PayLessGuitars.com - chinese fakes with any logo you want

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by mmcquain, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. mmcquain

    mmcquain Member

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    Has anybody seen PayLessGuitars.com yet? They are an [​IMG]eBay seller and have their own website that specifically says "We have our own guitar factory and we can make any kind of guitar with any kind of logo you want." and it goes on to say "Paylessguitars.com offers a lot of guitars in every imaginable brands... All the musical instruments are fabricated in our China factory..."

    So, at least they are telling you flat out that their guitars are fake version of the real thing. They are not only making Gibson knock-offs, but also PRS, Fender, Epiphone, Gretsch, Ibanez, etc. However, you have to go to their About Us webpage to find out they are really fakes. The uneducated customer could easily just click the Gibson link on the left of the Main Page and get taken to their list of Gibson models, where they ARE MISREPRESENTED as "Made in the USA" when you look at the pictures of the back of the headstock, etc. on the product photos page. Also, get a load of their Return Policy.

    This is what seems to have happened to a guy from CraigsList that contacted me recently and wanted to trade his "Les Paul Custom" for my Taylor T5. I had to break the news to him that, based on the picture of his guitar he sent me, he really had a Chinese knock-off and NOT a real Gibson. I haven't heard back from him yet (just sent the email today) so I don't know how he'll take the bad news. Here a pic of his guitar and you can easily tell it looks like a rosewood fretboard, etc. and the case isn't right for a real Gibson (missing latch, etc.). His guitar clearly looks like it came from PayLessGuitars' china factory IMO.

    http://tampa.craigslist.org/msg/737726278.html

    So be warned...

    FYI - Many of you may already know about this but I thought this would be good for the newbies and people who may be searching for info on the fakes to have this info together in one thread. (since the forum is for all levels of interest - from the new guy looking to buy his first Gibson to a sessoned player or reseller).
     
  2. b2sc

    b2sc Member

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  3. mmcquain

    mmcquain Member

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    I don't know that he paid $210 for it. My guess would be that he got it somewhere else and thought it was the real deal. He was asking to trade it for my Taylor T5 as both of our asking prices were in the $2K range. I wrote him back and pointed out that it looked like a fake - haven't heard from him since.
     
  4. mmcquain

    mmcquain Member

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    Oh, my mistake about the domain name. It really ends with .cn (china) instead .com and there isn't an S at the end of the name (sorry for the mix up). The real website is: http://www.paylessguitar.cn

    Somebody pointed out that paylessguitarS.com (with the S) isn't registered so maybe somebody should register that domain and post a warning about the fake guitars. Anyway, I sent an email to Gibson guitars about the fakes - their legal department needs something to do! :)
     
  5. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    If the company is in China, I'm pretty sure Gibson can't do jack-doody about them.

    -Austin
     
  6. 1959burst

    1959burst boogieman

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    they are really poorly made guitars................
     
  7. mmcquain

    mmcquain Member

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  8. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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  9. dhdfoster

    dhdfoster Silver Supporting Member

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    Kind of funny that they offer a Gibson knockoff and an Epi knockoff, and a "genuine" Epiphone.
     
  10. GtrDr

    GtrDr Member

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    This is what happens when American companies bypass the Amercan worker & farm everything out to China. It's called Karma & it's driving Gibson nuts.
     
  11. DIXØN

    DIXØN Member

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    These could be good guitars on the cheap for use as a basis to upgrade (better pickups etc), the same way many strat copy guitars are often upgraded.
     
  12. Drew68

    Drew68 Supporting Member

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    Exactly. Who didn't see this coming?
     
  13. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

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    That would be true if they were only selling the guitars in China, but if they're making a business of selling them and transporting them to the USA, then I think they could make a case for an international trademark lawsuit.

    Case in point, Gucci:

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/15/business/gucci.php

    Probably cost them more to sue than they got back in damages, but its the principle of the thing, dammit!

    Of course, if they made a decent '59 historic knockoff for $300 U.S. I'd sure as hell be tempted to try one out ;)

     
  14. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

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    OMG - look at the spacing on the volume and tone pots on this 'Res Parl Custom'!

    [​IMG]

    Guess the guy with the ruler was out the day they drew up the plans for this one! You'd think they'd at least make ONE good one to photograph!
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  15. Drew68

    Drew68 Supporting Member

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    When I bought a "Rolex" watch from a street vendor in Dubai for $60 I knew it wasn't a real Rolex, but I bought it anyways because it looked sharp and kept the time. This probably isn't much different.

    Of course, I never tried to pass off my fake Rolex as a real watch. If anyone asked, I'd 'fess up that it was as fake as a $3 bill. Certainly, any jeweler worth his salt would be able to ascertain the counterfeit status of my blingy wristwatch from 20' away.

    Now I'm not going to feel too bad for the guy who pays under $400 for one of these "Gibsons." I'd assume that he/she knows it is a forgery. The problem is that they are starting to flood the market and people are buying them for under $400 and trying to sell them for much, much more.

    The Chinese are getting better at what they're making as well. Sure, most of the counterfeits are garbage but some are almost convincing (and might not be bad players) And why shouldn't they be improving? We sold them the equipment and sent over former Gibson production managers to teach them how to make Les Pauls. Of course, the Les Pauls we taught them to make were supposed to say "Epiphone" on the headstock. But the Chinese aren't stupid. They know what a Gibson logo means.
     
  16. DIXØN

    DIXØN Member

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    That's also the same as buying "new" DVDs from the boot of some bloke's car. They are either counterfeit, or stolen. You know it, he knows it, but you can still watch the DVD. It just might have a slightly dodgy picture...
     
  17. MikeMcK

    MikeMcK Member

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    It's a lot easier to go after the American importer... in other words, the purchaser who knows it's not a Gibson. Not too tough to prove you didn't think you were getting a $4,000 guitar for $220.

    And yes, it's been happening. Mostly people buying fake purses and things via eBay.
     
  18. mojocaster.com

    mojocaster.com Member

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    PayLessGuitars are basically thieves. I don't hope bad things to people, but there's a business that if their company & factory were to burn down to the ground, I would not share a tear.
     
  19. Tom CT

    Tom CT Old Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    That's not an SG - it's a Baker with a Gibson headstock! :eek:
     
  20. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

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    Yeah, but they're selling direct to consumers. Its pretty hard to make a case to sue hundreds, or even thousands, of people individually.

    Seems more likely that they'd go after paypal for enabling them to accept payment in USD in the first place. It looks like eBay isnt playing with them - for whatever reason it doesn't look like they've sold anything there in awhile, and their 'store' has nothing in it.

    Of course, it would be an entirely different story if they were actually selling anything decent. I suspect they can fly under the radar because what they're churning out are pretty obvious forgeries. If the quality started going up I bet that would change fast.

     

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