I've studied "confidence" scams, & I'm surprised at how easily people talk themselves into some "sure thing" or "incredible deal." I mean, buying a NEW
N4 off Alibaba for $268, when they sell USED from legit dealers for $1,700? Or those "Les Pauls" (usually "from Gibson's China factory," which doesn't exist) for $350?If it looks too good to be true, it's PROBABLY NOT.
Sure, there ARE bargains to be had. I know a guy who's been pro since about 1970, & you've never heard of him. Yet someone liked one of his shows so much that they GAVE him -- as in FREEBIE -- a pristine Rickenbacker 360.
I'm not half so cool as him, but I've gotten a Harmony Rocket & a Framus Strato in much the same manner.
When you go poking around online, though, all bets are off. Yeah, I got the JB-80 for less than half book value, & that was sheer stupid luck.
It's bad enough on eBay (you're a LOT safer on Reverb, but that's not saying much), but when you go to Alibaba & worse there are NO guarantees that "what you see is what you'll get" -- more than a few put up photos of the guitar they're trying to copy
, so of course you'll see everything looking perfectly authentic BECAUSE IT IS.
IMNSHO, the only valid
reason to buy these fakes is in hopes of selling them to someone incredibly
stupid. FWIW, that is a Federal crime (a few, actually, like conspiracy & fraud & patent infringement) that can mean hefty fines AND prison time. It's only a matter of time before someone at Homeland Security decides that some fool should be publicly humiliated as a warning...