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Thread: Collings MT Prices

  1. #1
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    Default Collings MT Prices

    I was cleaning out the stack of music I keep in my case when I came across my mandolin invoice last night. I bought my MT new in 2012, it was $2330. Gloss top Amber. I am seeing new ones in the classifieds these days for $3000-$3300. Thats at least a 28% increase over the 7 years since I bought it. I haven't really thought about this before - is that typical for mandolins?
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    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    Many others have the same question. It has been discussed here and I have not read all the comments. However I'd like to hear from the source, a rep from Collings.
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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    I know all their list prices took a big jump a few months after Bill Collings died.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    Quote Originally Posted by HonketyHank View Post
    I know all their list prices took a big jump a few months after Bill Collings died.
    Annual price increase. Happens every year right after NAMM.

    This year they decided no more discounting, which was always voluntary (on the part of dealers). Collings has followed suit with companies like Santa Cruz Guitar. Take a gander at their prices. A 00-29 will set you back just a little over $7k nowadays. I remember, in the not too distant past, these models were around $4k. Labor costs, health care, supply costs, etc. It’s all inflationary, and it affects businesses, including instrument builders. My first Campanella A cost me $3850 in 2011, and I thought that was pretty pricey. Used ones are at least 30% over that now.

    Much of the work on Collings mandolins is done by hand. While some like to think of their process as factory-built, it’s really just a few people building them in a shop, within a shop, in Austin, Texas.
    Last edited by Mandobar; Jul-22-2019 at 1:23pm.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    We might not like it as consumers, but the very best businesses make products and services people feel are too highly priced, but buy them anyway. The luxury brand market thrives on this. I inherited two Rolex watches, one from 1948, the other from 1952. From five feet away, you can't tell them from a Timex. Rolex changed to a fashion item, probably because of changing tastes. People wanted to be recognized when they pay a chunk of change for something.

    Why should mandolins be any different? When you establish a reputation like Collings has, they have a right to ask anything they want. Sure they could cover just increased costs, but if people will pay more why shouldn't they charge more? The marketplace decides. So we as consumers decide what is too much.

    I'm going through the MAS induced what should I buy process right now. A Collings at whatever price is a viable contender. You can readily find one to play, you will surely be envied by your peers, it's a fine instrument in it's own right, and the pool of prospective buyers should you want to ever sell will be far and away larger than that one man shop mandolin no one has ever had the opportunity to play. So while costs rise for companies, any business, the making and selling instruments is no different, is going to calculate what they can charge. If they have a hundred unsold instruments, their thinking will be different than if they have a six month back order.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    Quote Originally Posted by RobP View Post
    I was cleaning out the stack of music I keep in my case when I came across my mandolin invoice last night. I bought my MT new in 2012, it was $2330. Gloss top Amber. I am seeing new ones in the classifieds these days for $3000-$3300. Thats at least a 28% increase over the 7 years since I bought it. I haven't really thought about this before - is that typical for mandolins?
    My 2014 MT, purchased in fall of 2014 new with satin finish cost 2300. If I remember right, there was a 300$ difference in gloss top prices.
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    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    And yet in the classifieds, you can find used MT2s for $3k or less at least once a month.

    I know, I just bought a mint 2017 MT2 for less than that from here this year that I adore (and my bandmates insist that it's a lovely cannon). .
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    It seems that Collings has jumped twice in the not to distant past. Possibly the yearly increase as mentioned above. And I agree that the used Collings market has not seemed to keep pace.
    Kentucky has gone up a lot.
    Ellis/Pava have gone up.
    Red Diamond now seems to make vintage voiced instruments, and they are up there.
    Northfield has held at the lower end but the higher end keeps rising.
    Weber as well.
    Since most manufactures have increased prices and with shops, ebay, reverb supposed to be charging sales tax I have wondered when they will reach the breaking point? A lot of new instruments are out of my reach now.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    It will take a while, but the used market will follow.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    It will take a while, but the used market will follow.
    Maybe, but they are making more of them.
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  11. #11
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    During my visit at Montana Lutheries earlier this month, Bruce and I were talking about "the market". He noted that the quality (and price) of top of the line Asian imports have greatly increased in recent years, thus putting pressure on USA luthiers. He and perhaps others are responding to that by seeking a higher price-quality niche in the new mandolin marketplace than they the one they used to occupy.

    So one might ask, are the new MTs and MT2s and MFs, etc, from Collings different from the older ones? It seems like I am seeing "torrified" wood in their advertising more often now. Anything else?
    Last edited by HonketyHank; Jul-22-2019 at 7:15pm.
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  12. #12
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    I've watched several interviews and things with Bill Collings online over the years. I saw him joke at least a couple times about the mandolins and not making much money off them. For the price, I had (not being a businessman, naively, I suppose) assumed they made a nice pile off each one. But with the labor, high-quality materials, ads, etc, etc, there's probably not as much as one might think leftover when the instruments are out the door.

    I always look at nice instruments prices like this: sure, they cost a lot, but you get to use it and enjoy it for the rest of your life, and then pass it down to someone. Many people pay the same money for a flatscreen or laptop that they know will wear out or become obsolete in less than 10 years. It's all about perspective IMO.
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  14. #13

    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    Whoever has been voicing the mandolins recently has really hit their stride. I got a new MT2v, all torrified, a few weeks back which is probably one of the best mandolins I have played from them. It was a super long wait, but well worth it. Click image for larger version. 

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    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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  16. #14

    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    Maybe, but they are making more of them.

    For the amount they have made, there aren’t that many used ones on the market. They’ve also cut their dealer margin, so there will be very little room in new pricing for discounting outside of the new pricing rules once the older dealer stock is depleted. I do think you will see the dealer network shrink, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing, because 20% of the dealers actually sell 80% of the volume. And I’m not sure they want to increase their volume. Generally, when you get backed up, you raise your price to stave off the backlog.

    If you think the price of an MT has increased, the AT16 archtop guitars went from just under $9k in 2009 to well over $20k this past year.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  17. #15
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    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    I love my MT2V. Peerless construction and wonderful sound. I’m certainly glad I purchased it before the recent price increase.
    I looked at the websites of a couple of highly regarded Collings dealers. They each have rather large inventories of new mandolins. Not sure if that’s the norm or a reflection of the new pricing.
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  18. #16

    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    I bought mine just a few years ago beyond my upper limit of what I wanted to pay. Now, I see they currently run nearly $1k more than what I paid.

    I LOVE my mine, incredible. But, if it cost an extra grand, I would have wound up with a different mandolin for sure.

    Everything about it is absolutely worth the new price, but too rich for my blood.

  19. #17

    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    Quote Originally Posted by cayuga red View Post
    I love my MT2V. Peerless construction and wonderful sound. I’m certainly glad I purchased it before the recent price increase.
    I looked at the websites of a couple of highly regarded Collings dealers. They each have rather large inventories of new mandolins. Not sure if that’s the norm or a reflection of the new pricing.
    And yet if they were at another dealer, they might be gone. I’ve seen mandolins on dealer sites I’d love to buy, but have no desire to deal with that dealer or their shop.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  20. #18
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    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    I bought a used MT Honey Amber a year or two ago (pretty much perfect - no dings that I have ever found,) paid roughly $2200 for it, and it's not for sale. I consider it a very good value, and if I ever DO sell it I plan to get what I paid for it. I totally understand why there are not many for sale - people with them must love them as much as I love mine

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  22. #19

    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    I have have/had many mandolins (Gibson, Weber, Pava, Summit, Northfield, etc.).

    My MT is a lifetime keeper! No better value in my opinion - the Northfield F5S is close behind as far as value.

  23. #20
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT Prices

    Am very glad to have gotten my MT when I did. Then again, knowing something was up made me get it. Couldn't be happier. Fun to play both on the couch and on stage. And it is the only mando I have that can compete with our fiddler.
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