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View Full Version : What is this ukulele worth?



marrsgirl
12-10-2015, 02:45 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm brand new here, and was hoping to get some input about my custom made double-bodied ukulele. I am considering selling it, but given the unique nature of the thing, I have no idea what to ask for it.

It was made by an individual luthier in 2002, and as far as I can discern, he is no longer making instruments. It is rich with details like the beautiful inlays, hand tooled bridges, carved head stock, etc. The ukes are baritone and concert. They play beautifully… I'll work on getting some audio to post.

I'm not necessarily seeking an official "appraisal", just some ballpark numbers from people who know ukuleles. Given that this is a very niche item, what do you think would be reasonable for me to expect to sell it for if I decide to?

I really appreciate the input and thank you in advance!

8626286263862648626586266

johnson430
12-10-2015, 03:22 PM
Does the uke have a maker's mark? Perhaps a sticker or a name that you can see in the sound hole? If so, can you take a photo of it?
Or tell us what it says?

Thanks.

marrsgirl
12-10-2015, 03:30 PM
Yes, it was made by a guy named Joseph Bandy and the label inside says Bandy Guitars. He was just an individual luthier; the uke was not made by any known ukulele maker. If Joseph is still building instruments, he's not doing it on his own… I couldn't find any evidence of him being in business for himself at this time, but at the time he made this (2002) that was his goal.

Jim Hanks
12-10-2015, 04:04 PM
That's gonna be a tough one. I think this is one of those items where you have to look at what you paid for it and go from there. It's not the kind of thing that's going to appreciate but a well made instrument in good condition won't depreciate to nothing.

Doc_J
12-10-2015, 04:45 PM
That's gonna be a tough one. I think this is one of those items where you have to look at what you paid for it and go from there. It's not the kind of thing that's going to appreciate but a well made instrument in good condition won't depreciate to nothing.

I agree with Jim. Some additional information might help. Your sound sample will help. They have some nice details from the pics.
Bandy is not a label I have seen mentioned on the forum before.

1) Where was it made (USA?)?
2) What are the materials (honduran mahogany, spruce, spalted maple?)?
3) Do you remember what you paid for it new?
4) Being a double body concert/baritone will limit interest.

My shoot from the hip guess it that you'd get less than a $1000 and more than $500 for it as unfamiliar luthier, double-body uke in today's market. But, I am often wrong.

bonesigh
12-10-2015, 05:03 PM
I think Doc's estimate is about right (but what do I know?) I think if you got the right people fighting over this on ebay it could go up quite a bit (: It's beautiful BTW!

Jim Hanks
12-10-2015, 05:43 PM
My shoot from the hip guess it that you'd get less than a $1000 and more than $500
Heh heh. That's exactly the price range I was thinking too.

marrsgirl
12-11-2015, 03:04 AM
I appreciate you guys throwing out some numbers. I was thinking that I'd like to get $700 for it, and if that weren't feasible I'd just prefer to hang onto it, so it's good to hear I wasn't being completely outrageous.

Doc, I think you actually nailed the woods: spruce top, mahogany sides and spalted maple inlays, if I remember correctly.

I didn't actually purchase it. The maker was a fan and offered to make me an instrument: "anything you want!", and me being something of a smartass, asked for a double-necked ukulele. Well, he delivered. I was blown away when he brought it to me a year later. In terms of the level of detail and aesthetics, it's probably the prettiest instrument I own.

I stopped playing music professionally about 4 years ago (after 17 years on the road), and honestly, since I had 5 other instruments that needed to go on the road with me, this thing was a bit impractical to tour with. The uke itself is very lightweight, but the case probably weighs 40 pounds and is huge.
Nowadays, I'd just prefer to pull out one of my sopranos if I'm just playing around the house, and the double bodied more or less functions as a conversation piece. Part of me feels guilty wanting to sell something that was such a thoughtful gift (and wishes I'd asked for something more practical all those years ago), but at the same time I hate to see an instrument like this just languish in a closet.

It plays beautifully, though it is a somewhat soft-spoken instrument. The set-up feels like a high end classical guitar. If I can find time I'll post some audio.

Anyway, thanks again for taking a look! Much appreciated!

ProfChris
12-11-2015, 12:05 PM
Valuing this is almost impossible as there are no exact, or even similar, comparators. I'd guess that around 100 hours work went into the making, more if you count time just thinking about the design. No builder could charge less than $3,000 to make something similar.

But it's not just "any" old double uke, it's your double uke. Even though you no longer play professionally (dammit!) there are many fans out there to whom that provenance makes it more valuable.

I reckon the only way to sell it is via auction, probably eBay because the buyers are too geographically spread for any physical auction. Add to it a signed letter explaining the story you've told and, ideally, some video of you playing and singing (cut the buyer a private disk with a couple of songs on it, so there's an exclusive personal element involved).

I think you might be pleasantly surprised at how much it would fetch!