¿Quién es más PAF?

Discussion in 'Epiphone Les Pauls' started by houston, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. houston

    houston Senior Member

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    But doesn't that beg the question, why would anyone bother to counterfeit Epi Alnico Classics? They got all of US$15 for them, only by trying to pass them off as the "Epi Slash" model. As an Alnico Classic, they'd be worth maybe $5? A counterfeiter doesn't bother printing $1's when making $20's is just as easy. (So $20's became a lot more complicated.)

    Here's the same seller, same pups, without the labels and covers removed (thanks for the pic, SJM!), this time being passed off as "same as Gibson '57 Classic".

    Original Epiphone 57CH Classic PAF Humbucker Pickups Fit Gibson Les Paul SG New | eBay

    I suspect the pups are legit (as Epi Alnico Classics), just that the seller seems to have several of them (and a lot of other misc parts), and he's trying to maximize what he can get for them by lying or misleading about what they actually are.
     
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  2. 56GT

    56GT Senior Member

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    Along the lines of what I was thinking...
     
  3. davies

    davies Banned/Not Banned V.I.P. Member

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    I can only speak for myself obviously but there's a couple of things that would make me steer clear:


    1 Multiple listings of exactly the same item with the same stock photos
    2 The condition of the item is described as 'new other': missing original packaging, factory second, new with flaws. Presumably in this case, missing original packaging.
    3 Again, 'Item Location: China'

    Individually, each of those would not necessarily be a concern but the combined effect is, for me, slightly more worrying and rather reminiscent of listings for fake Epiphone guitars coming out of China.

    Regarding the price, he had/has some listed as auctions and some as BIN ($37.99). With the auction listings, the final selling price is obviously at the mercy of who's in the market. For the BIN, who knows if that's a fair price for a new set of Epi Zebra pups.

    They may very well be genuine but, for me, too many things to question.
     
  4. Barcham

    Barcham Elitist Club Member

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    There are tons of fake parts for just about any product coming out of HK. From guitar parts to laptop batteries, feel free to take your pick. Sometimes they do the job, sometimes they're pure crap, but the price is usually so low that no one will bother to return them if they don't do the job. That's exactly how they stay in business.

    Considering that Epi do not sell pups or other hardware separately - just try buying them yourselves from Epi if you don't believe me - 'new other' is meaningless. The original packaging for these parts was a guitar. :cool:
     
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  5. houston

    houston Senior Member

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    More specifically, any type of product, but not necessarily any brand or model. Nobody's going to bother to make a counterfeit Insignia tv. In Epi's case, I'm not surprised if there are more fake Appetites out there than real ones, but for something like these Alnico Classic pups in question, someone would have had to go to a damn lot of trouble to make such a good copy, for an item with virtually no resale value.

    Of course. And they may want to reconsider using a photo that shows de-soldered leads, if they want to claim something as "new".

    The issue was never if the item is what the seller claims. Only what the item actually is. How I see it is that he's got a $1 bill, but trying to pass it off as a $10. Of course it's not a $10, the question is if it's a real or fake $1. I certainly see no compelling evidence to believe it's a fake $1.

    Not trying to make any big deal, just fun sometimes trying to do a little amateur detective work. Although a bit more seriously, maybe it should be brought to Ebay's attention that this guy's a fraud?
     
  6. Barcham

    Barcham Elitist Club Member

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    Some things you have to understand about those ads...the pictures they use are not necessarily pics of the product you will receive. In most cases they are not. As for making these fake parts, they are making plenty of them for the assembly of fake guitars and it probably costs them very little to make extras for independent sale.

    The main thing is that people who believe like you do make up the majority of their customer base. They all feel "Well, who would make fakes of such low cost products? They must be real!" Instead of wondering where they might actually get these products in the volume they advertise when they are not commercially available in the first place.
     
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  7. houston

    houston Senior Member

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    The question up to now was only about the item shown in the photo. Is it genuine or not? If so, what exactly about it will make you say that? I never doubted that fakes exist, the question is if they can make such an exceptional copy (which is vastly more difficult and expensive to do), for an item that has little value AND isn't even visible once on the guitar (which otoh, apparently can be spotted as a fake from a mile away).

    Now, whether he actually ships what he's selling, that's a new issue. Which of course I can't answer, but it's also one of the primary purposes of Ebay feedback (yes, more in theory than practice). A quick look indicates that his recent complaints are due to his ads' misleading descriptions (no surprise there), but not that the item doesn't match the photo. Sure it could slip under his customers' radar for a few sales, or even a few dozen, but for 1000's?

    As far as where he gets it, of course I can't say. But I also can't say why gravity exists. Should I start questioning its existence? What I can say, from a history of product marketing, is that knowing everything there is to know about your product, inside and out, is the easy part. But knowing everything about what happens to it, from suppliers to the sales channel to support, is impossible. The gray market will always exist because no company can maintain absolute control over their product.

    Back to this guy, it seems that everything he carries is oem. Even for brands that sell in retail (Grover), apparently he offers only their oem versions. And it's a pretty limited/specific range of brands. These clues all suggest gray market to me, but maybe he's just thrown me off (in a "triple-agent" sort of way).

    Also, the backhanded personal attack ("it's people like you") doesn't serve anything.
     
  8. Barcham

    Barcham Elitist Club Member

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    You yourself are taking about quantities in the thousands. Do you think that a company will not notice when such quantities are just vanishing out the back door? I do not trust any vendor out of Hong Kong, no matter what they are selling, unless they are authorized resellers. Epiphone does not sell components. Any components. You cannot even buy so much as a pickguard from Epiphone. There are no 'OEM' Epiphone parts available.

    Now as for why people buy them and don't complain? Mainly it's because they're dirt cheap and the buyers tend to be inexperienced and lacking knowledge. After all...who else would be in the market for Epi pups and hardware? Most people simply replace them with better quality parts.

    I love how people always say that this really cannot be happening, that they have to be genuine. Well to that, I tell those people to go so a search for "Fake Apple Store" on the net and come back and then tell me again how impossible things are. If there are people out there who can fake entire stores and all the products sold in them, it ain't so hard to believe they're selling fake Epi parts.
     
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  9. paruwi

    paruwi Kraut-Rocker Super Mod Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. Barcham

    Barcham Elitist Club Member

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    Here, I saved you a web search...

    BBC News - Chinese authorities find 22 fake Apple stores

    If they can build and run 22 fake stores in ONE CITY!!! I think they can manage to sell some fake Epi parts. :D
     
  11. paruwi

    paruwi Kraut-Rocker Super Mod Premium Member

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  12. Skit

    Skit Witch Doctor Premium Member

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    houston, if you don't think there are counterfeit Epiphone pickups you are naive. There are so many counterfeit Epiphone and other guitar parts on the bay it is insane. The counterfeiters don't make the pickups the same way Epiphone does. They are cheap useless junk. Counterfeiting is a trillion dollar industry.

    Look closely at the back shot of those pickups that were posted then look at an original Eipphone pickup. Quite a few things stand out to me. Throw in where they are coming from and they scream fake.

    If What You Are Buying Is Counterfeit, It Isn't a Good Deal - US News and World Report
     
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  13. houston

    houston Senior Member

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    1000 parts can be generated from what, 70 guitars? Based on his sales rate, it's a dozen guitars a month. But why would the parts be worth more than the completed guitar? Because the guitar was borked beyond repair, and now firewood?

    Right, you said that. To which I replied, that simply makes these gray market.

    Exactly. My point the whole time. They put an awful lot of effort into these, for what they're possibly able to get in return. And that's what makes this intriguing.

    Again with the generalizations. Should we just arrest all BMW drivers now, because BMW drivers tend to be speeders? I'm well aware of how much Apple is faked, I've been working with them for 6 years. Have you seen what those fakes look like? And the "fake" stores, do you think if you saw one in person you'd be fooled for 1 second? If not, are you sure you want to use that as an example of what we are talking about (that the Chinese can make such excellent copies of things that have such little commercial value)?

    When SJM id'd the pups in the ad as Epi, you didn't disagree. You liked his entry, presumably for doing a good job of id'ing them despite their labels being scratched off. So what has changed?
     
  14. houston

    houston Senior Member

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    If you notice, I've never said that these can't be fakes, only that it seems very unlikely that so much effort would be put into cloning such a low-value item. This is what intrigues me. Are the cloners really getting that good?

    Normally, for anyone with even mild familiarity of a genuine item, fakes stand out like a sore thumb. But so far, you're the only one to doubt it based on the photo. So what about it? What stands out? This question came up before, but so far it's unanswered.

    And can we finally put to rest the whole "but... it's being shipped from HK!" thing? Is it a bad sign? Maybe. Does it prove (or disprove) anything? No. It's purely speculation. I could grab that photo, and have it up in an eBay ad in about 3 mins. Does it being in my ad suddenly make the product any more or less legit? No.

    Good forensic work can be informative and entertaining. The fakes threads are clearly helpful, and very popular. People love a good mystery. But speculation isn't the way to solve them.

    Sorry that the topic's become so long-winded (and nothing to do with the original post). I expected it would be pretty short and simple, certainly not turn into a discussion of "the ways of the world"!
     
  15. SJM

    SJM Premium V.I.P. Member Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Houston, I hate to see you get off to a bad start with these guys. Barcham is one of the most informed members we have and a person can learn a lot from him. I must tell you that yes, those P/U's are Alnico Classics but as far as authentic, I would have to go with Skit's original post and agree they are knock off's. I didn't see the Hong Kong location which is the first red flag. They also list the DC resistance as 6.7K Neck and 7.4K Bridge. That's not even close. Genuine Alnico Classics will read 8.5K Neck and 13.85K Bridge more or less. Alnico Classic magnets? Made by Epiphone? All these fake Epi parts coming out of China is sad but true. Not just P/U's but everything and these fakers are very good at what they do. Tuners, access plates, P/U rings, pokers chips, knobs, toggle switches, jacks, jack plates, bridges and tail pieces, they make it all. I bought a kit of all black plastic replacements parts from one of these vendors before I joined MLP and got better informed. The only thing that fit out of the whole kit was the PG. This was advertised as genuine Epiphone OEM parts and I didn't know at that time that Epiphone sells none of their parts on the open market. It was only about $15.00 so it wasn't an expensive lesson but the thing that sticks in my craw the most is spending money to help support the fake industry, albeit an insignificant amount. It's nice to have resources like MLP where our members can get the straight dope and boycott these Bastards. Sadly, that's about all we can do.
     
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  16. Skit

    Skit Witch Doctor Premium Member

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    Real Epi pickups

    [​IMG]

    The pickups from e bay

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. houston

    houston Senior Member

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    Alrighty then! So there are obvious flaws, and the copycats still aren't so good after all. That's what I was looking for.

    And again, it was never about doubting the expertise of Barcham or paruwi or plenty of others on here, who clearly live and breathe this stuff. My point was that nobody can stay on top of everything that happens to a product during its lifetime, hence some of it will inevitably find its way to gray market.

    And just fwiw, that particular seller did come up on MLP before, regarding some Grovers, and Grover found them to be legit (not that "Grover" is some single omniscient being anyway). Cheers.
     

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