I'll preface this by saying I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones who has never been burned in a Craigslist deal...everyone I have dealt with has been honest and straight forward. On Wednesday on my lunch break I was browsing Craigslist to see if there was anything interesting. I stumbled across a MIA Fender P5 listed at a too good to be true $550. I wrote it off as either a stolen item or some other shady proposition. During the rest of my shift the thought of bass kept returning to my head. When I got home later that evening I decided to email the seller. What's the worst that could happen? I got a response the following day. The seller apologized for the post still being up. He said he had sold the bass in a matter of hours but he did have two other basses he might consider selling. One was a Fender Custom Shop Relic 60's P bass in shoreline gold and the other was a Fender custom shop 5 string PJ in sunburst with an American flag airbrushed on the back. His response included photos of both basses. I replied that I was intrigued but that both would certainly be out of my price range. He quickly responded saying the Custom shop relic actually would not be. He said he used to be the VP of operations for the Fender Custom Shop and had the bass made to his specifications to match a bass that he had previously owned. He said he had them leave the custom shop label off of the reverse of the headstock because a bass from the 60's would not have that and therefore not be authentic. Red flags were going off everywhere but for some reason I pressed on inquiring for more photos. He sent me every photo I asked him for and went on to elaborate that he had taken a similar position in the custom shop at Martin Guitar in Nazareth, PA. I did Google image searches of the photos expecting one to show up somewhere on a message board giving me a reason to bail but they did not. All of this sounded too good to be true. I did some more homework and started looking for geotags on the photos. The original ones he sent me actually returned a hit for Corona, CA. I searched his name and Fender and it was actually in several locations on Fender message boards. Either I was dealing with an extremely good con artist or everything this guy was saying was true. Eventually I told him I wanted to meet and most likely purchase the bass. We set up a time and a public location. He was going to meet me on his lunch break. I waited in the Lowe's parking lot anxious and nervous at the same time. Then right at noon as we had agreed on a black car pulled up with California plates. I got out of my car and introduced myself. He showed me the bass and I responded "You said you wanted $$$$ right?" He responded yes and I quickly unlocked my car and got an envelope with the money from my glove box. The neck plate had the correct style serial number everything looked legitimate all that was missing was the custom shop logo, just as he had said. I ended up getting a MIA custom shop relic for less than I would have paid for a new MIM road worn bass. I guess I can't be 100% sure it is real without the decal but if he was trying to scam me I'd assume he would have been asking market value. However after all of the emails, pictures, the transaction and actually holding and playing the bass I fully believe the story. The parts alone are probably worth close to what I paid. I took the bass home, plugged it in and played it for as long as I could before I had to leave for work. It is awesome. I haven't taken any pictures of it myself but here is a teaser from what he sent. I've told the story to a few family members and friends. I'm pretty sure they all think I am crazy. I figured I had to tell the story to some folks who might actually appreciate it.