Nowbestbuys is an online guitar store that sells a wide variety of guitars, amps, accessories, and other music gear. They advertise great deals and discount prices compared to other retailers.
However, some customers have complained about poor quality items, long delivery times, issues returning products, and difficulties contacting customer support.
In this Nowbestbuys guitar store review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the site and analyze customer experiences to determine if it is legitimate or a scam.
We’ll examine factors like product selection, pricing, shipping policies, returns/refunds, customer service, and trustworthiness.
If you read till the end, you will have a good idea of whether Nowbestbuys can be trusted or if they should shop elsewhere.
Let’s get started.
Background Information on Nowbestbuys Guitar Scam
Nowbestbuys was launched in 2013 and is based in China. They advertise themselves as an international online retailer selling musical instruments, headphones, speakers, DJ equipment, and more. According to their website, they ship products globally to over 200 countries and regions worldwide.
In terms of selection, Nowbestbuys sells thousands of products from hundreds of brands. Their guitar selection includes acoustic, electric, bass guitars from major manufacturers like Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, Ibanez, Epiphone, Squier, and more. They also carry amplifiers, effects pedals, accessories, and other music gear.
Nowbestbuys is not an authorized dealer for most major guitar brands. So their pricing is often significantly lower than MSRP or prices at authorized retailer stores/websites. This leads some customers and industry experts to question the authenticity and quality of their products.
Product Selection and Inventory Accuracy
When browsing the Nowbestbuys website, it’s clear they have a massive selection of guitars, gear, and accessories available from many top brands. This wide availability is one of their major selling points compared to local music stores.
However, some customer reviews and forums have raised questions about the accuracy of their product listings and inventory levels. Here are a few common issues reported:
- Out of stock items still listed – Customers have ordered “in stock” guitars only to be later informed of a 1-2 month delay or item being out of stock. The listing was not updated.
- Incorrect photos – Photos shown don’t accurately represent the item received. For example, receiving a lower quality replica instead of the authentic guitar pictured.
- Missing/substituted parts – Orders arrive with missing parts like bridges, tuning keys, or switches. Or knockoff/generic parts substituted without notice.
- Incorrect specs listed – Key specs like wood types, fretboard radius, neck shape are different than advertised on the product page.
While no online retailer can guarantee 100% accuracy at all times, the frequency of these types of reports regarding Nowbestbuys’s listings raise legitimate doubts about whether customers really know what they’re buying. Without seeing the instrument in person first, there is risk of receiving something different than expected.
Pricing and Discount Claims
Nowbestbuys promotes extremely low prices and “huge discounts” compared to MSRP or other major retailers. For example, a Fender American Professional Stratocaster listed at $899 when most shops sell it for $1,499. That’s a 40% claimed savings.
On the surface, these low prices seem enticing. However, when factoring in other details below, the true cost may not be as good a deal as it first appears:
Unauthorized seller – As an unauthorized dealer, they are not bound by MSRP and can sell below that. But there is no guarantee of authenticity or warranty support from the brands.
Shipping costs – Global shipping fees are often higher than expected, sometimes negating much of the claimed “discount.” Estimates provided seem inaccurate.
Taxes and duties – Import fees and taxes are additional unforeseen costs buyers often bear after delivery from China.
Quality concerns – Lower prices could mean lower quality components, hardware substitutions, or even counterfeit instruments to achieve those margins. Defects may offset savings.
“Discounts” may not be real – Without documentation of original higher prices, there’s no proof these discount percentages are accurate or not just made-up to entice buyers.
So while the prices look cheap at first, the true costs including potential quality issues may mean it’s not as great a deal for customers in the long run compared to other legitimate sellers.
Shipping Policies and Delivery Times
Nowbestbuys advertises free worldwide shipping on most orders. However, several important caveats exist regarding their shipping policies:
- Transit times are estimated at 10-30 business days but often take much longer according to customer reviews.
- Express shipping options are available but very expensive (defeats purpose of “low prices”).
- No tracking info provided for standard free shipping, making packages difficult to locate if lost. Pay extra for tracking.
- Hidden fees like import/brokerage costs are common complaints from international buyers.
- Returns/exchanges often require buyer to cover return shipping costs, hurting savings on potentially flawed items.
- Packaging is often minimal, leading to instruments/gear arriving damaged due to lack of protection.
- Delays, lost shipments, and inaccurate deliveries are frequently reported, with inconsistent responses from customer service.
So while the shipping itself may be free, the lack of reliable estimated delivery times, tracking options, and responsibility for return costs significantly undermine the value of that “benefit” to many customers. Frustration over delivery problems is a major complaint.
Returns, Refunds, and Exchange Policies
The return and exchange process with Nowbestbuys seems to be designed more to discourage owners of faulty items from getting their money back rather than having a customer-first policy. Major concerns include:
- Returns allowed within 15 days, not enough time given long shipping delays each way.
- Buyer pays return shipping on any exchange or return, often costing as much or more than discount claimed.
- Instructions provided are vague and customer service claims to have different policies each time. Confusing.
- Refunds reportedly take up to 45 days to post instead of prompt reversals of payment.
- Restocking fees of 15-30% often applied on returns/exchanges, eating into discounts.
- Multiple reports of items being “lost” while returning, leaving customer SOL.
- Poor tracking systems make resolution of issues almost impossible at times.
So while a return may seem allowed if needed, the hoops customers have to jump through combined with the obscure policies essentially discourage it. If a product is DOA or falsely advertised, this complicates attaining a fair resolution quickly.
Customer Service Quality
Customer service is arguably one of the most important parts of any shopping experience, especially when issues inevitably arise. Numerous Nowbestbuys customers have expressed serious dissatisfaction with the quality of support received:
- No phone number provided, only web form contact option which experiences lengthy response delays.
- Inconsistent or contradicting answers to same questions from different representatives.
- Refusal to address core issues or take responsibility for key problems like inaccurate listings.
- Communication gaps go unaddressed where customers don’t receive follow up for weeks at a time.
- Language barriers sometimes cause misunderstandings that are not properly clarified.
- No option to escalate serious complaints or problems to a supervisor.
- Rude or unhelpful responses that don’t actually resolve problems are frequent complaints.
With such poor experiences reported getting assistance when needed, it significantly diminishes confidence in Nowbestbuys as an honest retailer with reasonable problem-solving ability.
Trustworthiness and Authenticity Concerns
Considering all the issues outlined above, several key areas raise red flags regarding Nowbestbuys’s trustworthiness and authenticity:
- Bait-and-switch tactics with incorrect or substituted products destined by customers
- Questionable claims of high discount percentages without evidence of original prices
- Difficulties, delays and additional costs imposed on customers attempting returns
- General lack of accountability and refusal to address core complaints
- Stonewalling communication or providing contradictory information
- Selling items below MSRP as an unauthorized seller
- Located in China, leading to suspicions of counterfeiting operations
Meanwhile, they have received an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau due to numerous unresolved complaints. Reviews across many forums consistently rate them 1-2 stars with frequent use of words like “scam” and “avoid at all costs.”
Given all this combined evidence, most industry experts and knowledgeable customers believe Nowbestbuys should not be considered a legitimate guitar/music gear retailer. The high probability of deception, lack of trust, and difficulties for consumers outweigh any benefits of low prices.
Alternatives to Nowbestbuys
Assuming the conclusion here is that Nowbestbuys should be avoided due to scam-like business practices and authenticity concerns, what are some better alternatives for online guitar shopping? Here are a few reputable retailers:
|Sweetwater||Huge selection, knowledgeable staff, fast shipping, no tax outside IN, excellent return policy and support. Top rated company.|
|Guitar Center||Physical stores also provide option to try before buying, deep selection, prices often match competitors, financing available.|
|Sam Ash||Large retail chain with stores for trying products, great selection at competitive prices, knowledgeable staff.|
|ZZounds||Shop large selection with no interest financing for qualified buyers, free shipping both ways on returns, top-rated customer service.|
|Reverb||Great marketplace for used/vintage gear at fair prices, robust buyer/seller protections, support local dealers.|
|Musician’s Friend||Competitive prices on new gear, fast free shipping, generous return policy, product specialists available via chat.|
|American Musical Supply||Authorized retailer for many brands ensures authenticity, wide selection of inventory, quick delivery.|
All of the retailers listed above have built strong reputations in the music gear industry through consistent high quality customer experiences. Their policies offer players reasonable protections compared to questionable sellers.
While prices may not be rock-bottom compared to unknown websites, avoiding issues altogether is worth the slight premium for many people. Peace of mind and the backing of trusted household brands matter greatly when investing in expensive instruments or gear for the long run.
Of course, used and vintage gear can still be found at excellent values through dedicated marketplaces like Reverb. Local independent shops are also worth supporting if they provide knowledgeable service and fair prices in your area.
A blend of established and local sources can help players assemble a quality collection of equipment to last for years, without skimping on necessary consumer safeguards or becoming victim to dubious operators.
For online guitar shopping, this Nowbestbuys review highlights several important lessons for buyers to keep in mind:
If a deal looks too good to be true, it’s best to avoid the risk of issues down the line. No one reliable offers permanent 50%+ discounts.
Check reviews from multiple sources (Reverb, Amazon, forums), not just the merchant’s own positive feedback. Look for patterns.
Never believe exaggerated “MSRP vs our price” claims without proof – sellers can inflate both sides to entice buyers.
Prioritize an honest return/exchange policy where the burden is on the seller, not customer, to make things right.
Shipping timeframes stated should account for realistic delivery ranges, including customs delays potentially imposed. Hidden fees are unfair.
An authorized dealer provides legitimacy through manufacturer warranties and protections against counterfeits.
Support established local/online retailers through brand names where feedback consistently demonstrates fairness and customer service as top priority over add-on fees and strict policies aimed more at protecting profit margins than buyers.
Shopping smart requires researching red flags, reading between the marketing lines, and considering indicators of trustworthiness over superficial discounts alone. For important major purchases like guitars, the money saved upfront is rarely worth the risks of headaches or being left high and dry down the line from unscrupulous operators. Caveat emptor!
Based on extensive research into customer reviews, policies, and business practices, we believe Nowbestbuys shows clear signs of being an illegitimate online retailer that should rightfully be avoided.
The evidence strongly suggests they engage in questionable tactics like overpromising on pricing or product availability/accuracy in order to make misleading sales.
Add in unreliable shipping, unfair return policies that penalize customers rather than solve problems, and abysmal customer service experiences, and Nowbestbuys fails to demonstrate honest, ethical or consumer-first operations worthy of anyone’s money or trust.
Complaints against them seem well-founded and the risk too great to gamble on discounted prices alone.
All indications are that established music product retailers provide a much safer, supportive shopping experience aligned with protecting legitimate buyers in the long run through brand guarantees, liberal policies, service, and accountability.
So, while the temptation of superficial savings exists on ambiguous websites, peace of mind and avoiding potential nightmares down the line through proven trustworthy sellers is worth far more to discerning customers. Avoid Nowbestbuys and shop smart!