I've learned my lesson on buying guitars online

Abram4235

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,077
I've never received a damaged one or anything, but I just took delivery on an AVRI 59 last week, and it's already sold and headed to its new owner as of today.

Maybe I just keep getting duds, or the American Special Strat that I have just happened to have been a really good one. Or maybe Fender has such great quality control that strats are not all that different from one another. But the 2300 dollar guitar didn't feel as good as the 1000 guitar (bought it new when it came out so I actually paid 700).

The original plan was to replace my special with the 59 reissue, but I just did not feel much of a difference, and of the differences that were there, they actually favored the special. So I think I'm done buying guitars online. There are some things I would change about the special, it isn't perfect, but it is the best feeling strat I have ever played. So until I play something that I connect with in a store, I don't think im going to buy a guitar online again.

It was a Christmas gift from my ex wife in 2011 so that is part of the reason i wanted to sell, but factually, that would be a stupid decision at this point.

Anyone else not having luck buying online?
 

stonem

Member
Messages
2,865
Where I live it's 2 plus hours to a music store so I always buy online. I've bought at least 100 in the past 10 years. Most of them I was sorely disappointed with. You get a lot of dogs cause you can't "run the racks" secret is get it cheap enough if you don't like it you can get your money back.
 

cardinal

Member
Messages
5,657
Buying online is fine as long as you can really be objective (sounds like you are: you didn't go with the shiny new thing just because it was shiny and new) and you don't mind eating some transactions costs with shipping and returns and whatever.
 

C-4

Member
Messages
15,526
I have no choice but to buy online due to where I live. In the last 2 years, my online buying experience has been horrible. I do all my own setups, so no matter how a guitar arrive to me set up, it gets a thorough going over and everything adjusted as I desire it to be.

In the past two years, I have returned 3 guitars to Sweetwater for electronic shorts in the guitars they sent, and several other problems their 55 point inspection somehow missed. I believe that inspection is overrated. One guitar was clearly not new. I've become disappointed in them.
 

chillybilly

Member
Messages
3,810
I've never received a damaged one or anything, but I just took delivery on an AVRI 59 last week, and it's already sold and headed to its new owner as of today.

Maybe I just keep getting duds

Pardon my cross-examination but does this mean you sold a dud to the new owner? Was he aware of its status as such?

I hate to jinx myself but I have had outstanding luck in ordering guitars online, from the inexpensive and second-hand to the premium and brand new. A couple of them, admittedly, were not keepers but those were completely subjective decisions.

There is also something liberating in not having to deal with sales types who, even when otherwise helpful and patient, are concerned mostly with a sale and/or a commission.

I temper my expectations accordingly: I don't expect a guitar that was either set up to suit another owner or that is brand new and has made a bumpy journey in a delivery truck to play like a dream out of the box. Some do and that's a bonus but a full setup incorporating one's own preferences is still a must upon receipt. In fact, I usually avoid plugging in any guitar until restringing and intonating for fear of making a judgment based on incomplete or misleading evidence.
 

stratotastic

Member
Messages
7,239
Never understood how someone can buy something as "personal" as a guitar without seeing and handling it first. It's like buying a car, house, piece of art, etc, without ever seeing it. Weird.

But OTOH, it seems a lot of people on here are just in it for the status of owning certain guitars rather than using them to actually do music with, so maybe it doesn't matter as much to them.
 

Abram4235

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,077
Pardon my cross-examination but does this mean you sold a dud to the new owner? Was he aware of its status as such?

I hate to jinx myself but I have had outstanding luck in ordering guitars online, from the inexpensive and second-hand to the premium and brand new. A couple of them, admittedly, were not keepers but those were completely subjective decisions.

There is also something liberating in not having to deal with sales types who, even when otherwise helpful and patient, are concerned mostly with a sale and/or a commission.

I temper my expectations accordingly: I don't expect a guitar that was either set up to suit another owner or that is brand new and has made a bumpy journey in a delivery truck to play like a dream out of the box. Some do and that's a bonus but a full setup incorporating one's own preferences is still a must upon receipt. In fact, I usually avoid plugging in any guitar until restringing and intonating for fear of making a judgment based on incomplete or misleading evidence.

No way. The 59 was great, absolutely nothing wrong with it. But it wasn't anything special in comparison to the strat I have for the money. And I lost money for a quick sale and to get it out of my house.

The dud part was more about my experience in general. Ive bought a few guitars online and none of them were that great compared to what I had, but nothing wrong with them either. Perhaps dud was a strong word.
 

Abram4235

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,077
You are experiencing the problem of diminishing returns when it comes to buying guitars......not a problem with online shopping.

I think that's correct. But also, guitars are so different from one another and personal that it's hard to find something you connect with unless you play it first. Also, I wanted some features that I couldn't find unless I spent more money. I don't mind spending the money, but since I didn't connect with the guitar, I let it go.

I think I'll run down to Portland which is just an hour and a half away to visit a few guitar stores next time I'm ready to buy.
 

Alex Najarian

Senior Member
Messages
1,074
I have been saying this time and again. A simple Strat will outperform most guitars, no matter how exotic they may be. Of course, if you are looking for a great hard rock guitar, you are going to have to consider a Les Paul or something along those lines but you will have to play them to find the good ones. Most sound muddy.
 

Jimmy R

Member
Messages
1,383
Never understood how someone can buy something as "personal" as a guitar without seeing and handling it first. It's like buying a car, house, piece of art, etc, without ever seeing it. Weird.

But OTOH, it seems a lot of people on here are just in it for the status of owning certain guitars rather than using them to actually do music with, so maybe it doesn't matter as much to them.

I have no problem buying without feeling it, because I know exactly what I like. If it has a V neck, larger frets, and vintage style pickups, I'm going to enjoy it 99% of the time. If there's a quality problem, it just gets returned.
 

LTigh

Member
Messages
883
Eh. I'm 2-for-4 buying from teh flea-Bay. Two abortions of a transaction that have me thanking the gods of online auctioning for eBay's heavily buyer-biased return policy while cursing the fact that special needs would-be-con-artist spergs are allowed to use the internet to sell stuff. Two were satisfactory, but currently I only still own one of those two guitars (hadn't touched the other one in about a year).

On the other hand, I'm 4-for-4 currently buying from Japan via Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, and Yahoo Auctions Japan. Chalk it up to cultural meticulousness and the exquisite art of the under-sell, but most sellers there document every little thing about the guitar in the listing-- if new or new old stock, list the year, show you the serial number (sometimes partially blurred, but always showing the year), take pics of anything that may be considered wear and tear, let you know about neck straightness, truss rod tightness, and fret wear, and list any mods that may have been done (while usually keeping the stock parts and including them with the shipment), and over-all impressions.

Also in the process of acquiring something from Ishibashi-- they're very responsive in listing everything about the guitar in great detail when you submit the inquiry sheet.

And yes, I do realize that there are going to be dogs even in Rising Sun Land, but so far it's been a refreshing change from the glad-handing used-car-salesman tripe you'll encounter more often on fleaBay.
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,721
Did a thread survey a few weeks ago asking about online vs in person. Large percentage of folks that answered the survey have primarily bought online and had no issues.
 

daacrusher2001

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,022
I've had mostly good experiences buying online. I had one Taylor I just didn't like, nothing wrong - it was in nice shape - something about the neck shape.

I bought a Reverend DA. Nice guitar - well made - didn't love it tho' so I wasn't playing it and sold it. Also a neck thing...

All my current guitars were bought online and I like all of them a lot.

The main reasons I have bought online was I was either buying used (from TGP usually) or I couldn't get what I want locally.
 

monty

Member
Messages
26,616
I never buy online. Sure there are deals to be had, but I really need to feel it first. No 2 are the same.
 

mikebat

Member
Messages
12,329
I have never bought online, but I am not against the idea of it.

That said...some brands seem more consistent and therefore less of a risk when buying online, such as Suhr and PRS. Maybe that is more myth than reality...but it is my bias.
 

Serenity

Member
Messages
3,508
Last 6 guitars i've bought have all been online. Only had a problem with one of them, all others were great.
 

Carbohydrates

Member
Messages
3,053
I've bought a slew of guitars online. I've been disappointed by some, but for the most part it's been good experiences. My #1 was blindly purchased 8 years ago and I'm so glad I went for it. In fact, of my 5 remaining/favorite electrics, 3 were online purchases and 2 were in person.
 

Starshine

Member
Messages
1,036
If I buy online, chances are 50/50 that it's a keeper. That means half the guitars go right back out the door. It wouldn't be such an issue except I hate shipping guitars, so I sell on Craigslist, which is super slow in my area. Too much hassle. Unless there's some super uncommon guitar that I just have to have, I wait until I can find the guitar I want locally and try it out before buying.
 

wilblee

Hack sans shame
Messages
5,056
I'm down to 18 guitars after going through, I don't know, 40-ish? Only one of the 18 was bought new or in a store (several of the ones that are gone were bought new in a store). One of my amps was bought in a store (a used Marshall 1974X at a can't-pass-it-up price). The only effects that I've bought in a store are two Line 6 modelers that haven't been hooked up in years. All of my other pedals/amps/guitars/straps/etc. were bought online. Yes, to be sure, there have been some sour experiences. One mixer, in particular, leaps to mind. On the whole, however, the transactions with gear that didn't measure up were handled with less fuss than in-store returns.
 




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