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Author Topic:  Why buy unseen?
Eugenio Poppi


From:
Italy
Post Posted 27 May 2007 2:43 am     Reply with quote

Dear Ken, I live in Italy and it's very hard to find any new or used instruments. I bought from 2 members of the forum 2 guitars in last 4 years and I'm completely satisfacted about both guitar. Of course you'll be never 100 % sure don't find any small damage onto the instruments body but if you want to be 100% sure of a perfect instruments buy it new and spend more money. Eugenio
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Marc Jenkins


From:
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Post Posted 28 May 2007 3:36 pm     Reply with quote

I just picked up a Sho~Bud Pro 1, unseen, off the forum from Adam Przybyla. We both agreed to the terms outlined at the top of this section, I asked a lot of questions, and Adam posted good photos. I got honest answers, and I felt comfortable. The guitar arrived exactly as described, and is a true delight. Adam has been great after the sale, too, as I've had quite a few questions about the operation of the beast.

This forum is great!
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Bill Lowe


From:
Connecticut
Post Posted 29 May 2007 12:05 pm     Buying sight unseen (Billy Carr) Reply with quote

I was looking for a steel and found this forum . I saw that Billy Carr sold a guitars and had a good reputation. I emailed Bill and talked with him once on the telephone. At my request he sent a few pictures. I sent the money and just as I was told my double 10 Rains arrived in as new condtion. I could not be happier with my choice of guitar and the help I received from Bill. My advice is ask questions and deal with someone reputable. There are a lot of good deals out there. (Thanks again Bill)
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Bud Harger


From:
Temple / Belton, Texas
Post Posted 4 Jun 2007 4:20 pm     Lots of Deals; NO Problems Reply with quote

I have been watching this thread for a while...so here's my piece...

My experience with the Forum has been great. I have bought and sold several D-10's, other guitars, amps and accessories on the Forum in 35-plus transactions. The vast majority of the transactions were exactly as they were described to be (or better). Any issues and/or questions after the deals, were handled and resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned.

I have no problem with the way it's done here on the Forum.

As a Buyer, you should talk to the seller, check out the deal and get comfortable. A Buyer has the absolute right to expect that the item is exactly (or better) as the Seller has represented.

As a Seller, it is the Seller's responsibility to describe the item accurately and completely...then stand behind the deal.

I hope the Forum doesn't change the way it does business in any material way.

bUd
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Danny Kuykendall


From:
Fullerton, CA, USA
Post Posted 8 Jun 2007 6:13 pm     value of a national steel Reply with quote

Anyone know the value of an old national double-neck Grand Console model steel guitar, circa about 1950?I need to offer a fair price to my cousin for a guitar my father played in the fifties. Thanks for any advice.
Danny
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Bob Moore


From:
Canastota, New York
Post Posted 25 Jun 2007 3:04 pm     Buying unseen Reply with quote

I bought a New Fessy here on the forum and I love it. I was treated very well by the dealer and I have no complaints except he didn't tell me how to play it. I bought unseen and am well pleased. Thanks for listing. Bob
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Burnell Groft


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 30 Jun 2007 7:59 pm     Get a reference Reply with quote

I was reading some of the post on the trust of the seller. I have sold amp's and guitars to buyers across the country through the forum and my web site. The buyer always called me or emaild me to ask question.I try to use a pre buyer as a reference to a possible buyer.I never used Pay-Pal and I never had a proplem with payment. "To a sellr" bewere of a buyer wanting to have a contact send you a money order for more then what you are asking for an item and then send them the balance.(Had this tryed on me). So my advice is have a little common sense when buying or selling.
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Robert Murphy


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 4 Jul 2007 8:02 am     Reply with quote

I purchased an Ohau square neck from ebay but placed a phone call to the estate dealer first and recieved a well kept origional in excellent condition for less than $300. I purchaced a used "2nd" Weissenborn with case damage for the same price. There was hidden damage to the Wiessenborn but I trust the seller did not see it. I had a hunch that this might be the case and I am willing to repair the guitar and case because of the right price. So far so good.
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Ricky Hagan


From:
Elm City N.C. U.S.A.
Post Posted 16 Jul 2007 5:08 pm     Reply with quote

I bought a RV 3 from Kenny Krupnick site unseen.It was just like he said it would be.Great shape and worked great.I recomend anyone to do buiness with Kenny anytime.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 18 Jul 2007 8:47 am     Reply with quote

I don`t have any problems with buying anything from the guys on the forum,specialy ones I know or I taked to or done some business before.I must say that I bough many steel guitars of the ebay and i must say that I can`t remember ever having any problems.I always check the pictures and sellers feedback and call him on the phone.Steels usualy show up in decent shape and prety much as described.One time I bought a lemon Sho~Bud Christmas tree amp but that was my fault because I didn`t know anything about those amps (not like I know more now).Bottom line,no bad experiences here.
But I do believe that for an instrument,specially acoustic instrument you need to try it out before you buy it, just because even they are made by the same manufacturer and even the same model every instrument will feel and sound a little different, and (in my experience) if you try 5 different Gibson RB-250 banjos all 5 will feel and sound little different and only one will be "the one" for you.
Db

ps

one time I traded the guitars with a gentleman on the forum and my guitar actualy ended up not being what I tought it was but I just shelled out some more cash for a trade and everything went smooth.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 21 Jul 2007 7:00 am     Reply with quote

Damir Besic wrote:
... if you try 5 different Gibson RB-250 banjos all 5 will feel and sound little different and only one will be "the one" for you.

I don't think so. Laughing

I think that the big difference between buying here and eBay, Craig's List, etc. is that here on the Forum you have real, knowledgeable players. People ask intelligent questions about the guitar and don't get "I don't know anything about it" answers. You see that so so much on eBay, where the seller often doesn't know how to screw the legs on.

Buying used, sight unseen is always risky. I always expect that a used guitar might have some issues. My recent Fender 1000 purchase, for example, is not perfect. I can deal with that because I know that the seller really didn't know much about the instrument. When you buy on the Forum, though, you're usually dealing with a guy who spent some time behind the guitar. The issues are much more likely to be known and disclosed. Nobody wants to get bad press in such a small community.
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Robert Shafer


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 25 Jul 2007 5:31 pm     Reply with quote

Like many other Steel players....Oh dear, there I go giving myself airs and graces. I am trying to play....I have decided to have a go at building my own.

Parts are rare here in the UK so I contacted Jim Flynn at Lone Star Guitars in Texas for some bits and pieces, having heard of him on the Forum.

The order, keenly priced and well packed, was despatched promptly with appropriate advice. Unfortunately, one part was slightly unsuitable for my purposes. I informed Jim and he went out of his way to help. He was, unfortunately, unable to provide a solution to my particular dilemma so he sent a replacement part, of superior quality, at no further expense. Supererogation if ever I've seen it.

I would heartily recommend Jim's service to all. I am particularly impressed with his fretboards, so clear and easy to read, particularly for more mature eyes.

The man is a Gentleman and a Scholar.
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Ken Byng


From:
Southampton, England
Post Posted 26 Jul 2007 5:21 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
Nobody wants to get bad press in such a small community.


Unfortunately not everyone lives by this ethos. I have to say though that the number of happy campers who have bought and sold through the Forum with trouble-free results is really impressive.

The one big issue that no-one has addressed in this topic is the variation in tone between models of the same make. The logo on the front is no guarantee that it is going to be a 'good sounder'. The mechanics may be consistent, but tonal variations do occur with all makes as did quality control of older guitars. The best sounding steel that I've ever played (and not owned I may add) was a ZB Student in the 1970's. It had a killer tone, and sounded different to any other ZB Student that I have ever played. As I sold ZB's for an importer I was well placed to compare them.

There is always going to be a difference in tone of wooden bodied guitars, and that is why I would prefer to try a steel guitar first before making the decision to purchase. I recognise that logistically this would be impossible for most players who buy second hand and unseen. That's why it can be a bit of a lottery.
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post Posted 26 Jul 2007 9:01 am     Reply with quote

As far as tone and playability are concerned, I agree that it is always a bit of a crap shoot when buying any guitar - Spanish or steel - without playing it first. If both buyer and seller are honest, very knowledgable, excellent communicators, and have the same implicit understanding about what goes into "good playability" and "good tone", it can reduce the risk somewhat. But I have never really known for sure when getting any instrument like this whether it's really going to suit me or not. There's no real quantifiable metric on this because these things are very much a matter of taste.

The other side of this is that, to some extent, musical instruments are commodities that have, within some range, a market value. I think it's a bit easier to quantify this kind of thing. It also requires both sides to be knowledgable, honest, and excellent communicators. I think that, plus a seller's best effort to accurately describe their view of the playability and tone of the guitar in clear English, are about all I expect from a seller. In short, I expect a clear, accurate description of the guitar, its condition, and any notable flaws from an excellent-condition instrument. Overall, I have found people on this forum to be quite good in this respect.

With this second standard fulfilled, at least one can be reasonably confident, from a commercial point of view, of the value of an instrument purchased. In this case, if it turns out not to be exactly what one hoped, it's possible to turn it without losing significant money. I just view it as part of the cost of getting the tools I need. It also costs money to roam the country trying out PSGs, which is the only alternative for many steel players.
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Joe Alterio


From:
Fishers, Indiana
Post Posted 30 Jul 2007 7:44 pm     Reply with quote

I've actually had pretty good luck (knock on formica) with my eBay and Forum transactions. Now, 95% of my eBay comings and goings deal with vinyl records, and in that case you'd just better (a) check the seller's feedback COMMENTS about his ratings on vinyl and (b) make sure there are pictures. In about 500 transactions between my wife and I over the past decade, we've been burned once. And we had credit card protection so despite PayPal's "rules" we got our money back.

It seems that the tide has turned over the past few years within the steel community. By that, I mean this....when I first started on this instrument in the late '90s I did transactions with people like Tom Bradshaw, who sort of epitomized the community at the time with policies like sending you your stuff without sending him a nickel ahead of time....and a no questions asked return policy. And though his reputation became spotty in the years prior to his death, Ed Naylor in Ohio bent over backwards in getting me started on steel guitar.....my $300 was to buy a pedal steel (2/2 Maverick), but when I went to pick it up at his shop, he had me there for hours. He GAVE me tons of instruction materials, a volume pedal, picks, a bar, strings.....geez, I can't even remember the rest. Oh yeah, and about an hour of basic instruction!

I then bought a steel (sight unseen) from someone on the Carter Steel Swap Shop....and no problems whatsoever. I have bought seats, volume pedals, amps, etc. all through some great people I met on this Forum, especially Dyke Corson.

Now, in the past couple of years, there have been some Forumites that have caused me to be a bit more leary on my transactions. The fellow I bought my steel from couldn't have scared me more....I jumped on my steel within an hour of him posting it. I called him up and we chatted and he seemed great. Just needed some money and had just bought this steel and didn't need two of them, so he was selling it for quite a bit less than he just paid for it (this is a new Zum, mind you) and was glad there was someone that could give it a good home. Then.....I heard NOTHING for about three weeks. He never responded to his e-mails. Never picked up the phone. Luckily, he finally shipped it (and it was in perfect shape)....but gosh....that was a few grand I thought was gone forever.

Then there was a Forumite (a somewhat popular one around these parts) that wanted to buy my almost-new Nashville 400. We arranged for us to drive and meet halfway. We agreed on the price. Then, all of a sudden, he vanished. I called his house, and I could hear him mumbling in the background to his daughter/wife who answered the phone to say "I'm not here. Tell him I'm out of town." I still see him on here all the time buying and selling stuff....but I have no idea why he acted that way.

Then there are the dealers who post on here that really can make your head scratch. One told me, after I bought my Dekley and was calling for parts "what the heck did you buy one of THOSE for?" and proceeded to tell me how the store would be laughed out of business if they ever had a Dekley for sale (remember....I just bought the thing and was absolutely thrilled with it!). Of course, the dealer has sold a few Dekleys since then as I have seen.....I often wondered if they just wanted me to buy one of their steels instead or something.

Anyhoo....I guess my advice for all you Forumites is to just...BE CAREFUL. There are truly some great people on here to deal with. There are some people who I would stand behind 100% on here, including Corson Music (Dyke) and the folks at Carter....those are the ones I have dealt with personally (especially Dyke...MANY times) and would buy ANYTHING from them sight unseen based on their description.
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Chris LeDrew


From:
Canada
Post Posted 30 Jul 2007 8:55 pm     Items Exposed to Cigarette Smoke Reply with quote

One thing I'd like to mention about buying stuff here on the forum, or anywhere for that matter, is that the seller should always disclose whether or not the item has been regularly exposed to cigarette smoke. I've bought several items from the forum that reeked of cigarette smoke, and one steel in particular that was caked in nicotine underneath. I recently quit smoking, so I'm not being judgemental to those who still do. It's a tough habit to break. But to be considerate, sellers who smoke inside their homes should disclose that the item may carry an odor of nicotine. I haven't smoked inside my home or around my gear in years. But it's part of many players day-to-day lives, and they may forget that non-smokers can really smell the smoke off musical gear.
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post Posted 31 Jul 2007 9:27 am     Reply with quote

I agree Chris - and to me, it goes even further than that. To me, good communication means to step outside ones personal view of the world and try to imagine issues that might be a problem to someone else, and that can go much further than the item's smoking environment. There is a huge diversity in what constitute "desirable" features on this board. Some are obsessed with a mirror shine on the endplates and a perfect finish, while others are more concerned about playability, originality, or some other feature. "Magic tone" to one can be "lousy tone" to another.

I sometimes decide not to do a long-distance transaction - even on something I really want - because I don't think there is a true "meeting of the minds." I think both parties need to clearly nail down exactly what they expect from a deal. In fact, I think a lot of the problems with deals like this result from this type of failure.
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Chris LeDrew


From:
Canada
Post Posted 31 Jul 2007 1:27 pm     Reply with quote

So true, Dave.......it's a matter of following your gut instinct sometimes. Every now and then, I attempt a transaction with someone who repeatedly ignores my questions about the item. One time I wanted to buy an amp from someone here, and I asked three times what kind of speaker was in it. He just refused to tell me, just saying it was way better than the original. I decided not to buy the amp. Smile
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Paul Warnik


From:
Illinois,USA
Post Posted 15 Aug 2007 1:42 am     Reply with quote

I was the one who had the deal with Damir in which the guitar he sent me was not what it was supposed to be-It turned out that Damir was apparently deceived by the one he bought it from-He was told it was a ZB and believed it (and I believed that was what I was getting) It was in fact a Clark- deceivingly a ZB decal had been put on the front of the guitar in place of where the Clark one once was-As Damir stated He did compensate me for the negotiated difference that I felt I lost on our trade-I soon after sold the Clark (which was probably the worst pedal steel I ever owned) Sad I am not saying that all Clarks are junk but this one sure was Whoa!
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Paul Warnik


From:
Illinois,USA
Post Posted 15 Aug 2007 3:27 am     Reply with quote

In addition to my previous post on this thread-I realized that some may ask "who would do such a thing?" Well Damir did disclose to me the name of the one who sold it to him under the bogus name-I respectfully choose not to disclose that-I myself have "mended the fence" so to speak with this person for a bad deal in the past-and I believe Damir has too-But let me give some free advice to all-"Don't believe for one minute that just because someone is a well known personality top of the line caliber professional steel guitarist that they will always be honest and above board when selling you a steel guitar" Evil or Very Mad PW
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Chris LeDrew


From:
Canada
Post Posted 15 Aug 2007 4:55 am     Reply with quote

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Last edited by Chris LeDrew on 28 Aug 2007 5:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 24 Aug 2007 3:17 am     Reply with quote

Over the past few years, I have purchased 5 D10 Steels unseen, a few Telecasters and various other things...

I have also sold 5 Steels unseen, a few Telecasters and various other things.

Just in case your counting, there were more Steels but they were SEEN , I didn't end up with ZERO.



If the deal is right, the communication is accurate and both parties have the proper understanding of expectations , then other than shipping issues, all should be as expected, no surprises.
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Charles Tilley


From:
Princeton, Texas USA
Post Posted 17 Nov 2007 7:50 pm     Using a third party Reply with quote

In the past, I used a company on a purchase of a steel from New Jersey. The company is Escrow.com. You tell them the transaction, they contact and get approval from the seller to act as a third party ,you send them the money, they tell the seller they have it, he sends the guitar and (if you are happy) they send him the money. If you are not happy, you send the guitar back to the seller and send proof to Escrow.com and they refund your money. It does cost a small fee but worth every penny.

My transaction was just fine but I was protected if it had not been. My guitar was $1500.00 and my fee to Escrow.com was $43.00

Charles Tilley
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 17 Nov 2007 8:50 pm     Reply with quote

I have had mostly good transactions on ebay, the forum and elsewhere, but recently a transaction on ebay has really changed my mind about purchasing big ticket items online. Let me explain:

I won an auction for a Standel Super Custom XV on ebay for what I thought was a fairly high price, but I was willing to pay. It was a head and cab, described as being original and in great working order. I paid $170 for S&H (it's 2 packages and the cab is huge). No sweat.

Well, the amp was neither original or in good working order. It was a combo amp that had been cut down to a head with a homemade cab. Really couldn't tell from the pics, but most importantly, it doesn't work well at all (numerous problems). Seller had agreed to refund my money BUT not the $170 S&H and expected me to eat return shipping as well. That doesn't fly here. After 2 lengthy phone calls, I filed a Significantly Not As Described dispute with Paypal and now it's in their hands. In the meantime, $900 of my money has been tied up for over a month.

This will be my first negative feedback (seller is a psycho) after more than 200 transactions, but I couldn't care less.
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Ken Byng


From:
Southampton, England
Post Posted 19 Nov 2007 12:18 pm     Re: Why buy unseen? Reply with quote

Ken Byng wrote:
eBay for a pedal steel? Not in a million years would I ever go down that route as a buyer. Even some guitars bought on the Forum have proved not to live up to expectations. I would rather pay a little extra for a second hand guitar, and buy from a dealer who gives an after sales service.


I just contradicted myself and bought a ShoBud Pro 2 on Ebay!! I did some research and this guitar is in mint condition as is the case. I can't believe I went against my principles and did it. The guitar belonged to a guy who passed away who had a whole stash of instruments that are immaculate and have never been gigged. His son has reluctantly sold the ShoBud, but it did have sentimental value. This is an 'under the bed' guitar that needed a good home, and it's going to join my Pro 111 Custom and my LDG.
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