So, we've all seen one haven't we? That old Gibson Les Paul that's on Ebay... looks too good to be true? Well, probably is! Just a few questions you should ask yourself before you get too excited. One, obviously check the feedback. Usually these old beauties come up on Ebay listed by sellers with no feedback, ok not a major problem but if you look thay will have just registered the same day as the auction and only listed the item for a short while eg 3 days. This is a common ploy by dodgy sellers with high end stuff, it means there is a good excuse for them not being able to answer your questions on payment and they can sell before getting caught. They will always want a bank transfer or Paypall, never an option to collect, because thay probably don't even have the guitar. Someone who genuinely sells a vinatge guitar will prefer it to be personally collected.
Ask for more photo's! If they genuinely have the guitar then they will oblige. Better still ask for the guitar to be photographed next to a common household object as proof. Once again, not much to ask if you are considering a high bid.
Another thing to look out for is their location. Have they given it? If not, ask, and request personal pickup. Some dodgy sellers declare remote places as locations to put you off collecting, so ask for a home phone number before you bid, and remember, if they don't answer your questions it's probably a bad sign. It's the easiest thing for someone to copy a listing and photo's, set up an account and pass it off as their own. Ebay are on the case and do spot some but not all so best be very carefull.
Another huge problem is fakes! Always do your research on the net and get as many photos as possible. If you are considering a bid then see if you can go and try the guitar first, print some info off the net and take it with you. Also check if there's a case. How would an old Fender survive in great condition without one?
Hope this helps. With vintage stuff well and truly through the roof and going higher, it's a scary place out there so do yout homework and trust your instinct and lets make the bay a safe and fun place to be. Cheers