Majesty 8

Just a lament on buying, selling, and ethics

SpeakingToStone

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Jul 24, 2007
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77
Has anyone else noticed the remarkable price-gouging folks are doing with used EB/MMs? I don't mind folks making money when they can, but there used to be a clear sense of ethics among musicians. We wanted to help one another, especially when selling gear. It used to be almost a family thing. If I sell you a guitar, that creates a bond of sorts--civic, musical, etc.

I sold my dream guitar last year--Majesty Nebula 7 from Pete Dubaldo--because my house was literally falling down, and I had to pay for emergency repairs. The buyer promised me he'd sell it back to me for the price I sold it to him for. I've now seen that guitar sold by three different people, each raising the price. Most recently, it was going for $8500 (more than double what I sold it for).

An 8 string majesty just popped up online for $1500 more than what they sold for weeks ago.

I have sold dozens of EB/MM guitars, and I have never once tried to make a profit. I try to break even. I like the idea of helping my fellow musicians out there, especially those who might not be able to afford these amazing works of art. I guess I'm just sad that instead of building a community of creative people, bonded by a love of music and instruments, more and more people are exploiting one another for profit.

I want musicians to better than this. I write this here because, from what I can tell, this forum fosters a strong sense of care and appreciation, something much lacking out there in the general marketplace for used gear.
 

tbonesullivan

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Look at how many famous music groups went down over money. I've seen families and friendships ripped apart for years over money. This is nothing new.

Did the person you sold it too agree to not sell it again unless he gave you first refusal?

The guitar market right now is HOT. Used prices have skyrocketed, and new prices have gone up as well due to material price increases, labor price increases, etc.
 

Mixolydian82

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Aug 24, 2018
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41
This is a problem that started well before hand in different categories, and the pandemic exacerbated the issue and expedited the timeline this would hit everything else.

Pokemon (don't laugh, dead serious, people got shot over that), computer parts, everything. Even before the logistics and materials interruptions, bots would snatch up ALL available product for items and drive up demand.

Everyone else saw how much could be gained, and jumped on board. Unfortunately, there clearly are buyers for everything, and until this settles out - if it ever does - this won't change.

Every once in a while on reverb I'll get an offer for the new 20th Petrucci stuff at 400-600 off, but thats rare.

Edit: To be clear, I agree with you. I'm a petrucci FANATIC, but there are some people I won't even bother with. There's one guy I'll buy from on here just from experience, but on Reverb for example? Unless they have a "make an offer" option and also state they'll take offers, the second I see price gouging that shop hits my ignore list forever.
 
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DrKev

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Wow. A 2002 JP6 for that money does seem horribly off the mark.

Recently I've spent more (unpaid) time than I would like helping guitar students navigate prices when buying and selling and looking back on all that I think there are two things to bear in mind:

1) The pandemic messed up a lot of global production and trade. As a result prices of some catagories of used gear are out of whack with what they used to be.

2) Asking price and real selling price are not obvious to tease apart (on ebay and reverb it is possible to see final selling prices of many items, if you tick the right search box) but there is usually an appreciable difference between them.

I'm never happy to see people try to squeeze every last buck out of gear they sell. Unless you bought used and keep your gear immaculate, trying to get the same money or more for what you bought is unrealistic. I like to think of gear I sell as gear I have rented. I ask myself "how long have I had this, and if I sell it for X amount below what I paid, what was my effective rental cost?" and allow the answer to that question to determine how much I care, or how long I am willing to wait for, my idea of its theoretical maximum price.

Guitars are instruments of joy and inspiration. Just because other people want to be jerks about prices doesn't mean I have to be too. I'd rather see a guitar go to a good home at a slightly low price rather than squeeze another $100 out of a guy who will in turn be a jerk to a great kid somewhere who will be heartbroken to not quite afford their dream guitar.
 

mikeller

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Jan 11, 2007
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I would agree - who knows, perhaps some of these sellers aren't even guitarist but opportunist. I saw a very standard Mexican Fender Strat the other day being offered for sale at $2,000 because it was "old"....
 

elvisdog

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Mar 30, 2019
Messages
35
Well, Reverb prices are asking prices, or more like what-the-hell-maybe-some-sucker-will-buy-it prices. Here in the real world, if you want to move something, you'll end up putting a reasonable price on it. Until you hit the collector's market, and then all bets are off.
 

PeteDuBaldo

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Jul 16, 2004
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I generally price all used gear that comes through my store with the hopes it will turn over quickly. That is especially true for when someone on here reaches out looking for something.

That being said, I would love to have gotten $8500 for a Purple Nebula, woah!
 

Mixolydian82

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Aug 24, 2018
Messages
41
I generally price all used gear that comes through my store with the hopes it will turn over quickly. That is especially true for when someone on here reaches out looking for something.

That being said, I would love to have gotten $8500 for a Purple Nebula, woah!

There's a Starry Night Majesty for about that on Ebay as well. Japan or not, oof.
 
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EBMM_EVH_1992

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Jun 19, 2021
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43
Any profit I make I put back into buying guitars, but I always like to get a very decent price where it's vintage or there's demand. We've all sold guitars at fair rates only to see them rocket in value and lose out.

In the UK for EBMM it's now hard to buy new unless you're rolling in money - the lovely new BFR Luke III Quilt Maple Top Grapes of Wrath is £4,899 / $6,662 and the fabulous new Axis Roasted Amber Quilt Roasted Maple neck is £3,849 / $5,235 which is way up on previous prices from 2020.

The odd bargains do crop up 2nd hand e.g. Luke II are very good for prices and older Axis models too. But to get one of the new EBMMs I need to make money on guitars and turn them around for profit before adding a chunk of cash.

In many respects I'd rather get another EBMM EVH vs. a new EBMM as I know they will always fetch a high price with Ed's passing and are an investment - as well as being great guitars.

As they say in America .. don't blame the player blame the game.
 

Shadow1psc

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Jan 18, 2019
Messages
32
I was just scratching my head over this Petrucci JP6. Almost 20 years old, no piezo, no upgraded inlays and a ding on the headstock and it's on sale for $3595?! Last time I looked, something like this would be around $1100. What am I missing?

2002 Ernie Ball Music Man Petrucci 6 | Emerald City Guitars | Reverb

I paid $1900 for my NOS fully loaded stainless steel fret Mystic Dream JP6 in 2019. I would expect this to go for $2500+ today (as NOS), but that guy is certainly smoking something good.
 

GWDavis28

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Jun 23, 2003
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Yah there are some really mental prices on the Verb. I just saw a RS Stingray for $100,000 and it's nothing out of the ordinary. I've watched many a guitar and either the prices go up for no reason, I can only assume from people messaging them. There was one guitar I was watching that I was interested, the person bought it for $1800. They had the price all over the place and began to notice that it was changing daily, so for me that was a red flag.

Glenn |B)
 

Virtuoso

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Jun 23, 2018
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Redmond, WA
Guitars are instruments of joy and inspiration. Just because other people want to be jerks about prices doesn't mean I have to be too. I'd rather see a guitar go to a good home at a slightly low price rather than squeeze another $100 out of a guy who will in turn be a jerk to a great kid somewhere who will be heartbroken to not quite afford their dream guitar.

I'm the same. I've bought and sold probably a couple of hundred guitars over the years. I always price them very reasonably, take good photos and provide full accurate descriptions and they almost always sell the same day. The last thing I listed (a Collings 290) sold in 10 minutes!

There's a seller on TGP who has had a couple of laughably overpriced items listed for over 4 years (he just keeps relisting over and over) and has never once reduced the price. I just don't get that mentality at all.
 

Shadow1psc

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Jan 18, 2019
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32
Yah there are some really mental prices on the Verb. I just saw a RS Stingray for $100,000 and it's nothing out of the ordinary. I've watched many a guitar and either the prices go up for no reason, I can only assume from people messaging them. There was one guitar I was watching that I was interested, the person bought it for $1800. They had the price all over the place and began to notice that it was changing daily, so for me that was a red flag.

Glenn |B)

It's entirely possible some of them are purposefully obtuse thanks to YouTubers doing stuff like "Ridiculous Reverb Listings!" videos. To what end? I don't know. Anything for internet clout I guess...
 

Slick64

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Jan 9, 2019
Messages
97
There are 2 sides to this...If a price is crazy high, it'll sit for a long time, if it's priced great, it'll sell within hours. The market decides what is reality.

The shame is that Reverb and eBay fees are much higher than they used to be, you have to price that in. On here there are decent and very fair prices.

I sold a few Axis and EVH's because the market went nuts. The 2 EVH's I had were purchased for $1900 and $2100 3 yrs ago. I sold both for over $6500. Someone was willing to pay and I was $800 less than the lowest Reverb prices at the time to move them. Those days are over.....some are sitting at prices that would have gone in minutes. The market is driven by supply and demand not emotion.

The low balling is also absurd, I take the fees into account and accept offers, but anything at 50% of asking is not worth responding to at all.

I've got an Axis Sport SSH and a stunning EBMM Red Quilt 25th Anniversary I'm thinking of moving and might put them on here to avoid dealing with the Reverb low ballers.

Everything is just crazy right now, look at used cars.
 

Shadow1psc

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Jan 18, 2019
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32
The shame is that Reverb and eBay fees are much higher than they used to be, you have to price that in. On here there are decent and very fair prices.

I feel like Ebay's cut has inflated greatly, though the math doesn't indicate this. I can't confirm this, but I think the sneakiness happens because of their cut coming off the final total including tax - if you put something up for $1000, and the user pays $100 in shipping and $100 in tax, your $1000 is cut by $150 (15%) because they're charging you 12.5% on $1200, not $1000.
 

EBMM_EVH_1992

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Jun 19, 2021
Messages
43
eBay's cut is ridiculous now - luckily they did £1 seller fees last weekend and I shifted some studio gear. Reverb is more reasonable. FB Marketplace is ok, but a lot of chancers - I have bought off there and got good deals for cash.

As for the chancers with low ball offers, that encourages higher listings because a lowball on a very high price gets you to a reasonable guitar final value after the fees etc.
 

jlf599

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Sep 1, 2020
Messages
117
I for sure account for this......

Sadly, this is the case for me most of the time. If you post it for the fair value, people will still want you to take something else off on both Ebay and Reverb.

You can always come down on the price. I just try not to post it so high that people don't even make an offer. But anymore I always build some negotiating room in on Reverb because of...people. :(

J
 
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