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How does Gibson stay in business?!?!


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I was checkin out their new page of this year's models lineup and I am astounded at some of the high prices, even for what are standard models.

You have to probably be in the top 15% of earners nationwide or have some serious guitar priorities to afford some of these models. There are a few sub-1kUSA$ models still, of course.

Not just Gibson but marketwide I notice this for MUSA guitars of any brand.

I wonder if the whole guitar market is going to come crashing down at some point and prices will have to dramatically drop for them to stay in business. Will they out-price themselves?

It would be interesting to see model sales per year, by brand of manufacturer to see how many $1800+ models are being sold each year.

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Are Gibson's prices too high?  Yes. Have they always been too high?  Yes. But they make the best electric guitars you can get so you suck it up and do it.

When I see the prices of the new Gibson's here in the UK its ridiculous when you look at the poor finishing.  Bad nut and fret ends being the main parts.  When you look at comparison guitars like PRS,

Guitars are the cheapest of instruments. Generally, USA guitars are realistically priced IMO. They just look expensive compared to Asian ones which are not realistically priced. Those are way too chea

If you think they are expensive in the US  just try buying one outside of USA.

My 2020 Custom Shop Historic 1957 SJ-200 cost me waaaaay more than the US list price of $5990.00.

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1 hour ago, Brucebubs said:

If you think they are expensive in the US  just try buying one outside of USA.

My 2020 Custom Shop Historic 1957 SJ-200 cost me waaaaay more than the US list price of $5990.00.

Here in Canada. Usually what ever US list is.  Say 5990.00 US list. Is about 5990.00 cdn selling price. 
the Petty J200 selling up here for 11,000 cdn  . 

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by my math, 1 in 11  adults in the USA are millionaires.  China adds another 5 million millionaires and Japan another three million.

So that's more than 25 million millionaires in just 3 countries. (heck, even us in little ol' OZ have over well over a million of 'em!)

 Can a millionaire afford a Gibson or two?...yep.

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Soon there will be no excuse.  Ships will be docking, if you believe that one.  Trucks will be rolling, if you believe that one.  Stores will be able to put stuff on the shelf, if you believe that one.  Workers will be back to full time, if you believe that one.  Customers will be able to just try something, if you believe that one.  And they'll have their jobs back, if you believe that one.

Once all of those excuses are addressed, there will be none.  It will be time to make money.  A company having trouble making money is often advised to raise prices.  So they are ready for the coming resurrection.

rct

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average house in Victoria BC  is now   1.2 million, my sleepy town close by 725.000,   j45 close to 3 k, the gouge is on....(good time to be old )....

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The Gouge has become just the way it is.  We know no shame in our ability to create disaster capitalism out of anything.  

rct

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We were at a nursery last week.  Unlike most retail establishments, they have to put the prices (not bar codes)  on each pot the plant is in.  They usually also have signs with the prices.  Most prices were double on the pot what the older signs showed they were charging a year ago.  Golly,  inflation is being brought back like we had in the good old 70s and 80s.   Similar trends in crime.  My last haircut at Walmart cost me $20.  THAT'S  A CRIME  ! 

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1 hour ago, rct said:

The Gouge has become just the way it is.  We know no shame in our ability to create disaster capitalism out of anything.  

rct

Capitalism only works if it can crash from time to time. Be ready.

The whole point of it all is to separate you from your assets before you die.

Don't play the game. Only the moneyed side ever wins.

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9 hours ago, slimt said:

Here in Canada. Usually what ever US list is.  Say 5990.00 US list. Is about 5990.00 cdn selling price. 
the Petty J200 selling up here for 11,000 cdn  . 

There is a new Tom Petty SJ-200 for sale here in Australia - the only one here.

The price here is equivalent to US$15,414.59

https://www.acousticcentre.com.au/products/gibson-sj200-tom-petty-antique-natural-wildflower

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One possibility is that Gibson has a rep.  And an honored one.  And there are still millions out there who are just learning to play and haven't had the experience of playing many guitars from many different makers.  And each successive generation adds millions more.  And they all grew up hearing those before them tout the reputation of Gibson's greatness, as those before THEM have, and on and on.   Only those who owned one, or worked at the plant that built them(like me) knew a Cadillac was basically just an overpriced and overdressed Oldsmobile.  But Cadillac had the better rep.  

Whitefang

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2 hours ago, fortyearspickn said:

We were at a nursery last week.  Unlike most retail establishments, they have to put the prices (not bar codes)  on each pot the plant is in.  They usually also have signs with the prices.  Most prices were double on the pot what the older signs showed they were charging a year ago.  Golly,  inflation is being brought back like we had in the good old 70s and 80s.   Similar trends in crime.  My last haircut at Walmart cost me $20.  THAT'S  A CRIME  ! 

Those last two sentences almost sound more like a Jeff Foxworthy joke than something a sentient being would think

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10 hours ago, 'Scales said:

... 1 in 11  adults in the USA are millionaires ...

I am not going to fact check this.  But that million dollars is -- I guarantee -- mostly in one's home value, and nothing like cash in the bank, stock holdings, etc.

But regardless, one can definitely buy a "quality" imported guitar for less than a $1000.  For example, the Squier "classic vibe" line which are EXCELLENT right out of the box sub-$500 instruments.  HOWEVER ...  if you want that premium Gibson Les Paul/SG/335/etc or that premium MIA-Fender Strat/Tele/etc that are soooo legendary and (to this day) such awesome instruments, you need to pay roughly $1.5K-2.5K to get it.  The "what you get" premium for Gibson to me is quite noticeable (comparing Epiphone and others), but that gap is not as wide for Fender, as Mexican Fenders and even Squiers are not that far from the MIA-Fender benchmarks.  So maybe the question should be ... "How does Fender stay in business??"

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1 hour ago, 01GT eibach said:

...So maybe the question should be ... "How does Fender stay in business??"

Paying their suppliers is a good start in that direction.

rct

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Guitars are the cheapest of instruments. Generally, USA guitars are realistically priced IMO. They just look expensive compared to Asian ones which are not realistically priced. Those are way too cheap.

The clever trick manufacturers do is building those cheap guitars down to a price. None of us (even with the skills and tools) could make a guitar that cheap. The Harley Bentons, Vintage, Epiphones, Squiers etc. They are playable and not half bad. Some are even great. Yes they often have krap electrics and hardware made out of coke cans, but its still functional. 

Guitarists have it made. Check out prices for for decent quality violins, saxaphones, oboes or pretty much anything else. It'll make you feel much better about the cost of your guitars.

 

 

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5 hours ago, 01GT eibach said:

I am not going to fact check this.  But that million dollars is -- I guarantee -- mostly in one's home value, and nothing like cash in the bank, stock holdings, etc.

well, you Americans must be much smarter than many Australians who seem to look at home equity as exactly like cash in the bank - "hey Darlene, the housing market just went up again and I always wanted that (Dodge Ram/Harley/swimming pool/kitchen/Les Paul ...). Wow, we must be such smart investors…lets refinance!!"

M-E, very true - the guitar is available to almost anyone at a decent price for performance, and you can pay more for somewhat better quality if you wish.

OP's question could be asked of many well made status products - "how does Rolex stay in business when I can buy a $10 watch at a gas station or just use my phone to tell the time?"

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39 minutes ago, 'Scales said:

OP's question could be asked of many well made status products - "how does Rolex stay in business when I can buy a $10 watch at a gas station or just use my phone to tell the time?"

Super-articulate post, bro.  <<< golf clap, golf clap, golf clap >>>

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9 hours ago, Fish Crumpet said:

Capitalism only works if it can crash from time to time. Be ready.

The whole point of it all is to separate you from your assets before you die.

Don't play the game. Only the moneyed side ever wins.

Yep - socialism for the banks coupled with austerity for the masses - heck of a system if you happen to be on the right side of the line.

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11 hours ago, Dub-T-123 said:

Those last two sentences almost sound more like a Jeff Foxworthy joke than something a sentient being would think

Half of us are below average in just about something DT. 

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14 hours ago, 01GT eibach said:

I am not going to fact check this.  But that million dollars is -- I guarantee -- mostly in one's home value, and nothing like cash in the bank, stock holdings, etc.

But regardless, one can definitely buy a "quality" imported guitar for less than a $1000.  For example, the Squier "classic vibe" line which are EXCELLENT right out of the box sub-$500 instruments.  HOWEVER ...  if you want that premium Gibson Les Paul/SG/335/etc or that premium MIA-Fender Strat/Tele/etc that are soooo legendary and (to this day) such awesome instruments, you need to pay roughly $1.5K-2.5K to get it.  The "what you get" premium for Gibson to me is quite noticeable (comparing Epiphone and others), but that gap is not as wide for Fender, as Mexican Fenders and even Squiers are not that far from the MIA-Fender benchmarks.  So maybe the question should be ... "How does Fender stay in business??"

There was a huge increase in demand due to this stupid #COVID19 pandemic. The normal reaction is that the prices go up, and any responsible business will adapt. All those same workers in factories make products with a higher margin. This goes not only for MIA Fender and Gibson, but also Player, Epiphone. And not only in guitar industry, but in most.

Fender has never had so much revenue as in the past year. I assume this goes for Gibson too. Look at the price lists of the biggest retailers (Sweetwater and GC, Andertons UK, Thomann EU), most new Gibson guitars are Murphy Labs. Same goes for Fender's Custom shop. When the pandemic subsides, the demand will decrease and production will shift to normally-priced items again. It will take at least a year, though...

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