Do Custom/Flipped Guitars Sell?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by wyxe, Feb 11, 2019 at 1:22 AM.

  1. jefffam

    jefffam Dr. Squier

    Jan 26, 2015
    Portland, TN
    Actually no, they do not. Unless you are at ultra high end, i.e. top line Gibson, Fender American custom shop, Suhr, etc, most lower line even from scratch guitars probably depreciate worse than cars.

    Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
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  2. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    If you have a good reputation for making them, you've built a clientele that can be referred to for eventual buyers, the market will dictate the price you can get.
    If you don't have any of that, like it was said before, it's worth the used price of parts you put in it, meaning about half of what you invested. Much ado for nothin'.
    dbrian66, drewcp and surfrodguitar like this.
  3. JohnnyMac

    JohnnyMac Squier-Meister

    Mar 5, 2018
    Front range Colorado
    No one is trying to pop your bubble. It sounds like you're going to have a very nice guitar when you get finished.

    After I install these parts in this $60 Starcaster I'm going to have a fun guitar but there is no hope of getting ever my money back out of it. It will look cool, play well and probably sound good but it will still be a Starcaster.

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 2:33 PM
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  4. Jay Jackson

    Jay Jackson Squier-Meister

    Sep 1, 2018
    sanluisobispo CA (3401
    Built from scratch of course you mean built from parts. Not many luithers make their own necks,tuners,pickups,ect. Now if you make the body and assemble the rest you could make a little off of the guitar but this has a lot to do about where you plan on selling them. has to be a good market for guitars in the area. and you would have to sell quite a few to get your rep up to justify a higher price. where I live there are some who make them and their price for unknown makers is around 250 to 300$ for strat or les paul style guitars.
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  5. Mfranzdorf

    Mfranzdorf Squier-Meister

    Feb 2, 2016
    NW Ohio
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  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Squier-Meister

    Jan 10, 2014
    Those are the main issues. Been there and tried what you are doing and it doesn't work like you'd think it make sense it should. Guitar players are fickle about what marketing has told them -- Does it have magic lumber? Is it played by a famous celebrity? Is it the same design, exactly, as what was played in the 50s? Is it priced reasonable, as too low means it must be cheap, and too high they go buy the main Gibson or Fender brand they really wanted anyway.

    Guess what the number three largest US guitar company sells the most models of? ... the ones that look as close to Gibson or Fender models as they can without a lawsuit (actually, the last time Gibson brought them in for a lawsuit, the court opened the door enabling more closely copying the body shapes -- oops!).

    Signature models cut down on the number of potential buyers. You have to find buyers that want a 'Fender', want a 'Strat', want a 'black' guitar, and who also like 'Clapton' enough to want something that looks like 'Blackie'. Just as if you refinished an Olympic White guitar into 80s Hot Pink, you've massively cut the demand for that guitar.

    You need to come up with an angle on the market that buyers feel they need filled.

    If you research PRS guitars, which started in the mid 80s and has seen enough success to often get listed as the number three largest US guitar manufacturer, you will find that the founder Paul stalked Santana for months. Hanging out in the parking lot or back stage, guitar in hand, pushing it into any of the roadies that would talk to him to get it to Santana. Eventually Santana relented and waved him in. Today you'd get slapped with a court order to stay off the premises for stalker harassment like that.

    Reverend guitars got Kid Rock to play theirs (I haven't found out how they did that) and that initially opened the market for them. This kind of endorsement validates a company for buyers, not that they might want to buy a signature guitar from that player, it's a level of validation and belief. Reverend started around Detroit/Toledo, so worthwhile researching them as well since I see your avatar says Ohio.

    Wallace guitars in Detroit is trying the angle on reclaimed old-wood from hundred year old wood pulled from abandoned buildings but it's not clear they are doing much more than a few guitars. There's a custom builder that recently moved from California to Detroit and has success because he has a backlog of existing (famous) customers.

    If you look at Gibson and Fender, they have a huge Artist Relations program to give free guitars to the headlining bands. What brands do you see on late-night television? Or the house band that plays for 'American Idol' songs? Those are free to those players so the guitar can be seen and buyers will think it's a classy model they need to go purchase.

    That program has been run amok before. Gibson supplied KISS in the 70s, until the fad of smashing guitars on stage started up. Three top-end custom-built guitars getting smashed five nights a week for a season of tours made Gibson rethink their marketing budget plan and they stopped supplying guitars to KISS .. who went to Ibanez who initially swapped main players with 'seconds' for smashing. Eventually the guitar smashing trend wore off -- fans saw it was waste of resources.

    The last thing to keep in mind ... the 'starving artists' model applies to guitar musicians and the gear they want or can purchase or don't purchase.

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  7. jman72

    jman72 Squier Talker

    Jan 16, 2019
    Well, those ARE the main parts of a guitar! Especially the neck- that's where playability is most directly impacted.

    For a GOOD guitar (American Std. Fender, Gibson, etc.), used value is NOT that great...most go for about 60% of new cost. For lower end guitars, it can be much less. And the market for custom built guitars (either from parts or scratch) is very tight..not a lot of people out there making money doing it. Only those with years of experience and a great reputation are very successful.

    A lot of it as to do (I think) with our finicky guitar player mentality. We like to buy lots of different guitars, try them, and get rid of them if we don't bond. It's easy to do this with "name brand" guitars because they're a known quantity that can be re-sold easily to other guitar players wanting to try them just like us. Everything else is a gamble, and unless you're getting something amazing, it's not worth the hassle.
    Dave M, dbrian66 and wyxe like this.
  8. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
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  9. JohnnyMac

    JohnnyMac Squier-Meister

    Mar 5, 2018
    Front range Colorado
    I bought them (neck and middle only) NOS, second hand but never installed from a local eBayer. I put them in a Bullet but just didn’t like the guitar when it was finished. I put the original parts back in the Bullet and got my money back. I’m anxious to hear them in the Starcaster. I got a cheap Guitar Madness to try in the bridge.

    EDIT: I just installed the p'ups and new pots and switch. Wired it for single volume/tone and a no load blender pot. I'm jonesing to string it up but I'm waiting for a Tusq nut to arrive.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 7:50 PM
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  10. surfrodguitar

    surfrodguitar Squier-holic

    Aug 4, 2016
    Laguna Niguel
    At the end of the day, do what makes you happy. Build a killer Modded FA and shred on it and sell it to someone who will appreciate it. That’s a win for sure.

    Good thing about music, when it hits you ya feel no pain.
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  11. Dave M

    Dave M Squier-Meister

    Feb 27, 2017
    Mira Loma, CA
    Hmmmmmm..Lets see ....I have $600 , what kinda guitar can I get for that kinda dough...Hmmmmm...o_O
    One thing I know for sure, profit on the Pickups, guitar free.....
    dbrian66 likes this.
  12. Toddcaster64

    Toddcaster64 Squier-holic

    Apr 1, 2013
    Camarillo, CA
    That you can make it play like a $600 guitar? I believe you. You could probably make it play like a $1,000 guitar. Hell, I think a $299 Squier Deluxe Strat plays like a lot of $1,000 guitars. And that’s just it. It’s $299 on it’s best day, brand new out of the box. And yes, I know the Deluxe was just discontinued - that’s not the point. The point is that value-wise, unless you’re talking about the big three (Gibson, Fender or Rickenbacker, value-wise the only direction is down. This is a First Act. And with a First Act body, and a First Act neck, it will always be a First Act. The people here are not being pessimistic - in fact, I seriously doubt there is another forum whose members have as much expertise as to the profitability (or lack thereof) of modding. By the way, no ego here either - make money on this and they will be the first to pat you on the back!
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  13. wyxe

    wyxe Squier Talker

    Feb 2, 2018
    It's actually cool that you said that, because I did have that idea in my mind. Create a brand, and then give some supply to local bands and musicians so word gets around. Although he's not Santana, my friend is a guitarist in a band that is making the rounds locally and he is also in on this gig so he could demo it during a couple of shows and spread the word. But like I said, he's not Santana..

    Something that might help is getting an artist on board with this. If I wanted to get super serious with it, PRS-Style. Neither me nor my friend are artists, but having custom paint jobs on each guitar would help make it stand out I think. Much more than the plain or sunburst guitars that already flood and dominate the market.
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  14. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Squier-Nut

    Jan 29, 2017
    A $60 guitar with $300 worth of new parts and $500 of unskilled labor, is still a $60 guitar.

    Put down the crackpipe and step away from the stewmac catalogue.
  15. BlueSquirrel

    BlueSquirrel Squier-Meister

    Dec 21, 2018
    That sounds like an exciting project!
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  16. Matt Shevell

    Matt Shevell Squier-Meister

    Feb 5, 2018
    New York
    Maybe if Ariana Grande signed it-
    wonkenstein likes this.
  17. JohnnyMac

    JohnnyMac Squier-Meister

    Mar 5, 2018
    Front range Colorado
    I just can't see this SE selling for more than $150.

    EDIT: I deleted the CL content that I posted here. Started to wonder if it might be a member.