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Are used prices for guitars rising???


onewilyfool
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Hi Guys…..I haven't been scanning Craig's list for a LONG time. But today, made an exception. I am AMAZED by the used prices for Martin and Gibson acoustics that sellers are asking? Am I missing something? Was there a big price rise in their new guitar pricing? Seems strange. They are asking what I would consider on-line new prices for used guitars, with wear, without warranty, etc. Can someone explain this? ….lol…..

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The "laminated" back and sides is trending and is appealing to many guitar manufacturers in order to compete against Taylor, he, who has proven that there is a demand for such guitars. Instead of following the trend of "laminated wood", Gibson seems to remain a true artisan and found new ways to create entry level guitars with North American wood like the J-15 (2014, 2015, 2016) and the upcoming 2017 HP Series. The laminated guitars have gone up in prices probably to match Taylor's market. So, that leaves Solid Wood guitars, which, in my opinion, are maintaining their price value for a good reason.

 

I look at Godin Guitars in Canada (most beginners will eventually be introduced to Godin's line of guitars which are Seagull, Norman, Simon & Patrick, LaPatrie, by Canadian music stores' staff), as they used to make very good solid wood guitars. But in the past 5 years or so, Godin has followed the trend with "laminated back & sides" guitars. They are now lighter weight guitars, but they don't sound as good as the ones made 10+ years or so ago. Those 10+ years old guitars tend to gain in value whilst the newer models lose about 40% of their price value as soon as they're out of the music store. That's the example of Godin Guitars nowadays...

 

I applaud Gibson for overlooking the laminated wood "market", and sticking with the Art of true wooden guitars.

 

Good luck to you :)

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I'm a regular viewer (and occasional buyer and seller on CL) and I'd say not much has changed. When I do see a price that is about the same as "street" or "tag" it seems to be someone who does not buy/sell much and are trying to get out of the instrument what they have in it. Probably told their wife that they could get their money back. I'll often talk to such folks and they rarely come off the asking price. Then I see the instrument stay on CL for weeks and months. Like a used car, as soon as you walk out the door, the value drops if only because of the value of the warranty.

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I noticed it too, Wily. I take a weekly stroll across all my vintage git sources, and haven't even noticed any marginal deals, which are the only instruments in my range. I depend on a little wear and tear plus a sprinkling of seller ignorance to score a good one. My repair and restoration costs are well below market value where I live so I can grab guitars that others may fear to take on as a rescue. I really hit a good find when I bought the '62 000-18 for $1790. I put $350. in, including side crack repair and neck set. My '31 L0 ( oldest I own ) needed $850 in restoration but I paid just a grand for it. Got the '35 L00 for $1850 and put in 500.

 

I now have three 'elders' that show on the market for $2500-3500 each, in repaired/non-orig condition. Frequent searching and serendipity have worked for me, but I feel the trend is fading. Don't really care though. Think I'm done adding to the pile, after test driving 30 or 40 of my chosen guitars over the decades. I crave better skills over better guitars at this stage. I'm working on it.

 

When an interviewer asked virtuoso Pablo Casals why he continued to practice, he answered, ' Because I think I'm making progress'.

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When I do see a price that is about the same as "street" or "tag" it seems to be someone who does not buy/sell much and are trying to get out of the instrument what they have in it.... I'll often talk to such folks and they rarely come off the asking price.

 

That may be for certain Gibbies, but as a general rule, I always consider craigslist prices as highly negotiable.

 

I've been focusing on 12-string lately, and I consider Guild king of the 12s. I guess you've got to wait around for good deals and then jump on it when it comes up. I picked up an $1800-2400 excellent condition Tacoma-built F-412 for $1000 off reverb. It had a low saddle but good action and was stable. I had my guitar guy ramp the bridge pin slots - 50 bucks. Plays and sounds like a dream. No electronics, though, so that's going in next. Before that, a craigslist ad, an excellent condition gorgeous burst Corona-built JF30-12 for a ridiculous price of $800. Great passive electronics, whatever it is. I pick up that baby first and plug her in. Love that guitar.

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There are lots of factors that will have an effect on the used market. I can't say much about CL, as I'm not a follower, so this is rather more general. I'm not sure exactly what time frame you're referencing in your post, but if it amounts to only a couple months, then - no - nothing especially dramatic has happened. Over the last ten years, used prices have soared, however. Some of the reasons are more or less valid, while others aren't at all. Take a look at sellers' instrument descriptions on Reverb and they'll likely give you a fair notion - probably better than I can manage in the space provided - about some of the more absurd pricing motivations. Also, you'll notice how other sellers are pricing within reason. Used doesn't mean vintage. Older production crap is still crap. Second hand high end current production should reflect 40 to 50 percent less than dealer pricing in most cases. The ignorant/inexperienced seller has joined the game, and in the fullness of time, perhaps they will either gain knowledge and experience or drop out. One can only hope....

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When the 2016 prices were announced, I was expecting (and thought I saw an increase in "used" Gibson prices with GC) to see noticeable increases. I thought I did with primarily J15s and J35s. Now, as I look at GC' "used" prices, I think they're still in-line with what they were a year or two ago. I don't see much difference and certainly not any big increases. Just my view...........Welcome home, Wily!

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To my understanding GFC means Global Financial Crisis.

 

Different way of saying was when unemployment was much higher, corporate profits at their lowest after the GFC hit, which appears to be now some 3-4 years ago. Prices were lower back then as a result, from cars, to property to used guitars.

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To my understanding GFC means Global Financial Crisis.

 

Different way of saying was when unemployment was much higher, corporate profits at their lowest after the GFC hit, which appears to be now some 3-4 years ago. Prices were lower back then as a result, from cars, to property to used guitars.

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Regarding the 1970's Martin guitars, I've heard them criticized for coming out of an interval of extremely high production. As someone who was fully grown and paying attention at the time, my perspective goes like this: that is not true. I believe that any and all instrument makers throw the occasional clunker. In high production times, there are likely to be more clunkers, but the percentage thereof will be within normal proportions. Most, by far, of the guitars from such an interval will be the same as always. The 1970's Martins are, in my experience, consistent with the usual high standard we've come to expect from CFM. It's unfair to compare Norlin era Gibsons with 1970's Martins.

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I've been window shopping a few models and of course had to google my HD35 to see what it may or may not be worth .

Definitely more than what I paid for it last year ...

 

Mind you , the one that I may decide upon will also have gone up so it's a bit like getting excited about house prices, you still have to buy another to live in

 

Dead guitar playing fellas kids will be delighted though

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So you were lucky ? Or you don't believe half the criticism ?

I've had 2 70's era Martins and had no issue with either of them. So, I'm inclined to believe the criticism should be taken with a grain of salt. Evaluate them individually on their own merits. That is not to say that those notions don't impact value because they do. I'm sure this will be confirmed as I try to sell this D28.

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