Category: Standard

Wayne Bauman from Australia has once again been doing one of his usual searches on ebay for second hand Gibson Les Pauls, he “stumbled across this ripper”.

As Wayne puts it, “The price is firstly way too low and the head stock doesn’t look right. Also the good old sticker on the back of the guitar is a dead giveaway. It has the custom book on the headstock but the guitar is clearly not a custom and the serial number doesn’t match up. It’s been advertised as a Gibson but it is clearly an Asian sweat shop knock off. Have a look and see what you think”.

Wayne, I think you are spot on, also the truss rod cover is too close to the nut.


and it sold for $1900 in Australia!!! At first glance it looks very legit, appears to be a one of the limited edition colors from a while back, lighter than Manhattan Blue, more like on those fake Epiphones… uh oh.

A very convincing copy, the case is one giveaway as you would expect the correct case to come with a new guitar, this guitar also has the “gibson” decal on the pot cavity cover which is never seen on a real Gibson. The seller states in the ad that it was a gift 6 months ago, so perhaps they didn’t know it was a fake. A message was sent to them encouraging them to double check it’s authenticity and not to rip off an unsuspecting buyer but sadly it appears that it was ignored.

bluey headstock

The main giveaways, as usual, lie in the headstock. The truss rod cover had several things wrong with it. It could be blank. or it could have Standard printed on it, but not Les Paul standard. The shape of the headstock is close to the genuine article but the placement of the Gibson logo, (which should be mother of pearl inlay, not a block color decal) is off, as is the font used as the Les Paul signature, though very subtly.

The frets should not travel over the binding, this is common on fakes, it could be argued that the guitar had had a re-fret but this guitar is listed as new, (well, 6 months old, which would not require a re-fret).

Ho hum, amazed these are still being chucked around as “genuine made in the U.S.A.”. From a distance you have to say, hmm, ok, that’s a Les Paul, but then look at the inside of the case lid, hmm, that looks a bit different to the one I saw for sale at the dealers, kinda sunken in a bit, funny coloured/colored lining too and there’s no shroud.

Weird, it says it’s a Gibson Custom, Art, Historic case, maybe that’s it, though surely that comes with the top of the line stuff, not a regular LP Standard!

Still, it must be a real Gibson Les Paul, look, it has Gibson on the headstock and… on the truss rod cover… with possibly three screws hidden from view by the way the photo is cropped… Aww crap, it’s a fake.

While flicking through the listings of eBay I came across one of those horrible sparkly, Liberace variety Gibson Les Paul gold tops you never see in the stores, (because they’re fake – obviously).

This one was advertised as a genuine Gibson, good condition, gold color, (for those who are blind yet for some reason look at eBay!?!).  Well, taking great offense to this guitar yours truly sent the seller a friendly message; I hope you weren’t ripped off, it’s a fake, I can see by the headstock shape and truss rod cover, and I said that there are other inconsistencies (which I didn’t mention), I hope you do the right thing and pull it, etc. etc.  I leave it at that, as expected I get no reply.

Low and behold the seller has another “Gibson” Les Paul for sale, and claims that he LOST the truss rod cover on this one, as you do; Some people lose keys, wallets, tickets, this guy loses a piece of plastic that was screwed, probably with three screws, into some wood.

Man, that’s unlucky. Funny he lost the bit that I told him was a giveaway for a fake? Well that was it, I can’t stand these con artists so, in true vigilante style I donned my famous cowl and raced to the batcave where I, er, well, I sat at my desk and emailed Gibson Customer Service and told on him. Anyway, after a report to eBay both the offending items were removed. The seller then put his location as eBaysucksd**k, or something to that effect, clearly a real nice guy. Anyway, if you ever need help with a Gibson guitar send Gibson Customer Services an email, they may not have time to respond straight away but if you send them pictures and item numbers, (if on an auction site) then they can help with any questions. if you email me and they’re fake I’ll put them on the web.

It’s not “USA MADE, Gibson Les Paul Standard Guitar, with ORGINAL CASE, Owners Manual & Gibson Literature”. No no no no. The seller was SO sure this was original it took several messages and contact from eBay and Gibson to take down his listing. Or so it appeared, I don’t know if those guys pitched in at all, but I certainly messaged him a couple of times, even went into some details as to why it’s phony.

And on third day… It was taken down by the seller with a reply to a message he had received from another eBayer which simply read, “In case u didnt know,thats a chinese copy” (sic). No mention of the logo, headstock, truss rod cover, case, binding, heel, serial number, serial number stamp and jack socket all being incorrect, which is what I tried to use to convince him.

Maybe he didn’t want the information going to the counterfeiters who may use it to improve their copies! No, I’m not getting into it, please check out the pictures and go through the list, from a distance it’s actually a good fake, but a fake all the same.