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RE: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

895 Views 13 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Formerly Given To Fly
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?


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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. :wink:
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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 8O
"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.
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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.

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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