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  1. #1
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    04.08.16 @ 04:20 PM
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    Default Interested in custom build guitar value...

    I was just thinking the other day about what the value of a custom build guitar from one of our very own builders here is worth down the line. I guess the example would be that if you put say $1500 into a custom build vs a used Les Paul would the custom retain any value?

    I realize the handbuilt vs factory argument, but would any of us buy a no name guitar off ebay for that? I mean, I would more likely get a PV Wolfie for that instead of chance with the custom, particularly if I wasn't intimately familiar with the builder's work like I am with our builders. I would certainly buy from Scott Fletcher regardless!

    I have been thinking about having a custom built but am concerned that if for some reason down the road I want to sell it, being a no name guitar, will make it unlikely to fetch any money let alone your original investment.

    I say this with all due respect to our builders and mean nothing by this. I think the work that is done here by Scott F, Ron, Dino and Dive is fantastic among others. It's just a question on my mind.

    Do you guys have any experience with selling one after 5-10 years down the road from one of your customers?

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    Guitars made by luthiers or builders like some of us in here, unfortunaly..have almost no resale value. the reason people go to see luthiers most of the time is to get a guitar done more to their own specs. it's never gonna retain it's value like a Fender CS or Les Paul realy.


    Quote Originally Posted by smme5150 View Post
    I was just thinking the other day about what the value of a custom build guitar from one of our very own builders here is worth down the line. I guess the example would be that if you put say $1500 into a custom build vs a used Les Paul would the custom retain any value?

    I realize the handbuilt vs factory argument, but would any of us buy a no name guitar off ebay for that? I mean, I would more likely get a PV Wolfie for that instead of chance with the custom, particularly if I wasn't intimately familiar with the builder's work like I am with our builders. I would certainly buy from Scott Fletcher regardless!

    I have been thinking about having a custom built but am concerned that if for some reason down the road I want to sell it, being a no name guitar, will make it unlikely to fetch any money let alone your original investment.

    I say this with all due respect to our builders and mean nothing by this. I think the work that is done here by Scott F, Ron, Dino and Dive is fantastic among others. It's just a question on my mind.

    Do you guys have any experience with selling one after 5-10 years down the road from one of your customers?

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    I would have to agree, but to have an ax made of the highest quality to your exact likings for a fraction of what you would pay to a big name cant be beat.

    I also think that your best way to go of selling it would be to a friend or fellow player down the road who has used it. I have had a two Fenders that I have modded with Dimarzios and certain other tweaks that have made the guitars nothing like they were but to play and sound to exactly what I wanted, that I have lent out on a few ocassions and was told if I was ever going to sell it to give that person first crack.

    Now on the other hand if one of our forum members ever hits it big then that ax just became a loterry ticket.lol

  4. #4
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    Here's the facts on custom builds:

    1) No resale unless the builder in question hits it big
    2) No resale unless it was played by a famous player and there's good photographic evidence; even then, it had to be in the pinacle of the player's career (i.e. not while s/he is a hasbeen)
    3) No resale unless a famous player starts playing that exact brand/make and model
    4) No resale unless said builder was or ends up being a famous guitar tech for an extremely famous player, and there had better be photographic evidence and/or magazine articles.

    The only way there ***IS*** resale value is in the parts. A Floyd always brings $$$. Nice tuning pegs will bring $$$. Nice necks will bring $$$.

    That being said, one of my favourite necks EVER was built for me by someone who everyone on here would know (but maybe or maybe not a member of this forum). I will not mention names as there were issues getting this neck to me within the time frame discussed, and he was posting pics of builds he had finished everywhere on the 'net whilst I kept getting the "it's on it's way at the end of the week" yarn. So I can't recommend him. I also will not mention him by name, even in a PM. Don't even ask... I would only mention his name if he became famous and I could sell the neck at a profit.

    Custom is like beauty- it's in the eye of the beholder. Just most people don't feel the same way as you do about the value of a guitar built for you.
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnyman View Post
    Here's the facts on custom builds:

    1) No resale unless the builder in question hits it big
    2) No resale unless it was played by a famous player and there's good photographic evidence; even then, it had to be in the pinacle of the player's career (i.e. not while s/he is a hasbeen)
    3) No resale unless a famous player starts playing that exact brand/make and model
    4) No resale unless said builder was or ends up being a famous guitar tech for an extremely famous player, and there had better be photographic evidence and/or magazine articles.
    I agree ...
    A "custom guitar" is one generally one built to your specs.
    It's built to meet your needs and for you to enjoy ... not to re-sell.

    On the other hand, the market for "rock star" replica guitars are an entirely different thing IMO. These "custom guitars" aren't necessarily built to your specs, as much as they are built to replicate a famous guitar built for a famous "rock star". Therefore, many people can appreciate the guitar for what it is, and not necessarily because it's "custom built" for you.

    So if we're talking a "custom guitar" built for you? Then no, I don't believe the guitar will retain it's value unless (as bunnyman pointed out) ... the builder "hits it big" (ala Paul Reed Smith). And even then, the guitar will be desired more for it's history and not so much for it's "custom" features that again ... were made to your specs.

    "Rock star" replicas on the other hand? I do believe it's possible for them to retain their value providing the builder carrys a reputation for quality. Simply because a replica is something that can be appreciated by many.

    Just my .02
    Last edited by Dino5150; 12.25.09 at 04:17 PM.

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    Or, if builder kicks bucket, & everyone realizes how great their guitars are.
    but we wouldn't want that to happen

  7. #7
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dino5150 View Post

    "Rock star" replicas on the other hand? I do believe it's possible for them to retain their value providing the builder carrys a reputation for quality. Simply because a replica is something that can be appreciated by many.

    Just my .02
    My vintage dealer is a sucker for a replica done well, and it matters NOT who did it, as long as it's a good replica. Generally, he buys them at about half of what one has into it...

    Half is better than a quarter... I know that is an obvious statement. Really, a replica will stand on it's merit and accuracy. A good replica of a famous guitar could even gain value, provided it is a good replica.
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

  8. #8
    Eruption smme5150's Avatar
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    I understand what you guys are saying and I also understand that a custom build would be my specs. However lets take a few ideas into account. First, the reason it could possibly ever be sold would be such things as: job loss, financial difficulties of any nature, you die and the family would like to cash out, etc. The point of this is not to say that any of this is going to happen for me, it's the point of if you pay $2000 for a guitar from no-name its worth virtually nothing other than a few parts mere days after you get it. Like the car off the car lot thing. Where as, if $2000 spent on a les paul you can probably get back in a few days after purchase and probably more down the road as we've been seeing. That's all I was saying.

    In escense, it seems like a waste of money. Throwing that money down the drain on a no namer seems crazy when you can easily find something close to what you want. I guess I would have to want the volume knob and the maple top thicker for example than factory available really bad to waste the money down the drain. Besides most of these companies offer custom shops to get exactly what you want. Sure it's gonna cost more on the front end but you make it up on the back end when it would be sale time. Custom can still fetch the bucks while the no namer goes to the garage sale...

    I don't know, for me I work to hard for my money to piss it down the drain later. Just doesn't make sense to me?

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    Quote Originally Posted by smme5150 View Post
    I understand what you guys are saying and I also understand that a custom build would be my specs. However lets take a few ideas into account. First, the reason it could possibly ever be sold would be such things as: job loss, financial difficulties of any nature, you die and the family would like to cash out, etc. The point of this is not to say that any of this is going to happen for me, it's the point of if you pay $2000 for a guitar from no-name its worth virtually nothing other than a few parts mere days after you get it. Like the car off the car lot thing. Where as, if $2000 spent on a les paul you can probably get back in a few days after purchase and probably more down the road as we've been seeing. That's all I was saying.

    In escense, it seems like a waste of money. Throwing that money down the drain on a no namer seems crazy when you can easily find something close to what you want. I guess I would have to want the volume knob and the maple top thicker for example than factory available really bad to waste the money down the drain. Besides most of these companies offer custom shops to get exactly what you want. Sure it's gonna cost more on the front end but you make it up on the back end when it would be sale time. Custom can still fetch the bucks while the no namer goes to the garage sale...

    I don't know, for me I work to hard for my money to piss it down the drain later. Just doesn't make sense to me?
    I suppose there are those who strictly purchase guitars with resale value in mind while others simply purchase guitars they like. I don't think it's necessarily "pissing money down the drain".

    What's one man's trash is another man's treasure, I guess.

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    Wow..totaly insane reasoning..LOL. the CUSTOM industry..and by that i mean in pretty much every market of anything, from amps, guitars, furniture, food, clothes, is getting more and more of a good rep. The guy that decides that he's been a VH fan for years, and always wanted a kick ass EVH Frankenstrat replica, and now can finaly fork out 2000$ to 3000$ on a custom build, why not!..it's not pissing money!....Pissing money is paying 2000$ for a week in Cuba getting a sunburn, it's spending 1500$ getting up at 4am trying to kill a deer in the wood to feel like a "man"....

    So you see, what you consider pissing money, is someone's long dream come true. at least he HAS something to show for it....


    Quote Originally Posted by smme5150 View Post
    I understand what you guys are saying and I also understand that a custom build would be my specs. However lets take a few ideas into account. First, the reason it could possibly ever be sold would be such things as: job loss, financial difficulties of any nature, you die and the family would like to cash out, etc. The point of this is not to say that any of this is going to happen for me, it's the point of if you pay $2000 for a guitar from no-name its worth virtually nothing other than a few parts mere days after you get it. Like the car off the car lot thing. Where as, if $2000 spent on a les paul you can probably get back in a few days after purchase and probably more down the road as we've been seeing. That's all I was saying.

    In escense, it seems like a waste of money. Throwing that money down the drain on a no namer seems crazy when you can easily find something close to what you want. I guess I would have to want the volume knob and the maple top thicker for example than factory available really bad to waste the money down the drain. Besides most of these companies offer custom shops to get exactly what you want. Sure it's gonna cost more on the front end but you make it up on the back end when it would be sale time. Custom can still fetch the bucks while the no namer goes to the garage sale...

    I don't know, for me I work to hard for my money to piss it down the drain later. Just doesn't make sense to me?

  11. #11
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    A custom build by a small builder should not be built to resell later. It should be built as a culmination of what the customer wants to have in a guitar. None of the large companies are willing to make a guitar to one's exact specs, which is why the small bespoke builder comes into play. Would Ernie Ball build an EVH? And if Ernie Ball decided to build an EVH, would they build it out of mahogany or Korina? Didn't think so; but you better like your no-name custom build, as it was built for Y-O-U, suckah!!!!!

    Seriously- you had better have your playing style evolved before getting a custom build.
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by al3d View Post
    Wow..totaly insane reasoning..LOL. the CUSTOM industry..and by that i mean in pretty much every market of anything, from amps, guitars, furniture, food, clothes, is getting more and more of a good rep. The guy that decides that he's been a VH fan for years, and always wanted a kick ass EVH Frankenstrat replica, and now can finaly fork out 2000$ to 3000$ on a custom build, why not!..it's not pissing money!....Pissing money is paying 2000$ for a week in Cuba getting a sunburn, it's spending 1500$ getting up at 4am trying to kill a deer in the wood to feel like a "man"....

    So you see, what you consider pissing money, is someone's long dream come true. at least he HAS something to show for it....
    Love your reply- I would only substitute "strip club" for "Cuba", as it's illegal to travel to Cuba in the USA.
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnyman View Post
    Love your reply- I would only substitute "strip club" for "Cuba", as it's illegal to travel to Cuba in the USA.
    Illegal?...realy?, i did'nt know that!. it's the most popular vacation spot for Canadiens, europeens..

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnyman View Post
    A custom build by a small builder should not be built to resell later. It should be built as a culmination of what the customer wants to have in a guitar. None of the large companies are willing to make a guitar to one's exact specs, which is why the small bespoke builder comes into play. Would Ernie Ball build an EVH? And if Ernie Ball decided to build an EVH, would they build it out of mahogany or Korina? Didn't think so; but you better like your no-name custom build, as it was built for Y-O-U, suckah!!!!!

    Seriously- you had better have your playing style evolved before getting a custom build.
    First of all, may playing style is probably more evovled than you are old. Secondly, I love my money a lot, a whole lot, a bunch!

    I brought this up as a matter of interest because it crossed my mind. Why dump the money on something that ends up with less value or none? Now you can bring up whatever you want about what is worth what, obviously that is everyones opinion- and just that.

    This is more about hard fact. The custom build no name is 99.9% likely to lose money. If a person decides that works for them, great more power to 'em. Now, I have been around the block long enough to know that just because something doesn't have a name doesn't make it bad. In fact, it could be way better. But the market perception is not that and the market, or more accurately the people in it, is what pays you your money for your goods.

    Also if one wants to argue that the parts are worth something, absolutely they are worth what the market will bring. For me , I buy high quality things in any scenario that retain there value, stupid huh?

    Nevermind, I can see that we are going down the infantile route on this one. I am not argueing for or against, but my personal choice after thinking about it is going to be to buy what is always going to return my investment if at all possible. Of course that isn't always the case.Such as the case of the long lost weekend snorting blow off the proverbial strippers ass. But it's always a choice one makes when parting with their money. For me I'll make do with what I can find out there that's closest to my needs and has a valueable namesake on it. It's not worth the loss of cash in the long run to me to have every little thing perfect.

    I can see it now...I am not a real musician if I don't get everything to my "specs"...Flame away broke-ass fuckers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by al3d View Post
    Wow..totaly insane reasoning..LOL. the CUSTOM industry..and by that i mean in pretty much every market of anything, from amps, guitars, furniture, food, clothes, is getting more and more of a good rep. The guy that decides that he's been a VH fan for years, and always wanted a kick ass EVH Frankenstrat replica, and now can finaly fork out 2000$ to 3000$ on a custom build, why not!..it's not pissing money!....Pissing money is paying 2000$ for a week in Cuba getting a sunburn, it's spending 1500$ getting up at 4am trying to kill a deer in the wood to feel like a "man"....

    So you see, what you consider pissing money, is someone's long dream come true. at least he HAS something to show for it....
    Do I detect sarcasm or smartass?

 

 

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