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View Full Version : why are willie wixoms so cheap



BIGDB
08-06-2012, 08:38 AM
im wondering why willie wixoms are so cheap compared to some of the other custom brands like mya moes. is it just that there not as good quality or not as good wood?

please explain

thanks

luluwrites
08-06-2012, 08:45 AM
Read this thread. (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?59598-Willie-Wixom-custom-ukes-from-Northern-California/page11)

Dan Uke
08-06-2012, 08:57 AM
Cheap is relative. There are several luthiers in that price point. Brad Donaldson and Mike Pereira could potentially be cheaper / comparable for the same design and has much more experience, thus better track record. There are other luthiers, who charge much more.

If your comparing to the "K" Brands, some luthiers are cheaper because the "K" Brands price includes more costs for customer service and warranty. One thing that adds costs is of course reputation as these companies have been around for awhile and can demand a higher price without hurting demand.

I've seen several of WW ukes in the $900+ range so it could be expensive to some. However, his "avg" ukes are cheaper and there are bunch of satisfied clients. Test of time will be true measure of what is "cheap"

808boy
08-06-2012, 09:31 AM
Aloha BIGBD,
I spoke to Willie about his pricing prior to ordering mine. At that time, his love for woodworking and his newly found passion of uke building prompted him to enter the realm of producing quality affordable instruments like several other Luthiers around. This is just a hobby for him and makes minimum profit, just enough to support his hobby. But he also loves the feedback about his ukes, good or bad, and loves communicating with future owners about their build.
I don't expect his prices staying low forever thanks to this forum, so I got another build slot in April of 2013. May as well get while the getting's good.......
My opinion, Great value for the cost.................................BO........... .................

mikelz777
08-06-2012, 09:41 AM
Cheap?! :confused: You got my hopes up!! :o I took a quick look and a concert starts at $500 before any add ons which most people are going to want. I wish I had that much money that $500+ would be considered a "cheap" uke. :rolleyes: Perhaps "less expensive" in comparison to other custom mades would be a more accurate term.

BIGDB
08-06-2012, 12:41 PM
Aloha BIGBD,
I spoke to Willie about his pricing prior to ordering mine. At that time, his love for woodworking and his newly found passion of uke building prompted him to enter the realm of producing quality affordable instruments like several other Luthiers around. This is just a hobby for him and makes minimum profit, just enough to support his hobby. But he also loves the feedback about his ukes, good or bad, and loves communicating with future owners about their build.
I don't expect his prices staying low forever thanks to this forum, so I got another build slot in April of 2013. May as well get while the getting's good.......
My opinion, Great value for the cost.................................BO........... .................

yeah ive been talking to him and he pretty much responded within a hour at most so that was very nice and he seems like a great guy

BIGDB
08-06-2012, 12:42 PM
Cheap?! :confused: You got my hopes up!! :o I took a quick look and a concert starts at $500 before any add ons which most people are going to want. I wish I had that much money that $500+ would be considered a "cheap" uke. :rolleyes: Perhaps "less expensive" in comparison to other custom mades would be a more accurate term.

yeah i just put a deposit on one and it ended up being 945 and i think its pretty cheap for a curly koa custom and i have may till he starts it so got some time to save

cletus
08-06-2012, 02:15 PM
Check out this pricing system:http://www.thezukulele.com/Services.html

Cheers

BIGDB
08-06-2012, 02:47 PM
Check out this pricing system:http://www.thezukulele.com/Services.html

Cheers

wow that crazy i dont see how he even makes enough to stay in business

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-06-2012, 03:45 PM
wow that crazy i dont see how he even makes enough to stay in business

Wow, his parts prices (strings, tuners, cases, etc.) are lower than what I pay wholesale for. And I thought my sources were pretty good. I buy strings in bulk directly from Worth and they charge me 12% more than what he's charging. I wonder how many other builders out there are in it to lose money?

cletus
08-06-2012, 03:53 PM
wow that crazy i dont see how he even makes enough to stay in business

http://www.thezukulele.com/About.html

Do you qualify as a buyer?

Cheers

justinlcecil
08-06-2012, 04:03 PM
That can't be possible...a fully optioned handmade solid uke for (if my math is correct) $290...are you kidding?

weerpool
08-06-2012, 04:09 PM
thank god theres a guy like him is all i have to say.

tattwo
08-06-2012, 04:11 PM
That can't be possible...a fully optioned handmade solid uke for (if my math is correct) $290...are you kidding?

Im sure there is a base price plus the add ons. Im sure its not his full time job either

ukeykondo
08-06-2012, 04:14 PM
I don't think he has a base price. He says on his site that he's doing it just as a hobby and doesn't make any profit. He also says he wont build for just anyone--you have to write to him and show that you have aloha spirit and he says you have to promise to play the uke and if you stop playing it you have to give it to someone else or back to him.


Im sure there is a base price plus the add ons. Im sure its not his full time job either

ukegirl
08-06-2012, 05:23 PM
That a pretty neat idea....kinda like a lifetime rental of sorts while you play, but it allows you pass on a nice instrument in your will to someone else who would appriciate it....or back to the builder for him to help you find another player....interesting to think about!

1937Scott
08-06-2012, 05:54 PM
Since I am a new WW Uke owner, here's my reply to the ORIGINAL thread:

Willie is a retired teacher that taught Wood Shop, among other things. He has a very nice shop set up at his house, and as I can easily imagine, he ENJOYS working with wood, and he might-just might-enjoy NOT having to teach it to kids any more. As a result, he is FREE enough to do something he LOVES, and we get to benefit from his handiwork.

I got in touch with Willie when he was only backed up four months. It's a year or more now, and at some point he's going to have to stop taking orders to catch up, or it's going to back up a couple of years. (And/or his prices are going to be going up.)

I'm under $700 for a an absolutely just-what-I-wanted sopranino ukulele made out of GORGEOUS Koa wood. Willie is a great value, that doesn't make his ukes cheap.

GregT
08-06-2012, 06:14 PM
im wondering why willie wixoms are so cheap compared to some of the other custom brands like mya moes. is it just that there not as good quality or not as good wood?

please explain

thanks

Why does a Lexus cost more than, say, a Kia?

Dan Uke
08-06-2012, 06:28 PM
I don't think he has a base price. He says on his site that he's doing it just as a hobby and doesn't make any profit. He also says he wont build for just anyone--you have to write to him and show that you have aloha spirit and he says you have to promise to play the uke and if you stop playing it you have to give it to someone else or back to him.

That's awesome...I don't think I qualify as it would be one of several ukes so I will always play it but not as much as the luthier had in mind!! That's an awesome way to pay it forward!!

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
08-08-2012, 06:35 AM
Usually if you buy from a hobby builder, you get a hobby build. They appear to be neatly made though.

He must have a VERY well paying job to give up 50+ hours of his life each uke for free like that. I would also guess that he isn't married, has no kids and lives in a maintained unit. Either that or he is a bored insomniac.

luluwrites
08-08-2012, 07:39 AM
Usually if you buy from a hobby builder, you get a hobby build. They appear to be neatly made though.

He must have a VERY well paying job to give up 50+ hours of his life each uke for free like that. I would also guess that he isn't married, has no kids and lives in a maintained unit. Either that or he is a bored insomniac.

Willie is retired and a lovely man who gets great joy out of making these instruments. He is married and on the day I first talked to him he and his wife were going out to have lunch and spend the afternoon together.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
08-08-2012, 07:46 AM
Willie is retired and a lovely man who gets great joy out of making these instruments. He is married and on the day I first talked to him he and his wife were going out to have lunch and spend the afternoon together.

haha- wrong as always- I should of included, "or retired".
He is certainly generous and all that are generous I have found to also be lovely people.

foxfair
08-08-2012, 11:10 AM
Usually if you buy from a hobby builder, you get a hobby build. They appear to be neatly made though.

He must have a VERY well paying job to give up 50+ hours of his life each uke for free like that. I would also guess that he isn't married, has no kids and lives in a maintained unit. Either that or he is a bored insomniac.

I dont understand why you would attack someone else by their personal profile.
Do you really know him , or had you ever done any business with him before?
If not, I would think you are purely blind-guessing.

Several ukulele builders in this forum started from hobby, but what they can produce is more than that.

Plainsong
08-08-2012, 11:33 AM
I dont understand why you would attack someone else by their personal profile.
Do you really know him , or had you ever done any business with him before?
If not, I would think you are purely blind-guessing.

Several ukulele builders in this forum started from hobby, but what they can produce is more than that.

Not everything is a personal attack (see next post quoted). I think the questions raised are fair enough. It's not an insult to him that people wonder how he doesn't burn out. I'm sure he's a lovely guy.



haha- wrong as always- I should of included, "or retired".
He is certainly generous and all that are generous I have found to also be lovely people.

kvehe
08-08-2012, 11:48 AM
Usually if you buy from a hobby builder, you get a hobby build. They appear to be neatly made though.

He must have a VERY well paying job to give up 50+ hours of his life each uke for free like that. I would also guess that he isn't married, has no kids and lives in a maintained unit. Either that or he is a bored insomniac.

Are you talking about Willie or about the guy who supposedly sells ukes for the price of materials only to people who have the proper Aloha Spirit? I thought it was the latter, but some are taking it as the former. Thanks for clarifying.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
08-08-2012, 12:14 PM
I dont understand why you would attack someone else by their personal profile.
Do you really know him , or had you ever done any business with him before?
If not, I would think you are purely blind-guessing.

Several ukulele builders in this forum started from hobby, but what they can produce is more than that.

It was indeed blind guessing-as i explicitly pointed out. That blind guessing was not an attack on the guy, just me trying to figure out the life style which would accommodate doing such a generous thing- ie how someone can throw away time, which is money. Somebody with a well paying job, no wife/husband, kids and a unit that needs no maintenance like a house- seemed like reasonable guess work. Of course, I forgot the whole retirement thing! Having a benefactor/Patron would have been my guess if we lived 200 years ago. The bored insomniac was a true and relevant statement, not a joke or put down. I have known insomniacs to pass the night doing very fine work indeed. That said, I do not understand why you would think i was attacking this fellow by their personal profile, if by 'personal profile' you mean my guess work at his life style????


Yep- I agree with you that many hobby builders are excellent, hence my careful use of the word 'usually' and I would say ALL builders started as a kind of hobby in that a hobby is usually defined as a thing to which one does but not being or therein receiving your full source of income from.

I stand by my statement that a 'hobbiest luthier does NOT, in general, do as good quality work as a full time professional luthier' as a just and accurate one- Indeed, this can be applied to ANY discipline. To say otherwise is a slap in the face to those of us that have spent years honing our skills.

I'm a hobbiest calligrapher, but you would not be attacking me by saying my calligraphy was not as good as a professional scribe, nor would I be offended by such a statement. Of course, as you implicitly pointed out, there are extremely talented hobbiests, natural woodworkers, that indeed rival professionals' general design and attention to detail.

Hope that clears up your utterly mispercieved perceptions Foxfair.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
08-08-2012, 12:28 PM
Are you talking about Willie or about the guy who supposedly sells ukes for the price of materials only to people who have the proper Aloha Spirit? I thought it was the latter, but some are taking it as the former. Thanks for clarifying.


Sorry- I saw a link, looked at it and was referring to Michael Zuch- (http://www.thezukulele.com/About.html) the fellow who sells his (very fine looking) ukes for only the material costs to lucky Alohaian spirits (Aloharian- cool word!).

foxfair
08-08-2012, 12:43 PM
Not everything is a personal attack (see next post quoted). I think the questions raised are fair enough. It's not an insult to him that people wonder how he doesn't burn out. I'm sure he's a lovely guy.

I didnt recall I said everything is a personal attack. I specified only for one person's comment.

foxfair
08-08-2012, 12:44 PM
It was indeed blind guessing-as i explicitly pointed out. .........
Hope that clears up your utterly mispercieved perceptions Foxfair.

So, looked at your own words man.

BTW, http://www.wawixomukuleles.com/ at the very first page he stated his "life style" explains all your guessing.

Plainsong
08-08-2012, 01:00 PM
So you didn't say this then? My mistake... :rolleyes:


I dont understand why you would attack someone else by their personal profile.
Do you really know him , or had you ever done any business with him before?
If not, I would think you are purely blind-guessing.

Several ukulele builders in this forum started from hobby, but what they can produce is more than that.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
08-08-2012, 01:03 PM
So, looked at your own words man.

BTW, http://www.wawixomukuleles.com/ at the very first page he stated his "life style" explains all your guessing.

I dont understand "So, looked at your own words man".

Sorry Foxfair, I have been referring to the prices as pertaining to the link of post # 8 which concerns Michael Zuch- (http://www.thezukulele.com/About.html), not Willie. It seems the thread, like most threads, veered away from the original subject of Willie.

You have been defending someone I was not referring to. Wars have started over such misunderstandings. Darn easy to do and i offer the peace pipe, which in this case is a pipe in the shape of a tiny uke so the cops don't catch us- unless you still disagree of course.

Dan Uke
08-08-2012, 01:09 PM
It's all good. If you haven't learned by now; don't question anyone's work and if someone has a NUD, be happy for them. That's the unwritten rule of Uke Talk

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
08-08-2012, 01:14 PM
It's all good. If you haven't learned by now; don't question anyone's work and if someone has a NUD, be happy for them. That's the unwritten rule of Uke Talk

I had to google NUD.- its one of these but im done with guessing!

NUD Non-Ulcer Dyspepsia
NUD Non-numerical Unstructured Data
NUD Northshore Utility District (Kenmore, WA)
NUD Non-Urban Dictate (marketing)
NUD National Underwear Day (Freshpair.com)
NUD Non-University Differential
NUD Non Update
NUD New, Unique, & Difficult
NUD Nor-Cal Underground Design
NUD National Unfriend Day (fictional holiday)
NUD National Union of the Deaf (UK)

foxfair
08-08-2012, 01:30 PM
NUD == new ukulele day which I think you can only search the term here. :)
I wanna offer my apology to @Beau Hannam Ukuleles though. I suck at reading an ongoing thread and didn't realize that we were talking at different builders.

But even I haven't bought any ukulele from them, I thank both for offering their skills and aloha spirit to uke players, and I respect them for doing it as continuous offer.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
08-08-2012, 01:37 PM
NUD == new ukulele day which I think you can only search the term here. :)
I wanna offer my apology to @Beau Hannam Ukuleles though. I suck at reading an ongoing thread and didn't realize that we were talking at different builders.

But even I haven't bought any ukulele from them, I thank both for offering their skills and aloha spirit to uke players, and I respect them for doing it as continuous offer.

No apology needed (we are both Aussies after all, well, i was 4 months ago)

A world where forum threads were easy to follow would be a nice one indeed! Let Alohaism begin :D