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General advice for buying

Before considering buying a Steinberger, make sure you know enough about the offer and the seller. Here are some recommendations:

  1. 1. INFORMATION: Get informed very well before considering buying, collect as many pictures as you can and ask questions. Gather as much information as you can get. We‘re not talking about peanuts here! And do not forget: In most cases you deal with a stranger you do not know. If he‘s a reputable seller, he will send high-resolution pictures on request and answer your questions diligently. I‘ve seen a lot of auctions where I found out, the seller didn‘t even own the instrument and just used a picture from the internet as „actual“ photo of the guitar. Ask for specific pictures that have to be taken on demand. So a seller can only provide them, if he owns the instrument.

  2. 2. Fraudulent auctions: Be aware, that there are many fraudulent auctions which start right after a real auction has ended: They can be recognized easily as they use the same pictures and often even the same description (or an automatically translated one) as their predecessors. So do not hurry! Just watch some auctions for a time carefully before bidding. And don‘t forget to save information from the auction.

  3. 3. Where to ask? Good places to ask questions are forums. There are great places around like the SW-Forum, where lots of experts can provide with help.

  4. 4. Making sure what to buy on which conditions: When buying an instrument, make a little „contract“ that contains all the information on the instrument, what‘s part of the deal (instrument, accessories etc.) as well as the conditions of the deal. Ask the seller to confirm all the things written down. Even if this is not a sales contract, a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush!

  5. 5. Avoiding problems by using an escrow service: Be aware that in many occasions you deal with someone living in a foreign country. So if you have troubles with the deal, it won‘t be easy but quite costly to successfully allege legal claims. So, an escrow service for the money transfer is highly recommended.

  6. 6. Modified or not? Check out - in case you‘re searching for an unmodified instrument - if the features of a certain guitar were stock ones (the table of specifications below can be of great help). For instance there have never been stock GL/GM guitars with an R-Trem. There is at least one dealer around that is known for converting one original Steinberger bolt-on guitar to up to three non original ones. A modified guitar is worth less than an unmodified one. For collectors: Think also, if the modification can be changed back or not and how much it could cost.

  7. 7. Fakes? As one would assume, it‘s much easier to fake a bolt on guitar than the molded one piece graphite version. And I have seen quite a lot of bolt on „Frankenbergers“ offered in various internet auctions, and not few of them sold for a pile of money, leaving the new owner with an inferior guitar and financial loss.

  8. 8. Molded or not? When buying a molded instrument you have to be sure it‘s actually a molded one and not a wooden guitar, which is hard to tell only by pictures. There are many details you should be paying attention too. Note, there has been the GLB model, which is a wooden body with a bolt on composite neck. See table of specifications below.

  9. 9. Total costs: Before buying, check for the total costs of the deal. Especially shipping, customs and taxes. This costs can sum up to quite astonishing numbers! Even a price you‘d consider a „steal“ can turn out to be very costly. When importing instruments from US to Europe you have to at least take the amount you pay in US$ in Euros. Before buying, check which custom duties and taxes you have to bear.

  10. 10. Shipping: Always use insured shipping. AND: Insurance should cover the full amount you paid! If something arrives broken at least you do not loose your money. Postal services offer full insurance for quite little money (compared to the price of the guitar/bass). Around 15-20 Euros more invested in shipping will guarantee you will get the full sum, if the instrument gets destroyed or lost during its transport.


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