Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Guitar Digression

I recently decided I wanted another Telecaster-style guitar. I can't really justify spending the money for an actual Fender, so I decided to get on eBay and see if I could find a decent copy priced cheaply enough that I could afford to swap pickups. I had a Telecaster, 10 or 11 years ago, that I sold because I really didn't like the sound of the stock pickups.

But, I loved how it played. The neck on a Tele is one of my favorites, and I like the body style. So, I figured I would get as close as I could to the Fender, and install some humbucking pickups. As I looked through the eBay listings, I was extremely pleased to find this, with a $150.00 Buy It Now price:

Squire is Fender's imported line, so they are actually affordable. So, I found exactly what I was looking for, with a case! At least, according to the listing, it had a case.

When it got here, it had no case. It did have a nice new, rather large, chip in the paint. I sent the following message to the seller:

I received the guitar today and I must say I am disappointed.

Firstly, the title of the listing led me to believe that I would be receiving a hardshell case with this guitar, and none was included. Secondly, it arrived with a substantial chip out of the paint (I will email you a picture separately, as I can't attach pictures on an eBay message).

If the chip was not there when the guitar was shipped, and occurred in shipping, that even further displeases me that the case was not included. If it was there, then...

Anyway, I am not going to leave Feedback until I hear from you. At this juncture, it would not be positive feedback, at all.

This is the picture I sent him, separately:

This is from his listing:

I'd say it's pretty obviously not "as listed".

This was his reply (the bold emphasis is mine, all caps is his):

Sorry, but it does not come with a hardshelll case. My father listed it, who is new to ebay & & only listed 1 or 2 things ever. He confused it with a black Mexico tele we have that did with a case. But come on.....A case alone is $100+ so you should of known just at the price alone you weren't getting a case & a guitar...that would be like paying $50 for the guitar if it had came with a hardshell case. You can't get a tele AND a hardshell case for $150....if a case was included with the auction it would have said in the auction "Comes in a hardshell case" As for the chips, the auction clearly states "It does have a few chips here & there around the edges as well as a few scratches here in there" so I don't know why you would be suprised when you get it & it has a chip in the paint......thats what the auction said, there should of been no suprises to see chips. It also said if you have any questions feel free to let me know. If chips bother you, the you shouldln't have bidded on a guitar that the auction said there was chips, & also you should of asked for a picture of the chips if you thought it was going to be an issue.

At any rate, its a USED $150 guitar which clearly stated it had chips & scratches. I am not going to send you a case, as I don't even have one nor did it say in the auction it would come with one, & I'm not going to give you a partial refund on a $150 guita r b/c its got a chip you don't like. If you don't want the guitar then ship it back & I'll relist it & sell it to someone else. Once I receive the guitar back I will refund you your money.

I immediately left him a negative feedback. First time I've ever done that.

That led to an email exchange between him and me where he just got irate that I had left him a negative. "You can check my feedback, which you will see is 100% and I've NEVER had a negative feeback...."

Which is a bald-faced lie. I looked at his feedback, and he has another negative, and some other positives where the buyers made comments about being a little less than satisfied.

The lesson: Always check the feedback before you buy.

I finally told him to just forget it. I wasn't going to ship it back to him at my expense (his only offer), so that he could then refund me my money. The guitar is playable, and it was just what I wanted.
I never asked for my money back. Twenty dollars to cover the damage and a polite explanation of the mis-listing would have made me happy as a clam.

As I said, in my last email to him, "You know, I hate to be blunt about this but, if you had simply been nicer to me about this it would have turned out differently."

This is how the guitar looks, now:

My problem: I like a guitar to either look fairly new when I get it, so that any wear it has later is mine. Or, I want it to be fairly beat, with that "patina of age" that a well-used guitar gets.

So: Do I try to repair the finish, which will never look perfect no matter what I do; or do I go ahead and "age" it in the style of the Fender factory "Relic"?

"Relic" Tele

It would be a lot easier to "age" it than to repair it. What do you think I should do?



At 3:02 PM , Blogger Apertome said...

Man, what a crappy situation.

I say age it. I don't think you'll be able to satisfactorily cover it up (then again, I've seen what you can do with a paintbrush and bicycle, so maybe you could). Just embrace its imperfections, and maybe make the chip look a little more natural.

Or, you could always make up a wild story about how it happened.

At 7:54 PM , Anonymous red light green light said...

I know that $150 is a lot of Jing, but I say beat the sh*t out of it... In a nice way that wont affect its performance. Make it look like something that was left under the stage at CBGB's and just got found...

At 7:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As soon as you saw that he was using "of" as a verb you should have known you were dealing with an illiterate idiot and just given up.

At 7:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way, I think you should repair it.

At 9:27 AM , Blogger Richard said...

I think repairing it would be the way to go. Otherwise, I feel that will always be the focus when you pick it up. It will just bug you if you donĀ“t repair it.


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