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necrosis1193
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#1
I'm sick to death of every other day opening this forum and finding someone asking the same damn question again and again - "I found this expensive US-made guitar for *Insert sub-300 three-digit number here* on *Chinese wholesale site here* Is it worthwhile?"

Short-and-sweet, no, it's not. Fingers crossed this gets stickied since something like this up at the top should at least catch a few of the threads. Want more detail? Read on. Let me just say now though that not all Chinese/Korean/wherever copies are illegal copies - Only the ones claiming to be genuine Gibsons, Fenders, PRS', etc. are - Ones that openly acknowledge they're copies are legal.

First off, give this thread a read before even considering buying something you think may be fake. If you can see it in-person(ie, a secondhand seller), maybe print some of these out to check it with. They're a little dated and some of the pictures have been deleted since some of the sites have been taken down, but they're still relevant as long as you use logic and a little common sense with them - Something you should do with any purchase even if you know it's legit.

Second, here's a simple rule of thumb that always applies - If it's too good to be true, it probably is. This is common sense, but so few people use it. It shouldn't need to be said, so here it is.

Finally, before you decide "Well this guitar is still a nice deal", be aware of three things; First, you're probably going to be paying for the shipping from China. Most UGers are either in the UK or the US. Shipping across about half the US for a Les Paul off eBay is about $50. Imagine that for the guitar to come all the way from China. Same size and everything, fi not bigger since it's in that box with all the packaging.

The second thing to consider despite it seeming like a good deal is that it's nothing compared to the guitar it looks like. Most of these copies are about the quality of a Squier Bullet or an Epiphone LP-100; Nothing to be proud of, the kind of thing that's just made to carry off the lot before breaking down. The old adage holds firm - You get what you pay for.

On a final note, it depends on local laws and such, but a lot of places take counterfeiting very seriously. In most states, it's not just a felony to sell one of these - It's a felony to buy one or own one, especially knowingly. They'll probably let you off if you got duped and are calling to report the seller or something, but if you try to sell it secondhand to a shop that does a background check to make sure it's not stolen or anything, expect charges.

Anyway, I'm tired. Use common sense, good judgement, the advice in this thread, and much more crucially since this is mainly an attention-grabber for anyone thinking of posting on this subject, use the above linked fake guitar thread, and you can avoid one of these counterfeit pieces of crap. Might post more in the morning, or copypaste some posts from the fake thread with updated photos and such. Good night, and good luck.(In your guitar-shopping! )
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Alucard817
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#2
I would like to add to Necroses1193's post if I may.

Knowingly buying a counterfeit IS ILLEGAL in the US, Canada and most of Europe.

In the US you face heavy fines, and or jail time for knowingly purchasing and/or selling counterfeits.
So not only are You breaking the law by buying one of these POS guitars, you're also enabling this to continue. Sites like tradetang, pass these guitars off as real, and when the buyer realizes they were ripped off they too will pass the guitar along as a genuine article.

This is a major problem for not only the buyer's (us) but it's also a major problem for legitimate retailers as well.
We see countless thread's here with titles such as "Is this fake" or "Is this brand X guitar real". So please as Necrosis said, if you find a 3,000 dollar guitar on a website thats selling for 300 bucks, use some common sense.
Last edited by Alucard817 at Nov 20, 2010,
Offworld92
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#3
I wholeheartedly agree with this.

Maybe the thread title should be changed to something people who are looking to ask about whether or not something is fake would look at.

(That sentence felt really grammatically incorrect, but eh.)
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Skinny91
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#5
Lots of good info, and very needed with all the threads about chinese copies. Seconded for sticky.
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Last edited by Skinny91 at Nov 20, 2010,
hydraone
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#7
Put me down as a agreeing to the sticky.
...we came in?


Isn't this where...
sstony
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#8
Thats why I only buy originals and not copies.
monwobobbo
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#9
it it not illegal to buy these guitars. there are no laws stating this. the assumption is that the consumer doesn't know for sure. it wouldn't be worth anyone's time to prosecute some kid that thought he was getting a great deal. buying with the intent for resale (if provable) yes but the average guy on the street no. selling is another story and is illegal (or a very gray area). laws are set up in these cases to protect consumers but they also kind of think that most of us are to dumb to know the difference. i'm thinking that the number of threads on this proves that assumption.
Green_Jelly
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#10
Quote by monwobobbo
it it not illegal to buy these guitars.

I'm not going to argue with you about American laws, but in most of European countries it is.
Quote by lizarday
oh yeah? well larry king the slayer guitarist owns bc rich guitars. (i think)
monwobobbo
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#11
Quote by Green_Jelly
I'm not going to argue with you about American laws, but in most of European countries it is.

cool. can't speak for elsewhere but in america they don't send you to jail for buying counterfeit materials. as i mentioned it is assumed that the buyer wasn't aware that what was purchased is fake. i would assume that there are provisions in other countries laws for this as well. i can't imagine it would be worth the effort to try and prosecute everyone who buys (knowingly or not) items that turn out to be counterfeit.

for the record i don't approve of knockoffs just pointing out a misconception about the laws governing them.
siverstorm
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#12
Thank god this was stickied.

Now there's no excuse to see another "tradetang?" thread....
Offworld92
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#13
Even though you know we will.

No one reads stickies.

*sigh*
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CannedBullets
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#15
I think customs confiscates counterfeit goods that try to come into America.
Washburnd Fretz
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#17
Even if someone did order one of those POS guitars....
They will most likely be the victim of the old bait and switch and get something totally different.
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necrosis1193
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#18
Quote by Washburnd Fretz
Even if someone did order one of those POS guitars....
They will most likely be the victim of the old bait and switch and get something totally different.




Remember kids, if you order a counterfeit guitar, istead of a guitar, you'll get one grumpy Chinese bobcat!

Right then, hooray sticky! Thanks to everyone who supported the stickying of the thread, I appreciate the help. ^_^ Right then, let's get some fresh, not-outdated content up in here, shall we? To start, we'll look at the three most popular guitars(Two Les Pauls and one JEM) on one of the more common sites, tradetang. It's late, but tomorrow I may try to add the fourth and fifth biggest(Another Les Paul and another JEM)


G U I T A R O N E

The first guitar we'll look at, their best seller, is a "1993/98 LES R8 MURPHY AGED KILLER REISSUE" The first thing that seems off is the year - Why would a wholesale company be selling a guitar from the nineties? Granted Gibson does a lot of weird things(Such as the serial numbers - They say on their own site that sometimes a dozen guitars can have the same serial number), and the five-year gap is a bit odd, so the 93/98 may be genuine. I'm not a big Gibson guy, so I can't be certain there, but I think it's odd. Anyway, continuing onward to more definite proof.

The first hints are the images. They don't look bad - It's hard to make a R8 look bad. They do look like NGD photos Jim Amateurphotographer took of his new guitar that went up on Google though. I don't think any professional product photographer is going to say "Alright, now lets get the neck joint" I doubt even many of us would.







Now, as said, sadly, this is using stolen photos of someone's genuine Les Paul, so we aren't really going to glean any red flags from the images, so let's move on to the text.

Quote by product description
Description:
This a brand new guitar. The sound quality of this guitar is absolutely marvelous. I believe this instrument will please most discriminative professional player. This style professonal guitar is compelely new and nice.


First off, no official reseller will go with a four-sentence description over the official description. No product description should be this short. The grammar should also be a red flag - Any worthwhile company in China trying to sell to the US would hire a translator to make sure all the English is good and appealing to US buyers, they wouldn't have things like "This a brand new...", "will please most discriminative professional player." or "This style professional guitar..." And they'd probably be more pedantic about it than just say it's "New and nice"

Continuing to "package", we find it "come with a beautiful box", and that cases aren't included. Barring one or two exceptions(None Les Pauls), every Gibson from the Les Paul Studios up come with a hardshell case. Even if it were a legitimate seller, if they're not giving you the case, buy elsewhere.

To finish this one off, I just want to add a little bit they have at the end that gave me a little chuckle - "Thank you for your interested. We will try our best to satisfied our every customer."

Now then, onward, to #2!

G U I T A R D E U X

Unlike our first product, the second-highest isn't yelling at us, labeled "2010 New arrival les custom shop electric guitar flames top" Flames top is funny and odd enough right there to warrant some suspicion, but we'll continue anyway.







As you may have guessed from the watermark, our man selling this one is "Dave". I don't know about you, but I've never known of a single international wholesale company so small that it only has one salesman with the name "Dave" they can just call Dave. The fact the "Short description" is the same sentence two-and-a-half times(It assumably cut him off the third time) isn't helping, but let's move onto more concrete evidence instead of the conjecture of one man.

Like the above, this isn't actually a bad looking guitar - And based on some of the inaccuracies, "Dave" isn't lying when he tells us "I can guarantee the real item are the same as the picture", so this time we can pick at this thing for visual cues that, yes, it's a fake counterfeit. For reference, Here's a Sweetwater Guitar Gallery link to the genuine article of what I'm pretty sure this guy is trying to imitate.

Let's start with pic #1, the body. First and probably most obviously, is the missing pickguard. Granted a lot of people do this for aesthetics, but no mention is made of it, and it sure as hell shipped with it if it's real. The second hint is the finish - Most Les Paul Customs of this variety, from what I can find, unless vintage, seem to be plain-top. This is probably just an optional thing though, so not a huge thing. On the other hand, the finish is. The inside of the burst is much darker than any cherryburst LP Custom I can dig up.

That's about all I can pick up, so let's go on to the neck. The inlay actually seems like it'd look nice, but I can't find a single Les Paul Custom that has a floral vine inlay. It's either a one-off, which even in China wouldn't just be $368.82, or it's a fake. With the only real detail photos can tell of the neck gone through, let's move on to the real telltale giveaway for this pantomime, the headstock.

The headstock on this guitar is egregious. There is not a single Gibson Les Paul Custom I can find that has a golden truss rod cover, or that silly circular inlay instead of the diamond inlay. Moreover, the tuners are lookalikes of Grover Kidney Beans, not the more angular Sperzels our genuine model shows off. The rest of the guitar is passable, if suspicious, but this just kills any illusion it has to a real guitar.

Now then, onto #3, our first JEM!
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Last edited by necrosis1193 at Jan 11, 2011,
necrosis1193
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#19
*Split for length*

G U I T A R T R E S

Alright, I lied. This guitar isn't actually a JEM - It's a "Free shipping, The best selling ,One color shell carving flower electric guitar neck ibnaez 7v" So we'll call it "Free Shipping" for short, since we don't mention shipping costs, so there should be no confusion.

Once more, I'd like to give you a genuine model to look at. Unfortunately, Sweetwater doesn't have a 7V in right now, only a 77V. I'd give you Evo instead since Steve recently uploaded a nice, comprehensive gallery, but I know for a fact plenty of hardware on Evo has been replaced due to wear-and-tear, so that'd lower the validity. Instead, Here's a nice, if large, image of someone's legitimate JEM. Pretty, ain't it? So is Free Shipping, but not quite as much so. Let's take a look.









Free Shipping is actually one of the more faithful counterfeits I've seen so far. She actually shows up multiple times on the first page of a Google Image search for "Ibanez JEM", and with good reason - Unlike the others, her tells are very subtle, and you'd have to go in looking for them to know them without a very discerning eye. That's exactly what we're here to do though, so let's dive in.

As always, we'll start with the body. The first tell would be the pickguard - Whereas most JEMs have 18 screws, Free Shipping only has 17. What inane cost-cutting measure removing one screw was, I'll never know, but it's there and it's helpful, best not look a gift horse in the mouth.

The only other giveaways I can spot on the body are subtle, and one, you could own a JEM and Free Shipping and never spot. The first of the three others is the middle pickup. I can't be sure, but it looks like the pole pieces on Free Shipping are gold, much like the humbuckers, whereas a JEM has regular grey polepieces.

The second is the tremolo. Whereas a JEM has a Lo-Pro Edge, Free Shipping sports a licensed Floyd. Nowhere on a JEM will you find the words "Licensed under Floyd Rose patents" Which brings me to the one you could own both and never notice - The tremolo arm. Every Edge tremolo ships with a black bar, while Free Shipping has a gold bar. which looks better is taste, but which is real isn't.

That about concludes the body, and I can't see much on the neck, so onto the headstock, the teller-of-all-origins!

The first issue on the headstock is the truss rod cover. Not only are the screws too large, the two near the neck are much too visible - They're practically under the string bar on a JEM. As well, they're too far from the sides. Like on most guitars, a JEM has them far to the edges, while they're a bit inward on Free Shipping. After the truss rod cover, we have our final piece of evidence, the headstock shape. The jut off for the check mark on a genuine JEM looks like it was intentional - It's long enough to be an integral part of the shape. Free Shipping on the other hand, has a smaller, smoother jut. It's small, but it's enough to look off next to the real thing.

Sadly, that's about it for Free Shipping; Like I said, she's a very good copy aesthetically, and you have to either have a good eye or be looking for it to prove her fake, though spotting the subtleties between her and her Japanese sister is doable. The description is damning though. Unlike the others, I can't copypaste anything because it's a convoluted mess that I can't tell fi there are any problems with the description. It's far from professional though - Not even a nine-year old selling bracelets she made off eBay who's never typed before would make something so incomprehensible, much less a legitimate, legal reseller.



That'll be all for tonight, anyone interested in helping is more than welcome.
Hey you! Yes, you! Buy my music! It's cool and stuff!

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2015 Pick 'Em: 155-101
Last edited by necrosis1193 at Jan 11, 2011,
Destinyrider22
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#20
lmfao "biggest feature of this piano is..." i love pianos without keys its like a guitar
r0ckth3d34n
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#21
I think another thing that should be part of this thread, is any website selling counterfeit guitars, should be reported to the respectable manufacture(s) they're faking.

Remember eepiphone.com? I sent an e-mail to Gibson about it, and it's no longer a functional website. I say that because you can still visit the website, but it's a white page with a 20 character code of some sort.
necrosis1193
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#22
Quote by Destinyrider22
lmfao "biggest feature of this piano is..." i love pianos without keys its like a guitar


Lightest piano ever!

Quote by r0ckth3d34n
I think another thing that should be part of this thread, is any website selling counterfeit guitars, should be reported to the respectable manufacture(s) they're faking.

Remember eepiphone.com? I sent an e-mail to Gibson about it, and it's no longer a functional website. I say that because you can still visit the website, but it's a white page with a 20 character code of some sort.


I'm actually planning to send all the companies I find a counterfeit of an email about tradetang once I get a more comprehensive list - We need them as a resource to know exactly what we're talking about, and we'd be doing the job of keeping people informed a disservice if we took them down with just two Les Pauls and a JEM profiled.
Hey you! Yes, you! Buy my music! It's cool and stuff!

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2015 Pick 'Em: 155-101
r0ckth3d34n
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#23
Quote by necrosis1193


I'm actually planning to send all the companies I find a counterfeit of an email about tradetang once I get a more comprehensive list - We need them as a resource to know exactly what we're talking about, and we'd be doing the job of keeping people informed a disservice if we took them down with just two Les Pauls and a JEM profiled.


I totally agree with using examples, but I mean, reporting the actual companies counterfeiting other guitar companies is what I mean.

I think it might be a good idea to e-mail eBay and other auction sites to be aware of the counterfeit guitars and their sellers. I know that they can't page through all of the ones that are there, but they still have to monitor what's posted on their websites and should be able to report them to the counterfeited brand.
Asomodai
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#24
I will start by saying that this is an interesting topic; I will be as FAIR and BALANCED as possible. I do not support the counterfeit industry, but I feel some people are getting a little gung-ho with their opinions. What I am going to say might be a little controversial but bear with me! I have done lots of research on the matter of the years so i consider myself somewhat knowledgable.

Quote by necrosis1193
Lightest piano ever!]


I'm actually planning to send all the companies I find a counterfeit of an email about tradetang once I get a more comprehensive list - We need them as a resource to know exactly what we're talking about, and we'd be doing the job of keeping people informed a disservice if we took them down with just two Les Pauls and a JEM profiled.


Err do you seriously think the major players in the guitar building business do not know about these sites? Tradetang is one of the biggest along with DHLgate. They have been around for years before you decided to create "A list".

Hell if any of you knew what tradetang was, you would realise you cannot sue them.

First of all, in China, copyright laws are nonexistent, so nothing can be done about tradetang or their sellers.

Secondly, Tradetang and other websites like that are essentially a Chinese eBay, they are the intermediary. On tradetang, sellers and buyers sign up to buy and sell. None of the guitars sold on Tradetang are the websites property. In theory, Tradetang is more of an escrow service, the buyer sends a payment for a guitar, Tradetang keeps the payment until the buyer acknowledges that the guitar is received, and then the funds are transferred to the seller. Reading the feedback of a seller on tradetang usually gives a good impression of what people are likely to receive.

Chinese copies aren’t as bad as they used to be, many people are actually repeat buyers because what they have been receiving has been somewhat usable. I have played a few that other people have imported and they weren’t bad guitars at all and would consider buying from them again. Chinese sellers have realised that although producing a terrible guitar makes them a quick buck, it actually means they cant do repeat business, so now they have started producing reasonable guitars, whilst they make smaller amounts of money, they will make more eventually because of repeat business and word of mouth.

Thirdly, yes it is illegal to import a counterfeit guitar into the states and Europe regardless of the quantity. However it is very hard to enforce, the buyer can claim that they thought it was real and play dumb, the guitar is usually returned to sender. Generally customs do not go after the odd one or two guitars, though they will keep an eye on the address if large quantities go to a single address.
It is illegal to sell the counterfeit guitar within the US and Europe as a GENUINE product, however, it can be sold if stated that if it is a fake.

In conclusion, major guitar manufacturers know of these sites, and your support and email will make no difference. Gibson in fact recently put up a "How to spot a fake Gibson" Article on their website. That’s pretty much all they can do.

To be as fair and balanced as possible, many major manufacturers say "Such and such amount of fake guitars that are copies of ours came into the country and we lost XXXXX huge amount of money." These figures are blown way out of proportion, I doubt people who do buy these guitars would ever have the money to buy a real Gibson anyway. In fact in an adverse way, the more people see people play A Gibson (Alike) product on stage it could actually BOOST real sales of the actual thing. People look at the guy playing the fake and think "Hey that’s a Gibson; I might go and get one of them!" A type of brand exposure if you will!

One example whilst different is somewhat related, is that my band released a CD a few years ago, we sold a decent amount of copies. But then the CD was put on torrent websites, where it was downloaded thousands of times. I don’t view it as lost profit, because people who downloaded the CD probably weren’t going to buy it anyway, however word of mouth of the band passes through and we could potentially make up for in Gig ticket sales and Merchandise sales. Now I have to look at it as a form of promotion.

I laugh at the people who say "It’s from china, it must be crap". It’s likely many have never played recent Chinese copies and have no basis to form an opinion, so they spout off what someone else said. These fake guitars are built in similar if not same factories by the same if not similar Chinese workers with the same if not similar techniques. It’s possible it could be on par with the legitimate imported instruments.

My final thought, Gibson’s quality has been going through the grinder for a long time, terrible sloppy fit and finish on many of their guitars, who knows maybe the Chinese fakes could turn out to be better guitars eventually? To really combat the counterfeit guitar business, the only real way to do it would be to drop the ludicrous price of some new instruments and up the quality. Western manufacturers whack on ridiculous premiums on instruments and put them out of reach of mere mortals.
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Last edited by Asomodai at Jan 19, 2011,
Asomodai
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#25
Quote by r0ckth3d34n
I totally agree with using examples, but I mean, reporting the actual companies counterfeiting other guitar companies is what I mean.

I think it might be a good idea to e-mail eBay and other auction sites to be aware of the counterfeit guitars and their sellers. I know that they can't page through all of the ones that are there, but they still have to monitor what's posted on their websites and should be able to report them to the counterfeited brand.


It is allowable to sell a counterfeit guitar on ebay, its just you cant use brand names and certain phrases. For example you could put up "Les paul copy" and it couldnt be taken down, because thats what it is. If they were trying to pass off the ad as if the guitar were a REAL Fender, then yes they will take it down.
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Asomodai
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#26
Quote by r0ckth3d34n
I think another thing that should be part of this thread, is any website selling counterfeit guitars, should be reported to the respectable manufacture(s) they're faking.

Remember eepiphone.com? I sent an e-mail to Gibson about it, and it's no longer a functional website. I say that because you can still visit the website, but it's a white page with a 20 character code of some sort.


It was probably taken down because the domain name was registered as a DOTCOM, and not registered or hosted in a country that allows that sort of thing, like china or russia.

Whats also makes interesting (Though not completely related) reading is this!

First to Register

So now that I have (I hope) convinced you that it makes sense to protect a trademark in China, the next step is to explain how to do so. Easy. Register it. Plain and simple. China is a "first to register" country, which means that unless your trademark is a well known mark (and let me assure you it almost certainly is not, and you definitely do not want to be litigating this issue in any event), whoever registers it in China first gets it. Put another way, to expect trademark protection in China, foreign companies must register their trademarks in China — and the prudent company does this before going in.

There are actually a number of people in China who make a living by usurping foreign trademarks and then selling a license to that trademark to the original license holder. Once one comes to grip with the fact that China, like most of the rest of the world is a “first to file” country, one can understand how easy this usurpation is, and also, how easy it is to prevent it.

The fact that you are manufacturing your product in China just for export does not in any way minimize the need for you to protect your trademark. Once someone registers “your” trademark in China, they have the power to stop your goods at the border and prevent them from leaving China.

China's trademark requirements are actually quite similar to those in most other countries. The trademark must not conflict with an existing Chinese trademark and it must be distinctive. China allows for registration of all marks for goods, services, collective marks and certification marks.

In deciding what to trademark, foreign companies must consider all sorts of things. Take Starbucks, for instance. Starbucks registered more than 200 trademarks in China. It has registered Starbucks in English and the translation of “star” and “bucks” together in Chinese. Any foreign company strategizing about what to trademark in China must have a fluent Mandarin speaker to assist. Indeed, some of the very largest foreign companies register trademarks in other dialects used in China as well.

China’s Trademark Office maintains a centralized database of all registered and applied-for trademarks. Trademark applications that pass a preliminary screening are published by the Trademark Office and subject to a 3-month period for objection. If there are no objections within this 3-month period, or if the Chinese Trademark Office rejects the objections as frivolous, the trademark is registered. If the Chinese Trademark Office supports an objection, it will deny the application. Denied applications may be appealed to the State Administration of Industry and Commerce Trademark Review & Approval Board and then to the People’s Court. Based on our experience, objections to trademarks are rare.


Infact it affected a large musical instrument manufacturer recently who cannot sell their product as the real thing (Even though it is) within China, because a Chinese businessman trademarked the name first within China and now sells genuine fakes as the real thing. (Within China)
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Last edited by Asomodai at Jan 19, 2011,
Schuett2
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#27
I'm looking at buying a Ibanez Jem guitar from a local music store that someone sold it to although it does not say JEM on the headstock, it says Ibanez but then in small letters it says RG or something like that, everything else on the guitar is exactly similar to the original, is JEM the only thing that can be printed on a true JEM headstock?
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#28
Anyone know if the Ebay seller "mijsixstringskatana" is legit, i'm thinking of buying a Jazzmaster from them, they have ALOT of highest ratings on Ebay. Would be great if someone could help me out over PM with this.
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#29
Quote by Schuett2
I'm looking at buying a Ibanez Jem guitar from a local music store that someone sold it to although it does not say JEM on the headstock, it says Ibanez but then in small letters it says RG or something like that, everything else on the guitar is exactly similar to the original, is JEM the only thing that can be printed on a true JEM headstock?


A JEM will ONLY say JEM on the headstock. If it says RG, either the neck is a replacement or the entire thing is fake.

EDIT: As for guitar #2, it looks like a Les Paul Supreme copy. Some of those didn't come with pickguards depending on the finish options. The middle of the burst is fine, I've owned a genuine LP that was that dark. The pickup selector ring is missing though and it's a quilt top rather than the flame in the description.

The headstock inlay looks like an attempted copy of the Supreme inlay but the copyist failed miserably. The Supreme inlay has a picture of the Earth with a ribbon saying supreme. There are no legit Gibsons with a circular Custom Shop inlay on the front of the headstock.

The fretboard inlay is from a limited edition release from a few years ago, I believe it was called the Les Paul Tree of Life. That guitar had a natural finish and looked very different though.

EDIT2: Also, the binding on the headstock should be the same multi ply as the binding on the body and it shouldn't start halfway through the first fret. The bridge looks more squared than a real tune-o-matic as well.

EDIT3: The strap buttons are an incorrect shape.

EDIT4: On guitar one, that's an R9, not an R8 like the description. R8s only have plain tops.
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Last edited by mmolteratx at Jan 28, 2011,
johnro6659
The Penguin of Death
Join date: Jul 2007
4,613 IQ
#30
Never, never buy a knockoff guitar like this from overseas/online, mainly because once you get it you own it no matter what, that is if you even get it or the guitar you order. There are some very good knock offs out there I have played many and they play and sound great but you need to try them first so you want to get it from a place you can actually see and handle the guitar. A lot of the time the pics are not of the actual guitar you'll get. Even buying from a shop doesn't mean you will get the real deal a lot of shops get duped and buy fake not knowing until an expert says for sure. Right now there are more fake LTDs, Epiphones, PRS SE series, and Squires out there than there are high end knockoff guitars and the people who own them do not have a clue. I come across more and more Ibanez, LTD and Epi fakes a lot more than I do Gibson or Fender and these are on walls of the smaller Mom and Pop shops and pawn shops. You can't be sure that Ibanez at your local store is the real deal some will fool 95% of the people out there.

As far as buying counterfeits, I ran this by a lawyer friend of mine and no matter what people say it is not illegal to purchase a knockoff here in the states how ever it is illegal to manufacture, import, sell or resell it as the real deal. Even then selling a trademarked item knowingly that it is a fake is a small fine with no jail time. You could get in trouble ordering one from overseas under the import clause in the laws. Remember every imported item has to go thru customs! It actually amazes me they get thru at all. I know several people at the flea markets that have been busted for selling everything from counterfeit guitars to Coach Pocketbooks and they are out that day go to court pay the fine and back at the flea market the next Sunday they have to be arrested several times before they see jail time. As far as registering a trademark, there are plenty of trademarks registered in China the only problem is no one enforces it this is one of the reasons Gibson built their own plant in China a lot of the plants that build guitars for the major brands make more than ordered so they can sell them at cheap prices in black market back door deals for a lot less than you pay for the stuff coming thru the actual company. You get the same exact guitar just do not have to pay the higher prices the actual company charges. I know this because one of the guys I grew up with worked as an interpreter at the US Embassy in Beijing, China and the companies sell stuff right out of the factories for pennies on the dollar and they do it everywhere.

Basically buying knockoffs is one of those buyer beware deals. I used to go to NYC almost every weekend and as far as I can remember you could buy knockoff stuff practically on ever street corner it's only been in the last 5 years or so that they have been cracking down.

Truthfully any guitar of the same price like Agile, Jay Turser, Austin, Epiphone, etc will be a better choice at least you get some comfort in knowing you have some recourse if the guitar isn't right.


John
rmolsonguitars
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2011
11 IQ
#31
There are no telling how many people who believe their Les Pauls are real just because of the serial numbers.

I have ran the serial numbers stamped on some of these Chinese guitars and they all have stolen Serial Numbers. They show to be real....
Reptilianriff
UG's Reptile freak
Join date: Nov 2009
154 IQ
#32
Quote by Alucard817
I would like to add to Necroses1193's post if I may.

Knowingly buying a counterfeit IS ILLEGAL in the US, Canada and most of Europe.

In the US you face heavy fines, and or jail time for knowingly purchasing and/or selling counterfeits.
So not only are You breaking the law by buying one of these POS guitars, you're also enabling this to continue. Sites like tradetang, pass these guitars off as real, and when the buyer realizes they were ripped off they too will pass the guitar along as a genuine article.

This is a major problem for not only the buyer's (us) but it's also a major problem for legitimate retailers as well.
We see countless thread's here with titles such as "Is this fake" or "Is this brand X guitar real". So please as Necrosis said, if you find a 3,000 dollar guitar on a website thats selling for 300 bucks, use some common sense.



*plays breaking the law*
wut.
Tempoe
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Join date: Oct 2008
2,511 IQ
#33
I bet a lot of people buy these for the purpose of reselling privately to noobs for triple what they payed.
coolstoryangus
Ludicrous Display!
Join date: Jun 2010
820 IQ
#34
Quote by Gord@k
Anyone know if the Ebay seller "mijsixstringskatana" is legit, i'm thinking of buying a Jazzmaster from them, they have ALOT of highest ratings on Ebay. Would be great if someone could help me out over PM with this.

Mate katana is from japan its legit and they wont be fake

Japans all good its china you have to worry about.
Last edited by coolstoryangus at Feb 6, 2011,
tele118
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2009
49 IQ
#35
here's a fake 'American Telecaster for sale'. I asked the seller if it was fake (I know it is but just wanted to see the response). He/She replied that I better buy the guitar haha

http://www.ioffer.com/i/170902159
Last edited by tele118 at Feb 12, 2011,
thrashmetalhed
thrash, death, blues,
Join date: Sep 2009
982 IQ
#37
sorry didnt mean to post that.. but what about this?? http://oioffer.com/detail.asp?id=246
its just a normal jackson?
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Tom 1.0
Hot For Teacher
Join date: Jun 2007
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#38
why are you even looking at those sites?

are you looking to be conned?
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necrosis1193
UG Nerd
Join date: Oct 2008
8,778 IQ
#39
Quote by mmolteratx
A JEM will ONLY say JEM on the headstock. If it says RG, either the neck is a replacement or the entire thing is fake.

EDIT: As for guitar #2, it looks like a Les Paul Supreme copy. Some of those didn't come with pickguards depending on the finish options. The middle of the burst is fine, I've owned a genuine LP that was that dark. The pickup selector ring is missing though and it's a quilt top rather than the flame in the description.

The headstock inlay looks like an attempted copy of the Supreme inlay but the copyist failed miserably. The Supreme inlay has a picture of the Earth with a ribbon saying supreme. There are no legit Gibsons with a circular Custom Shop inlay on the front of the headstock.

The fretboard inlay is from a limited edition release from a few years ago, I believe it was called the Les Paul Tree of Life. That guitar had a natural finish and looked very different though.

EDIT2: Also, the binding on the headstock should be the same multi ply as the binding on the body and it shouldn't start halfway through the first fret. The bridge looks more squared than a real tune-o-matic as well.

EDIT3: The strap buttons are an incorrect shape.

EDIT4: On guitar one, that's an R9, not an R8 like the description. R8s only have plain tops.


Damn - Someone has a better eye than I do! Would you be willing to pitch in with the examinations? We could use someone with your eye for detail.

Quote by tele118
here's a fake 'American Telecaster for sale'. I asked the seller if it was fake (I know it is but just wanted to see the response). He/She replied that I better buy the guitar haha

http://www.ioffer.com/i/170902159


Thanks for that - I'll write a look at this guy up in a bit, haven't done a Fender yet, so should be fun!

Quote by thrashmetalhed
sorry didnt mean to post that.. but what about this?? http://oioffer.com/detail.asp?id=246
its just a normal jackson?


Does it look like a low-end Jackson? Yes. A $105 Jackson? No. Plus never trust someone with just one stock picture of a new instrument that has no images of the guitar itself. Especially if they don't have the description dealers are supposed to have. Also, never buy from someone who offers western union payment, or, if it's supposed to be a store, has grammatical and punctual errors in their writing - A company selling through the internet can afford hiring a spellchecker.
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