NGD Buyers Beware!

I wanted to share here my recent experience and warn everyone to be very careful when ordering guitars online. Tl;dr I bought a guitar online from what appeared to be a legit business, but it was completely fake, and no guitar will be arriving :frowning: I was so looking forward to getting my first electric guitar and sharing the joy with you all here as well.

So last weekend I did a search on Google Shopping for a guitar, found a Shopify site with a good (but not insane) price and clicked the link. The website looked very professional, had all the usual functionality, search bar, shopping basket, etc. I checked out the address, it took me to a residential street on Google maps. There were a couple sloppy things, but I honestly put this down to a small home business that maybe didn’t have a lot of time to polish the site. The photos and descriptions seemed very authentic and definitely weren’t just stock photos or AI generated text. I resolved to give the owner some feedback and tips after I’d ordered from them.

Next I decided to contact them via email to ask about some of their items. Their main email address bounced, so I used the contact form and this time got a reply, from a Hotmail account… Hmm, that’s odd I thought. Don’t they realize their domain email isn’t set up properly? I decided to add this to my list of helpful pointers…

So next I ordered a guitar and amp, everything seemed fine. The fact it was through Shopify gave it an air of authenticity, like ordering from a third party seller on Amazon or something (warning: if you read the terms and conditions of Shopify you’ll realize they take zero responsibility for any of the merchants they host or the payments they help to process). I got an order confirmation and a couple days later it said the item had been shipped. But there was no tracking number. After waiting for a day I decided to contact the merchant for the tracking. They just said it’s being processed and would arrive in 4-10 days. Now I was getting very worried, it didn’t feel right at all.

So I went back to their site and decided to search one of their photos using Google lens (image search). Sure enough the exact same photo, same text, everything on another site. But this one was the real deal, I did more thorough digging this time. The scammer had literally just copied their content and created their own fake store. I contacted the business that had been copied and let them know, as well as notifying Shopify and my credit card issuer. Hopefully I’ll be able to claim the money back, although I annoyingly have to wait another 10days before I can claim it.

So please, please pay extra attention when shopping online, do your research to verify that an online business is real. Find reviews, call them up, and if something seems a little off, don’t chalk it down to newbie mistakes, maybe take your business elsewhere!

This was in Canada btw, if anyone wants to know the site in question I’m happy to provide it in a DM. Would hate to think anyone else might fall into the same trap. Some of the gear they’re selling is expensive! The site is still up right now even though myself and the real business owner have made complaints to Shopify :angry:


Ooh that sucks

Some red flags there but hindsight is a thing right

Hopefully you’ve not lost out too much

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Thanks for sharing your experience, hopefully it might save someone else the same ordeal in the future. Good luck with getting your money back


Hi Chris, so sorry to read your story, you must be gutted on so many levels and I really hope the CC company / bank can at least sort the financial side.

No doubt you’ve also wondered what else you could have done and, reading your story, I don’t think a huge amount. There’s a couple of red flags as you’ve recognised now but it’s all too easy to overlook.

Thanks for sharing the experience and warning, if it makes just one person not click when the could have then you’ve done a terrific thing.

And most importantly welcome back to the Community!! Hope we can celebrate a proper NGD thread with you soon! All the best :heart::guitar:


Chris @Chrisdm
I know this is not a guitar story but we had a similar experience recently buying a piece of furniture in the uk. We found what we wanted a good bit cheaper than other sites, even spoke to them on the phone. However when we tried to make payment on line the card payment would not go through, when we spoke to the card company they said they were suspicious about the site and were blocking payments. You try to be careful but the scammers are so good you can easily get caught out.
If you are interested we got it from a genuine retailer but paid a lot more.

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I’m so sorry Chris! Sounds like an awful experience
Thank you for sharing though
I hope you get it all sorted out without too much more hassle
And welcome back :smiling_face: :sunflower:

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Bummer Chris. Hoping for the best outcome for you. Like having the cc company get you squared away.

That’s a enlightening story about shopping on the www. Sorry you had to share such a distressing story though.

Just for reasons you’ve encountered. I try real hard to just not buy anything off the www. Of course I do buy off the www, but usually it’s because there is no other option.

Also, with AI starting to come into play. I’m starting to think that the only thing that I will be able to believe, will be what I personally experience.
I’m guessing this kind of scenario will just get worse.

I agree.
“Buyers Beware!”

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Sorry to hear that. I hope you get your money back soon.


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I once ordered an item from a company that seemed legit, but there were a couple of things that seemed “off” so I had a look at their reviews on Trustpilot. I learned from that that some people got what they ordered, others didn’t. I decided to take a punt, (this firm were advertising the only refurbished one on the internet at about half the price of a new unit) but only because I was able to pay via Paypal (it was under £100 so not covered by CC), so when the item didn’t arrive and the company ghosted me, I just went through paypal and got my refund like that * clicks fingers *


Definitely speak with your credit card company and advise them you want to initiate a “dispute”. They should be able to help you get any charges reversed (though the process can sometimes take a while). I used to work on the Fraud team with a cc company and in a scenario such as you described it’s pretty straightforward: you paid for something and you never received it. This used to be my favourite kind of dispute to log as it was pretty cut-and-dried. Good luck!


I came to this post to late to help Chrsdm, but anyone caught in this kind of scam should report the fraud to their credit card company asap. They will investigate and often reimburse or recover the money.

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Hi all, thanks for the encouraging words, it means a lot :relieved:

I guess the main reason I let guard down is I just didn’t think anyone would go to the trouble of creating a totally fake site just for a few phoney sales. It’s the kind of con that would get reported pretty soon, after max a few weeks.

On reflection I think guitars are prime targets for this kind of scam though, because they’re expensive for something you can get delivered, and there are a lot of smaller independent retailers selling them.

Anyway, live and learn - and support your local music shop! Cheers! :grin:

Man, that sucks. Sorry that happened to you.

Unfortunately, scams like this everywhere. Especially if the guitar has “Gibson” or “Fender” on the headstock. You’ve already said it but it bears repeating…REVIEWS.

I’m to a point now where if I can’t find a decent number of legit reviews, I’ll pass. Full stop.

Good thing Justin had a few good reviews. :rofl:

Hi Chris @Chrisdm

I’m also late to your topic but thought I’d pass along something I do when I’m looking to do business with a company for the first time. I always look up the company on the Better Business Bureau site ( and look at their rating and complaints that have been filled about them. I don’t know if this would help for a company located outside the US but it’s worth a try.