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A Few Basic Tips For Buying Musical Instruments Online.

1. Get to know what you like. Do your investigations before you start. Go to a local Music Store and “test drive” a few different makes and models. Ask a friend if you can use his guitar.

2. So now you have decided that you want a Stratocaster or a Les Paul. These guitars can often have four to five different neck shapes, and nearly endless pickup combinations? All of these can drastically change the feel and sound of the instrument. Prior to confirming your purchase, please ensure you ask about neck shape, fret size, pickups, weight, and if the guitar has been modified or changed in any way from its original condition.

3. In other words, don’t be afraid to ask questions from the Seller to get as much understanding of the instrument’s history and pedigree.

4. So ensure you get as much of the History of the instrument that you can. Genuine Vintage Guitars have generally lived a life of its own, and unless you ask questions you will never know if that guitar has travelled the world or remain untouched in someone’s closet for 50 years. Find out where the guitar has been. Was it used for gigging or mostly at-home use? Are there any intriguing stories about the instrument, such as famous owners or has it been played on any famous records?

5. Fully Investigate the provenance of the instrument - Is it a genuine instrument or possibly a well prepared fake? If the price is significantly lower than the same product in a store then be suspicious. Check everything carefully, some fakes look great until you check inside.

6. For Vintage Guitars, we recommend that the Seller has the guitar fully disassembled so that all internal parts, serial numbers, date stamps and any other relevant information that can assist you in verifying its authenticity and provenance can be photographed and provided.

7. Don’t settle for vague or minimal descriptions. Request accurate details about the condition of the instrument. Get photos. How worn are the frets? How straight is the neck? Is there excessive buzzing or dead notes? Are the electronics quiet, or do they emit excessive or “scratchy” noise when adjusted. When was the last time the guitar was set up and who set it up?

8. Don’t necessarily accept the first advertised price. Be prepared to make a realistic and fair offer. Just like buying anything today, you can consider the “advertised price” as a place to begin the negotiation. Don’t be afraid to wheel and deal, and that includes new guitars and gear sold by traditional retailers.

9. Always consider purchasing used Instruments as opposed to brand new instruments. Equipment for example like effects pedals are often resold in mint or near-mint condition at a huge discount off the recommended retail prices.

10. Consider buying using your credit card, PayPal, Payoneer or similar and if you’re spending a large sum of money, say on Vintage instruments, then we recommend you use escrow services. PayPal has some limited ability to recover your money (Please refer to Paypal’s Terms of Use for all conditions). Your credit card company may assist in helping you recover your money if the goods are not totally represented correctly (Again check with your Credit Card provider before you buy NOT after you buy).

11. An escrow service requires that your money is held in trust until acceptance of the instrument. Simply, you put the money into the escrow account, the Seller sends you the instrument that you have purchased and if you’re happy with instruments you then direct the escrow company to release the purchase monies to the Seller. Additional fees are usually charged for these types of services however the service will provide with further peace of mind.

12. If the goods aren’t right or what was advertised then you can return the goods to the Seller and the escrow service refund your money back to you. (Please ensure that you check the terms and conditions of the escrow service and associated costs before you use it.) If the Seller won’t allow or tries to discourage you from using an escrow service, then we recommend you walk away. Please see our Payment Policies for further information.

13. Look at buying extra peace of mind for your transactions. Consider purchasing additional insurance and/or require a signature and confirmation of delivery. Many shippers offer automatic coverage at certain levels, so be sure to check your Shippers delivery policies to ensure that you know what you’re getting for your money.

14. Use any feedback system that rates the Sellers performance reputation. Buying from private Sellers can sometimes feel risky, so make sure to ask for any feedback ratings that are available. Ask the Seller to send you their feedback from reputable sites like eBay and/or to refer you to previous buyers.

15. Always ensure you get a lot of photos. Don’t settle for one or two general photos, or none at all. Ask the Seller to take the instrument outside and photograph it in natural light, without a flash, so you get the best possible assessment of the instrument.

16. Ensure you research the Sellers return policy (if any) before you buy. It’s astonishing how often returns come up, and even more remarkable how rarely they’re discussed before the transaction. Ensure if you have any concerns get an e-mail or written confirmation from the Seller agreeing to a return policy in writing, prior to confirming your purchase.

17. Refer to reputable Pricing Guides. Buyers should always know ahead of time what they should be paying for equipment. When shopping for any instrument, check the going rate for a used equivalent, and then use this information to form part of your negotiations. Check reputable sources like Vintage Guitar Price Guide, which provides a brilliant pricing guide for both Buyers and Sellers across a massive catalogue of guitars, amps and effects.

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