Calling All Fender Guitar Dating Serial Number Experts!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by SatDoug, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. SatDoug

    SatDoug Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2011
    Hello All:
    An opportunity came along to purchase a 1996 Fender Sambora Black Paisley Strat on eBay. I actually currently own one. This one had minor body damage but was sold as all original by the original owner purchased by an authorized dealer in 1996 (per his emails to me). The one glaring problem I had (and why I let it go) was with the serial number and 'Made in Japan' versus 'Crafted in Japan'.

    Every 1996 Paisley I have seen (of the known 200 made in Japan for sales in Japan only in 1996), including mine, is stamped 'Made in Japan', and per Fender's own site, all 1996 models with serial number V-xxxxxx (6 digit number) (both the guitar on eBay and mine have this SN but different digits of course )was manufactured in 1996 and is assumed to have the stamp 'Made in Japan'.

    This one has the stamp 'Crafted in Japan', which should be on 1997 and later (with later minor exceptions around 2007) instruments. Also NO serial numbers "V-xxxxxx" (per the site) exist on ANY 'Crafted in Japan' instruments.

    The Fender link I am referring to:

    I am not saying this seller is intentionally pulling a scam, but buyer beware so I stayed away, especially since I might have planned to re-sell it and if I am questioning it someone else might have. He did have over 1000 positive feedback and has been an eBayer since 1999, but he himself may have been a victim and not know it.

    But perhaps I am mis-informed and there is a valid reason, thus the question to the Forum.

    Thanks all for any insight you can share!
  2. treeofpain

    treeofpain Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Columbia, SC
    Is it possible that the serial number is consistent with 1996, but that it's actually a 1997 guitar? Yep.

    Is it a conspiracy by the seller? Probably not.

    Is the value of a 1996 Sambora Strat different from a 1997. Probably not.

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