• TGP is giving away a Strat, Tele, and Jazzmaster. Click Here for full details.
    Click Here to upgrade your account and enter today!

WORST experience selling a guitar?

COYS

Member
Messages
5,201
I once sold a road worn strat on Reverb, and when the guy got it he wanted to return it because he didn't realize it had a 7.25" radius. I told him that they all do. At the time I still had a 3 day return policy on my Reverb shop and would have had to honor it, so I offered to pay half the cost of his getting a setup and he agreed.

That was the one and only time I have given out money after a sale. I hate people who try to get a discount after the sale and since then I have sold every last item "As Described" and my return policy clearly says I do not give partial refunds for any reason.
 

COYS

Member
Messages
5,201
I guess if you want to add this in:

I once was selling some prime tickets to a Joe Bonamassa show on Craigslist. My mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor a few weeks before and was having brain surgery the next day so I couldn't go.

I put the tickets on CL, guy emails me and wants them, we agree to meet at 8:00 AM at a gas station near the freeway. I said I would be there, I'll be waiting in a black Toyota truck. (It's cold in October here so I just waited in the truck)

The day comes, no sign of him anywhere. I wait for over an hour, thinking he might be late or lost since he's from out of town, try calling him a few times with no answer. Finally he does answer, he claims he was there but I wasn't, and basically curses me out and hangs up on me.

I was leaving town right after this to go be with my mom, so I had to eat the tickets.

I will never forget that guy's name.
 

MikeMcK

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,789
This is now an old, common story, but I remember driving out to meet a guy who wanted to buy my Hamer 12-string Eclipse for $750. Before you think I'm an idiot, that's about what they went for at the time. But yes, I'm still an idiot for ever selling that one. We agree on a firm price, agree to meet in a rest area parking lot & I brought a little Smokey battery amp to prove that it works. Everything went perfectly up until the point where he casually pulled $550 out of his pocket and mentioned that was all he'd brought.

Hard "no", so he suddenly finds another $50. Another "no", and then, "wait a minute here's another $50, but that's it. That's all I have". Another "no". It was like watching a bad magician "finding" tens and twenties out of nowhere like handkerchiefs. When I got up to $700 I realized that at that point even if he ponied up the last 50 to get to 750, I really didn't want him to have the guitar, so I left.
 

Jon C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,138
Nice LP Classic autographed by Les, sold to a kid in NH at a nice price (absurd by today’s standard). Obviously he knew nothing about LPs or setup, complained about the “ears” on headstock (standard LP) being different shade than center headstock, that frets were worn out (no - recent razor sharp setup on very good conditio frets by Tom Doyle, my friend and Les’s ace luthier).

Finally got fed up and told him to return a no-return final sale item at his expense and I’d refund, less $100 for aggravations. Sold it to a friend in OZ for $100 less than the kid, friend raved about the guitar.

... prequalify your buyers.
 

fjblair

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,176
Every sale involving craigslist has sucked, literally every one. Last one was a guy that wanted to nickle and dime me on a $300 guitar, then wanted me to deliver it close to an hour away. I was selling two guitars at the time, the other was a one of one. He agreed the price on that one was fair compared to stock models, but wanted the price lower because there weren't any comparable guitars out there and didn't want to take a hit when he resold it. I ended up selling through a local dealer and both guitars sold for more than I paid.
I know you aren't alone, but I've sold most of my gear over the years via craigslist. No problems. Sure there are scammers and tire kickers and lowballers, all of which I kick to the curb, but the sales have been trouble free.
 

patshep

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,404
This story wasn't bad (for me), but i had this really really nice ES335, that was my main axe for 10 years, for some reason I had to sell it, and I always like to check in with people who I sell to, to make sure they are cool, and maybe half hoping they want to return it lol.... anyhow this guy comes to buy it, he's super cool, lives very close by... but after he buys it, he ghosts me basically... well, weird, but ok, whatever.... saw him on the street 6 months later and was like, what happened??? He said that literally the first day he had it, he hung it on the wall, knocked it off, and the headstock broke.... arghhhhhh... that's why he didn't answer, he was too pissed
 

AlexSummers

Member
Messages
35
Just stop with the grammar policing. It's an easy mistake to make and I'm quite sure the author knows the difference. Nobody has any trouble interpreting what they meant. Pointing this out is only a distraction.
So very true. Little minds have nothing better to do, I guess.
 

BOBBYBOO

Member
Messages
83
Just stop with the grammar policing. It's an easy mistake to make and I'm quite sure the author knows the difference. Nobody has any trouble interpreting what they meant. Pointing this out is only a distraction.
Are you his Mum?
 
Messages
989
My worst was a Craigslist deal (of course). My first clue to walk away should have been when he apologized for being really stoned at the beginning of the call.

He wants to meet up - but he's about 150 miles away. I ask him where he wants to meet - he wants to meet "halfway." I tell him maybe I can arrange something in a few days, since I have to work late and then get up early for work the next day.

He replies he really wants the guitar, and is willing to come to my house that night. I give my address and general directions.

A couple of hours later I get a call from him saying "How can I find you?" He's in another city about 15 miles away. I repeat the address and directions. He then repeats "How can I find you?" I repeat the directions. Turns out the guy is in a restaurant because his cell phone battery died. He then hands the phone back to a waitress he borrowed the phone from, and I give her the instructions to a local landmark that is right by a major highway, and she repeats the directions to him.

I finish work and head to the landmark. More time passes. I get another call - "How can I find you?" He's now at a bar in a bad part of town nowhere close to where I am with another borrowed phone. I lose it and tell him to just stay there, I'll drive to where he is.

During the drive he calls again - "How can I find you?" I angrily tell him to stay there, I'm driving to where he is.

Get to the destination, he climbs in the car, looks at the guitar and says - "So sell me on this guitar. Why should I buy it?" I ask him if wants it or not, and then he starts saying the price is too high.

I'm really pissed now, but I succumb to the sunk cost fallacy and tell him I'll knock off $20 if he'll take it and get out of my car. People in the bar parking lot are now starting to look at us funny (We are the only two people with a particular ethnicity).

He finally gives me wad of crumpled cash and departs with the guitar. I don't know if he was able to find his way back home.
 

bdonnelly

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,203
Two incidents come to mind....

Sold a fairly minty Fender Kotzen telecaster to a guy on Reverb. I was the 2nd owner and the thing was in pretty pristine condition. The previous owner basically kept it under the bed, a few swirls on the pickguard under bright light but otherwise the thing was gorgeous. Had a guy contact me, asked me the weight (always a red flag), we went back and forth a bit and then he bought it for the agreed upon price. I get the email notification from UPS that it was delivered and within 15 minutes I got the Reverb message alert with "Man, we have a serious problem" from buyer.

I'm like "Oh f***, it's always the 'what does it weigh' guys, isn't it? Anyway, he says to me "Upon close inspection of the instrument this is opbviously a 'players condition insturment' and not 'excellent' as described. When I took out my magnifying glass I noticed the screw holding in the tone knob had a hex head, and the knob on the volume pot was a philips. This is obviously a second-hand part, and I am sure if I take the pickguard off I will find other questionable elements. I demand at least a 50% refund because it was not described as being a kit guitar"

I was like wtf are you talking about, the screw heads don't match? I am not refunding 50% on a guitar over a knob screw, get bent....he comes back with "I am a unique collector of fine instruments, and a now retired professional guitarist although I come out of retirement for special occasions. I have a room of museum quality instruments and know my way around the fretboard, son."

Me, 53. "Son". F***** Boomers I tell you. Anyway...I lean into him that if he's such a collector of" fine instruments" and he's knitpicking over a screw in a tone knob on a "production run model Fender instrument" he's bonkers. In the meantime, I googled him and found his "pro careeer" consisited of one 45 vinyl single from 1964 of bad garage surf rock before he bacame a oncologist in Connecticut and had a swing band that played weekends at the county golf club. "Pro".

Anyway, he started to get Reverb involved and I was like "Did he describe the lack of unicorn fottprints on it because I didn't disclose those either..." ANyway, I just told the jerk to send it back, but then he was lik e, no I want to keep it but demand a partial refund. I was like get bent just send me back the damn guitar for a full refund. Took him long enouigh as he fired of how unprofessional I was, etc etc. OK mr Museum Guitar Oncologist....(meanwhile I have about $25k in boutique guitars myself). Anyway, finally got it back, sold it two days later for $400 more than the 'retired pro' paid for it along with a really nice thanks from the new buyer about what great condition the guitar was in....

***

The worst was when I sold a real nice early 90's Japanese Yamaha Pacifica to a guy in Florida. He was all interested, all kinds of questions. Not an expensive instrument, but the thing was in great shape, played really well - and well, was an early 90's Japanese Pacifica. Dude gets it and immediately starts in on all the issues that it's a piece of junk, the "travel on the knobs is subpar" the "string tree looks bent" etc etc...wants massive refund. I google the guy, because hey that's what one does, and find out he had a record as a violent pedophile. Just great. I was dealing with a violent felon who had my address. I decided I did not want the instrument back at that point. Reverb got involved and I ended up refunding the guy 50% just because I wanted nothing to do with a guy as scummy as he was. Just wanted that event over. Sure enough the guy gave me a 1 star review, called me a liar and that the guitar was only good to "smash like Pete Townsend, which I did". I have twenty 5star reviews and the bad one from the pedo.

I googled the guy a year later out of curiousity and he was arrested again for more pedo ****. Oddly enough for a few months after that whenever I had stuff on Reverb I'd get offers from guys with no sales history on Reverb and I'd google them and they were all Florida guys with pedo arrest records.
 

ashtone

Member
Messages
26
I once sold an L-5CES that I loved because of anticipated year-end taxes.
1) the taxes didn’t happen
2) the selling dealer sold it for my lowest price and THEN deducted his 20%.

I did a stint in a guitar shop. A lot of the people I sold to were dicks.
....and this, too.
 

krimson

Member
Messages
905
They have to come to me. I'll drive a few miles to meet a buyer, but no more. Too many times, I've showed and the buyer never did.
I hear you I don't normally travel that far unless I'm buying. In this case it was my friends deal, I was just there in case something went wrong.
 

ShredSquatch

Conspiracy Experience Director & Stunt Guitarist
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,410
No nightmare stories to share just the frustration of getting so close to a deal and the seller or buyer disappears. Sometimes I think that can be worse.

~ss
 

Mk1Mk2

Member
Messages
9
Back in the early 80's, a co-worker sold me a cheap no-name strat copy for $50. I tried to play but gave up. It then became my air guitar with headphones blasting pretending to play along to AC/DC, Judas Priest, Saxon etc. During the 10 years of owning the "strat", it got beat up pretty badly and definitely wasn't in playing condition.
It was time to let it go at a yard sale. Marked it for sale at $25. After sitting in the sun for 3 hours, a guy came up to it, looked it over for what seemed like forever and asked me a bunch of questions about it. I told him the only thing I know about it that it's a guitar and it's $25. He was starting to set me up for a lowball offer hemming and hawing about it. Then another dude walks up and is looking at the guitar over the guy's shoulder. He asks me in broken English, "how much guitar?" I say $25. "OK" he says as he's pulling cash out of his pocket. The first dude is getting a little pissed that I'm bypassing him and says that he was here first and he has the $25. The second dude says "I give $30" which throws the first dude off. Then he says "ok, $35" not waiting for the first dude to counteroffer. First dude seems frazzled and tells me he could match the $35 but no more. I say ok to the deal. Second dude jumps in and says "ok, I give $40". I tell him sorry man, he was here first. Second dude turns away perturbed. First guy starts paying me and he looks mad because he's paying me more than twice what he probably wanted to get it for. He grabs the guitar and walks off in a huff back to his car giving second dude the stink eye. Second dude comes up a few minutes later to buy some canning jars and was asking me a bunch of questions trying to figure out why I was crazy to not take his higher offer.
 

shoule79

Member
Messages
22
Never had issues when selling a guitar, The worst thing is that I let them try other guitars and they then want them, but amps and pedals are another story.

I’ll spare the details, but I won’t drive outside of my neighbourhood to meet a buyer, much less out of town. Have had two buyers “renegotiate” when I’m an hour from home, no thanks.

I also make them try it or see it working before leaving, for 2 reasons 1) the guy who would t let me try an amp, then acted dodgy during the exchange, only to find out the foot switch was broken, and 2) the guy who didn’t know how to use a whammy pedal and filled up my inbox with threats After saying I sold him a defective pedal (it wasn’t). I took it back to get out of the psychos path.
 

CanuckChris

Member
Messages
1,435
This story wasn't bad (for me), but i had this really really nice ES335, that was my main axe for 10 years, for some reason I had to sell it, and I always like to check in with people who I sell to, to make sure they are cool, and maybe half hoping they want to return it lol.... anyhow this guy comes to buy it, he's super cool, lives very close by... but after he buys it, he ghosts me basically... well, weird, but ok, whatever.... saw him on the street 6 months later and was like, what happened??? He said that literally the first day he had it, he hung it on the wall, knocked it off, and the headstock broke.... arghhhhhh... that's why he didn't answer, he was too pissed
Wow! Kind of surprised you follow up with people after making a sale. While I can understand where you're coming from, I typically count on never seeing or talking with the person again. In fact, I use my cell number so that if they turn out to be a crazy buyer, I can block them immediately. Maybe I'm too much of a skeptic, but after reading some of these stories in this thread...
 




Trending Topics

Top