When buying a Gibson, Fender, or Ibanez guitar, that is exactly what you should get,
not some poor quality copy that doesn’t have the sound or playability you paid for.
Unfortunately, the web is fully of bogus web sites and dishonest individuals who may try to rip you
off by selling a counterfeit guitar under a famous brand name. What you need during this process is
legitimate advice from experts, such as those at Sam Ash who give you confidence in the guitar you
want to purchase.
Counterfeit electronic and acoustic guitars are becoming an increasing problem in
the world’s guitar market, stemming mostly from overseas web sites and independent seller hubs such
as eBay and Craigslist. Counterfeiters continue to take advantage of people looking for affordable
deals on high quality guitars by learning how to mask and promote cheap knock-offs as authentic
Gibson, Ibanez, Fender Guitars.
Buying a counterfeit guitar can have some very serious consequences:
A counterfeit guitar has no enforceable warranty. Legitimate guitars come with
long or lifetime limited warranties that are honored all over.
Counterfeit guitars have no trade-in value and are illegal to resell in the
Legitimate brand name guitars have established trade-in value and often even
increase in value.
Counterfeit guitars lack the sound quality and playability of the real thing.
The key to avoiding buying a counterfeit guitar is learning how to spot a legitimate, authorized
dealer (such as Sam Ash), and how to recognize a fake guitar when you see one on a sketchy web or
auction site. Additionally, there are some specific traits that differentiate counterfeit and
authentic Fender, Ibanez, and Gibson guitars.
Common counterfeit guitar features
Overseas web sites advertising “American” guitars for less than an authorized
dealer's price are immediately suspect. Any legitimate guitar made in the U.S.A., such as a Gibson
Les Paul or America Series Fender, will cost more, not less, if bought from another country.
If you’re going deal hunting on a web site like eBay or Craigslist, request detailed
photos of your desired guitar before considering a purchase, including one of the guitar’s serial
number so you can check its authenticity on the brand’s official web site.
Typically, shipping a guitar costs around $20 (although guitars ship free from Sam
Ash Direct). If you find that the freight costs are anywhere around $80-$120, something is wrong
and you need to beware.
Many counterfeit guitars that claim to be “American” made will have “Made in USA”
stamped off-center on the back of the guitar’s headstock.
Check the logo on the guitar’s headstock and compare it to pictures on the maker’s
official website. If the brand name on the headstock does not match perfectly or is not lined
up in the exact same place, the guitar is probably a counterfeit.
If a Gibson, Fender, or Ibanez-brand guitar sounds thin and tinny when played, or
feels too light, it’s probably a counterfeit. Most knock-off guitars will consist of low-grade soft
wood and veneers that restrict body resonance, decrease weight, and limit a guitar’s sustain.
Most American-made guitars feature a gig bag or hardshell case as an added
accessory, whereas most counterfeit guitars will have the case priced
Any authorized dealer will display the “Authorized Dealer” logo of the guitar brand
in question somewhere on their web site. Sam Ash Direct is the perfect example of this, we are
proud to be authorized dealers of Gibson, Fender, Ibanez and more popular brands of electric
guitars and we have over 87 years of experience to help you.
Sam Ash guarantees authentic guitars and customer
extremely important that your quest for the perfect guitar takes you to a
trustworthy seller. Sam Ash is committed to ensuring that the guitar you buy is authentic and
will last throughout your life as a guitarist. Sam Ash 100% guarantees that any guitar or accessory
you buy from their massive inventory is real and well worth the investment, so start your smart
guitar shopping today with Sam Ash.