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  #31  
Old 01-17-2019, 02:41 PM
Stringmaster Stringmaster is offline
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I've bought quite a few instruments "sight unseen" with a trial period. I wouldn't typically buy otherwise if there is no trial (exception is if a trade is involved). I always understand that as a buyer I'd be responsible for shipping both ways if I return (that's a standard policy). Sometimes that can be quite expensive, but it's a known risk up front. That brings up another question to the OP--if they are refusing the return and sending it back, who covers that cost? I assume you are still out the shipping both ways if you come to terms with a restocking fee--and shipping isn't getting any cheaper!

I've only had one case of "grief" with returning an instrument on trial--it was a used piece in excellent condition (but far from mint). The shop sent it to me with old strings, smudges, fingerprints, headstock scratches etc (that weren't revealed when the sale was made). I didn't love the guitar anyway and sent it back. The dealer essentially tried to "jam it down my throat"--insisting that they be given a chance to clean the guitar up before I finalized my decision to return the guitar. I simply asked why they didn't clean it up first before sending it out, and they gave me a lame excuse. I stood firm and got a refund.

What I've learned from experience--I take pictures of the unopened box, and the various steps in unpacking. Then immediately look the instrument over and take more pics. If there's an issue, an immediate call is in order, and then I let the dealer make the call--return it, or be allowed to audition it. That only happened once, and I was given the grace to "play it anyway". I ended up keeping it.

It's got to be a tough thing from both sides. Players who are anti "relic" guitars stating that they will induce their own natural wear via playing are often the first to complain of miniscule finish issues when purchasing new or even used lol.
Best of luck
  #32  
Old 01-17-2019, 03:03 PM
guitar george guitar george is offline
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Originally Posted by Wild Fiddler View Post
Just got an email saying the "return is denied," due to a couple micro scratches that a close up camera can just detect, even though most eyes would not.

I understand the dealer needs to be able to sell the guitar as "new." But I'm also feeling like being offered a "trial period" doesn't help if the bar is set impossibly high for a return.
If this truly is the policy of companies that allow a trial-period, then, no one should ever buy a guitar with a trial period.

Every time they could send you a guitar with a few minor scratches, claim you made the scratches, and then deny the return. What a sneaky way to unload items with minor damage.
  #33  
Old 01-17-2019, 03:12 PM
Rmz76 Rmz76 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Fiddler View Post
I recently ordered two guitars from a dealer with a two week trial. Kept one and returned the other this week. Just got an email saying the "return is denied," due to a couple micro scratches that a close up camera can just detect, even though most eyes would not. This is despite wearing fleece sweat pants (no zipper), and a cotton sweat shirt (no buttons) during my trial playing time.

Any suggestions for what to do in a situation like this?

The guitar in question is a fine Martin Authentic, which apparently has incredibly thin varnish. I understand the dealer needs to be able to sell the guitar as "new." But I'm also feeling like being offered a "trial period" doesn't help if the bar is set impossibly high for a return.

What do you think would be fair to both a dealer and player in this situation? How would you handle it?

Thanks!
It's possible that the seller had no intention of ever taking the return back knowing the law would be on their side. If the guitar was in the condition you claim it to be then they are making a choice to loose a potential life-long customer willing to buy high ticket items. It's odd to me they would take that position, but I assume you've exhausted sort of reasoning here. Regardless... As others have said, it's now a legal problem.

Before contacting an attorney here are some things you can do.

1.) Check for posted terms on the retailer's website.
I realize you have not identified the retailer, but to use Sweetwater as an example of how you can expect all big retailers to handle this. Sweetwater publishes their terms of service on-line
https://www.sweetwater.com/about/terms-of-use.php

If you search through their terms you'll find this in the arbitration section of the document.
The arbitration shall be conducted in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and judgment on the arbitration award may be entered into any court having jurisdiction thereof. Either you or us may seek any interim or preliminary relief from a court of competent jurisdiction in Fort Wayne, Indiana necessary to protect the rights or property of you and us pending the completion of arbitration.

Most retailers will do this. By purchasing from them you are agreeing to these terms which includes granting them the right for all legal proceedings to take place in their local territory. So to file suit against them, you'd have to travel to Fort Wayne, Indiana and your rights would be defined by the laws of Indiana.

2.) Once you've established if the retailer has terms that dictate jurisdiction for arbitration and litigation, have a look at what the State laws for that jurisdiction entitle you to. This is a good place to start.
https://consumer.findlaw.com/consume...-by-state.html

You may learn that the law is on the side of the retailer and that it would be an expensive loosing battle to pursue.

3.) Research filing a lawsuit out of state: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclope...hapter9-2.html


The least path of resistance here is likely going to be to take the return back and then list and resale. Depending on what you were able to negotiate on the sale, you will probably take a $2-$3k loss. But that may be a lot less expensive than travel time, time off work and legal fees to resolve it in the courts.
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  #34  
Old 01-17-2019, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Fiddler View Post
I recently ordered two guitars from a dealer with a two week trial. Kept one and returned the other this week. Just got an email saying the "return is denied," due to a couple micro scratches that a close up camera can just detect, even though most eyes would not. This is despite wearing fleece sweat pants (no zipper), and a cotton sweat shirt (no buttons) during my trial playing time.

Any suggestions for what to do in a situation like this?

The guitar in question is a fine Martin Authentic, which apparently has incredibly thin varnish. I understand the dealer needs to be able to sell the guitar as "new." But I'm also feeling like being offered a "trial period" doesn't help if the bar is set impossibly high for a return.

What do you think would be fair to both a dealer and player in this situation? How would you handle it?

Thanks!
Sounds just like what I went through few months ago. I was going to share my story as a learning experience and a warning to others at the time, but didn't want to cause a fuss and just ended up taking my lumps.

Sent you PM.
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  #35  
Old 01-17-2019, 03:34 PM
3fingers 3fingers is offline
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If I knew that I had treated the guitar appropriately I would stop payment on the credit card. Make the store decide if it is worth pursuing legal action. Make the store prove the guitar was in perfect condition when they sent it. Do they have pictures prior to sending it to you? Whichever party controls the money has the advantage.
  #36  
Old 01-17-2019, 03:50 PM
archerscreek archerscreek is offline
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Originally Posted by Willie Voltaire View Post
Offer to pay a "restocking fee" to reimburse the shop for buffing it out.
This is the best solution.

Otherwise you could find yourself in some very, very hot water if you ask the credit card company to reverse payment. Why? Because you admit that you bought two guitars and only intended to pay for one of them. The business will argue that you intended to make a fraudulent purchase of at least one of the guitars all along. Also, the fine print on every guitar return policy I've ever read says it has to be in the same condition you received it. You admit it isn't.
  #37  
Old 01-17-2019, 03:54 PM
MrDB MrDB is offline
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Originally Posted by archerscreek View Post
This is the best solution.

Otherwise you could find yourself in some very, very hot water if you ask the credit card company to reverse payment. Why? Because you admit that you bought two guitars and only intended to pay for one of them. The business will argue that you intended to make a fraudulent purchase of at least one of the guitars all along. Also, the fine print on every guitar return policy I've ever read says it has to be in the same condition you received it. You admit it isn't.
Actually he doesn't know if the swirls were there when he received the guitar or not, so does not know for sure if he's the one that created them.
  #38  
Old 01-17-2019, 04:31 PM
jaan jaan is offline
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Tell them you want to return the other guitar too. Maybe they will become more open to negotiation.
But what I haven’t heard you say is there’s no way I did that for sure. Pretty any trial of anything requires it be returned in the condition it was sent.

Last edited by jaan; 01-17-2019 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Added thoughts
  #39  
Old 01-17-2019, 04:36 PM
Monsoon1 Monsoon1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Fiddler View Post
BUFFING OUT IDEAS
I'd be happy to cover any costs for buffing out the finish swirls. They are almost too small to see without a magnifying glass. But they are faintly there in a close up photo.

I'd never notice them myself (and would never turn down a guitar I loved otherwise just because of them). But the dealer tells me even the smallest mark would be an issue for other customers. He also tells me the special thin finish on these Authentic models can't be buffed out without leaving a "shiny" tell-tale mark. Hence the "Return Denied."

Does anyone have experience buffing out tiny swirls on an Authentic Martin?
The dealer is lying. If the marks only show up with a closeup lens, then it can be polished out.
I would file a charge back on BOTH guitars right after you get the guitar back. Then this is important, take both guitars to your favorite luthier and have them do a comprehensive physical examination on a micro level, including dial caliper measurements. You want him to find every conceivable production flaw that he can, right down to too much glue in a pocket, anything at all. And of course you being a pefectionist just like the seller, you will be offended at the tiniest of flaws, and will require full reimbursement including shipping both ways.
My guess is the seller will change his tune when he is contacted by the bank for a charge back with professional evidence.
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  #40  
Old 01-17-2019, 04:45 PM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archerscreek View Post
This is the best solution.

Otherwise you could find yourself in some very, very hot water if you ask the credit card company to reverse payment. Why? Because you admit that you bought two guitars and only intended to pay for one of them. The business will argue that you intended to make a fraudulent purchase of at least one of the guitars all along. Also, the fine print on every guitar return policy I've ever read says it has to be in the same condition you received it. You admit it isn't.
The couple of times I have done this (not on guitars) have been at the suggestion of the vendor - so if they suggested that, then there is no hot water. Things may also depend upon the printed & posted terms of their return policy.

Can you still return the guitar you intended to keep? That might be an incentive for them to negotiate.

If they slipped you a guitar with those micro scratches on it and then claimed that you did it, I would sure raise the dickens with my credit card company. If it was pristine when it arrived and the scratches happened on your watch, then they have the upper position, especially if their posted terms addressed such situations.
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  #41  
Old 01-17-2019, 04:45 PM
JohnnyMoses JohnnyMoses is offline
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Default Feel the pain...

This has happened to me on ebay purchases, once it's shipped you pretty much bought it. Sometimes you get great deals, and other times you get not so great deals.

So that's why I am asking for lot's and lots of pictures up front on a guitar I am buying through Guitar Center, online, and having it shipped to my local store versus to my home address.

You cannot be too careful sometimes, but I am also confident that once this guitar shows up in the Seattle Store, it would be sold quickly for the price I am paying for it. Even if it's been advertised as a 1970 model yet has a 1971 serial #! Oops...

Value still remains, in quality instruments. But it's false advertising to claim a guitar is made in 1970, when it has a serial # from 1971, unless the store can show proof.. somehow.

Taking it to the streets basically by posting about it here. (Doobie Brothers song from the 1970's about getting ripped off on a car repair job)

Just keep trying, maybe talk to an attorney but it's a nightmare returning things to a private seller so people pay more at a big store like GC, for that added security. I am pretty sure they will work with me on my issue.

Best of luck, we are both posting about similar issues...
  #42  
Old 01-17-2019, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Yeah View Post
Agree on this. If return policy bares no risk to the seller, then wirtually anyone would offer it.

If the seller truly knew beforehand that the guitar is REEEEAAALLY easy scratchable, and impossible to fix, then he souldnīt have offered a trial period at all.

I donīt know how consumer rights work in your country, but I would recommend filing a formal complaint (to save time) and in parallel keep conversations with the seller to find a solution.
This.

Plus: Keep all correspondence in written form and keep copies.
  #43  
Old 01-17-2019, 05:31 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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But it's false advertising to claim a guitar is made in 1970, when it has a serial # from 1971, unless the store can show proof.. somehow.
No, it's not false advertising unless you can prove the wrong year assignation was made knowingly or recklessly. Simple errors happen all the time and are corrected without involving the courts. In your case, it's a mistake that at best may have a very minor influence on the value, but more likely has no impact on the value of the guitar, so there's no motivation for the seller to mislead. It didn't increase the chance of a sale or put any additional money in the till.
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  #44  
Old 01-17-2019, 08:22 PM
Wild Fiddler Wild Fiddler is offline
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A FEW CLARIFICATIONS... AND THANKS!
As the original poster, I'm awed by the depth of your responses since this morning. Thanks for offering many helpful points of view.

For those still reading, allow me to clarify a few things.

FINISH MARKS
The guitar and transaction in question is from a "real" dealer known to honest. I believe he's being straight with me, and that the tiny finish marks somehow occured in the time I was playing the guitar. I could not see them by eye when packing up the guitar. But they are faintly visible in the dealer's camera close-ups. Apparently the Martin Authentics have incredibly delicate finish. In hindsight, it would have been better if this particular guitar had never been shipped out on trial.

I've played guitar and violin professionally for nearly 40 years, and take very good care of my instruments. My violin is over 200 years old, and will delight another generation of musicians long after I'm gone, as will my guitars. So running into this situation has been upsetting on multiple levels, and WAY out of my ordinary.

TWO GUITARS
Just so you know, the two guitars I ordered had different purposes. The second guitar was an inexpensive one, intended either for use as a travel guitar by me, or as a student guitar. One of my students purchased that one, and is very happy with it.

WHAT NEXT
Tomorrow I will propose to the dealer that he accept the returned guitar, and charge me a re-stocking fee. You all make that sound very reasonable. The fact that this matter has been discussed respectfully on this forum may be of some benefit. If the dealer still says "NO," I may have a killer deal for someone drawn to a Martin 00-17 Authentic 1931.

I'll post the "conclusion" to this tale tomorrow for those who may be curious.

Gracias a todos!
  #45  
Old 01-17-2019, 08:33 PM
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RockyRacc00n RockyRacc00n is online now
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Originally Posted by Wild Fiddler View Post
A FEW CLARIFICATIONS... AND THANKS!
As the original poster, I'm awed by the depth of your responses since this morning. Thanks for offering many helpful points of view...
Fiddler, I sent you a message earlier. Would you please check?
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