Gibson has warned that Chinese wholesale product sites such as TradeTang.com, DHGate.com and MadeInChina.com are selling cheap, fake Gibson and Epiphone guitars boldly advertised at “Super Low Prices”.
The firm cites the experience of a poster on Scams.com by the name of MosriteCharlie, who was hustled into purchasing a fake guitar.
MosriteCharlie’s recent post read: “Back in July of this year, I purchased two electric guitars that I was led to believe were American made guitars. To make a long story short, I was scammed big. That is not what I actually received. I received counterfeit fakes.”
The fake guitar epidemic isn’t new to Gibson, which has invested considerable efforts to remove counterfeits from sites like these or to shut them down entirely.
Gibson’s manager of brand protection Ric Olsen said: “We work diligently to protect the investments of our consumers by taking action against those who sell counterfeit and infringing guitars.
“Wholesale product sales sites like TradeTang are clearinghouses for fake guitars. Some of these sites have policies that allow for quick removal of sellers with counterfeits or infringing pieces, but sometimes it takes a long time for a site to respond and sometimes they never respond at all.”
Gibson reports that TradeTang has been virtually unresponsive to its legal demands to remove sellers of infringing and counterfeit pieces. The website hasn’t taken down any fake guitars or sellers from its site. Though counterfeit guitars are still rampant on its site, DHGate has responded to Gibson’s demands by making some effort to better police its site.
Meanwhile, TradeTang continues to blatantly market fake guitars, sending out email blasts featuring these instruments and paying for Google ads to lure musicians to its site.
“TradeTang works as many popular e-commerce and auction sites do, except they have inferior reporting mechanisms in place to take down these illegal sales,” explained Olsen. “TradeTang has a link on each page for reporting infringing or fake product, but it’s useless because they don’t take any action.”
To report incidents, consumers should visit: http://www.ic3.gov/.
For questions about a guitar’s authenticity, contact the Gibson Customer Service team at firstname.lastname@example.org.