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  #121  
Old 01-19-2019, 11:37 AM
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RockyRacc00n RockyRacc00n is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Paul View Post
This isn't a "trial guitar" it's a return of a purchased guitar.

It's pretty easy to figure out who this dealer is. Return policy clearly states item must be in same condition as when received, same as every other dealer that offers a return window.

OP has referenced the photo the dealer sent him of the damage. He has it. If he wants help posting it all he has to do is ask and send it to someone to post for him. A reasonable conclusion is that the OP doesn't feel the photo helps his case.

He has said he would post an update yesterday, he hasn't.

I'm glad I'm not in retail.

I think I know who the seller is also. Every business has a return policy that in general says, "... has to be in the same condition... ". But it's about how flexible and reasonable the business will be in enforcing it.

Let's be realistic. If you are attracting internet buyers at rock bottom prices with a 2-week return policy, you have to be able to accommodate minor flaws.. perhaps be willing to take it back with a fee and sell it as B stock. I think there will be plenty of buyers that will happily buy a near perfect instrument with some minuscule cosmetic flaw at an additional discount from the rock bottom price.

Even though the business might have given an ample warning, you can't guarantee that a micro defect didn't already exists when the guitar was sent out. And you can't expect the customer to be looking for these minor flaws (that require magnifying glass or eagle eyes to detect) in their initial inspection. Most of us are going to just look for things that are obvious. In this case, it sounds like the OP was fully aware and didn't do anything to abuse the guitar. In fact he took extra care, even minding what he wore.

Now for the seller, when the guitar does come back, the level of inspection likely gets higher because he now may be looking for reasons to see how much he can test the boundaries of his policy to the letter. And could be the case he found something that he and the buyer missed the first time. Very hard to prove and a vulnerable situation. Which is why I think, if you are going to offer such return policy, the seller needs to be willing to take on more risk.


The OP is probably trying to work it out with the seller now, explaining why he has been silent and hasn't posted any photos or updates, not necessarily because he thinks he has a losing case. He is probably giving discretion to the seller until it is settled.
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Last edited by RockyRacc00n; 01-19-2019 at 11:43 AM.
  #122  
Old 01-19-2019, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creekside Guitar View Post
I have a 00-17A that has swirls on the top. It is quite common for these guitars to have them. Also every sunburst guitar I own has them as well. They really are a non factor to me and should be to anyone who plays for a living.

These guitars are meant to played and used, not hung on a wall and kept in pristine condition. Anyone that has any experience with acoustic guitars knows these darker finish guitars will always have and show swirls. You can't play them without this happening.

The 00-17A is a fantastic guitar, by far the lightest build Martin is currently making. I think the issue people have with swirl marks is they are too focused on the value of the guitar. I get that these are expensive guitars but they are still just guitars, meant to played and enjoyed for a lifetime.
The issue here isn't why he is returning it. He may be returning for some other reason.

This is about how flexible the business will be in accepting a return on a minor cosmetic flaw, especially if you are an internet seller where there isn't the opportunity to inspect together at the same time and place.

What you just said supports the case that the seller should perhaps take it back with a fee and sell again a B stock.
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  #123  
Old 01-19-2019, 11:53 AM
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This thread is interesting. Folks seeming to side up for either vendor or OP fairly easily. I find myself somewhere in the middle (w/out more info). I've purchased a few guitars online, 2 from two different forum sponsors. A 00-DB and D-18 Ambertone.

Both had some slight swirls on finish/pickguard ... the 00-DB on/near the pickguard and the D-18 close to fingerboard/big E (where vendor placed paperwork/under strings and against finish ... this same vendor didn't even require signature on receipt ). I didn't report or raise the issue(s), which is why there is/was no need to name vendors here. I accepted each as they played well and believed that vendors would take "prove it"/defensive attitude ... because why would they send out somewhat spendy guitars w/ any finish issues at all? It does make me wonder (a bit) if they are selling returned/trial guitars as new though. I'll note that I recall one of these 2 vendors (more overtly) advertising their return policy in the past.

At any rate, too much of a hassle for too little return (minor issues/guitars play great), so I just moved on and enjoyed the guitars. I suppose I should have at least made the vendors aware, but just seemed like common sense stuff and you can't teach/inform that kind of behavior IMO. I'm pretty content w/ my arsenal, but if I get GAS I'll just give another vendor a chance ... seem to be a couple other folks here to chose from that get very consistent/favorable reviews.

Relating to return culture ... just look at some of the Apple forums. People buy 3 iPhones/iPads (different colors/sizes) and try for a bit and then send back the rest to Apple w/in return window ... and then complain (somewhat unfairly) about price of devices.
  #124  
Old 01-19-2019, 12:27 PM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
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I hope that what comes out of discussions of this topic, all the related posts, is a thought process that takes all things into consideration before buying a guitar.

While we all like a great price, there is more to the price than dollars.

Can you buy this guitar locally from an establshied reputable dealer? Will the local dealer negotiate price? What is the return policy?

You can play the guitar, with no consequences or obligation at a local dealer. The dealer is a resource that can be valuable though the value may be intangible. The local dealer may be $100-200.00 more expensive but oh-so-worth the difference in price.

If you decide to go with an online buy which one will you go with? Not all online dealers are created equal.

The absolute, to the penny, rock bottom price may not really be the best price.

There are many considerations.More than just these.

The price of the guitar you wish to buy is not just the guitar itself. It is a combination of things.

I won't tell anybody where or how to buy a guitar. Just to really think it through.
  #125  
Old 01-19-2019, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy1951 View Post
I hope that what comes out of discussions of this topic, all the related posts, is a thought process that takes all things into consideration before buying a guitar.

While we all like a great price, there is more to the price than dollars.

Can you buy this guitar locally from an establshied reputable dealer? Will the local dealer negotiate price? What is the return policy?

You can play the guitar, with no consequences or obligation at a local dealer. The dealer is a resource that can be valuable though the value may be intangible. The local dealer may be $100-200.00 more expensive but oh-so-worth the difference in price.

If you decide to go with an online buy which one will you go with? Not all online dealers are created equal.

The absolute, to the penny, rock bottom price may not really be the best price.

There are many considerations.More than just these.

The price of the guitar you wish to buy is not just the guitar itself. It is a combination of things.

I won't tell anybody where or how to buy a guitar. Just to really think it through.
Yup, great points. I'll be looking used, local, online. Just no relic'd!! (jk ... sorta )
  #126  
Old 01-19-2019, 01:06 PM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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You can all stop arguing. The OP abandoned the thread many pages ago!
  #127  
Old 01-19-2019, 01:29 PM
The Kid! The Kid! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by der Geist View Post
This dealer is being very foolish IMO. The OP purchased a high end guitar from them. Chances are the OP will be purchasing more in the future.
Incorrect. The OP is attempting to RETURN a high end guitar. There's the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by der Geist View Post
If the scratches are so small that you need a hi res camera to see them then I think that the dealer is being ridiculously petty.
Not if they stand to lose money because they can't sell it as new. What if YOU were the dealer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by der Geist View Post
Are they going to lose the cost of the entire guitar over marks that you can’t see with the naked eye?
Absolutely not, that's why they denied the return. That's exactly how they DON'T lose the cost of the entire guitar. And the OP stated that HE couldn't see the scratches with the naked eye, and has yet to provide pics... that raises a red flag to me and others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by der Geist View Post
I do not know the exact cost of the guitar in question but i am more than sure that they could discount it 50% off list disclosing the micro scratches and still not take a financial loss. Maybe break even at worst.
But why should they have to do that? I highly doubt their cost on a $5000 guitar is $2500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by der Geist View Post
They just sold the OP a very expensive guitar so sometimes a break even is a win.
I'll have to go back and re-read, but I was under the impression that he kept a $250 guitar and returned a $5000 guitar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by der Geist View Post
Also, he will make the OP happy which will result in possible future sales and instead of a 10 page rant they might be the subject of a NGD praise and some positive free advertising.
Speculative. AGF is such a small percentage of the guitar buying community, that a 10 page rant or a glowing fanboy review isn't going to affect sales much, if at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by der Geist View Post
A guitar with micro marks at or near dealer cost will be quickly snatched up by a savvy buyer as well and they will have another happy buyer with more positive feedback and future sales.
Again, speculative at best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by der Geist View Post
This kind of penny wise, pound foolish thinking is one reason why so many retailers are struggling nowdays.
It's really not. The fact that people are looking for and can find the lowest possible price online with a few clicks is why. Even big chain businesses are suffering because of that. If anybody is penny pinching, its the consumers.


I can see both sides to a degree, but I expect any buyer to expect a discount on a "damaged" guitar that is not as new. This isn't David Vs. Goliath here. It's easier to see if you put yourself in the sellers shoes knowing that you'd take a hit if you offered a full refund on a return that had wear.

Again, the only foolish thing the dealer did in my opinion, is offer to let a guitar with such a delicate go out on a trial basis.

There's a high end guitar shop here in Buffalo, NY. It's called The Fretted Buffalo and it's amazing. They carry Huss & Dalton, Furch, Avalon, and Bourgeois. The owner has soft bibs for people to wear when playing the instruments.

I can't imagine how nervous I'd be with an inventory like that, especially knowing how fickle consumers can be over the tiniest marks on a new instrument.

Again, imagine if YOU were the shop owner that not only has to make a living on the small profit margins on even high end guitars, not to mention paying all of the overhead in running a business. Could you honestly say that a few micro scratches that can't be buffed out and could potentially hurt your bottom line, wouldn't be a big deal?
  #128  
Old 01-19-2019, 01:50 PM
chistrummer chistrummer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyRacc00n View Post
I think I know who the seller is also. Every business has a return policy that in general says, "... has to be in the same condition... ". But it's about how flexible and reasonable the business will be in enforcing it.

Let's be realistic. If you are attracting internet buyers at rock bottom prices with a 2-week return policy, you have to be able to accommodate minor flaws.. perhaps be willing to take it back with a fee and sell it as B stock. I think there will be plenty of buyers that will happily buy a near perfect instrument with some minuscule cosmetic flaw at an additional discount from the rock bottom price.

Even though the business might have given an ample warning, you can't guarantee that a micro defect didn't already exists when the guitar was sent out. And you can't expect the customer to be looking for these minor flaws (that require magnifying glass or eagle eyes to detect) in their initial inspection. Most of us are going to just look for things that are obvious. In this case, it sounds like the OP was fully aware and didn't do anything to abuse the guitar. In fact he took extra care, even minding what he wore.

Now for the seller, when the guitar does come back, the level of inspection likely gets higher because he now may be looking for reasons to see how much he can test the boundaries of his policy to the letter. And could be the case he found something that he and the buyer missed the first time. Very hard to prove and a vulnerable situation. Which is why I think, if you are going to offer such return policy, the seller needs to be willing to take on more risk.


The OP is probably trying to work it out with the seller now, explaining why he has been silent and hasn't posted any photos or updates, not necessarily because he thinks he has a losing case. He is probably giving discretion to the seller until it is settled.
Well put. I also think I know who the dealer is and he is in a state with little to no consumer protection when it comes to returns. Course credit card processors answer to Federal laws where the consumer is king so the sale can easily be charged back regardless how the state feels about it.
  #129  
Old 01-19-2019, 02:12 PM
Kyle76 Kyle76 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kh1967 View Post
I consistently work with a handful of dealers who know me. They trust me, and I trust them. They get my business repeatedly because they treat me well and I would like to believe, I earned it.

If I am evaluating a guitar on a trial basis, I am extremely careful. But, things can happen, and I have had that very thing occur. In spite of my best efforts, I dinged a guitar I had on evaluation. I did not love the guitar but, instead of trying to return it, I called the shop told them wat happened and handed over my payment.

Since the guitar was not for me, I shipped the guitar back to the shop and they put it on consignment for me. It worked out for them, and it for me. Sure...I took a hit financially, but I could sleep at night and years later, the shop owner and I are close personal friends.

Lead with integrity is my belief...when you do, life gets pretty simple.
This is the best answer I have seen and exactly how I would handle it. Well said, sir!
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  #130  
Old 01-19-2019, 02:21 PM
Wild Fiddler Wild Fiddler is offline
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OP here again.

It wasn't possible for me to speak with the dealer on Friday, but we both plan to talk on Monday and decide how to proceed at that time.

Just so you know, I'm not asking anyone to take "sides." Ultimately we're all in this together, players and dealers, professionals and amateurs. I thank everyone for being generous sharing their own experiences. That's definitely a lot more helpful than being hasty to assume too many things about this specific situation, the dealer, or about me. There's plenty of food for thought here on what is reasonable, as players and as dealers.

Thanks especially to all of you who wrote about falling in love with a guitar for how it feels and sounds. In the end, at least for me, a guitar is about the love of music. Same with my 200 year old violin. Although the warranty on the violin might come into question at some point...

Some of you wondered why I would order a Martin 00-17 Authentic 1931 on trial, only to return it. There were none of these guitars locally, and so it seemed worth a shot. My main guitar is a custom Froggy Bottom H-12 with a wider 1 13/16 nut. I love the wider nut and string spacing. Am eager to have another short scale guitar to keep in standard tuning, and dedicate the Frog to various alternate tunings. While this Martin certainly lives up its reputation for build and sound, the unknown for me was how I'd get on with its even wider 1 7/8 nut and distictive neck profile. Turns out this authentic neck profile feels fabulous in my hands. But the 1 7/8 is just too wide for me to easily switch back and forth between this and my Froggy Bottom. Some things you can't know unless you try.

If the Martin Authentic does come back to me, I will take some careful photos under neutral light and try to figure out how to post them. Might need some help on that... it's not like just dragging a photo into an email.

Thanks for reading and sharing your different perspectives. And mostly, thanks for being part of a community that loves real instruments, and live music.
  #131  
Old 01-19-2019, 02:24 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Fiddler View Post
OP here again.

If the Martin Authentic does come back to me, I will take some careful photos under neutral light and try to figure out how to post them. Might need some help on that... it's not like just dragging a photo into an email.
Just link to the photos the dealer sent you? Those are the ones the dealer is using to support the refusal to accept return, they're the basis for the dispute.
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  #132  
Old 01-19-2019, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kh1967 View Post
I consistently work with a handful of dealers who know me. They trust me, and I trust them. They get my business repeatedly because they treat me well and I would like to believe, I earned it.

If I am evaluating a guitar on a trial basis, I am extremely careful. But, things can happen, and I have had that very thing occur. In spite of my best efforts, I dinged a guitar I had on evaluation. I did not love the guitar but, instead of trying to return it, I called the shop told them wat happened and handed over my payment.

Since the guitar was not for me, I shipped the guitar back to the shop and they put it on consignment for me. It worked out for them, and it for me. Sure...I took a hit financially, but I could sleep at night and years later, the shop owner and I are close personal friends.

Lead with integrity is my belief...when you do, life gets pretty simple.
A very valuable illustration in how best to handle a guitar situation, but how to generally walk through life, so reminiscent of MLK's "content of character."
Thanks for sharing this wonderful insight.
  #133  
Old 01-19-2019, 02:43 PM
guitar george guitar george is offline
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Putting a Martin Authentic guitar on consignment at the dealer would probably be a very expensive way to solve this problem. The minor damage can be fixed for maybe $100.00. Consignment fees could be $1,000.00 or more, depending on the guitar. There is also the real likelihood that the guitar would suffer more damage while on consignment. It would also be considered to be a B-stock guitar and would have to be listed for less than the original selling price.
  #134  
Old 01-19-2019, 02:52 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowrider View Post
You can all stop arguing. The OP abandoned the thread many pages ago!
Yea, it's been a while since I've seen a thread get so many responses in such a short time.
  #135  
Old 01-19-2019, 02:56 PM
der Geist der Geist is offline
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I guess I will have to go back and re-read it as well. I thought he kept the expensive one and returned the other.

Update- You are correct Rich.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dronfield View Post
Hi

Without rereading the whole thread, i thought the OP was ordered one high end model (that is being returned) and a lower end model (that is being kept)?

Apologies if i have misunderstood the position here.

Rich
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