Sometimes you spot a deal on eBay and it looks to good to be true. Inmany cases it is – beware of fake guitars on eBay!
Beware of fake guitars on eBay!
Buying a guitar on the internet is often a great investment. You can, quite often, bag yourself a bargain by buying an expensive guitar for a fraction of the cost simply because internet retailers have significantly lower overheads than your traditional High Street guitar shop. However, the rise of auction sites such as eBay has made it easy for criminals to off load fake guitars and earn a tidy profit at our expense.
There have been numerous cases of people being fooled by fakes and most of the big brands such as Fender and Gibson are being counterfeited. Ebay have tried to clamp down on the counterfeiters but unfortunately there are always some that manage to slip through the net.
So how do you spot fake guitars on eBay?
In reality it can be very difficult to differentiate between the real thing and a fake. The great thing about eBay for the fakers is that you can’t give the instrument a proper once over before you buy it. They can therefore post poor quality pictures which make it difficult to identify if the guitar is genuine or they can post pictures of the genuine item only to send you a fake once you have parted with your cash. So how can you guard against fake guitars on eBay.
Here are some quick tips to help you so that you don’t get caught buying fake guitars on eBay.
The most important thing is to do your homework first before even considering parting with your hard earned cash.
Check out the seller. Where are they located, do they have good reviews from happy customers, have they sold many guitars in the past, these are all questions that should be passing through your mind. I have to admit that I tend to restrict my search to sellers located in the UK. The reason for this is that the market is flooded with fake instruments from China and they are often sold by vendors based in China. That is not to say that these same Chinese fakes couldn’t just as easily be sold in the UK but it does lessen the chance.
Does the advert look and read as if it is written by someone who understands what they are saying. There have been instances where fraudsters in China have lifted adverts, pictures text and all, from genuine sellers to advertise their own instruments. I know of one high end seller on eBay who puts additional text in his adverts to guard against just such a scam.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the vendor about the guitar that you are interested in. If they are genuine they should be able to provide additional details about the guitar which will help you to make a more informed decision. In fact they should be happy to provide information to you, after all you are interested in buying their guitar.
Check out the vendors returns policy. In the UK you are protected by what was known as the Distance Selling Regulations but in June 2014 these changed to the Consumer Contracts Regulations. However, name change aside, this still allows the purchaser a 7 day cooling off period in which you can decide to return the purchased items and get a full refund. This is another reason why I tend to restrict my search to the UK. But it is important that if you change your mind you can get your money back without a struggle.
In essence it is a case, when buying on line, that buyer beware. There are some great deals to be had. But be cautious, exercise a good dose of judgement and don’t be suckered into a deal that looks too good to be true. Because it usually always is!
For additional help eBay has an excellent help section which can be accessed below.
eBay customer service and help.
If you have had any experience of fake guitars or fake guitars on eBay then let us know.
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