View Full Version : Another Pawn shop with a fake Gibson

Apr-15-2009, 8:00am
There has to be someone pulling this scam on all these pawn shops. This guy is selling his as a "reproduction" of a Gibson F9. Unfortunatley that is illegal as well.


Bob Andress
Apr-15-2009, 8:24am
Listing has been pulled.

Apr-15-2009, 8:36am
Could be the fact that it was reported as a counterfeit. ;)

Apr-15-2009, 8:39am
Glad to see that ebay pulled that one pretty quick. Maybe they are paying more attention when good people expose these things to them.

Apr-15-2009, 8:43am
When someone actually advertises that they are selling a fake eBay probably reacts pretty fast. All of these pawn shops have been giving someone money for these A-9's. They are always described as A-9's. They are taking a hit one way or the other. It has to be the same person or group of people doing this.

Bob Andress
Apr-15-2009, 9:31am
This makes me wonder if there shouldn't be a "Pawn Shop Cafe" where shop owners can post about recent scams to look out for with photos of the junk and a description of the perps.

Maybe Scott should help them out with that ;)

Apr-15-2009, 9:43am
I actually suggested to the last pawn shop owner that I was corresponding with about one of these that he should contact any organization they might have and tell them about this scam. I have no idea if he did or didn't.

barney 59
Apr-15-2009, 1:13pm
I think it's interesting that it's almost always a pawn shop and I'm somewhat surprised. Pawnshop owners that I've had contact with for various reasons are pretty savey and cold hearted to boot. Pawnshops handle alot of instruments and they would have an eye for quality and have I'm sure had every clever little hustle that a junkie can come up with gets tried on them. I can't imagine the guy at Lincoln Loan ever being on the short side of any deal.This being done on-line and maybe being pawnshops makes me think that these sellers are the scam and not the victims. How it works I don't really get since they get shut down alot but they keep popping up -different pawnshops in different locations and far apart. Being online no matter what it says it could be coming from the same place anyway. Has anyone ever figured out if these pawnshops have a physical address? Are they pawnshops at all? Has anyone ever been to one of these?

Apr-15-2009, 1:18pm
I've corresponded with two of these pawn shop owners in two different states, there was an auction we found here that was later put back up as a warning to other pawn shops. The pawn shops are the victims here. I first thought they were buying these from a distributor, I'm convinced they are not. I am convinced also that someone that travels frequently between California and Arizona and at times into Texas is pulling this off. They are brick and mortar businesses.

barney 59
Apr-15-2009, 3:02pm
Ever try selling something or pawning something at a pawnshop? (They are nicer if your buying)
I have in former desperate times. They really are about taking advantage of people in desperate circumstances -that is their true business. Like in the old blues song that asks the question about what the three balls stand for and the answer being "2 to 1 baby you don't get your things back at all." I don't really have alot of sympathy if maybe for once the shoe landed on the other foot. You ever notice the heavy set guy sitting in the back room, leather jacket maybe , eating a sandwich? He's there to break your legs if you try and pull something. I would be very nervous walking into a pawnshop trying to "pawn" off some fake to one of these guys. I do however feel sorry for the poor bidder who thinks they are getting something real and bids on these. I spend too much time looking at instruments on e-bay and it is curious that I don't see that many other instruments being offered by "pawnshops" --just these fakes. These "pawnshops" always have superhigh positive feedback with power seller numbers attached as well. Then there stuff gets pulled? When these things get shut down you never know why- it could be from bootlegged sites as opposed to it being listed as a copy. This happens alot because, apparently, there are alot of computer savvy sleezebags out there. Ebay I think is always trolling to catch that and the sleezebags keep getting better. There are a fair number of instruments listed as copys or "lawsuits" and they rarely if ever get pulled. I think that if someone complains about an item a red flag goes up and they look at the site and if the site is bad it goes away-- I don't think that they are all that fused about things that are copies especially if they admit to being copies. I can paint a Picasso and it's legal unless I try and sell it as a Picasso. There are millions of copies on e-bay and for them to police copy rights and such it would be overwhelming and for them to have the expertise to know it was fake on every item would be daunting.
It's too bad that ebay decided to hide the bidders identity because in a circumstance like this it was easy to warn them. I've also received threatening emails from other bidders on things so I get why they stopped that practice.

Apr-15-2009, 9:06pm
I'm sure you're much more experienced than I am, I simply went to the trouble to talk to the folks involved with these and try to get to the bottom. I didn't start out to do it, it just happened. I'm a pretty good judge of character even online but I'm certain you're experiences are probably a better judge of what is happening than my conversations ever would have been. Generally I find that knowledge from a distance always trumps actual investigation.

Apr-15-2009, 10:58pm
Generally I find that knowledge from a distance always trumps actual investigation.


Apr-15-2009, 11:39pm
There has to be someone pulling this scam on all these pawn shops. This guy is selling his as a "reproduction" of a Gibson F9. Unfortunatley that is illegal as well.


Hard to believe that anyone is making any money selling to Pawn Shops because I can speak from experience (I have friends who work in them and one owns a shop) that Pawn shops are notoriously known for not giving you anything close to what something is worth and even worse if you pawn it to them and do not redeem it.

A pawn shop might give $25 or $30 dollars for one of those mandolins.

I took a Mid Mo that I paid $400.00 for it into a local pawn shop to try and trade in on or sell to get a guitar they had in there and they would not give me more than $30.00 for the Mid Mo. I told the guy $%#$%#@** and walked out! LOL!

barney 59
Apr-15-2009, 11:49pm
Mike, When I first saw these things cropping up I did communicate with the sellers on several of those auctions. Some responded ,some didn't reply,some argued back,some said "oh really" or had a good story and soldiered on anyway-- managing to get their item sold, some of them were shut down by e-bay but only one was unilaterally shut down by the seller. I know that if I'm informing the seller there are scores of others doing the same so they have to have a pretty good idea by the time that the auction is closing that it's not a genuine Gibson. I think it says alot if the auction closes down with "seller closed auction early because of an error in the listing" as opposed to an ebay shut down with caution warnings attached.
Mostly, now, I've pretty much have learned to just scan past them when I see one like I do with "blue" mandolins or Johnsons and the other junk. I'm not sure why this had to get personal, maybe your a much more trusting person than I am or nicer guy or something. If I offended you in someway I'm sorry. Maybe these guys are the bag holders but I feel with all the similarities that most of these auctions have they are the originators, in any case they are the ones selling fakes.

Apr-16-2009, 1:07am
I'm sure these scammers do a lot of research before they walk into a pawnshop with an instrument. They must size up a prospect using a number of factors before they decide whom they're going to scam, not the least being the size of the guy behind the screen. They must look at the kind of instruments hanging up there, and probably chat up the pawnbroker a bit to suss out his/her knowledge of instruments, but being careful to not arouse suspicion. Then they would come back later with their instrument, maybe days later. They have to determine in advance if they're going to be successful in their operation, or they'd be out of business pretty quickly.

This is conjecture on my part, but that's how I would do it. You'd have to be really stupid to just walk into any old pawn shop and try to pull a scam like this without having as much in your favor beforehand as possible.

Apr-16-2009, 7:37am
A pawnbroker has to "know a little bit about a lot of things"* and probably is deceivable regarding what is or ain't a Gibson A-9. I'm sure that mandolins generally make up a tiny fraction of the business. He needs to be able to tell real jewels from glass, actual Italian purses from Vietnamese knock-offs, gold from "fools' gold," etc. etc. He also has to be able to distinguish legitimate customers from those trying to fence stolen loot.

Even a reputable one could be excused for mis-ID-ing a clearly labeled Gibson fake. The test of his reputability, is whether he recognizes an error and retracts his auction item when the fake-ness is pointed out to him.

As for the hulking kneecapper in the leather jacket hanging about in the rear -- he's probably just a moonlighting investment banker or AIG insurance broker...

*"...but I don't know enough about you..."

barney 59
Apr-16-2009, 11:58am
As to character of these guys there is another fake up from a place-- EZ Pawn Plus of Henderson NV. They also seem to have a store in Las Vegas. He does a big business in internet coin sales. He is passing it off as a Gibson A-9 "Mint". He is a brick and mortar place after all and that is confirmed because I looked it up. The only thing is I remember this one, a few weeks back he had this mandolin or one just like it posted on ebay. I remember the ad but I don't remember how it turned out, if it sold or if it disappeared. He is doing it again and passing it off as genuine but he has to know it is a fake this time around.
What do you want to know?

Apr-16-2009, 12:27pm
Barney, maybe a link would be better or include the complete information. The title of the auction is:

Mandolin A-9 Model MINT! Help me get my money back!
Bought for 650.00 as a real Gibson and was ripped off!!

What is it you want to know? He obviously knows it's a fake. His text in the auction is:

"You are bidding on the Mandolin A-9 Model. This item is in MINT CONDITION!!!!! Do NOT Miss Out on this GREAT Mandolin!!!!!!!

I was ripped off, and am now doing the honest thing, PLease help me to atleast get some money back..."

We're familiar with this guy, we corresponded with him, there is even a thread about this mandolin here, but you've got all that covered. It has been reported to eBay again and they'll take it down. Perhaps we should incude everything when we are making a point. You seemed to have left all that out.

Here's (http://cgi.ebay.com/Mandolin-A-9-Model-MINT-Help-me-get-my-money-back_W0QQitemZ400043840638QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_De faultDomain_0?hash=item400043840638&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1240%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C 240%3A1318%7C301%3A0%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50) the link. Watch for it to disappear.

barney 59
Apr-16-2009, 4:37pm
That mandolin was relisted from last night to this morning.The ad originally did not refer to it being anything but genuine. I e-mailed him about it late last night and then in the morning he had the "help me" listing.I replied here before I opened up ebay. I probably would have missed it all together but I put it on my watch list and I noticed the "relisted item" and opened it up. I should have posted again with a disclaimer then because I knew I would be bit but I was headed out the door.
The "What do you want to know?" was in response to allenhopkins "*" which I took as a question directed at me and I guess it was easily misconstrued the way I wrote it.

Apr-17-2009, 7:45am
Like I said, a link is always helpful.

Apr-17-2009, 10:03am
The "What do you want to know?" was in response to allenhopkins "*" which I took as a question directed at me and I guess it was easily misconstrued the way I wrote it.

Actually, Barney, the asterisk was a feeble attempt at humor, quoting the song I Don't Know Enough About You:

I know a little bit about a lot of things
But I don't know enough about you
Just when I think you're mine, you try a different line and
Baby, what can I do?

-- by Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour

Sorry to confuse...

barney 59
Apr-17-2009, 12:20pm
I would just as soon let this matter rest and vow to keep my rants at bay in the future-- but just to clarify things a little-- while you saw the listing (#400043840638) on Thursday morning I saw on Wednesday night listing #(200332041921) and I remembered that he had tried to sell it before. I can take insinuations that I'm stupid- I think we all get to take turns on that but the accusation of dishonesty kind of bothered me.

Apr-17-2009, 1:23pm
Like I said, include a link and there isn't any question. Link to the auction you saw (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200332041921&ru=http%3A%2F%2Fshop.ebay.com%3A80%2F%3F_from%3DR4 0%26_trksid%3Dp3907.m38.l1313%26_nkw%3D20033204192 1%26_sacat%3DSee-All-Categories%26_fvi%3D1&_rdc=1).

Apr-18-2009, 10:15pm
It's moved again:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Mandolin-A-9-Model-MINT-Help-me-get-my-money-back_W0QQitemZ400043840638QQihZ027QQcategoryZ10179 QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Here's my problem with his saying he paid $650 for it.
It's not common for any pawn shop dealer to pay that much for an F5 let alone an A9. If they knew anything at all about the retail price vs. wholesale price or street price of a real Gibson A9 would they loan $650 on it? NOT!
Is there not a standard formula they use like 10Cents on the dollar? then they sell it after the 30/60 days for 50 cents on the dollar?
But I still have a problem thinking someone is making these things up by buying the imports with blank headstocks in bulk say at $30 each and then "Gibsons" it up with a $1 decal and label. He takes it to a pawn shop who loans him the $30 for it? Where is the profit for the scammer? Whatever the source for these mass produced fakes GibsonCo. really needs to find the source and shut it down.

Apr-19-2009, 12:17am
I think I'm going to use the closeup of the headstock as my background. I crack up just looking at it. The decal isn't even centered! :))