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advice on buying custom "special order" guitars

posted Apr 26, 2014 06:23:40 by GianCarlo
hi guys im quite new to this forum, just wanna ask a couple of tips regarding buying my own custom guitar or any do's and dont's on buying chinese guitars etc... anyways i've been in contact with one of the sellers specifically Dan Li/Susan Li's store regarding a guitar i want built just wanna know if any of you guys had any prior transactions with them... we've exchanged a couple of emails now and it seems like they're asking for payment through paypal? is this totally fine or am i being scammed? if not then should i be paying them the full price of the guitar right away or should i just put in a small deposit and pay the full amount upon completion and delivery? thanks guys
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20 replies
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JamesZhejiang said Apr 26, 2014 08:00:27
Other guys probably have more experience than me, but generally when I buy guitars in China, I use an escrow service. The money won't be released to the sellers until you are satisfied with your purchase. I believe Aliexpress has a built in escrow service. Aliexpress is owned by Alibaba, who have their own escrow division (or possibly spun-off company) called zhi fu bao 支付宝. So I would recommend using the escrow service wherever possible.
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James
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GianCarlo said Apr 26, 2014 08:14:11
yeah i've heard of escrow but the thing is i dont know if this would apply to one off or special orders such as custom guitars unless they would have to post it on their aliexpress page so that i could purchase it from them using aliexpress's escrow but that would also mean that anybody else could purchase that exact same guitar other than me...
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JamesZhejiang said Apr 26, 2014 08:54:35
I have some experience of this. 2 things I would say.

1. You could just buy a standard guitar which is already listed on their aliexpress page. In the comments section you would write "Please make the guitar which we have already discussed previously, and not this actual guitar". Nobody else would then see your custom design guitar, and you would also have proof, at time of purchase as well as email or online discussions of your requirements.
2. Chinese people are very good businessman. I have myself spoken to a number of guitar suppliers in China and I always ask them if they have any pictures of custom made guitars that they have done for other customers, but which aren't listed on their site. 100% of them have said yes and sent me the pictures. Like you, I like guitars which are rare or have interesting finishes. That is why I am personally not interested in buying a Chibson LP '59. But when you deal with Chinese suppliers, you can't count on them maintaining customer's privacy. If the design is something very personal to you, you may want to think twice.
Just my $0.02
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James
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GianCarlo said Apr 26, 2014 09:14:40
wow thats actually a pretty smart idea... the trouble is explaining it to them though i'll see what i can do... thanks james
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RussGreer said Apr 26, 2014 12:24:14
My order from Cathy was a special order... I payed via paypal, the whole amount of the guitar. If there is a problem you can do a dispute via paypal as well. I had no problem with my order it came out great. Might of been dumb luck.... I know REG does special orders and you pay like a 50 dollar deposit and pay the balance when its completed, they are a bit higher than guitars on ali or the other sights but they use better hardware/electronics supposedly.
[Last edited Apr 26, 2014 12:25:48]
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GianCarlo said Apr 26, 2014 13:09:32
i actually just talked to her a couple of minutes ago... Cathy really seems like a good person too
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ChibsonsandMore said Apr 26, 2014 14:52:15
I've used paypal on all twelve that I've ordered from various sellers.
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GianCarlo said Apr 29, 2014 11:45:58
really? isnt that a bit too risky? on a side note anybody had prior transactions in regards to custom made guitars from Mr Tien from Musical instruments in the world and 8sounds? like communication, build quality, etc?
[Last edited Apr 29, 2014 12:10:58]
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ChibsonsandMore said Apr 29, 2014 14:07:30
Paying with paypal means you do not have Aliexpress' protection. Paypal has its own protection that (thankfully) I've not had to go through yet. I make sure the seller sends me an invoice when paying for guitars, that way it is on record what I'm buying.
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GianCarlo said Apr 30, 2014 10:54:24
but wait what if they clean out their paypal account before you can report their accounts for a dispute?
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SteveTebble said Apr 30, 2014 12:15:06
Doesn't matter, PayPal will take the money straight out of their bank account. Happened to me once when some plonker claimed that the art deco vase I'd sold him wasn't genuine (bl**dy was). PayPal didn't even bother contacting me, just took my money and refunded the buyer.

B*st*rds.
[Last edited Apr 30, 2014 12:15:44]
God give me patience ... but I want it NOW!!
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MichaelWamback said Apr 30, 2014 16:36:31
If the volume of business is big enough (in terms of dollar amount) then PayPal will have you place money on deposit with them to cover any charge-backs. That way an unscrupulous seller can't rip of people and disappear onto the night, leaving PayPal holding the bag.
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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GsxJones said Apr 30, 2014 20:12:04
My first order was with Cathy,I paid with Paypal. I didnt have any problem's and can recommend her. If you have a look on my guitar's,my latest is a single pup LP flametop with a Floyd Rose trem,and a nice brown hardcase,custom order stuff. Ive another LP on order from Cathy,which is just a regular production model,but for that I paid into Aliexpress.
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spyowns said May 28, 2014 15:33:08
Curious to know how this all worked out, i am about to do a custom order with dan li and he requested half up front deposit.
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GianCarlo said Jun 04, 2014 07:49:54
i think you are better off with cathy though because of the great communication...
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