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Why You Should Avoid Buying Counterfeit Guitars | Teach Yourself Guitar Now

Why You Should Avoid Buying Counterfeit Guitars

Like most other big name products, many counterfeit guitars are produced to trick those looking for a quality product at a low price. Counterfeits are prevalent in the stringed instrument industry due to the many quality brands available: Gibson, Fender, Ibanez, etc. Identifying counterfeits can be extremely difficult.

Brand Name vs. Counterfeit Guitars: What’s the Difference?

There are many things to be concerned about when you buy a counterfeit guitar. They are missing the craftsmanship, guaranteed protection and trade-in value of true, brand name guitars. The counterfeit guitars were not built by brand companies like Gibson, Fender, or Ibanez, so counterfeit guitars are not covered by warranties because they are not made with the same quality the brand companies offer.

It is also illegal to resell counterfeit guitars in the United States so those guitars have no trade-in value, while many legitimate brand name guitars have high trade-in value that can increase over time. Counterfeits are also made with lower quality materials that affect sound quality and playability in order to lower production costs.

How to Identify a Counterfeit Guitar

The sale of counterfeit guitars is illegal in the United States, yet that doesn’t stop people from selling them on sites like eBay or Craigslist. The only way to be sure you are getting a guitar officially manufactured by one of the big-name brands is to buy from an authorized dealer. If you are buying from a different company or individual person, it’s important to learn how to identify a counterfeit.

These are the five things you should look for to spot counterfeit guitars:

The Price Seems Too Low: Counterfeit guitars are constructed with low quality materials, allowing them to be sold for prices much lower than their licensed counterparts. If the price seems too good to be true, it usually is. Also, a guitar should cost more, not less when bought internationally.

Cost of Shipping: A guitar typically costs around $20 to ship. If shipping costs are much higher (around $100) that might indicate the guitar is being shipped internationally and made by a counterfeit company.

Suspicious Looking Logos: Compare the logo on any instrument you plan on buying with the logos on the company’s website. If they don’t match perfectly or are located in a different area, it most likely is a counterfeit guitar. Also, some counterfeit guitars will have “made in the USA” stamped off center on the guitar headstock.

The Craftsmanship is Questionable: If the guitar sounds thin when played or feels too light compared to other quality guitars, it is probably a counterfeit. The cheap, subpar materials and veneers used to construct counterfeits is the cause of these issues.

The Instrument is Not From an Authorized Dealer: Buying a guitar from an online auction service or overseas website is how most people are fooled into buying counterfeits. If you buy from one of these sites, make sure they provide close up images of the guitar’s serial number and logos.

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