U.S. Customs Seizes 85 Counterfeit Guitars At Virginia Airport


Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

At least 85 counterfeit guitars that could have been sold to unsuspecting buyers for over $250,000 were seized during a bust at Dulles International Airport, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protections.

The bootleg instruments arrived from China in late-March and were designed to closely-resemble expensive, highly-collectible guitars from renowned brands like Gibson, Fender, CF Martin, Taylor and Kramer.

“The highest value model was a [Gibson] Les Paul ax supposedly autographed by Guns and Roses guitarist Slash appraised at $8,000, if authentic,” the press release explains.

Other models were emblazoned with phony autographs from legends like AC/DC's Angus Young or Les Paul himself.

The instruments were addressed to buyers in 31 different U.S. states.

"The entire lot of guitars would have had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $258,707 if they were authentic," added the release.

In January, federal agents seized another 36 counterfeit guitars from China that would have been worth close to $160,000 if they were the real thing.

At the time, Customs and Border Protections contacted the affected-brands to confirm the guitars were indeed counterfeit.

The bootleg guitar business is a booming one, as scammers' building and selling techniques have grown more sophisticated and underhanded in recent years.

Check out this article for tips on how to avoid buying a counterfeit guitar by mistake. Check out the video below by YouTube guitar tech Phillip McKnight for some tips.


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