mail order?

jskidder

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I would and do buy via mail, but I'm choosy about the shop. I'd never buy a guitar from someplace like Sweetwater or Zzounds and the like. Pictures of the actual guitar and weights are nice, but I need more than that. Specifically detailed neck measurements, additional pics in various lighting and angles, the honest opinion of someone who has actually held and played the guitar, possibly sound samples of the guitar plugged into an amp I'm familiar with, and a pro setup to my spec with the strings of my choice before it ships at no additional cost.

And if all that fails me, a reasonable return policy.

Places like Wildwood, CME, Dave's, Guitars Etc., Willcutt, and others will provide that level of service that you won't get from a big box dealer.
 

musicmaniac

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I've only bought 2 guitars in person and only have one left. The rest I bought online and for me I've been happy with every experience!
 

diesel99

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Thanks for al the great replies. Last question. I've searched around the internet and it seems there's a bit of room to haggle on the price. If one wants to make an offer on a guitar, what's a good starting point? 10% below asking price?
 

KS 5150

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When I've bought guitars sigh unseen, it's usually been from the Classifieds on this site. I bought a Les Paul Custom, G0 and my R9 that way. All were great players :thumb:
 

01GT Eibach

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I assume we are talking about used postings? Roughly speaking, I would say yes to your "10%". But I would adjust that on the specific ad and the price, too. If the price already seems pretty low, I may not ask for so much off. As for new ... GC/MF is always sending emails about the great deals they will make over the phone with their "advisors". I am sure they would take off a definite discount along with a 0% credit deal for something that one would have been prepared to pay list price, saving them a good bit of money. I have never bothered, as every time I get something expensive I have already stacked some sales and discounts on it.
 

Sinster

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I actually purchased all Les Paul's on-line. I only had an issue with one which happened to be my first Gibson Les Paul. I had a replacement the next day.
 

diesel99

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I assume we are talking about used postings? Roughly speaking, I would say yes to your "10%". But I would adjust that on the specific ad and the price, too. If the price already seems pretty low, I may not ask for so much off. As for new ... GC/MF is always sending emails about the great deals they will make over the phone with their "advisors". I am sure they would take off a definite discount along with a 0% credit deal for something that one would have been prepared to pay list price, saving them a good bit of money. I have never bothered, as every time I get something expensive I have already stacked some sales and discounts on it.
Yes, I'm talking used. As for payment I landed a credit card with 0% interest for 18 months. Affirm looks like a scam with 10% interest.
 

efstop

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I have bought gear sight unseen but transferred to my local L&M store, so if there's an issue, it can be dealt with tout suite.

Don't tell @ehb I was using frenchie talk.
 
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ehb

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I knew my neck itched for a reason a bit ago....
 

Southwest

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Having bought my 60s Standard on-line last year, and having had a good experience, I certainly wouldn't dismiss it as an option. But. At the time I had the green light to go for an R9 when I showed my wife both side by side (including price). The reason I went for the 60s is because I would want to put my hands on something as expensive as an R9 and test a number of guitars against each other as part of the purchase process. So I guess I was hedging my bets to an extent. At some point I will get to test an R9 and a number of other custom shop guitars against the 60s and make an informed decision. And I have a Les Paul to play in the meantime. Just my 2 cents.
 

mjross

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Most of my guitars were purchased site unseen and that’s a bunch of guitars! When possible I like to have a LONG discussion with the seller, even if it’s a dealer. I’ve been lucky I guess. Not going to say that I did not get a surprise or two. However, I was able to make things work out.

When you live where I do, trying out a guitar before purchase is a little difficult. Not many music stores in the area. Just go with a reputable dealer and if you buy from a private owner, screen them first. You can tell a lot by have an in-depth discussion. I like to test their knowledge. Tells me a lot!
 

rogue3

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Its 2021,and online is very popular.If you can't play it (first choice), choose one of the reputable sellers many guys on the forum have been happy with.Go from there.
I've never used online.But then i live in a big metro area with lots of stores to choose from,and play before you pay.
 

Oldhophead

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I unfortunately live in an area where I cannot try out a lot of guitars, especially LP Reissues. That being said, a very knowledgeable friend advised me to look online at reputable dealers, such as Dave's, Bizarre Guitar, Wild West, etc. I took his advice, found several that I liked, then called each dealer asking for their best deal on a 2020 R9. They were all within $25-$50 of each other. I picked out the one I really wanted, called that particular dealer up, and asked them to match the lowest price I had been quoted by another dealer. They didn't hesitate to match the price. I paid about $1200 less than MSRP by doing this. They had a 48 hour return period policy if I didn't love it when I got it. Needless to say, I did not send it back. Played and sounded great right out of the box, but after my friend set it up for me, it was fantastic! Not strictly mail order, but I would definitely go this route again.
 
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zdoggie

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hey guys what about loco tex I totally agree. seems to me that being able to play before you pay is the best idea allfor obivious reasons in my case the major axe emporium is sam ash who is out for noone but himself I think there is a guitar center but they won't deal so I'm thankful for the internet i've bought several guitars from stores and individuals and so far I 've been lucky basicly the only changes i've made is pickups.
zdog
 

dasherf17

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I've gotten a few by carrier...scary thought, hearing the horror stories, but mine have been in good shape and if tweaking is necessary, I can usually cover it...had one with fazed-out frets...took it to the shop...love o'my life.
 
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dice.K

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Trying out a guitar is the perfect way in a perfect world. Many of us live in an area where there are no guitar stores. Where I live there are only two stores. One only has used stuff at vintage prices, dim lighting, and no air conditioning in the nine months of summer. The other store is a small, broken down Guitar Center that only has junk. If you want new, they’ll try to pass along every floor model they can get their hands on. The closest good store is two to three hours away.
One of my guitars is from a store that takes me six hours by car. Since there are some more really good guitar stores around there, I go there once or twice a year.
I often go to a two hour drive away city only to try some guitars at some guitar stores.

A six hour drive is literally a pain in my ass, so I don’t go so often, but up to three hours of driving, that’s like nothing to me.
Because I LOVE GUITARS.

Dear OP
Unless you are a man of acceptance, I recommend you not mail order a guitar.
There are guitars you like and don’t like even if they are from the same store, exactly the same model.
 
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DBDM

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Obviously there can be lemons in every category. BUT--I think the more you pay, the fewer lemons. I would have little issue buying a new custom shop guitar from a reputable dealer. You say you have a GC nearby? Perhaps buy from GC and if you do not like it you can return it to your local store. Or alternatively order it online for store pickup and if you do not like it you can simple not accept it. I have no issue with buying online from reputable sources.
 

dice.K

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Let me be a jerk so I can make my point clearer.

Those who were lazy enough to decide to buy a guitar without trying it out and claim to have gotten a perfect guitar even doing so were either very lucky or lucky that they had grown a pair of flappy little things on both sides of their heads only for a decorative purpose.
 
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moreles

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I would not buy a high-end LP that I intended to play unless I could try it out. Fenders are easy to adjust and while they vary, if you know the neck shape and other specs, it's way more predictable than with a set-neck Gibson where the feel can really vary to the extent that you can really end up with a decent guitar that you just don't love to play. Personally, I love some LPs but am not fond of that many, particularly with the abundance of too-heavy, poorly nutted, sloppily bound ones out there. The odds to me are just too grerat of ending up with a guitar that would feel mediocre to me but which cost "excellent guitar" bucks. All my Gibsons have been bought in person, and to be honest, they're all superior instruments to the much laerger numnber I tried out and took a pass on because they did not feel good -- to me.
 


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