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Why hide serial #'s when selling guitars?


WornNeck

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In a lot of ads where people are selling guitars, they go to the trouble of giving partial serial numbers and then "XXX"ing out the last several digits. This guy digitally blurred out the last digit of the serial number on his ebay pic of the back of the headstock:

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-1954-Gibson-Les-Paul-Goldtop-w-Orig-Brown-Case_W0QQitemZ280043000378QQihZ018QQcategoryZ38086QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

 

Why do people do this? Is there some fear that the instruments are hot and that a former owner (or alleged former owner!) will try and claim the axe is his?

 

The serial numbers are always being hidden. What's the big deal?

 

Thanks in advance for any responses.

"I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes." - Jimi Hendrix
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I don't know. All the ads I see on the local Craigslist give the complete serial # if there's any mention of it at all. I thought that was so people would feel confident the guitar WASN'T stolen, in case anybody potential buyers wanted to check with the police before buying.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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that would be my guess, if someone bought it for selling on ebay and was unsure of it's history.

i wouldn't touch it.

possibly the guitar in the pics may not be the actual one you recieve, which would be obvious if the pics on the auction showed a different serial number. that would be another possible reason.

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I've mentioned several times (been a pain in the ass about it actually is what it's called) that I usually ASK beforehand what the serial number is on the unit, and Google it...to try and make sure I am not buying stolen equipment. Google (each time..I don't have the bookmarks) the "Stolen gear database"...and check somtimes.

 

But this was an interesting twist to this. It MIGHT be that the guitar is stolen , but I was wondering if there could be another reason too?

 

I had thought maybe it was protection against someone reading the serial number, and making a false report to police GIVING that serial number, and then "finding it" on the net. (I also made a point of getting receipts from sellers, hand written and signed...in case of this) because lots of folks buy gear without receipt...how would they prove it was theirs to sell?

 

But then realized...the timing would tend to exonerate them...unless they said they were away or couldn't report it for some reason...

 

Second thought...probably it really IS just because they know it might be stolen.

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I could jsut be one of those things people worry about for no reason..... Like on eBay car auctions when they blur out car number plates. I dont think thats because the car is stolen ;) More to do with people worryign about others cloning theirs.... So in theory somebody could get a copy and re jig it with stamped serial number and headstock decals etc etc.. Not saying its a reasonable thing to worry about just that, that could be the reason.
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Originally posted by Trucks.Of.Love:

I could jsut be one of those things people worry about for no reason..... Like on eBay car auctions when they blur out car number plates. I dont think thats because the car is stolen ;) More to do with people worryign about others cloning theirs.... So in theory somebody could get a copy and re jig it with stamped serial number and headstock decals etc etc.. Not saying its a reasonable thing to worry about just that, that could be the reason.

There's a GOOD reason for not showing license plates on Ebay. It is possible to get a person's address from a license plate number.

 

I just sold a 1998 Corvette on Ebay. I blurred out the license plate number in the pictures with Photoshop.

 

I'm not sure why you would blur out the S/N on a guitar or refuse to divulge it....I can't see any valid reasons for that.

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Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

Originally posted by Trucks.Of.Love:

I could jsut be one of those things people worry about for no reason..... Like on eBay car auctions when they blur out car number plates. I dont think thats because the car is stolen ;) More to do with people worryign about others cloning theirs.... So in theory somebody could get a copy and re jig it with stamped serial number and headstock decals etc etc.. Not saying its a reasonable thing to worry about just that, that could be the reason.

There's a GOOD reason for not showing license plates on Ebay. It is possible to get a person's address from a license plate number.

 

I just sold a 1998 Corvette on Ebay. I blurred out the license plate number in the pictures with Photoshop.

 

I'm not sure why you would blur out the S/N on a guitar or refuse to divulge it....I can't see any valid reasons for that.

Ahhh Ok. They blur them out on cars in the UK too and you cant find out squat from a licence plate over here.
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Originally posted by Trucks.Of.Love:

Ahhh Ok. They blur them out on cars in the UK too and you cant find out squat from a licence plate over here.

Well, here can't LEGALLY do it either...but it can be done for sure (and it's not really even all that difficult). I'll bet in the UK, if you had a contact that was a not-so-honest law enforcement official, you could get it done there, too.

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

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BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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There have been bogus items on eBay...where they "steal" pics/info from a legit listing that happened already...and then they use that legit info to validate their bogus listing.

By hiding the Serial #...you prevent that to a degree.

 

I would email the person...let them see that you are a serious, legit buyer and have them check your Feedback score...then ask them to email you the serial number.

If they refuse...walk away. :thu:

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Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

Originally posted by Trucks.Of.Love:

Ahhh Ok. They blur them out on cars in the UK too and you cant find out squat from a licence plate over here.

Well, here can't LEGALLY do it either...but it can be done for sure (and it's not really even all that difficult). I'll bet in the UK, if you had a contact that was a not-so-honest law enforcement official, you could get it done there, too.
LOL A not-so-honest law enforcement official? I dont beleive it! That would never happen ;)

 

But I still dont see why we would need to do it on most occasions over here.

 

Like this for instance: CLUNK!

 

What would have happened here had they not covered the plate? Somebody goes out of there way to illegally obtain your address so they can what... Come round and laugh at the crapness of your car. People will do something unneccassary to make themselves feel safer... Its human nature.

 

Ok if you were selling a ferrari im sure you want to protect your investment in whichever pointless way you may feel the need... As would the owner of a vintage guitar.

 

I just find it hilarious that as soon as somebody makes a stupid decision like blanking out the SN everybody jumps on the ITS STOLEN bandwagon.

 

Anyway.... What are we rambling on about... and does it actually matter...

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Originally posted by miroslav:

There have been bogus items on eBay...where they "steal" pics/info from a legit listing that happened already...and then they use that legit info to validate their bogus listing.

By hiding the Serial #...you prevent that to a degree.

 

I would email the person...let them see that you are a serious, legit buyer and have them check your Feedback score...then ask them to email you the serial number.

If they refuse...walk away. :thu:

:thu: Sounds like the best plan so far.
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For car license numbers, it's just identity protection ... probably a good idea because who knows how info can be used against us.

 

But in the case of a guitar serial number, I can't see a good reason and I wouldn't buy something where the S/N was obscured.

 

Saw a funny thing the other day. I used to play sax, and while I'd never be good enough to run with the big dogs on alto or tenor, baritone parts can be relatively simpler and it's really about tone and not nearly so much finger dexterity, intonation, articulation, and other complexities of good sax playing. So I thought I'd look to see what's out there and the prices.

 

There were a LOT of auctions at impossibly low prices, without padded shipping prices. Most were from China, with the exact same text but all different sellers with no feedback. And they were copies of other auctions that looked legit -- for each particular picture, there was at most one legit looking auction with a seller with lots of feedback.

 

Obviously a bunch of scams. I was just surprised that with all the ebay searching I've done for Rhodes, Les Paul parts, and misc. other stuff, I've never seen this before. What is it about baritone sax???

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I'm not entirely convinced this is a 1954 LP. I'm not buying the "custom ordered" BS explaining the 1952 style trapeze tailpiece.

 

According to several sources, Les told Gibson from the get go that they'd done the tailpiece wrong. Gibson refused to change it because it required a neck-angle adjustment they said couldn't be done. Of course, less than two years later they had made that very adjustment, then McCarty came up with the tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece construction.

 

If it was a pain to retool for the neck adjustment, I can't see them making the reverse adjustment in 1954 for anyone. I just don't buy it. Something is very fishy about this guitar.

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I don't have my "books" with me right now to look it up, but I agree with Neil. Also, I seem to recall that all golds were only made for two years, and I'm not sure if the year is correct.

 

I'll check tonight, just for the heck of it.

 

I own a vintage all gold LP, and it does not have a trap tail piece.

Don

 

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This is very close to the 52 that I sold last winter. Case, bits and all... but my P90s were black not cream. Caps are good, pots look swapped.

 

With the bridge flipped (as mine had to be in order to play the thing) it strikes me as though this is actually a 52 because only the original issues had the neck angle set improperly necessitating this turn of events. It was corrected shortly after the initial run.

 

While you could request all gold, it was just the first batch of screwed up guitars that were factory standard in all gold. These were all '52s.

 

Perhaps it isn't what it appears... it's likely older but none the less a read Gibson L.P.

no question.

I still think guitars are like shoes, but louder.

 

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Originally posted by davorp:

Stolen or not stolen, the guitar has been sold as far as I could see for $17.000 :D

Indeen my friend it has been sold. A keen observation though slightly off on the value as it was sold for $17,000 not $17 and to which this individual shall attempt to make profit. :eek:

 

Alas... he is a musical instrument trader and intends to further escalate the already moronic price. :evil:

I still think guitars are like shoes, but louder.

 

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