A Truly Ugly Exchange with Brandon Mercer

Recently, I’ve had a particularly bad exchange with a chap called Brandon Mercer who seems to alternately display interest and then total disinterest, nay even paranoia…

and there’s been news on the Brandon Mercer front: http://www.therecord.com/news/local/article/706771–u-s-fugitive-arrested-in-kitchener
apparently he is actually Glen Allan Ward and has been wanted in connection for fraud under several aliases including Sheldon Cross, John Wells, Sean Hamilton, Jeremy Mitchell, John Mitchell, Brandon Grant, Brandon Cartwright, Brandon Cohen, Brandon Michaels, Brandon Mercer, Jacob Becker, Jacob Alexander and Matthew Becker.

On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 10:26 AM, Terence Tan <tan.terence@gmail.com> wrote:

Hey Brandon,

I saw your post on AGF- I have a few Somogyis mostly MDs and wondering what you have for trade?

Warmest regards,

On Sun, Dec 13, 2009 at 1:03 AM, Brandon Mercer <g.brandonmercer@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Terence,

I am also interested in pre-war Martins. I also have asome great Classical guitars- Simon Ambridge, Robert Ruck , etc.

On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 6:05 PM, Terence Tan <tan.terence@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Brandon,

You have very fine taste in guitars!

There is a Dudenbostel D-21 style available in adirondack and brazilian rosewood which happens to be an absolute killer fingerstyle dread. (not the dream guitars one!)

Truth be told I am looking to move the Dudenbostel before the Somogyis- the Smogs were actually willed to me by my great friend Gary B. so I don’t feel quite right moving them without moving my own stuff first.

If you are a fan of fingerstyle SJ’s my Threet is also available- at a very reasonable price.


On Sun, Dec 13, 2009 at 7:09 AM, Brandon Mercer <g.brandonmercer@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Terence,

Thanks. I have heard only good things about Judy’s guitars but I really had my heart set on a Somogyi.  I am interested in the Dudenbostel. Please forward pics and let me know what you are asking and which of my guitars interest you.

On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 6:31 PM, Terence Tan <tan.terence@gmail.com> wrote:

HI Brandon,

Here are the specs:

* Type: Dreadnought
* Back/Sides Wood: Brazilian Rosewood
* Top Wood: Adirondack Red Spruce
* Neck Wood: Mahogany
* Fingerboard: Ebony
* Fret Markers: Diamonds
* Bridge: Ebony Belly
* Body Bindings: Tortoise Style
* Top Trim: Violin Lines
* Backstrip: Herringbone
* Rosette: Herringbone
* Tuners: Nickel Waverlys
* Case: OHSC
* Condition: Excellent, minor playwear.
* Body Length: 19 7/8 in.
* Upper Bout: 11 3/8 in.
* Lower Bout: 15 5/8 in.
* Body Depth @ Heel: 3 3/4 in.
* Body Depth @ Tail: 4 3/4 in.
* Scale Length: 25.25 in.
* Nut Width: 1 3/4 in.
* Strings Spacing: 2 1/4 in.

On Sun, Dec 13, 2009 at 7:50 AM, Brandon Mercer <g.brandonmercer@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Terence,

She is pretty. How much are you asking?

On Sun, Dec 13, 2009 at 10:36 AM, Terence Tan <tan.terence@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Brandon,
Thanks- she’s the real deal. I’m looking for 18K including shipping.


On Sun, Dec 13, 2009 at 10:43 AM, Brandon Mercer <g.brandonmercer@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Terence,

What about trades? I am not doing cash purchases unless it is a crazy good deal. As I wrote in the AGF post, I am looking to use guitar currency. Let me know your thoughts.

On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 10:47 AM, Brandon Mercer <g.brandonmercer@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Terence,

You have disappeared. My post was pretty clear regarding wanting to trade.

On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 2:42 AM, Terence Tan <tan.terence@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Brandon,

Would you send me the specs of the guitars you have to trade?


On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 10:34 PM, Brandon Mercer <g.brandonmercer@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Terrance,

Absolutely. First let me know which guitar interest you. You don’t need specs and pics on all my guitars. When we started e-mailing, I was excited with the propect of your multiple Somogyi’s- now we don’t even have one Somogyi. I got a feeling I am wasting my time…..

On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 1:46 PM, Terence Tan <tan.terence@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Brandon,

Thanks for your email.

Really my only interest lies in the Manzer and the Laskin. Like I mentioned my first priority is really to move the Dude before the Somgs as because you expressed an interest in the Dude, I thought you were keen on a trade for it?

If not then the Somg I’d be willing to trade would be a mod D in euro/braz non cutaway- but that would depend on the specs of the Manzer and the Laskin.


On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 10:55 PM, Brandon Mercer <g.brandonmercer@gmail.com> wrote:


I just remembered…… these guitars were willed to me. So , before I sell or trade them, I should move this Bashkin I own. Isn’t that ridiculous? Please don’t waste my time anymore. Thanks.

On Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 3:01 AM, Terence Tan <tan.terence@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Brandon. Just saw your latest reply.

I can understand why you’re not pleased with the lack of Somogyi and I am sure you am also see why I am confused with your previous interest in the dudenbostel then this change of heart and approach.

In any case, I’m sorry we couldn’t work out a deal.

On Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 6:22 AM, Brandon Mercer <g.brandonmercer@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Terrance,

Specs for the Laskin are on the internet. It is the 2009 Oscar Peterson Tribute Guitar he made for the Montreal Guitar Show this past Summer. The Manzer I will trade last. I really like this particular Manzer and may keep it for my personal collection. Thanks.

On Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 11:01 AM, Terence Tan <tan.terence@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Brandon.

Thank you for email.

Given the previously exchanges, I don’t feel comfortable trading in this atmosphere.

Best of luck with your trades- you have some very very fine guitars and I am sure you’ll find what you’re looking for.


On Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 12:37 AM, Brandon Mercer <g.brandonmercer@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Terence,

I agree completely. Your tactics are a bit misleading. It’s pretty clear your objective is to detail my inventory in an attempt to broker a deal with another seller  or just out of curiosity. This is probably why you opted to e-mail me privately rather than post your “supposed” 3 Somogyi’s. Reputation is everything in business and I certainly will not hesitate to pass on my personal experience in dealing with you. You should strive to be more upfront and straight with people. But, the statement of being willed the 3 Somogyi’s is quite humorous- that’s one for the record books.

Final reply:

Hi Brandon,

I agree that reputation is everything. Having spoken to some luthiers, yours precedes you. I will be publishing this entire exchange including the full email headers on my websites.

To express keen interest in a guitar and then turn around and accuse me of trying to broker a deal for your guitars is downright insulting. Especially given the fact that I sent you photos of my dudenbostel and even took the time to reply to your sarcastic emails to try to draw a line under the affair, you still had the gall to try to get me to look at your Laskin. After I again tried to bring things to close, you responded with more acid and bile.

I have been as patient and courteous as I can be but I see there is not much point in carrying on.

You know, I wonder if you even have the guitars you are offering for trade. I haven’t seen any shred of evidence or specs or photos to support this fact. You have had pics of my Dudenbostel at the very minimum to support my intent to trade. In fact I note you have consistently refused to post or show any photos of the guitars in your posts.

That’s moot point anyway. This reply along with the whole exchange including the original headers will be published for everyone to see.

As promised, here is the orignal header if anyone wants to track IPs.

Delivered-To: tan.terence@gmail.com
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References: <c43a0c500912120726p11e0117ek490c84e852ddd7a8@mail.gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2009 11:37:59 -0500
Message-ID: <aecc65c60912160837y1aa42fc1m1473354712d461eb@mail.gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Somogyi
From: Brandon Mercer <g.brandonmercer@gmail.com>
To: Terence Tan <tan.terence@gmail.com>