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Thread: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

  1. #1

    Default Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    Hey folks, I'm new to the Mando Cafe thread. I'm a young player and am curious about the variability of Gilchrist price fluctuations. I know there was a point several years back where they were selling for around 25-30k, but they seem to be between 17-20/21K now from what I've seen. Does anyone have some insight on why they have decreased in value despite the economy growing? Anyone think they will continue to decrease in value, or do you predict they will appreciate?

    Thanks!

    G

  2. #2
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    It seems the secondary market for the highest end mandolins is uniformly down in price and we've clearly been in a "buyer's market" for several years. This is true for guitars as well. There are a few factors at play that I can think of. Some speculate that baby boomers are liquidating collections and flooding the market. The renaissance in the mandolin lutherie world has also introduced into the the market a huge variety of incredibly good quality mandolins by new and some not so new builders who are building mandolins that are easily as good as the elite mandolins. I won't get into listing or ranking builders, but I would say that we have tons of choices right now and it's an awesome time to be a mandolin player
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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    Supply and demand. For many years Gilchrist’s waiting list was closed. Low supply and high demand led to crazy prices. Now you can order one and usually get it within about a year. So on the secondary market they take the usual hit for being a used instrument.

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    I think it really depends on the instrument. Anything thatís been heavily repaired is going to command less in terms of $$. There are also fewer buyers at these price points.

    And yes, the economy is growing, but so is personal debt, and expenses.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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    Scroll Lock Austin Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    I agree with the above posters. In a free market (aside from inflation), pricing is almost always driven by supply and demand.

    The number of mandolin players has vastly grown in the last 20+ years, and it took a long time for there to be an adequate supply of fine mandolins. But if I were looking for a professional quality mandolin right now in the 5-20K price range, I would have quite a few to choose from. It's much more of a buyers market.

    Still, we rarely see top tier items like Gilchrist mandolins plummet in price, but they may have reached their apex.
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

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    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    I think Shaun has the most of it. When the list was closed, prices skyrocketed, and there wasn't much top tier competition. The new prices have leveled off and you can get one if you're patient. You can also get a great instrument from many other talented luthiers, and that was less the case during that time period. I do think there is room for the used market to actually come down a little, and as long as he's still cranking out new instruments, I don't foresee the used market getting back to where it was. When he stops, that's potentially another story. As a point of reference, the last batch brought his total north of 780. That's a lot of instruments to choose from.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    My sense is that the used ones aren't selling for the prices you see listed either.

    You can find a lots of exceptional mandolins these days for under 10K. They might only get you 90 to 95% of the tonal quality. That last 5-10% will cost you the big bucks unless you can find a used Heiden or Red Diamond at a good price.
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    Yep the guys above all nailed it! There is a nice 80-82 Gil F-5 at Carters "NFI" I seen for 16G, that's a great deal, The 82 I had was that price in 2011-12.

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    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by grigney View Post
    Hey folks, I'm new to the Mando Cafe thread. I'm a young player and am curious about the variability of Gilchrist price fluctuations. I know there was a point several years back where they were selling for around 25-30k, but they seem to be between 17-20/21K now from what I've seen. Does anyone have some insight on why they have decreased in value despite the economy growing? Anyone think they will continue to decrease in value, or do you predict they will appreciate?

    Thanks!

    G
    A correction is called for here. Not sure where that information came from but I knew as soon as I read it that it was not correct. I waited for someone to step in and set the record straight. Since no one has, I asked Walter Carter about the pricing to make sure I had followed Steve's pricing correctly for the past 15-18 years at least. Since Walter and Christie have represented him for a considerable time now as the sole U.S. representative I think this sets the record straight. His statement word for word:

    --------------

    There have been several Gilchrist "Artist" models, with fancier appointments like his top-of-the-line Model 5, that have carried asking prices of $25k, but there was never any period when the going rate for a Gilchrist was $25-30k. Possibly the poster is confusing Gilchrists with Dudenbostels or Nuggets, some of which have been priced over $25k.

    There was a time when the Gilchrist market was upside down. Steve had a long back-order list and he continued to honor the price that was current at the time a buyer put down a deposit. The price of a new Gilchrist at that time was around $8000. As demand for Gilchrists increased, the wait list grew longer, and some buyers began flipping Gilchrists for as much as $15k. At some point, Steve cut off new orders and spent the next several years fulfilling building out the list.

    In 2006, he began taking new orders, but at a new price of $22,000. At that point, the flippers vanished. The price of a new Gilchrist is still $22k, and the price of a used one is somewhat less. Virtually every instrument Steve makes is sold before it arrives in the U.S. Values of Gilchrists - new or used - have NOT decreased at any time.

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  13. #10

    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    Oh, this is great news. I had received that information from another party. Sorry for posting incorrect information here. That wasn't my intention at all. Thanks for the update from Walter himself!

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    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    Regarding the growing economy.

    The economy has been growing since 2008. <removed by site owner -- hot button topic you know perfectly well is not appropriate for this forum> , and we are now seeing trends like record car payment defaults. My local real estate newsletter commented on the housing market declining because excessive consumer debt is prohibiting people from qualifying for loans.

    So, maybe folks don’t really have a pile of mandolin money sitting around.
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    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by JonZ View Post
    Regarding the growing economy.

    The economy has been growing since 2008. <removed by site owner -- hot button topic you know perfectly well is not appropriate for this forum> , and we are now seeing trends like record car payment defaults. My local real estate newsletter commented on the housing market declining because excessive consumer debt is prohibiting people from qualifying for loans.

    So, maybe folks donít really have a pile of mandolin money sitting around.
    Actually, the economy shrank over 2009 when growth, as measured by GDP, shrank. I would agree that consumer debt continues to rise and Baby Boomers continue to offload their instrument stashes, which go a long ways to explaining the softness in instrument prices. One can only hope that younger people catch the mandolin bug and begin to buy up the excess supply on the market.
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    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    I remember well the upside down Gilchrist market. That ship was righted toot sweet.

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    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Grieser View Post
    unless you can find a used Heiden or Red Diamond at a good price.
    You don't say....

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    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    This directly from Gilchrist:

    Carters asked him: Am I correct when I think 2006 was the year you came out with the current pricing of $22K for the model 5?

    He replied:

    Yes. Before that the price of the last 2005-2006 batch through Dexter was $12K (from orders placed around 2001). At the time (2006) they were re-selling around 22K. The new ordering price has been the same since.

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    Registered User mandotool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    Worth every penny and then some
    Thomas Quinn

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    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inquiry about Gilchrist Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by mandotool View Post
    Worth every penny and then some
    Agreed

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