Thread: $$$$$$$ ?????
View Single Post
Old 06-02-2014, 12:30 PM
Tim McKnight's Avatar
Tim McKnight Tim McKnight is offline
AGF Sponsor
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Morral, Ohio
Posts: 5,194

Originally Posted by gstring View Post
Hope to get a reply from some of the established Luthiers here.

How did you approach the business side of your guitar building ?
How did you establish the price of your first couple of builds ?
When and how did you feel it was time to increase your prices ?

For your first couple of builds, cover your cost of materials plus a small amount for labor [IF] you have the quality to command it??? We gave away about a dozen guitars before we felt we were ready to accept money for them. FWIW, our first sale was $550 in the early 90s which was about double the cost of materials.

1) Define your market.
2) Your initial comparison should be to Asain imports. Are your guitars equal to them or do them surpass them in terms of fit, finish, playability, tone and responsiveness.
3) If not then that should be your goal to provide a better product at [that price point].
4) If you can honestly say you have a better product than an Asian factory guitar then next compare yours to a Gibson, Martin or Taylor. Are you equal to or better than those?
5) If so, attend a few shows and YOU judge how YOUR guitars fit and finish compare to other exhibitors. Keep in mind that you can't jump in and expect to command top dollar as an unknown builder. Why would Joe player buy your product when he can buy a superior product at Guitar Center for a fraction of the cost.

Sorry to be blunt but that was the advice I was given 20+ years ago and it has served me well.

We raise our prices about every two years, typically after a show like HB.
Reply With Quote