Consigned guitar, seller can't find it: I just want my money (Toronto)
March 17, 2019 6:30 PM   Subscribe

In October I consigned an Fender American Telecaster to what I thought was a reputable dealer in Toronto. They said they'd have it sold and a cheque in two months. No cheque, calls are avoided, e-mails not returned. I need the money. Next steps?

I have the consignment note (with serial number) and some pictures. I've called several times, and get fobbed off with a "we can't find it", "it's at another store", "you'll need to come to our store [about an hour's drive away]", or similar. They are either super disorganized or are hoping I'll forget about it. Too early for small claims?
posted by scruss to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Never too early for small claims. Fuck those guys.
posted by aramaic at 7:06 PM on March 17, 2019 [9 favorites]

Best answer: Send them an email with your consignment note details and a rundown of your attempts to sort out what is happening with the sale of your guitar. Tell them you want your money within two weeks of the date of the email or you will take them to court.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:16 PM on March 17, 2019 [9 favorites]

A standard American Tele is about $ 1000-1300 new. What was the consignment price? Either way you’re well within small claims court turf in the US. Them hiring a lawyer for two hours will eat the proce of that Telecaster right up.

Also have you checked their online inventory listing to see if they have your guitar listed for sale? Every used guitar is advertised online these days, possibly on whatever Toronto’s equivalent of is.

As a guitarist (and a Telecaster collector!) I would be so angry I’d be at the store tomorrow picking out the replacement they were going to give me, and walking out the door with it. But yeah small claims court probably makes the most sense.

That, and write a scathing review on social media and Canadian guitar forums and make sure they know you’re gonna keep doing that if they don’t satisfy you.

Guitar thieves are scum.
posted by spitbull at 5:02 AM on March 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

I realize if you don't have a car, driving an hour is probably not the easiest thing in the world, but it is probably still easier than small claims court, and also solves the problem of what you will do if the small claims court judge wants to know why you didn't go in person to ask about your guitar after being told it would be necessary to do so.

I'm not dissuading you from small claims court, just encouraging you to have your ducks in a row before you go.

Unless the hour away store isn't the one you consigned the guitar at, in which case all bets are off.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:40 AM on March 18, 2019

Response by poster: I consigned the guitar at CAD 700, which is pretty decent considering its condition. That would probably mean it would be selling for CAD 840 / USD 630 or so. I don't see it on their Reverb listings or on their site

The hour-away store isn't where I consigned the guitar, and it was part of their story about how they work internally. Their comment was more of a "someone at head office will know where it is" as a part of fobbing me off. I will go if I need to, but that's time and expense I didn't agree to. I would prefer to avoid small claims court too, as all it proves is that they owe me money that is my responsibility to collect.

The e-mail has been sent (several ways, including their web form and Olark) and I've given them two weeks. I have records of when I called them. I made the mistakes of reading the Yelp reviews. Eek.
posted by scruss at 9:03 AM on March 18, 2019

The hour-away store isn't where I consigned the guitar, and it was part of their story about how they work internally.

I've bought and sold a few instruments on consignment here in Toronto and this sounds waaaay dodgy.

Just nthing the "threatening email followed by small claims court if needed." Obviously, you'll have to serve the claim in person if it comes to that, so you may end up having to make the trip anyway.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:45 AM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well, they claim to have found it, and are getting it back to the Toronto store tomorrow. Seems it never made it to the website or even being photographed for consignment. File under "disorganized, rather than evil" ... unless I don't get it back tomorrow.
posted by scruss at 11:33 AM on March 19, 2019

Maybe one of the staff have been touring western Canada with it for a few months.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 3:33 PM on March 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I have my guitar! And no, it hasn't been gigged all over Canada.

It seems that they got it transferred to HQ a couple of days after I dropped it off in October and got forgotten about. It had apparently sat unopened/uncatalogued in a rack in their warehouse.

I don't recommend anyone to consign a guitar to Tundra Music if they want to avoid the hassle I went through.
posted by scruss at 6:24 PM on March 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

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