#1
Well I've come to the conclusing that when i look guitars up that they seem to be cheaper when ordering online.
The main question here is if its reliable to buy guitars online or is it worth the extra money to go buy it at a store?
The negative part of buying it online is trust and getting what you want or even getting it in the first place.

Whats your opinion on this?
Know any reliable sites?
Whats your idea on ebay etc? Because sometimes you just see crazy sales here, but i always think its too good to be true and that you'll get ripped-off somehow!

Thanks in advance
#2
I would always try before I buy, because every guitar is different.
Alder?? What's that? Sounds like a poor substitute for ash to me...
#3
musiciansfriend.com is a good site, guitarcenter.com is pretty much identical

and i prefer online aslong as they have a good policy about selling broken gear

a big problem with buying from like guitar center stores is the gear is used and is usually pretty scratched up

edit* always try the guitar first in the store then go online
#4
Try the guitar 1st in a shop, then buy online.

Which country are you from? I'm in the UK, and I've found Reverb, Andertons, and Thomann to be great sites. Andertons recently special ordered an ESP V case for me as they didnt stock them, and my guitar was cheaper there than anywhere else, so I highly recommend them.

Ebay is great, if you can avoid the scams
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#5
The best place in my opinion to order from is www.americanmuscial.com. I've bought multiple guitars, recording gear, and effects through them. They also have easy payment methods, so you don't have to pay for it all at once
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#6
I find it a bit weird that in 2009 people are still wary of Internet commerce, but a lot of people seem unsure about guitar websites.

Most of them will have a physical store as well (if not a whole chain like Guitar Center), but often different prices for their website (as these are run out of warehouses). Reputable sites will therefore include a phone number for you to contact the physical store or a customer services department if you have any questions.

The only really dodgy sites are ones based in China or Hong Kong, selling "wholesale" guitars at illogically low prices. These guitars are not wholesale, they are fakes.

Reputable sites in the US include MusiciansFriend.com and ZZounds.com; and in the UK, GAK.co.uk and DV247.com are popular. Thomann.de is a good Europe-wide site.

As with any business, there will be some hiccups in the chain (unexpectedly long delays etc), and I would suggest that you try a guitar before you buy it; but shopping online is for the most part a safe way to buy an amp or pedals.
Last edited by blue_strat at Dec 3, 2009,
#7
buying offline . . . it seems like a good idea, but it's not, wether it be a 2nd hand guitar or brand new, i'd rather go to a shop to buy it
reasons
1. Buying online, when shipped it could be damaged during the shipping, meaning you would have to send it back, and then have it redelivered if you did not ask for a refund, costing more
2. any problems with the guitar, (correct me if I'm wrong) if you wish the seller to look at it if it's still under warranty = more shipping costs
3. you have no chance what so-ever to try the guitar, you may hate it when it comes
4. 2nd hand, you do not know what it has been through, what exact condition it is in, unless you can arrange to possible try the guitar before you buy, or arrange to pick it up, you have already paid for it, and if the seller stated no-returns, you could be stuck with a guitar you dont like, or a guitar in really bad condition that cost alot to repair / huge chip/dings that look terrible
5. from a shop you get to try it, get to know the sellers, can take it back anytime if there are any problems, little problems they generally can fix for free or for a very small fee, you also get that personal touch when buying the guitar
personally, although online prices can somtimes utterly destroy shop prices, I would go with the shop, you know the guitar you are buying

oh and if you had tried the guitar, then went to buy one online, the one that comes may be totally different to the one you tried in the shop (in feel) . . . just throwin that in there
#8
I would test out the guitar at a store then buy it online. Check reviews to make sure the quality control is great. I've never heard any bad things (minus preference stuff) about an American Deluxe Fender or an Ibanez Prestige so I was confident in buying online. I couldn't say the same thing about other guitars. But when buying online, you get a brand new guitar that hasn't been on a rack and played daily by customers. You also don't pay tax which easily adds up when you're buying more expensive gear. I've ordered from American Musical and Musiciansfriend. They're both great. I slightly prefer MF though. Sweetwater seems pretty good too. I ordered some pickups from them and they were very helpful. Plus, you can see the exact guitar you'll be getting. When you're ordering, try to call them. They'll be willing to give you a deal or free stuff a lot of the time. But that's only in my experience with MF, but other sites will probably do it.

Edit: You can also get lucky online. The Strat I ordered was actually better than all of the ones I've tried in shops. I never actually saw the Strat in the color I wanted or any RG Prestige besides the reissues in any stores. If I wanted them, the stores would've had to order them. It would've taken longer and it would've been more expensive. No store can compete with the selection of an online retailer with a warehouse.
Last edited by JELIFISH19 at Dec 3, 2009,
#9
Online is perfect for accessories and even amps if you know what you want. I have had two good purchases of guitars online simply because I have no option if I don't fancy Irish shop prices and very limited range. e.g. Epi LP Custom for €525 ($750) might have one in in a week or two.
My H&S was pure luck. Could have been a POS but €150 for an electric 12 string was worth the risk. It arrived 2 months late but absolutely brilliant. I chanced my luck again with my Cort which I found at Richard's Guitars. His online service is as good as his shop without the sales pitch. Excellent experience.
My next was decided a while back and when money comes in it will be from TC Ellis who I found on Ebay. Have heard glowing praise of his work and I see Philip Donnelly of Motorhead just took delivery of his latest two Ellises.
So what I'm getting at is that, with a bit of care and choice of vendor, buying online can be better than in a shop, especially in terms of quality. Because I'm choosy, setups have not been a problem but I hear that most cut-price online suppliers expect you to have a pro setup done locally. No good to me and even in UK the sort of job I expect will cost over £100. I'd rather pay £50 on the price and have it done thanks.
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#10
Thanks a lot for the replies guys!

I have one final request. Which is...
The guitar i was thinking about was the Epiphone Standard/Custom.
Do you know any good site that offers this for a good price and most importantly insurance wise.
I live in Belgium (Europe).

Btw these are the prices at my local epiphone dealer:
Epiphone Standard: €450
Epiphone Standard Plus Top: €500
Epiphone Custom: €799
Last edited by Knappe Turk at Dec 3, 2009,
#11
do you have links to those exact models (e.g. on the epiphone site)? epi has so many models I'm getting a bit confused, but on the face of it, thomann's prices seem to be a fair bit cheaper than your local shop.

It would also be worth getting thomann's prices, and asking your local shop how close it can get. you might be surprised (and if not, you can still order from thomann). you don't really have much to lose.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#12
Quote by Dave_Mc
do you have links to those exact models (e.g. on the epiphone site)? epi has so many models I'm getting a bit confused, but on the face of it, thomann's prices seem to be a fair bit cheaper than your local shop.

It would also be worth getting thomann's prices, and asking your local shop how close it can get. you might be surprised (and if not, you can still order from thomann). you don't really have much to lose.


These are the models:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Chrome

What is the site for Thomann?
Also they said that they could only drop around €50 for the standards and max €100 for the customs.
#13
if you are from europe musicstore or thomann are the best places to buy
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#14
Well i see that Thomann is a very good site, but i still have some questions!

Why is it that there are two different LP Custom Chromes??
You have the white/chrome one and the fullchrome one
Since i prefer the white/chrome one by far, how can i choose for that one?
It says the same name on both of them and scared that they'll mix them up!

Also is it smart to buy a guitar+case+amp there?
for exemple do they give more care while shipping and do they put the guitar in the case or send them differently?

Anyone who has bought here before who has good tips and some comments?

Thanks again for all the replies
#15
i would always want to try any guitar i buy before handing over the money. apart from the various very valid points made above about damage etc, each guitar feels slightly different.

i know of all the guitars i have bought i have tried out a whole bunch of the same model before selecting the one i want just by the feel, and maybe the finish.
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#16
If at all possible buy local. There are advantages to this.
1, You can try before you buy. I have bought online but each guitar is different and it is a crap shoot at best buying sight unseen.
2, The money stays in your community.If you cant see the reasoning behind this I feel sorry for you.
3, You get to try before you buy.
4, No waiting game or gamble on shipping damage.
Bhaok

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#17
Quote by Gingrel
I would always try before I buy, because every guitar is different.

Every piece of wood is different, guitars the exact same model and color will play and sound different. I would never buy a guitar on line. It's comparable to getting a mail order bride, instead of dating one first. Try before you buy.
Last edited by lmihay at Dec 4, 2009,
#18
Even though I have bought dozens of guitars online your always better off trying a guitar out first. A lot of guitars are very inconsistent depending on the conditions when they were built the person doing most of the work and what time of the day it went thru QC. I find Gibson to be one of those guitars you have to try first.

If you have no choice to buy online make sure they have a good return policy with return shipping included. It can cost you $40.00 or more to send a guitar back.


John
#19
If I was after a Fender, ESP or PRS (non SE) guitar, I would try one in a store then happily buy it online.

If I was after a Gibson, Epiphone, PRS SE, any copy brand, Fret King or Gretsch, I'd only buy one in a store that I'd tried extensively first and I probably would not settle on one until I played at least five or six.
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#20
The way I think about it is if you buy in a shop it costs more but is the extra you pay worth it ?

From a good shop you can test play various guitars in your price range and may find one you unexpectedly really like and can buy the guitar in your hands there and then. Also it will be well set up and you get the warranty / after sales service. The downside is it will normally cost more.

On line you get the guitar you ordered at a lower price normally. If you can setup your own guitars then you can adjust it to suit you. The downside is if you have problems you can't take it into the shop and show them its all done over the phone via the post / mail. Also the guitar has to go via the post to you and in transit can take a pounding sometimes.
#21
i look at reviews, and if i can play one at the guitar store, i got my first guitar (ltd ex 50) just by looking at reviews and i rly enjoyed that guitar, that tactic may not be enough for me now when i do big purchases, but say i wanted a strat i wouldnt have to go try one out first cause they r fairly strait forward guitars. lastly there are amazing deals out there. rondomusic.com has a shit ton of em, im personally fine with going out on a limb $500 and under.
#22
Quote by Knappe Turk
These are the models:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Chrome

What is the site for Thomann?
Also they said that they could only drop around €50 for the standards and max €100 for the customs.


thanks. I see you've found the thomann site, you can probably check the prices better than i can, because i have no idea about all the models epi has now
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?