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-Emma-
03-27-2013, 01:13 AM
Have you ever or would you consider buying a blemished ukulele?

I was browsing the specials on the HMS site and saw a blem special for a uke with very light strum marks, and was wondering what you all thought about buying blemished ukuleles.

Or do you only buy ukuleles in perfect condition?

RichM
03-27-2013, 01:19 AM
I wouldn't think twice about buying a blem uke from a reputable dealer like HMS. Often the blems are so miniscule that they are difficult to see-- so you get a great uke at a bargain price.

strumsilly
03-27-2013, 01:22 AM
I buy blemished or used whenever possible. most of the time it's a tiny scratch or dimple that's hardly noticeable. if you play an instrument it's probable you will blemish them yourself anyway. heck, if I can get a good deal I'll buy them with cracks or other more serious damage.

teruterubouzu
03-27-2013, 02:03 AM
I would too. If you email HMS they can probably tell you what the blemish is. I've also heard that Koaloha sometimes sells blemished ukes on their factory tours. That's something I'm considering when I go to Hawaii next year (trip isn't official yet, but I'm crossing my fingers).

RichM
03-27-2013, 02:09 AM
Excellent point on Koaloha. They frequently have blems at very good prices. While they don't advertise them on their website, if you contact them, they will let you know what they have.

-Emma-
03-27-2013, 02:19 AM
Thanks everyone for your comments so far :).

This is the uke that caught my eye...

http://www.theukulelesite.com/blem-special-anuenue-1879-solid-koa-soprano.html ...(The pictures show the exact instrument too)

Hms
03-27-2013, 02:19 AM
What would be interesting to know, is, how do you knoe you are buying a blem if you are not buying from the store. It may be useful to get a list to protect ourselves from the more unscrupulous sellers. (None of who'm I'm sure are on UU)
One brand I believe, stamps a 2 on the back of the headstock, another places a black mark on the lower right hand corner of the label in the body.
To clarify I mean facotry seconds not ex display stock.
Any other options?
h

dnewton2
03-27-2013, 02:28 AM
I own a Koaloha sceond, and from what I can tell the blemish does not affect the playability or sound of the uke. Like said before as long as you are buying from a reputable dealer, blems are a score.

ralphk
03-27-2013, 02:56 AM
I have purchased a few finish blemished ukes and have not regretted it. Ukes are to be used and they will all show wear and tear over time

Cornfield
03-27-2013, 03:01 AM
What would be interesting to know, is, how do you knoe you are buying a blem if you are not buying from the store. It may be useful to get a list to protect ourselves from the more unscrupulous sellers. (None of who'm I'm sure are on UU)
One brand I believe, stamps a 2 on the back of the headstock, another places a black mark on the lower right hand corner of the label in the body.
To clarify I mean facotry seconds not ex display stock.
Any other options?
h

That uke looks and sounds very nice. The peg head tuners are quality, it comes with a hard case and it's solid Koa.

mm stan
03-27-2013, 03:09 AM
Thanks everyone for your comments so far :).

This is the uke that caught my eye...

http://www.theukulelesite.com/blem-special-anuenue-1879-solid-koa-soprano.html ...(The pictures show the exact instrument too)

Aloha Emma,
I am not fond of Anuenues....maybe a pono would be better..but I'd get it a uke from HMS..go for it girl

strumsilly
03-27-2013, 03:14 AM
What would be interesting to know, is, how do you knoe you are buying a blem if you are not buying from the store. It may be useful to get a list to protect ourselves from the more unscrupulous sellers. (None of who'm I'm sure are on UU)
One brand I believe, stamps a 2 on the back of the headstock, another places a black mark on the lower right hand corner of the label in the body.
To clarify I mean facotry seconds not ex display stock.
Any other options?
h
my Lanikai 2nds from Butler have a D stamped on the top of the headstock. don't know if Butler does it or Lanikai.

-Emma-
03-27-2013, 03:19 AM
Aloha Emma,
I am not fond of Anuenues....maybe a pono would be better..but I'd get it a uke from HMS..go for it girl

Why aren't you fond of them? I need to do some research into them...

I'm also interested in getting a pono (damn UAS ;) ) ...the MCD- Mahogany Concert Deluxe.

wayfarer75
03-27-2013, 03:30 AM
The Anuenue is more a "shopworn" uke than a blemished second, which would sell for less from the factory. I would have no issues buying either a second or a shopworn uke. As long as any issues are purely cosmetic and not structural (which should be the case here), I would go for it. As for whether Anuenue in general is any good, I have no opinion.

Bill Mc
03-27-2013, 04:51 AM
Emma, I own the aNue Nue Khaya Mahogany concert and tenor and find them both to be beautiful instruments. These are not "boomy" or "barky" sounding mahogany instruments but a more refined, chimey sound with teriffic sustain.
Both are lightweight, delicate feeling, beautifully finished, excellent volume -especially my concert - and nicely intoned. I've not played the aNue Nue 1879 koa but there are a few reviews you cans easily access for specifics about that instrument. a NueNue in my experience makes top notch ukuleles.

wadleysf
03-27-2013, 05:11 AM
I wouldn't think twice about buying a blem uke from a reputable dealer like HMS.

I didn't!

I have an Islander Rosewood/Spruce Tenor from HMS being set up now. Should be here next week. I'm going to end up putting a ding or mark on anything I use eventually. If someone else is "paying" me for the right to put that first ding on it I'll take it. Not only do I save (over 50% on the HMS usual price) but I don't have to worry when my first mark gets on the instrument! :)

Lori
03-27-2013, 06:01 AM
I got a Mainland blem baritone, and it just had a small chip out of the clear gloss finish over a area of the binding. You have to really look to find it. No regrets at all. It is my first bari, and I wanted to try it out without spending too much.

–Lori

hawaii 50
03-27-2013, 06:09 AM
Pono has a refurbished stock also,i know someone who went to Pono/Ko'olau and bought it from John Kistakas..they have a separate area for all of those ukes..

Ask Andrew how to get ahold of them..if you like Pono go for it

OldePhart
03-27-2013, 06:42 AM
I love to find a good deal on a cosmetic blem. Probably a third of my ukes are blems. Actually, correction, almost all of my ukes have got at least some minor blemish, it's just that on about a third of them it was already there and I got a discount for it and on the rest I put it there in the course of playing and handling the uke. :)

On some the blemish was so minor it had to be pointed out to me. I remember at UWC last year I was picking up a mahogany soprano that I'd asked Mainland Mike to have ready for me. When I picked it up he pointed out a tiny little dark mark in the wood and said something like "after we set this up for you we realized it's got that little spot in the wood - I can give you a discount or if you like I can set another one up."

I was like, "really, for that little spot?" Honestly I would probably have never noticed it, and even after it was pointed out I would have bought the uke at full price because it really meant nothing to me, but Mike insisted. After I got it home that uke "played in" like none other I've had and it's now my number one uke and far more valuable to me than my far more expensive ukes that were not "blemished."

Edit to add: Oh, and let's not forget the Pono "blemished" MBD that I got a few months ago. I still haven't figured out what is supposed to be wrong with it. I thought I had figured it out because the strings were just slightly off center on the neck down at the soundhole end of the fretboard as if maybe the bridge was about 1mm off to the side - then Chuck mentioned that he intentionally does that on some of his customs because it gives people more room for finger vibrato on the A string. So, I'm back to wondering what's "wrong" with the uke...whatever it was saved me over $100 and I've been looking for a "blemished" ABD to pop up ever since...

John

hawaii 50
03-27-2013, 06:51 AM
Hey John get ahold of Pono direct and see about their refurbished ukes,you save a lot of money and they have some nice ukes..

Dan Uke
03-27-2013, 07:08 AM
Hey John get ahold of Pono direct and see about their refurbished ukes,you save a lot of money and they have some nice ukes..

Danny over there is totally cool! I would call Pono direct too.

Paul December
03-27-2013, 07:25 AM
Condition is very important to me, so no I would not buy a blemished uke.

I'll even go one step farther...
...I wish manufacturers would not sell them because it hurts the resale value of those of us who did not buy one. If I were to sell my Pono, I would not only have to price it better than other used Ponos, I'd have to also compete with the blems. I don't care what cheaper brands do, but I think it cheapens the brand as a whole on the higher-end.

I understand that manufacturers do this to reduce losses, but I hope they realize that it will eventually start hurting their regular sales.
Search the forum about Pono, and see how many times a potential buyer is told to "wait for a blem on eBay".

RichM
03-27-2013, 07:30 AM
Condition is very important to me, so no I would not buy a blemished uke.

I'll even go one step farther...
...I wish manufacturers would not sell them because it hurts the resale value of those of us who did not buy one. If I were to sell my Pono, I would not only have to price it better than other used Ponos, I'd have to also compete with the blems. I don't care what cheaper brands do, but I think it cheapens the brand as a whole on the higher-end.

Many manufacturers do not. Martin, for example, destroys instruments that do not meet its quality standards. In fact, you can buy pieces of the cut-up instruments at the gift shop at the Martin factory. If you can't afford a Martin, you can at least get part of a Martin!

In general, however, I think blems are a win-win; the builder gets paid for an instrument they might otherwise destroy, and player who is willing to accept imperfection gets a fully playable uke at a bargain price.

In the case of the uke in question, its not a blem, it's shopworn-- meaning it just has a head start on the wear it will get from a player anyway.

Paul December
03-27-2013, 07:43 AM
In general, however, I think blems are a win-win; the builder gets paid for an instrument they might otherwise destroy, and player who is willing to accept imperfection gets a fully playable uke at a bargain price.


I see your point, but it does hurt the non-blem seller when he sells.
Now that Pono is near the $1k range they have to realize buyers will take this into consideration. If I were paying that kind of $$$$, and narrowed it down to Pono and a brand that didn't dump blems, I would have to go with the latter.

OldePhart
03-27-2013, 07:51 AM
Pono clearly marks their blems when they sell them. There is a "2" stamped into the wood center strip inside the sound hole, and inked on the label.

RichM
03-27-2013, 07:54 AM
I see your point, but it does hurt the non-blem seller when he sells.
Now that Pono is near the $1k range they have to realize buyers will take this into consideration. If I were paying that kind of $$$$, and narrowed it down to Pono and a brand that didn't dump blems, I would have to go with the latter.

I see your point as well. When I first started collecting animation art, I bought a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cel from a gallery for $195. The following year, TMNT's production company started dumping production cels at Toys R Us for $15. New value of my $195 investment: $15.

That being said, blems are different; they are "lesser than" for a lesser price, not "same as" for a lesser price.

Paul December
03-27-2013, 08:03 AM
That being said, blems are different; they are "lesser than" for a lesser price, not "same as" for a lesser price.

From the comments I've read in the forum, yes they are seen as lesser than new (though I keep reading "I can't find the blem"...
... I think they are seen as equal or better than used. If they come with a warranty unlike used, that assessment may be correct.

strumsilly
03-27-2013, 09:21 AM
I don't think it cheapens a brand. I look at a blem like a used instrument. If you bought a new instrument and kept it "perfect", which if you play it very much it is not likely to happen, you can sell it for a pretty good price, sometimes if limited in supply for more than you paid. if you start "blemming' it up with nicks or whatever it sells for less. some want their instruments "perfect" or new, and others don't mind imperfections, whether new, blem, or used, and the prices are naturally lower.

TG&Y
03-27-2013, 09:30 AM
How does it sound and play? The rest is just details.

RichM
03-27-2013, 09:32 AM
How does it sound and play? The rest is just details.

I understand your point, but to many people, appearance is very important and part of the overall appeal and enjoyment of the instrument. Don't assume everyone thinks the way you do.

Paul December
03-27-2013, 09:36 AM
I don't think it cheapens a brand. I look at a blem like a used instrument. If you bought a new instrument and kept it "perfect", which if you play it very much it is not likely to happen, you can sell it for a pretty good price, sometimes if limited in supply for more than you paid. if you start "blemming' it up with nicks or whatever it sells for less. some want their instruments "perfect" or new, and others don't mind imperfections, whether new, blem, or used, and the prices are naturally lower.

You actually just made my point.
Buy the uke new ... then compete with the blems from the same manufacturer when you sell your uke when used.

TG&Y
03-27-2013, 09:36 AM
Opinion not assumption.


I understand your point, but to many people, appearance is very important and part of the overall appeal and enjoyment of the instrument. Don't assume everyone thinks the way you do.

hawaii 50
03-27-2013, 09:40 AM
I understand your point, but to many people, appearance is very important and part of the overall appeal and enjoyment of the instrument. Don't assume everyone thinks the way you do.


Yeah Rich..I love how a nice ukulele sounds..that the most important! but like you I enjoy the craftsmanship and details on a beautiful uke too.

to be honest it is quite important to me

only my 2 cents

-Emma-
03-27-2013, 09:41 AM
Somebody else must have bought the blemished aNue Nue because it isn't listed anymore. That went quickly!

hawaii 50
03-27-2013, 09:44 AM
Somebody else must have bought the blemished aNue Nue because it isn't listed anymore. That went quickly!


Wow they must of been reading this thread! sorry you missed it

strumsilly
03-27-2013, 09:51 AM
You actually just made my point.
Buy the uke new ... then compete with the blems from the same manufacturer when you sell your uke when used.

like I said, I look at it as used, yea, so you are competing with the blems.

AndrewKuker
03-27-2013, 10:58 AM
If you're buying new to sell used it's never gonna work out for you either way. Money wise you'll take a loss. Our blems are usually not factory seconds. They just didn't make it through Joel. And I feel bad with the amount we return and like to offer deals here and there. With Pono, for years they didn't sell blems and that built up so there were a lot on the market for a while. Not many left and production is real tight now. Most of them were for things other companies would have just sent out. I know this. We have hundreds of ukes still awaiting return pickup right now. And this is the way most companies do with imports. A while back we returned a bunch to one dealer and I heard from one of their workers that most were just sent them to another warehouse on the mainland for distribution. So that's one way to not sell 2nds. For those buying "blems" from us, it's almost always a minor cosmetic thing and resell would work in your favor, I would think. As far as the overall image being preserved, I understand the point, but at the same time it allows someone to afford what they wouldn't be able to and throwing ukes away for these things is just sad. Almost unethical imo. We sold Taylor guitar 2nds for a long time, until Island guitars had a conniption. But, it actually helped their popularity here. Many well known performers bought them from us instead of the Takamine they would have otherwise gotten.

Paul December
03-27-2013, 11:08 AM
If you're buying new to sell used it's never gonna work out for you either way. Money wise you'll take a loss. Our blems are usually not factory seconds. They just didn't make it through Joel. And I feel bad with the amount we return and like to offer deals here and there. With Pono, for years they didn't sell blems and that built up so there were a lot on the market for a while. Not many left and production is real tight now. Most of them were for things other companies would have just sent out. I know this. We have hundreds of ukes still awaiting return pickup right now. And this is the way most companies do with imports. A while back we returned a bunch to one dealer and I heard from one of their workers that most were just sent them to another warehouse on the mainland for distribution. So that's one way to not sell 2nds. For those buying "blems" from us, it's almost always a minor cosmetic thing and resell would work in your favor, I would think. As far as the overall image being preserved, I understand the point, but at the same time it allows someone to afford what they wouldn't be able to and throwing ukes away for these things is just sad. Almost unethical imo. We sold Taylor guitar 2nds for a long time, until Island guitars had a conniption. But, it actually helped their popularity here. Many well known performers bought them from us instead of the Takamine they would have otherwise gotten.

I recently got a Pono Baritone Pro Classic from you and really like it a lot (thanks!)...
...but must admit that in the end my biggest concern was that something similar would pop-up on eBay as a blem with a big discount.
I don't plan on ever selling it (we all say that!) but would hate to compete with blems after dishing-out that kind of $$$.

AndrewKuker
03-27-2013, 11:54 AM
thanks Paul. I appreciate the feedback.

gringo
03-27-2013, 02:02 PM
I always blemish my instruments in due time.

TG&Y
03-27-2013, 02:27 PM
I like that. Same here.

Coincidentally, I bought what I expect will be upon arrival, a gorgeous and lovely sounding, blemished ukulele yesterday - all of which has nothing to do with the price of tulips in 1627. Or does it?


I always blemish my instruments in due time.

-Emma-
03-28-2013, 06:12 AM
Thanks everyone, you're all so helpful on this forum! :D

I'll have to keep an eye on the HMS site for more blem specials :) .

wadleysf
03-28-2013, 07:00 AM
I'll have to keep an eye on the HMS site for more blem specials :) .

Hi Emma - that's what I've done, though only bought two (so far ;) ). I must admit it's difficult to know what will move quickly and what won't. My first purchase (Kala Lacewood/Spruce soprano) was made thinking they would disappear quickly. That was in December - and I believe they've only just gone from the site three months later. Must have had plenty of end-of-line models for clearance! More recently I nearly jumped on the Kamoa specials (700T with spruce top) - but that went in hours. And I now have an Islander tenor blem due in a few days... :) Enough for now I think!

Good luck! Enjoy your browsing and shopping.

billcarr
03-28-2013, 10:21 PM
I bought a Lanikai mahogany tenor from an Ebay seller who stocks a lot of factory blems. $69 plus postage. It arrived the other day and seriously I cannot find one single blem on it. I feel somewhat cheated actually! Hehehe

Bill

strumsilly
03-29-2013, 02:23 AM
I bought a Lanikai mahogany tenor from an Ebay seller who stocks a lot of factory blems. $69 plus postage. It arrived the other day and seriously I cannot find one single blem on it. I feel somewhat cheated actually! Hehehe

Bill
I got one of those too. the solid ones. mine had a tiny scratch on the back, and with a satin finish, you could hardly see it.