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Used Guitars.

Postby Henry Mark1 » Thu May 03, 2012 6:04 am

I want to buy used guitar for my self but I heard that we have to be very careful when purchasing used guitar. Which point should I keep in my mind or what I have to check when going to deal ?
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Re: Used Guitars.

Postby shufflebeat » Thu May 03, 2012 6:52 am

#1 - Know what you want. Try lots and lots of guitars. Sooner or later you'll hit on one that feels right.

#2 - Know your budget. Figure out roughly what the market price is for what you want.

Accidents that might spoil or devalue a guitar usually leave marks. Give it the once over. Look for cracks in the varnish that might indicate internal damage at the headstock.

The neck is often a stress point. Do some research on what a good neck should look like. This is what's being examined when you see people looking along the length of the guitar.

If it's an electric you're buying plug it in and check for crackly controls that might need replacing.

There are some fakes out there. Familiarise yourself with what a Gibson/Fender etc. should look and feel like (if that's what you're going for).
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Re: Used Guitars.

Postby Frisonic » Thu May 03, 2012 2:41 pm

You have to be very careful when buying new ones too Henry! All shufflebeat's comments are important. Especially the bit about trying lots and lots. NEVER but a guitar off the internet if you can possibly avoid it, and then only if you really, really know what it is you are buying and are expecting it to be indifferent. For what its worth the best second hand guitars I've ever bought all had flaws/damage that devalued them, and were priced accordingly. I spent the difference on getting them put into optimum playability by a good luthier. A collector might sniff at them. A musician wouldn't. I would add that each time the seller was very open and honest about the flaws and the luthier was able to evaluate the quality of the guitar and quote for what was needed to bring out its best before I parted with any money.
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Re: Used Guitars.

Postby 4TrackMadman » Thu May 03, 2012 8:32 pm

Depends on the guitars that you're getting, the more boutique the instrument the more attention you have to pay to what you're purchasing, especially if we're talking the namesake vintage US guitars. Maybe even consulting a specialist is a good idea.

Otherwise - look for ballpark price and then either increase or decrease your bid/negotiation price based on blemishes, repairs, etc. Sometimes you walk into a shop and find the right instrument off the wall and it fits perfectly - in those cases I've paid extra as long as the guitar felt right. Not crazy markup price but what would be fair in such a transaction.

On old guitars look particularly for worn frets/freatboards, repaired headstock/body, paint job. The electronics are usually easy to repair and replace as long as we're not talking one of the weird BCRich jobs or an active setup.
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Re: Used Guitars.

Postby DAGGILARR » Thu May 03, 2012 8:33 pm

You can get good deals on ebay but I agree never buy one that you have not played. You can search on ebay by distance and ask if you can go and look before you bid.

The best results I have had with second hand guitars is from good guitar shops who have taken them in PX. Get to know your local guitar shop play loads of their guitars new and old you will soon get a feel for what works for you. Be patient the right guitar will show up and you will know it when it does.

Let this forum know what you have in mind you can probably get lots of specific info
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Re: Used Guitars.

Postby shufflebeat » Thu May 03, 2012 11:54 pm

All very wise.

Note on shops:

If you feel a member of staff is pressuring you to buy you're either talking to the wrong guy or in the wrong shop. It should be fine for you to say, "I'll be buying soon and want to try some guitars out to help me decide what I want".

To the best of my knowledge (in the UK at least) a retailer is obliged to ensure goods are of 'merchantable quality' even if it's second hand or part exchanged. I'm happy to be corrected on this point but I've certainly used it successfully in a shop.
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Re: Used Guitars.

Postby Henry Mark1 » Fri May 04, 2012 5:50 am

Thanks for very helpful tips. It makes buying guitar easy for me.
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Re: Used Guitars.

Postby Gary_W » Fri May 04, 2012 8:02 am

A different perspective for you now :)

I think I must have been really lucky. I've bought several guitars mail order and it's always worked out well for me.

I'm not 100% on the law here but AFAIK in the UK the distance selling regulations mean that you can effectively change your mind for any reason you like within 7 days of receiving the goods so if it's not for you or you notice any flaws that you are not happy with it can go back. As long as it is in the same condition it was in when you received it, it can be returned. This is in addition to your usual statutary rights, not instead of.

I've never actually excercised this right as the guitars I've been sent have been keepers that played fine out of the traps. But the presence of the additional rights does make me feel a lot better about doing it.

This is good for those who hate 'in shop demos cos the staff are all watching' which will apply to lots of people out there... I'm fine with it these days but the only time I've ever had my fingers burned was buying from a shop that also did Internet sales. I went in and tried the guitar and bought it. Unfortunately, I missed a fault which became very apparant within a few hours of getting it home.... Had I bought it on the Internet, I'd have just sent it back for a full refund but as I actually went in and tried it my extra 7 days was gone.

The shop insisted on repairing it as opposed to replacing it (despite the fact that it was hours old....) and trading standards would not back me up (they thought a repair was reasonable, I did not, I did not want a £1300 brand new acoustic having a repair!). It got very messy and very stressful and made me painfully aware that you never really know how good a shop is until there is a problem!!! How they deal with said problem speaks volumes. The owner of the place in question turned from a lovely bloke into a very unreasonable person at the drop of a hat (it was him that called trading standards, not me, so he's clearly been down such routes before!).
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