Why buy in China? There are a few legit reasons.
Without getting into the morality of having Gibson on the headstock, let’s assume you do order a copyright infringing guitar. Here’s why you might want to do that.
1. The particular guitar you want is no longer in production.
Many guitars go out of production for long periods of time. They might not be available at any price, so a replica might be the next best thing.
Say you are a stuggling musician that gets a gig in a Zeppelin tribute band. A honey burst LP and a red EDS will set you back the better part of $10,000. Good chance you don’t have that money – but you can’t pull off the Zep imitation with a cheap Epiphone. For about 1/10th the cost of the original, plus a bit of time and energy – you can recreate those guitars with a Chibson.
3. Peace of Mind
A lot of guys who gig guitars don’t want to take a valuable 59 LP on the road with them. They save the good gear for recording, and will use knockoffs on the road. If some idiot knocks it over and snaps off the headstock, you would much rather it be a Chibson than the real thing. And from 50 feet away, through a haze of pot smoke, nobody will be able to tell the difference.
My reasons for getting the Chibson EDS was 1 and 2. Didn’t have the money for the real Gibson, since they start used at about $4,000 and the guitar was no longer in production (either the Gibson or Epi version – although Epi just recently brought their double neck back into limited production.)
And from a strictly legal point of view – you aren’t breaking any laws in most countries. The Chinese are.