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Finished 000
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Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3594
Here is the Stewmac Triple-O I built for a guy in Kentucky, special ordered with adirondack top, exact nut width, exact neck shape, etc. Don't ask me why he was willing to order a guitar from a kit guy like me, but he did though I protested. I wasn't charging him much and the kit, etc., cost me nearly as much as he was paying. He sent a 50% deposit, and when I told him the guitar was ready to ship, he said he didn't want it any more and he has demanded his deposit back. Anyway, live and learn. Sure takes the fun out of it.

Here are some pictures. If you want to see any more pix and hear a sound file, go here.





Oct 20, 06 | 1:34 pm
jhowell

Total Topics: 37
Total Posts: 676
Bill--

The guitar is beautiful. It is his loss! My immediate goal is to make sure that friends and family are provided with instruments. I want to remain a hobbiest though the first dozen or so before thinking about a commercial venture. There was a thread not too long ago on the OLF that dealt with these issues and it looks like quite a few people had been 'burned' on a handshake deal. If memory serves me correctly, the consensus was that deposits (50% of price) minus 10% would be refunded prior to aquiring materials. Deposits would not be refunded if the client backed out after materials were acquired and construction under way. Payment in full prior to delivery. Any changes in specs agreed to in writing with appropriate financial adjustments. All of the above could be done in a couple of pages of agreement, I suppose.

I guess if it were me I'd give the turkey his money back, but not without mentioning small claims court, just to let him stew a little.

Oct 20, 06 | 2:13 pm
CrowDuck

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 151
Bill,

You might consider auctioning this on eBay. I once saw a finished 000 StewMac kit guitar sell there, and I was really surprised at how high the bidding went.

CrowDuck

Oct 20, 06 | 3:29 pm
jhowell

Total Topics: 37
Total Posts: 676
Bill--

I'd second the E-Bay idea. You'll have nothing to lose with a fair reserve price set and as CrowDuck says, you might just be pleasantly surprised.

--Jim

Oct 21, 06 | 6:22 am
Craig

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 58
Wow, the sound file is terrific Bill. I thought the guitar sounded sweet. Now I"m thinking I might order one :-)

Craig

Oct 21, 06 | 5:19 pm
Craig

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 58
BTW, I'd be tempted to keep the 50% that's what a deposit is for. It's to ensure that the purchaser is serious about completing the purchase and to make sure the materials have been paid for in the event someone backs out.
I would not refund unless there was a specific human reason for it ie. death, bankruptcy etc. etc. Changning your mind isn't part of the deal.

Craig

Oct 21, 06 | 5:21 pm
leftykitman

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 137
That's beautifull Bill!!!!!! You should'nt have any problem selling that guitar.
Paul

Oct 28, 06 | 11:36 am
John Mayes

Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 6
Very nice!!!

John

Dec 09, 06 | 8:15 pm
bestillduck

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 10
What is the end of the story?

Aug 15, 07 | 8:57 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Great job Bill. I agree, the moron's lost, but in the future, definitely keep the deposit. Make sure the deposit covers the cost of materials and supplies, and you are covered. Ebay is a huge possibility here, especially if you add a case to it. That or craigs list, if you have not tried that already, awesome tool. (www.craigslist.com)

Aug 16, 07 | 6:51 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Bestillduck -- The end of the story. I guy in Oregon contacted me and bought the guitar. He loves it, even giving it a total accolade on the Acoustic Guitar Magazine Gear Forum a couple of weeks ago; he and I emailed following that and he confirmed that it genuinely loves the guitar, calling it the "favorite guitar he has ever owned."

All is well.

Bill

Aug 17, 07 | 5:10 am
JLT

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 10
When I was making custom tents, my policy was that if the customer canceled the order after the tent was made, I would refund the deposit only after the tent was sold to somebody else. That way, I'd be covered for the materials and labor even if the tent wasn't sold (which, by the way, never happened ... the tent would almost always get sold to somebody within a couple of weeks of the news of its availability getting around). When I broke my arm one year, I offered to return the deposits of anybody who had tents on order, but everybody told me to keep the money and make them a tent when the arm got better (which it did ... the tents were delivered four months later).

Most of the instrument makers I've talked to have a similar policy. The only exception I could think of is where a maker promised the instrument within a certain time frame, took the deposit, and blew off the customer. And lamentably, that happened a lot in the folk harp industry in the past twenty years, so it's understandable that customers get a little edgy when their stuff doesn't get shipped when they thought it would.

Bottom line: get it on paper, including any time commitments as well as specs for the job. Then (if you're a maker) honor that commitment as if your personal reputation depended on it, because it does. If you're the customer, keep to your end of the bargain; don't expect miracles or special treatment.

Dec 04, 07 | 8:36 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
JLT -- Good advice and good system. If I ever build one again for somebody else, I'll use it.

Thanks -- Bill

Dec 05, 07 | 5:56 am



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