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Discussion Starter #1
I've been shopping for a good quality/good sounding (Taylor) 12 string cutaway.

I wouldn't mind going with used, certainly get more bang for my buck - for example, get a 300 series for the price of a new 200 series, etc. but at what risk? With a quality instrument like a Taylor, is there still a chance of getting a dud?

Has anyone been there/done that?
 

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I've bought 2 sight unseen and had good luck.

I usually arrange shipping myself & get ups to pick it up from the seller.

Depends on how much you're spending, I think I'd have a really hard time stopping more than a grand without playing it.

Nathan
 

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Pretty hard to go wrong with Taylor. I bought one used and made out ok. Everything was as described except the fret wear but I still saved a bundle. Have the seller pull the strings aside and take a good pic. Taylor's have bound necks, but they are removable which luthiers like. One other thing. He admitted the handle on the case was loose (a known Taylor problem). I had a local luggage repair place re-rivet the handle for $15. Stronger than new and will NEVER wear out now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've bought 2 sight unseen and had good luck.

I usually arrange shipping myself & get ups to pick it up from the seller.

Depends on how much you're spending, I think I'd have a really hard time stopping more than a grand without playing it.

Nathan
I would be spending a little more than a grand. Somewhere between $1500 and $2000 most likely. As much as I'd like to shop locally, stores just don't keep a lot of 12 string inventory. Specially in the mid-range where I'm looking.
 

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If you're comfortable buying sight unseen and shipping, go for it! The market sure opens up if you look around. I'm still hesitant and resistant to the idea but the more folks that participate with a positive outcome the more I'd warm up to it.
 

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Two Martins, a Gibson, a Larrivee, and several vintage Yamaha -- two from Reverb, two from kijiji, two from guitar forum classifieds, and one vender's used section (web). 's all good.

Common sense, and lack of greed will likely get you thru just fine. Ask polite questions, get thorough pic's (blurry/low res' is a red flag), and listen to your gut. Maintenance & repair history are things to remember to ask about. And play ability/action at 12th.

Too good to be true often is. I like to keep to emails for reference, but a quick phone call can be helpful too. Any high-end guitar that's a steal warrants caution. Half retail is good, and what I look for. Those desirable Martins/Gibsons/Collings/Taylors? for 1/3 retail often make my spidey senses tingle. If you're not out to rip somebody off, price wise, there's less chance you'll be. Good deals abound presently. Market's very soft imo. I've never had a guitar shipped in dead of winter btw.

Shipping/packaging can be downright scary. Experience is a plus. And that's where asking questions comes in. Get a feel for the seller. (I send pic's of packaging for buyers approval/peace of mind.)

The local 'chain' discourages/refuses (folks that look like me anyways from) trying their guitars. I was forced to adapt. I've done very well. And I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box.

I've sold (kijiji) both Martins, and both buyers were very happy with the shipping, and value. I still get occasional updates, Youtube videos, and thank yous.

The very best of luck in your quest!

(Oh, and if cross-border shipping? Know your woods, and check on CITES reg's. It's not just rosewood -- mahoganies, ebony, and others too -- not just main woods but bridges/fb etc. too. Another good reason to look first in Canada. International purchases would really benefit from an experienced seller, and your own due diligence.)

I'll shut up now. :cool:
 
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I would never buy a guitar without playing it.

If you can get a money back return deal if you're not happy then perhaps, but it will cost you shipping both ways to try out a guitar.
 

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When looking for my "forever guitar" i fell in love with the new version of the Martin D-18 but couldn't afford a new one. I watched Kijiji religiously for a local deal like a hawk for months with no luck. Starting looking North America wide and one was for sale in BC. Seller didn't have a paypal account so I was pretty hesitant but I talked to him on the phone and scoped him out online and my gut said yes so I went for it. Seller said for shipping he would just duct tape the handles of the case. NOOOOOO!!!! I advised him on how to package it properly and he was happy to do so. I email transferred over $2k to him and crossed my fingers. Tracked the package across the country and one day it arrived. I let it acclimatize for a day before opening the case and once I did it was still in tune and all good!

So obviously this was one experience and it could have been a scam or the guitar could have had problems. Lucky for me neither was the case.
 

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I would try the for sale ads here or on the Acoustic Guitar Forum if I was spending over $1000.00. I have no problem buying electrics online or less expensive acoustics but at that price, I wouldn't want to get a dud that someone is trying to unload. Many acoustic aficionados are selling good acoustics because they want to buy something else. They are great guitars, the seller simply wants to buy something different. For sight unseen, I would try to find that kind of a seller and I have seen a number of them over at AGF.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for the comments everyone. Lot of good info. Never thought about about CITES getting in the way with ebony. That's a game changer.

What about buying used from an online guitar store/dealer rather than a private seller? Does that change anything at all? better? worse?
 

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Can I see some documentation on ebony being subject to Cites. First I've heard of it. Got an ebony PRS a while back no hassle whatsoever. I also thought PRS was investing in ebony plantations to avoid the whole rosewood fiasco.
 

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Can I see some documentation on ebony being subject to Cites. First I've heard of it. Got an ebony PRS a while back no hassle whatsoever. I also thought PRS was investing in ebony plantations to avoid the whole rosewood fiasco.
'Ebony' is included in Appendix II.

The genus (scientific name) is Diospyros.

The CITES Appendix II for Diospyros is here.

Nobody is targeting/restricting private guitar players. Permits are required tho, and I would recommend. I would not advise somebody to risk delays, fines, or seizures. Your PRS was likely at some risk.

Pick the wrong species, within a genus, and you will likely lose the guitar -- if it's Appendix I, and lacking proper permit.

I'm no expert. As I understand it Appendix I is prohibited (but you can apply for an exception under certain criteria), and Appendix II is only regulated.

Stewmac is likely adept with permitting. Just a guess tho.

EDIT: and I'm not saying none of the species, within the Diospyros genus, is not included in Appendix I -- I'm only saying, 'I don't know of any.' Really don't have the time to go thru that many pages. Buyers need to take their time, and be comfortable with their own guitar's specific materials.
 

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Well shiiiyet. I guess I'll have to go back to walking guitars across the border again.
 

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I just bought a 1979 Ramirez 1a 10 string guitar from Cathedral guitars through epay as an early retirement present to me. It has a large 3 1/3" ebony finger board and the back and sides are solid EIR. I emailed them whether there would be a problem with CITES in shipping it from the states to Canada and they stated that they have shipped guitars recently to Canada with no problems. It still makes me nervous so I will be anxiously waiting for the next two weeks for her to arrive. Hopefully for me the restrictions are on new instruments and not almost 40 year old ones.
 

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I bought a 12 string Taylor 856CE used from the States last December, just before the Jan 1/2017 CITES deadline for Rosewood. Very lucky to find it as many of the dealers I contacted wouldn't ship it to me due to the CITES issue.
It's possibly the most beautiful sounding/looking guitar I've ever played, and I've played/owned a bunch. Just a wonderful instrument...

I've also bought a Taylor 814 CE, Martin HD28-V, Ramirez 4N-CWE, and a Collings CJ sight unseen. No issue with any of them.

I think it all boils down to your gut. I was looking at one 856CE at a dealer and happened to notice what looked like a little crack in the top. You had to look the right way to see it. I emailed the shop and sure enough it was a fairly large crack. It wasn't disclosed in the ad.

Ask for lots of pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm still looking at it every day. Only 4 days left in the auction........time to sh1t or get off the pot. The one I'm after is a 2 year old Taylor 365CE, and it's approx. $500 US less than the new price. Seems to be very well taken care of, the guy has all good feedback too. I wish there was a 365 in stock around here someplace I could hear and compare to 254.
 

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I'm still looking at it every day. Only 4 days left in the auction........time to sh1t or get off the pot. The one I'm after is a 2 year old Taylor 365CE, and it's approx. $500 US less than the new price. Seems to be very well taken care of, the guy has all good feedback too. I wish there was a 365 in stock around here someplace I could hear and compare to 254.
Whats a Taylor 365. I couldn't find that model on Taylors site?
 
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