I don’t get it.

Austin_Taunt

Don’t tell my wife I’m buying another guitar
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
977
Why do people dump a lot of money into a MIM Strat or tele and then expect to recoup their investment? Just had a really nice guy offer to trade his customized tele for one of my guitars. He bought it for $800 from a local ma and pa shop and proceeded to spend another $800 on changing pups and hardware. He honestly felt the guitar was worth $1300 bc it was “custom”. I didnt have the heart to tell him he got hosed. I understand making a piece of gear your own but people need to realize customizing or “upgrading” does very little for the value of a guitar and you will take a bath when you go to sell it.

Honestly, I’m more concerned about this small shop screwing these kids over. $1600 for a MIM tele with new pickups, tuners, nut, bridge and saddles! Good lord that’s a lot for nothing.
 
Last edited:
Messages
877
Upgrades decrease the resell value. The highest resale value is a stock instrument. The only upgrades people MIGHT pay more for are a Mastery on a JM or locking tuners. Now if they include original hardware, then maybe I'd be willing to pay the same price as a stock instrument... but not more.
 

Benz2112

Memba?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,201
At that point, you might as well part it out, the money is still gone though.
 

DrumBob

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
17,611
Lots of players fall into the trap of modding a cheap guitar and then think they can recoup their investment. It doesn't happen. A $400 Epiphone is still a $400 Epiphone. If you're going to upgrade pickups and hardware, keep the old stuff and put it back on when you sell the guitar.
 

Austin_Taunt

Don’t tell my wife I’m buying another guitar
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
977
Money>brains. Seriously it’s that some people just aren’t facing reality in doing the mods on a cheap guitar.
I see it most with people who are bad with money. They can’t save and have to spend the $300 extra from their paycheck. I have a buddy who constantly buys $400-700 guitars bc he gets impulsive. He started to go down this rabbit hole with a MIM strat. I asked him if the guitar was worth keeping considering he needs to do $400 in “upgrades” to it. Thankfully he stopped. He ignored my advice to sell the strat and any gear laying around unused and combine that with the $400 and buy an American Professional used. He went and bought a Sterling Cutlass and asked me about what Music Man would charge to change the pickups. Good lord.
 

Austin_Taunt

Don’t tell my wife I’m buying another guitar
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
977
Just like custom cars.
You never get back what you put in.
I've seen $100,000 cars sell for half that at auction.
Hahaha. Great point. I’m casting stones but have an older Harley I’ve been customizing for 3yrs now into a “show bike”. Granted it’s getting crazy cool and I’ve placed twice now but I just get a plaque lol. I go to these shows with my dad and we enjoy setting up a mini campsite, grilling burgers and swapping build stories with the other guys. I wouldn’t be able to recoup 1/2 of what I have in the bike and it’s not done yet lol. I do enjoy my time with the old man tho.
 

slamigo

Member
Messages
283
As soon as I see that someone has modded their guitar, I don't even consider it. They may as well hang a sign on the guitar that says "This is the guitar I learned how to solder on, learned how not to adjust a truss rod and also how not to dress frets." Or my personal favourite are the strat copies that have polyurethane paint and are somehow relic'ed with copious amounts of sanding and smacking with hammers. My polyurethane guitars that are 25 years old look almost new. It's really durable paint. SMH
 

budglo58

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,598
Just like custom cars.
You never get back what you put in.
I've seen $100,000 cars sell for half that at auction.
I agree , the hobby car industry is stoopid crazy these days. It isn’t just the sellers that are whacked either. Saw a restored 72 Cutlass go for over 100k and a 2017 Camaro go for way more than that.
 

slamigo

Member
Messages
283
Hahaha. Great point. I’m casting stones but have an older Harley I’ve been customizing for 3yrs now into a “show bike”. Granted it’s getting crazy cool and I’ve placed twice now but I just get a plaque lol. I go to these shows with my dad and we enjoy setting up a mini campsite, grilling burgers and swapping build stories with the other guys. I wouldn’t be able to recoup 1/2 of what I have in the bike and it’s not done yet lol. I do enjoy my time with the old man tho.
This reminds me of trying to explain to someone that the custom steering on my old jeep YJ was worth more than the asking price when I sold it. The custom made chromoly tie rod alone cost $300 and it also had custom after market steering knuckles and lots of specialty parts. But it was still just a Jeep YJ. I think I poured about $4-5k into that jeep and sold it for $1400 in the end. Lol
 

bsacamano

Member
Messages
9,247
It's pretty simple. Mod your stuff as you see fit. If you think you'll want to sell it down the road, hold onto the original hardware. When it comes time to sell, take it back to stock and sell the "upgraded" hardware separately.
 

soulman969

Member
Messages
3,650
Lots of players fall into the trap of modding a cheap guitar and then think they can recoup their investment. It doesn't happen. A $400 Epiphone is still a $400 Epiphone. If you're going to upgrade pickups and hardware, keep the old stuff and put it back on when you sell the guitar.
This is about the best advice anyone can give another when it comes to mods and/or upgrades. Some things may add value provided the buyer wants them but never enough to recoup their full retail value.

If I'm unsure I'll keep something long term I'll leave it stock and keep it in mint condition to maximize what I might get for it used.

Once I start down the path to making it mine I have to accept that it will be mine for a very long time or be prepared to remove the upgrades as I did more recently on two I sold.

I bought them right and managed to recoup what I'd paid or more after owning each for nearly 10 years. At one point I had listed the bass with over $300 of upgrades for only $70 more than it sold for without them and it didn't sell. Now I can either reuse those items on another bass or sell them separately.
 

whatizitman

Member
Messages
1,000
Honestly, I’m more concerned about this small shop screwing these kids over. $1600 for a MIM tele with new pickups, tuners, nut, bridge and saddles! Good lord that’s a lot for nothing.
Not to worry. It only has to happen once.

Months later after it's painfully clear he can't recoup his costs, he'll get it.
 




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