buying a guitar online

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by thesjkexperienc, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^

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    I have never done this before, but an online dealer has a hard to find model that I am interested in, and I am not sure what to ask to, hopefully, assure a great guitar.

    All ideas are appreciated.
     
  2. GregoryL

    GregoryL Supporting Member

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    Ask for an approval period.

    If it's one of the big three - tele, strat, LP ... I ask for the exact weight.

    If used, ask about blemishes, repairs, etc. I'm comfortable with most blemishes and some repairs ... I just want to know about them up front.
     
  3. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    Absolutely; no verbal or written description can compare with actually holding and playing a guitar. Most upscale online dealers (of new instruments, at least) offer some sort of approval period, even if it's only 24 hours.
     
  4. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^

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    The good news is they do have a 24 hour trial, but i owe shipping both ways and 3% of the sales cost if returned. That will be around $125 if it isnt just right :( I just thought maybe if I use a debit card I can get the 3% waved? The 3% is credit card charge that the store will lose if I return it.
     
  5. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    If you're not in a rush, paying by check or money order will probably avoid that 3% fee. As for shipping costs, there's no real way around that other than to find a local dealer (in which case you'd have to pay sales tax if you keep the guitar).

    I'm currently purchasing a guitar, with a trial period, and my personal philosophy is that I'd rather spend $$ in 2-way shipping than be stuck paying $$$$ for a guitar that I don't want.
     
  6. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    Bubba Guitar Gump once said that buying guitars online is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. That being said, I do it all the time and am usually satisfied with the results.
     
  7. sinner

    sinner Member

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    I always like to prepare a list of questions to ask the dealer. Think carefully about this and then call for an in-hand description and ask your questions.

    Some things (if not asked about) are always left out of the dealer's description, even the best dealers (IMO). They may be things they do not believe are an issue, but may be an issue to you.

    Things like:

    1. Divots in the rosewood fretboard
    2. Cracks in binding
    3. Overspray
    4. Loose (or repaired) bracing
    5. Sunken top (applies mostly to hollowbody guitars)
    6. Action, set-up, fret shape, neck hump, buzzing, fretting out

    These along with the usual weight, damage, repairs, original parts, frets, playability, sound, tone, acoustic sound, plugged in sound, headstock/neck etc.
     
  8. LPguitarman

    LPguitarman Member

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    I bought my Gibson Les Paul Classic Antique on line. I did however ask the dealer to send pictures. He sent many pictures at different angles. The best part of the purchase was no shipping costs and no sales tax. Probably saved about $150 or more. Thought I'd never buy without playing first, but this transaction changed my mind.
     
  9. Red Suede

    Red Suede Member

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    I bought my Tyler online based off the mp3s I heard. It sounded just as good if not better than what I heard, so there was no problem.
     
  10. musicman1

    musicman1 Member

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    Ive done it w/gtrs 3 times and once w/a amp without any problem. Just know exactly what you are buying. Any reputable on line dealer should provide a phone number so you can talk to someone and get the real scoop on your purchase. I also only buy from online dealers that have brick and mortar stores. AMS would be the one exception as I know the owner. Problem is they would charge me sales tax as I live in NJ so I tend to avoid them. 2 dealers paid for the shipping to me. On the other two, they only charged me $25.00 for shipping. I also like to buy from dealers that are not far away hopefully avoiding weather and humidity problems. I noticed I dont buy gtrs during extreme temperature times of the year. I also make it a point to track the delivery and make sure that Im home when I expect it to be delivered.

    Id have no problem paying for the return shipping but a 3% return charge is a deal breaker for me. Its not like they are going to re-sell it to someone else for 3% less. Also, credit card charges are part of doing business, they should eat the cc charges anyway.
     

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