Tbargain.com Chinese Fake Epiphone Scam Site

I just had my first experience with an Epiphone 1956 Goldtop Reissue fake. I was not aware that Epiphones were faked, Gibsons and PRSs I can understand. I found the website tBargain.com recently and they had several Epiphone models for sale. The photos on the site appear to be of legitimate guitars and the prices very reasonable with free shipping included. What is missing in the photos is the certificate of authenticity. After my purchase ($349.00)I got several emails telling me about the progress of the order, then nothing for about three weeks. I filed a PayPal claim and the guitar that was shipped to me was not a genuine Epiphone. About $45.00 was due in customs fees. It was packed in a form-fitting styrofoam shipping box with a real looking Epiphone box inside. In the box were a cord, Epiphone Owner's Manual, a poster and a hang-tag. The guitar was in a soft foam shipping bag. The paint scheme is a light gold metallic body top with a mahogany red bottom, sides and back of the neck. The headstock looks just like the one on my genuine Epi 1956 GoldTop Reissue with correct appearing script and colors. The script on the truss rod cover is in much fatter type and says "56 Gold Top Reissue" Stickers on the back of he neck read "Inspectioncard QC" and "100% Inspected and Set-up in the USA by 69E". The serial number is 1021523002. The chrome Grover tuners might be real, but they look a little rough under close inspection. The rosewood fretboard and inlays match the genuine GT with the frets needing just a little work on some of the edges. The pickups match the real GT's, but the pollpiece adjustment screws are slightly different. The chrome bridge is similar to the real GT, but slightly different. The tailpiece also looks very similar to the real GT. The control placement has a slightly different spacing, the knobs are gold and the binding is different. The horn on the cutout and pickguard are of a slightly different profile. Overall it is not a bad entry level LP copy with a reasonable fit and finish. The serial number does not match-up to any Epiphone code I could find. The set-up is average and the frets are even. It has a nice bark to it when the distortion is cranked up on the amp and plays ok with the dead factory strings. Again, not knowing that Epiphones are faked, I assumed it might be an Epiphone prototype or some other concept guitar which might have gotten in with the regular run production models. Definitely worth the price to me for something unique. I withdrew my PayPal claim (big mistake!)as I had received a guitar. After some research I now know I am in possession of a fake GT. I sent an email to the company and am awaiting a response. I am alerting you folks to this scam and I hope Epiphone management pursues these crooks. I have filed a criminal complaint with IC3. :!:

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