Ordering Guitar sight unseen...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Randypttt, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. Randypttt

    Randypttt Friend of Leo's

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    I don't normally do that. Only once in my adult life have I ever. I didn't regret it but...

    There's a specific guitar that I'm thinking of ordering but no one has it not even the manufacture. So I was wondering what experiences have people had with different dealers and/or manufactures when ordering something that you can not play before hand.

    The guitar is a Gibson and they are out of stock. So, depending on who actually gets their hands on the model I want, who would you recommend that sends their products out clean, set up, all things working, etc? Best deals are not an issue.

    I've ordered from GC once, but I've heard Sweetwater does a good job. What about American Musical or Elderly?

    Any suggests would be appreciated.
     
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  2. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Tele-Afflicted

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    Which guitar is it?

    Elderly isn't carrying new Gibsons any more.

    Personally, I'd be very leery of ordering a Gibson sight-unseen, based on what I've seen in the music stores.
     
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  3. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

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    I just ordered a Gibson ES335, not sight unseen because there were pictures, but it is fantastic! Ordered from Dave's Guitars in Wisconsin, which I've done before, a high end guitar store that I trust wouldn't ship a crappy piece. Sweetwater is also a good way to go, the return policy is great and they are always willing to work with you to make sure that you are happy with your purchased.
     
  4. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    Mark's Guitar Loft, without a doubt. I've never ordered from him, but I would. Lots of Gibsons.
     
  5. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Holic

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    When Carvin was still Carvin, I ordered an SH550 that I was able to determine wood type, finish, frets, fretboard composition and shape, etc. Never saw the guitar or heard the pickups in person, just read descriptions, saw pictorial simulations, and listened to samples. I love that guitar.
     
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  6. Jon S.

    Jon S. TDPRI Member

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    +1.
     
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  7. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    I bought an Epi Les Paul on e-bay, and a FSR Strat from MF, they're both awesome. If they have a return policy, what do you have to lose?
     
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  8. suave eddie

    suave eddie Tele-Afflicted

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    No qualms about ordering a G&L sight unseen.
     
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  9. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've ordered at least half a dozen guitars online. Never had an issue - but I don't think I've ever bought a new guitar that was properly set up whether in person from a music store or online retailer. Only ones that I've gotten with good set ups were used from other musicians.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
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  10. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I’ve only ordered a guitar online/sight unseen/unplayed once.
    It was a MIJ Greco, from Japan.
    It was great, and had the all time best packing job I’ve ever experienced.
    Good luck!
     
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  11. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    What kind of guitar is it that no one carries? You can't find it used but in mint condition? I don't think I would buy a new Gibson today for various reasons.
     
  12. Downshift

    Downshift Tele-Holic

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    I started playing guitar when I was 14, in 2001. Essentially my entire guitar buying life has been in the internet age. The vast majority of mine have been bought over the internet, and I've been disappointed in very very few.

    This is the golden age of guitars, and they get better every year. (And they get easier to sell every year if you are unhappy with it.)

    Buy it.
     
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  13. esseff

    esseff Tele-Afflicted

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    I ordered my first Lite Ash Tele through a dealer and it was absolutely spot-on when it arrived from the warehouse. I wish I still had it; other Telecasters I've played have never had the same buttery feel.
     
  14. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Probably ordered twenty guitars online ... always been happy ... but it's always best to deal in person with a good shop ... I used to frequent a shop where the owner would order me a guitar and send several back because they were not up to his high standard...
    Guy was a great tech also ....



    was a great tech as well
     
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  15. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    If memory serves, I've ordered/bought three guitars without getting to play/feel first. A PRS SE One, on Ebay, a Hofner Club Bass (also Ebay) and a Grote ES 335-style, on Amazon. The Grote was the only REALLY unknown, and with Amazon's easy return policies, and the Grote's cheap price anyway, I felt it wasn't too much of a gamble. The Grote turned out to be a WINNER.....as were the PRS and Hofner.....but in general, I prefer to get a "feel" before buyng.
     
  16. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Holic

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    Sweetwater will even set them up to your preferences, including your choice of strings, for a small extra fee. They do thorough inspections and basic setups on all guitars over something like $299. They will even plek them for an added fee.

    Plus they are great to deal with and will agree to some discount.
     
  17. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    I've bought quite a few guitars online, the trick is to find a vendor that'll take it back if it's a dog.
     
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  18. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    All of this makes me laugh just a bit . Try being left handed for just 1 minute .
     
  19. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    If you've done your research and the product reputation is good and a retailer is good, then it's not that risky. Some of my best experiences in guitar buying have come from ordering guitars that I haven't played first.

    I'm kinda known for Logan Custom guitars. In 2008, I ordered my first Logan Custom tele style from Bob Logan. It did feel like a bit of a risk waiting for that first one to arrive, but I'd done my homework. The feedback on Bob's guitars was 100% positive, and he had many repeat customers. Once I got my hands on my first Logan tele, what little doubt I had was dispelled completely. Great instrument, one I still have. And I am currently the owner of 7 Logan Custom guitars, only one of which did I play first and pick up in person.
    10-20-2019 - Logan Custom family couch pic.jpg

    So in principle, ordering sight unseen/guitar not played is not a deterrent to me in and of itself. Now more to the point of your query, I'll share about a couple of other experiences I've had ordering guitars, both of them Wechters, both from Sweetwater.

    Years ago, I ordered a Wechter Nashville guitar (High strung/Nashville tuning) from Sweetwater. It wasn't my first purchase from Sweetwater, but it was the first guitar I'd ordered from them. That first Wechter Nashville arrived, and it had a bit of an issue: the top rattled/buzzed a bit whenever I played it, as though one of the internal braces was loose. I contacted Sweetwater, and they were great about it; they sent another one out to me, and covered the shipping all the way around, so that I wasn't out anything extra. The replacement was perfect.

    I enjoyed that first one for a while, but wished that it had built in electronics so that I could gig with it. So when Sweetwater had a sale on a Wechter Nashville that was acoustic/electric (Wechter NV-5413E), I ordered it from them. No issues at all with that one. I gave the first one to a friend and have played gigged with the a/e one.
    02-03-2016 - Wechter Nashville 5.jpg

    So while I don't know from Adam about Gibsons, I know about ordering guitars online, and I know Sweetwater. I've bought a couple of amps from them as well. Not guitars, but just more experience that Sweetwater is a trusted retailer.
     
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  20. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Afflicted

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    In 1998 I bought my Heritage H550 sight unseen, not even pics, off of evilbay. I knew what the 550 was and expected to receive a large jazz box in antique natural maple with a bit of curl. What I got was quite a pleasant surprise: the wood in the guitar was upgraded to a crazy amount of flame. All of this was $1k. Then there was the experience with my Epi Sheraton II USA. Bought one off of evilbay (again). Seller had several of them for sale at the same time, so he was in competition with himself. The guitar cost me $560, including shipping, about $1k below value. Unfortunately, the original purchase arrived with a cracked neck. A quick contact with the seller resulted in another one sent. It was all I hoped it would be, becoming my #1. 20171114_133120.jpg 20171114_133334.jpg
     
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