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You came across a person with a late 50s Les Paul. No idea what it is or it's value. If you thought you could buy that Les Paul, possibly as cheap as a few hundred, would you?

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You came across a person with a late 50s Les Paul. No idea what it is or it's value. If you thought you could buy that Les Paul, possibly as cheap as a few hundred, would you?

 

I would. I paid $100 for a 64 Melody Maker. Last week I bought an Aria Pro II bass for $65 that's worth about $300.

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You came across a person with a late 50s Les Paul. No idea what it is or it's value. If you thought you could buy that Les Paul, possibly as cheap as a few hundred, would you?

 

As much as I would be tempted to "steal" it at a few hundred dollars, I don't think I could do that. I would have to tell them what they had. Perhaps I could assist them in researching further and guide them to a reputable appraiser like Gruhn or something.

 

I've been on the other side of unscrupulous dealers and "pickers". It's a bad feeling when you realize you've been had. [cursing]

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Things like that are so conditional. It's not black and white. On the surface (and the default rule) is that if THEY set the price, I will happily hand them the cash and run to the car as fast as I can. However there are exceptions that make me uncomfortable and I'm not sure what I would do.

 

Case in point, in 1986 a guy about 30 miles from here put a Strat and amp up for sale in the local free publication. I called and he said he wanted $2000. I politely informed him a new Strat could be bought for under $500. His reply was that his late wife had bought it new before they met and a few years ago someone told him it was worth at least $1000 so he bumped it up. He didn't sell it.

 

A year later it was back in the local swap book for $300. A friend scooped it up. He said when he went to buy it, the guy lived in a trailer from about 1960 with chickens in the yard, clearly didn't have a pot to pee in. He handed him the $300 and ran. Ran like the wind.

 

The guitar?

 

A 1954 Strat, serial number 289, with a tweed amp of some kind. One chip out of a pickup cover, otherwise under the bed clean. It is the same one pictured in Andre Duchossoir's Fender Stratocaster book, page 29, upper left. My friend sold it to Brian Fischer for $6000 I think, a goodly sum in 1987.

 

I will not be self righteous and say I would have handled it differently but I feel a little dirty thinking about it. Maybe that guy needed to sell it to buy heating oil for the winter or pay his property taxes or buy food. Maybe he was selling it to pay for credit card phone sex. Things like that shouldn't affect how we would act in that situation but it does.

 

Case in point #2, in 2000 I went to a white trash garage sale and bought a junk clarinet for $10. The proprietor of the yard sale was sitting in his lawn chair slugging a can of beer and asked if I was interested in old instruments. Of course I was. He produced an old case covered in nightclub bumper stickers and inside was an old saxophone. He pointed to a 12 year old girl at the yard sale and said she was going to buy it for $25. I asked her to confirm and she said "if my mom lets me". She then called her mom and Mom said no! She was crestfallen but I handed her a five dollar bill just for consolation. I then handed the beer guy $25 and ran to the car.

 

The sax?

 

A 1950 Conn 28M. My daughter wanted a sax and I figured this was a good cheap way to do it. She never really took to it, so in 2008 or 2009 we agreed to sell it and use the money for college fees, books, etc. It went for $1700 on ebay.

 

THIS time I had no idea what the sax was worth, I just knew it was worth more than $25.... a couple hundred maybe? Does that change things? The seller was poor as a church mouse but yet could afford to buy beer and sit in a lawn chair. Does that change things? How about the fact that when I sold it I used the money for my daughter's education and not strippers and blackjack?

 

There is no black and white...ever.

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There was one instance where an acquaintance of mine, now dead (severe alcoholism), approached me with (strictly from memory) an old Gold Top Les Paul with P90 pickups...it was a 1954, as it only had the wraparound bridge, and he offered me the guitar/hardcase for 150.00...the year was 1979, one year out of high school, the case was pretty beat-up, but the guitar was considerably cleaner than the case would have indicated. I asked if he could hold it until payday, to which he said he could not, so I ran home, and asked my Mom if I could borrow the money until Friday (it was early-week don't remember the exact day), to which she said no. So I went back, and told him I couldn't buy it right then, but if he still had it Friday to come see me. Turns out the guitar he had was stolen, he got caught with it, and it was returned to it's rightful owner, someone I did not know. After that encounter, I would try to gain more info on whatever it was, how they came to own it, etc., and if I smelled a rat, went on my way, but apart from that, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. Another friend of mine bought a 1970 (?) Shelby Cobra Jet from an old lady had it in her garage, and just wanted it gone. The year was 1993, and he paid the woman 3000.00 dollars for the car, which apart from replacing hoses/belts etc., needed nothing but a cleaning...

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Things like that are so conditional. It's not black and white. On the surface (and the default rule) is that if THEY set the price, I will happily hand them the cash and run to the car as fast as I can. However there are exceptions that make me uncomfortable and I'm not sure what I would do.

 

 

There is no black and white...ever.

I don't think there's a black and white either.

 

Generally speaking, I feel to come across an expensive instrument and NOT tell someone what it's worth is the same as lying to them. It's stealing.

 

But who is to say a '59 LP is worth what it is? Just because you can sell it to pay off your house doesn't mean it SHOULD be worth what it is. So, who should get all that money? I honestly can't judge...sometimes you can.

 

A friend of mine, who is a drummer and a professional musician, who is rather poor, was doing some yardwork for an old guy. Came across a Ludwig "Black Beauty" being used as a planter. The guy gave it to him. He would NOT have been able to afford one. Turns out though, he DID tell him what it might be worth, which is I think why the guy gave it to him.

 

Not all stories and "finds" are that cool.

 

I suppose a lot of it comes down to greed and materialism thinking. Where one might draw the line between ignoring conscience because of dollar signs, and when something is a gift or dumb luck can only be judged from above.

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Lately I have been embracing the concept of Karma. The way I see it, if me buying a 59 Les Paul for $300 from a little old lady is a bad thing, then she must truly be an awful person. Otherwise Karma wouldn't be trying to get back at her like this.

 

Yesterday I punched a total stranger dead in the face (not really)... He MUST have had it coming.... right?

 

God I love Karma. [thumbup]

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Lately I have been embracing the concept of Karma. The way I see it, if me buying a 59 Les Paul for $300 from a little old lady is a bad thing, then she must truly be an awful person. Otherwise Karma wouldn't be trying to get back at her like this.

 

Yesterday I punched a total stranger dead in the face (not really)... He MUST have had it coming.... right?

 

God I love Karma. [thumbup]

 

Are you a fan of My Name is Earl per chance?

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Lately I have been embracing the concept of Karma. The way I see it, if me buying a 59 Les Paul for $300 from a little old lady is a bad thing, then she must truly be an awful person. Otherwise Karma wouldn't be trying to get back at her like this.

 

Yesterday I punched a total stranger dead in the face (not really)... He MUST have had it coming.... right?

 

God I love Karma. [thumbup]

Dig...

 

Bought a house from with a woman...it didn't work out. Bought said house for 335k. I put in 68k cash. She put in 167k or something. Left us with a house payment, and LOTS of taxes.

 

I put in roughly 7-8k cash in "improvements", as lost maybe..IDK 6-7k in pay from time off from work fixing. She turned hostile on me. Wanted me OUT. Me too. I took an offer from her for 68k...EXACTLY what I put in to buy, got nothing of any money I put in or improvement I made.

 

At the time, the tax assessed value had gone up, so it was worth 369K according to "property values". My agent thought he could get 380k "as is", or 425-450k if I finished the "improvements". She didn't want to use my agent, cause he was associated with me, and she hated agents in general.

 

She tried to sell on her own...market crashed...she sold for 225k. withing months, house was back up to 335k.

 

Here's the irony: she always accused me of letting her down, being irresponsible with money/payments, etc etc. I NEVER missed a payment or let her down once. But later, after I was "out", I DID let myself down. Did everything she said I would do. But yet, I am sitting on enough equity with the house I have now to make up for my losses which I surrendered to her, OR her losses.

 

Is that what folks mean by Karma?

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Only if they throw in a pocket knife to sweeten the deal.

 

 

Lol,,, good one.

 

 

I like to think I would let them know what they have.

I'm with Saturn on this one. As tempted as I would be I do have a conscience.

If the seller was being a total d!ck I may think otherwise.

Especially if they don't think George Bush is evil. [flapper]

 

But for the most part I do believe in karma. I've lived it.

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Lately I have been embracing the concept of Karma. The way I see it, if me buying a 59 Les Paul for $300 from a little old lady is a bad thing, then she must truly be an awful person. Otherwise Karma wouldn't be trying to get back at her like this.

 

Yesterday I punched a total stranger dead in the face (not really)... He MUST have had it coming.... right?

 

God I love Karma. [thumbup]

 

Lol

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If I came across an unsuspecting neophyte who had a late 1950's Gibson OR Fender, and only wanted a hundred bucks or two, I would have to take a look at it, and then advise them with regards to the actual value.

 

I just couldn't screw somebody over like that.

 

Unless they were an a$$hole, and I really hated them.

 

Then I would give them $200 and I would run like hell.

 

 

:)

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If I came across an unsuspecting neophyte who had a late 1950's Gibson OR Fender, and only wanted a hundred bucks or two, I would have to take a look at it, and then advise them with regards to the actual value.

 

I just couldn't screw somebody over like that.

 

Unless they were an a$$hole, and I really hated them.

 

Then I would give them $200 and I would run like hell.

 

 

:)

 

Everyone that didn't sell me a 59 Les Paul (with a tasteful burst) for $300 is an as$hole .

 

Oh, in all honesty the $300 Aria bass I bought for $65.... It came with a case and a leather Levy strap with silver buckel... I bought it from a guy at a FleaMarket. He was asking $90 for it. He must really be a jerk!

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Well thinking about it....

 

If someone had offered me a price and they were happy with it, id probably just take it, that way everyone gets what they want (theres nothing wrong with having a bit of good fortune, it doesn't happen that often (well for me anyway).... If someone actually came to me for trusted advice id be honest and inform them its probably worth a lot.

 

Probably :)

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You came across a person with a late 50s Les Paul. No idea what it is or it's value. If you thought you could buy that Les Paul, possibly as cheap as a few hundred, would you?

 

I think you just described the Chibson industry's operating scheme.

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