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Buying guitars online


Sutoria

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I recently purchased a guitar from American Musical Supply (AMS) it was a crappy guitar...not the store's fault. I straightened out the problem myself...new p/ups and bridge. Still saved a ton of money and have a great looking/sounding guitar. I guess its safe to say on any given day you can buy a pig in a poke from the most reputable dealer. It happens. Same for appliances, electronics and automobiles.

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I might be mistaken, but it seems to me that American musical supply and Zzounds may be selling the same stock. I noticed that both sites are actually selling the same two scratch and dent SG's. I have purchased a few guitars and other items from Zzounds and found them to be pretty good as far as customer service and returns.

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I have bought 2 guitars online from Musician's Friend over the past month and just ordered another today. So far so good. I bought an LP Junior Special with P90's and a MIC Epi Casino. Both have straight necks, good action and other than a little intonation and proper setup for personal taste I have been lucky so far. We will see what happens with the new guitar when it arrives.

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I've always purchased a guitar privately or new in store until..... yesterday. I had been looking for the LP Standard 2008 model in gold top to add to my stable. Hard to find them new anywhere since the 2012 & 2013 came out and as far as I'm concerned Gibson ruined a good thing. Tuesday I found one used at Chicago Music Exchange claiming to be in 10 condition other than a cracked tone knob. That didn't bother me as long as it was a 10, no dings, buckle rash or other cosmetic issues. While on line examining it, I had one of those pop up's for chat and I replied. After some brief chat exchange, the manager called me and he was very pleasant to deal with. He assured me as he was inspecting it that it was perfect as the pictures showed in detail. He excepted my offer including free shipping to Ca. and he threw in a new knob to boot. He said if I am not happy with the guitar, I have 30 days to return it on their dime. The case is assured in as good condition including original case ingredients.

 

So my experience with the vendor was good, no excellent. The new fiddle should show up by this Friday unless weather in Chicago has flights down, just in time for me to string it and go to an invite jam / practice on Saturday.

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I have Bought many Guitars from MF and Music123 this year.

While many have complained of having problems,myself I have had None

All the Gibsons and Fenders I have bought came in sealed boxes so I knew

they were not returns.

As for my Gibson Government Explorer that did not come in a Gibson box,I think because

that the case was too big(I can be wrong and maybe Gibson have bigger boxes}

But I know it was not a return since the Guitar was made 3 weeks before I

got it..JT

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I posted earlier of my recent experience with my first on line purchase from Chicago Music Exchange. It was suppose to arrive tomorrow and to my surprise my wife called and said my guitar was delivered today. It was a used 2008 Gold Top Standard made in 2010. The manager assured me that it was a 10 with no blems, dings, rash or issues. I just opened the box and he was right. It's a 10 condition GT with no issues. They tossed in a bunch of picks and a microfiber towel and polish. It also appears to have a fresh set of D'Addario strings installed. Had to get back to work so I couldn't play it but will do a set up when I get home from work today and play it all evening. I'll have to call them and express my grin I have with their service and merchandise. May go as far as a like on my FB page.

 

I think I'm feeling sick and must go home early today B)

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.... All the Gibsons and Fenders I have bought came in sealed boxes so I knew

they were not returns. ....

 

Sealed boxes . . . this is not a good thing. . It's reasonable to expect a retailer to inspect instruments when received, and then check them again before shipping to a customer.

 

 

.

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Sealed boxes . . . this is not a good thing. . It's reasonable to expect a retailer to inspect instruments when received, and then check them again before shipping to a customer.

 

 

.

 

 

 

Why is it not good?

At leasted its a sealed Gibson box (Blue Tape} then getting a NON sealed box

could be a returned guitar.

Never had a problem since all my guitars were sealed and would worry if

it was not...................JT

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.

While you've never had a problem with factory sealed boxes, there's plenty of people who have.

 

When a guitar leaves the factory there's no control over he environment it's in during shipping, or the environment it's shipped to. Environmental changes can be hard on instruments.

 

Without an inspection upon arrival, the dealer has no idea of the condition the guitar was received in - factory flaws or shipping damage. If the guitar is held in stock there's also no telling what the environment is like where it is held - in a shop or warehouse.

 

If the dealer ships the guitar to a customer without inspecting it, any faults the guitar was shipped with from the factory, or acquired through shipping and storage, are left for the purchaser to discover. Of course there's always a chance of damage during shipment from the dealer to the customer.

 

Any dealer worth purchasing from will inspect the instrument upon arrival and/or before shipping the instrument to a purchaser to insure the customer has the best chance of receiving the instrument in good shape.

 

In other words: If a person went to a dealer and purchased a guitar in a sealed factory box, and then paid for it and took it home without opening the box and inspecting the instrument, most people would say this person was foolish.

 

 

.

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.

While you've never had a problem with factory sealed boxes, there's plenty of people who have.

 

When a guitar leaves the factory there's no control over he environment it's in during shipping, or the environment it's shipped to. Environmental changes can be hard on instruments.

 

Without an inspection upon arrival, the dealer has no idea of the condition the guitar was received in - factory flaws or shipping damage. If the guitar is held in stock there's also no telling what the environment is like where it is held - in a shop or warehouse.

 

If the dealer ships the guitar to a customer without inspecting it, any faults the guitar was shipped with from the factory, or acquired through shipping and storage, are left for the purchaser to discover. Of course there's always a chance of damage during shipment from the dealer to the customer.

 

Any dealer worth purchasing from will inspect the instrument upon arrival and/or before shipping the instrument to a purchaser to insure the customer has the best chance of receiving the instrument in good shape.

 

In other words: If a person went to a dealer and purchased a guitar in a sealed factory box, and then paid for it and took it home without opening the box and inspecting the instrument, most people would say this person was foolish.

 

 

.

 

 

 

I can agree with that

But I do buy my guitars from Large Online music stores

I was not happy with the sound of my Gibson Flying V at first and

Music123 just told me too ship it back and they would have paid for the UPS return.

But I kept the Flying V once I played with it atads more.

But with a Vintage guitar that would be another story........JT

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  • 1 year later...

Bought my first LP online, a 2014 Traditional, through Zzounds, because we don't have a Gibson dealer on Guam and they do 8 months no interest payments. I got lucky and she sings just fine, but I won't do it again. I had way more fun when I bought number two, a 2013 Standard Plus, at a Guitar Center. I saw it hanging on the wall, plugged it in and tried it out, and it was true love. [smile]

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If I am buying new, I prefer to buy online, you don't get a guitar that countless people have pawed over and scratched, etc. Used is obviously a different story, but for new most of the places mentioned are great and reputable (Sweetwater, Zzounds, Musicians Friend, and others). Some even set them up before they ship them. A few things to keep in mind, keep in mind the climate from where it has been shipped and remember, the instrument might be sitting in a shipping warehouse (with unknown climate control) for who knows how long. I usually let whatever is shipped (Especially if it is an acoustic) sit for a while in the case and gradually allow it to come to room temperature before taking it out to inspect it. I have purchased my last two Gibson's online and was entirely satisfied with both,

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Everyone knows the big stores, I just want to add a [thumbup] to "Spotlight music" in Ft. Collins, CO.

They're a family operation, but I found a PRS SE 245 in spalted maple for less $ than others were selling the standard SE's.

I think it was a special run, and they bought all of them. I got the last one.

I kept waiting for the "Oh, by the way.", but it never came. They even called after I got it and made sure I was happy.

After I bought it, they took it off the web site, so no one else would assume they still had it.

Great people, give them a look. Great web site too!

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Was never a proponent of buying guitars online because they are all so different and without playing them how could you know which one suited you best? But that was when I lived in a densely populated area with a guitar store every 5 miles.

 

After moving to a more remote area with very limited selection in the shops that are around I did buy a guitar on line from Sweetwater. I may have been lucky, but the guitar was perfect when I got it, delivered in 2 days (at no charge) plenty of follow up from the salesman to be sure I was happy etc.

 

In this day and age when "customer service" seems to have been lost on most businesses I have to say Sweetwater does it right. Could not recommend them more highly.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Sweetwater seems to be the top of large retailers, but let me throw a tip to "Spotlight Music" in Ft. Collins, Co.

It's a family run operation, and they could not have treated me better. They actually wanted to make sure I was happy.

Check out their web site, and their price was great also. I bought the last spalted maple PRS SE 245 in the US,

I guess it was a very limited run (25) and they had them all.

It's rare I rave about a retailer, but they deserve it.

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Musician's Friend, Music123 and Guitar Center online are the all the same stock and warehouse. Guitar Center is the parent company of all three as well as all the Guitar Center stores. They are just different web storefronts.

 

Same for American Musical Supply (AMS) and Zzounds.com. Both are the same company with different online storefronts.

 

I've bought from MF, Music123, GC, Sam Ash, Sweetwater and various eBay stores and have NEVER had to return a guitar due to damage or any other issues. I own over 60 guitars and the majority were purchased online. Free shipping and no state sales tax is a big plus. Also I want a guitar that is brand new out of the box and not one that has been played in the store.

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A few things to keep in mind, keep in mind the climate from where it has been shipped and remember, the instrument might be sitting in a shipping warehouse (with unknown climate control) for who knows how long.

Good point. The ebay seller of the "should not exist" 2003 Epi EF-500PNS I recently got suggested waiting to ship until Monday just so it wouldn't be "sitting in a shipping warehouse (with unknown climate control)" for the weekend. It arrived in perfect, mint, pristine condition.

 

While I've got maybe one-tenth the collection Sybex has got [scared], I've never had a problem getting a guitar online.

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