RE: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - Jemsite
Off-topic / Miscellaneous Talk about miscellaneous stuff off-topic and not related to music, guitars or bands. No music, gear or anything guitar related here please.

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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RE: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Sooooo ........ whether as the buyer or seller, one challenge to ensuring a smooth, surprise-free transaction - having a proper 'Grade' is critical.

Auction sites and internet resellers have theirs along with their description - which may or may not be completely objective.

I recently purchased a guitar that was listed as 'Mint' and touted as basically new - now with guitar in hand ..... meh ..... not so much.

Apparently 'Mint' to me was not 'Mint' to the seller; which I guess really meant 'Player's Mint'.

So as a buyer, you can be disappointed and as a seller, you can get bad feedback ratings, refunds or returns - so as a seller, I try to err on the side of full disclosure and let the buyer determine how my description and pictures support the grade provided.

IMO - I think [email protected] does a great job at ratings and disclosure, so when you buy a guitar, you know exactly what you're getting.

Anyone else have feedback/opinions/experiences to share?

Thanks,

-sc-
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 04:09 PM
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Re: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Mint is the most overused and rarely honest word in sales of anything used. Try looking at some mint cars. I flew to Florida to buy one and drive it home, the whole front end paint was spider web cracked, loads of big rock chips, taillight dead, bald rear tires, no service records, would have cost me $2500 just to prep it for a 1200 mile drive. The interior was nice though.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 05:32 PM
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Re: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

In internet sales, pictures are everything and description means very little - unless it's someone selling something as a fixer-upper and disclosing that fact.

"Mint condition, only played in my studio. Easily the best guitar I've ever played, only selling as I'm thinning the herd. My loss is your gain, plays like butter.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 05:46 PM
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Re: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I have to disagree. Pictures usually show absolutely nothing but chips. You can't see a ding unless there is a close up shot at the right angle to make sure you can see it. The description of every flaw that alters it from new is more important, because it tells you what you're looking at in the pictures if there are pictures included. I love those adds that say for condition see pictures, and then they show you no close ups of any flaws.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 08:04 PM
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Re: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

You're obviously used to dealing with more honest folks than I am! And maybe also folks prepared to ahem "notice" those dings in the first place

I've not bought a guitar for a while, but I've been put off by too many folks who say "great condition" and fail to mention the repaired neck crack, the paint chips and the swapped out, sorry "upgraded" pickups until I ask why I can see them in the photos!

It goes to prove that dealing with a seller who is known to be wholly trustworthy is worth every penny
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 08:55 PM
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Re: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

If they took a photo of a neck joint crack then that's good enough for me, and you said chips, which you usually can see, but if only the clear is chipped, you may not see it at all. You have to look close for blems on any MC on in hand inspection, you'll probably never see in a picture.

Pictures matter if there are 50 of them, they're all large, clear, close, and in focus. Usually you get 7 or 8. And IMO pictures can be as deceptive as sellers. Bottom line, if you're really interested in buying something you ask alot of questions, starting with "have you given the body a close inspection for blems under strong light, light wiping scratches aside if it didn't leave the factory with them I need to know about them, please."

My file hasn't been updated in awhile but

Condition File
From experience most people give an item a cursory once over before they list it for sale, quite often missing many flaws that all must be considered when determining what the value of the item is. Even if you think you have been thorough please induldge me, I'm a buyer and not a time waster.
Please look this over very carefully under bright light for any flaws, even tiny ones. Dinks, dents, finish cracks, chips, or scratches deep enough to catch a fingernail in the clearcoat. Same in the headstock, and any cracks in the neck especially behind the nut. Then check the neck for straightness and/or twist, making sure that it has relief [or frontbow] and that the truss rod is functioning properly. Also describe the condition of the hardware. Is there corrosion, worn, or blistering on the bass side of the trem and saddles, neck plate, etc. Thanks, Rich
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 04:27 AM
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Re: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I am literally going to copy/paste that phrase into my “guitar folder” on my pc for use as and when needed!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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RE: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I was told I was only being extra picky because I was a "collector" ......

|: /

My response was simply that I made my purchase decision based on the description and specific pics I asked for; which I now know were more seller subjective and I recommended they/the seller should be more accurate in the future with any sales - but going forward, I am going to use Rich's snippet when pursuing a purchase.

-sc-
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 11:23 AM
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Re: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I've had the same argument too many times, and that means they saw the blems and didn't disclose them, that's far worse than the guy that just looks at it for 3 seconds under normal room light and calls it perfect, missing all the issues because it was never really inspected. Either way, it's the sellers negligence, but some obligation has to be placed on the buyer to be thorough. Like on ebay, if it's a buy it now i'll buy it, but not pay for it until the questions get answered satisfactorily. If it's open bidding use the time to make sure the seller knows what your expectations are. Sometimes I'll send that file and get a "it's a used guitar so don't expect it to be perfect", and unless it's something really worth going after I just pass right there, because I know he's not giving an honest assessment in his description.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2020, 04:48 AM
 
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Re: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Does anybody have experience with used "relic" Fenders? How do you navigate those waters? What is the difference between a used "relic" Fender and a well-used Fender of equal build quality? While semi-rhetorical, I'm am curious to hear any insight.

Rich used a word that I rarely see (and admittedly rarely use) on the internet that makes a world of difference: please. He also knows how to buy guitars so I would listen to him.

I wouldn't copy him verbatim because I do not have the level of knowledge or expertise he does. I would buy a guitar to play it. Over time, it will acquire wear and tear so I'm not too concerned about a reasonable level of wear and tear to start with. (I would like to know about it though.) Rich might do the same, but he may buy a guitar for a whole host of other reasons which is why the detailed documentation of the condition is needed. (I assume.)

To the OP, you are right, disappoint, and negative feedback both suck. It errodes trust between people. Buying guitars on the internet will always come with some level of risk and inaccurate information doesn't help. Unfortunately, guitarists grading their own guitars accurately is highly improbable. An appraiser can estimate the value of a guitar but that can cause more problems than its worth.

TL;DR - Listen to Rich.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2020, 10:36 AM
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Re: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Be polite, if you're not you'll get the same in return.

I buy for me or to resell, and either way it doesn't matter except that I'll pay more if it's something for me. But the bottom line is condition is one of the biggest criteria in what any object is worth. And you can't judge it's worth when it's a bogus description. If you're going to spend money do it wisely, unless you have so much you don't care
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2020, 12:58 AM
 
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Re: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Be polite, if you're not you'll get the same in return.

I buy for me or to resell, and either way it doesn't matter except that I'll pay more if it's something for me. But the bottom line is condition is one of the biggest criteria in what any object is worth. And you can't judge it's worth when it's a bogus description. If you're going to spend money do it wisely, unless you have so much you don't care
"Courtesy counts."

I agree. If the seller is not giving an accurate description of the guitar, you can't judge its worth.

The reason I brought up Fender was "relic'd" guitars are made in the Custom Shop and some of them are rather good. How does condition factor into the worth of those guitars?

Growing up, I remember my guitar teacher had a 1st edition copy of The Hobbit. This was not by chance. He and his wife decided to look for a "mint" 1st edition because they really love the book. They paid a lot of money for it. I am not sure when they actually bought it but I get the impression book condition is rather unforgiving/rewarding as it applies to the value of the book. In contrast, an RG570 with a scratch compared to an RG570 without a scratch has less of an effect on the value between guitars.

Expertise through experience seems to be the best grading system available for guitars at this point in time. However, if desired, a system could be devised. It would be hard and probably take a long time but it could be done.

Last edited by Formerly Given To Fly; 05-04-2020 at 12:57 AM. Reason: Fixed a word.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2020, 01:26 AM
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Re: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I can tell you on an EVO you can tell when it presents honest play wear because all the relic-ing isn't natural at all, and they're not all done the same, but they're all done with sandpaper or steel wool or screwdrivers, they distressing looks like damage and not wear. So Mint unplayed [guitar showing no honest play wear] of a 1/100 desirable guitar condition is a big factor in worth, and a collector wants it mint while a player won't care and gets them cheaper. I'd imagine it's the same with high end Fender relics.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-04-2020, 02:42 AM
 
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Re: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarello View Post
I was told I was only being extra picky because I was a "collector" ......

|: /

My response was simply that I made my purchase decision based on the description and specific pics I asked for; which I now know were more seller subjective and I recommended they/the seller should be more accurate in the future with any sales - but going forward, I am going to use Rich's snippet when pursuing a purchase.

-sc-
I don't know your situation, but I do know being criticized and then labeled rarely improves report.
It sounds like you took the high road in your response though which is hard when you are under the impression your expectations will be met...and then they aren't. To quote jono, "It goes to prove that dealing with a seller who is known to be wholly trustworthy is worth every penny." There has been an erosion of trust between individuals buying/selling/trading guitars. Reverb has helped reduce the amount of risk people needed to take but rebuilding trust between individuals would be a better long term solution. This may sound obvious but it is extremely difficult to build trust with people you do not trust from the start.
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