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Advice on 'normal wear'and checking please.


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I recently sold a 97 Lucille on Ebay (not in the USA). The item was listed as in 'good condition for a very well played guitar.' I listed a couple of faults and provided detailed photos of these, but the buyer has come back complaining that the finish is cracked and checked. Now I am not an authority on this (which is why I am asking for help) but the finish I thought was in excellent condition for a well played 12 yr old guitar. No cracks in the paint, some swirling/light scratches as would be expected (mentioned in listing), binding was perfect and nicely yellowed.


What exactly is 'checking', is this to be expected in a 12 yr old well used guitar. I have also seen on a couple threads here that this is even a desirable aspect of aging? How much would this devalue a guitar?

He has also complained that frets are worn and that it needs a refret, they seemed OK to me, definitely worn, but in keeping with a well used 12 yr old guitar.


What do you guys think?

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Well My understanding is that :- is the cracklature on the finish. It comes from a dry climate, or leaving the GTR in the car trunk(Boot) without a humidifier in the case on a hot day. I would have to say you should put a disclaimer that warns of it being in need of a refret, and maybe a refinish by an expert Tech ( like Gibson in Nashville). I would offer a partial refund- say a 100 USD or have him return the Lucy 97 for a refund. But he pays S&H : Then when you get it back relist it on eBay. Personally, a worn finish don't bother me much. If the guitar sounds good and plays well I don't care... But If all else fails give him his money back to protect your reputation on eBay. After all you want the customer to be happy, right? BTW: How much did it sell for?

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Thanks for the reply James.

Sold for $2270 Australian (approx $1800US), keep in mind that prices here are generally 40-50% more than in the US. So what would you expect for $1200-1300US?

Offered a full refund straight away, but he refuses to pay shipping. I am not paying for postage again, as it will have cost me over $200 just to send it to him to have a look!


I just want to do the right thing by him, but not get ripped off in the process. I believe it was a fair price for the GTR.

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hi beermonkey, where are you in Aus?

there are two stores in perth i know who are the biggest dealers of used gibsons. also, the australian distributor has a shop on chapel st in melbourne. any of these guys would probably be able to help. you want some details?


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Yeah cheers Todd that would be good' date=' thanks for your help.

I am in Brisbane (mostly)




The shop I bought my 335 from, really good guys who also sell alot of vintage gear, is The Rock Inn, (08) 9371 8822. http://www.therockinn.com/


There is also Just Music, I dont care much for these guys as they dont let you actually play their guitars (go figure!!) but I know they do stock a stack of vintage gear. http://www.justmusic.net.au/


As dodgytoo says, Gallins is the Australian Distributor. http://www.gallinsguitars.com.au/



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also, just noticed on the Gallins site they list some "MUSICIANS PRO STORES" in QLD:






59 Barry Parade

Fortitude Valley, Queensland

PH: (07) 3831 5898



Gold Coast

2590 Gold Coast Highway

Mermaid Beach, Queensland

PH: (07) 5504 5644



Gold Coast

Shop 3/1 Young St

Southport, Queensland

PH: (07) 5561 1106


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I have sold alot of stuff on ebay and I have found that I need to be very careful selling stuff that isn't in almost perfect condition. Some people just get the wrong idea about the condition of the item and have unreasonable expectations. Depending on the personality of the buyer, there is very little you can do to make them happy. You cannot force them to be happy by arguing about the condition. Unless you clearly described or showed the defects in your listing, there's not much sense arguing about the condition.


My advice would be to take the guitar back and pay half the return shipping or negotiate the shipping. Not all experiences on ebay will go well. With ebay, you will have to accept a loss once in awhile, or you will get bad feedback sooner or later.

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Hi, I live in Michigan, and I always thought that "finish checking" was when you have a cold guitar and the guitar warms up before the finish does, that will cause the "checking". It is caused by quick temperature changes on the guitar. That is why most manufacturers recommend hard shell cases.


I have a 67' ES 330, w/finish checking, I am the original owner. To be honest, it doesn't harm the guitar or effect the tone, and if you feel that you have a great guitar to play, and your happy with what you paid for it, I would keep it. The finish doesn't effect the tone, it is more of the look.


If I was going to buy a used guitar, and it had some finish checking, or scratches, but it played great and sounded good, I don't think that would be a deciding factor on whether or not I would buy it, as long as I thought I paid what I thought it was worth.


If you think that you were ripped off, then I would try and get my money back and return the guitar.

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