Importstrings would like to welcome and HOPEFULLY educate buyers about “FAKES”!! (A topic which makes us really pissed). Without going into the nitty gritty details about the world of fakes (which would take too long) we would like to focus on just a few we have come across.
In the past we have been flooded with emails from buyers asking if a particular guitar is genuine or not. Some very hard to determine from just a pic with most queries usually coming from mums & dads, girlfriends etc. wanting to buy that perfect gift or from a young novice guitarist wanting that dream sig.

Here are a few points we would like to state:
1. Do your homework on the desired guitar,
2. Check out the seller! Are they registered? Are they a genuine second hand dealer? Do they give prompt and correct information? If in doubt ASK, ASK,ASK!
3. Check out their feedback from past buyers,
4. If a photo is blurry or the price is too good to be true, think again! Compare pics, details and prices, and
5. What country is this instrument being purchased from?
Fakes, copies, firewood crap, whatever you like to call them, we have found MAJORITY of these products originate from countries like China, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia. (Although there are genuine sellers just be CAREFUL!)

The pics shown below were advertised as a “GENUINE” product (If the product was advertised as a copy/replica etc, that’s a different story altogether). Some of these pictures were taken from a seller from a website called MadeinChina.com and openly flaunted their products as the real deal, even giving a production rate for each instrument of 50-500 a month! They’ll even give you a discount for large quantities purchased!!!
Quote (From their webpage):
“I believe this instrument will please the most discriminative professional player”
(Yeah Right! Crap!!).
Remember, Ibanez, E.S.P, Gibson etc. can squawk all they like about fakes, but it’s up to the government of these countries who create fake guitars to enforce some form of regulated law. For example, it’s a multibillion dollar business for China to make every imaginable, popular, fake brand creating thousands of jobs and boosting their economy, however that’s another story for another time.

First of all we have some FAKE Jems . Now I’m only going to point out the obvious like…
The body shapes are machined incorrectly, the monkey grip and lions claw is incorrect, scratch plates are incorrect, hardware/hardware colour(Tremolos, pegs, etc..) neck built incorrectly, tree of life inlay cheap and nasty and oh, check out those washed out/incorrect colours and crappy floral design etc.. .
These are advertised as REAL sig models. All they are, are cheap and nasty craftsmanship with inferior hardware and electronics. These fakes are getting better, instead of the C(Cort guitars Korea)serial number used they now can be found with a really badly done Team j Craft F (Fujigen) serial number. Your best bet is to compare it with the real product! Remember do your homework! Although Ibanez has been their main target over the years, this ONE company also produces fake P.R.S, E.S.P, Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, Jackson and God knows what else!

We have also included a few more pics of some extremely, crappy sig models from E.S.P, Fender etc..

This is just ONE company. There are many, many more (Just the tip of the iceberg so to speak) and more pics from different sources advertising as genuine. E.g. DNA bodies, real tree of life decal LOL! Another company that I am aware of located in the U.S.A are seen advertised selling replacements. What the!? Screaming out the word “Fake” here.
So BE CAREFUL, these are on the net all the time. Some advertised as vinyl decals with Ibanez, J Custom, Prestige, Jem, Paul Gilbert F-Holes etc. All these fakes out in the market have in some way pushed up the prices of the genuine product and for collectors it’s really sad!

Notice the S.NO and then look down the page and have a look again lol

This is maybe why from late January 2010 Ibanez has put a ban on exports of new guitars from Japan (Protecting their beloved J customs, some prestige and sig models). After talking to some Japanese reps from other companies, they may also follow therefore buying NEW direct from Japan will be no more with some shops closing their international purchasing pages already.
Originally J Customs, some Prestige and Sigs etc. were only intended for the Japanese domestic market in limited supply, so getting one is pretty special. Personally keeping them in Japan for sale is a good thing, something like a J Custom or top grade Prestige are beautifully crafted and should be protected by all means from the predators that fake them.
At Importstrings, we ONLY buy USED and we’ll still be able to bring Japanese only models. In short do your homework on the guitar you want to purchase and always ASK! I know this is a bit brief but I hope it helped.
Keep on Rockin but DONT BUY FAKES!!

More Pic’s
This is the same S.No and its on a different guitar lol (feel sorry for the guy who has the real number)