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View Full Version : Help! Would I be mad to keep this uke..?



TheBathBird
10-10-2014, 10:15 PM
Hi everybody, I'm new here :) but I've been dipping in and out of this amazing forum for a while now, and I need the benefit of your wealth of knowledge!

My brand new Mainland mahogany tenor arrived earlier this week, and I absolutely love it, BUT.. when I checked inside I noticed what looks like a repaired crack, about 4ins long, on the bottom side (when you're playing).
It's pretty much invisible from the outside, and seems to be under the gloss. You can't see daylight through it, but if I hold a strong torch up to the outside I can see light through a hairline crack about 1/2 inch long.
I spoke to the supplier, who said I could of course send it back (although they don't currently have a replacement in stock), or keep playing it and see what happens. They also passed my email on to Mainland, so that they're aware of it.

The crack doesn't worry me overly as I live in a part of the UK where drying out is never going to be a issue, and the shop (who I trust totally) seem confident that it won't get any worse, also the uke is under warranty.
So basically, my question is: would I be insane to just ask them if they'd knock a bit off the price, and hang on to it (and if so, how much would be reasonable?), or should I accept the fact that I will be without my longed for Mainland for a while, and send it back?
Also, if I do hang on to it, will it make the uke more fragile?

Apologies for the long-winded question, but I'd be very grateful for your thoughts!

philrab66
10-10-2014, 11:05 PM
Hi everybody, I'm new here :) but I've been dipping in and out of this amazing forum for a while now, and I need the benefit of your wealth of knowledge!

My brand new Mainland mahogany tenor arrived earlier this week, and I absolutely love it, BUT.. when I checked inside I noticed what looks like a repaired crack, about 4ins long, on the bottom side (when you're playing).
It's pretty much invisible from the outside, and seems to be under the gloss. You can't see daylight through it, but if I hold a strong torch up to the outside I can see light through a hairline crack about 1/2 inch long.
I spoke to the supplier, who said I could of course send it back (although they don't currently have a replacement in stock), or keep playing it and see what happens. They also passed my email on to Mainland, so that they're aware of it.

The crack doesn't worry me overly as I live in a part of the UK where drying out is never going to be a issue, and the shop (who I trust totally) seem confident that it won't get any worse, also the uke is under warranty.
So basically, my question is: would I be insane to just ask them if they'd knock a bit off the price, and hang on to it (and if so, how much would be reasonable?), or should I accept the fact that I will be without my longed for Mainland for a while, and send it back?
Also, if I do hang on to it, will it make the uke more fragile?

Apologies for the long-winded question, but I'd be very grateful for your thoughts!

Best solution I could see is to say you would like a replacement and say you would like to keep it until new one arrives in there store.

TheBathBird
10-10-2014, 11:17 PM
Thanks for replying Philrab66, that sounds like a sensible solution.

Barbablanca
10-11-2014, 09:26 AM
Pity you're not in the States. Mike at Mainland is a really nice guy and would no doubt sort this out in minutes. His quality control is very rigid - he will declare a Uke a second for minor blemishes, so I would bet that this Uke of yours left Mike's in perfect condition. I wonder if it was pre-owned when you got it.

Berni (proud owner of a Mainland Red Cedar Concert - the last one I would get rid of if I had to barter for food in a post holocaust world ;) )

Ukejenny
10-11-2014, 10:15 AM
I can't direct your decision one way or another. If you keep it, will the seller be willing to refund part of your money?

Welcome to UU!

ProfChris
10-11-2014, 10:56 AM
UK law and sales culture is very consumer-friendly. The OP is entitled to refund or replacement, his choice. So if he decides to keep it a discount would be normal.

The likely cause of the crack is low humidity in transit. Any knock could make the crack grow, so I'd want it repaired properly. And a repaired uke is worth less, so the discount should reflect both the cost of repair and value hit.

Edited to add that if you can see light it's not been repaired, or at least not properly.

TheBathBird
10-11-2014, 12:10 PM
Thanks Berni, I've heard nothing but good things about Mike and Mainland, and I love everything about this uke - apart from the crack! I did wonder if it might be pre owned, but the shop in the UK also has an excellent reputation, so it's a bit of a mystery. The thing is I'd have happily bought a second for a reduced price, as I could do with saving the money! Which is why I wondered whether it might be worth keeping it and negotiating on the price.

Haha, when the zombie apocalypse comes I'm grabbing my uke and leaving the kids to fend for themselves (even with the crack!) ;)

Victoria

TheBathBird
10-11-2014, 12:12 PM
Thank you Ukejenny, this is a great forum!

I would only keep it if I could get a partial refund, although I have no idea what would be a reasonable amount.

TheBathBird
10-11-2014, 12:21 PM
Thanks ProfChris, that's very helpful, I hadn't thought about possible effect on resale value. The reason I thought some attempt had been made to repair it is that there's a line of what looks like glue on the inside, in fact if it wasn't for that I'm not sure I'd have noticed it. Also, the gloss finish on the outside appears unbroken, there's just a tiny indentation where the crack is (if you know where to look and the light's right!)
I'd quite like to keep it if I can get a reasonable discount, but I wondered whether it would be more vulnerable to knocks etc, even after a proper repair.

Larry D.
10-11-2014, 04:02 PM
Best solution I could see is to say you would like a replacement and say you would like to keep it until new one arrives in there store.
Great advice....if it were me this is what I would do. If I kept it I would always worry about...."what if"....

Unless the store offers you a big discount play it safe and get an undamaged one.

itsme
10-11-2014, 04:33 PM
My brand new Mainland mahogany tenor arrived earlier this week, and I absolutely love it, BUT.. when I checked inside I noticed what looks like a repaired crack, about 4ins long, on the bottom side (when you're playing).
If there was a crack that was repaired, and it was sold to you as a new uke, then someone is being dishonest.

If it was a crack that happened in transit or whatever, then you certainly deserve a replacement or a discount for accepting something that is less than advertised.

kohanmike
10-11-2014, 08:30 PM
If it was a crack that happened in transit or whatever, then you certainly deserve a replacement or a discount for accepting something that is less than advertised.

If there's glue on the inside, then its most unlikely the damage happened in transit. I also like the idea of waiting for a replacement while still using the cracked one.

TheBathBird
10-11-2014, 11:00 PM
Thanks for all your replies everybody, this has been really helpful. I think I'll call the shop again on Monday and ask whether they're prepared to give me a discount, then I'll decide whether or not to keep the uke.

Just one other thing that occurred to me, given that both Mainland and the UK supplier have reputations for excellent customer service and honesty, is it possible that what looks like glue on the inside could be the gloss finish seeping through the crack when it was applied? Could that even happen? There is quite a lot of it, but if so maybe nobody ever knew the crack was there..

ProfChris
10-12-2014, 05:40 AM
Yes, finish could wick through a hairline crack. It should have been spotted at the factory but humans make mistakes.

If so, the finish is gluing the crack together, but it's not strong enough to withstand a knock. If keeping it, I'd suggest getting cleats glued there to reinforce the area.

mm stan
10-12-2014, 10:58 PM
Ask the store for a partial refund as it seems to be the factory defect if you do like the uke and sound.What you may see
Is the finish while it was sprayed from the outside if it is under the outside finish seeping
Through the crack.

coolkayaker1
10-12-2014, 11:15 PM
I'd never keep, even with a discount, a new ukulele with a crack. Too risky.

What's fifty or seventy-five bucks savings if the crack was to worsen or buzz? By accepting money for the crack, you're basically saying that you agree to the crack and that is no longer under warranty. Wood that is cracked right out of the box is suspect. Then there's the gray area: the wood is just one of those that is crack-prone, which happens. it develops another, different crack. Warrantied? Probably not. Cracks worsen all the time...why risk it?

If you ever resell, you'll lose everything you gained by the discount, and more, if you can sell it at all.

Best notion is as stated below: have them ship you a new one with a return label in the box. You put the defective one in the box, slap on the return label (so shipping is on them, not you...this is key, particularly for such an inexpensive item...you can't spend forty bucks mailing back a three hundred dollar uke) and boom, back it goes. If you can wait for a new shipment and go there and try your new one, picking from a couple they get it, so much the better.

TheBathBird
10-12-2014, 11:25 PM
I've spoken to the shop this morning and they're going to let me know when they get a new shipment in, I can hang on to this one until they're able to replace it. I think if I kept it I'd just end up worrying about it, even with a discount.

Thanks again for all your comments, it's been very helpful. Hooray for UU!

Victoria :)

Hammond
10-13-2014, 12:15 AM
I am sorry for this situation. I hope you will get a replacement soon.

I would do the same thing, wait for replacement.

I noticed that you said the shop has also passed your email to Mainland Uke, sounds like a honest and confident shop. To what happened to the Uke actually, we are here just guessing with no real cues. You may tell us the result after the shop or Mainland figured it out.

Any blind guess would just make things worse or dishonoring some good people. Therefore I would not guess. :)

Hope you enjoy strumming and be happy with the new ukulele. :)

<<I apologize for my english.>>

TheBathBird
10-13-2014, 05:41 AM
Thanks Hammond, I'm pretty sure it's just a fault that's slipped through the net. I love the Mainland, and I'm looking forward to many years of happy strumming (once I receive my crack-free replacement!) :)