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Thread: Give me your 2c on this Reverb dispute

  1. #1

    Give me your 2c on this Reverb dispute

    Dear all

    So recently I ordered a little curio from Italy to the UK, an Epiphone Country Gentleman Chet Atkins sig. Made for about two years 1989 to 1990/1, with some dispute about whether this was in Japan or Korea.

    The seller is a dealer. Here's the listing: Please note the description of the condition.

    The seller confidently states it was made in Japan; I did my own research which casts doubt on that. I could tell there were some dents in the spruce top (spruce dents easily) and wrote to the seller to ask if there was any damage and could he send pictures. He didn't answer but sent a bunch of pictures showing no dings or damage. The guitar is black which of course makes these things harder to see/easier to conceal. The seller took a week to get it packed (which I can allow) and it shipped without a case. He didn't mention it didn't have a case; he didn't say it did either. It's always kind of weird to receive a guitar without even a gigbag, but there we go.

    Anyway, when it arrives (without a case) I notice it has a lot of dings in the spruce which I expected, finish flaking on the headstock along the join (not expected but I can live with), but also a crack in the body on the back along the binding which seems to have been repaired with something like fibreglass along the binding line. Also, there are strange drippy goops on the back and what look like filled little round holes. It's really hard to say what it is. It looks like previous transport damage, possibly when the seller bought it, possibly earlier. See images below. NB a British penny is larger than a US penny :)

    Country Gent (2 of 5) by Parker Knoll, on Flickr

    Country Gent (1 of 5) by Parker Knoll, on Flickr

    Country Gent (3 of 5) by Parker Knoll, on Flickr

    On the one hand, the price was quite good - I've seen these advertised at $999 (although they may never have sold for that); on the other hand, it wasn't a guitar I massively wanted. I bought it because the price was right and I thought if I didn't like it I could flip it. Obviously, with a repaired crack it's unlikely any Chet collectors are going to splash out so it would more likely be a long wait for another curious punter like myself.

    The seller initially offered me a rebate of €30 which I felt was derisory. He has now agreed to refund but refused to pay the return shipping. Paypal have said they can only extract the amount paid (e.g. purchase price plus my original shipping cost); their return refund scheme has a ceiling of 15. The return will likely cost me 50 + insurance, so let's say 65.

    At the end of the day I quite like the guitar. I'm not usually into humbuckers but these sound good and pokey; i like the lack of binding on the fingerboard. I also suspect this seller has been deliberately dishonest and definitely hampered my chances of selling on. I don't particularly want to lose 45-50 to a dishonest seller into the bargain. Interestingly, since they advertise themselves as being a shop they are subject to EU distance selling regs which means they technically have to pay the return. Obviously, getting the money off them is another matter.

    One final note, Reverb were absolutely ****ing useless. If I hadn't paid with Paypal I'd have no comeback. I had suspected as much when you read about their dispute resolution on the site. One of their "musicians" will mediate, apparently (God help us). What this means is that someone called Chris wrote to me after I'd started the Paypal claim begging me to close it as it was against Reverb and not the seller (I guess they channeled the payment). I wrote back to him and booked a time for their offered phone call. It never happened and they never answered the subsequent emails. The phone number on the site doesn't work; the chat button on the site doesn't work; the emails aren't answered. I can tell you this, I will never use Reverb payments ever ever.

    What do y'all think? He says he'd rather not have it back. I didn't get a great pick of the binding repair, but it's very obviously cracked and repaired after impact damage. I was thinking of asking for €100 to €150 rebate.

    Sorry for length.

    Last edited by parker_knoll; 04-12-2019 at 06:49 PM.
    1957 X175 (ex)
    1960 Starfire III (ex)
    1962 X175
    1966 Starfire III (ex)
    1966 Duane Eddy DE-400
    2002 Starfire III-90

  2. #2
    Here's the "acceptable" damage, dings in the spruce top and finish flaking on the headstock:

    Country Gent (5 of 5) by Parker Knoll, on Flickr

    Country Gent (4 of 5) by Parker Knoll, on Flickr

    20190327_083728 by Parker Knoll, on Flickr

    20190327_083731 by Parker Knoll, on Flickr
    1957 X175 (ex)
    1960 Starfire III (ex)
    1962 X175
    1966 Starfire III (ex)
    1966 Duane Eddy DE-400
    2002 Starfire III-90

  3. #3
    Id return that.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by fronobulax View Post

    And I like Harry's approach.
    '66 Starfire I SB bass, '67 Mark IV pear wood, '75 Mark 4 P padauk,
    '66 Thunderbird amp, '68 Thunder 1 RVT amp,

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by GAD View Post
    Id return that.
    and swallow the loss on the shipping?
    1957 X175 (ex)
    1960 Starfire III (ex)
    1962 X175
    1966 Starfire III (ex)
    1966 Duane Eddy DE-400
    2002 Starfire III-90

  6. #6
    Another note on Reverb. Unlike eBay, the feedback is reciprocal, so if I leave him a neg he can just leave me a revenge neg in return.
    1957 X175 (ex)
    1960 Starfire III (ex)
    1962 X175
    1966 Starfire III (ex)
    1966 Duane Eddy DE-400
    2002 Starfire III-90

  7. #7
    dang, sorry to hear this. I was close to buya gibby CG before I found mx first guild. sorry I cant give any helpful input.
    my 2 ct, all the best,

    * '84 Pilot SB-602
    * '86 T-250
    * '87 Nightingale
    * '98 Starfire IV
    * '10 F-30R Std.
    * '13 GSR T-400
    * '14 M-85
    * '17 M-20
    ...some more stuff and
    myself. ;)

    *official WUZZATONE (made by Coastie99) endorser*

  8. #8
    Senior Member jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Pacific Northwest US
    The seller is definitely guilty of not fully disclosing the true condition of the guitar. I'd return it despite the loss of shipping costs. In the end, you'll spend more time trying to get your money back than your time is worth.

    Also, that's really disappointing to hear about Reverb's reluctance to mediate the dispute. I've never made any large purchases on Reverb, only pedals, but I'm much more hesitant now.
    1959 T-100 DP
    1968 CE-100 DP
    1976 BluesBird M-75

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Cambridge, MA
    I'm of the opinion that if there is something you really like about the guitar -- as you say -- you should try to work out an acceptable partial refund scenario with the seller and hang onto it.

    I bought a Guild F50R from a seller who'd taken a bunch of "arty" photos of the instrument, funny close-ups, weird angles, etc.

    I realized later that in all the photos he was careful to not show part of the back of the neck. When I got the guitar I discovered the deception -- at the back of the neck, around the seventh fret area, it looked the guitar had been gnawed on by a dog with powerful jaws.

    I complained; he said I was being petty -- we went back and forth.

    But I really liked the guitar -- the sound was amazing and it was in great shape, except for the back of the neck. (I never did learn what had happend to it.)

    This was some years ago, before there were as many protections in place on eBay for buyers as there are now.

    Eventually we worked out a partial refund deal, thought neither of us was happy about it -- I thought the refund should have been bigger; he resented having to refund anything. But we worked it out and moved on -- we were just glad not to have to deal with each other anymore.

    I had the guitar neck repaired and refinished -- it's beautiful now! -- and all the enmity is but a distant memory.

    I may have not got the deal I thought I was getting at the time, but everytime I pick up that guitar, I'm glad I didn't send it back.

    Last edited by wileypickett; 04-15-2019 at 09:18 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by parker_knoll View Post
    ....someone called Chris wrote to me after I'd started the Paypal claim begging me to close it as it was against Reverb and not the seller....
    I'm sorry to say, but I think complaining to paypal first was a mistake. That guitar was not "as described." I've dealt with reverb chat a number of times, and I've always got what I was looking for. (It's only "on" during reverb's business hours.)

    I sold a guitar once, it was as described, but the buyer "didn't like its sound." He wanted to return it, and he wanted me to pay for the return. Fat chance. Reverb stepped in and asked if I'd refund the guy's money if they paid for the return shipping. So that's what I did, not that I liked it, but I didn't lose anything.

    I could be wrong, but I think reverb might have paid for your return shipping if you'd sent them those photos of undisclosed damage. They get a heck of a deal on shipping, BTW.

    Just my 2 pence.
    2011 Guild F50R Sunburst
    2002 Guild JF30-12 Sunburst
    1991 Guild JF30-12 Ltd. Ed. Wood Grain Blue
    2018 Gibson Ltd. Ed. Songwriter Deluxe 12-string
    2015 Martin GPC12PA4 12-string
1972 Epiphone FT-160 12-string
    2012 Epiphone Dot CH

    2010 Epiphone Les Paul Standard trans amber 

    2013 Yamaha Motif XS7

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