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What's Up With the StratoSphere on eBay?

rob5755
November 13th, 2008, 11:39 AM
Just curious...do they buy blems and seconds from GC or MF and then part them out? Where the heck do they get all of their guitar parts?!?!?!? :?:

graphs
November 13th, 2008, 11:54 AM
I don't know about blems, but they definitely part out brand new guitars. Seems to be a good business model for them!

gsh1968
November 13th, 2008, 12:07 PM
I have a theory that they either are the sideline to an official dealer or have a deal with a Fender dealer and therefore get guitars at wholesale prices. The amount of Highway 1s they part out is quite amazing - I doubt that model just happens to be the most returned/blemished of the Fender line. More likely because it is the cheapest US model they can get bigger return by selling the parts - after all, except for the bodies they never mention "Highway 1" in any ads, it's always "2008 American Fender Telecaster Tele NECK Guitar USA".
Some things go for very reasonable prices (I've bought a few bits from them recently) but necks seem to always be at a premium. If you look at how much they sell loaded bodies and necks for, it doesn't add up to the floor price of the model, so they must be getting wholesale prices to make it worthwhile.
I've seen a couple of other dealers who obviously get blemished/returns from GC/MF as they have had a few FSR Standard Ash they've sold, all listed as "blemished". Perhaps they make regular trips to the returns warehouse?

RatherBeFishing
November 13th, 2008, 12:32 PM
I've read on here that they are an authorized dealer and part the guitars out to sell on ebay. Fender will not allow dealers to sell entire instruments on ebay so it is an interesting loophole. The parts are accurately described and mint except for the occasional used guitar which is described as so. I've made a few orders and only ever had one issue with a set of staggered tuners which did not have a proper stagger. A refund was eventually made but communication proved to be a nightmare surely due to the massive amount of transactions they have going at any one time.

ajgus
November 13th, 2008, 12:36 PM
I've read on here that they are an authorized dealer and part the guitars out to sell on ebay. Fender will not allow dealers to sell entire instruments on ebay so it is an interesting loophole. The parts are accurately described and mint except for the occasional used guitar which is described as so. I've made a few orders and only ever had one issue with a set of staggered tuners which did not have a proper stagger. A refund was eventually made but communication proved to be a nightmare surely due to the massive amount of transactions they have going at any one time.

I see dealers selling Fenders all the time. Lot of shops that sell them locally also post ads on ebay.

mellecaster
November 13th, 2008, 12:56 PM
I see dealers selling Fenders all the time. Lot of shops that sell them locally also post ads on ebay.

Yep...Many Dealers sell New Fenders on E-Bay...have been for years.

Steinar G
November 13th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Yep...Many Dealers sell New Fenders on E-Bay...have been for years.

Problem for us "foreigners" is that most (all?) authorized Fender dealers in the US won't ship abroad, probably in agreement with Fender to protect international distributors. No such problems when buying parts from Stratosphere..

Mark Davis
November 13th, 2008, 01:18 PM
They are Fender dealers get the guitars for 1/2 the retail prioce like all dealers do then they part them out and make more $$ than if selling the while guitar.

Fenders job is to sell guitars to dealers once its in the dealers hands Fender doesnt care what happens to it.

RatherBeFishing
November 13th, 2008, 03:24 PM
I see dealers selling Fenders all the time. Lot of shops that sell them locally also post ads on ebay.

Sorry, my mistake then. I was just going on what I had read from previous posts on the forum. I believe that there is an entire thread on Reliablefender/Stratosphere that goes into great detail on the seller's operation.

MatteusNova
November 13th, 2008, 04:30 PM
They also sell a lot of CIJ parts, so they have to get guitars from other places as well, or?

mellecaster
November 13th, 2008, 06:05 PM
They also sell a lot of CIJ parts, so they have to get guitars from other places as well, or?

Good point...CIJ and now MIJ, make up a large part of their inventory.

boris bubbanov
November 13th, 2008, 06:38 PM
Sorry, my mistake then. I was just going on what I had read from previous posts on the forum. I believe that there is an entire thread on Reliablefender/Stratosphere that goes into great detail on the seller's operation.


Steinar caught the detail. Fender won't let certain guitars designated for sale in certain markets be cross-sold into another market. So, for example we cannot get 90 percent of the CIJ models (95%?) whole in the US, only as parts.

I believe Stratosphere gets their guitars for less than Guitar Center, in most cases, just intuition however, can't prove my hunch. If this is not true, I think they're in deep trouble as used guitars on e-bay are cheaper all the time and the "Lure of the Swapped Body" may as a trend have run its course.

I just don't see enough demand for each and every pieces-part on a Highway One. I'll be they pay $ 250 or less apiece in lots of 100-200 guitars.

johnnytronics
November 13th, 2008, 08:26 PM
The guy is selling a TON of Highway One necks, and, with misleading descriptions selling them as "American Telecaster ". This is of course true to an extent, but I wonder how many folks are buying these thinking that they are getting an American Standard neck, which is a more desirable piece.

Shepherd
November 13th, 2008, 09:13 PM
They make a killing on hardware. I cant tell you how many times I've seen that stuff go for more than the brand new retail price. :roll:

LBrewski
November 13th, 2008, 09:33 PM
I recently went through my 1st Tele (partscaster) build - based on a HW1 body and neck obtained on Ebay, from Stratosphere. I had all the same questions in my mind about how they do business, but I guess it works for them.

In the end, even though I did not use all HW1 components, it felt kind of weird to basically re-assemble a new guitar; like it went through some kind of contemporary e-based transporter process/machine that I was a part of. It was exploded into it's pieces, shipped by various means to a destination (my house), ending up back in mostly it's original form sitting in my lap making music. Just thought I'd share that thought. I'll stop now.

BTW, I am in the process of polishing out the body - it looks sooo much better.

Frontier9
November 13th, 2008, 09:42 PM
I recently went through my 1st Tele (partscaster) build - based on a HW1 body and neck obtained on Ebay, from Stratosphere. I had all the same questions in my mind about how they do business, but I guess it works for them.

In the end, even though I did not use all HW1 components, it felt kind of weird to basically re-assemble a new guitar; like it went through some kind of contemporary e-based transporter process/machine that I was a part of. It was exploded into it's pieces, shipped by various means to a destination (my house), ending up back in mostly it's original form sitting in my lap making music. Just thought I'd share that thought. I'll stop now.LOL - kinda like the replicator on the Starship Enterprise, only - uh - different...

GuitarJonz
November 13th, 2008, 11:07 PM
They make a killing on hardware. I cant tell you how many times I've seen that stuff go for more than the brand new retail price. :roll:

I love how he lists the model the hardware came from, like Kluson style tuners from a signature model strat. I've seen him get over $65 for a set of these, which are probably exactly the same as on the cheaper models, and should go for $20-25. Some of his items sell low too, so I guess it all balances out, and he makes a decent living.

MatteusNova
November 13th, 2008, 11:20 PM
They have a CIJ neck I want, or need, since I have a CIJ body it would fit well into. (The MIM necks are about 0.9mm thinner at the heal). This neck also has all the other things I'm after, logo, etc. But the going price for it, say 350 or more is about what I could get that whole Tele for used in Japan. So it's no deal, and the neck don't even come with the tuners, bah!

blacklinefish
November 13th, 2008, 11:28 PM
LOL - kinda like the replicator on the Starship Enterprise, only - uh - different...

Well, that would be like re-assembling the captain with Spock's hair. Your analogy is fine.

Brendan
November 13th, 2008, 11:49 PM
I just bought a loaded lefty Jaguar body from them. The body was mint, but the pickguard showed signs of playing. It also had SD pickups in it and I'm sure they weren't aware of that. I watch his lefty stock and he gets a fair share of "Japan only" stock. I wonder if they have an arrangement with an overseas dealer. ..

FredDairy
November 14th, 2008, 11:27 AM
I just sold a guitar on ebay for way low price, but I didn't want the hassle of parting it out to try to break even so I guess this is better... in a way.

The party that purchased it had the email address of stratosphere ebay store, but they had a different ebay account than the one that does all the selling. All high positive feedback and sure enough this account was buying used Fender guitars.

I guess now would be the time to buy guitars on ebay for lower than normal.

dougpc
November 14th, 2008, 01:55 PM
I just sold a guitar on ebay for way low price, but I didn't want the hassle of parting it out to try to break even so I guess this is better... in a way.

The party that purchased it had the email address of stratosphere ebay store, but they had a different ebay account than the one that does all the selling. All high positive feedback and sure enough this account was buying used Fender guitars.

I guess now would be the time to buy guitars on ebay for lower than normal.

True. This guy buys most of his stock as whole guitars on Ebay and then parts them out.