Knowing how much to ask when selling?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by twangyt, Feb 14, 2008.


  1. twangyt

    twangyt Member

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    I need some advice here fellas:
    I have a musical instrument (NOT a guitar) that is quite rare that I came into not long ago. Now, knowing that there would be many people interested in this if I were to sell, what do I ask? I would love to sell this to someone that I know (possibly to a local studio) who I know will use it and appreciate it as much as I do - BUT, I would obviously like to get the most out of it that I can. (I kind of frown upon ebay in general b/c of the lack of personal connection.) When I tell someone about this instrument they are immediately interested, and then the question is raised.... so, "how much so you want for it???" That is where I fall short. I know that I always hate getting this answer: "I am open to offers..."

    I guess what I am trying to say is, I want as much as I can get for it without putting it on ebay. (I know that the last one on ebay sold for about $3,800 "Buy-it-now.") It is obvious that I would just like to sit on it for awhile and let my investment grow, but, someone could be using this thing.
    Hmmmm.... I guess that a compromise will have to be made either way.:jo

    Did that make any sense whatsoever???
     
  2. justonwo

    justonwo Supporting Member

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    This is good advice.
     
  3. Drkorey

    Drkorey Member

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    + 1


     
  4. twangyt

    twangyt Member

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    Yeah, that does sound like good advice. I appreciate the feedback - it's always great to get a second opinion. If I do decide to sell, I don't want to be kicking myself later!
     
  5. jtees4

    jtees4 Member

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    $10,000 or BEST OFFER. You will soon find out what it is worth to someone (you can do this on Craigslist if you want to avoid EBay).
     
  6. PinoyBoy

    PinoyBoy Member

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    Isn't there a Blue Book for all instruments? I would suggest to check prices at ebay and the BB for more data points.
     
  7. treeofpain

    treeofpain Supporting Member

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    Each instrument type has its own market. Let us know more details and we can give more specific advice.
     
  8. PFCG

    PFCG Member

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    what is it?
     
  9. Tonefish

    Tonefish Member

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    eBay usuallly establishes the market price.
     
  10. jmcloud

    jmcloud Member

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    What's this about a Blue Book for instruments? Hahaha I'm so out of the loop on this...probably a ridiculous question, but I've never heard of it. Anyone got a link or something?
     
  11. treeofpain

    treeofpain Supporting Member

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    There are several price guides for guitars. They are sometimes spot on and sometimes way ahead or behind. Useful as a GENERAl REFERENCE ONLY.

    eBay is a more "real life" reference, especially if you see several auctions ending successfully in a consistent price range. Do not look at asking prices, only at actual sales. (I can ask $10,000 for my Mexican Strat on eBay, but it's not a REAL market price until someone buys it).
     
  12. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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    How about this for an interesting method. Set a price and announce you will be lowering the price X amount once a week. A serious buyer would love to wait for a great price, but afraid to wait and watch someone else snag it before them.
     
  13. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    I am here as you are here as you are me and we are
    And in a time of declining prices like we're in now, WAY behind.

    Here are the latest editions of the prominent price guides:

    https://store.bluebookinc.com/Guitars/Default.aspx
    http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Electric...=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203135654&sr=1-2

    http://www.vintageguitar.com/store/category.asp?catID=6
    http://www.amazon.com/Official-Vint...bs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203135569&sr=8-1
     
  14. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    I disagree with the notion that eBay value is "local sale" value.

    If it were, then nobody would sell on eBay to get raped by the fees.

    The reason people pay eBay the fees is because you can (typically) get more than you would from a local sale because you are exposed to the buying pool of the entire world.

    The final auction price on eBay means: "not a single person in the world was willing to pay over this amount for this."

    In other words, eBay completed listings are pretty much representative of the maximum amount you can expect to sell something for, if you get lucky.

    I tend to think 10% to 15% off eBay value is a good starting point for a local sale, and expect to have to move off your price a little.

    On eBay a used iPod (for example) is about 10 dollars less than the equivalent brand new iPod. Obviously, were you to try and sell a used one locally, this is not the case.

    Finally, depending on the rarity of the item, it might actually be worth much less in a local sale than on eBay. Say you have a Chamberlin. There might be 500 people in the world who are really really jonesing to have a Chamberlin. There might be 1000 who know what a Chamberlin is (and both figures are generous).

    What are the odds that one of those people lives in your town and are going to see your classified ad? What are the odds that that person, if (s)he exists, has the funds at hand to buy your Chamberlin at eBay value? You'll probably have to wait awhile and sell for a bit less just to get someone to take the damn thing off your hands. When considering the the whole world as the 'market,' demand for a Chamberlin outstrips supply. If you have one to sell locally, however, and there are one or fewer people in the area who actually want/can afford a Chamberlin, then in YOUR market the supply exceeds or meets the demand, lowering the value in YOUR market.

    It's a bit overly optimistic to think that an eBay value translates to "true market value in a local, person-to-person sale."
     
  15. JamminJoe

    JamminJoe Member

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    Great post, Brad. Everything you said is dead-on. It is very hard to beat ebay prices with a local sale. craigslist is great, but most people are looking for bargains there and are not expecting to pay ebay prices or for high ticket items.
     
  16. Tonefish

    Tonefish Member

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    The OP states:
    -there would be many people interested in his item locally.
    -he would like to get as much as he can without going to eBay.

    It seems that eBay is still the relevant market indicator or at least a good starting point for him. Keep in mind he would have the recent eBay sale as proof of what the market would bear, plus he could offer the item for around 10% less, which provides a discount to the buyer but in reality is the same amount the seller would receive in the absence of eBay and PayPal fees.

    Keep in mind that there are benefits to the buyer for the local sale of a prized item.
     
  17. jeffwith1f

    jeffwith1f Member

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    ok
    good thoughts
    seriously, what is it?
    rare clarinet?
     
  18. PFCG

    PFCG Member

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    yeah why wouldent you wanna say what it is?
     
  19. twangyt

    twangyt Member

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    It's a Baldwin Electric Harpsichord. Made in 1964 by the Cannon Guild, Cambridge Mass. Didn't even know these things existed. Very interesting instrument that was used extensively in the 60's by groups such as the Beatles, Doors, Beach Boys, Monkees, etc. It resembles a mini grand piano and is cast in an aluminum frame. It borrows a lot from the electric guitar. Top is clear plexi-glass.... pretty cool.
     
  20. GregoryL

    GregoryL Supporting Member

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