PDA

View Full Version : Grrr....(vintage ukulele buying rant)



RyanMFT
02-06-2012, 07:29 AM
I have to tell someone who might understand.....then I will let it go!

OK, a certain vintage ukulele has been calling me for a couple years......it isn't terribly common, but they do pop up now and then. One appears in the marketplace of another site for well over market value (and more than Chuck "Frets" Fayne valued it at). I write to the seller and ask if he will consider an offer and he says yes. I explain to him how I came up with my offer based on recent sales on eBay, and one at a retail shop (sending him links). I give him what I thought was about actual retail on the instrument because I don't want to be insulting.

The seller writes back and says no, and sends a link to a similar ukulele which appears to have sold on eBay for well over double what I have offered. There is no bid history for that instrument and the auction looks questionable (which I explain). He tells me he is taking it to a shop which specializes in ukuleles......to get it valued. I figure if he takes it to anyone who knows vintage ukuleles he will come back and tell me I made a strong offer and he will sell it to me. He writes me back that they have taken it on consignment.....

Now, a seller has every right to ask whatever he wants to ask for his instrument. The part that burns me is that on a hunch I looked at the Guitar Center website near where he lives, and it is now for sale at their shop.......they have it listed for more than comps go for, which I expect at a retail shop like guitar center. They will take their cut, and will likely take a lower price than it is listed at as they leave some negotiation room.....which likely gets the seller just what I offered!!

I guess I am just bummed. I tried to make a really strong offer, which would have put a bunch of cash in the seller's hand right now. Instead, it sits on the wall of a Guitar Center to get banged around and who knows how long it will sit there. I guess I will keep looking, who knows what will pop up tomorrow. OK, rant over!

itsscottwilder
02-06-2012, 07:38 AM
I've never known GC to do consignments. I thought they only bought used instruments outright. Typically at about half of whatever they think they can get for it.

Sorry for your experience. I think some people forget about present value vs future value when it comes to money. $500 now is typically worth more in buying power than $500 a year from now.

RyanMFT
02-06-2012, 07:53 AM
Thanks Scott, I actually don't know what Guitar Center does as I never go into their stores. If they indeed bought it from him for around half of what they are listing it for then they paid WAY less than what I offered!

itsscottwilder
02-06-2012, 08:02 AM
They usually list it for more than think they can get out of it.

So if the price tag says $500 I would be surprised if GC paid more that $200 - $225 for it.

ukulefty
02-06-2012, 08:13 AM
Go into Guitar Centre and offer them (in cash) what you offered him... You never know you're luck!

RyanMFT
02-06-2012, 09:14 AM
I will say it is listed at Guitar Center for $600.....so if they bought it, they would have paid around 300. I offered much more than 300!

I can't go into the store, it is about 7 hours away!

itsscottwilder
02-06-2012, 09:21 AM
I will say it is listed at Guitar Center for $600.....so if they bought it, they would have paid around 300. I offered much more than 300!

I can't go into the store, it is about 7 hours away!

Call them. They will ship to you.

mds725
02-06-2012, 09:23 AM
I agree with ukulefty. Make an offer to buy it from Guitar Center, or ask them how low they'd be willing to go. Then buy it for the lowest price they offer (even if its a bit more than you would have liked to pay). Then tell the seller you bought it from GC, how much you paid, and that you would have paid that much for it to the seller directly if only he'd come back at you with a counteroffer to your original offer That would leave the seller thinking about how he could have gotten GC's cut as well as his own.

PoiDog
02-06-2012, 09:55 AM
I've found that people like the original seller tend to have no idea of the true value of something other than the fact that it may be popular now.

In the past I've had the unpleasant experience of people selling other things that rode a brief wave of trendiness. They base their entire "value" of their item simply on the fact that it seems to be the popular thing at the moment. They honestly have no idea of what the real worth is, because they honestly don't know anything about what they are selling. Like someone who stumbles on their kid's comic books and thinks that a ratty old Sandman issue is worth double its weight in gold, or that guy with a barely functioning Pentax K1000 SLR who thinks that it's now an antique and won't accept anything less than $500 for it.

The best thing to do with those people is just leave them alone. You won't ever be able to talk sense into them, and will only grow more and more annoyed in the process.

laundromatt
02-06-2012, 10:04 AM
The best thing to do with those people is just leave them alone. You won't ever be able to talk sense into them, and will only grow more and more annoyed in the process.

That's good advice. Like others here, I've had similar experiences. I know it's hard when you really want what they're "selling," but it's rarely worth the trouble.

RyanMFT
02-06-2012, 11:45 AM
Thanks for the thoughts, it is kind of not fun anymore since it has the feel of the seller just grubbing for money. He told me that his father had played music to his mother on this ukulele and it has sat in a closet for 35 years or more.....so I am just done. I am taking the stance that it wasn't "meant to be".

I guess I am strange because I sold an ukulele to someone I knew was going to love, play, and enjoy it. I got higher offers but felt good taking less money to know that I made someone very pleased to have an ukulele he wanted for many years.

When I bought my Kamaka pineapple, the guy asked me why so many people wanted it and even offered him $100 more than the price he and I agreed upon. I told him it is a desirable ukulele, and iconic and that I was going to bring it back to life and give it a good home. He said he was glad he sold it to me, and that he would never take a higher offer once he had made an agreement (I was giving a fair price). So, there are good sellers out there too.

ksiegel
02-06-2012, 12:30 PM
Like someone who stumbles on their kid's comic books and thinks that a ratty old Sandman issue is worth double its weight in gold, or that guy with a barely functioning Pentax K1000 SLR who thinks that it's now an antique and won't accept anything less than $500 for it.

Agreed.


Now, a fully functioning K1000, that's a $125 camera still. (which is what I paid for a brand new one for in about 1982...) I gave it to my younger brother for a semester abroad around 1990, and he refuses to return it. So I have to put up with my Pentax P3, ME Super,and the pair of SF1s... Until I get around to buying that Pentax DSLR...



(we now return you to your previous topic, already in progress....)




-Kurt

mm stan
02-06-2012, 12:35 PM
Aloha Ryan,
I know how fustrated you are..I think the guy just thinks it's easier to sell it locally on consignment..
and the convienience..they probally talked him into it...most times they will over price and it won't sell
or stay so long until he pulls it off and gets it back...let him try, and give it time...when he starts getting
fustrated, approch him again ...yeah let him weaken bruddah.. no sweat man.. hope you get it eventually.
good luck..

Teek
02-06-2012, 05:08 PM
That happened because there is one in better condition coming up soon enough and for the same price or probably less money. Just keep your eyes open, and be patient.

mm stan
02-06-2012, 05:30 PM
[QUOTE=ksiegel;863046]Agreed.


Now, a fully functioning K1000, that's a $125 camera still. (which is what I paid for a brand new one for in about 1982...) I gave it to my younger brother for a semester abroad around 1990, and he refuses to return it. So I have to put up with my Pentax P3, ME Super,and the pair of SF1s... Until I get around to buying that Pentax DSLR...
Hey I had a girlfriend back then with that same camera who was a budding photographer and she thought the world of it, thought it came out in the mid 70's... wonder if she still has it.....hmmmm

PoiDog
02-07-2012, 06:21 AM
Agreed.


Now, a fully functioning K1000, that's a $125 camera still. (which is what I paid for a brand new one for in about 1982...) I gave it to my younger brother for a semester abroad around 1990, and he refuses to return it. So I have to put up with my Pentax P3, ME Super,and the pair of SF1s... Until I get around to buying that Pentax DSLR...



(we now return you to your previous topic, already in progress....)




-Kurt



Hey I had a girlfriend back then with that same camera who was a budding photographer and she thought the world of it, thought it came out in the mid 70's... wonder if she still has it.....hmmmm

Not to hijack this into a camera thread, but the K1000 is perhaps the most solid, dependable, functional, and loyal camera ever made. Sure, some of those Nikons, Canons, and Leicas would take better photos, or be more flexible, or have more features. But for the money, the K1000 was the best thing out there.

I still have mine. It's got a few battle scars and no longer has that brand new shine, but it's still a great camera. I had it tuned and calibrated about a year ago and every now and then I still break it out.

I guess I'm just retro that way.

ksiegel
02-07-2012, 06:28 AM
Not to hijack this into a camera thread, but the K1000 is perhaps the most solid, dependable, functional, and loyal camera ever made. Sure, some of those Nikons, Canons, and Leicas would take better photos, or be more flexible, or have more features. But for the money, the K1000 was the best thing out there.

I still have mine. It's got a few battle scars and no longer has that brand new shine, but it's still a great camera. I had it tuned and calibrated about a year ago and every now and then I still break it out.

I guess I'm just retro that way.

Yup. One of the best ever. Still can't talk my brother into giving it back, just hoping he doesn't get rid of it.

austin1
02-07-2012, 07:18 AM
I have to tell someone who might understand.....then I will let it go!

OK, a certain vintage ukulele has been calling me for a couple years......it isn't terribly common, but they do pop up now and then. One appears in the marketplace of another site for well over market value (and more than Chuck "Frets" Fayne valued it at). I write to the seller and ask if he will consider an offer and he says yes. I explain to him how I came up with my offer based on recent sales on eBay, and one at a retail shop (sending him links). I give him what I thought was about actual retail on the instrument because I don't want to be insulting.

The seller writes back and says no, and sends a link to a similar ukulele which appears to have sold on eBay for well over double what I have offered. There is no bid history for that instrument and the auction looks questionable (which I explain). He tells me he is taking it to a shop which specializes in ukuleles......to get it valued. I figure if he takes it to anyone who knows vintage ukuleles he will come back and tell me I made a strong offer and he will sell it to me. He writes me back that they have taken it on consignment.....

Now, a seller has every right to ask whatever he wants to ask for his instrument. The part that burns me is that on a hunch I looked at the Guitar Center website near where he lives, and it is now for sale at their shop.......they have it listed for more than comps go for, which I expect at a retail shop like guitar center. They will take their cut, and will likely take a lower price than it is listed at as they leave some negotiation room.....which likely gets the seller just what I offered!!

I guess I am just bummed. I tried to make a really strong offer, which would have put a bunch of cash in the seller's hand right now. Instead, it sits on the wall of a Guitar Center to get banged around and who knows how long it will sit there. I guess I will keep looking, who knows what will pop up tomorrow. OK, rant over!

I also vote buy it from Guitar Center, or at least make them the same offer you did to the seller. How many people call them up every day asking for vintage ? They might just want to get rid of it asap.

mm stan
02-07-2012, 08:26 AM
the thing is that you wished you knew the agreed lowest selling price offer...no harm asking...give them a buzz

modern day ukuleleist
02-07-2012, 09:40 AM
guitar center told me my rarely used applause uke (which I later sold for $140 on ebay) was worth $20

now, obviously a vintage uke is a different story, but i'm surprised they didn't lowball the guy

Jnobianchi
02-07-2012, 09:54 AM
The Guitar Center by me - on 14th Street in Manhattan - does take consignments, so yours may be similar.

I might make them a reasonable offer. If refused, then walk away from it and look elsewhere is my advice based on similar experience.

I've dealt with two sellers who thought they had a holy grail of sorts. When there is emotion involved, relatives used to play the instrument, etc., people get mixed feelings. They want to keep it, but they realize it may be worth money, and that's always a concern. People who don't really want to sell, but don't really play the thing, can't be reasoned with because reason has nothing to do with what they're experiencing.

I walked away from one of those sellers and as far as I know, she never got the price she was asking ($2,500 for a $400 Slingerland 30 that she thought was a Ludwig because it was in a Ludwig case) and kept it because it was her husband's. The other argued with me just to argue with me. Her counter to my offer turned out to be only $15 dollars more then the $180 I was offering, so I gave her $20 more and ran out of there screaming...I sold the uke almost immediately as it turned out to be coveted by a friend and by that point, I felt crazy just looking at it.

So I say, drop it if you can and look elsewhere! :)

RyanMFT
02-07-2012, 12:19 PM
Thanks everyone, and I do hope there is something else coming up soon in the future. I have decided that even if Guitar Center would sell it to me for my price, I just don't feel good about it anymore. I'll let someone own it who doesn't have any bad feelings about it.

The guy told me his father wooed his mother with it and guitar center rated it's condition at "excellent", whatever that means, so he wants top dollar. I'm not going to try to get it from them and then let him know, I am just letting it go. He can't imagine the ukulele good will that exists out there in the world, and quite frankly, I believe my house is heaven for vintage ukuleles as I love them as much as anyone could!

This way, I can stay on the hunt, and when I find a similar ukulele or something else I really want, then I can go for it!

mm stan
02-07-2012, 01:59 PM
Aloha Ryan...
I know what you mean...sorta left a slight distaste there...I'd move on too...there is always a better ukulele deal in the future if you are patient... Good Luck Bruddah..hope it comes around soon