Best Way to Purchase New Les Paul

David A @ CME

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Update: called sweetwater yesterday and talked to a salesman. Said the best he would do on the guitar was $2421 plus tax. It's a 3 plus hour drive one way for us. Not exactly a smoking deal. I told him that, and he said he could do a "little less", just drive down, blah blah blah. He sounded like a typical used car salesman, which I can't stand.
So, went back to guitar center, with a pocketful of cash, to try to deal on the guitar. After sitting there for 10 minutes with all the sales douches playing grab ass with each other, finally I went to the counter and asked about the guitar. 2 weeks ago, the salesman said they had a new one in the back that hadn't been unboxed. This guy said they only had the one on the wall. He got it down, told me it'd only been on the wall a couple days. I said, well my son played it here 2 weeks ago, I checked the serial number. He gave me the typical "oops" look and said he'd polish it up, put new strings on it because it needed them, blah blah. Why does a brand new guitar need new strings? I could see visible scratches on it, some rash on the back, etc. Needless to say, we left and now I'm right back to square 1. What a huge bummer. Not sure where to go from here, but I'd sure like to know: are there any honest Gibson dealers who will give me a good deal?
Seems like might have to go to Tennessee, right to the source.
I hope you don't mind me offering, but I'm at Chicago music Exchange and would be happy to help you. I'm in Nashville every month or so handpicking woods for our CME builds and for the LP's we bring in so I know these guitars quite well....if you'd like another option I may be able to help! Davida@chicagomusicexchange.com
 

David A @ CME

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I have purchased most of my Guitars Online from Sweetwater and GC, I have had a couple of issues here and there, but it all worked out well in the end with additional discounts when there have been issues. With the Black Friday deals coming up, just wait and get what your son likes best.
I'd love to see a pic of that Yellow Widow Burst! Davida@chicagomusicexchange.com
 

Texsunburst59

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I think you should try to find the best used LP you can find for your son.

If you live in a big city, or close to a big city, you should be able to find a GC or Sam Ash.

I think your son would be able to audition quite a few good LP's and find the one he likes at a great price.

I'd never ever pay $2400 for an LP for myself, because I feel there's a lot of really good used LP's out there for WAY less.

Don't order a guitar online for your son.

You have the right idea of having him auditioning all the LP prospects in person.
 

Mike J.

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To answer the actual question of the thread title:
- Buy online, never check the guitar personally
- Avoid local stores by any means
- Rely on YouTube videos and forum opinions

;-)
 

rjwilson37

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Mark V Guitars

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Thought I'd put this out there. Sweetwater usually has at least a few guitars of a particular model in stock with pics and weights of each. So there is that as an incentive. Maybe drive there with your cash and poker face. I don't know...may or may not work, but let them know ahead of time you are driving 3 hrs and reconfirm that fact once you get there.
 

Rjames

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Thought I'd put this out there. Sweetwater usually has at least a few guitars of a particular model in stock with pics and weights of each. So there is that as an incentive. Maybe drive there with your cash and poker face. I don't know...may or may not work, but let them know ahead of time you are driving 3 hrs and reconfirm that fact once you get there.
I believe we're going to try SW this Friday. Hopefully someone will make me a deal.
 

Chadi

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Honestly, I think it's your approach. Yes, they have room to negotiate, all of them do. I have done ALOT of business with GC, Sweetwater, and Sam Ash in the past, both retail and wholesale.

Seems like they knew you knew what you wanted, and they smelled the money, especially if they know you gave your son free reign to choose his LP (awesome dad by the way, hope I will be able to afford a new one for myself, and my son one day). The sales guys must have been seeing $$$ signs when they saw you guys and heard your intentions and willingness to take out a line of credit. Obviosuly, they think: any dad who wants to buy his teenage son a LP has money, and will pay almost anything to make their kid happy. Props to you, but it's hard to negotiate from that position. You guys should have gone in 'looking for an epiphone' and let their willingness to sell do the rest.

Alot of the guys in stores have similar motivations and approaches to used car salesmen. They read their customers well, and will do all they can to upsell you, and to close you on the spot.

Up till yesterday, I was also in the market for a premium guitar, but between a used LP, new Epi Prophecy, and new LTD EC 401 or 1000. Had about $1000 to drop, minimum $700. Deep down I wanted a Gibson LP, but knew I would have to make them sell it to me, and not the other way around.

I went in 'looking for an Epi under $400 that I would only buy on Black Friday, I'm here so that come black friday, I just grab and go'. Mind you, I was never looking fo a cheap Epi, the one I was considering is $799 retail. Then I play stupid noob and let them upsell me. 'Oh, that one has active pickups, its too excpensive for me, but can I try it out of curiosity?'' 'Oh, I don't know about a gibson, thats too rich for my blood...', 'LTD, I never heard of that brand, but I'm open to trying it....' 'Buy used... I could never do that...'

Man, I played on so many entry price point guitars that I knew I would never buy just to make my story stick...

And magically, the prices on premium items drop! I do the same car shopping: 'a mustang V6 will do just fine' so that I can get a better deal on the V8 (you'd never catch me in a V6...).

My local GC's are doing 15% off Black Friday, including LP's that aren't already marked down. I have 5 within 30 minutes from home, and they are all hustling... Ive been in one shop or another almost every other day now for the last two weeks and they kept dropping the prices on me each visit till I finally pulled the trigger yesterday (wooohooo!!!!!).
 

Rjames

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So far, I haven't even been to a store that's had a new one to sell me, so I haven't even made an offer. Found out the GC was lying to me about having one "in the back".
The one "in the back" was cherry, not tobacco. Once I get lied to, I'm out the door and I ain't coming back.

To be clear, this is A LOT of money for us to drop on a guitar, but he loves playing and he's getting better all the time. What better way to keep him going than one of the best guitars? Just want to get a decent deal.
 

Frethead

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Good luck man. I had no luck finding one in a store near me. The only two LP Standard's within 100 miles were both floor models, and neither were what I was looking for. And since they werent going to be getting more in anytime soon, I went online.

The first one ended up having an issue with the neck, so I returned it and they sent me a replacement, all in about a week. In the end it worked out. I still say you'll find a better deal online than somewhere like a Guitar Center, but that's just my two cents
 

Rjames

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Update: just got home from a 6.5 hour trip to sweetwater. What a huge bummer. Guess I should have called ahead of time, all they had was a demo, and it was scratched and only marked down 250. My fault for not calling ahead. Sales guy was extremely unimpressive. Store was neat, but we didn't stay after finding out they didn't have any new guitars. Said they wouldn't get any more until January.

Not the end of the world, just out some gas money. Stopped at the GC right down the road from sweetwater, they didn't have ANY les Paul standards, only epiphones and studio LPs. Looks like I'm going to have to order one online and roll the dice. Now to find a vendor willing to cut a deal. The saga continues.
 

JMP

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Good luck on your LP hunt. Don’t disregard Craig’s list for used instruments locally. For new online purchase, I’ve heard good things about Wildwood in CO.

I was in a similar situation as you. I wanted a new LP Standard and refused to give my cash to Guitar Center (not a fan of big box stores). I ended up finding a 2016 LP traditional on CL locally for $1,100. It’s in nice shape. After bringing it to the local luthier for a full pro set up, it’s awesome. And , I saved $1,400. But, if it’s a 2019 you’re after, your stuck with online buying.
 

Mitch Pearrow 58

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Update: called sweetwater yesterday and talked to a salesman. Said the best he would do on the guitar was $2421 plus tax. It's a 3 plus hour drive one way for us. Not exactly a smoking deal. I told him that, and he said he could do a "little less", just drive down, blah blah blah. He sounded like a typical used car salesman, which I can't stand.
So, went back to guitar center, with a pocketful of cash, to try to deal on the guitar. After sitting there for 10 minutes with all the sales douches playing grab ass with each other, finally I went to the counter and asked about the guitar. 2 weeks ago, the salesman said they had a new one in the back that hadn't been unboxed. This guy said they only had the one on the wall. He got it down, told me it'd only been on the wall a couple days. I said, well my son played it here 2 weeks ago, I checked the serial number. He gave me the typical "oops" look and said he'd polish it up, put new strings on it because it needed them, blah blah. Why does a brand new guitar need new strings? I could see visible scratches on it, some rash on the back, etc. Needless to say, we left and now I'm right back to square 1. What a huge bummer. Not sure where to go from here, but I'd sure like to know: are there any honest Gibson dealers who will give me a good deal?
Seems like might have to go to Tennessee, right to the source.
I have had excellent results with SAMASH.
 

Mockbel

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I would never buy a LP *new*... that’s a lot of money to pay for a guitar...

I would strongly recommend opening the door for a used LP.. you can catch good deals and save a lot of money

good luck and keep us posted
 

freak

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Scream And Fly

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Any place will deal on price. One place I would never ever purchase a guitar from is Guitar Center. I don’t want a guitar that had played Sweet Child O’ Mine or The Trooper 10,000 times by legions of teenagers. Furthermore, I’m also not interested in a guitar that had been returned by somebody whom did not ‘bond’ with it, or found some microscopic irregularity in the wood grain. And finally, I don’t want a guitar that had been subjected to Guitar Center’s so-called guitar techs, that are hired with very little experience.

“But Guitar Center doesn’t let customers just grab and play the expensive guitars.” Yeah, just keep telling yourself that. I also know that the employees at Guitar Center will say anything to sell a guitar.

I have purchased many new Gibsons over the years and for me, it’s Sweetwater or nothing else. I may buy a clearance, cheap guitar at Amazon but Sweetwater has never done me wrong with any guitar I’ve purchased there.
 




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