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Icelander53
06-12-2015, 03:55 AM
Sorry about this but I've been wondering about this since I joined and it's an extension of my bias thread I guess. And I'm not pointing fingers without pointing right at myself. I just want to hear how you all defend or explain this practice.

OK it's this, we praise to high heaven our favorite uke. We may have researched for months and then paid through the nose out of our retirement account and then waited and waited for it. Then it finally shows and we are in love. A love that is so true and fine that the heavens open and James Hill comes down on a cloud playing uke in awe and wonder at the miracle of this fine new instrument. A true one of a kind or whatever.

Then six months to a year or so later, maybe sooner it's on the market. It kind of reminds me of marriage and romantic love. Anyway maybe it's me just pointing at this particular elephant but logically it makes no sense. Unless of course you acknowledge that we are not really logical creatures much of the time.

So outside of actually and really needing cash for an emergency which would be rare, what's going on?

cptdean
06-12-2015, 04:01 AM
Okay, I'll acknowledge I'm not really a logical creature.

For me (and this is true of all my hobbies), the goal is education and exposure. In my journey to understand a hobby that interests me, I'll subject myself to tons of research until I fixate on an object I sincerely want to own and play with. I don't *really* think the thing I buy will the end-all-be-all, but when I'm particularly impressed with something I talk about it like it is. And, unlike marriage (hopefully), a hobby offers a lot of latitude for experimentation. As new products and trends emerge, continued forum reading leads to new desires which, in turn, lead to selling off beloved gear to fund the purchase of the newest best thing. It may seem like we're abandoning the things we spent so much time, effort, and money acquiring, but it's really more about staying connected to a hobby as it evolves.

My other hobbies are guns and watches. I've owned close to a hundred handguns, but only have two at the moment. I've also owned several luxury brand watches (Rolex, Omega, Tudor, etc.), but I've got an Apple Watch on my wrist and two Citizen divers in a drawer at home. I treasure what I've learned more than what I've owned.

My $0.02.

Andy Chen
06-12-2015, 04:07 AM
Okay, I'll acknowledge I'm not really a logical creature.

For me (and this is true of all my hobbies), the goal is education and exposure. In my journey to understand a hobby that interests me, I'll subject myself to tons of research until I fixate on an object I sincerely want to own and play with. I don't *really* think the thing I buy will the end-all-be-all, but when I'm particularly impressed with something I talk about it like it is. And, unlike marriage (hopefully), a hobby offers a lot of latitude for experimentation. As new products and trends emerge, continued forum reading leads to new desires which, in turn, lead to selling off beloved gear to fund the purchase of the newest best thing. It may seem like we're abandoning the things we spent so much time, effort, and money acquiring, but it's really more about staying connected to a hobby as it evolves.

My other hobbies are guns and watches. I've owned close to a hundred handguns, but only have two at the moment. I've also owned several luxury brand watches (Rolex, Omega, Tudor, etc.), but I've got an Apple Watch on my wrist and two Citizen divers in a drawer at home. I treasure what I've learned more than what I've owned.

My $0.02.

I have to agree with this reply.

In my case, in particular, I live in Singapore and can't possibly try the best ukes out there first without buying them. So, have I raved about a uke only to sell it later? Yes, but it's not because they are not good when I received them or not good later when I compare them against new ones.

It's about my ongoing education on what I like in a uke.

Icelander53
06-12-2015, 04:14 AM
Okay, I'll acknowledge I'm not really a logical creature.

For me (and this is true of all my hobbies), the goal is education and exposure. In my journey to understand a hobby that interests me, I'll subject myself to tons of research until I fixate on an object I sincerely want to own and play with. I don't *really* think the thing I buy will the end-all-be-all, but when I'm particularly impressed with something I talk about it like it is. And, unlike marriage (hopefully), a hobby offers a lot of latitude for experimentation. As new products and trends emerge, continued forum reading leads to new desires which, in turn, lead to selling off beloved gear to fund the purchase of the newest best thing. It may seem like we're abandoning the things we spent so much time, effort, and money acquiring, but it's really more about staying connected to a hobby as it evolves.

My other hobbies are guns and watches. I've owned close to a hundred handguns, but only have two at the moment. I've also owned several luxury brand watches (Rolex, Omega, Tudor, etc.), but I've got an Apple Watch on my wrist and two Citizen divers in a drawer at home. I treasure what I've learned more than what I've owned.

My $0.02.

I think this is basically a good and honest reply. Education is going to be one logical reason for buying and selling but that's only part of this picture. I spent a lot of money on ukes getting that education also and consider it as tuition etc. However there are times when I just want to be stimulated by something new. Which brings me to what imo is a main point in the reply although you didn't say it outright. We are controlled by advertising and consumerism. We don't feel quite right if we aren't looking for that next big thrill.

Doc_J
06-12-2015, 04:14 AM
I agree with cptdean and Andy. Humans aren't logical, we are curious, and we have to try things ourselves to really learn.

Rllink
06-12-2015, 04:17 AM
I think that is called human nature. I've met very few people who are not like that, and those people seem to have gotten stuck at some point in their life, and never move. I have a very good friend who was painting his house twenty years ago, and spent every waking hour for almost a year picking out the paint. He finally painted his house, but for some reason he never moved on. Just last week we had coffee, and he said that he needed to repaint his house, then proceeded to tell me about every moment, every thought, and every breath that he took when he was picking out the paint twenty years ago, a conversation we have had many many times. He is stuck there, like a broken record. That is abnormal, the norm is what you describe.

Rllink
06-12-2015, 04:23 AM
I agree with cptdean and Andy. Humans aren't logical, we are curious, and we have to try things ourselves to really learn.
I often say, that logic does not work in an illogical world. I always have to laugh when people want to use common sense as their argument, as I've found very few people who actually share the same common sense.

Mivo
06-12-2015, 04:30 AM
I haven't done this with ukes yet, because in a perhaps peculiar way I don't want a very expensive ($1000+) ukulele right now, but I've done it with some high-end audio equipment. For me, there are different factors that play into this.

One is clearly the thrill and excitement of getting something new, discovering it, making love to it. This ties a bit in with the "wanting" often being more delicious than the "having". (This probably explains why my relationships never seem to work out! :D)

Another factor, strictly for me, is the financial and "space" aspect. I don't really want a house full of clutter, and when it comes to more expensive things I have to let something go in order to be able to buy something else that's also costly. I simply can't collect $2000+ objects, and don't really want to.

I also speculate (again just for myself) that there is also an element of compensating for a "lack" of skill: the partly or fully mistaken belief that a more expensive piece of gear will either magically make me better at what I do, or further improve motivation to get better.

Finally, I don't want to just work in order to pay rent and buy food. I like fun stuff, and I'm not a very "efficient" or always-logical person. Sometimes I do things spontaneously because they "feels good" and generate enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is very exhilarating. This isn't necessarily very responsible, but since I never spend money I don't have, the risk of backfiring is pretty low (other than buyer's remorse or being unable to buy other fun stuff).

Hippie Dribble
06-12-2015, 04:38 AM
Falling in love with a uke on sight and first strum and then selling it? Who would do that? Don't ask me. I have no idea what you're talking about. But if you send a text to my psychiatrist she might be able to point you in the right direction. :o

SteveZ
06-12-2015, 04:57 AM
Just talking ukuleles......there are so many sizes, shapes and types, multiplied by brands (can't even compute customs, too) that one can seem to get a new one each week for life and never try them all. I enjoy experimenting with new stuff, so an instrument's potential time in the stable depends on what else catches my eye/ear.

I remember when I got a Pono Pro Classic tenor. It sounded, looked and played fabulously - all the criteria for a "keeper." It was here a few months and then off to another player. The reason for separation: other instruments were getting the bulwark of the playing time and it seemed a waste to turn the Pono into a closet-dweller.

Right now I'm going through a "banjo" phase. My tenor banjo and both banjo ukes are getting 75% of the playing time. That will eventually fade and I'll go back into an "acoustic" phase, probably followed by another "electric" phase. In the meantime, if I see something new to me is out there for a trade/purchase and the interest is there, then something will leave and another will replace it. For me, it is part of the fun side of music.

greenie44
06-12-2015, 05:00 AM
We are controlled by advertising and consumerism. We don't feel quite right if we aren't looking for that next big thrill.

And in the same non-judgmental spirit of this thread, I would say the two do not necessarily go together. I now have pretty much 1 of each - one uke of each type that I foresee playing as part of my music making journey. So the need to 'consume' has been replaced by the thrill of working on new music with my collection.

I'm still learning every week, if not every day, about the uke, the music and the recording technology, but the 'consumer' aspect is greatly reduced in the past 18 months or so. And that thrill of the next purchase, in my experience, comes from the same energy source as creating music. When I was a filmmaker, years ago, I discovered I could buy and play with new equipment and it satisfied the urge of making something. So I stopped doing that, only buying when there was something I needed to further a specific project.

I'm not totally free of the urge to buy - got my eye on an upgrade or two - but wanted to offer an alternative opinion.

wayfarer75
06-12-2015, 05:29 AM
I have three ukes (two sopranos and a concert), with a fourth (concert) on the way, and I have not sold any of them. I also have not tried them out in person before I bought them. I have not been disappointed with the three I have; they are great in their own ways. I did return a ukulele that had a twisted neck--that was right after it arrived and I hadn't played it much.

I think some are collectors, and want to try all sorts of ukuleles. Me, I simply don't have the funds to keep flipping instruments, taking a loss on the sale and buying more and more to try out. But other people have the means. I certainly scratch my head at some of the fine instruments being sold on the marketplace, and have been tempted to buy a few. But I prefer buying from those who will take an instrument back if there's something wrong. And when some nice ukes are up for sale, I naturally wonder "what's the catch"--when the catch is probably exactly what the sellers say: I have too many ukes, a nice custom's coming in, etc.

After my Kamaka pineapple was bought last October, I wasn't expecting to get another ukulele so soon. Last month I changed jobs, and I had quite a lot of vacation time paid out to me from my previous employer. Having suffered there for 15 years in various positions, I figured I owed myself a present. I'm getting a new concert to either be my high or low g fingerstyle player. I thought I would get a tenor, but kept churning the thought over and over in my brain. Also, the fact that two LoPrinzi tenors I was considering were bought right out from under me, almost quite literally, it felt like it was a confirmation of my nagging thought that I was going in the wrong direction. You can tell that I think about my purchases before they're made--I overthink, perhaps. It's probably a good thing I don't have a good ukulele store in town because I'm more likely to make an impulse purchase with a uke in hand; online purchases give me more pause. So, with less discretionary funds and other priorities (taking vacations, for example), I've been keeping the ukes I have.

kkimura
06-12-2015, 05:35 AM
I saw a Kiliban cat t'shirt that said it all, "So many fish, so little time".

pluck
06-12-2015, 05:43 AM
I think it has something to do with men and our hobbies. A lot of us like to have a high level of excitement about our hobbies and there's nothing like buying a new uke or golf club or gun or fishing boat (you get the idea) to boost our enthusiasm. Men do this with just about every hobby we pursue. Beyond that it's mostly rationalizations - which are important - but the rationalization is not what is really driving the behavior. My 2 cents.

Icelander53
06-12-2015, 06:08 AM
And in the same non-judgmental spirit of this thread, I would say the two do not necessarily go together. I now have pretty much 1 of each - one uke of each type that I foresee playing as part of my music making journey. So the need to 'consume' has been replaced by the thrill of working on new music with my collection.

I'm still learning every week, if not every day, about the uke, the music and the recording technology, but the 'consumer' aspect is greatly reduced in the past 18 months or so. And that thrill of the next purchase, in my experience, comes from the same energy source as creating music. When I was a filmmaker, years ago, I discovered I could buy and play with new equipment and it satisfied the urge of making something. So I stopped doing that, only buying when there was something I needed to further a specific project.

I'm not totally free of the urge to buy - got my eye on an upgrade or two - but wanted to offer an alternative opinion.

I'm sure there are lots of variations on this theme. I can't hardly think of an American who isn't indoctrinated into materialism. Sometimes, wise guys realize that even a good thing when overdone turns lousy.

I own too many ukes. I know this because I don't play them. When I got my first keeper I could have quit. However due to my lack of skills and playing partners I would often get discouraged or a little bored with my current pace and to research and buy a new instrument kept me interested and motivated. That all may sound well and good but I think it's a default solution that is inferior as a way to progress. For me that is, but being me I can't do things any other way. I'm programmed. So there it is.

JustinJ
06-12-2015, 06:45 AM
I've learned this through personal experience in other hobbies. The excitement of the hunt, the waiting, and the tracking number. You get the item and get your dopamine release. The only problem is after some time you habituate to the new item. And it's time to go on the hunt again.

Personally, I think always searching for the next best uke will lead to disappointment. The problem is there is the Ideal uke in our minds. Reality never meets ideals.


Also, the enjoyment of playing is hindered. The mind is not focused on learning the uke better but finding another uke. I think that some people are just collectors and enjoy buying ukes as a hobby. They're not looking for any uke in particular. They just want to collect them.

It reminds me of marriage relationships. In a long term relationship there can be many hardships but through those hardships depth and friendship can flourish. There's a reward for staying and working hard on a relationship, especially if both people are willing to work together. I know people who can not stay with one person and are always looking for someone new. They assume that the next person will be the perfect one.

The same could be said about learning an instrument. If you work hard at learning how to play the instrument you have, then the progress will come. Hopefully, the joy of playing your uke will be enough that you do not need to buy more ukes. If you are always thinking about the next uke, then you more than likely will stay stuck in your playing.

DownUpDave
06-12-2015, 07:04 AM
Variety is the spice of life.........and.......moderation is for cowards. Live by those two tenets and you will never be bored. You may never be truely satisfied either but you will be entertained.

Icelander I do believe you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned advertising and consumerism. I imagine a farm boy back in the early 1900's when he received a guitar. He kept that one guitar forever and was happy as a clam. Who wouldn't be. .......I mean he HAD a guitar.

jimavery
06-12-2015, 07:21 AM
I'm with greenie44 on this one. The few ukuleles I have now are fine, and I have no hankering for another (just as well as I can't afford another). My thrill of the chase now is in finding new (or rather old, but new to me) music to play. The ongoing challenge then is finding the time to try playing it all!

spongeuke
06-12-2015, 07:40 AM
This thread brings to mind my nick name of a UU contributor Catch and Release.
I've done some trades and purchases with him and it is always been satisfactory to both of us. Never considered it capricious, quite the opposite as I can't seem to part with mine even when trying to Herd Thin on the UU or Marketpalce.
I admire those who can "horse trade" It is a skill combined with an established reputation that benefit us all.
The strumming continues as does the journey.

Icelander53
06-12-2015, 09:44 AM
I'm with greenie44 on this one. The few ukuleles I have now are fine, and I have no hankering for another (just as well as I can't afford another). My thrill of the chase now is in finding new (or rather old, but new to me) music to play. The ongoing challenge then is finding the time to try playing it all!

OK but what if money wasn't an issue? Tell me straight faced that wouldn't matter. If I was living paycheck to paycheck I'd have quit with the Gretsch.

wayfarer75
06-12-2015, 10:26 AM
OK but what if money wasn't an issue? Tell me straight faced that wouldn't matter. If I was living paycheck to paycheck I'd have quit with the Gretsch.

I'd have more of lots of things if money was not an issue. Ukes included.

Icelander53
06-12-2015, 10:36 AM
OK then. ;)

k0k0peli
06-12-2015, 11:41 AM
I know I have too many camera lenses and my wife has too much beautiful handmade Native American jewelry. Large chunks of both collections spend their lives stashed away. For each of us, it's our own money, and we can spend it as we wish, no problem. But I know I'll sell off many lenses when I return home (so I can buy more instruments) and I know she'll only sell the jewelry she's REALLY tired of, and will get a good return. Hey, it's not like the stuff takes up much space!

I also own instruments I don't play often enough but I can be pretty sure that, except for some analog synths, I *will* get back to them. I doubt I would sell-off a high-end axe if I had one that bored me; I'd just wait for my interest to be rekindled. And I try not to feel guilty about neglecting an underused axe. What's the saying? "Guilt is rent we pay for a home we'll never inhabit."

tangimango
06-12-2015, 12:17 PM
one mans junk is another mans treasure.

or one mans junk is anothers mans junk but just cheaper used price :p

Icelander53
06-13-2015, 05:56 AM
Just pulled this out of a reply this morning. This is exactly what I'm referring to.
One of the best sounding ukes I've ever owned was a Cedar topped Kala. i'm sorry I sold it.

kissing
06-13-2015, 06:16 AM
I think it comes down to different personalities and collecting styles.

Some people get one or two ukuleles, and play the same one(s) for years, decades, or their whole lives.

Some people are a bit more dynamic, and find themselves seeking different things, while selling/trading away ones that they don't necessarily need to hold onto.

Icelander53
06-13-2015, 08:52 AM
As in the quote above he sold something that he felt was a stellar instrument. Maybe even his best. Why would one do that unless in very dire straights?

kissing
06-13-2015, 10:39 AM
I guess at the time, the "reward" of getting a new one to replace it seemed greater than the value of holding onto the current one.

Reasons for selling could include:

-Need of money to fund the new instrument
-Lack of storage space
-Personal philosophy to limit number of instruments kept
-The wrath of the significant other?

igorthebarbarian
06-13-2015, 12:14 PM
A bunch of other posters nailed it, with the "thrill of the hunt" - "the bigger and better" uke - basically consumerism. And now with the advent of the internet, damn, there are hundreds (thousands probably) of ukulele varieties out there. There's almost too many!

I remember when I used to collect baseball cards in the 80s/early 90's. There were only a handful of brands available (Topps, Donruss, Fleer), then it started to boom (Upper Deck, Bowman, Score) and then pretty soon, there were too many varieties and sub-varieties to keep up. Actually that's how I feel with ukuleles now!

AndrewKuker
06-13-2015, 12:16 PM
Fear can be healthy, but more often it just stands in the way of us enjoying life. You can't be afraid to lose a good ukulele. The music is in you.

The most practical of us balance being responsible with enjoying ourselves. Beautiful things that are fun to play are, to many of us, are a sound investment in living. Often a reward for what we have earned with work.

If you have an ukulele that you love but want to sell it to get one you may love more, then it takes a leap of faith for fear to not stop your quest. If you have to sell it to pay bills then that's just how it goes. Not much psychology to it and nothing to worry about, you'll work back to another instrument and great ukes are being made and sold every day. If you have a handful of ukes, then selling one or even a few is really no big deal. If you want to play uke, you can.

Steveperrywriter
06-13-2015, 08:50 PM
Short answer? Because my imagination is usually better than reality.

When it isn't? That is a keeper. I still have my best guitar, because it was better than I expected. I have three ukuleles like that, and they are keepers, too.

Doesn't mean I won't get another one someday, if the stars amd planets align, but I expect I won't sell the ones I have unless times get really hard.

mds725
06-13-2015, 09:00 PM
As in the quote above he sold something that he felt was a stellar instrument. Maybe even his best. Why would one do that unless in very dire straights?

I have a hunch that there are as many different reasons for an ukulele sale as there are ukulele sales. Some people need the money (and there's a whole sub-range of reasons for that, from something as ordinary as wanting to use the money to buy another uke to something as (to use your word) dire as paying for needed medical treatments). Some people may not think much of the uke, or they're simply not playing that uke enough to justify the space it takes up where they live. Not every ukulele sale is going to prove the point you seem to be trying to make that people wouldn't sell an ukulele they loved unless they absolutely had to. If you want to know why someone sold an instrument, ask, don't assume.

Hippie Dribble
06-13-2015, 09:10 PM
I have a hunch that there are as many different reasons for an ukulele sale as there are ukulele sales. Some people need the money (and there's a whole sub-range of reasons for that, from something as ordinary as wanting to use the money to buy another uke to something as (to use your word) dire as paying for needed medical treatments). Some people may not think much of the uke, or they're simply not playing that uke enough to justify the space it takes up where they live. Not every ukulele sale is going to prove the point you seem to be trying to make that people wouldn't sell an ukulele they loved unless they absolutely had to. If you want to know why someone sold an instrument, ask, don't assume.

I'm glad you said this Mark. Thankyou for making this point so clearly.

k0k0peli
06-15-2015, 04:35 PM
My GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) seems more oriented toward DIFFERENT rather than BEST. I'll again cite my fifty camera lenses in the 50mm range. A very few of them are arguably among the 'best' but some are also among the worst -- and I like that, because each has its own distinct flavor. I use very different lenses if I'm shooting macros vs portraits vs action, or if I want the image to look like it was shot in 1870 or 1910 or 1950 or 2020.

I now own four tenor uke-like instruments: the Alvarez 4-string, Kala 6-string, Martin 10-string tiple, and Mexican 12-string cuatro-menor. All sound good. None sounds like, or can be played like, any of the others. They're all quite different -- multi-string courses ensure that. I also own three mandolins and may soon acquire a fourth. The very old banjo-mando is raccuous; the old Kay A-type is mellow; the new Rogue A-type is bright, and I keep it in 'Irish' (GDAG) tuning. The new prospect, an oval-hole teardrop, was handmade by an Albuquerque luthier and sounds heavenly. Yes, it'll be the 'best' of the lot, but it won't drive me to look for something 'better' -- it will be yet another distinct voice in my arsenal of instruments.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'll keep accumulating soprano (and maybe concert) ukes, and they'll mostly be cheap and fairly mundane. I'll keep them mostly in different tunings so each is a distinct instrument, not just another gCEA soprano competing for the "sounds best" prize. I think of them as test-beds -- some strung and tuned in straight 3rds or 4ths or 5ths, some in open or modal or just variant tunings. And they'll all be keepers. Nice thing about cheap axes and lenses is that they're hardly worth selling! (We have better stuff to sell if we really need the cash.)

Icelander53
06-16-2015, 04:22 AM
I'm a collector myself. YOu should see how much fishing gear I own. There's not that many fish to justify it. Then Optics, binos, telescopes etc. Lots and lots and expensive. And on and on. Why would it be different with the ukulele?

Rllink
06-16-2015, 05:24 AM
I have been going through my stuff, not ukulele stuff because I haven't accumulated all that much, but all my other stuff, and I've rediscovered some of my old interests that I had forgotten.