Craigslist Scams: Be Cautious!

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“Guitar Hero? Or Guitar Zero?”

Once upon a time, I had a sudden urge to play the guitar. I had dreams of going to parties and being the guy who got things rocking by playing some Clapton tunes. I had dreams of putting together a song and singing it for lovely ladies. I had dreams of being the rock star hero of all my nephews and nieces.

I logged onto Craigslist and conducted an extensive search. After several minutes of browsing through various guitars, I found this one particular acoustic guitar that was listed as being 70% off retail price! The description stated Eric Clapton had once used this exact same model! I was like “Dang, Eric Clapton? Sold!” I promptly contacted the seller, who was very responsive and eager to make the sale. He allegedly had just purchased a brand new guitar, so he apparently didn’t need this one anymore. He advised that it was only 5 months old and was in mint condition, and was worth close to $500. After exchanging a handful of e-mails with him, I was like “Sure, why not?” I then proceeded to send the seller a check for $130. I really thought I made out good. I found a guitar that was on sale for a huge discount (allegedly) and one of my all-time favorite artists, Eric Clapton, had used this model before. I was super stoked! I was already picking out Clapton songs that I would attempt to play once I received my new guitar.

Weeks later, I received the guitar. I opened the package like an anxious, impatient kid on Christmas morning. I hoped to immediately strum like a pro, but I never played guitar before, so my hopes of magically and instantly becoming a rock star were temporarily disabled. I discovered that playing guitar is much more difficult to pick up than riding a bicycle.

I later visited my guitar-guru-neighbor for tips on how to learn to play this dang thing. He was more than willing to help me out, but I noticed he had a strange look on his face when I revealed the guitar to him. He moved in for a closer look and then took the guitar from my hands. He thoroughly inspected it from end to end, and much to my dismay, he stated “I wouldn’t pay $20 for this garbage. Eric Clapton wouldn’t touch this with a 10 foot pole.”

I was shocked to hear him say that. The guitar looked fine to me, although, I was pretty much a “guitar idiot,” so I didn’t know a good one from a bad one. I thought my guitar was legit, but he pulled out his own guitar and did the whole “compare and contrast” process. I immediately noticed a huge difference. My guitar appeared to be much more fragile than his. It was also considerably smaller. My guitar just seemed so “feeble” compared to his. The basic conclusion was that my guitar was more or less a cheap piece of wood with what appeared to be dental floss as strings. My friend tried to humor himself by playing a couple tunes on it, but he couldn’t do anything with it. Seeing how he has been playing guitar virtually all his life, I knew there would be no chance that I could make music out of this thing if he couldn’t. My friend referred to this guitar as a “very cheap starter guitar.” He said he wouldn’t even buy this guitar for his 5 year old nephew. In other words, my new guitar was pretty much useless. My guitar dreams were instantly shattered.

He recommended that I return the guitar for a refund. Unfortunately, the person I bought it from had clearly stated “No Refunds” in his listing. And now I know why! I sent the seller an e-mail, but he apparently never found time to reply.

After accepting the fact that I had basically paid $130 for garbage, I attempted to make a positive out of a negative. Since I wouldn’t be playing this guitar any time soon, and since I could not return it for a refund, I retrieved a hammer and some nails and hung the guitar up in my living room. It’s a pretty sad guitar, but it makes a pretty cool wall decoration! A great fit for a bachelor’s pad!

Still, though, I am bitter about being scammed by this online crook. I do realize that I should take the brunt of the blame for making such a risky transaction with a shady stranger, but despite my foolishness, I still hold this man accountable and I still hold evil thoughts for this man!

If I ever find out what this guy looks like . . . and if I ever see this guy on the street, I’m going to hit him on the head with my nephew’s little league baseball bat. I’ll then look at his bruised face and say “Check out this bat. Babe Ruth used the same exact model!”

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