It has been suggested by a few people that I should do an "about me" page on this site. I'm not totally convinced (particularly with the photo idea!) but I agree that it's fair that people know a tiny bit about who they are dealing with!
My name is Rob Hayes. I live in Whitstable,Kent, UK. It is a small fishing town on the South coast of England famous for it's Oysters, Peter Cushing & being a jolly nice place !
I was with Kent Police for 32 years but retired in 2008. We lost our youngest son Chris in 2007 (also a guitarist & singer) A catastrophic event such as that tends to change your outlook on life.
I have been playing the guitar (pretty ordinarily) for over 30 years & played in my teenage years & in my 20's in a few bands but could never afford a decent guitar, bass or amplifier! The rest of my family are all musical, my brother plays professionally & my father played up until the age of 83! Sadly he passed away in 2013. Always an inspiration to everyone in the family & especially with their music. With 5 very musical grandsons, his legacy lives on
Over the years, my guitars were relegated to the attic & at 35 when I became single, I made a pact with myself to play again & to treat myself to a decent guitar at last !
I bought a lovely Japanese Fender Stratocaster '62 reissue which in turn was followed by a USA Strat, Jap Tele etc etc & finally I picked up a Pack Leader which needed restoration.
After I had completed the work, someone suggested that I document it on the net & feature other guitars that I owned. That was the beginning of Whitstable Guitars
Enquiries soon followed & requests for purchases. I was selling on ebay but was becoming increasingly frustrated with their restrictions, high charges etc etc. A guitar sold for £400 on Ebay can incur total fees of a whopping £55.00 ! (yes, really!) I truly don't understand how, if I sell a second hand car on ebay, I get a page full of photos included with the listing & pay 1% commission but if I sell a guitar for the same price I get lousy, poor resolution photos & have to pay around 13%. Totally unfair in my view!
I am happier to sell independently as this is just a small one man business. I enjoy what I do & now realise I much prefer to make somebody's day by selling them their dream guitar than ruining someone's day by arresting them!
If you buy an instrument or part from me, you will get the same service that I would expect from others. All my guitars arrive properly set up & ready to go !
Update in 2015
Things have moved on quite a bit in the last few years. I have been able to strike up a good working relationship with a large chain of stores in Japan & as such, I have access to their second hand guitars. I am now regularly importing small batches of Japanese made guitars that are often impossible to find anywhere else. I am able to select, import & then relist on the website & I take care of the shipping & the import duty & VAT so, other than shipping to you, there are no hidden charges.
I was restricted for a couple of years by the CITES rules which banned the import/export of Rosewood without an expensive certificate but the ban has now been lifted so whether it's a vintage Greco or Burny, a lovely JV Squier or Orville or a modern FGN or Fender Japan, if it's for sale in one of the outlets I use in Japan, I can get it for you
If you want to get in touch, you can do it via my email address which is
Emails are replied to within 24 hours unless the home page states that I am away
Thanks for reading & for visiting my little site.