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Frequently Asked Questions... and a few other things

Despite having an FAQ page I still keep getting asked the same questions over and over again. Questions you could find the answer too if you bothered to read the contents of this site.  

PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I CANNOT RESPOND TO ANYONE ASKING ME TO VALUE THEIR GUITAR OR AUTHENTICATE IT OR ADVISE THEM ON BUYING FROM A THIRD PARTY. 

Q: I have a Japanese Strat, it is red. What model is it?
A: Not enough information. Check its details against those on my site.
Q: I have a Japanese Strat, it's serial number is ....... What model is it?
A: You cannot tell a model from the serial number,
Q: How much is my Strat worth?
A: The flip answer is 'as much as someone is willing to pay for it'. I live in the UK and I've a rough idea as to what the common models are going to fetch on private sale or auction because I keep a watch on prices and buy and sell myself. I don't know price levels elsewhere in the world and suggest you check your local classified adverts or local ebay to get an idea. Shop prices are a law unto themselves so don't get the idea that just because your local dealer is asking 500 for a similar model that's what you'll get via a private sale.  
Q: Can I get spare parts for my Contemporary Model Kahler type tremolo unit?
A: Try www.axeparts.net  or www.fretsonthenet.com
Q: I don't see my model Strat on your site, here are some pics, what is it?
A: There were obviously more models available than I have managed to get information on. 
Q: I took the neck off my 50's Reissue and the body is stamped ST62. Have is got a mongrel? 
A: No. There has clearly been some mixing and matching of parts in the factory with bodies original intended for 62 Reissues being used to construct a '54 or '57 Reissues. As far as I know there is no difference between the bodies except that when a '62 is routed out for the pup cavity a little extra 'shoulder' of wood is left behind at the bottom to take an extra mounting screw.
Q: Is it safe to buy online?
A: Yes and no! From me, yes. I would say that, wouldn't I. But I guess we are really talking about Ebay. I'm a great fan of Ebay and have bought and sold all sorts of things on it. However, I know to my cost that not all vendors are honest. Frankly, you don't have much, if any, protection from the vendor who's description is, shall we say, economical with the truth. Leaving negative feedback is all very well, but you've still been turned over. 

For what it's worth I would feel safer if:

1) The vendor has good feedback from previous buyers (feedback from sellers means little).
2) The item description is to the point and relevant regarding condition etc, not just a load of waffle.
3) The vendor supplies a range of good clear photos showing the guitar from different angles.
4) It is not a private auction with bidder's names hidden.
5) The vendor is happy for you to collect the item in person.

It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, that all my sales follow the above criteria. 

Are you looking to buy a used Fender Japan guitar? Confused by what you see on Ebay and elsewhere?
 Read my 'buying tips' before commiting yourself. 

..and after doing that go to for the best selection of used non-export Fender Japan 
instruments you will find this side of Tokyo