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Buying Used/Returned Guitars

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Do you guys prefer perfect new, full price guitars, deeply discounted slightly blemished returns, or straight up road-rashed used guitars? I have picked some gems up @ AMS from the dent n' scratch bin, particularly Gibson's. They may have a slight imperfection, but if you are like me, they will in a week anyway, no matter what. (The perils of live performance + beer) Other than that, they are brand new factory guitars with full warranty, but sometime sold 20-40% less than a mint model. Thoughts?69245_408320565879996_1916959782_n.jpg

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I find a guitar I like and I buy it - new, used, whatever.

 

 

Agreed....regardless of what...if it passes your own inspection it's all good. [thumbup]

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I've never bought a used guitar before. I'm a skeptic in if it's around the same price as new then just get new, if the price is very low than there is something wrong with it, (i.e. there might be something wrong with it either way). [-X

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I am a big fan of used gear provided it is in decent condition (I don't purchase road worn items). I never plan on keeping anything forever, so I let someone else take that initial hit. Most gear I've purchased used, I have sold it down the road for what I paid for it or more!

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I think of guitars as some of the women I've dated:

 

"It doesn't matter how bad you are, because you're always good enough for me."

 

if that makes sense.

 

Surface damage? Who gives a ****. Pickups sound bad? Customize. The neck is bowed? Adjust it. Seriously, I've gotten some great deals on used gear. I got my Telecaster for serious low money, put some into it, and now it plays like no other.

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I am a big fan of used gear provided it is in decent condition (I don't purchase road worn items). I never plan on keeping anything forever, so I let someone else take that initial hit. Most gear I've purchased used, I have sold it down the road for what I paid for it or more!

 

This is the thing that always gets me. How is it that you let someone else take the initial hit when you buy used, but then when you sell used you take no hit whatsoever and are either even or ahead, depending on how many beers you've had when yer tellin me this.

 

I'm not saying anything bad at all, I'm really trying to put a laugh on it, becuase I've been around guitars for a very very long time and when I sell my stuff it's just a dumb old used tele or strat or whatever that breaks my nutz just to get rid of it, but everyone else makes money selling their stuff.

 

Trading has been no good for a long time, if I decide to trade something I've decided I need a bath or a lift to the cleaners cause that's all I'm getting. Selling stuff is nothing but an enormous hassle and you have to ask homeless people into your home to look at yer sh1t. But people still manage to somehow sell used stuff for more than they paid for it when they let the original buyer take all the hit and they, somehow, take none?

 

I don't get it.

 

rct

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I've got about 18 guitsar/basses and two of them were bought new. I think the choice depends on your level of comfort with basic electronics and guitar work. If you can change pots and switches, adjust truss rods, and dress the occasions fret, there's no reason to buy a new instrument unless you want that minty new smell and a (reasonably) unblemished finish. If you buy privately fora reasonable price there's no "showroom hit" e.g. the instrument's worth about as much tomorrow as it was the day you bought it.

 

Although a lot of people will get rid of an instrument because they feel there's somthing wrong with it ( usallly fixable by a squirt of switch cleaner, a neck adjustment or a new bridge saddle), I wouldn't buy into the "people only sell the bad ones" vibe. The guy who bought my Rick 12 string thinks its the greatest instrument in the world. I didn't think much of it because the neck was too narrow for my bad "flat" fingering. We're both subjectively correct.

 

The only people that I know of that have a real problem wth used instruments are the ones that keep their guitars in cotton wool, and wince if you touch them. The same guys still have the paper dealer floor mats in the car, and then protective plastic on the door panels. Don't understand it personally, I always believed the instrument was a tool , not an end unto itslef. However, each to his own. Nowadays I mostly buy really beat up guitars. There's a great deal of satisfaction in spraying a new finish, replacing bad hardware and cleaning everything up. if you don't account for your own labor, it's really cost effective also.

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I'm not saying anything bad at all, I'm really trying to put a laugh on it, becuase I've been around guitars for a very very long time and when I sell my stuff it's just a dumb old used tele or strat or whatever that breaks my nutz just to get rid of it, but everyone else makes money selling their stuff.

rct

 

I am pleased to know that. Talking to my friends, I was under the impression that I was the only person who has ever bought a used instrument, and later sold it for less that I paid for it . . . . Of course , at the age of my friends, it's pretty easy to say "yea, I bought that Tele used in 1979 for $145, I sold it last month for four times what I paid for it......."

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I've gotten some incredible deals from buying used guitars.The best deal I ever bargained for was when I traded a set of headphones,a wah wah pedal and $20 for a '65 Vox Phantom XII,the Vox is worth over $2000 these days.I got a few guitars for just $150-a '65 Fender Jaguar,a '65 Fender Mustang and a Vox Astro IV Model 273 violin bass. I also bought a '64 Vox MK. VI Acoustic 3 pickups with the teardrop shape,for $90.I also got a '64 Hagstrom II for $60 and a one piece neck-through Mahogany '63 Hagstrom Corvette that cost $750 when new,for $85.I paid only $550 for my '74 Guild S-100 NB and $500 for my one off, black '66 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean.My '65 Strat only cost me $280.

 

All of these guitars were bought between 1974 and 1980 but even then they were incredible bargains as most of them are quite rare and have appreciated greatly since then with several of them worth over $2000 and a couple over $3000.The Guild is an absolute screamer,it has an SG shape but it has the super hot Guild humbuckers with a phase reversal mini toggle for the rear pickup.My buddy who is a Les Paul fanatic tried out my Guild one day and almost dropped it when he hit the first chord with it and said that it was better than any of his 5 Les Pauls.The S-100 has been called the SG/Les Paul slayer because of the raunchiness of it with all the volume and tone pots on 10 and the amp in overdrive.Kim Thayill of Soundgarden is a Guild S-100 fanatic and he has a pile of them.Thanks to Thayill the value of these guitars has shot past $2000 for a near mint example in the past few years but I'll never part with mine because it sounds incredible through my JCM 800 stack-and any other amp for that matter and is the best humbucker equipped guitar I ever played so I'd be nuts to ever get rid of it.I may be tempted to trade it for a 1964 Cardinal Red Firebird VII with the Maestro Vibrola and 3 mini-hums or a mint '50s or "L" series Strat,other than that it's staying with me.

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I've also had some great deals on new guitars by buying online. These can sometimes be a previous model that has been in storage at a large retailer network for some time. E.g. Half a year ago I got an Ibanez RG1570 brand new for £500 because it was a colour that was released in 2008. Despite this it was brand spanking new in its case- obviously never even touched when I opened it and it had the better Edge Pro trem rather than the current Edge Zero. The guitar should have cost £700. Another trick I have is to buy from overseas. Germany has Europe's largest Gibson retailer Thomann. The Euro has taken a nose dive because of the banking crisis and the fact that certain countries were allowed to join that currency that had already high national debts and then they continued to borrow cheaply from gambling bankers for more and more projects they couldn't afford. Fortunately the UK saw sense in keeping the pound instead of joining the Euro so we now find ourselves with a better exchange rate. For me this means that not only are prices slipping generally because of the recession but also we get more for our pound when we shop in the Euro zone. Case in point- you can get a LP Studio Tribute for just over £500 from Thomann when they're £700 in most UK large stores.

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I always check the stores return policy on used stuff to make sure that I can get a full refund back. I understand on certain items you can't and that's fine.

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The Guild is an absolute screamer,it has an SG shape but it has the super hot Guild humbuckers with a phase reversal mini toggle for the rear pickup.My buddy who is a Les Paul fanatic tried out my Guild one day and almost dropped it when he hit the first chord with it and said that it was better than any of his 5 Les Pauls.The S-100 has been called the SG/Les Paul slayer because of the raunchiness of it with all the volume and tone pots on 10 and the amp in overdrive.

 

One of these popped up on eBay a few weeks ago, and everybody went mental and it was at like $600 in the first day. From your experience, I see why. [biggrin]

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This is the thing that always gets me. How is it that you let someone else take the initial hit when you buy used, but then when you sell used you take no hit whatsoever and are either even or ahead, depending on how many beers you've had when yer tellin me this.

 

I'm not saying anything bad at all, I'm really trying to put a laugh on it, becuase I've been around guitars for a very very long time and when I sell my stuff it's just a dumb old used tele or strat or whatever that breaks my nutz just to get rid of it, but everyone else makes money selling their stuff.

 

Trading has been no good for a long time, if I decide to trade something I've decided I need a bath or a lift to the cleaners cause that's all I'm getting. Selling stuff is nothing but an enormous hassle and you have to ask homeless people into your home to look at yer sh1t. But people still manage to somehow sell used stuff for more than they paid for it when they let the original buyer take all the hit and they, somehow, take none?

 

I don't get it.

 

rct

 

I suppose you will really be upset to know I sold my low mileage 2004 BMW 3 series that I drove for two years last week for more than I paid for it!

 

Also, I only own American made guitars, and tube amps mainly Mesa Boogie and Marshall (amps were all purchased used). I agree, if selling lower priced items, you generally take a huge hit! MIA guitars tend to hold a higher value, plus, I'm never in a rush to sell

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I have a handful of axes bought mainly used. My 60s tribute lp and takamine ean10c were bought new. My epi lp custom i bought for $350, but i sold a schecter i bought used, made 20 on that so ended up paying only 130 out of pocket. Got my martin dx-1 used for 300 cause of some csmetic headstock damage, and bought my nashville lp jr doublecut (GOW) used for 700 after a bit of haggling. My jackson dkmgt was on clearance and scrarch n demt for around $350 i think. Apl great axes nonetheless!!!

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Do you guys prefer perfect new, full price guitars, deeply discounted slightly blemished returns, or straight up road-rashed used guitars?

 

The only guitar I've ever bought used or as MF called it "Condition 1" was my Gibson LP Standard Ebony which saved me $500 off of the new price.

 

Happy with the purchase? Damn straight and never did find anything wrong with it even down to the cosmetics!

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