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cletus
12-08-2010, 06:16 AM
I got to thinking about prices, supply and demand, etc. regarding ukuleles, and was wondering about what's happening currently.

Any idea how many ukes a company like Kamaka, KoAloha, or Kanilea are selling this year? I'm assuming that they all are selling everything they produce.

Or companies like Kala and Lanikai? What kind of numbers are made of each model? Did Kala make 10,000 Acacia tenors, for example?

As always, info and opinions are appreciated and eagerly anticipated...

mm stan
12-08-2010, 06:59 AM
As the ukulele is getting more popular worldwide now, it must be very hard to keep up with supply and demand for these companies especially the high grade ones.....which is affecting the prices too..
I'm sure those mass produced ones in other countries are just shooting them out by the thousands....makes you think sometimes, as I inquired on it some time ago....WOW I guess they too are enjoying
the ride of the ukuleles popularity....and profiting greatly from it too...greatly!!

cletus
12-09-2010, 04:40 AM
It's great that ukes are popular, but I'm curious as to how many are being produced at the moment.

Dane
12-09-2010, 08:30 AM
through history hasn't the popularity of the ukulele always fluctuated? Maybe now we are at a high point, and it will dip again? (Not including hawaii of course)

misterpk
12-09-2010, 10:50 AM
It's not always popular in Hawaii. When I grew up there in the 80s none of my friends were playing the uke. In fact I didn't know a single uke player other than my father. Guitar was way more popular.

People seem to think that everyone in Hawaii plays the uke. I don't think that is the case. I think it's about as popular there as it is everywhere else. However now that we're in the third uke craze that may be different, but I suspect not. :)

Dane
12-09-2010, 11:03 AM
It's not always popular in Hawaii. When I grew up there in the 80s none of my friends were playing the uke. In fact I didn't know a single uke player other than my father. Guitar was way more popular.

People seem to think that everyone in Hawaii plays the uke. I don't think that is the case. I think it's about as popular there as it is everywhere else. However now that we're in the third uke craze that may be different, but I suspect not. :)

I should have phrased differently, it was more in relation to the greater percentage of people playing in Hawaii than anywhere else, merely because it is the home of the instrument. Which has no relation to popularity you are correct.

cletus
12-09-2010, 12:45 PM
So how many ukuleles do you think Kamaka sold in 2010?

Ukuleleblues
12-09-2010, 02:34 PM
I can remember going to ebay when I started playing back in 2004 and it would return 400-500 hits. I just checked and got 6,973.

Check out this thread http://thebrooklynink.com/2010/02/23/7788-ukulele-sales-soar-in-brooklyn-and-beyond/

cletus
12-09-2010, 03:13 PM
Check out this thread http://thebrooklynink.com/2010/02/23/7788-ukulele-sales-soar-in-brooklyn-and-beyond/

Interesting article, thanks for sharing.

So Kala was up 70% in 2009 and expect higher this year. Waddaya think....100,000 ukes? 250,000 ukes?

MGM
12-09-2010, 03:25 PM
Imports make about 300,000 ukes a year from what i can gather that includes the toys and tourist ones....As for Hawaii Koaloha and Kamaka probably around the 500 a month bracket, Kanilea in the 150 a month bracket and Koolau even less......Kelii makes around 300 cherish your Hawaiian uke

cletus
12-10-2010, 03:28 AM
Imports make about 300,000 ukes a year from what i can gather that includes the toys and tourist ones....As for Hawaii Koaloha and Kamaka probably around the 500 a month bracket, Kanilea in the 150 a month bracket and Koolau even less......Kelii makes around 300 cherish your Hawaiian uke

Now, THAT is some excellent information and gives some perspective on the ukulele market. Thank you very much, MGM.

I've been hugely fortunate in being able to own a Hawaiian uke. I cannot begin to describe how special it is to me.

Mandarb
12-10-2010, 05:10 AM
So how many ukuleles do you think Kamaka sold in 2010?

So far a little over 2,500.

cletus
12-15-2010, 02:19 PM
So far a little over 2,500.

So they've only sold half of the ukes they have made?:confused:

Mandarb
12-16-2010, 02:42 AM
So they've only sold half of the ukes they have made?:confused:

I am assuming that all of the ukes they have made they have sold. By looking at some recent pictures you can see from the serial number that they have made just over 2,500 this year.

Pippin
12-16-2010, 03:22 AM
I have talked about ukulele production with Louis Wu from Ohana. Louis has a concern that if the production numbers grow too large that quality can diminish and they want to avoid that even at the cost of losing sales. From market penetration, I would guess that Kala has higher production numbers than Ohana. It would be interesting to see if there has been an increase in quality issues as the result of higher units produced, but if I were Mike Upton, I would not want to discuss that with anyone.

What I can tell you is that all the imported uke makers are doing their best to improve quality and offer diversity with each new roll-out of models. Naturally, they are all in business to make money, but everyone with whom I have developed relationships among the manufacturers are all doing everything they can to ensure that quality is top priority.

If you look at some of the quality issues that import guitar-makers have faced, you can see that things can go sour pretty fast if they are not always focused on the end-user experience. Fortunately, the ukulele makers are all playing to a smaller audience and they are all passionate about what they are doing.

cletus
12-16-2010, 04:13 AM
I am assuming that all of the ukes they have made they have sold. By looking at some recent pictures you can see from the serial number that they have made just over 2,500 this year.

Earlier in the post, the number estimate was 500 a month. Just sayin'...

cletus
12-16-2010, 04:18 AM
If you look at some of the quality issues that import guitar-makers have faced, you can see that things can go sour pretty fast if they are not always focused on the end-user experience. Fortunately, the ukulele makers are all playing to a smaller audience and they are all passionate about what they are doing.

Thanks for the feedback, Pippin!

It will certainly be interesting to me to see how the ukuleles popularity waxes or wanes in the coming months.

Anybody have predictions for the uke industry in 2011?

Mandarb
12-16-2010, 04:27 AM
Earlier in the post, the number estimate was 500 a month. Just sayin'...

Yeah - MGM posted that he thought Kamaka probably produced about 500 a month. I based my estimate off of a serial number pictured on a recent Kamaka purchase posted on the UU. I know what my Kamaka's serial number is that was purchased a couple of months ago and based on the recent picture posted it does not appear that they are making 500 a month. I do not work for Kamaka so I really do not know. Once again, my guess of 2,500 was based on a picture of a serial number. I have not contacted Kamaka to confirm one way or another. Below is their contact info if you are interested. Have a good day.

Kamaka Hawaii
550 South Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

1-808-531-3165 office
1-808-531-3167 fax