Recommend dealers who will cherry pick their stock and ship

Frank Prince

Member
Messages
3,642
Do you guys have any preferred dealers who will get you the "good" stuff off their walls sight unseen, or will let you cherry pick online or over the phone?

I'm interested in getting one of the Baja Teles, but I'm concerned that the quality seems to vary wildly, and we don't have a huge Fender selection here.
 

scottlr

Member
Messages
23,677
Dave's has done that for me. Actually I picked from a picture, and they inspected it for me and gave it the OK, twice, now.

No Fender selection in Omaha? I used to hang there back in the 80s & 90s and there were some pretty good shops, as well as in Lincoln.
 

guitardr

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
970
Dve's is really nice.
Not too far from there iin Chicago & the "North Shore" are (in no particular order)...
1. Make 'N Music - Chicago (a nice boutique place but Teddy is pleasant)
2. The Guitar Gallery - Highwood, IL (Teddy worked there before buy in Make 'n, and Frank the owner is about as straight ahead as it gets; does mucho eBay stuff and gets a great rating too).
Get a copy of Vintage Guitar & make a few internet & phone inquiries.
 

Frank Prince

Member
Messages
3,642
Dve's is really nice.
Not too far from there iin Chicago & the "North Shore" are (in no particular order)...
1. Make 'N Music - Chicago (a nice boutique place but Teddy is pleasant)
2. The Guitar Gallery - Highwood, IL (Teddy worked there before buy in Make 'n, and Frank the owner is about as straight ahead as it gets; does mucho eBay stuff and gets a great rating too).
Get a copy of Vintage Guitar & make a few internet & phone inquiries.
I spent a lunch break at Make 'N Music when I was in Chicago for work. That is a SERIOUS candy store! I played a Suhr S1 Pro through a Fuchs ODS 30. :RoCkIn
 

Clam

Member
Messages
140
I'll 2nd Wildwood. Bruce spent an hour at least with me on the phone, comparing different guitars and playing/describing them to me
 

studiodunn

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,553
guitarsale.com always dealt with Nate and have had great success on high end guitar purchases unplayed.
 

justonwo

Member
Messages
3,094
I've always found this whole concept to be a little strange. I mean, you have to ask the guy on the other end of the line for a "good" guitar? I would hope their DEFAULT action would be to send you a "good" guitar. Picking out a good one implies that there are bad ones, which begs the question: if you don't specifically ask for a good one, is there a chance they will send you a "bad" one? And if that's the case, doesn't that mean the dealer is shady to begin with?

In other words, a great dealer has no business sending you anything BUT a good guitar.

For what it's worth, I've had bad experiences with at least one of the names already mentioned in this thread and one other not mentioned where I specifically asked for a "good" one. In one case, my LP Standard required a complete fret leveling right out of the box and had hopelessly crooked tuners.

In another case, with a 2007 R9, one of these dealers sent me a $4800 guitar that had a chip in the finish and fretboard binding that looked like it was finished off with a hedge trimmer.
 

lv

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,989
Dve's is really nice.
Not too far from there iin Chicago & the "North Shore" are (in no particular order)...
1. Make 'N Music - Chicago (a nice boutique place but Teddy is pleasant)
2. The Guitar Gallery - Highwood, IL (Teddy worked there before buy in Make 'n, and Frank the owner is about as straight ahead as it gets; does mucho eBay stuff and gets a great rating too).
Get a copy of Vintage Guitar & make a few internet & phone inquiries.
+1 on both, and FYI Frank's store is actually music gallery, not guitar gallery, and it's actually in Highland Park.

www.musicgalleryinc.com

I've done biz with Frank for ten years, he is a straight shooter, knows the product better than any other dealer I've met, and has great prices.
 

scottlr

Member
Messages
23,677
I've always found this whole concept to be a little strange. I mean, you have to ask the guy on the other end of the line for a "good" guitar? I would hope their DEFAULT action would be to send you a "good" guitar. Picking out a good one implies that there are bad ones, which begs the question: if you don't specifically ask for a good one, is there a chance they will send you a "bad" one? And if that's the case, doesn't that mean the dealer is shady to begin with?

In other words, a great dealer has no business sending you anything BUT a good guitar.

For what it's worth, I've had bad experiences with at least one of the names already mentioned in this thread and one other not mentioned where I specifically asked for a "good" one. In one case, my LP Standard required a complete fret leveling right out of the box and had hopelessly crooked tuners.

In another case, with a 2007 R9, one of these dealers sent me a $4800 guitar that had a chip in the finish and fretboard binding that looked like it was finished off with a hedge trimmer.

I think he means rather than order from Musician's Friend or GC, where they are just having some guy in the warehouse pick a box with the right number on it and ship it to you, that the store will do an in-hand inspection for you over the phone, answering your every question and being your eyes, ears and hands for you. Then if it passes the inspection, they, and you, can be reasonable sure you'll like what you get when you get it delivered. The only thing better is being there in person. Shops that do this for you are above #1 in my book. They can tell you the weight, whether the fretwork is nice, any finish flaws, etc. All the things you'd look at personally. I appreciate that kind of service from an online/phone/mail order dealer. MF will not do that. They send an order to the warehouse, and some grunt pulls one from the shelf and ships it to you, and you get what you get. AND, I'd imagine someone tells them to keep sending out that guitar that has been returned 3 times until someone keeps it.
 

justonwo

Member
Messages
3,094
I guess my expectation is that any store hoping to compete with Musician's Friend better be offering this kind of service. If they won't talk you through the details of an expensive guitar over the phone, are they freakin nuts? It's their job. I guess most stores have jaded us with such a horrible level of customer service that even the most modest level of service receives accolades.

At any rate, for both of the experiences mentioned above I sent a many-step checklist to the store with things to look for. Binding work and finish work were on the list. Neither passed.

I've bought from stores all over the country, and not one yet has been able to go through my guitar checklist and deliver a guitar that passed. It makes me wonder if these guys really are cherry picking or just blowing smoke and "wallet picking."
 

krall

Member
Messages
925
And, like the previous poster, I have had in-person experience with one of the stores mentioned already, and I would doubt that that person/store would truly pick out a "good" one for a stranger on the phone. They weren't very willing to help me as a stranger in the store.
Which store was this?? Since i'm planning to buy a guitar online one of these days, all input about where to purchase is appreciated..
 

justonwo

Member
Messages
3,094
I think forum rules specifically ban talking about "deals gone bad." That's why I'm being vague about the details.
 

DWB1960

Senior Member
Messages
22,000
Another vote for the guys at Wildwood Guitars. When I finally had the $$ to get an R9 I went to them (because of their large inventory), explained what I wanted (low weight but not weight relieved, and killer resonance and tones unplugged)

Working via emails and numerous phone calls with both Bruce and Steve over the course of a week, we settled on this one which has exceeded my expectations.

 




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