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Lesson learned...never buy sight unseen...Baja Tele experience

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by ktdcpa, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. ktdcpa

    ktdcpa TDPRI Member

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    Hello!

    Been reading these forums for way to long without registering and contributing to the community. Today it's time for me to jump in and potentially help others avoid a mistake that I just made.

    Like many people here, I became convinced that I needed a Baja tele, and like most have experienced, they are virtually impossible to find locally either new or used. If you're like me that leaves two options 1) Wait forever hoping one pops up on CL, or 2) buy sight unseen online...patience has never been a virtue of mine :).

    I pulled the trigger on a Baja in "excellent" condition on the bay. The guitar showed up with all the case candy, original Fender gig back, everything was perfect...until I touch the guitar.

    The guitar does look brand new however, the frets are worst I've seen on any guitar. Not only are there several high frets, I've never experienced fret sprout that can actually cut your hand. All the hard ware was lose, pick guard warped...seriously disappointed.

    Things went from bad to worse when I plugged it in. This particular guitar has the grounding buzz, not 60 cycle hum, issue that seems pretty common. Touch the control plate, the bridge etc and the hum quiets down...the more surface area the quieter it gets. Compared to other guitars I have, specifically comparing to a MIM Blacktop Jazzmaster the fit & finish on this Baja is horrible at best.

    Long story short, think twice before purchasing a guitar sight unseen. Spare yourself the disappointment and hassle dealing with something that won't meet your expectations. For me, I will never buy another guitar without playing it first. If you're on the fence about a Baja or any other guitar, take a lesson from me, be patient...you'll end up saving money & time in the long run.

    Hope this helps others avoid the mistake I made & now that I have a tele I'm excited to start contributing rather than lurking.
     
  2. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Welcome aboard and sorry to hear about your experience with the Baja. It's unfortunate that some eBay sellers take "creative" liberty with describing what's for sale and don't accurately describe the item.

    I would provide negative, but accurate feedback to the seller; in other words point by point descriptions (as you have indicated above) of exactly why the guitar was not excellent. Might not resolve your problem, but worth pursuing. I had to return a 75lb amplifier, but I got my money back, via the appropriate procedures available on eBay.

    ...and yeah, I don't use eBay much anymore. Parts and small, low risk stuff. Too many ethically challenged sellers.

    But this is a great place to learn all kinds of things - and I'm sure others will benefit from your experiences.
     
  3. euro

    euro Tele-Holic

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    I have learned my lesson about purchasing a guitar on Ebay from a private person. I have found them to mostly not be trustworthy. I have not had a problem with music stores advertising on ebay as I call them up first and ask any questions concerning a guitar I want before doing the transaction, and I always get at least a 24 hour period of right to refuse, once the guitar arrives, just in case the salesperson wasn't being truthful.

    I believe that Baja teles are MIM, if memory serves me, although I could be wrong here, but as with any guitar, I am cautious, but especially when buying an inexpensive piece. Those are the ones that I have found are mostly not cared for as well as the more expensive models.

    You might try Chris' Guitars in albany, ny. He has a huge web site listing all of his guitars and most with good pictures. His prices are more then fair.
     
  4. pondcaster

    pondcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Congrats and sorry the NGD hasn't been more of what you would hope for.

    I know that's a real hassle and new guitars should be in better shape but honestly, I don't think any of those issues are "deal-breakers", so to speak. I'd take it to a tech and have those fixed and then play the heck outta her!

    FWIW, I've bought around 30 guitars sight unseen over the last 10 years and only 2 had issues that were a big deal. Things like cracks/separations in neck, fretboard, etc.

    Get her tuned up properly. Bajas rule!
     
  5. 66Satellite

    66Satellite Tele-Holic

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    Bummer

    In general my rule is buy on Craigslist, sell on eBay. If you buy on eBay, always expect to have to sort some stuff out and factor that into your bid
     
  6. robotguitar

    robotguitar Tele-Holic

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    You should have bought a guitar on ebay from me. I would confront the seller with the issues and ask for a partial refund to help get it into playing condition. When buying on ebay, whatever the item may be, see what else the seller is selling and ask questions. If there selling one guitar and a bunch of random junk, they probably don't know guitars.
     
  7. Serenity23

    Serenity23 Tele-Holic

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    Sorry to hear your bad experience.

    I've bought loads of guitars on ebay. Only ever had a problem with one (Epi Les Paul Custom), and even that was a fairly easy fix. Every other was as described by the seller. I only buy guitars from sellers with 100% feedback with plenty of previous sales, unless i'm going to collect and try it first.
     
  8. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Welcome aboard.:)

    Sorry to hear about your negative experience with buying sight unseen. But there is a big difference between buying on eBay and from a reputable dealer like Wildwood or Dave's.
     
  9. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    Buying online doesn't have to be chancy, just need to find the right dealers.. If you shop primarily focused on low price you can leave yourself open to bad experiences. There are many dealers that pride themselves on providing good service and low prices. Pricing is usually important to me but so is service.
    I recently picked up a Baja from Sweetwater, the one I ordered (demo model) failed their inspection so they shipped another new one which is flawless.
    Sorry you've had problems with yours, sounds like it was hanging on a hook in the display for a while.
     
  10. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    Baja Tele's are good instruments its possible you bought it off someone who has not got a clue how a guitar should be setup and just played the thing in ignorance, i have bought a couple of guitars like that myself on ebay from private sellers i mean if the neck was warped or the pickups were not working i would be straight onto the seller ..from what you described there are no real issues that cannot be fixed by yourself
    if not then i do sympathize
     
  11. meehaja

    meehaja Tele-Meister

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    Such a shame for you to have clearly got a poor one, I played my Baja before I bought it and love the fretwork, neck feel and general quality of the guitar, but I guess hats eh luck of the draw?

    Not that it'll help you, but I bought an acoustic unseen from America, when it arrived it had been dropped and the top was coming away, the seller advised it could be fixed, but refunded the full amount anyway, advising me to spend the money on getting the guitar fixed! There are still good sellers/ buyers out there, they just get hidden by the less scrupulous!
     
  12. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    I think it all depends.
    If the issues are related to set-up , and in my book fret dressing etc is normal setup , it is what to be expected.

    If the work cant be done by yourself , factor in the cost of this , and you should end up with a great guitar.

    If there are dings , paint or even chunks of wood missing , or the neck is warped etc , that would be a problem , IMO.

    Its very rare that any guitars play like they can do directly from a dealer ( most often also not if the set-up is done at the shop )

    A decent setup should give you a great guitar that plays great for years and years. The extra cost wont mean a thing 5 years from now
     
  13. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have what most would consider way to many guitars. Most have been bought online. I do not consider the problems the OP described as acceptable or typical for a Fender guitar that's been sold as brand new. Maybe this was true in the past. The biggest issue I've had with a guitar that arrived new in the box was my Telebration La Cab, needed to tighten the set screws on the knobs.
     
  14. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    I dont see it that way. Any normal Fender product isnt really high-end to me. I simply accept the fact that most of these need some work. The price paid influence how I feel about this , I guess we all feel like that.

    Ive had some of the most uneven frets ever on guitars with the F name on them. OTOH , my CV Teles needed fret work the least.

    IMO , ANY normal guitar ( forget boutique etc ) need setup work to be perfect , or close , so I dont think its a big deal.

    Same with loose hardware etc. Going over all of the screws is the first thing you should do anyway.......On a new guitar you have to loosen the pot nuts anyway to get the plastic removed from the pickguard properly( Strats ) so what is the big deal ?
     
  15. Woollymonster

    Woollymonster Tele-Meister

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    Send it back.
     
  16. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    I agree that a guitar should be sent back if its too far out of shape. Problem is , you risk that some other stuff is wrong with the next one. If , and I understand that the Bajas sometimes vary a lot in weight , the next one is a really heavy one , what will you do then ?

    My point is , that these days guitars are rather cheap for what you get , even after you factor in the cost of decent setup.

    Not trying to sound cocky or anything , but Im sorry to say that most people that settle for a guitar that plays ok from the dealer , probably never played one thats had a decent setup.

    Think about it , if you like the neck shape , fret size , weight and sound of the pu´s , you are only a setup away from the perfect guitar....
     
  17. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    I agree with most of your post and I don't mind a little tweaking. IMO OP's guitar was past that point unless it was discounted. I'd guess that his guitar was on display for a long time and wasn't in that condition when the seller first took it out of the box.
     
  18. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Was it, in fact, a Fender Baja? Fendur perhaps?

    Sorry you got the raw end. Like others say, most site-unseen things can be fixable. It's a chore, but it can be done & the seller should have been up front. Another question for the seller might have been "has it been set-up?". If he can't provide at least some basic info, it could be a flag.

    To the poster that mentioned ChrisGuitars, my experience with him was a downright catastrophe. I wouldn't wish that on anybody.
     
  19. Wanderlust

    Wanderlust TDPRI Member

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    I worked as a ebay listing writer for a big motorcycle parts seller for a few years. In my experience the burden of accurate product description is entirely on the seller. More than once I missed a knick or something screwy on an old greasy part and got yelled at for them having to refund. If he missed 1 of those issues you can go through the eBay system and get a full refund. PayPal disputes work just as well too. But don't wait on it and don't mess with the guitar anymore then you need to test it out. Also don't leave feedback or do anything with that if you're going to dispute, just file the dispute and send that lemon back when ebay tells you to.
     
  20. akukulich

    akukulich Tele-Meister

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    You might have a diamond in the rough. None of those problems sound all that serious. It might be worth investing a little to get in into shape.
     
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