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Caveat Emptor: Part Deux

I recently received an email from a gentleman who had bought a 64 ES-335 on Ebay-it may well have been the one I spoke of in the post titles “Ebay Catch 22”). He got the guitar and it was as described except that it had a skinny little 66 type neck on it. The listing said nothing about the neck and the buyer assumed that meant that it was the original 64 neck. After all, that’s the biggest reason there is to buy a 64. They are, in fact, more expensive that 62’s or 63’s with Pat # pickups. The Clapton thing doesn’t hurt either. There was some discussion on the Les Paul Forum of the guitar in the “Ebay Catch 22” post and a few people mentioned that the neck join looked suspicious. I agreed with that assessment. Since I don’t know if the guitar in question is the same one, I can’t comment specifically on it but I can make a general statement regarding Ebay auctions. Ask questions. Just because the seller doesn’t mention a reneck doesn’t mean it’s original. Some folks don’t know. Others choose not to mention it-just in case you don’t notice. That goes for everything on the guitar. If there’s a photo of the pickups and they look like real PAFs, it doesn’t hurt to ask if the PAFs are real. If the seller says they are real, then you should not have to ask. That way, if they aren’t you can file a claim that the guitar wasn’t as described and you can usually get a refund. But if the seller doesn’t disclose the problem, then it’s YOUR problem. Errors of omission don’t count unless you make them count by asking specifically about them. If the seller says a guitar is all original, you should be able to take him (or her) at his word and if it isn’t, then file your claim. If you are willing to take the risks inherent in buying an expensive vintage guitar sight unseen on Ebay, you should be smart enough to ask the right questions and take advantage of the protections built in to the Ebay site. This poor chap spent around $10,000 for a guitar worth maybe $4,000. ¬†Another thing you should be aware of is that the full protections offered by Ebay require you to use the Paypal payment option. The seller pays the fee for it, so there is no reason why, as a buyer, you shouldn’t ¬†get the protection you deserve. It wasn’t always like this but complaints by Ebay customers (and shareholders) like me forced these programs into existence. I got burned on a Fender Bassman and, after a lot of bitching, moaning and general histrionics, I got back $2,000 from Paypal. This was before the “buyer protection” program was in place. I got it by pointing out that Ebay and Paypal should do something to earn the fees they were charging other than providing a website to sell stuff. So, take advantage of what’s available. Or better yet, ask a lot of questions so you don’t have to.

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