Guitar Players Getting Scammed (It Sucks)

Getting ripped off sucks, but in most cases it can be avoided. However, as you become more experienced at spotting a scam the greatest threat you face may come from the advice of your own friends. So, be wary of who you take advice from. Ask yourself how good their own track-record is for avoiding scams and personal disaster within their own lives...

I recently had a link messaged to me on FaceBook to a video that was posted by YouTube guitar celebrity Jared Dines. And, in his video post, he described being ripped off for quite a lot of money, it was well over a thousand dollars - all related to the construction of a custom 17-string guitar that he commissioned to a supposed Luthier, named Nicolas Olfson who in the end turned out to be nothing but a scam artist.

Daily Deal:
Now, the story really hit me at the time that I saw this because I was just about ripped off for almost $400 in regard to some work that I was supposed to get done to the studio here. And, the key-word there is, "almost." So, I wanted to make a video offering a few clarifications about different ways that you'll end up getting into situations where you might get ripped off. And, I wanted to offer some techniques that you can use to help notice a scam well in advance and hopefully avoid it before the scammers end up getting your money from your wallet.


In the music industry, there are a LARGE handful of clueless, and inept people who absolutely suck at what they do. But, they will gladly charge you money to help you out in any way that they can dream up. Unfortunately, if you're in this business long enough, these people are going to find you, and you may lose money and you'll for sure lose a huge amount of your time if you decide to work with them.

Plus, in some cases, you'll also lose credibility with legitimate people if you work with idiots for too long. The other part of all this is that, inevitably, once you get involved with idiots, you'll later need to find competent people to undo whatever stupidity that some other “moron” messed up. And, as many of you know, it's 10x harder to clean up someone else’s mistake than it is to start a project from scratch. So, expect to be turned down by some of the legit people, if your project has drifted into a complete shamble.

One thing that's really odd, is that the clueless people who absolutely suck at working on other people’s projects, seem to be masters of their own self-promotion. It's pretty amazing that they're NOT too busy to send out a ridiculous number of contacts, of emails and social media posts talking about all of their “success stories,” on all types of other projects (even though most of those success stories are false and likely didn’t lead to anything, but they'll always be sure have plenty of pictures of themselves with famous people - who would never take their calls again).

The problem is that generally these types think that doing a little bit of work is the exact same thing as finishing a project from beginning to end, and unfortunately, they'll pump that up publicly.

When it comes down to it, you're going to need to be prepared. And, I've got some really good information for you to keep in mind, so you hopefully don't get scammed...

#1)... Scammers are great at convincing people who are poor judges of character. So, if you know a friend or an acquaintance of yours who often gets into sticky situations because of their inability to smell a rat, then never take their advice about somebody else's skills or someone's ability.

Meet with those people who you plan to hire, and use some of the other information I'm going to discuss here to find out if the person you plan on hiring passing the smell test.

#2)... Websites can lie, credentials can be faked and past successes can be total bull-shit. So, you need to vet people yourself. Ask them to meet with you to discuss what you want done. Do they show up on time? Do they seem knowledgeable?

A lot of what you'll gain from your first impression will be helpful in knowing how this person will be 3 or 6 months from now. One thing that I've learned is that people who are skilled, are also generally wise.

Skilled people don't recite canned rhetoric. They have impressive abilities and they have a way of thinking as well as, behaving that's impressive. Fakers and scammers repeat themselves a lot. They sound like a stuck record, and have little skills to back up their surprising (or, even unbelievable) stories of past success.

#3)... The price is either way too low, or way too high. Even though the scammer will often build themselves up, telling of their unique methods of doing things and how everyone else does it all wrong, and they're the only ones who do it right, they'll often give the price saying that, even though they normally charge $500 to do this, Because I've met you, I'll give you a deal of $300.

But, (then comes the catch), you need to take this amazing deal right away because my time is really filling up and if you want that price you'll need to sign up fast. So, there's always a sales pitch and a fast moving - rapidly developing idea of signing up with them right away. Because they're so busy. They're so in-demand.

Always be wary of the sales-pitch types. Most of the time, they're scammers, (not all the time, but a lot of the time). Really competent people seldom have a sales pitch. They have a way of doing business and it's low key and easy going. They're on top of what they're doing and they'll also have set reasonable prices. Plus, their fees will tend to be priced in line with the industry standard of the prices that other professionals in the field will charge.

So there ya have it, some of the things to watch out for when doing business so as not to get ripped off. Be careful with your money, always meet with people, (in person - if possible, or on the phone, perhaps even through Skype). Spend at least some time engaging them. Find out if they're acting like they're competent and able to properly help you. Because if it sounds too good to be true - it probably is.



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