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Jerryc41
11-21-2018, 01:40 AM
I'm fairly new to the phenomenon of accumulating ukuleles, but I started thinking about pricing. If someone buys a new uke for $1,000 and sells it a few years later, he's not going to sell it for $1,000. The price might be $700.

Suppose that owner sells it three years later. Why would the price drop from $700? Assuming it's still in good condition, it could keep selling for $700 for the rest of its life. Of course, market conditions would also influence the price.

When I want to buy a particular make and model, I look at the price of a new one, and then I look at what 's available on the used market. Used usually comes out ahead.

kissing
11-21-2018, 01:49 AM
From my experience so far, what you're saying is only one side of the coin.

The other big aspect is that when you put something up for sale, it becomes subject to the market's supply and demand. You gotta look at it from a commercial perspective.

Sure, the $1000 uke might be "rightfully worth" $700 in terms of its condition and properties, but as a second hand seller, you also have to consider whether it's a used ukulele that is in demand in the market.

Is there someone out there who is willing to pay $700 for it now?

If the answer is "no", then whether it is the rightful price or not is irrelevant. It simply won't sell, which defeats the purpose of putting it up for sale.


Pricing depends on your needs as the seller.
Do you need it to sell soon? Perhaps consider dropping the price below that "rightful" amount in the hopes to entice a potential buyer who would otherwise not have been interested. If you're in no hurry to sell, then keep it at the "rightful" amount and wait for the people who are in demand of that instrument at that price.

A used instrument also comes with additional risks of wear/damage from previous owner's use and storage, etc, which is why some buyers would prefer brand new unless the deal is very good.


When I sell an instrument, I don't particularly aim to get a large proportion of the original value back.
My mindset is, this instrument has already given me the value and benefits of its original price with the enjoyment and learning experience I have gained from it in the time period of owning it.

I don't usually like to sell an instrument, hence the only times I do sell are when I am a bit strapped for cash, or have a sudden interest in another purchase. Thus I prefer to price used things at a bargain for a quick, smooth sale. This also manages the buyer's expectation - they'll be less likely to complain or ask for a refund if they got a bit more than what they paid for :)

EDW
11-21-2018, 01:51 AM
It would certainly depend on what the instrument is and what the availability is. Some instruments, especially some luthier built instruments can appreciate in value. It probably all depends on what the instrument is, what the current market is and how common they are.

As with any instrument, it depends on if someone is willing to pay that price. Sometimes you see auctions that go crazy because there are a couple of people that are dying to have it. Other times I have seen listings that are undervalued, but for whatever reason nobody has bought.

bazmaz
11-21-2018, 01:52 AM
I have a friend who runs a music store that sell new and used instruments. There was his take.

If he puts a used instrument on the wall it has a discount over new but entirely dependent on condition. Generally if it’s mint the discount over new would be 15-20 %. The discount increases with damage and condition worsening. He doesn’t think it matters how many owners it’s had.

The other complication of course is some old instruments can be rare and in demand and the price goes up!

Graham Greenbag
11-21-2018, 02:17 AM
I'm fairly new to the phenomenon of accumulating ukuleles, but I started thinking about pricing. If someone buys a new uke for $1,000 and sells it a few years later, he's not going to sell it for $1,000. The price might be $700.

Suppose that owner sells it three years later. Why would the price drop from $700? Assuming it's still in good condition, it could keep selling for $700 for the rest of its life. Of course, market conditions would also influence the price.

When I want to buy a particular make and model, I look at the price of a new one, and then I look at what 's available on the used market. Used usually comes out ahead.

Whenever possible I buy second hand rather than new, that makes my cash stretch further and I think it more environmentally sound too. I’m more of an opportunistic buyer than someone single mindedly seek-ing to buy a particular product within a short timescale. I look at what similar items have typically sold for and try hard to understand an item’s condition; so relative price, condition and cost to restore are in my mind.

With Ukes, and some other items too, the number of past owners and age has no meaningful impact on condition. I have sold some items for more than I bought them for, but the restoration time and costs meant that I didn’t really turn a profit - but the restoration process does provide experience and education on which I haven’t placed a value. Other items are like the second hand $700 Uke suggested; I buy them, use them carefully and them sell them for about the same as I paid for them.

When selling I try to give potential buyers all the information that I would wish for in their position, I want them to have justified confidence in what’s on offer from me and believe that that buyer confidence has helped me achieve best prices. Prices are seasonal on some items, Ski-ing equipment doesn’t tend to sell well here in Summer. At other times of year people can typically be short of cash.

Poorly described items and out of season items can be (but sometimes aren’t) a good buy or rather they sell for less than what they otherwise could. Sometimes a seller is more concerned with getting a sale than getting the best price too, they might need the cash or the space, etc.

maki66
11-21-2018, 02:43 AM
70% of original value is a decent asking price, if condition is near perfect.

You can put an instrument up and see what the market says....

You may have to wait a good long time to get the right buyer who sees value in your item, they are out there.

You may be motivated to move an item quickly and gain some money and your price could go to 50-60% of retail.

Your call. My best ukuleles were used. My wife likes new, and is willing to pay the premium.

Rllink
11-21-2018, 03:21 AM
My thought is that a ukulele is worth what someone will pay for it. Rather than getting out the calculator and going through some mathematical formula to figure it out, which to me seems kind of arbitrary, I would look at other ukuleles on the market that are the same to see what they are selling for and price mine accordingly.

Jerryc41
11-21-2018, 03:29 AM
Excellent replies! For a certain, quick sale, you can't beat eBay, but you take a chances. You can set a reserve price, but that costs money, and it slows down bidding. You also have to pay both eBay and PayPal. That's why I like selling here and on Fleamarketmusic. As my signature says, I have too many ukes, so I will somehow have to decide which ones I can bear to part with - some day. :)

mjh42
11-21-2018, 03:39 AM
All sound reasoning. When I was looking for a new uke they were all just a little over the $1000 mark. Found a used one of my liking but the asking price was too close to New. So I went with a new uke. I'm sure the used one sold eventually. I buy and sell traditional archery and outdoor gear. Market sets the price. Unique or hard to get items sell higher. When I really want to sell something I start with what I think in a reasonable but ready to sell price, the items usually sell quickly. High end bows from a well known maker I will hold fast at a minimum price. I work hard not to put myself into a position where I have to sell "fun stuff" or "extras" to pay for unexpected situations. I will easily sell the newer high end item I'm not using and keep the well used item, then use the funds for the next shinny bauble. I don't impact the family budget to pay for what are essentially items of fun and pleasure.
I did notice that Godin Multiuke at Sweetwater music really jumped in price the last week or so......was thinking about buying one at around $650-$700 or so but they jumped to $1000+. Guess I'll wait a while on that one......or maybe sell something I'm not using...look at used when I'm ready......Ha the money go round......

Jerryc41
11-21-2018, 06:06 AM
Found a used one of my liking but the asking price was too close to New. So I went with a new uke.

That's what it's all about. You want something "like new" without the new price. It's a delicate balance between the asking price and a reasonable buying price. Still, if the uke is in excellent condition, any savings is a savings. I've bought a couple of "seconds" at discounted prices, and I never was able to see any defect or flaw.

Rllink
11-21-2018, 06:24 AM
That's what it's all about. You want something "like new" without the new price. It's a delicate balance between the asking price and a reasonable buying price. Still, if the uke is in excellent condition, any savings is a savings. I've bought a couple of "seconds" at discounted prices, and I never was able to see any defect or flaw.
I was about to say something in an inappropriate way, so I'll reword it and say that when I buy a ukulele I like to be her first.

kohanmike
11-21-2018, 07:33 AM
You may have to wait a good long time to get the right buyer who sees value in your item, they are out there. You may be motivated to move an item quickly and gain some money and your price could go to 50-60% of retail.
Last year I missed out on an Ovation tenor cutaway sunburst on eBay, I bid $295, it had a $400 buy it now, kicked myself for not paying the $400, but a couple days later I saw a like new Godin Multiuke sunburst on the UU Marketplace. The seller just lowered the price to $400 and I jumped on it, used ones normally sell for around $600 plus. The seller had it up for a few weeks and obviously was very motivated to sell. I'm so glad now that I didn't get the Ovation, the Godin is so much better.

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video

Kenn2018
11-21-2018, 12:14 PM
Instruments, like artwork, are worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it.
If you are buying an instrument to make a profit you had better know what you are doing. Even with research and an understanding of future mfg costs, and popularity, it can be very risky. Sometimes the bottom falls out of the market. (For instance if satin and matt finishes become very trendy and you just bought an investment instrument with a high gloss finish.)
Buy because you enjoy it. Have an excellent experience playing it. If you sell it, figure out what that experience was worth to you. THen you know how much you can discount the price after haggling.
When you plan to sell, you also have to take into account: packing (case included), shipping costs (Insured, rush, CONUS or International CITES), Fees from the listing service (Reverb, Ebay, Fleamarket, etc.), PayPal. Decide what you will cover as the seller and what you will not.
Take good, sharp photos, write a description you would respond to, so the buyer has a clear understanding of what they are purchasing, and go for it.
If you know what you want out of the deal ahead of time, your target price and how much you will be willing to lower it, you will have a much better selling experience.
Or:
If you have a high demand item, put a premium price on it and sell it right away—it can happen!

UkingViking
11-21-2018, 08:24 PM
If I was to sell, I would simply ask myself what I would pay myself if I wanted that uke and the alternative was paying full price.
70% is probably reasonable.

efiscella
11-22-2018, 05:01 AM
When I started playing ukulele I found very few quality ukulele in local stores. In order to find the right one for me, I needed to purchase and try, and if it was not the right one, I needed to resell. I found that sites like UU and FleaMarket were preferable because if you are a regular, you get a sense of how the members treat their instruments. Also, you are generally dealing with a knoweldgeable seller. Additionally, rarely did I ever see an item overpriced. If it was, it would not be long before someone challenged the price in a post and the seller usually reconsidered and adjusted.

Since I purchased the ukulele used and paid a fair price, after buying and selling about 30, I find that once dropped from the "new" price, the value and price of a quality ukulele generally does not change, even over the years, and in some cases may even increase-- but it needs to be a quality ukulele in the first place, like a "K" brand whose prices new keep increasing.

As a result, I purchased and sold about 30 high end ukulele. Only twice was the seller not upfront about condition. I found and played some of the greatest ukulele in this way. I generally sold them for what I paid for them. Some were quick turn-arounds and some were a few years later with little, to no, drop in price-- however, I can tell you that everytime I sold, the uke was in the exact same condition in which I purchased it. (I treat my ukulele like fine works of art. They are pampered and protected at all times. Interestingly, most of the ukulele I purchased were also in perfect condition, even though they were used.)

I find it funny that if I were to get a nick or ding on any ukulele that I own, I would have a fit over it, yet, I just purchased a vintage Martin tenor that shows some wear for being 70 years old- and on that, those dings and scuffs are perfectly acceptable.

Jerryc41
11-22-2018, 05:26 AM
...every time I sold, the uke was in the exact same condition in which I purchased it. (I treat my ukulele like fine works of art. They are pampered and protected at all times. Interestingly, most of the ukulele I purchased were also in perfect condition, even though they were used.)

I feel the same way. All my ukes are in hard cases, and they are almost all humidified, even the laminates. I have some cheapies and homemade (cigar boxes, for example), and if I'm going somewhere with a chance of damage, I'll bring one of them.