Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by wrxplayer, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

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    Do you find the prices in the magazine relatively accurate? If not, does the publication at least provide a good resource for comparing the relative values of different guitars? Lastly, is there another resource (other than old ebay auctions) for determining the value of used instruments?
     
  2. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't say they drive the current market, but they're a good starting point. Plus you have to remember that those are prices for Excellent condition pieces, and you'll find many eBay and other personal listing using the bluebook quotes even though their gear is not in Excellent condition. So yes, not a bad resource, but you still have to take each real world item at face value and work from there. You can also look on gbase.com to see what retaliers are currently asking for as well.
     
  3. Gary F.

    Gary F. Member

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    I use it regularly, and it's a printed resource that has real world credibility. The Blue Book can be way off, sometimes confusing models, PRS comes to mind on a recent search. Fjaestad's (sp?) Blue Book of Guitar Values seems largely worthless, often taking a formulaic approach to pricing (e.g. 30% off list for Fender, or something like that). VG 's price guide interviews 20 or so retailers each month who provide high and low prices of a given item that appears monthly in their magazine, so at least it's based on marketplace values. It's generally fairly accurate for 'excellent condition' instruments, as someone pointed out.

    Gary
     
  4. cmatthes

    cmatthes Member

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    The Vintage Guitar price guide (as well as George's), are NOT reliable if you're an individual seller or buyer. They are designed more for dealers to have a reference point for buying stuff that walks in the door.

    Frankly, they've pretty much NEVER been worth the paper on which they're printed. Just try to take one into any good vintage/used dealer and see how far that gets you! :)
     
  5. Caretaker

    Caretaker Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I use that and the Blue Book of Electric Guitars because they break it down to % of shape. 100% down to 40% I think. I average the price based on BOTH.
     
  6. Caretaker

    Caretaker Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    BUT, ebay will tell you what it actually will sell for TODAY.
     
  7. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    I use the book for ballpark, but I agree, ebay is the reality check that will tell you what people are really willing (or not willing) to pay.
     
  8. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    The VG price guide is put togeather by dealers with a vested interest in keeping those numbers high.
     
  9. tkozal

    tkozal Supporting Member

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    But I find that private sellers often use it as the reference point for their sales. I can't tell you how many times a seller has quoted VG prices to me. (So if you are a handicapper/underwriter like me, even if the information is bogus, it becomes valid in your decision making process)

    Ebay can be used, and around here I can look at various walls and talk to a few private guys to get sense for the market, albeit the NYC influenced by tourists market.
     
  10. FloridaSam

    FloridaSam Member

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    I use the Blue Book as a field guide. It helps to identify models, model numbers, what features the guitar should have, what features have been modified and retail price. As a price guide, in this day, any publication is going to be inferior to the internet. A book has a LONG lead time while the interwebz can be updated instantly. I use Gbase to see what high retail is and Ebay to see what actual market value is.
     
  11. treeofpain

    treeofpain Silver Supporting Member

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    The VG Guide is pretty good, considering that pricing will vary for different parts of the country and each guitar is unique - especially when it comes to vintage stuff. In other words, all 1979 natural strats are not worth the same. Condition, originality, weight, case, accessories, and other factors all play into the equation.

    This is why there can be very wide range of pricing in the guide. When you see $2200-3000 for a particular guitar, that's a pretty wide range. At a recent guitar show, I saw dealers paying the retail book value for a few pieces (meaning those prices were too low). I also saw prices in dealer booths below book value, and the guitars still remain unsold (meaning the book price is probably too high).

    This means that the book value is a reasonable place to START in valuing your guitar, but it is not the place to END. I usually look at the VG guide, then compare it to completed eBay auctions as a sanity check. Then I look at gbase, understanding they will be high. this gives a pretty accurate picture of the "theoretical value. If it's a guitar that is not in high demand, I know I might need to adjust downward. If it's something really special, I can probably stick to my guns a bit more.
     

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