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View Full Version : Is this even legal? eBay "Pono" listing



hammer40
06-06-2016, 04:53 AM
I came across this listing on eBay and was wondering if you can legally take an instrument, change it and still sell it under the original manufacturers name? Not to mention, if you blow up the pictures it was a shoddy job at that. He does mention that he worked on it, but should you have to remove the logo at some point?

I already forwarded the listing to Andrew/Pono.

This is the listing
http://www.ebay.com/itm/PONO-CUSTOM-EBONY-TENOR-SLOT-HEAD-4A-KOA-TOP-PICKUP-/291784107241?hash=item43efb024e9:g:iWcAAOSwbYZXVNk 6

Rllink
06-06-2016, 05:05 AM
I would think that you could. I mean, people customize all kind of things. I own an 83 Yamaha XS650 motorcycle that I have customized into a cafe racer. It does not look anything like it did when it came out of the crate, but it is still an 83 Yamaha XS650. I don't know what the problem would be, he is quite clear that he is selling a customized Pono.

cml
06-06-2016, 05:05 AM
Why not? You can modify pretty much anything, cars as an example, extensively and still sell it using a brand name. But you do have to give full disclosure of what's been done etc. This listing is obviously not a Pono anymore, but merely something based on it. I wouldnt buy it. I seriously doubt it'll affect the brand image at all.

Mivo
06-06-2016, 05:13 AM
I find it more curious that they state that they got a damaged instrument, got their money back from the insurance, then had it fixed up and now sell it for $1700. I doubt it's a legal concern, but somehow it seems off.

Down Up Dick
06-06-2016, 05:18 AM
Caveat Emptor! :old:

jgarber
06-06-2016, 05:24 AM
The seller is pretty straighforward as to what he is selling. We are all free to walk away from this one, esp at that price.

PhilUSAFRet
06-06-2016, 06:53 AM
Pictures very useful...................;)

kohanmike
06-06-2016, 07:39 AM
I don't see a problem with it. As some of you might know, I take Rondo Hadean solid body bass ukes and modify them into various other style basses, like Hofner violin, AudioVox Serenader, Rickenbacker walnut, Fender Jaguar, Gidbson GB3 SG, and call them modified Rondo Hadeans. I even converted an Epiphone Les Paul Express guitar into a bass, and call it a converted Les Paul Express.

mmfitzsimons
06-06-2016, 07:42 AM
No, there's no law at all, it is in fact a Pono. It's a private sale of a used item. There's no legal difference between selling a Pono that's been painted pink and one with a few strum marks. If someone wants to soup-up Mustang and sell it, is it any of Ford's business?

Legally, private sales are between buyer and seller, and as long as the seller is honest with the buyer, it's no one else's business... literally. :)

Doc_J
06-06-2016, 07:52 AM
I'd call this a FrankenPono. I looked at one picture showing 2 wood screws holding down a fretboard extension to the top. Also looks like the fretboard was broken at the 14th fret (where the neck meets the body), with wood filler used on the side of the fretboard, in multiple places. If the outside work looks amateur, one can only imagine what the inside work must be like. I doubt that's the work of "one of Hawaii's major luthiers" as claimed in the listing. The luthier is not named.

For what the seller is asking ($2255) or less one could buy a great custom ukulele from one of several well known uke builders.

Pic from ebay listing.
http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/-M0AAOSwuhhXVNlG/s-l1600.jpg

#4horse
06-06-2016, 08:08 AM
I find it more curious that they state that they got a damaged instrument, got their money back from the insurance, then had it fixed up and now sell it for $1700. I doubt it's a legal concern, but somehow it seems off.

It's curious but not an indication of some wrongdoing. Laws and policy conditions vary from state to state and country to country. The insurance company could have asked for the return of the damaged instrument or the payment might have been based on what it would have taken to repair the damaged soundboard.

UkerDanno
06-06-2016, 08:13 AM
Don't know what the problem is, the seller is upfront about everything. Nothing wrong with replacing a damaged top! Not to my taste, but that's just MHO.

spookelele
06-06-2016, 08:25 AM
I would be amazed if it sells.

Rllink
06-06-2016, 08:39 AM
I would be amazed if it sells.
I'm with you, but I'm watching it to see if it does.

Ukejenny
06-06-2016, 09:22 AM
What does this mean, from the description: "antique templates for flutes that were used on Stradivarius violins"

PhilUSAFRet
06-06-2016, 09:52 AM
Also finish inside f holes...good photos


I'd call this a FrankenPono. I looked at one picture showing 2 wood screws holding down a fretboard extension to the top. Also looks like the fretboard was broken at the 14th fret (where the neck meets the body), with wood filler used on the side of the fretboard, in multiple places. If the outside work looks amateur, one can only imagine what the inside work must be like. I doubt that's the work of "one of Hawaii's major luthiers" as claimed in the listing. The luthier is not named.

For what the seller is asking ($2255) or less one could buy a great custom ukulele from one of several well known uke builders.

Pic from ebay listing.
http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/-M0AAOSwuhhXVNlG/s-l1600.jpg

johnson430
06-06-2016, 10:46 AM
Look at the f-hole, Oh my gosh!!
That looks like something I would have done. And yes, I am an amateur at woodworking.
Only a fool would buy this uke for that price.
91709

Tigeralum2001
06-06-2016, 03:27 PM
So you all are saying if I take a Pono head stock and build the rest myself, I should be able to sell it as a custom Pono? I don't know. Maybe it is legal, but seems borderline trademark infringement to me. To use the car example, it'd be like taking a Ford grill and putting it on a car and calling it a custom Ford. To use the guitar example, it would be taking the Les Paul pick guard and dials and putting it on a Strat and calling it a Les Paul. If >50% was Pono, maybe you could use the brand. However, that is a poorly built uke and the owner is clearly trying to capitalize on the Pono name for a sale WAY above true market. My $0.02

Nickie
06-06-2016, 03:51 PM
I had no idea Pono made an archtop model!

Ukulelerick9255
06-06-2016, 04:14 PM
Besides the shoddy repair work here's why this one stinks, if it was received damaged in shipping why was insurance even involved, Pono would have replaced or repaired it. The whole thing stinks.

Inksplosive AL
06-06-2016, 04:15 PM
Too damn funny GAL and MYB. lol

Rllink
06-07-2016, 03:47 AM
So you all are saying if I take a Pono head stock and build the rest myself, I should be able to sell it as a custom Pono? I don't know. Maybe it is legal, but seems borderline trademark infringement to me. To use the car example, it'd be like taking a Ford grill and putting it on a car and calling it a custom Ford. To use the guitar example, it would be taking the Les Paul pick guard and dials and putting it on a Strat and calling it a Les Paul. If >50% was Pono, maybe you could use the brand. However, that is a poorly built uke and the owner is clearly trying to capitalize on the Pono name for a sale WAY above true market. My $0.02I see what you are saying, but I think that all they did was replace the top and repair everything else. Other than the top, the rest is Pono, as I understand the description. I certainly agree with your last sentence though.

ScooterD35
06-07-2016, 09:50 AM
What does this mean, from the description: "antique templates for flutes that were used on Stradivarius violins"

Theoretically, it means that the unnamed major Hawaiian luthier somehow had in his possession the f-hole templates used 300 years ago by Antonio Stradivari on his family's legendary violins.

This looks to like a fairly poorly customized Pono with numerous flaws. I'll add my name to the "I'd be surprised if it sells." crowd.


Scooter

stevejfc
06-07-2016, 10:15 AM
Me thinks many tasty beverages were involved during this, ahmmm, "repair" work. Might be the ukulele definition of "bastardization".

farmerjones
06-07-2016, 12:03 PM
AFAIK, and IANAL, and FWIW, I don't see anything illegal here. The seller is clearly stating what is being sold, what happened to it, and what has been done. They got insurance money from the damaged shipment... fine, perhaps many businesses who rely on shipped goods buy such insurance. Then the seller took that money and repaired the instrument, perhaps even 'upgrading' it to a 'custom' job, and wants to get the original purchase price plus the insurance money they spent in selling it.

From the ad itself, I don't see anything wrong... other than it appears a bit shoddy and I wouldn't buy the damn thing.

Tigeralum2001
06-07-2016, 01:42 PM
I see what you are saying, but I think that all they did was replace the top and repair everything else. Other than the top, the rest is Pono, as I understand the description. I certainly agree with your last sentence though.
Seeing as how Pono makes nothing that looks like this, I find it hard to believe that only the top was damaged and replaced.

Rllink
06-07-2016, 01:56 PM
Seeing as how Pono makes nothing that looks like this, I find it hard to believe that only the top was damaged and replaced.I'm just going by the description of what they said that they did. I'm no Pono expert.