Potentially hosed on a trade deal (Ultra Strat content)

sundog964

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,667
Pics!!! Uploading pics is difficult via mobile. Pardon the delay.

I just took the first two. Logo is definitely gold. Last one is what he sent me.

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The one he sent you still has the serial number visible. So he did it before sending it to you.

I would report it, and see if you can get yours back through the police. Or threaten to report it to the police unless he sends yours back. And then report him.
 

cjjcjj

Member
Messages
18
Obviously you’re not an attorney so I’m not going to get into a dialectic with you. However according to laws, when someone sells merchandise where the serial number has been intentionally removed, that in itself is grounds for suspicion and probable cause. At that point before trial , Which were not even talking about he would have to show ownership of that merchandise.

Ahhhh, the irony...
 

cjjcjj

Member
Messages
18
Yeah, I thought EpicEsquire claimed to be a licensed attorney in other threads.

I think all legit TGP lawyers should be required to post a photo of their bar card before starting off-topic d#$k-measuring arguments.

Well, I was assuming someone was just trolling the other and just playing along. I was going to mention EE’s epic thread to the new poster, as a way to find out what EE actually did for a living, but I can’t remember if he deleted everything at the end. (Thank you for the entertainment EE, that was one of the best I’ve read here)
 

Terry Hoffman

Member
Messages
369
This is probably the wrong forum but, I need some input.

I traded a dude for a 2019 Fender Ultra Strat in Arctic White. The plan was to sell it when I got it. Well, I got it and the serial number has been removed! :( This wasn't like this when he sent me pictures prior to agreeing to the deal. He swears up and down it is not stolen and provided me with the number which matches the body. I've checked several sites and forums to see if this guitar matches any description of stolen gear to no avail. He says the previous owner did that because he wanted to use the neck on another guitar and didn't want the numbers to mismatch...I don't believe that but, maybe?

Questions:
A) what can I do now? I really need the money from this but am afraid to list it
B) is there any legitimate reason for someone to remove a serial number?

Its a shame because its a great playing and sounding Strat. Its dead mint with plastic still on the guard and pickups.

Help.


That's BS. If the guitar had the numbers in the pics you saw and then not when you got it. There is a reason why and I would not be happy about it.
 

chrisjnyc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,870
The one he sent you still has the serial number visible. So he did it before sending it to you.

I would report it, and see if you can get yours back through the police. Or threaten to report it to the police unless he sends yours back. And then report him.

Who are you going to report it to? The mattress tag police? It's not a crime to remove a serial number from a headstock. I dont know if it even fits the requirements of fraud. The OP technically got a Ultra Strat in trade. Do you think a cop is going to listen to your shady trade story and understand what you are talking about?

I feel bad for the OP, but he doesn't really have any good options besides nagging the (shady) guy to swap back or pay him some $$$.
 

Obtuse2

Member
Messages
16
This is probably the wrong forum but, I need some input.

I traded a dude for a 2019 Fender Ultra Strat in Arctic White. The plan was to sell it when I got it. Well, I got it and the serial number has been removed! :( This wasn't like this when he sent me pictures prior to agreeing to the deal. He swears up and down it is not stolen and provided me with the number which matches the body. I've checked several sites and forums to see if this guitar matches any description of stolen gear to no avail. He says the previous owner did that because he wanted to use the neck on another guitar and didn't want the numbers to mismatch...I don't believe that but, maybe?

Questions:
A) what can I do now? I really need the money from this but am afraid to list it
B) is there any legitimate reason for someone to remove a serial number?

Its a shame because its a great playing and sounding Strat. Its dead mint with plastic still on the guard and pickups.

Help.
California law and most likely in other states- says....
Turning to the statutory language, Section 537e proscribes knowingly possessing “any personal property” from which a serial or identification number or mark has been removed. The statute further states that

“For purposes of this subdivision, ‘personal property’ includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) Any television, radio, recorder, phonograph, telephone, piano, or any other musical instrument or sound equipment.

And in general it is typically illegal to possess anything where a serial number has been deceased, because most likely the item has been stolen and that would indicate probable cause to accuse such person who was in possession of said item. So my advice was not incorrect to the other poster. More than likely he would either be required to prove that the guitar is not stolen or you have a case to make the trade Noll and void. This is very simple. Send him a polite letter or make a phone call telling him that you will report this to the police if he does not return your property and you sent him back the strat. The deal was made via pictures where the serial number was visible. Period.
 

LikeAMotherF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,127
It's legitimately an Ultra Strat, which means there's no reason to deface the serial number. Unless it's stolen.
I understand what you're saying- completely. But the problem with most of these posts, along with most of the other people responding here, is that you're looking at this from a purely logical viewpoint. We're forgetting that there's millions of people in America, and as we saw a month ago, many, *many* people don't use their logical or analytical facilities when making decisions. So while it's possible that the guitar is stolen, I'd say it's just as possible that the guy who traded it away just sanded it off for some dumb reason that none of us would ever guess or understand.

Hell, I'd say it's not only possible, but that it's likely that the guitar isn't stolen goods, it just belonged to someone who isn't the sharpest tool in the shed!

I know that when I was younger, I bought a guitar off my buddies boss at the time. It was a SSO (Strat Shaped Object) and the first thing I did after testing it out was to take it apart and paint it "camo"! And not the forest-y camo, but one of those strange camo patterns with odd colors in it.

I wasn't thinking about resale. If there was a serial number on it, the number definitely got painted over. It was impulsive, and probably a very poor choice.

The guitar wasn't stolen. But by the time I was done with it, I'm sure some folks would've assumed it was. (The paint job was not dissimilar to when a stolen bike gets a fresh coat!) I had no intentions of deceiving anyone or obscuring anything. I just wasn't particularly concerned.

None of this is to try and let the guy who traded the Ultra Strat off the hook. The fact that the serial number was present in the photos and then he didn't immediately own up to it and offer a trade back speaks volumes about him and his character. But just because he's acting like a d-bag doesn't make him a criminal d-bag. He could just as easily be a dimwitted d-bag.

Just my thoughts.
 

OldBones

Member
Messages
110
Bottom line is you will always feel cheated and the only way to flip this is to take a loss or cheat someone else. You need deal with this.
 
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Chic-Pop

Member
Messages
1,187
Probably stolen from a store rather than an individual.
In which case it has already be written off. Unless there is a sentimental valued attachment, property which is stolen is regarded as having been disposed with...
 

COYS

Member
Messages
6,279
I understand what you're saying- completely. But the problem with most of these posts, along with most of the other people responding here, is that you're looking at this from a purely logical viewpoint. We're forgetting that there's millions of people in America, and as we saw a month ago, many, *many* people don't use their logical or analytical facilities when making decisions. So while it's possible that the guitar is stolen, I'd say it's just as possible that the guy who traded it away just sanded it off for some dumb reason that none of us would ever guess or understand.

Yeah, you are right about that. It's possible the seller's story is true, that he got the guitar from someone who sanded it off simply because he's a complete doofus.

I just didn't believe it because the seller's story was that this guy sanded it off because he didn't want the neck serial to mismatch the body. It doesn't make sense because the body doesn't have a serial number on it anyway. Yes, it's possible he meant that he didn't want the neck serial to mismatch the guitar if you looked it up in Fender's database, but that reason suspect at best.

But you're right, people do dumb things to guitars every day.
 

COYS

Member
Messages
6,279
California law and most likely in other states- says....
Turning to the statutory language, Section 537e proscribes knowingly possessing “any personal property” from which a serial or identification number or mark has been removed.

Ok, but you know California makes a lot of laws that the rest of the country doesn't, right
 
Messages
2,603
I dont think you know what you're even arguing about. You've said that you've never done anything in the criminal justice system. Yet you have people on here that have experience and you're trying to say were wrong.

If this guy reports this to the local pd its most likely that it will be enough pressure to get the guy to return the guitar. If not then because of the amount of value involved then there might be a good case. Facts are right now that the guitar received is not the one shown in the pictures. The agreement was the OP's guitar for a Strat Ultra show in the pictures. That guitar is not what the OP received. Thats fraud! Why would a PD not try to investigate? I've done cases like this for $1,000 before. I've also recovered stolen items and fraud items. Ive written warrants based on probable cause.. And to top it off its more based on the amount of evidence I had than anything else. The people that had nothing to hide were always more than willing prove me wrong.


Please point to any post I have made wherein I stated the police could not investigate and the alleged perpetrator could not be convicted
 
Messages
2,603
Yeah, I thought EpicEsquire claimed to be a licensed attorney in other threads.

Well, I was assuming someone was just trolling the other and just playing along. I was going to mention EE’s epic thread to the new poster, as a way to find out what EE actually did for a living, but I can’t remember if he deleted everything at the end. (Thank you for the entertainment EE, that was one of the best I’ve read here)


Yes I am an attorney licensed in two states (passed the Bar in both on my first try lol)

I have an LL.M. as well

That thread was definitely a highlight of my time here on TGP but, as I have stated previously, someone threatened to dox me and I had to close it


Here is what I have basically stated in this thread:

  • Innocent until proven guilty
  • No defendant has to assist the police in their investigation of an alleged crime
  • No defendant has to ever prove their innocence -- However, should they raise an affirmative defense to the alleged crime, they must prove the elements of that affirmative defense


I am perplexed as to how anyone can argue that those points are "incorrect"
 

Gemberbier

Member
Messages
50
I wouldn't buy a guitar without a serial number regardless of the story. Especially something that was a common factory guitar. If you plan was to sell it then I would see if you could reverse the trade.

That depends: I would buy a vintage Ibanez without a serial number, IF the guitar is from before August 1975. If the pickups are younger than that, there's something fishy. Otherwise, it's likely legit.
 

thegearhead

Member
Messages
37
It’s a stolen guitar. Period. To the OP. Threatening to report the seller to the police is your best recourse. Actually calling the police is a waste of time, as you received stolen goods, so they will take it. Small claims court is an option, IF you have his actual name and address. But, if not, you own a stolen guitar. Sucks, I feel for you.
 

PeteNJ75

Member
Messages
53
Yeah, you are right about that. It's possible the seller's story is true, that he got the guitar from someone who sanded it off simply because he's a complete doofus.

I just didn't believe it because the seller's story was that this guy sanded it off because he didn't want the neck serial to mismatch the body. It doesn't make sense because the body doesn't have a serial number on it anyway. Yes, it's possible he meant that he didn't want the neck serial to mismatch the guitar if you looked it up in Fender's database, but that reason suspect at best.

But you're right, people do dumb things to guitars every day.
I have to agree with this as well. I don't see why it's so hard to believe the guy is just a moron and sanded it off out of pure stupidity. He says he wanted to use the neck on another guitar - so I actually kind of understand why he would have wanted the SN off the neck. In my younger more ignorant days I probably would have done the same thing - I wouldn't want the other guitar to have two serial numbers, and I would keep the original SN over replacing it with the SN on the new neck, if that makes sense to anyone. I'm not saying I would do that now, but I could see myself doing something dumb like that in the past.

All that said, if the SN was there when you agreed to the trade, and you got the guitar in a different condition, then that is grounds for returning it and/or making the other guy's life miserable by trashing him and his user name(s) on social media and all the guitar forums so no one is stupid enough to make a deal with him again. Maybe even the threat of doing that would make him change his mind on taking the guitar back. If he was smart, he would. There's only one person who should have to take the hit on resale value for doing something as stupid as sanding off the SN, and that is him, no one else.
 




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