Value of Small company guitars..........

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by OldSchool, Jan 15, 2008.


  1. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    I see alot of threads here asking what the value of these boutique guitars are , are going to be..........

    I think these people are missing the point big time. All of these Limited editions, and NAMM this or that or Signature this or that are designed for the BUILDER to make money. You gotta be realistic when you spend the money for these things that unless you keep it for a very long time you are going to lose money not make it.

    Are there exceptions to the rule? Of course. But If you buy a guitar purely on what its going to be worth whats the point unless you are just a collector. Even then you would need to be stealing them to make any money.

    I had a ball for over 10 years trying every small maker on the market. I lost money , made a little.......definitely lost more in the long run. But it was great fun. No different then my neighbors who spend $500 a month on Gas for their Fishing boats or to Golf.

    But.......I have 2 little boys now. We have a recession looming, I have a college Fund, 401k, life insurance etc. In other words I'm not wheeling and dealing like I used to.

    I just made a deal with my wife. I'm on a serious diet to lose some weight and get in shape. For every week I stay on the diet I get money put into a guitar fund. If I bang out a serious amount of OT, I get a little put into the fund. This way the bills get paid, I'm getting healthier, and I have something to look forward to at the end of the year.

    My sights are set on a Seafoam Green Steel Trussant Tele with a large 57maple neck. Might take 2 yrs of saving but look at how thin I'll be!

    Sorry for the rant.........but I won't be buying it as an investment. It will be for pure love and enjoyment of owning it.


    Even those that can afford it, and I know their are tons of people here that can, god bless ya all but I just don't see Small company boutique instruments as a good investment. If you are that worried about what it will be worth I really don't think you should be buying it. Lots of great guitars in the Sub $1000 market you can flip all day. Just my $0.02. That and about $3.30 will get you a gallon of fuel............
     
  2. jtodds

    jtodds Member

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    I love what you and your wife have created with the diet reward. Double guiltless satisfaction when you reach the goal.

    I agree that it is misguided to purchase any boutique items purely for investment purposes. For me musical gratification is first second and third anything past that is frosting.
    As well even if I take a small hit on resale of anything llikd what we are talking about, I just consider it rent. Most likely I got a lot of pleasure for however long I owned it or got something out of my system which has value as well.

    I have been focusing on paring down all my gear to the absolute necessaties. Only guitars that really get played and serve a tonal purpose for instance. I would rather bond with and therefore focus more on making music than collecting guitars. This will probably look like the perfect (for me) strat, LP style, Tele style, wildcard guitar, acoustic - nylon and steel. Instead of 4 strat style, 5 LP etc.
    Clutter anywhere in your life only distracts ability to focus.
     
  3. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't think many folks are thinking of these instruments as investments. Rather, they are wondering, "What if I get it and don't like it in six months? Am I going to take a bath?" Personally, I think that is a reasonable consideration when buying something.

    I never buy something with the plan to sell it, but I know that my preferences/needs will change.

    Bryan
     
  4. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    Absolutely. 10 years ago I had so many Teles and strats I couldn't keep'em straight! I was focused on more more! Now its just like you said........tel , strat, Humbucker. (Notice I didn't say Les Paul!) ;) Get a great guitar and learn every nuance and sweet spot and you will be better off.
     
  5. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    I agree. But the minute that enters your mind you shouldn't do it. I always went in with the mind set.......if I keep it for a year , enjoy it , sell it and lose $500. Big deal. It wasn't just the guitar itself........The hunt was cool too. I have a pretty high pressure Job at times and magazines, internet web access to forums about guitars, reading on them was almost as enjoyable as playing them! Took the edge off. Now I'm advancing in my Job a bit so I don't have to do the things I used to to prove myself . I can chill a bit. I'm focusing more on playing then buying. And I have a few more demands on me so I can't afford to say .......Fuk it, its only $500. So I don't take the chances I used to. I just saw some fantastic looking Boutique guitars in the Emporium that I never heard of. In the old days I would have grabbed it.........now if I gotta ask I can't afford it. :D
     
  6. picnic

    picnic Supporting Member

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    "Sorry for the rant.........but I won't be buying it as an investment. It will be for pure love and enjoyment of owning it."

    +1


    To me the value of a guitar is the time I play it. I'm not a collector, just a half decent hacker. I bought two new Andersons a couple of years ago and they were by far the most expensive guitars I ever bought. But they played, sounded felt and looked better than my Am Dlx's.

    Congrats on tieing your health plan to a reward of a guitar. Better health is your true reward, the Trussart will be the icing on the cake you didn't eat.
     
  7. KennethC

    KennethC Member

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    In my case, I was referring to a build to my specs from the builder. No NAMM or LE or whatever.

    And the biggest thing:
    I'd have to agree with Bryan that many ppl who ask may not looking at it from an investment perspective i.e. buying to flip for a profit in time to come due to market conditions.

    And just because you wouldn't jump in, OldSchool, doesn't mean ppl wouldn't, or shouldn't. It's more likely a gauge for ppl to know how much they'd expect to lose if they ever did decide to sell it, and then it'd be up to them to ascertain if they're willing to accept that before they buy. I'm speaking for myself, though that cld be different for other folks of course. :)

    Rant all you want, of course, but don't miss the pt that these ppl are trying to get at. :)
     
  8. devinb

    devinb Member

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    I haven't purchased an instrument new in 10 years, but I suspect that a lot of people who buy instruments from the smallest of companies probably have a hope in the back of their mind that the value will go up...

    I'm not saying it is a wise investment idea...nor am I saying that guitars that are S style or T style have as much potential for going up in value as a new design, but think about a company like PRS and what the first instruments are worth now...
     
  9. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    Never said anybody shouldn't. And I have taken the plunge ........many many many times. My point was not to do it only for an investment purpose , because in the event that when you do lose a bit if and when you sell it at least if you enjoyed it , then it was worth it. As opposed to sitting in a case under the couch.




    I think I answered 2 posts here with........absolutely and I agree. I thought that was adequetly expressing that I did get their points. Maybe you should try to get more then 100 posts before you try to make some sense. ;)
     
  10. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    Oh no doubt. But another company like PRS only comes around every 30-40 yrs or so...........if ever again. No doubt in 1985 I had an extra Grand or two I wasted on Pure **** I wish I could have back to buy a PRS Product. But.......not playing it would have been a shame.

    When I bought my Grosh back in 96 or my Fodera I did it because I loved the companies work and wanted to own it and feel it every day. I actually made money on the Fodera because he made a very small amount of regular 6 string guitars........but that was rare and its not why I bought it or sold it.
     
  11. KennethC

    KennethC Member

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    Well a high post count might also suggest old age i.e. fix those glasses:roll...at least I didn't allude to poor memory:worried. pls see quote below:


    After re-reading through the follow-on posts, I have to agree that you did agree with those salient points, and I apologize for suggesting otherwise. :eek:

    :BEER
     
  12. Glaze

    Glaze Member

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    Old School

    You have an excellent point. Some guitar companies have had special limited edition models available continually for 10 to 20 years and they will always be available. This limited edition guitar marketing does work when we are talking about a major brand name that has an excellent reputation. It's not just marketing though because it has to be fun and a challenge designing a new model of guitar every few months. The buyer's only buy what they like and it's nice to have new interesting guitars to look at and consider buying.

    Some of these limited editions will eventually be worth more than the original purchase price, but only time will tell how long it will take. I have noticed high end acoustic guitars have went up in price by a huge margin over the last ten to twenty years. A large part of the price increase in the price of acoustic guitars is the most desirable woods have gone up in price by a huge margin or have become so rare that you can only find them on the extremely high end acoustics. Eventually you will see three and four piece acoustic guitar tops because the largest trees of those woods big enough to give a two piece top will have been cut down and will be long gone. If I was going to buy an acoustic that I know would double in price I would buy a Collings or a Martin of a popular model with the right woods on it that sounded fantastic that I preferred over everything else and eventually in say 10 to 20 years that guitar will be worth significantly more than the original purchase price. By then the guitar would sound better than it ever has and it becomes something you could not easily replace if you do sell it.

    Any guitar going up significantly in value has to do with the right brand name #1, then it has to be a very rare model, it also has to be the right model of that brand of the right year with the right features on it because it all has to do with what is considered to be the very best ever made.

    My advice is never buy a guitar because it might go up in value. Only buy it because you prefer it over everything else. 95% of all guitars out there are not that great of an investment anyway.

    Mike
     
  13. robbph37

    robbph37 Member

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    I agree that it is not wise to buy a small bout. guitar thinking of it as an investment. Here is another point for support of this thought. There are many Bout. builders who make a great product. They, like everyone else, have been forced to increase their product prices due to inflation. If you look on Ebay alone there are 2 good builders in particular that seem to be losing ground in terms of their product holding its value. No names as I do not want to be reprimanded by anyone. One builder in particular has a great product but their guitars seem to be slumping on the used market. In some cases I have seen a 35% to 40% drop from the purchase price. I dont care who you are that is scary! These are guitars that are not in bad shape or dinged up. Some are in like new condition. Still their value on the open market has taken a huge hit. It seems as though the only bout. guitars that are holding steady are the ones that are hard to get or the builder simply cant get them out quickly enough so the availibilty is limited. Oh and someone mentioned a looming recession - Yep I think it is beginning even now.
     
  14. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    Excellent points above. 40%! Wow. That is a hit. I'd really have to reconsider buying a new guitar with that kind of resale. But that's just me. And the recession is looking like more and more of a possibility. I think they said its 50/50 up from 1 out of 3 of a chance that the economy is not going to correct itself. With the Gas prices the way they are going its like 1976 all over again except without the bad music and no one can have sex with just anyone to make up for it anymore........:jo

    Getting back to the Topic..........I really think if I was a boutique amp or guitar maker I'd work my ass off to get a free product into the hands of a major star. Then I'd make a few more pieces and hand them out to the right people......(ie guys like matte [​IMG]) Then I'd slow production down to about 6-12 pieces a year. Next thing you know everyone wants one and can't get one. So the prices go up because anyone who is anyone has to have one and your Golden. Same woods , same attention to detail .........but availability is the name of the name.
     
  15. robbph37

    robbph37 Member

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    Old School,
    Exactly! The problem is can a small builder survive on 6 to 12 pieces a year. With the way the market place is right now there is no way that I would order a Bout. guitar and pay list price. Again I had 1 on order( No Names) and I began to notice several on Ebay for 40% less than what I was set to pay. I began to get cold feet and as fate would have it my order never got processed. Whew! It was a good thing for me in the long run. Again I love the product that this builder has but I cant lay down regular price when they are readily available used for 40% less. I am looking for a great deal on one right now but it will not be anywhere close to "new" price.
     
  16. jads57

    jads57 Supporting Member

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    I don`t think I`ve ever bought a guitar other than as an instrument to play or possibly trade. I wished I had, I could certainly retire w/ all of the old Les Pauls and Strats, not to mention the 2 Dumbles I sold for less than I paid for them are worth today! But I`m a player first and foremost. So I don`t make very rational decisions , mostly emotional one` s when it come to gear.
     

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