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Yeah, right, it’s going back before 30 days!

Yesterday, I stopped at the local L&M and ran the racks, seeing the same old, same old.
I found a well played 1989 Fender USA, Strat plus. It was not marked that way; it was just marked American Stratocaster, USED. The price was too high for the neck condition, fret wise; but it still played well. I thought it had a TBX pot by the way it had a detent on 5. It just did not act like anything special. The trem was half assed decked, no trem arm, no case.

I tried it briefly, realized it was not set up for me, but three early appearing gold lace, possibly a TBX, updated LSR nut, Pewter Schaller locking tuners, and general feel of a decent Fender Stratocaster. The pickups were set low for some reason, and lacked punch.

L&M said rent it or buy it outright, you can return it within 30 days. Pulled out the credit card, and took it home for 29 days, maybe less.

Anyone else do that kind of buy it and try it kind of thing?

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I bought an R7 approximately 2 years ago. I was having many issues with my ears at the time, terrible tinnitus, etc. It was a beautiful guitar but playing it even on low volume was just torturing my ears. I catually had it for 37 days and the Hamilton L&M let me return it for a full refund. Normally I don't do the buy and try. Normally if I buy I'm giving it at least 6 months before I come to the conclusion I need to move it on.
About 10 years ago the Burlington L&M let me take out a custom shop nocaster for a week to try, no rental, no obligation. I ended up keeping it. Back then L&M was a lot more flexible than they are now.
 

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Further inspection, shows an October 10, 1989 neck date. Funny, I have owned at least 3 other October 10th neck date guitars. Must me an omen, or fate.

Looks like all original pots, wiring, 666 pickups; but someone unsoldered and poorly resoldered the pickups at the volume pot. I sprayed the pots and switch, reassembled.

The TBX now does something. It still seemed down on power. I raised the pickups as high as I dare. I only tried it with the Mesa F-100, and it sounded great without the treble boost pot pulled. Usually I need that pulled with single coils for spanky, sparkling clean. Not with this one. I had to compare it with the EMG SA equipped Stratocaster that usually stands out as the one, for that kind of play. I now have to check the battery on that one, before I go on.

Anyway, I need the house empty to evaluate properly.
 

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Further inspection, shows an October 10, 1989 neck date. Funny, I have owned at least 3 other October 10th neck date guitars. Must me an omen, or fate.

Looks like all original pots, wiring, 666 pickups; but someone unsoldered and poorly resoldered the pickups at the volume pot. I sprayed the pots and switch, reassembled.

The TBX now does something. It still seemed down on power. I raised the pickups as high as I dare. I only tried it with the Mesa F-100, and it sounded great without the treble boost pot pulled. Usually I need that pulled with single coils for spanky, sparkling clean. Not with this one. I had to compare it with the EMG SA equipped Stratocaster that usually stands out as the one, for that kind of play. I now have to check the battery on that one, before I go on.

Anyway, I need the house empty to evaluate properly.
I do all my testing with the house full. Its the only way to get it empty in a hurry. I'm doing some testing as we speak
 

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I have bought lots but have never returned anything. I so disagree with L&M trial policy. Try it in the store and unless it is broken no returns should be their policy. Case in point Tone Chaser has got this guitar all ripped apart and he might keep it.
 

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I have bought lots but have never returned anything. I so disagree with L&M trial policy. Try it in the store and unless it is broken no returns should be their policy. Case in point Tone Chaser has got this guitar all ripped apart and he might keep it.
Sometimes it takes a bit to try stuff in the environment that you intend to use it in on the gear you intend to use it with. If L&M can support this policy financially then I support it. I haven't taken advantage of it often but I have taken advantage of it. Most online retailers have a return period so I guess L&M wants to stay competitive.
 

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Yup, I've done it.

I did it with a Boss Katana from Cosmo Music. It sounded so much better at home than it did in the shop. Actually, I liked it so much that I returned it and tried out a Helix (it was my first foray in to digital). They don't/didn't have a Helix floor model. The salesperson suggest just getting it and returning it if I didn't like it. You need a lot of time to delve in to it.
 

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I’ve returned expensive axes or amps half a dozen times. They don’t bat and eye, ever.
 

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I have done it time and again. My intention, always, is that I hope I want to keep it. It does allow me to try things I’m not so sure about.

In the end, they have had me art ways with a lot of money.

It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
 

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The Oshawa store had a used Traynor YBA1 Mod 1 amp that I heard lots of great things about but wanted to try it at home before I bought it. I took it home and it became my favorite amp. If they didn't have the return policy I probably would never have bought it.
 

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I have bought lots but have never returned anything. I so disagree with L&M trial policy. Try it in the store and unless it is broken no returns should be their policy. Case in point Tone Chaser has got this guitar all ripped apart and he might keep it.
But I have no idea if its going to work for the band if I have an hour in store, at store appropriate volume (amp/pedal, guitar is an easy decision).

If the model didnt work, they would probably change it.

You can exchange clothes, why not guitars?
 

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I've never paid money but the downtown 107 Ave Edmonton location used to let me take gear home for the weekend to try it out.
Amps, mostly.
Tried lots of amps.
Maybe 4 guitars.
That was a long time ago.
They haven't done that for me since about the time they began to have other locations popping up around town.
 

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People have a choice of buying or not buying from a store that has a decent return policy like this. I would say that L&M gets more business this way than it loses. I am very weary of buying from a store that doesn't offer a similar policy (but I have, if the deal and the gear is just right).

I don't want a hamburger than someone else has tried, but a guitar or amp? No biggie to me. I just chew around the used parts.
 
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I like the 30 Return Policy..I bought my Junior on a whim and figured I'd just return it if it turned out I didn't like it. If the policy wasn't there I probably wouldn't have purchased it. With the no risk, I gambled and ended up with a great guitar that never went back :)
 
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They have some type of purchase/return ratio tracking and if youri account isn't the way they like it L & M will charge a 10% restocking fee. I bought an RME Baby Face and returned it to buy a Baby Face Pro. This is where they told me about the return fee, which I wasn't charged.

They also have a lemon policy, which is really good. If you buy something that is not in good working condition you have a year to return it.
 

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So I guess everyone is happy buying something that might have been in three different basements over the last three months. The old tubes got a real good work out and it was giged all over the province possibly. Of coarse if it's a new item, you will pay new price because when it is returned it goes right back on the rack not into the used gear section or the rental program where it belongs. Am I turning on the light for anyone?
 

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If it was gigged all over and looks it, you'll know. If it breaks, it will be fixed under warranty. What's the issue? That you didnt take it out of the box yourself? That's easily fixable - order a brand new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My situation was a 29 year old guitar, with an unknown history; it was not quite up to par for known and unknown reasons. I know that in 29 years it has had some hands go through it. It was not clearly labeled as to what model it is. I also don’t know everything about fender guitars from that era. The Plus model Strats do have a following, and I never had a chance to experience one.

People often say that L&M have fair prices on used gear. Not necessarily always so true in my experience and opinion. Something is worth what you want to pay for it.

If this was a Kijiji purchase, I think that maybe if I was lucky, I could find the guitar for $2-300 less than what I paid, and perhaps in better condition than the player grade one that I have possibly bought on a temporary basis. Mint ones in certain colours are starting to show significantly higher asking prices.

Being able to fully inspect, set to my liking, play with my horde of amps, pedals, compare to other Strats that I own, can’t happen without renting, borrowing, or buying.

I have let many potential guitar owning experiences slip away, because they would not let me take it home. I have also wound up with a lot of guitars because I bought on the whim of promise that a guitar showed at time of purchase.

Bottom line is that if I decide that I absolutely love that model of Strat with those features, I will have to decide if I keep this one, and deal with eventual fret repair, or wait until a long forgotten, under the bed version of this guitar presents itself.

At least I will likely know what I want to know about this Strat Plus model. I am now thinking that the L&M policy is there for my benefit, and I should embrace it.
 

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Anyone else do that kind of buy it and try it kind of thing?
Many times, but not recently.

When I was still into buying new instruments I used to go into L&M downtown and just leave my Visa imprint (back in the carbon paper days) and try anything they had. Guy who used to work there was named Cory. Super cool guy and good player who 'got it'. I still have two guitars I bought that way, my Strat Plus and my Ovation Balladeer.
 

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So I guess everyone is happy buying something that might have been in three different basements over the last three months. The old tubes got a real good work out and it was giged all over the province possibly. Of coarse if it's a new item, you will pay new price because when it is returned it goes right back on the rack not into the used gear section or the rental program where it belongs. Am I turning on the light for anyone?
Light fully on. I get it. You don't like L&M's return policy. Here's some free advice:

Don't buy from them.

It's a free country. Don't feel bound by some nationalistic pride or personal relationship with L&M. No one is forcing you into the store and making you dig out your credit card, FFS.

Personally, I've bought a number of things because of return policy, while it has never steered me away. But I also know gear well enough to know a 'well used' piece of equipment vs something tried once or twice. So do the staff, as they do pay attention to the return condition. And if I have a problem, hey, I have 30 days to figure it out and return it. I guess if you can't figure it out in 30 days, you probably should just NOT BUY FROM THEM. Is it really that hard to figure out?
 
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