your bags inside out if you're arriving from Hong Kong. But with badly folded clothes in the luggage and cameras hanging around your neck, cameras bought in HK but looking like a tourist with an interest in photography they can't do much.

Same with the guitar, if they find it with gibson brouchures stuck to the headstock they will know it's new and they can if they want to, chanrge you with import tax and VAT (moms). Around 28% like you said. But maing it looked used and adding a note you have at least tried your best to fool customs. Surely they have seen it a thousand times already but if you have a good story if they bother to ask you you should be safe. And what are the chanses for that, one in a thousand?

QUOTE (Déjà vu @ Aug 14 2008, 12:23 AM) *
I've been to the SF guitar center. It is one of the nicer ones I've been to... But, honestly the guitars aren't. People come in all day and mindlessly poke around on those instruments (not discluding myself). I saw a Steve Vai Jem with a broken e-string, a few scratches, and a missing cap on the pickup switch. I know those problems aren't major, but I would just be careful when buying something from them (especially of that value)!

I think they would fetch one from their stock instead of handing you the guitar in display. If they don't that means they give used guitars to the customer and puts a brand new up for display again. Usually the display goes last for less money.


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Muris Varajic
post Aug 14 2008, 12:02 AM
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I bought tons of gear from eBay and so far
I had no bad experiences indeed.
Truth is,those were usually components like preamps,
poweramps,digi-efxs,hard solid stuff so it's like working or not working.
There can be some failure with button or something
but sellers are always pointing at those minor issue.
But guitar,I just couldn't buy it before I try it,
it's too personal part of gear imho.
Try local shops as suggested,spend a day if you need
and you'll surely find something for you. smile.gif
I mean,imagine you're self opening the box,
trying the guitar and saying "wow,this might not be what I expected" huh.gif

But that was just me,
Smells will show you totally different approach to this matter! biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Muris Varajic: Aug 14 2008, 12:02 AM


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Chris Evans
post Aug 14 2008, 12:16 AM
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QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ Aug 14 2008, 12:02 AM) *
Smells will show you totally different approach to this matter! biggrin.gif



laugh.gif laugh.gif

I`ve bought a few guitars off ebay, ask for more pics if theres anything that you cant see in the description, if they mention any damage in the description but dont show it in any pictures ask for some detailing the damage, if they say no or give an excuse then leave it well alone, through emails from sellers you can generally get a good feel if they are trust worthy or not, research the backside off the guitar you are looking at, I`ve seen so many claims of Jacksons & charvels that are USA models but certain details will tell you that its not.
Beware anyone trying to say *rare* chances are its fake unless of course they have a string of evidence to prove other wise.
Really as MickeM said above, a lot depends on your budget and the kind of guitar your after, a really good guitar (brand, reputation etc) will still fetch reasonable money on ebay 2nd hand. Just be careful smile.gif try and get a bargain if you can, that way if you really hate it you`ll get your money back by reselling it smile.gif


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-Zion-
post Aug 14 2008, 07:58 AM
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First of all.. Thank you all for you answers.


QUOTE (Smells @ Aug 14 2008, 01:16 AM) *
laugh.gif laugh.gif

I`ve bought a few guitars off ebay, ask for more pics if theres anything that you cant see in the description, if they mention any damage in the description but dont show it in any pictures ask for some detailing the damage, if they say no or give an excuse then leave it well alone, through emails from sellers you can generally get a good feel if they are trust worthy or not, research the backside off the guitar you are looking at, I`ve seen so many claims of Jacksons & charvels that are USA models but certain details will tell you that its not.
Beware anyone trying to say *rare* chances are its fake unless of course they have a string of evidence to prove other wise.
Really as MickeM said above, a lot depends on your budget and the kind of guitar your after, a really good guitar (brand, reputation etc) will still fetch reasonable money on ebay 2nd hand. Just be careful smile.gif try and get a bargain if you can, that way if you really hate it you`ll get your money back by reselling it smile.gif


Should I go home from the US emptyhanded, i'll be sure to follow these advice. Perhaps even bug you a bit so i can get you to help me.. (if thats alright biggrin.gif)
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Ian Bushell
post Aug 14 2008, 09:02 AM
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QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ Aug 14 2008, 01:02 AM) *
I bought tons of gear from eBay and so far
I had no bad experiences indeed.
Truth is,those were usually components like preamps,
poweramps,digi-efxs,hard solid stuff so it's like working or not working.
There can be some failure with button or something
but sellers are always pointing at those minor issue.
But guitar,I just couldn't buy it before I try it,
it's too personal part of gear imho.
Try local shops as suggested,spend a day if you need
and you'll surely find something for you. smile.gif
I mean,imagine you're self opening the box,
trying the guitar and saying "wow,this might not be what I expected" huh.gif

But that was just me,
Smells will show you totally different approach to this matter! biggrin.gif


Totaly agree here. A guitar in my opinion is something you should try before you buy.


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Chris Evans
post Aug 14 2008, 10:30 AM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Aug 13 2008, 09:26 PM) *
The prices of guitars in the US are often about 50% of what they cost here. A Gibson I was browsing just an hour ago in a US store sell for 5400 SEK while the local shop (in Stockholm) is asking 11995 for the same model. It's ridicilous. That covers a trip to the US get the guitar and you still saved a buck.

I think buying low end guitars off of eBay is a bad idea. But if you're going for a brand and model known for it's quality, how bad can it get? In worst case you get a Gibson for 5400 SEK that's the quality of an Epiphone that you'd pay the same money for here in Svedala. At least it says "Gibson" on the headstock. laugh.gif Seriously, I think it's rather safe.

Sure, you can sit in the shop and try some guitars and find the one that's right for you. The sound and the feel of it is just right from start.
But these expensive guitars like PRS and Gibson USA for that matter to name a couple have their strict quality control to avoid bad eggs. They use quality parts and quality wood and the craftsmen are skilled and aim for high quality rather than high quantity. (or maybe a bit of both)
So even if you get a guitar that opposite to the one you try in a store and fall in love with you'll get one made from quality parts and I think it will just be the otherway around, you have to get used to your guitar.

like always when going from one guitar to another it feels wierd at first but it's possible imho to learn to like a guitar, at least it is if it's a high quality one.

So if you go for an expensive guitar (with that I mean high quality) I think you will end up with a good one from eBay.
For a low end guitar... I'd think again.

EDIT: A reservation for if you get it off eBay and if something is broken or in any other way bad with the guitar. That's when your problem starts. dry.gif But if you're willing to take that risk I think it's worth it. I mean, you could get the guitar at GC store and find out only later when you're back hom in Sweden that it's broken in some way. Same problem in that case regarding returns.


for me I couldnt agree more with this post from Micke, something that is known for quality (in my experience) has in the main rarely disappointed me, really my custom guitar falls into this catagory of bought as seen, I`d never played it until I opened the box, (of course slightly different bearing in mind where it came from and who recommended it wink.gif but you get my drift of similar principle) just make sure you do your research into the guitar so it has all the bits in all the right places, and it is what it says it is, if you have the slightest doubt about it, dont buy it, simple smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 14 2008, 01:19 PM
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It is always better to try out a guitar in a store and then buy the same guitar. It is possible to buy the same one via eBay, but I wouldn't do that. It's too much of a risk IMO. I would say buy it only if you really don't have another option, and try to calculate just how much you will get a discount when buying from eBay. If it is a formidable difference in relation to the one in the store, then buy it.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Aug 14 2008, 02:30 PM
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Well I don't know what is the price difference from new guitars in stores and on ebay (or other online stores)...Buying on ebay can get you very good gear and deals but it bears some risks and it requires some skills for it..And when guitar is the case I recommend buying one in US store and bringing it with you on a plane smile.gif

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Xuestor
post Aug 14 2008, 08:22 PM
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I got a Gibson les paul custom from ebay (check my threads). Best is to look for ebay stores, or people with 500+ feedback. My seller had 800 in feedback and 99.8% positive, so thats a good place to start, read all the negative feedback. You can often read between the lines and see who is the bad guy, the seller or the buyer. I had my seller write the receipt at a WAY lower amount, to reduse the taxfee here in sweden. Be aware that you cannot insure the shipping for more than the receipt value (i believe), so use a quality shippingservice. Let me know and I can recommend you the guy I bought from, he has a few sweet Gibson customs and PRS guitars. All brand new of course.


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Gerardo Siere
post Aug 14 2008, 09:55 PM
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I have two guitars from ebay and a akg 414 and my main mixer, all was as described and shiped fast. But I check people with lot of recently good feedback and went for brands that doesn´t have second quality models, don't go for Fender, Ibañez, Jackson.


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-Zion-
post Aug 14 2008, 09:56 PM
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QUOTE (Xuestor @ Aug 14 2008, 09:22 PM) *
I got a Gibson les paul custom from ebay (check my threads). Best is to look for ebay stores, or people with 500+ feedback. My seller had 800 in feedback and 99.8% positive, so thats a good place to start, read all the negative feedback. You can often read between the lines and see who is the bad guy, the seller or the buyer. I had my seller write the receipt at a WAY lower amount, to reduse the taxfee here in sweden. Be aware that you cannot insure the shipping for more than the receipt value (i believe), so use a quality shippingservice. Let me know and I can recommend you the guy I bought from, he has a few sweet Gibson customs and PRS guitars. All brand new of course.


Cool.. I have indeed found a real store that also sells stuff on ebay.. I've mailed with him a lot, and he seems like a really good guy.. But others are welcome as well, so please, share your knowledge.. smile.gif

Did you have to pay the extra taxfee when it entered sweden?

Thanks
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Xuestor
post Aug 15 2008, 04:18 AM
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QUOTE (-Zion- @ Aug 14 2008, 10:56 PM) *
Cool.. I have indeed found a real store that also sells stuff on ebay.. I've mailed with him a lot, and he seems like a really good guy.. But others are welcome as well, so please, share your knowledge.. smile.gif

Did you have to pay the extra taxfee when it entered sweden?

Thanks


I've got 2 guitars from him. One Gibson Custom and one Ibanez JEM7VWH. his name is jelyfinger. I did have to pay the extra tax fee, but at the lower amount.


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Praetorian
post Aug 15 2008, 04:35 AM
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I bought a guitar off ebay and it went great! The guitar played wonderfully and was just as they said it would be. As with all ebay auctions...but be careful. Make sure there are lots of pictures, and avoid auctions that state very little about the guitar. I wouldn't bid on a guitar listed as "Fender Strat" with nothing else about it. Also, try to buy from a real guitar player, not some ebay store. You have a better chance of it being packaged properly from someone who actually cares about and loves guitars!


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vikingraider1
post Aug 15 2008, 12:13 PM
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95% of the guitars I own came off ebay. Some were great, and some were just OK. I've never had a really bad experience on ebay (touch wood). The comment about customs though is wrong. Many of mine have been stopped and charged import duty, still cheaper than buying over here though!


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Washburn USA Custom Shop Idol, Washburn WI65 Idol, Washburn WI64 Idol, Schecter C-1 Exotic, Schecter C-1 Stealth, Washburn WI66ANC Nick Catanese Signature, 1980s Burny Les Paul, Peavey Wolfgang Standard, Peavey 5150 MKI Combo, Marshall DSL 201, Morely Mark Tremonti Wah, Decimater Noise Gate, Zoom G2 1.u, Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster,
Basses:
Fender Jazz Bass, Fender Precision, Warwick Corvette 5 String
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