How do you put a value on a home made guitar?

Dr. Tweedbucket

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I have a very talented friend who started building guitars, namely Tele and Gibson LP Jr copies. All the measurements are taken from blueprints so the guitars are accurate and turning out as good or better than originals.

I'm going to buy a LP Jr. from him but he won't really give me a price on it, he is just shipping it and says ' if you like it, send me a bunch of money' :)

.... I've seen production Gibson LP Juniors double cuts go for as low as $550, and historics as low as $1,200. This one is a two piece body. Assuming this one plays and sounds great, how much would YOU pay for a 'no name' guitar?



















 

FlackBase

Felonious Monkey
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I think the first rule of trading is let the seller price his own stuff, and then the ball is in your court.
 

bugman

Member
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615
hard to say, mostly we pay for that gibson or fender name, over head, ect, but the boutique stuff like you said is sometimes better, the 550,00 jrs are slapped together by gibson kind of cheap and the historic stuff i think there is no better, in my opinion ?? im sure that does not help
 

mwhy

Silver Supporting Member
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1,691
Price can be so many things: quality of the wood/hardware/electronics, quality of the build, name of the luthier, etc. etc. This looks like a fairly basic build with basic materials (nothing "flashy") by a so-far no-named builder. So, how about $500-600 if you like it?

"Basic" builds by a well-known luthier can be $2000 and up...
 

Jan Folkson

Member
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1,441
Hard to say. I can tell you that buying TOP QUALITY parts (including body and neck) on a F type guitar usually runs in the range of $700 or so. On a G type guitar you've got to cut your own body parts, but the blanks are in the neighborhood of $100 for the body and $50 for the neck, putting the parts cost at around $550, but there's much more labor involved.

Obviously none of that matter if the guy doesn't know how to put it all together.

If it plays as well or better than as a custom shop LP Jr. I'd say it's probably worth $1,300 - $1,500 give or take. Considering it's from an unknown (or up and coming) builder.
 

dspellman

Member
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8,310
Impossible to price these things; you probably need to look at what you can get from production or other semi-custom sources. That guitar (with two pickups and block inlays) is $259 from Rondo Music. There are several sources of that guitar in the $800's, but a single-cut version with two pickups from Collings will run $2600 or so. And a vintage original could be even more expensive.

Carvin's "plank" (flat, non-carved top and bottom) guitars start in the $749 range for neck-through construction, and these are build-to-order.

This is, after all, what you get for $259:
 

sanhozay

klon free since 2009
Gold Supporting Member
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11,665
The builder should realistically surmise material compensation and, for starters, add 20-30%. The market will ultimately dictate finally pricing and if additional builds are worthwhile.

Nice piece!
 

stevieboy

Clouds yell at me
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I think the first rule of trading is let the seller price his own stuff, and then the ball is in your court.
I agree. As a builder, and even more so as a friend, the guy ought to give you an idea of what he thinks it's worth. What if he thinks it should get a lot more than you decide, you could hurt your friendship.
 

A-Bone

Montonero, MOY, Multitudes
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I agree. As a builder, and even more so as a friend, the guy ought to give you an idea of what he thinks it's worth. What if he thinks it should get a lot more than you decide, you could hurt your friendship.
This sounds reasonable to me, especially since this is a friend, and you do not want to end up with strained relations as a result of what started out as a nice gesture.
 

jaycee

Member
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8,301
See if he'll at least tell you how much he estimates the parts and labor cost him. Then you can add in the amount that you feel is fair.
 

jaycee

Member
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8,301
Also, just tell him that you feel a little uncomfortable with the deal and you don't want to unintentionally insult him.
 
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In the title you refer to this as a "home made" gtr. That is worth a lot less than a "craftsman-made" gtr. Is this guy talented/experienced woodworker or some hillbilly stick whittler? Did he make it in a "shop" or a in his kitchen? His skill is worth more or less depending on the answers to these questions. It looks pretty well made, and any well-made, "custom" gtr should be worth $1000. If he wants to apply a "for a friend" discount; then bully for you!

I have a gtr made by a friend who simply gave it to me when he was starting out; now he's a well-known established builder. It's probably worth more now than what I paid for it(!).
 

2leod

Re-Member
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8,598
It sounds to me that your friend is testing the waters to see what you think is a fair market price. However, I would say what you two decide is a fair exchange on this particular guitar and what the market will bear should he continue to build are two different things. I would think he has some number in mind - if you think it is low giving him more (based on your frienship) is not a bad thing as I would think, and I may be wrong here, that resale value is low on the priority scale for this particular exchange.
 

Dr. Tweedbucket

Deluxe model available !!!11
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47,932
It sounds to me that your friend is testing the waters to see what you think is a fair market price. However, I would say what you two decide is a fair exchange on this particular guitar and what the market will bear should he continue to build are two different things. I would think he has some number in mind - if you think it is low giving him more (based on your frienship) is not a bad thing as I would think, and I may be wrong here, that resale value is low on the priority scale for this particular exchange.

I agree, the guy is an old grade school friend and is an amazing artist first and foremost. I'll probably just pay whatever he comes up with and not worry about it ( assuming it feels and plays well). I know just the hardware alone wasn't cheap.
I have a real 59 LP Jr. available to compare to, so that should be interesting. I generally don't like to lose too much money on guitars when I re-sell them, but this may be a guitar I won't have to worry about ever re-selling. If it plays and sounds great, how cool to have a guitar that my oldest friend built!

See if he'll at least tell you how much he estimates the parts and labor cost him. Then you can add in the amount that you feel is fair.

He's a funny guy, he said he messed up the control cover blank and had to make a second one for it. He's charging me double for that! He also cut the truss rod nut blank on a holiday and that was really going to jack up the price! :D

I have a feeling he'll give me a decent deal.
 

DrumBob

Platinum Supporting Member
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17,591
"Just send me a bunch of money" is not good business on his part. You need to agree on a firm price beforehand. Stuff like this can ruin a relationship.

There's a guy here in NJ who wants to sell me a Les Paul Junior replica with a bolt-on neck and a '66 Gibson P-90 for $350, which I think is reasonable. I just don't want a bolt-on neck. Besides, it's painted white, which I don't like on a Junior.

I'd say if you can get it for $600-700 or so, that would be good, the most I would pay.

A luthier in upstate NY wanted to sell me a cherry red LP Junior replica for $750 recently. The neck was the biggest I ever had my hands around. It played OK overall, but had tuning issues. Probably needed nut work. I sent it back. I would have paid about $600 for it, considering it had to go to my tech for tweaking.
 

puckhead

Member
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2,098
He's a funny guy, he said he messed up the control cover blank and had to make a second one for it. He's charging me double for that! He also cut the truss rod nut blank on a holiday and that was really going to jack up the price! :D

I have a feeling he'll give me a decent deal.

yeah this isn't a business decision for him. he's making a guitar for a friend.
Sounds like he'll give you a number you'll be happy with.
 




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