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Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by JurnyWannaBe, Mar 2, 2020.
I was with you until you decided to drag a simple spelling error in to things...
Guitars are like cars. They depreciate. Purchase new, on sale, somewhat close to one year old value. That is my advice to guitar players and collectors who focus on budget instruments. As for aspiring entrepreneurs and profiteers? I don't see entry level guitar flipping as a viable revenue stream these days. More power to you if you can do it, but from my limited experience it seems like a lot of work for little reward.
100% Even the most highly regarded Squiers currently in production - I think we can all agree this would be the Classic Vibe series - still sell secondhand for significantly less than they do new.
This may change 20 years down the line if the series is discontinued soon (which is doubtful).
Personally though, I think used guitars represent much better value than new ones. Much of the time they are already set up - saving $$$ for those who can't do their own set ups - and of course a used guitar is going to sound pretty much exactly the same as a brand new one, so no advantage to be had there. Just depends if people must have their guitars be absolutely clean and pristine.
The guy who made the spelling error has a poor track record all around, recently. If he's going to repeatedly call Chinese guitars trash, as a whole, and get basic specs and model names wrong, etc... then I am going to call him out for his nonsense whenever I see it. The guy doesn't know what he's talking about, in roughly half of his posts. My understanding is he wants to act like an authority because he once worked for Fender, but I continually get the impression (in every post) that he didn't have much experience, if any, with the budget line, that the forum is named for, and what we tend to focus on here.
Around here, Starcaster, SE, Affinity, and Bullet models can be had regularly for 20-60 bucks and sold for 40-50 dollars markup, after a cleaning, string change and set up. It's less than some of the big shops would charge, with more care, and I can flip a guitar in under 2 hours. 25 and hour is decent money for a hobby.
I know a guy who flips guitars as a business, generally in the range (selling price) of 200-1000 dollars, and it's his only job. If places like Music Go Round can make a business of it, so can regular folk, if you put in the time.
Nah, I get ya. Dude's sig says he is a luthier, so it's in his best interests to run down budget goods while turning his nose up at them.
Obviously we all know that labeling any Asian-made guitars as rubbish smacks of ignorance and conceit.
Gotta agree with drewcp. Some of the easiest flips are entry level guitars. This is for a variety of reasons. Among them, the fact that a cheap guitar is often more likely to be abused or neglected in the hands of a novice. I have seen guitars for sale as "broken" or "needs repair" that simply needed cleaning and new strings, or a pot or tuner or bridge saddle replaced. I have a large parts stash and have been buying strings in bulk for years so these types of flips represent very little out-of-pocket expense and it is not hard to sometimes double or triple my money and still offer a bargain to a novice versus the price of a new guitar. Often, I feel that with the hardware I add and the setup I do the buyer may be getting an instrument that delivers for him/her better than an out-of-box new guitar. There are a couple of local guys who are far more active at flipping than me, and I feel that they are very good at scouring local Craig's List and Letgo. They beat me to the punch on a regular basis so I have to get lucky to still score the sub $50 Squiers. I see them selling their stuff for $125-$150.
Hmmm..."buy low-sell high" is a maxim as old as the history of men creating markets. Fender could sell their guitars at little over cost, but they don't. Have you ever been in a situation where you really needed money more than a guitar? I have been more than once in my life. At those times I couldn't afford to hold out for every penny of value, so I sold at a bargain to get a quick sale and obtain the cash I needed. Somebody got a deal, both parties are happy. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you...nothing to do with "being a greedy selfish jerk",
or lacking "integrity and ethics", rather, understanding the intrinsic and often fleeting value of material things.
You have your opinion, I have mine. And you have no idea what Fender's markup is. I can tell you that, having worked in a guitar store, the biggest markup goes to the retailer, not the maufacturer. My dealer gives me deals that are so low sometimes that I'm sure their cost from Fender is very low, if they can give me the price they give me and still make a profit.
Honestly I don't even deal with those people. Generally they get angry when you politely tell them they're asking twice what their gear is worth and I don't need the aggro. I don't have the time or patience to talk people back to reality.
I get this, and I'm really happy for anyone who makes an honest living doing what they enjoy. There are few higher aspirations. The business model makes more sense when guitars fifty times the value of the $20.00 find are brought into play. I'm not buying into the turnaround time on investment though. If he can keep it under forty-five day average turnaround with a significant inventory, including repairs, set-up and minor refurbishing (as you point out, often it may require only a replacement string and a cleaning) I would think he's doing fine. The difficulty, as I see it, is procuring enough inventory at the correct price. After all, he's competing with retail customers who are willing to pay more. Inventory stream must be the biggest headache, thus the title of this thread, I guess, which got my interest. Wayyyyy overpriced guitar in this context is different than what I had imagined.
Four million for a '69 Strat was what I envisioned. I hope that purchase wasn't made as an investment. My guess is that the Black Gilmour Strat sold at Christie's was an emotional buy. It's hard to imagine it doing a bigger number anytime soon. But who knows?
just about anything on eBay that comes from Japan is hugely overpriced.
I have an "idea":
"Privately held Fender does not disclose financials, but Mooney told Reuters it made slightly more than $500 million in revenue last year, has about $100 million in debt and is cash-flow positive. He said revenue growth was in the “high single digits” and outpaced the industry-wide sales growth rate for fretted instruments, which grew 7.3 percent to $1.9 billion, according to Music Trades data."
They are not a charity, that's for sure, and their sales are rising - apparently in spite of all that markup the retailers are taking. If there was no concern about profit all their instruments would still be made in the USA - they never would have ventured into Mexico or the far east. Why are you taking those "so low" deals from your dealer? Aren't you bothered that you should be paying more?
Your experience is vastly different to mine. I got my Jagmaster from Japan for AUD$350 with free shipping (which alone was AUD$180). The RRP for a Jagmaster here when they got discontinued was about AUD$700. I got my Mustang (a CIJ Fender) from Japan for AUD$650, fully shipped. That's less than the asking price here of a VM Mustang. Both of these guitars I got through ebay.
But some of it is simply a matter of perspective. Here in Australia pretty much all brand new guitars are wayyyyyy overpriced. For example the RRP on a Bullet currently sits at AUD$350 (approx USD$300).
People here complain about a guy selling an SE for $250. Down here that would be considered a steal and would be sold in a heartbeat.
Two thoughts on this front. One, when I'm looking at a used guitar, whether hi-end or lower, I give the seller a full disclosure of my pricing. For example; "That is $400 new. To me it's worth $320 used. If you would like to sell it now, accept the offer and I'll pay immediately." This works 80% of the time.
The other part is I refuse to pay more for shipping than Reverb or UPS charges. I've put offers in lately on a couple of guitars where they want $90-$100 to ship a Telecaster. Through Reverb I sold an American Deluxe a week ago, with case, that weighed 26 pounds boxed. My cost, which I compared through my personal UPS account was $50. I'm not paying you or anyone $100 for shipping that costs $50.
In the end we, the consumers of used guitars, are at fault. A new CV Tele costs $400 shipped. That's a guitar price of around $350 plus shipping - DON'T PAY MORE THAN THAT FOR A USED GUITAR. Additionally, a Squier Tele. Affinity is $229 SHIPPED. That means around $180 for the guitar plus shipping. It is worth around 80% - if mint - of new so if you pay more, you are at fault and part of the problem of increasing prices for used guitars.
Also lost on many sellers is the art of counter-offer. If I'm interested in your overpriced instrument, I'll offer a price much lower than your asking - and justify the offer with facts. Then you can come back and counter at half-way between your ask and my offer. Then you bring up the offer and I get it for a price closer to what it's actually worth. However, too many don't know how to counter so their guitars sit for months.
Or you can shop /sell on CraigsHitList and get mugged for your cash or equipment when you meet the buyer/ seller in person and he turns out to be a Gangbanger with a Glock.
That's classy, hoss... Thanks for being decent... Ain't a lot of that goin 'round anymore...
I love ya, Guitarmageddon, and you KNOW how much I respect ya, but this is one where we'll have to agree to disagree, lol... Callin someone "dirty" because they're tryin to help someone not get fleeced is a tad extreme, lol... That bein said, EVERYBODY is entitled to their opinion, and we don't HAVE to agree... It takes all kinds, bud... I understand it from your flipper perspective, but to me, simple kindness and courtesy, lookin out for "the next guy" and doin the right thing NEVER go outta style... But, like I said, I love ya, hoss! Lol...