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Old CGS Forum > Community News

Guitars Getting Confiscated

posted Apr 16, 2014 16:03:22 by MichaelWamback
Wanted to post this as a sticky topic for now.

One of our members recently had their Chibson confiscated by Customs in New York. A second member had a Chibson bounce from Chicago to LA Customs, which is also a bit unusual.

While these may be isolated incidents, they may also be the beginning of a more vigorous crackdown on the importation of counterfeit goods by US Customs.

We will update this topic as new information becomes available. But you may wish to consider this risk when placing an order for a replica guitar if you live in the United States and discuss the possibility of the guitar getting confiscated with the seller when you purchase. In particular, you may wish to have them specify what their policy is if your guitar does end up getting confiscated. In most cases, sellers have offered a full refund, or to make and ship a new guitar.

There should be no risk of confiscation if you have ordered a guitar with an altered headstock shape and your own logo. This will apply only to guitars that break trademark laws.
[Last edited Apr 19, 2014 17:02:53]
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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82 replies
zoso666 said Apr 19, 2014 10:23:35
Apparently she said i need a Luthier to sand it off,which will be expeniseve and may leave marks in my opinion,i'm just wondering if she is panicking?
HtesJoseph said Apr 19, 2014 12:37:30
@ Little Ricky,Is this just an "ill let ya know what happens update" or did they seize your stuff,,Im having a hard time figureeing if anything is going on,is there more than the one,is this a legit crackdown,
My band page on Facebook, The Damn Hippies. Like it if you like it. (*};=/
littlericky325 said Apr 19, 2014 12:50:29
Of the other 2 guitars I received this is the only one that has gone to customs as shown in the tracking. I assume it's been seized. Looking at the times it hit the sorting center and was handed over to customs 1 minute later. I'd say they are waiting for these guitars to show up.

I assume it's in response to those yoyo's down in Texas who thought it was a good idea to sell hundreds of replicas/counterfits as the real deal.

HtesJoseph said Apr 19, 2014 13:02:55
Is this normal tracking terminology? the "handed over to customs" part,or is the timeing and the terminology out of character?
My band page on Facebook, The Damn Hippies. Like it if you like it. (*};=/
ParéjJózsef said Apr 19, 2014 13:46:32
yep, it simply means that it's being inspected as every single item imported.
Just call me Joe ;)
Proud owner of my 7-string "Bear" LP.
NickJohnson said Apr 19, 2014 14:02:38
Would it be "illegal" to buy something like this?
zoso666 said Apr 19, 2014 14:02:51
I,m not sure what to do guys,do you think i should let guitar enter country as normal as ,with all respect,the Gibson logo is a clincher for the deal for me,not for resale,just to look good!
TomS. said Apr 19, 2014 14:26:01
I personally don't trust that it will make it.
I was able to catch my dealer yesterday and had her change my order, no Gibson logos, my surname on the head etc. Apparently I got her just in time as they were about to do the finishing/painting. The thing I am still worried about though is the head-stock shape. I sent photoshopped pics for a new shape and logo but she did not respond as to the re-shaping just the logo.
This is my Chibson. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
zoso666 said Apr 19, 2014 14:32:03
Are you from the UK?As i have never heard of the UK customs being bothered to be honest?
SteveTebble said Apr 19, 2014 14:37:34
Grandspector1337, you can ask the seller to apply a further coat of black over the headstock logo; if it's the same black as is on the headstock already, it will need to be sanded off. Personally I think it's easier to just specify no logo at all, then when the plain guitar sails through customs and arrives safely, you can apply whatever logo you want followed by a few coats of clear. Job done.

If it's a Gibson, I'd also suggest asking for the truss rod cover to be left off. The originals are usually horrible thin things anyway, first thing you'd do is replace them.
[Last edited Apr 19, 2014 14:43:12]
God give me patience ... but I want it NOW!!
MichaelWamback said Apr 19, 2014 14:46:07
There have been a few reports of guitars being confiscated in Germany and the UK, but they are unconfirmed to the best of our knowledge - so may just be rumors.

There was a guitar seized in Chicago and another in New York recently. No word of anything getting confiscated coming through San Francisco. So far, just the 2 isolated incidents - but they happened just a couple of days apart which was the cause for concern. Other guitars following these two seem to have made it through. I'm keeping a close eye for any other reports - so for now just see it as a caution. I'm sure others will be tempted to buy, so we will hear more confiscation stories if it becomes common.

I agree, if you don't want "Gibson" on the headstock just leave it blank. You can add the logo after using a decal and clear coat it. If you don't trust your ability with paint, take it to your local auto body shop. They will likely be happy to spray a quick clear and buff it out for you for a few bucks.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
zoso666 said Apr 19, 2014 14:49:07
I think i'm gonna hold my breath and go for it,then i,m gonna concentrate on getting a custom design done,where i will be asking for advice on here re potential builders and how to make a template!!
ChibsonsandMore said Apr 19, 2014 14:55:44
It would be a black coat of paint you'd need to probably lightly sand off and then polish the finish back up.
GrandSpector said Apr 19, 2014 15:09:19
are there any specific details about the cases in Germany?
twault said Apr 19, 2014 15:32:56
For what it is worth, I talked to my seller about it who said it will probably come through Chicago or NY so he suggested leaving Gibson off the it "might be problem."
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