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Old 12-26-2012, 12:15 PM   #1
TheLarg
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Should I risk buying online?

I know that there is quite the debate between buying guitars in store and buying online. The upside of online being often cheaper prices and less hassle (depending on how close you live to a dealer). However, the downside is that you don't get to try the instrument. So I finally saved up enough to buy a MIM Fender Strat, but I'm not sure where to buy one. I have played quite a few MiM strats, and I like the feel and sound, but I'm afraid of getting a "lemon" if I order online. I don't really live close to any good guitar stores, so I was hoping to order from Musician's Friend, but is it worth the risk? Although it seems like a lot of people have good experiences online....

Anyways, any advice?
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:23 PM   #2
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The issue is the opposite. Often buying online can be more hassle.

Guitars feel different. You might like one of the same more than another. But, I think that if the frets aren't sharp and there's nothing too bad with it you should be happy. Unless you're a very experienced and picky player. All I need are smooth frets and new strings with a lowish action and the guitar will feel okay, barring obvious imperfections and **** ups. If it wasn't how I like it I'd send it back which is why I'd speak to them first. My MiM Tele is a great example and they sent me it after I spoke to them.

I would contact Musicians Friend and explain that you will send a guitar back if the fret work is crap so just to save time and money if they would have pick out a good example or set it up how you like it with a fret polish if needed.

The best option would be to go and try, save a little more money and go for a day, take a friend. But I think you can manage your purchase a little with some good communication and polite conversations.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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you can always return it man.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:38 PM   #4
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I just bouhgt a Gibson LP Traditional on MF last week, didn't try it before. Best guitar I have ever played. You only ever hear about the bad experiences because people with good experiences are a silent majority that doers not need to complain.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkflame
I just bouhgt a Gibson LP Traditional on MF last week, didn't try it before. Best guitar I have ever played. You only ever hear about the bad experiences because people with good experiences are a silent majority that doers not need to complain.

Yup. Bad experiences always stand out from good experiences unfortunately. I bought my Les Paul two years ago online. What makes it worse is that it had a repaired headstock break. I was told it didn't affect the guitar at all and had been expertly repaired. This was all true and I know you hear this a lot but I have honestly never played a better guitar. I guess I did just get lucky though.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:25 PM   #6
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I'd never buy a guitar without playing it first, returning is a hassle.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:29 PM   #7
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Returning is a hassle, but i've bought plenty of guitars online, and will continue to do so.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:06 PM   #8
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I would only buy a guitar online if i had no other choice because not being able to try the guitar can be a deal-killer and returning it can be problematic.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:26 PM   #9
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I've got more than 10 guitars, and of those, only 2 were not ordered via phone or Internet. I always order from someone with a good return policy. Some came from GC, some from a local "Mom & Pop" music shop, or direct from the luthier.

The only issues I ever had were:

1) buying a used Tacoma from GC, and it wasn't an issue with GC. The first one had a 1/8" long hairline crack on the top that ran with the grain, so I returned it and ordered a different used Tacoma (they were swimming in them at the time). The process was quick and painless, and the Tac I wound up with sounds fantastic.

2) I ordered a Dean EVO and a TC Cadillac through my local favorites (who sold Dean basses, but not guitars) and when it arrived, it was the wrong Cadillac- a black 2 HB one as opposed to the tobacco burst quilted 3 HB version. A call was made, and a couple weeks later, the correct guitar arrived...delivered personally by the region's Dean rep. He then tried to get me to buy the other Cadillac at a real deal...but I couldn't afford it, even so.* Bonus: due to having all those high end Deans sitting in their store, they're now one of the region's biggest sellers of Dean guitars.










* had I known just how good my Cadillac really was, I'd have tried to swing a deal for that black Caddy by returning that EVO. I love my EVO enough to get it upgraded with BKPs in 2013, but my Cadillac needs nothing...
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:26 PM   #10
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If shopping for a guitar is a hassle you need to find a new instrument to play. I suggest a oboe or tuba.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhaok
If shopping for a guitar is a hassle you need to find a new instrument to play. I suggest a oboe or tuba.

Have I seen you over at Ultimate-tuba.com?
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz : 12-26-2012 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:09 PM   #12
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i buy everything online. If you don't like it you can always send it back.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
Have I seen you over at Ultimate-tuba.com?


Good lord. Even bad jokes have web sites.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:08 PM   #14
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Usually most reputable websites are good with their products. Your fear is most likely, the delivery service. I wouldn't try and cut corners on delivery IMO, as thats the place where it can go wrong. Though i got a PRS CE24 through Ebay and it got here in one piece. I got a Carvin DC135 through Ebay too, with international shipping, and it got here in once piece. Though that one took a little while more, obviously.

Does it come with a case? Preferably a hardcase. Usually makes me feel more confident when i'm buying online

Also, guitar shops are great. Find ones with good service, who treat you like a person buying a guitar, not some n00b who shall be smited for not playing an A chord the way i like it. Prime example is with two stores a few miles out from where i am, which are distanced by about 200 yards of each other.

One i go into, i get dealt with great service, even if i stay around enough, a cup of tea, and the guys there generally enjoy telling stories about gigs, recording, vintage gear, and opinions about if a guitar suits what i play or not. They delivered good enough service to make me shell out a bit over £1k, and me leaving with the ultimate smile on my face, keeping it on that face on the way home, and staying there eternally whenever i play my G&L.

The other store, i went in there, tried out some stuff from the small variety of amps and guitars they had, and all that happened was his criticism of my alternate picking. To that i say "screw you, i'm buying a guitar, not a lesson." happy to say i never bought from there, and never will. I don't care if they have a signed photo of Michael Angelo Batio in the shop, with a "pleased" purchase. If you only treat one member of your store like a rockstar, then the rest will be dissatisfied.

Basically what i'm trying to say is there is good and evil in shops, and i think you should scout around and try and find these good shops. They are there. Some will give you some solid deals too. Try and find em before going online. Theres a really nice level of service you get from a good shop that can't be replicated in a browser window.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:26 AM   #15
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My 2 experiences have been horrific and ended up with both guitars being sent back for refund and taking weeks.

Both times I bought a Gibson, and there quality was horrific. I decided to order one final time and I get it on Monday so hopefully third time lucky
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:37 AM   #16
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I bought one of my guitars online from www.musicstore.com
Everything came out great... the only thing the guitar needed was to tune the strings.
You probably should look online for reviews of the store from people that already used that online store.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJlespaul
My 2 experiences have been horrific and ended up with both guitars being sent back for refund and taking weeks.

Both times I bought a Gibson, and there quality was horrific. I decided to order one final time and I get it on Monday so hopefully third time lucky

What Gibsons were they? You can't expect a Melody Maker to have Custom Shop quality.
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