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Old 02-16-2013, 06:23 PM   #1
greenwgreg
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Epi Masterbilt delivered with blem in finish

Recently, I have been shopping for a new 6 string acoustic/electric to replace the Ibanez that I sold. The Epi Masterbilt DR-500MCE got excellent reviews but no local shops carry it so I looked online. I like that AMS and ZZounds have the 8-pay option, I otherwise would not be able to afford a $600 guitar. I decided to go with ZZounds since they are in NJ (I'm in CT) making shipping quick. Who likes to wait, anyhow? They sent it FedEx ground and it arrived the next day.

The Epi box came inside another larger box with packing material. It was obvious that the Epi box had been opened, I figured they check the guitars out before shipping. At first it looked wonderful, I really like the guitar and feel it is a good value. Unfortunately, I discovered a dime-sized finish blemish on the side of the headstock near the low E tuning key. Not cool. It looks like a blob of whatever they finish the guitar with smeared and dried lumpy. What chaps my posterior is that it is a very obvious blemish and, as such, should not have been sent to me.

I called ZZ and was given 2 options. Option 1 is to ship the guitar back for exchange, which means inconvenience and waiting for me. Not cool. Option 2 is to send them photos (I already did) and they will offer a credit. I am not sure if that means ZZounds credit or partial refund to my card. I did notice a few weeks back that they were offering a blem for $439, a $160 discount from new.

I am leaning towards accepting the credit if I feel it is enough to make things right, $50 is not going to be fair in my book if that is their offer. It is too soon to tell as I just talked to them about this today.

What is the general opinion about situations like this? What would you do? One concern I have about this blem is resale value, should that ever come up. The neck on this guitar is a satin finish so it is not like I can buff it out.

I am including a few photos here so you can see what I am talking about.







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Old 02-16-2013, 07:06 PM   #2
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From what you're saying, I think you should get the guitar for the advertised price of the blemished guitar. Considering I bought a Ibanez ART100 (LH), for @270.00, and as of yet, I haven't found the "blemish". (Old eyes maybe)?

$600.00 is a lot of money , but on the grand scale of guitar valuations, it isn't a whole lot.

Epiphones aren't real Gibsons, so you probably shouldn't be moving forward with resale value as a primary consideration. You likely won't get as high a percentage of ROI, as you would with a real USA Gibby.

Epiphone has limited model runs from time to time, such as a repro of John Lennon's, "Casino", which might eventually fare better on the used market. Or they might not. In any event you'd have to hang onto it for 20 years to find out.

If you like the guitar in every way, other than the blemish, I say keep it.

I have returned guitars to zZounds, and the credit went directly back to my credit card. I see no reason why they would treat you any differently.

Their return policy favors the customer. Especially in this case, since you didn't actually get what you ordered. The warehouse guys either grabbed the wrong box, the inventory was wrong and they thought they had new and didn't. Something along those lines.

I'm pretty sure they won't try to stick you with store credit, since ATM, you have the right to return the guitar outright, for a full refund.

As a side note, in theory at least, return the guitar for a full refund, then buy it if and when they offer it as a blem. I don't think either party wants to go through those machinations, do you? As long as the guitar you're sending pictures of, agrees with the serial number they sent you, you're good to go.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 02-16-2013 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:07 PM   #3
greenwgreg
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Thanks very much for the reply and advice. I am leaning heavily towards keeping it since I like the way it plays and it looks sharp, too. Besides, every guitar gets that first ding or scratch eventually, this gets that out of the way.

It comes down to what they offer as compensation. I am not a difficult customer in this respect, but I was sent a substandard example and have the right to ask for a partial credit.

I will post back as this progresses.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:45 PM   #4
patticake
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check it out thoroughly. if it's otherwise in good working condition, i'd take the credit, assuming it's a credit to your card the way it would be at musiciansfriend or ams.

btw, i have only bought things like guitar straps at zzounds, but i've bought guitars or basses at many other big box stores online, and an open box at other stores means they're shipping you an item that has been previously returned - except for sweetwater, where i believe they photograph all or many of the new instruments.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patticake
check it out thoroughly. if it's otherwise in good working condition, i'd take the credit, assuming it's a credit to your card the way it would be at musiciansfriend or ams.
It would be. It has to be, because you can simply return it outright otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patticake
btw, i have only bought things like guitar straps at zzounds, but i've bought guitars or basses at many other big box stores online, and an open box at other stores means they're shipping you an item that has been previously returned - except for sweetwater, where i believe they photograph all or many of the new instruments.
I went through a very similar issue with my "infamous Sonoran". zZounds sent me one that had made a trip to the "Fender Fulfillment Center". But, it ostensibly was supposed to be a new instrument. The top brace at the truss rod adjuster was cracked. I sent it back for a full refund, and got one.

Second, if a person fancies themselves as (expletives deleted), at dealing with merchants, then they haven't met the people work work in the "dispute dept." of their credit card company.

In the case of this guitar, the defect is clear, and can't have been caused by mishandling on the part of anyone involved. It's a cut and dried, "defect in materials and workmanship".

The issue here is, if a guitar is a "factory second", then the factory is expected to have made that call before it gets to the dealer. Accordingly, the cost to the dealer should have reflected that.

So, zZounds may have been fudging on the transaction, or an error may have been made, who knows. But, I believe that after you've "caught them with their hand in the cookie jar", they will make you whole on the purchase.

With those things said, TS needs to put his well being above his impatience, and do what's necessary to get to the end game, which is an instrument he can live with, at a price he can feel comfortable with.

The only hitch is, if you send the guitar back for a refund, you likely won't find a comparable blemished guitar, and the price would back up to the factory perfect level, at another dealer.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 02-16-2013 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:13 PM   #6
greenwgreg
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First off, thanks for all of the advice. It is greatly appreciated.

A few minutes ago I received a repsonse from zZounds with an offer of a credit of $75, which it says will be applied towards my second installment payment. That seems a little slim to me. I was thinking more in the neighborhood of $125 or so. Should I try sending a reply with a counter offer? I have been thinking and I can live with the blem, and would be satisfied with a $100 credit.

If I am being unreasonable please let me know, at least they made an offer. So far their customer service is prompt and competent.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:41 PM   #7
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When you say, "$75.00 off your 1st payment", how is this financed" Is it zZounds 4 payment plan"? Because if it is, they're holding a better hand than you.

If you were financing through a 3rd party lender unaffiliated with zZounds, I think you'd be in a stronger position.

With that said, $75.00 is a lot of money for that little dribble. As I said before, if that had have been picked up by the factory, they would have sold it to zZounds at a lower dealer cost.

I suppose you could ask them about a $100.00 price break, or inquire about the blemished model you saw at a lower price.

I you love the guitar, and in every other way it meets your needs and expectations, you could settle for the $75.00 off, and suffer a tiny bit of butt hurt for everything not going your way. Meanwhile, you could be enjoying the guitar. That should take your mind off the pain a bit.....

Best advice I can come up with....

I just got off the phone with my credit card company who won't either drop my interest rate, or take the annual fee off this particular card after 15 years on on time payments. They said they're, "a responsible lender", and that's why the interest needs to be that high.

Just lettin' you know there's plenty of butt hurt to go around, no need to push and shove for some....
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:17 PM   #8
stepchildusmc
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the installment plan puts it at 74.88 a payment. i think that taking 75 off a 600 guitar is great for the small blem i see in the pics. i'd jump on it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:48 PM   #9
greenwgreg
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I'm think I agree with you on this one. Although initially disappointed that my new guitar is not perfect, in the grand scheme of things it is not such a huge deal. Getting $75 off is really not bad at all, that is like getting one payment for free - quite nice. I love the way the guitar plays and that is what really matters.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:25 AM   #10
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So you'll post some more pics from the 99.99+% of the guitar that is perfect?
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:19 AM   #11
patticake
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well, look at it like this - $75 is 25% off, which doesn't seem too bad. that's about what i get off when i buy b-stock guitars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenwgreg
First off, thanks for all of the advice. It is greatly appreciated.

A few minutes ago I received a repsonse from zZounds with an offer of a credit of $75, which it says will be applied towards my second installment payment. That seems a little slim to me. I was thinking more in the neighborhood of $125 or so. Should I try sending a reply with a counter offer? I have been thinking and I can live with the blem, and would be satisfied with a $100 credit.

If I am being unreasonable please let me know, at least they made an offer. So far their customer service is prompt and competent.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patticake
well, look at it like this - $75 is 25% off, which doesn't seem too bad. that's about what i get off when i buy b-stock guitars.
OY.. Patti, I'm sure you're way better at playing the guitar than you are at math...

600/75=8 To get decimal equivalent (percentage)100/8= 12.5 (%).

I'm trying to reinvent myself as a "glass half full" kinda guy.

That said; 600/150 = 4 .......100/4= 25 (%). So, you were halfway right..
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:40 AM   #13
patticake
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man, i've GOT to sleep once in a while. my retentive memory is shot - i randomly decided that the guitar cost $300 instead of $600 *slaps forehead*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
OY.. Patti, I'm sure you're way better at playing the guitar than you are at math...

600/75=8 To get decimal equivalent (percentage)100/8= 12.5 (%).

I'm trying to reinvent myself as a "glass half full" kinda guy.

That said; 600/150 = 4 .......100/4= 25 (%). So, you were halfway right..
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:15 PM   #14
greenwgreg
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Well today I finally called zZounds and accepted the $75 credit, which essentially wipes out my March payment. I asked to have it credited to my card but they said that is not an option since I am on the 8 payment program. I didn't even try to haggle over the amount, I decided to let it be and enjoy the guitar without tormenting about it. As was mentioned, no need to go and solicit butt hurt in this world.

The positive here is that the guitar plays excellent, sounds superb to my ear, and looks the part imho. Thanks for all of the advice on this one, btw.


I do owe UG some proper photos of the guitar as a whole and will post some very soon.
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Last edited by greenwgreg : 02-21-2013 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:00 PM   #15
patticake
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i think you made a good decision, greenwgreg. after all, the guitar plays and sounds superb. you might have gotten one that looked perfect but didn't sound as good. sorry they didn't credit you a little more $, but you can't beat having an axe you love to play.

congrats on your guitar, and can't wait to see the pics
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:53 PM   #16
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Here are the photos that I promised. At one point I thought I made a mistake by not getting the sunburst finish, but now I am sure I made the right choice with the natural as it looks very nice. The guitar even smells nice, I guess solid woods make a difference.







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Old 02-26-2013, 09:14 PM   #17
stepchildusmc
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nice new baby ! i always love a new guitar day. say... what's that little blem on the headstock?
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