Saturday, August 21, 2010

Shanzai Guitars?

I was browsing the web looking for guitar chords/tabs for Chinese songs when I saw an ad for a Takamine guitar for ¥880 (~$130). Curious, I clicked on the link and it brought me to Taobao which is kinda like an online mall where individuals can sell their stuff.

Since the listing doesn't say much, I went to the Takamine website to find out the specs for this guitar. Surprisingly (or not I guess), I couldn't find this model on Takamine's website nor their 2010 price list. The Taobao listing says they have 994 units left for sale. That's a lot of fake guitars. Maybe they have "Taylor" guitars at Taobao too.


I translated the listing using Google Translate, scrolled down further, and saw that there is a description and more pictures. On the photo of the soundhole, you can see a sticker that says Takamine "Dragon" series. I searched for Takamine Dragon and found that there is an entry-level D-series sold in Asia.

Hmm... so maybe it's legit, though the sticker looks suspiciously cheap and there's no serial number (which is easy to fake as well). I looked on Musician's Friend and they're selling Jasmine (by Takamine) branded guitars for ~$100 so maybe these are the same models.


Ha! They have Taylor guitars on Taobao. I searched for a Taylor 414CE and saw that the average asking price was ¥16000... that's about $2,350 or close to the US list price. I have a 2003 414CE-L4 (limited edition) which cost me ~$1,500 new so these prices are crazy high. Maybe they're real Taylor guitars then.

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