If you were selling a guitar and someone asked for the serial number

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by KCWM, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. KCWM

    KCWM Member

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    This is a local sale.

    Maybe I'm just paranoid. But, is it safe to give out the serial number for the guitar? They said they want to verify the year and model of the guitar.

    Just looking for thoughts before I respond.

    Thanks
     
  2. StJimmy

    StJimmy Member

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    I personally have no issue with it. I've heard different theories about how a person may try to say it was his and was stolen or maybe wanting your number to make a counterfeit using your real number. But if it's a late model guitar, who would want to take the time lying to law enforcement about a guitar they can't possibly prove is stolen? And as far as counterfeiting, who'd want to spend the time counterfeiting a current model guitar one at a time? Shoot, the chinese just stamp a big number on the back with Made In USA. They don't go looking for real numbers and they're selling the counterfeits for a living.

    But a vintage instrument. May be a different story, depending.
     
  3. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    Give it to 'em.

    There are too many damn sites out there where you can find serial numbers for a scam if you want one...no need to bother someone else...

    And if I were buying a guitar, and you didn't give me the serial number...that would make ME suspicious.
     
  4. treeofpain

    treeofpain Silver Supporting Member

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    Or you could give them all but the final digit.
     
  5. Profklamen

    Profklamen Supporting Member

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    I won't buy from someone who won't give out the serial number. If the person won't give me the serial number it makes me worry that they think the guitar may have been stolen.
     
  6. Oakley

    Oakley Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't think it puts you at any risk unless you already know there's a chance it was stolen.
     
  7. h20man

    h20man Member

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    I ask for them if I cannot see them in a pic. I want to know what guitar I am buying, is it made is USA, what year is it etc... Don't want to loose a sale because of it so I would give it to him.
     
  8. cmatthes

    cmatthes Member

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    Absolutely give it to 'em. That has been a pretty standard practice for years. I've been buying and selling guitars since the early 80s, and have never hesitated to ask for a serial from a seller and am willing to give to a prospective buyer. I've never been burned, and don't know anybody who has that way.

    *h20man - Bethany, eh? My favorite DE beach - we're in Ocean Village.
     
  9. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    I sure would not buy a guitar from someone who wouldn't tell me the SN. That is one of the details I need in order to check out what I am buying.
     
  10. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    Just because I can't exactly say what scam someone might use it for doesn't mean I shouldn't be a little bit wary--the whole thing about a scam is that the victim doesn't know about it, a little caution is reasonable. But there is point where you go beyond wary to paranoid.

    I wouldn't broadcast it but I would give it to someone who seemed like a serious buyer. I wouldn't expect someone to have to pay and wait to get it delivered to them to see the serial number, if they wanted to know it.
     
  11. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Member

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    Great attitude. I think this is the way to do it. I usually intentionally obscure it in listing shots but take one nice pic of the serial to give to anyone who's interested in purchasing.
     
  12. lukeII

    lukeII Supporting Member

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    Do you have proof of ownership of your guitar ? If so you can give them the serial number but do it by email and not over the phone. That way if they try to scam and declare it stolen you can press charges for fraud (using both the receipt and the email as proof). If you don't have a receipt for your guitar then you should contact the store you got it from to see if they have an electronic copy on file (some do) if you got it from a private transaction you could recontact the seller to ask to document the sale. If you have no way of prooving ownership (I trust it is not stolen) then you should not provide the complete serial number (leave out the last digit or two) for model and year verification but should also say to the seller that if he buys you will provide him with a document saying that you are the owner of the instrument and sold it to him on (date of sale). When buying second hand off an individual I always get this document just in case I need to have some proof I acted in good faith when I bought the item.
     
  13. Kingbeegtrs

    Kingbeegtrs Senior Member

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    I had an ebayer ask to see the serial number today. I said "no way"
     
  14. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Usually I know which portion of the serial number I would want (for dating MIJ guitars for example). You don't have to give them the whole thing, just the portion that matters with xxx at the end. You'll see that in a lot of ads / pics as well. The first numbers are listed then the last 1 or 2 numbers are blanked out.
     
  15. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    The serial number allows one to find out if its real.
    If I want to buy a Martin online and I'm not sure of it's authenticity...I can email the serial number to Martin and they'll tell me both the model and year.
     
  16. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    generally I use the XXX's in online discussion, though I tried that once when I was asking the experts at the Let's Talk Guild forum to get info on my Starfire III-90, and discovered that they needed the whole serial number to figure everything out on those guitars.
     
  17. chucke99

    chucke99 Member

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    If I asked and you wouldn't provide it, that would be the last you heard from me. Sorry, but it's a big red flag.
     
  18. goodwill559

    goodwill559 Member

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    It helps build trust to share information. By refusing to share, one is essentially sending the message that one does not trust the person requesting the information.

    Of course, there are both rational and irrational reasons not to trust. Each situation will be different.
     
  19. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    The reason he's not giving it to you most likely is that he thinks YOU are going to try and steal it.

    I give everything but the day of manufacture. The rest, model, year, can be gleaned from the remaining portion.
     
  20. 71Model

    71Model Member

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    :agree
    Give them 7***5* etc for a 75 model
     

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