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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:29 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:54 am
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State: Texas
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Just a short story since this question gets asked alot.

I recently had a customer come in with a few guitars. I informed him that in order to make them playable they would require far more money than they are worth, all of them were Harmony and stella style 1960s/50s entry level ones.

He thanked me for my time and left, we had a good friendly conversation after we had discussed the numbers.

Calls me the next day and asks if I could look at one more guitar for him.

He brings in a nice tweed case, much nicer than the ones from the other day. Inside was a gorgeous early 1950s J45. And it needed every job in the book. Neck was projecting so low that a previous owner had decided to have the bridge shaved down to a little over 1/8" thick. The frets were non-existant. Bridge plate was worn so badly that the strings would stick when you'd remove them. Neck joint had been monkeyed with by a homegamer some years ago.

I give him a price (it was high) and he let me do the job. Guitar turned from a kitten into a jaguar once all was said and done.

Upon reception of his guitar he specifically said that he trusted my opinion because of the fact that I had turned down the previous jobs. And thus he felt comfortable enough to let me do some serious work on a much more valuable guitar.

All this to say that you should always be willing to turn jobs down, even if you CAN do them it does not mean that you SHOULD. If your customer trusts you enough to know that you know when to say no, they'll trust you even more when you say yes. I daresay that if you never turn down work then you're doing something wrong (at least in this business, ymmv).



These users thanked the author DanKirkland for the post (total 4): Jeffrey L. Suits (Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:10 pm) • Hesh (Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:47 pm) • Durero (Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:28 pm) • Clinchriver (Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:02 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:17 pm 
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First name: Chris
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Preach it, brother.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:37 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
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Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
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It's a worthwhile lesson... Trying to be all things to all people is a sure way to drive yourself to hating both the job and your customers..... People sometimes get so afraid of "leaving business on the table" that they forget that it's very bad business to lose money on jobs...

At the same time - those jobs you turn down often turn out to be somebody else's bread and butter work... For example - with old Harmony guitars - Baxendale guitars, Vintage Parlor Guitars and Antebellum Instruments come to mind... They do lots and lots of them - and are all set up for that kind of work....


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:49 pm 
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Koa
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Location: Evanston, IL
First name: Steve
Last Name: Courtright
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Status: Amateur
Great story - I had a boss who once gave me some simple, but clear advice: "If you ever wonder what to do, just do the right thing."

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"Building guitars looks hard, but it's actually much harder than it looks." Tom Buck



These users thanked the author SteveCourtright for the post (total 2): DanKirkland (Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:34 am) • Bryan Bear (Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:35 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:37 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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First name: Bryan
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SteveCourtright wrote:
Great story - I had a boss who once gave me some simple, but clear advice: "If you ever wonder what to do, just do the right thing."


That's great advice for many avenues of life. I have found that 90+% percent of the time, knowing what the right thing to do is, is the easy part; choosing to do it can be more difficult.

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These users thanked the author Bryan Bear for the post: SteveCourtright (Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:08 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:26 pm 
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Great Story and good advice. Got any pics? I always love to see life skillfully breathed back into a an old instrument.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:57 am 
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Thanks for the post.
Been thinking to turn one down, Les Paul with bent forward bridge posts (for intonation correction) neck "set" too far back, (bridge too high) a poor fret job, loose inlay on FB and worn frets 1-7.
He just wants some fall-off sanded in the top frets.....
Seems unwilling (or unable) to pay for a full job, and I'm reluctant to do that.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:35 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:54 am
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State: Texas
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Colin North wrote:
Thanks for the post.
Been thinking to turn one down, Les Paul with bent forward bridge posts (for intonation correction) neck "set" too far back, (bridge too high) a poor fret job, loose inlay on FB and worn frets 1-7.
He just wants some fall-off sanded in the top frets.....
Seems unwilling (or unable) to pay for a full job, and I'm reluctant to do that.


Seems like a prime candidate to pass on.

I don't have photos of the guitar in question, I think this was less about the guitar and more about the lessons behind it.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:43 am 
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Location: Southeast US
City: Lenoir City
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Being in East Tennessee a lot of people like to paint things UT orange. Had one guy wanted his dred refinished in UT orange. I quoted him a price that included the charge for a pro guitar refinisher, all shipping expenses, and a bit for my trouble. Needless to say he decided he didn't want an orange guitar that badly.

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These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post (total 2): Clinchriver (Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:28 pm) • Jonny (Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:31 pm)
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