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Thread: What price guide to use?

  1. #26
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    Steven, of course you are right again - I guess because we both agree! I would consider 90K wholesale or dealer cost and 132K full retail. Quite frankly, if I owned a Loar I would tend to think of the last highest price paid as the price it is worth. If I were trying to buy a Loar, I would consider the lower price the real value. I guess it just depends "where you are coming from".
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  2. #27
    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    You are just dense this afternoon. Trust me there are buyers out there waiting for a chance to buy a nice Loar for $155K. I've turned down offers way more than that.
    $90K a wholesale price for a Loar today? Not on this planet.

  3. #28
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    F5Loar is absolutely right... I know the person that just purchased the Skinner Loar for $132.5K - he feels he'd have very little trouble selling it for at least $10K over that price, and he's got the clients. Clean, all original Loars command the top prices... that's just the way it is. $90K would only get you a VERY boogered-up Loar at this point.

  4. #29
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    Seven or eight years ago Mandolin brothers listed a Loar for about half that. I think $47,000 was the figure. Then, just after, there was one in Elderly for 60 or 62 grand. That seemed to be the going rate. They will be 1/4 million within 5 years if the trend continues.

  5. #30
    Registered User Steven Stone's Avatar
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    I'd say that F5loar and glassweb's post confirm Links and my argument that $90K is wholesale and $132 is retail.

    They also confirm Link's statement:

    "If I owned a Loar I would tend to think of the last highest price paid as the price it is worth."

    As any economist will tell you - statements of value have no meaning. Only documented purchases establish value.

    Past price trends also mean little about future prices. The Dutch tulip speculators believed their investments were as good as gold.

    This all ropes back to beginnings of this thread. The VG price guide supplies verifiable price information based on actual purchases during the past year. It doesn't anticipate future prices.

    It makes owners feel good to dream about how much their investments have appreciated. Dreams are priceless. Loars, as of yet, are not.

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  6. #31
    Registered Mandolin User mandopete's Avatar
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    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the classified ad's right here on the Mandolin Cafe. I have been tracking mandolin prices for the past couple of years and I think the classifieds are a pretty good barometer of the current trend in prices,
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  7. #32
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    Pete:

    Tracking mandolin prices is indeed another "tool" to value instruments, but you have to keep in mind that they are "asking" prices, not necessarily the price they sold for.

    My question to F5 & Glassweb is where were the 155K buyers at the Skinner sale? It is not like it was a secret! Although none of us who play and collect want to acknowledge this, but "collectibles" that increase in value extremely fast can also drop extremely fast.

    I do not buy "collectibles" as an investment, nor have I ever encouraged anyone else to do so. I sure hope they turn out to be so, but that's not why I buy them. I would only pay 100K for a Loar if I loved it and wanted one to play.

    Linksmaker

  8. #33
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    We must be careful about buying based upon e-bay or the cafe. The cafe is a much better guide than e-bay, but in either case the market is quite a small sample of the acutal market. In many cases you may fetch much more than you would on either the cafe or e-bay if you were to sell it in some other medium. We on the cafe are quite used to what others on the cafe are willing to pay for a particular product. Many on the cafe are quite knowledgeable about what they have and what they want for it. The cafe is a GREAT place to buy and sell but may not be representative of the market as a whole. E-bay is certainly not an indicator of the market as a whole either. While many people shop e-bay for many things, it is still a very small segment of any market that relies on e-bay. You can be shafted on one deal and make a steal on another because the volitivity of the market on e-bay. Again, you may be able to sell something you really want to rid yourself of, but the odds of getting the best price for a nice piece of equipment is not that great. Of course, these are just my opinions. I don't spend much time on e-bay. I've never seen anything that I felt was that good of a buy or that good of an instrument to make me want to shell out my hard earned cash. The cafe is a much safer place to shop and I find interesting items there far more often and the descriptions far more believeable.
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  9. #34
    Cafe Linux Mommy danb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Links @ Oct. 25 2005, 16:19)
    where were the 155K buyers at the Skinner sale? It is not like it was a secret!
    The Loar this time around was more of an unknown/uncirculated one. Instruments that sell at higher prices tend to be ones that are set up properly and have a more widely-known quality about them.. it's not easy to be physically present for a sale, but it's less hard to hear lots of folks compliment an instrumnt, it's history, who's played it and commented favorably, etc.
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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    Most have issues that lower their value.
    Steve,
    I don't know much about this field, and what experience I have would be limited to items that are not in the particularly rare or expensive category. For example, "run-of-the-mill" vintage Gibson style A mandolins, of which I own a couple. But it seems to me that the description of instrument "condition" - even the professional description - is based largely on its cosmetic condition relative to "mint". It rarely has much to do with its actual "issues". There have been a few threads on this topic, one using Elderly's sales pitches as a good example ("VG+, except needs much work including", etc)

    For someone interested in buying a $10,000 guitar/mandolin, the fact that it needs a refret and neck reset is probably not too big a deal, but for a $1000 instrument it's major. Butplayability issues and needed repairs, and their costs, don't seem to me to be factored into asking prices in any consistent way.
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  11. #36
    Registered User Steven Stone's Avatar
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    [For someone interested in buying a $10,000 guitar/mandolin, the fact that it needs a refret and neck reset is probably not too big a deal, but for a $1000 instrument it's major. But playability issues and needed repairs, and their costs, don't seem to me to be factored into asking prices in any consistent way. ]

    I agree.

    Condition of a utility-grade i.e. $1000 instrument, is important and rarely consistently factored into asking prices. Excellent, as defined in the VG guide, is that an instrument should not need any repairs, and should be completely playable as sold.

    Unfortunately even in +$10,000 instruments the condition is all too often glossed over by sellers, especially on Ebay. Far too high a percentage of vintage Martins listed need neck resets, crack repairs, and bridge re-glues.

    Some experienced dealers feel that any 1939 Martin D-18 (for instance) once properly set-up and repaired will sound great. I'm a little more cautious as my experiences have taught me that there can be large differences in the sound quality and playability of any particular year and model vintage istrument. Even when set up optimally, making that kind of blanket assumption can be dangerous.

    Many less-experienced buyers are willing to gamble on a pig in a poke to save a buck and get a deal, but once burned are reluctant to try their hands again.

    Looping back to Mandos. I have to agree with danb that a well-known loar will usually go for higher prices than an unknown and uncirculated one.

    Of course the exception is a very clean example from a well-known FON batch.

    A very knowledgable dealer associate of mine believes that we will see Loar prices settling into two distinct price catagories - bluegrass and non-bluegrass.The non-virzied examples will go for much more than the later virzied and virziectamied ones. It is possible that the less desirable Loars will actually either loose value or linger on the market unsold. Also the price differential between prime Loars and less desirable Loars may escalate to the point where it is greater than the difference in prices between Loars and Ferns.

    July 9's will always be the most prized and highly priced. Because, when it comes to Loars the Big Mon rules.

  12. #37

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    WOW!! This has been very informative!
    I probably should have prefaced the question, with a statement. This is for the purchase of a $1000-$2000 instrument. I'm just a working man, with a limited budget.
    It has been very enjoyable to read, though.
    Thanks for all the responses. When I hit the lottery, I will re-post. #



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  13. #38
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    The Vintage Guitar Price Guide is very useful, but there is a slight weakness, apart from the ones mentioned, that is hard to avoid. As it's based on instruments actually sold, there are lots of instruments we might run into that aren't in the book because they seldom come up for sale and none were sold in the previous year or two. That's sort of frustrating, but I don't see much way around it unless a listing said in brackets, say, [2001 sale]. And, of course, we don't know if a price was based on one sale during a year or on 100. Also, what part of the country? And do you ever wonder who is selling all these wonderful instruments and why haven't you ever walked into that music store? I knew a college professor who specialized in Guild guitars (there are others I'd prefer by far, but he liked Guilds). In the summer he'd pack up his family and a twelve foot long trailer full of Guild guitars and go to guitar-selling fairs. He took me to one in King of Prussia, PA. I played about two dozen Martin D-45s in a couple hours. A great learning experience. Meanwhile, it was interesting that there were some Japanese buyers with stacks of cash who were buying literally dozens of top instruments to ship to Japan for resale. There were about a dozen young Japanese guys riding herd on this big stack of instruments being purchased.

  14. #39
    Registered User Steven Stone's Avatar
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    Blue Mountain is right on. The VG Guide isn't perfect. I like his idea of annotating the rarely-sold instruments with dates showing the last sale.

    If you have never been to a big guitar show I heartly reccomend it for educational as well as mercantile reasons.

    Every show I attend yields several surprises, good and bad. I've seen some of the most beautiful as well as the ugliest examples of vintage instruments at guitar shows. At the most recent Arlington show I had the pleasure to play the best sounding and playing Gilchrist I've ever experienced - and it was an A style!

    I love gutiar shows! The only downside is that they can be VERY expensive if you succumb to the siren's call of a vintage Gibson.

  15. #40
    Registered User Steven Stone's Avatar
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    About the Japanese buyers at guitar shows...

    When Japanese collectors like Mac Yasuda first began showing up at shows they concentrated on the finest examples of the most coveted vintage instruments - pre-war Martin D-45's, Loars, Les Paul Bursts.

    Recently most of the Japanese buyers are from music stores and they gravitate towards utility-grade instruments such as clean mid '70's Martin D-28's. Also unlike the early days when foreign buyers didn't care what things cost, now they are among the most intense hagglers.

    In the early days the Foreign buyers would always pay more than a domestic retail buyer for a good clean instrument, but not any more. At the most recent Arlington show many domestic buyers were able to easily outbid the Japanese.

    The image we used to have of the Japanese and other foriegners hoovering the guitar shows dry of good vintage stuff is no longer true. They come and they buy, just like everyone else, but they are no longer the inflationary force on prices they were in the early 90's.

  16. #41

    Default Re: What price guide to use?

    Hi I have a Kentucky F style KM 950 built in Japan in 1985. I've never seen another posted anywhere and am having difficulty placing a value on it. Can anyone help?

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