The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-05-2019, 05:03 PM
whvick whvick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 902
Default How do custom guitars hold value as compared to martins, Taylors, and other big brand

I tried to search such topic, and found nothing. If you get a custom build from a good luthier, will it hold value as the big name companies?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-05-2019, 05:11 PM
Rockysdad Rockysdad is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,270
Default

Personally, I don't get buying a guitar thinking of resale value.
If I buy a guitar, I intend to keep it.
As far as resale, it's supply & demand. IMHO
__________________
Herman
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-05-2019, 05:13 PM
vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Chicago- North Burbs, via Mexico City
Posts: 5,175
Default

A custom guitar is a very different beast from a brand name when it comes to resale. Part of the problem is name recognition. Everyone knows Martin, Taylor and Gibson. How many even know Bourgeois or Lowden or Froggy Bottom, names common on this forum? Even with those great reputations, the market is limited to those in-the-know. Everybody wants you to think that whatever they're selling is custom or special. So unless the name is known by the potential buyer it's a near impossible sale. There isn't enough marketing depth so the buyer pool is limited.

But then if you're in the right marketing pool perhaps a custom build might keep pretty good value. But the bottom line is what someone is willing and able to pay.
__________________
Assuming is not knowing. Knowing is NOT Understanding. There is a difference between compassion and wisdom. Compassion cannot supplant wisdom. Wisdom cannot occur without understanding. FACTS DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS. Feelings alone often make for terrible decisions TIME DEFINES ALL THINGS.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-05-2019, 05:30 PM
sakar12 sakar12 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Utah
Posts: 578
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
A custom guitar is a very different beast from a brand name when it comes to resale. Part of the problem is name recognition. Everyone knows Martin, Taylor and Gibson. How many even know Bourgeois or Lowden or Froggy Bottom, names common on this forum? Even with those great reputations, the market is limited to those in-the-know. Everybody wants you to think that whatever they're selling is custom or special. So unless the name is known by the potential buyer it's a near impossible sale. There isn't enough marketing depth so the buyer pool is limited.

But then if you're in the right marketing pool perhaps a custom build might keep pretty good value. But the bottom line is what someone is willing and able to pay.
To your point, I spoke with a local music store owner who 1). attends NAMM and 2). sells lots of guitars from brands like Eastman. I told him he should become Utah's first Lowden dealer and he said, "Who?" I was shocked, but I guess I learned that even owners just know what they sell.
__________________
Martins, Lowden, Taylors, many others not forgotten
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-05-2019, 05:30 PM
GmanJeff GmanJeff is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Vienna, VA
Posts: 484
Default

The market for non-brand name instruments is very small. That will likely translate to longer sales cycles and potentially higher levels of depreciation. There may be occasional exceptions, but in general I would not expect it to be easy, quick, or profitable to resell lesser known instruments.
__________________
Jeff
www.engine14.com
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-05-2019, 05:59 PM
dhockenbury dhockenbury is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Houston, TX.
Posts: 140
Default

I agree with both responses.

I am currently thinking through/weighing the options phase of commissioning a custom build next year myself. I have benefited greatly from many threads discussing process, considerations, etc., and following many of the builds shared here over the past 6 months.

Based on what I have learned thus far I would that "value" in this narrow market segment should be weighted in terms of what a specific builder brings to your expectations against the cost of having precisely what you seek.

I believe that this equation is relevant for all parts of the guitar market, and I think there are exceptional craftsman at various price points even in the custom build segment from which to choose. For me the primary choice will be tone and playability. Aesthetics and other criteria will also have a place in my choice.

To be able to enjoy "that" guitar there is a price that I will be fine with paying.

Resale value will not be among my considerations however.

As pointed out by vindibona1, it is a small market and somewhat unnoticed by the larger guitar community. In addition, finding a purchaser that is seeking exactly what you had built for specifically for yourself for anything above 60% of your investment would be doing well I would think.

Last edited by dhockenbury; 08-05-2019 at 06:58 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-05-2019, 06:02 PM
TokyoNeko TokyoNeko is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,273
Default

In a word, they don't.

I paid just under $2,000 for my Worland custom a couple of years ago. I'd be lucky to get $400~500 if I put it up for sale, although I think it's worth a lot more than that.

FWIW, Fred at the Repair Zone in San Diego, who did the setup on it the first time, said it sounds like a guitar worth $6,000. (He might have been a bit flattering in front of a customer, but he doesn't seem like a guy who would do that TOO much.) Anyway, the price that it would command on a used instrument market is something completely different altogether.

I had the guitar custom-built to last me a lifetime, and that thought hasn't changed. That the used sale value amounts to almost nothing makes it even easier to hold onto it.
__________________
Worland Custom OM (USA) Engelmann/EIR
Crafter Omega SR Premium (Korea) Engelmann/EIR, K&K Pure Mini
Hex Sting P300 (Indonesia) Sitka/LaminateSapele, Lace California
Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy (Indonesia) LaminateBasswood
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-05-2019, 07:02 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 6,111
Default

Here is a specific example supporting points others have made in this forum...

At one time, Dream Guitars sold this William Kelday 000 12 fret:

https://www.dreamguitars.com/shop/ke...ble-sides.html

They described it in glowing terms about how great this guitar is. I now own the guitar, and have for several years. I got it in a trade at The Podium toward the end of that store's existence. As I recall, the guitar at that time came in from somebody in the Washington DC area. I don't know how many hands it passed through, but from what I have seen around here, it is not uncommon for these higher end guitars to be passed around over time among those who appreciate such a guitar.

At one point, not too long ago, I thought I might sell it since I have not been playing it as much. I contacted Dream Guitars about consigning it. They responded with a nice email, but saying that they wouldn't take it on because, though Kelday is well known and respected in Europe, the name is virtually unknown here in the US. I give big points to the fact that Dream Guitars responded and gave me a plausible reason for their decision.

Fortunately, this was the best thing that could have happened for me because I now know I would have seriously regretted selling this instrument and would have had to spend far more than I would get from the sale, to replace it. The fact that the name is not well known here in the US worked in my favor when I got it, and now prevented me from making a stupid mistake if I had sold it. Name recognition is a big thing in the sale of guitars, apparently. I can see why. Also, my Kelday came with a Hiscox case, which I knew nothing about. I read about them in threads here, and came to appreciate the quality of the case too. I am tickled to be able to own a guitar like this, and now understand that I got a real bargain when I acquired it. All those who have played it, kept telling me it would be a mistake to sell it, and I am glad that it worked out for me to hang on to it.

I can say that I have been able to play a number if high end guitars due to the guitar shops we have been fortunate to have here in the Twin Cities over the years, and this Kelday holds up to the best of them. That same thing would be true of many unknown name guitars folks wish to sell from time to time. It is really the buyer's loss that s/he doesn't know what some of these guitars that come up for sale really are, but frustrating, I am sure, for those wanting or especially needing to sell theirs.

Tony
__________________
Dodge the little COVIDs...

Last edited by tbeltrans; 08-05-2019 at 07:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-05-2019, 07:16 PM
Dwight Dwight is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CT
Posts: 2,703
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by whvick View Post
I tried to search such topic, and found nothing. If you get a custom build from a good luthier, will it hold value as the big name companies?
Unless it was made by one of the top handful of luthiers in the world, you will get a small fraction of the cost back. Additionally the more "custom" you make it, the harder it is to sell.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-05-2019, 07:23 PM
paulzoom paulzoom is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 12,086
Default

Trades might be a better option. Then the person can see how good the guitar is even though it might not be from a well know luthier. The other thing to help with sales is to offer, say, a 48 hour return policy, shipping included. This might make a buyer to take a chance on an unknown luthier.
__________________
Lowden O-32
Gibson J-45 Rosewood
Gibson Rosewood AG Parlor
Martin OMC-15e
Martin OM-28ce
Taylor K66 Koa 12-string
Steve Denvir Custom OM Build #21
Harmony H-162

...and whatever the next one is
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-05-2019, 08:23 PM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mohawk Valley
Posts: 5,892
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GmanJeff View Post
The market for non-brand name instruments is very small. That will likely translate to longer sales cycles and potentially higher levels of depreciation. There may be occasional exceptions, but in general I would not expect it to be easy, quick, or profitable to resell lesser known instruments.
Yes, but I would add that it also depends upon the maker (luthier). For someone whose star is still ascending and who is actively building and getting better, (and raising his prices as they may be justified), you might actually make money. And after these folks retire, those with no particular cachet can expect to see the values on their creations begin to drop once their names are no longer on other's lips.
__________________
The Bard Rocks

Kinnaird 000 Adk/Ziricote
Sexauer L00 Adk/Magnolia
Hatcher Jumbo Bearclaw/"Bacon" Padauk
Leach "Arctos" OM Millenium Sequioa/Macassar Ebony
Goodall Jumbo POC/flamed Mahogany
McAlister baritone Adk/Bubinga
Appollonio 12 POC/Myrtle
MJ Franks Resonator, all Australian Blackwood
'31 National Duolian
banjos of all kinds, mandolin, autoharp, tiple...
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-05-2019, 08:34 PM
jseth jseth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oregon... "Heart of the Valley"...
Posts: 9,607
Default

It would be a Fool's Errand to order a Custom built instrument thinking that you can either make money by selling it or completely recoup your investment...
__________________
"Statistics are one of the most limiting sources of information ever devised by man.
Our job is to do the impossible; we don't need to hear that it can't be done..."
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-05-2019, 08:37 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,041
Default

Ask the guys who bought the first Monteleone's or Collings. Of course most custom builders don't reach those heights.

I have six instruments built by one-man shops. Three were custom built for me to play and enjoy, not for some hypothetical future owner. I don't get this obsession-with-resale/inability-to-commit-to-an-individual-instrument mindset so prevalent here. I guess that's a subject for another thread.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-05-2019, 08:48 PM
Tnfiddler Tnfiddler is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Middle Tn
Posts: 2,252
Default

I’ve only ran into a small handful of people who know what my Bourgeois is. Every single one of those have been musicians and only 1 or 2 had actually seen one or played one before they saw mine.
__________________
Education is important! Guitar is importanter!!



2019 Bourgeois “Banjo Killer” Aged Tone Vintage Deluxe D
2018 Martin D41 Ambertone (2018 Reimagined)
2016 Taylor GS Mini Koa ES2
2006 Charles J. Horner Fiddle
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-05-2019, 08:51 PM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North of the Golden Gate, South of the Redwoods, East of the Pacific and West of the Sierras
Posts: 7,358
Default How do custom guitars hold value as compared to martins, Taylors, and other big brand

It depends on a number of factors. The current market for whatever guitar you are selling, reaching the right audience and pricing it appropriately.
I have sold 2 custom instruments and sold one for exactly what I paid for it and the other for about 95% of what I bought it for.
I have a 3rd custom for sale and will probably lose some money on it since it is a buyer’s market these days.
I do not buy instruments with resale in mind but have mostly done well with the few luthier built guitars that I have sold.

Best,
Jayne
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=