Zon basses - is everything OK ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rumblefisher, Jul 30, 2018.


  1. BeeTL

    BeeTL Commercial User

    Sep 26, 2006
    Oldsmar, FL
    Brad Lowe, Lowe Custom Guitars
    Understood, but @Rumblefisher is already a client, and guitar building is not how I make my living, so there’s that.

    As a practical matter, hiring an X-hundred-dollar-per-hour attorney to pursue relatively small dollar amounts is not cost-effective. At some point, one must consider whether it makes sense to fish or cut bait.

    Understanding the next steps in the process helps in making that decision.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2021
  2. truand85

    truand85

    Nov 11, 2021
    Phoenix, AZ
    You don't need to hire an attorney for hundreds of dollars to go to small claims court.
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  3. BeeTL

    BeeTL Commercial User

    Sep 26, 2006
    Oldsmar, FL
    Brad Lowe, Lowe Custom Guitars
    Yes, that’s why I posted the link. Any hope for recovery is a DIY affair, whether it’s the product or a refund.
     
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  4. deirdresm

    deirdresm

    Jan 31, 2020
    Menlo Park, CA
    I live a town away, and never been there, but I'll note the following:

    1. One of their retailers was Gelb, which merged with Haight Ashbury (they were owned by the same owner) and moved into a different space in Redwood City (same city as Zon). Since then, I haven't seen them stock any new Zon basses, though I *think* they had one within the last couple years.
    2. maps.google.com for Zon Guitars says "Temporarily Closed" - but I have no info as to why it says that. I don't know if that means the showroom was closed for Covid and now isn't…or what.
    3. While this is also true for a lot of other small makers (e.g., G&L), their dealer page links to several closed dealers. Only dealer I found with any Zon inventory was Rudy's, and that's two sub $2k basses, aka imports.

    I know a lot of small makers (in other fields) who had large commits were just whammed when overseas shipping costs went through the roof. I hope that's not what happened here.
     
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  5. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Maybe they're closed for the Holly Daze?
     
  6. deirdresm

    deirdresm

    Jan 31, 2020
    Menlo Park, CA
    I suppose it’s possible, but it’s an odd week for that given retailer needs.
     
  7. Jefus

    Jefus I..um...yeah...about that... Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2008
    Sacramento now...
    I don't think they are still producing basses for retailers. They updated the "build your {insert model here}" pages recently to where they just show "retail" price but it says to contact Zon for pricing. In other words, it looks like they're pretty much a custom order only builder now.
     
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  8. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    They moved out of their Redwood City spaces many years ago at this point. There was never a showroom- it was an unmarked building- but they moved out a while back.

    I think the rest of the last few posts about building for direct vs retail is just speculation.
     
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  9. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    They are not located in San Mateo County.

    Too many posts in this thread by people not even remotely involved.
     
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  10. deirdresm

    deirdresm

    Jan 31, 2020
    Menlo Park, CA
    If they’re not in San Mateo County, where are they?

    All their Internet presence (and every third-party site I found) says they’re still there.

    As far as direct vs. retail, they don’t seem to have any significant penetration into retail, so that seems an obvious extrapolation.
     
  11. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    They moved to Livermore a while back. Their website has not been updated in a while but it’s not a secret.

    They’re a small business- it’s not like they’ve ever had an enormous retail presence and no retail shops are buying up lots of stock lately. Maybe it’s a distinction without a difference but it’s not a meaningful extrapolation in this context.
     
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  12. Jefus

    Jefus I..um...yeah...about that... Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2008
    Sacramento now...
    I stand corrected. Of the 5 dealers listed on their page, 1 is out of business and two have new Zons in stock.

    However, when I talked to Joe about my build he never said anything to me about going through a dealer. All of my dealings with them have been with Joe directly after one of his associates botched several small orders/communications in a row.
     
    RodRy likes this.
  13. VTbassplayer

    VTbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Northampton, MA
    Per an email from Martin at Zon this past August:

    “Our basses are now sold factory direct.”
     
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  14. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I didn’t say they didn’t do that- I’ve bought them that way dating back to 2007- just saying the conclusion that they must not have retailers as a proxy for decline is indirect at best.

    If that was the goal, use the fact that the website is at least 15 years old with only minimal updates for new instruments.
     
  15. BeeTL

    BeeTL Commercial User

    Sep 26, 2006
    Oldsmar, FL
    Brad Lowe, Lowe Custom Guitars
    That's the nature of internet forums, thank you for the correction, and an updated link is below:

    Alameda County Small Claims Court.

    Having been bamboozled out of four-figure sums by contractors more than once, I can attest to the fact that recovery is no easy task and winning in court is no guarantee that that the plaintiff will see their money again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
  16. gwangi

    gwangi

    Jul 4, 2009
    Forbidden Valley
    My last 2 Zon's were ordered thru Bass San Diego the first one in 2014 and the last one in like May or June of 2020 before Bass San Diego closed the doors.
     
  17. Jefus

    Jefus I..um...yeah...about that... Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2008
    Sacramento now...
    When did you receive the Zon your ordered in May or June of 2020? Apologies if you've already said.
     
  18. gwangi

    gwangi

    Jul 4, 2009
    Forbidden Valley
    My 2nd Zon was ordered in Oct.of 2018 thru Bass San Diego and received it in I think roughly June of 2020 but it was shipped directly from Zon Guitars, when the order was place in Oct. 2018 I was told roughly 12 months, my first Zon I ordered back in 2013 sometime I received sometime in 2014 and it was roughly 12 months out that I remembered.
     
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  19. I don't think your metaphor applies to a buyer-beware-type situation. It's not at all the same as a tire falling off and destroying or damaging your vehicle (or killing you.) If you approached it this way with the courts, it would likely cost you thousands and you'd end up with nothing.
    I think the best someone can hope to get is that the court orders the deposit be returned HOWEVER , if Zon has no way to return it, and has no funds, there's virtually nothing the court can do. Take a look at how much manpower and money it takes to prosecute financial crimes, even small ones.

    What a shame. Zon used to be very highly regarded.

    If the court tells Zon to pay back your deposit and he doesn't, you could maybe hire a bailiff or collection agency to collect the amount somehow (harassment, coercion, whatever) - but then you'd be out a fairly large percentage and most CA/bailiffs won't even come to the door for a deal under $10k.

    In the back of my mind, I do wonder if Zon Co is receiving government pandemic assistance which is predicated on them not booking any sales at the moment. If so, it may be the only way they can afford to keep any of their staff or even the lights on.
     
    Fuzzbass, gwangi, RodRy and 1 other person like this.
  20. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Contributor- Bass Musician Magazine
    It's really too bad that ZON hasn't jumped on here to address any of these issues directly, which has resulted in a 25 page diatribe of frustration and speculation.

    Joe may feel like TB is a waste of time (as some builders do), but the unfortunate truth is that google likes talkbass very much, when prospective buyers are researching boutique brands. And, the fact that it is stickied to the top of the basses forum makes it feel like more of a big deal and less of a run-of-the-mill gripe session.
     
    31HZ likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Dec 2, 2021

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