Scuffs on a brand new Koaloha KTM-25?

Pharmer

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Hello, I recently purchased a Koaloha KTM-25 from a repeatable dealer with well known set up. It arrived with multiples scratches. I was only able to capture one of them in the photo. Is this common? I reached out to dealer to ask about products they recommend for me to try and rub them out but no response after 5 days. I just haven’t had a good interaction with this dealer. I first reached to asking if there’s anything wrong with the ukulele via email- no response. I tried calling multiple times - no answer. I sent message via social media to ask about availability of 3 new KTM-25 they posted - no response.

My question is, it normal to receive a brand new ukulele with makings on it? Part of me want to just enjoy the ukulele but another part of me wonder if this dealer deserves my business.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Pharmer
 

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badhabits

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I totally get your disappointment. Marks might be there if handled a lot or less carefully in the showroom, but some consolation is that more will happen eventually. What is more disappointing imo is the poor after sale service. Sadly, I've experienced that as well from some of the popular, commonly recommended uke shops, and also question future purchases.
 

rainbow21

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I would not be happy. It is hard to tell from your photo the extent of the scuffs.

The lack or response is really not okay. I did receive one uke from a well known shop that was discounted a few hundred without my asking because the dye on the uke had a few small areas where the dye did not uptake well. They took the initiative without my asking and then showed me the areas in good photos for approval. Depending on the amount of scuffing, I would expect some reparation or other consideration. Maybe even return it if it has a return policy if this will continue to bother you.

OTOH, the 25th anny KoAlohas are wonderful and if you love the sound and playability and are not looking to resell it, then I would consider keeping it and letting everyone here know who they are as retribution.
 

mjh42

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A brand new instrument of the cost with multiple scratches and lack of response to communication?? I would find that combination problematic at best. I would give it a small amount of time and then I would be very public about who the vendor is. If the vendor makes good on the situation to your level of satisfaction I would also be candid about who the vendor is. Life is full of all kinds of missteps and happenings beyond our control. Good customer service can go a long way in smoothing out those bumps along the road or conversely poor customer service can multiply the roadblocks towards said companies success.
 

hawaii 50

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i would not try to buff it out just send it back....i am sure you have a return policy ..i would say the uke in damaged condition when received
 

Jerryc41

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I've bought "seconds" and "scratched" ukes, and I was never able to find any imperfections. If the imperfections on your uke are that noticeable, the dealer should make it right. At this point, you should tell us who the dealer is so that we can give you some background information. Not getting back to you is not a good sign.
 

Jerryc41

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i would not try to buff it out just send it back....i am sure you have a return policy ..i would say the uke in damaged condition when received

Maybe I'm being overly cautious, but I would not send it back without permission from the seller.
 

clear

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i would not try to buff it out just send it back....i am sure you have a return policy ..i would say the uke in damaged condition when received

+1. Don't do anything on the uke; anything you do will limit your options ATM.
If the seller doesn't respond, then give the credit card company a call.
 

Pharmer

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Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I will reach out to vendor for a return label. I’m just bummed that it didn’t work out because it’s limited run and now at the end of the production so it will be a challenge to find another. I’m a newbie and it’s my first tenor. I have a baritone (slightly too big for fingers on some chords) and a concert (a bit too small for finger picking down the fretboard). I was looking forward to the tenor as my main go to for practice. In addition to the scratches, I find the E-string kinda muted pass the 10th fret. More muted than the Koaloha concert I have so I thought that’s weird? Sorry, I’m no musician, just find myself having fun with 4-string instruments. I don’t know the technical terms to describe it more accurately.
 

clear

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I've bought "seconds" and "scratched" ukes, and I was never able to find any imperfections. If the imperfections on your uke are that noticeable, the dealer should make it right. At this point, you should tell us who the dealer is so that we can give you some background information. Not getting back to you is not a good sign.

I think all of my ukes came with some defects, except 1 uke that was near perfect. These are all new and not factor seconds. Whether it is scratches on fretboard binding or flaws in finish; even my Kamakas have defects. Maybe I'm just too much attention-to-detail person, and notice what others don't.

However, of the 25+ ukes I've bought in the last year, I've only rejected 1 uke (this particular uke had real issues like a wrapped sound board, it was also the first and last uke I bought on ebay). As long as the ukes sound good and the defects aren't too terrible, I'm happy. This is not limited to ukes, guitars too; if you pay enough attention, you'll almost never find a 100% perfect acoustic or classical guitar (somehow, my luck with electrics are very good).

So, to the OP: if you like the sound and it plays well; even if (in the worst case scenario where the seller never responds and your credit cord company don't care, which I highly doubt), it is ok to just keep it. scratches will come sooner or later if you use it enough.
 

badhabits

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if/when you arrange a return, ask about a "restocking fee" and whether it would apply...something else to be aware of (and perhaps further annoyed about)
 

SailingUke

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My KoAloha anniversary has become my favorite ukulele.
The voice is incredible. If the scratches are cosmetic I wouldn’t worry about it.
If you play it everyday you will eventually scuff it up a bit. Ukuleles are meant to be played.
If you bought it has a museum piece, then you have a concern.
 

hawaii 50

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Maybe I'm being overly cautious, but I would not send it back without permission from the seller.

of course you should get the seller to ok the return maybe they will send a shipping label with their ok?
 

Kenn2018

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That scuff/scratch is not acceptable. Especially on a uke that expensive and is a special anniversary run. The dealer has no idea if it's going to be a played instrument, or a collector's piece. You received a damaged item and they need to take it back and exchange it for a 'perfect" one, or give you a refund. Period.

Do not allow a restocking fee. You received damaged goods. You paid for an instrument in new condition. Not a scuffed up scratched one.

If you aren't getting a response, call other people at the company. Send emails. Even fax if you can. Of course, they may be at a company retreat or a uke festival.
 

Pharmer

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It occurred to me that I left out a response I did received. After inspecting the instrument, I reached out with the photo and vendor replied stating that the scuffs are minor and can be easily rubbed out and asked if I wanted a shipping label to send it back. I replied and asked about product recommendation for me to try and spare me the return. It was Sunday and today is Friday. I’m sorry if I mislead you.

So I have 3 options:
1 return
2 send back to buff out. I’m nervous about this option
3 keep it and convince myself it’s okay. The most annoying markings are the ones between sound hole and bridge, likely happened during set up. There are also about 10 lines like a comb behind the bridge. Maybe issue with drying the gloss finish. It’s hand made?
 

FatherMother

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I feel your pain. I'd bought a hard-to-get ukulele from a dealer with a good reputation on these boards. When it arrived, it had two scratches on its gloss finish - I saw them right away when doing a look over. In the end, I never reached out to them to complain/inquire, though I definitely thought about it. The reason for this is that I really wanted the instrument - it was a Kiwaya KS-5 - and I ordered it as soon as I received an email from the dealer that one was back in stock. I didn't want to return it and I was too shy to ask them to refund me a small portion of the purchase cost. I mean, how much are two finish scratches worth? I should have emailed them at the very least, and I wish I had, but it was my first serious instrument purchase and, I don't know, I felt "little."

In the end, I kept it. It has since acquired another tiny ding on one edge from a fall. Off topic: One other issue I had was that the stock strings, which were clear, would never ever ever stay in tune. They would go sharp without fail just after a minute of playing. I searched the forums and internet for causes and solutions and tried all sorts of things. It drove me nuts and caused me to hardly play it until I tried these 2 things. First, I tuned it up to D tuning and it played beautifully there. Next, because I didn't want to stay in D tuning, I finally changed out the strings for Fremont Hard Blacks. It's never had an issue staying in tune since. I'm now theorizing that the original strings must have been tuned high and kept there for some period of time prior to sale. Therefore, when I did C tuning, they were too stretched out and wouldn't relax. I noticed this same phenomenon when I met a new ukulele student of mine w/ her instrument's strings tuned waaaay too high and they just couldn't relax at C tuning, but kept going sharp after a literally two seconds.

Back on topic: that's awful customer service, or lack thereof, that you are describing. We can hope that it's because someone over there is having a personal crisis and not because they've given up on good customer communication. If I couldn't live with it and were comfortable with returning it, I think i would give them 2 weeks tops to respond and then initiate a charge back through the CC company. Who knows, maybe this action would get their attention?
 

FatherMother

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It occurred to me that I left out a response I did received. After inspecting the instrument, I reached out with the photo and vendor replied stating that the scuffs are minor and can be easily rubbed out and asked if I wanted a shipping label to send it back. I replied and asked about product recommendation for me to try and spare me the return. It was Sunday and today is Friday. I’m sorry if I mislead you.

So I have 3 options:
1 return
2 send back to buff out. I’m nervous about this option
3 keep it and convince myself it’s okay. The most annoying markings are the ones between sound hole and bridge, likely happened during set up. There are also about 10 lines like a comb behind the bridge. Maybe issue with drying the gloss finish. It’s hand made?

Oh wow, I just read this. That's quite a few scuffs/marks. Unfortunately, I think I'd have to return it if it were me. One thing that I've learned on this forum is that, usually, the thing that you want will turn up eventually, often in mint-condition, if you can wait long enough. That's what I tell myself. I'm sorry you have to deal with this!!
 

merlin666

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I would return and ask for a new one that was not mucked up by dealer staff, ideally in unopened KoAloha box. Setup of a KoAloha is only needed if you have very specific needs that are very different from great standard settings
 
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Pharmer

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Okay, it’s going back. I just found the uneven seam mid way from the bridge to the edge. I can see it, feel the sharp edge when run my finger over it. The seam on the back is perfect. I feel like I’m being picky and just looking for flaws but I’m novice and don’t even know what I’m looking for and they are noticeable.