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Thread: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

  1. #1
    Registered User 5bassman's Avatar
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    Default Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    What’s your thoughts on this Flatiron on EBay signed by Charlie Derrington. Does everything look legit. NFI in this one, just some interest what’s a decent deal on it.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Gibson-Flat...97.m4902.l9144
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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    Fabulous price for essentially a MM Gibson if it is legit with no issues. I don’t know enough to tell from the pictures but maybe someone does? “No returns” is worrisome.

    I had an A5 artist signed by Steve Carlton, and should have kept it. I think these are another species.

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    Registered User 5bassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    I agree on the no returns, but Ebays buyer protection definitely benefits the buyer if it arrives and something is wrong with it that wasn’t mentioned or seller was not honest in their description.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    In that case, if you are truly interested, I would contact the seller. He/she sounds reasonable, is accepting offers and is selling this mandolin which belonged to his/her mom who has Alzheimers. I bet he/she would be reasonable. Also, I think if you pay via Paypal then I believe you have some recourse, too.

    I don't know the later versions of this mandolin but I have an '83 which is one of the first, called A5-2 and just differing in non-gold hardware. Interesting that Charlie signed a label about the tone bars—I thought Flatirons were all x-braced.
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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    I don't know whether or not it has an effect on the market value, but the tailpiece and possibly the tuners on the ebay mandolin have been changed. To some people, the Derrington label might be considered a plus.

    There is also a '98 model available from Lark Street Music for a lower price. At first glance, it appears to be all original. If there is a signature label, I can't see it in the pictures. They have been in business for decades and have a 24 hour return policy. I have no connection with either seller.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    Tuners are exactly the same as the Lark Street one. The tailpiece was replaced. It should be a cold-plated standard stamped tailpiece with Flatiron engraved like the one on Lark Street's. Ebay seller might come down to Lark Street price or else just buy Lark's.
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    Registered User 5bassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Interesting that Charlie signed a label about the tone bars—I thought Flatirons were all x-braced.
    I believe I read here on the Cafe that the bracing changed when they moved these to Nashville. I’m wondering about Charlie’s signature in a 97’ model. From my reading he signed from 99_ 2005ish?
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    There is a 1994 signed by Bruce Weber in the classifieds at the moment for a little bit less...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/149330#149330

    Seems that the Derrington signed one is in the same ball park.

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  13. #9

    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5bassman View Post
    I agree on the no returns, but Ebays buyer protection definitely benefits the buyer if it arrives and something is wrong with it that wasn’t mentioned or seller was not honest in their description.
    Not to derail from the original question, but yes, eBay's buyer protection will protect your money. But, it is at the expensive of the seller, if I may explain...

    As a longtime, 20+ years, 4000+ feedbacks, all positive, eBay seller, I try to avoid returns by clearly stating the condition, any flaws, and include the full limit of 12 pictures with the supersize feature. I also try to take clear, in focus, pictures with good lighting, usually outiside if weather permits. I also welcome any quesitions and can send more photos if requested and eBay allows this. Like I say, I try to avoid trouble before it happens by being honest and with 50+ years of playing experience -- usually if I like the instrument, the customer will love it!

    That being said, it is a matter of etiquette, IMHO, if a seller clearly states no returns or refunds, then don't use eBay's protection to go behind the seller's back and file and return claim, when it was clearly stated "no returns." That, in plain English, means you, the buyer are the one taking the chance. As a seller, I hate when I mention an instrument has 849 scratches and a customer returns it for having 852 scratches -- saying it wasn't as described. That is not being fair, IMHO. Of course, if an item is $20 or $30 bucks, sure I just give 'em their money back, if they are that petty of a person. It is when it is $2500 and the buyer ignores the "no returns" and decides they will treat me like I am Walmart or Guitar Center and have unlimited resources -- I don't. For those buyers who don't know, the second you file a return claim with eBay the entire money is subtracted from my bank account and the "negotiation" comes later, sometimes taking 20 days for eBay to reach a decision. For the record, eBay ALWAYS sides with the buyer unless a scam or fraud has taken place on the part of the buyer. I think most of us would miss $2500 from our accounts. By signing up with eBay as a seller, you agree to all this silliness.

    I realize this is an unpopular opinion, but I wanted to mention it as many buyers do expect and demand a Walmart level of security. This was a change eBay enacted about 15 years ago, to increase buyer confidence. Before that, a seller could state his own terms and many had no returns. People still bought stuff and people were fine with it.

    Sometimes I list project instruments as "no returns, all sales final" and that should be self-explanatory. Sometimes I will give a 2 week return privilege and know to keep the buyers money in "escrow" so to speak. It depends on the instrument. It should be common sense, but it seems there isn't a lot of that these days.

    Jim has the right idea, contact the seller and see how he sounds and if you would like doing business with him. Otherwise, wait for another instrument.

    My rant. Thanks for reading.

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    Thanks Jeff, well spoken and, as noted, common sense is rare as hens teeth these days as well as common courtesy!
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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    The other problem I have with buyers returning something for "not being as described" is that it can put the buyer in a position of lying to get a refund. In other words, buyer's remorse is NOT a reason to return something that is covered by eBay's buyer protection. Buyer's remorse can be things like you don't like the sound of the instrument, you don't like the feel of the instrument, you decided you shouldn't have spent the money, or your wife said you can't have it -- all good reasons, but NONE are covered in eBay's buyer protection as a reason for a return. So, MOST buyers simply say there was some flaw not described in order to get a refund, whether it is true or not. Depending on how you were raised, well regardless, actually, most buyers will lie in order to get their refund and have no problem with it. eBay stands with them, so they think they are in the right. I've found most buyers will do almost anything to get a $2500 refund, as in the above example.

    Finally, after you have gotten your unfounded refund, please DO NOT LEAVE THE SELLER NEGATIVE FEEDBACK. That is uncalled for. I'm not sure if people do that to assuage their guilt or if it is just part of the mentality of "winning."

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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    contact the seller and see how he sounds and if you would like doing business with him. Otherwise, wait for another instrument
    Good advice.

    Not many cases where I would buy under those conditions. I've been a seller of various items over many years, and I only sell with the return option. As a buyer, I have purchased numerous items over the years that were not as described, and in 99% of those cases I either returned the item or settled with seller for a discount. When it comes to musical instruments I've purchased, I daresay 50% were not as described over approximately 30 transactions! All sellers do not have the same ethics, nor do all buyers, so buyer beware, and thank God for eBay/PayPal buyer protections.

    Some "not as described" items, as examples: Guitar with broken neck superglued, another guitar with loose brace and bellied up bridge [unplayable], amplifier with blown out speaker, v.1 preamp advertised as v.2 with incorrect photo, etc.

    It happens, you can be fooled by photos and inaccurate descriptions, and internet buyers take these risks, just as sellers sign up agreeing to all of eBay's silliness.

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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    The other problem I have with buyers returning something for "not being as described" is that it can put the buyer in a position of lying to get a refund. In other words, buyer's remorse is NOT a reason to return something that is covered by eBay's buyer protection. Buyer's remorse can be things like you don't like the sound of the instrument, you don't like the feel of the instrument, you decided you shouldn't have spent the money, or your wife said you can't have it -- all good reasons, but NONE are covered in eBay's buyer protection as a reason for a return. So, MOST buyers simply say there was some flaw not described in order to get a refund, whether it is true or not. Depending on how you were raised, well regardless, actually, most buyers will lie in order to get their refund and have no problem with it. eBay stands with them, so they think they are in the right. I've found most buyers will do almost anything to get a $2500 refund, as in the above example.

    Finally, after you have gotten your unfounded refund, please DO NOT LEAVE THE SELLER NEGATIVE FEEDBACK. That is uncalled for. I'm not sure if people do that to assuage their guilt or if it is just part of the mentality of "winning."
    As I did originally state, “ I agree on the no returns, but Ebays buyer protection definitely benefits the buyer if it arrives and something is wrong with it that wasn’t mentioned or seller was not honest in their description.” I too agree that tone and such isn’t a reason to return something. As Mark said above, there are some out there that aren’t honest sellers or just don’t have a clue. I have over a 1000 feedbacks on EBay from buying and selling, 0 negative or neutral. I’ve had instances when something arrived totally different than described, and that’s what I’m talking about. I talked to this seller on EBay alot through PM and he was very quick to respond and answer my questions. It’s obvious he doesn’t know a lot about instruments from my questions about fret wear and truss rods but he provided more photos and was helpful. He even said he would provide a 30 return policy on this one because he understands that buying an instrument online can be tough. He’s been very helpful and appears to be a guy that can be trusted, with great feedback. An example of what I’m talking about, about two weeks ago I purchased a mandolin from a LARGE retailer that we all know and love (no, I won’t say who they are). It was used, and I asked questions through their chat/email system about what it needed. It was being sold without a setup, so they said it needed a setup, a minor truss rod tweak and new strings. A few days after I received it I finally got the chance to do a set up and took the truss rod cover off and the nut was loose to the touch, turntable by hand, and the mandolin was in tune and the neck was straight as an arrow,with the treble side almost back bowed and bridge was about maxed out. It needed some relief but with nut totally backed off it wasn’t going to happen. I talked to their luthier about what was happening and he agreed that it was a problem and needed to come back.They sent me a return label and a few days later I received my refund. Now that mandolin is back up for sale on their website and nothing is being mentioned about the neck problem. A case like this one is where Ebays policy is a good one. I realize its not there for “buyers remorse” or “I changed my mind”. It’s there to protect folks from hidden or undisclosed problems. That’s why when I sell something I pick it to death trying to describe the items. I’m often told my items are better than described.
    Last edited by 5bassman; Feb-01-2020 at 10:59pm.
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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    Some food for thought for proponents of no-return policies:

    Suppose you are a buyer and you purchase a $2000 instrument. The instrument's condition is as represented by the seller. But . . .

    A. You just don't care for the way the instrument sounds . . .
    -or-
    B. The neck just doesn't fit your hand, and although it may feel fine to someone else, it is simply not comfortable for you to play.

    Personally, I prefer the option of returning an instrument, all shipping costs being my responsibility. Even if the only reason is that I simply don't like the instrument.

    Also, bear in mind that you are significantly reducing the number of potential buyers if you choose to sell with a no-return policy.

    To the OP-- the price on the ebay mandolin is a touch higher than that of others from the same period. You'll have to decide whether the Derrington label is worth a few hundred extra bucks to you.

    I see that the ebay instrument has been changed over to a "returns accepted" policy. I also see that the ad for the Weber signed instrument in the classifieds has been deleted.

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    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    They also have this Flatiron for sale.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Gibson-Flat...ry!21409!US!-1
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    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kammerzell View Post
    They also have this Flatiron for sale.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Gibson-Flat...ry!21409!US!-1
    He must have recently listed this one as it wasn’t in my search the other day. He did say his mother had a small collection that he would be selling. Looks like she had some nice ones. He did say he would take several hundred less on the Flatiron A style too. Fortunately, Dennis from the Mandolin Store was able to hook me up the other day and look forward to it arriving this Tuesday.
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  28. #17

    Default Re: Flatiron, A-5 Artist Mandolin 1997 Thoughts?

    already covered in a previous post
    Last edited by Jeff Mando; Feb-02-2020 at 2:13am.

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