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#1
Bought a Stratocaster a couple years ago that has the serial number and the "Made in Mexico" logo scratched out. Played good, sounded good, and priced well. Didn't really give it too much thought and bought it.

Tried to sell it today. Some guy took one look at the headstock, handed me back the guitar, and left.

Would you feel comfortable buying a guitar with the serial number scratched out?
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#2
I made a mistake many years ago buying a guitar that was a trade-in at the store where I worked with the label rendered unreadable and torn. It never occurred to me that it was likely stolen (I was young and naive) but nothing else explains this deliberate act.

If we all refuse to buy guitars that we suspect might be stolen, we might reduce the market and therefore make our own guitars less likely to be stolen themselves.
#3
missing serial number is a good indicator that it was stolen. unless the person you bought it from could provide some kind of proof of ownership then it's gonna be a tough sell. legally you shouldn't have bought it and should know better.
#4
it doesnt matter the guy it was stolen from will never get it back even if the serial number was on it serial numbers on guitars tell you the year it was made the woods and the color codes they use and a consecutive number to be fancy. hopefully the guy had home owners insurance but the deductible was probably more the the guitar is worth. I had my 3000 dollar esp stolen i was very disheartened i wont ever see the thing again even though it is an one of a kind insurance was easy on my since it was my first claim and didnt have to show receipts but the deductible was 500.00
#5
the only things not to buy with a scratched off serial number is guns and automobiles that will get you put away for a while just for possession
#6
In response to that, I'll just quote:
Quote by Blademaster2


If we all refuse to buy guitars that we suspect might be stolen, we might reduce the market and therefore make our own guitars less likely to be stolen themselves.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#7
Sure i would. If i liked the guitar, it felt good, sounded good, and i like the price, sure i would. My first feeling was this thread was gonna be about "would you buy a guitar with a scratched off/incomplete serial number" as in if you were worried the guitar was legit or some piece o shite copy.

To be fair though i wouldn't buy a guitar for a lot of money if the serial was scratched off, but then again there are other ways to tell if a guitar that expensive is a legitimate guitar that is what the seller says it is.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

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#8
Only if I was at a flea market in another state where nobody knows me. I don’t need the cops showing up at my door demanding that I hand over a stolen guitar and start answering questions.

But if you poke around on Google you can find replica decals, unethical as it may be to do so.
#10
If the serial number was obscured and it didn't match the general wear and tear of the rest of the guitar, I'd be very suspect and I seriously doubt I'd buy it. Otherwise, it would just be flat out irresponsible.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jun 18, 2015,
#11
Someone probably wanted their Mexican strat to look like it was American so they scratched off the "Made in Mexico" and serial number that started with M.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy it if it checked out okay in person.
#12
I've seen identifying marks removed from guitars when the manufacturers sell B-stock or stuff that fails QC checks. They sell it to resellers who turn it around as a "needs work" or "project" guitar. There is a professional seller on eBay that has all sorts of bodies and necks from Gibbo. They all have poor neck sets, or bad routes, or fretboards coming off. Gibson removes the logo before they get them to sell.
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#13
No, and anyone that says they would is just self-justifying their own bad acts. If you buy something that you know or reasonably should suspect is stolen you're a scumbag.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#15
I'd pass. Not worth whatever might come of it.
Quote by zgr0826
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I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#16
Quote by Arby911
No, and anyone that says they would is just self-justifying their own bad acts. If you buy something that you know or reasonably should suspect is stolen you're a scumbag.


that's not a fair assumption or statement to make. When i answered this thread it didn't even occur to me that the OP was asking about stolen guitars, lol. Not every guitar without a serial is stolen, nor is every person that buys or would buy one a scumbag. that's a pretty narrow way of looking at things.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
#18
Quote by Acϵ♠
that's not a fair assumption or statement to make. When i answered this thread it didn't even occur to me that the OP was asking about stolen guitars, lol. Not every guitar without a serial is stolen, nor is every person that buys or would buy one a scumbag. that's a pretty narrow way of looking at things.


Why remove the serial number or ANY identifying factors unless you're trying to pass it off as something else or you don't want people to identify it? Even if the intention wasn't entirely nefarious the idea of it is. You're trying to dupe people and really even if the guy selling it is honest, what's to say the next guy will be just as honest when he sells it?


It's just nonsense to remove that stuff.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#19
That's also making the assumption that it was the seller that did it, and did it with unsavoury intentions. There are so many people who sell guitars or buy guitars and don't even know they have serial numbers, let alone what they mean and why it being scratched or faded out is a red flag.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
#21
Quote by Acϵ♠
That's also making the assumption that it was the seller that did it, and did it with unsavoury intentions. There are so many people who sell guitars or buy guitars and don't even know they have serial numbers, let alone what they mean and why it being scratched or faded out is a red flag.


So because they don't know about that shit, it makes it okay? That makes sense.


And you're making the assumption that the seller didn't do it and didn't do it with unsavory intentions. We're all making assumptions because it's not happening to us and we're answering a question that somebody else has with our opinion. What's your point?
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#22
without getting into the ethics of moral legalism, my point is that it's completely unfair to indict a person and label them as scumbags for buying a guitar that they didn't even know had a serial number, let alone was stolen.

obviously there are folks who make a ton of money off scamming people and know exactly what they're doing. But some 15 year old kid that walks into a pawn shop and sees a shiny guitar, falls in love with it and gets it for his birthday next week isn't a scumbag, lol.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
#23
Quote by Blademaster2


If we all refuse to buy guitars that we suspect might be stolen, we might reduce the market and therefore make our own guitars less likely to be stolen themselves.


Exactly. I do know of a couple of instances where a local shop owner has recognized and purchased stolen guitars for $100, or so, and then called the owner to come pick them up. (And bring $100 cash!) Those situations were lucky break for the owners, and a good way of dealing with the situation quickly and without a bunch of red tape. That said, it reinforces bad behavior.
#24
Quote by Acϵ♠
without getting into the ethics of moral legalism, my point is that it's completely unfair to indict a person and label them as scumbags for buying a guitar that they didn't even know had a serial number, let alone was stolen.

obviously there are folks who make a ton of money off scamming people and know exactly what they're doing. But some 15 year old kid that walks into a pawn shop and sees a shiny guitar, falls in love with it and gets it for his birthday next week isn't a scumbag, lol.

You are making up arguments. We're just saying we would choose not to buy instruments that showed signs of being stolen.

If you re-read Arby's post, it is very specific: "know or reasonably should suspect is stolen." That's a far cry from what you're talking about, it's a much narrower statement than the strawman you're arguing against. You're inventing new scenarios that he clearly wasn't talking about.

Assuming that your ignorance protects you from making an informed moral choice is not the best way to go about things. Saying that other people make uninformed choices doesn't mean there's not a better choice to be made.

It doesn't mean you're a bad person if you're uninformed, but there's also a pretty low bar here for "you should know better." We're not making the assumption that the seller did it, we're choosing not to take part in a market of stolen (or likely to have been stolen) goods. As was said earlier, if we all made an effort to make it less profitable to sell guitars with removed S/Ns, we could make it a lot harder on actual criminals.

I have more sympathy for people who have had instruments stolen and never recovered than I do for those who didn't do any research or weren't careful and bought a guitar with signs of being stolen. It sucks for both people, but the first guy was the victim of a crime and the second was the victim of their own ignorance or carelessness.
#25
Quote by Acϵ♠
without getting into the ethics of moral legalism, my point is that it's completely unfair to indict a person and label them as scumbags for buying a guitar that they didn't even know had a serial number, let alone was stolen.

obviously there are folks who make a ton of money off scamming people and know exactly what they're doing. But some 15 year old kid that walks into a pawn shop and sees a shiny guitar, falls in love with it and gets it for his birthday next week isn't a scumbag, lol.



Nobody is calling anybody a scumbag. What people ARE saying though that it is sketchy to buy a guitar with a logo sanded off because of plenty of reasons given in this thread. People are saying no or be careful so people don't get screwed. You can give people the benefit of the doubt all you want, but personally I'd rather be safe than sorry.


Quote by Roc8995
Assuming that your ignorance protects you from making an informed moral choice is not the best way to go about things. Saying that other people make uninformed choices doesn't mean there's not a better choice to be made.

It doesn't mean you're a bad person if you're uninformed, but there's also a pretty low bar here for "you should know better." We're not making the assumption that the seller did it, we're choosing not to take part in a market of stolen (or likely to have been stolen) goods. As was said earlier, if we all made an effort to make it less profitable to sell guitars with removed S/Ns, we could make it a lot harder on actual criminals.

I have more sympathy for people who have had instruments stolen and never recovered than I do for those who didn't do any research or weren't careful and bought a guitar with signs of being stolen. It sucks for both people, but the first guy was the victim of a crime and the second was the victim of their own ignorance or carelessness.



100 percent ++++
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#26
Arby pretty clearly called just about anybody that buys a guitar with no serial a scumbag. That's the post i took issue with.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
#27
Quote by Acϵ♠
Arby pretty clearly called just about anybody that buys a guitar with no serial a scumbag. That's the post i took issue with.



So 1 guy that's known to be pretty abrasive in the first place?


Nice.


Really though he was probably just exaggerating for effect.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
Last edited by H4T3BR33D3R at Jun 18, 2015,
#28
Quote by Acϵ♠
Arby pretty clearly called just about anybody that buys a guitar with no serial a scumbag. That's the post i took issue with.

Then why did you respond to other arguments as if you took issue with them, and make broad statements that had little to do with what you say now was the only one you took issue with?

Good to have these discussions anyway. Much better than another "what string i buy" thread.
#29
What we need is another thread along the lines of "I bought this clothes, but my boyfriend says is too sexy. What you think?"...with links to Asian lingerie store, of course.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#30

"My sister will go to the prom. She says to wear this lights. How should I tell her?"

Classic.
#31
I like the "can u plez help with my guitar tone " ones that are basically just thinly veiled "hey check out my shit covers on youtube" posts.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#32
Good times. Good times.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#33
well this thread went south pretty fast. there also seems to be an assumption that if the serial # is gone you can't recover the guitar by a couple of folks here. not true. you will be asked to give a discription of the guitar to the police. if they come across a guitar that matches said description then they wil call you in to identify it. there may be marks on the guitar that could be identified etc. i have had stuff stolen and actually did get bqck in the past. i also bought a guitar from a guy only to have the police show up the next day informing me that it was stolen (beautiful Hamer Standard). i got screwed on that deal.
#34
Quote by Roc8995
Then why did you respond to other arguments as if you took issue with them, and make broad statements that had little to do with what you say now was the only one you took issue with?

Good to have these discussions anyway. Much better than another "what string i buy" thread.


because everybody jumped on me, lol. im not advocating other people buy guitars with a suspiciously scratched off serial. Im just saying that if i came across some old beat up guitar from a japanese plant from 1982 that didn't have a serial number on it, but i liked the guitar and the price, the serial number itself wouldn't prevent me from buying it. Nothing to do with theft or anything like that
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
#35
Except for TS isn't talking about a random Japanese import guitar with no serial number straight from the factory. He clearly stated that its an MIM with the serial and MIM logo scratched off. It's not the same thing at all.

The initial question isn't 'would you buy a guitar with no serial number' its 'would you buy a guitar with the serial number scratched out'. I doubt your answer for both questions is the same.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
Last edited by H4T3BR33D3R at Jun 18, 2015,
#36
damn you Ace.



nobody buy guitars without serial numbers. okay?
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#37
Quote by Acϵ♠
because everybody jumped on me, lol.

That's going to happen when you make poor arguments against claims that nobody made.
#38
No, I wouldn't not only because it might be stolen but because it also makes it that much harder to know what it is and if the sellers being honest about what it is.
#39
This is something that bothers me. I bought my main guitar (My Jackson RRMG) for only $350 with a SKB case. That combo retails new at a total of $1058 or so. I gave the guitar a good look and feel test in the parking lot I bought it at (Off of Craigslist) and didn't notice the serial number sticker gone until I got home. Makes me feel bad, because someone probably no longer has this amazing guitar due to it being stolen. POSSIBLY the original owner just removed it due to them not liking stickers on their gear. I'd understand that myself.>.> I feel bad, and wish I could return it to the original (rightful if it was indeed stolen) but there's just no way for me to KNOW I found them you know?
Quote by Roc8995
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Things are better now.


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#40
I'm sure you'll check carefully next time after that experience. Sometimes there's nothing more you can do besides learn.
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