Originally Posted by smokinfingers
In my researching these companys (online dealers) it seems that many of these websites with different names are run by the same group of owners or familys. The ones I happen to deal with as you mentioned above happen to use the same warehouse contractor it seems but under different seller names. I think the problem with the quality and condition of receiving a good new guitar rests in the hands of that warehouse organization and not the sellers who advertise the items. Apparently that warehouse company finds the merchandise deals and lets the sellers know what they have in stock. Zzounds and AMS just simply advertise it but have no control over the warehouse manager ethics as to the condition and quality of the items they are selling. So I don't really blame the store fronts (Zzounds, AMS, etc.) that contract this shady warehouse but I blame the warehouse manager who is shipping your "new" order and pawning off blems and used guitars as new.
I am pretty sure the guitars I have received this way are not 100% new but rather blems or demos, returns or old 2nd's laying around for a long time. Sometimes you still get a good one or an acceptable one not worth the hassle of returning. I finally got one with some minor scratches that I deem not worth returning but I still don't feel good about it.
Actually, AMS owns the warehouse. Zzounds is a store brand that they came out with later. They shared inventory in that warehouse with Victor's House of Music, which is a store I dearly miss... Just like Rondo when they were based in the Springfield, NJ, area.
If you did buy it from AMS and contact them, their customer service is pretty good and will get to the bottom of things for you.