Just what I thought would happen. Since this was an actual store you should have more chances of getting your money back than if were some random person online. I would advise to take it slow and try to work things out with them first. If this is a small store there may still be a chance that the owner thought it was real too.
The first thing you should do is Email PRS customer service at: email@example.com and call their number 410-643-9970. Send them pictures of the guitar just like you had on the add including the one showing the serial number. They should be able to quickly verify that it is not a real PRS. If the store in question has an email, copy him in the email and request PRS to send the response to both. They may be even able to provide you some written statement or point you to the local PRS Dealer too if needed.
Can't beat the actual company identifying it. If the store owner is honest this should be more than enough.
If you still have their receipt hang on to it. If he is still denying to give you the refund, let him know that you are working with the PRS comunity online where this case has gained some visibility and threaten to let everybody know what store they are, including the local Eureka community. In this digital age it is very hard for a business to survive bad online PR.
If they still don't care then you should just take the case with your local authorities.
Part of the problem here is, knowing the area, is that it's probably a small store. A $2000 guitar probably feed his family and made a real difference to his bottom line. Yes, he needs to do the honest thing, but it may be very hard for him to do so! Again, I'm just assuming, if it's Eureka Springs area, I've never seen a music store there.
You can also print and point him at this site: http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/models.html
If yours is a normal Custom 24 then it should have Phase II Locking tuners, but I remember the ones in yours are regular tuners:
"CUSTOM: 1985 - Current. The definitive original PRS, figured maple top, 10 top option from ’87, mahogany back and neck, volume, sweet switch and 5 way rotary offered until 1991, Brazilian rosewood fretboard until 1991, PRS Tremolo and cam-style locking tuners, stoptail offered from 1993 (or so) - 2001, Phase II tuners form 2002."
Phase II tuners look like this
Hello, this is the man that sold the PRS in Eureka. I just wanted to give my side of the story. I am NOT refusing to give him his money back. The whole story is....that I bought the guitar from Guitar Center in about 2004 and have picture's of my band back then to prove it. Nobody ever said anything to me for the whole eight years about it being fake. Then I sold it for a lot less than the guy on Craigslist was wanting. $900 and an old acoustic for trade in. I sold it "used" "as is". This was almost a year ago. Then he comes walking in and says a guy in Kansas City told him it was a fake. He said he needed money and wanted his money back. I called PRS and they said that the serial numbers WERE correct. The guy at PRS told me it was a "Musicians friend exclusive" and gave me the email addresse firstname.lastname@example.org. I emailed him pics. I have not yet heard back. He did tell me that they had no record of fakes before 2007. I am NOT a PRS expert at all, but as a business owner I do not want to be ripped off either. It has been almost a year and it was sold "used as is" I have offered him half his money back which would mean he would have $450 in the guitar or I told him I would trade him a 1995 gibson flying V for it. The law is....It is unlawful to manufacture or knowingly sell a counterfit guitar. I want to do him right but nobdy has even proven to me that its wrong yet. This whole ordeal has lasted now a little over 24 hours he came in at @2pm on Sunday. Oh also, the guy at Little rock guitar center said it was not a fake by the way. For every person I have found that said it was fake, I have found one that said it wasn't. He just walked in my store with no proof wanting money after almost a year. Store owners can be just as much victims as customers.
What is your music store in Eureka Springs? Just curious, I live in Fayetteville, always looking for new places to check out gear.
Does anyone still have the pics of that guitar, other than the headstock on page 1?
Can we see some photos of the guitar, please. It will be pretty easy to tell you if it's real or fake.
Ok, so Mr. Confused..feels like a lot of holes in your story. 1st off, PRS, that I know of, has never done a USA exclusive for Musicians Friend..maybe with the SE line, but not the USA line. And serial numbers can be faked also. Look at several PRS guitars online and look at the seriel numbers on the back of the headstock. It's not even the same handwriting style.
Look, I don't want to argue with you are cause you maybe a victim too.. But if you own a music store and sell guitars then I find it very hard to believe that you can't spot a fake..especially one so obvious. I live in Springfield, only and hour from you. You want to meet, I'll show you in person what a real PRS looks like and point out several differences between the two. I am by no means a PRS expert, but I have owned about 30 over the years and currently have 2. I can bring you previous catalogs, and the PRS book.
Personally, I know you can be a victim as much as a buyer. I get that. But you are on the PRS forum. A place where PRS lovers chit chat about a guitar they love. Post pictures of the guitar on here, if one senior member says it's real, we'll back off. Ask ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! © he knows PRS guitars very well. Feel free to message me and I'll give you my number and talk to you about it if you wish.
If you truly are an honest person and want to do the right thing, let us help you. Post some pics
Please, post some pics and you will get your answer. We only want to help. I'm the one that started this thread, I am the person who informed your customer that he was taken. I am not perfect, I might have made a mistake. I hopw I did. Let the guys on here who own more than I do and have experience at the PRS factory help you
Until we see pics and both sides agree we're looking at the same guitar, this is all just entertainment. I don't get the impression that the seller is out to screw anyone. Let's see how he responds after we see pics.
Sorry, I got all excited..you know that happens to me! I do have pics though..the guitar is relisted...
No question about it. That guitar is a fake.
Yeah, and that picture set is missing the back of the headstock picture, which was the most telling. It looked like it was written by a child, or myself.
Perhaps the person who made it copied the serial number of a similar guitar posted in an online auction or a guitar forum.
Hey! Check out the volute.
Sorry guys, didn't mean to get all emotional! lol But this kinda thing really irks me.
BTW, I don't think it is relisted....but the link I posted works