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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm constantly on the lookout for great deals on saxophone and saxophone-related items. I came across a listing for a Yamaha Custom Zii alto gold lacquered sax on Amazon a couple of days ago... tried to resist as long as I could but I finally caved yesterday and ordered the horn. With the 5% rewards I get on my Amazon visa card and the free shipping and no tax, the net cost to me is $2,850. Not bad for a brand new Zii and cheaper than the typical deal for a used one.

See the attached screenshot for the listing. There was only 1 left at the price, so it will no longer show up on Amazon as an option. I took a screenshot because the photo of the tenor neck in an alto listing gave me some pause, but then when I looked at WWBW's listing, it shows the same stock photos, including the tenor neck (when you get to WWBW's site, choose the "lacquered" option from the drop down list). So I think it's just an erroneous stock photo included in the set.

https://www.wwbw.com/Yamaha-YAS-82ZII-CST-Z-ALTO-SAX-J13661.wwbw?condition=used

Anyway, the horn is fulfilled by Amazon, so worst case, I return it for free and no harm done. I also called the seller directly and they seem to be legit. For those in the market for a Zii, the rep I spoke with said they will have a new batch coming in next week. I'll receive my horn tomorrow and will confirm if it is in fact legit.

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Wow… I'm interested to hear how it turns out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks like a counterfeit to me, unfortunately. See attached photos. The absence of the flower engraving in the middle of the bell right next to the "Custom Z," the weird and shallow engravings on the other side of the bell and the case are giveaways. See attached photos. Anyone have a different opinion?


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I would also try and let Amazon know that their 3rd party seller "Smith Premium Products" is selling counterfeit products on their site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would also try and let Amazon know that their 3rd party seller "Smith Premium Products" is selling counterfeit products on their site.
That was one of the first things I did. I also spoke with the owner himself and he seemed surprised and said they will have a talk with their supplier. Quite plausible he didn't know because he is not a musician himself (their store sells all types of products). It is, of course, a seller's responsibility to do their due diligence and confirm the authenticity of the products they're peddling.

This is actually the second time I've ended up buying one of these counterfeit 82ZII's (identical down to the engravings). Both orders arrived within a few days of each other (still processing the return for the eBay purchase). Both instances were zero-risk scenarios (first one was on eBay), so no harm done. I'd place those orders 10 times out of 10 due to the zero downside and 100% upside scenarios.
 

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Wow! I knew counterfeiting was a problem on auction sites, but I would not have expected Amazon vendors to be dealing in fakes. I wonder how many buyers (and sellers) have been duped?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow! I knew counterfeiting was a problem on auction sites, but I would not have expected Amazon vendors to be dealing in fakes. I wonder how many buyers (and sellers) have been duped?
That's a great question. The eBay seller who sold me the other fake bought at least 15 of those from his supplier and is now embroiled in a fight to get his money back. He had been planning to buy more, so I guess it's kind of fortuitous that he sold it to me and now knows not to buy more from that supplier. Same with Smith Premium Products.
 

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I'm guessing the wholesale price should be a clue to any retailer. That was the case when I did video piracy investigations for the Motion Picture Association of America. I found it hard to believe video store owners who claimed innocence when they bought videos-for-rent that were WAY below the expected price from legitimate sources. Oh, I suppose this guy is just naive, but . . . DAVE
 

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