Why do you keep? Why do you sell? An offshoot of UAS

ghostrdr

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I can only play one instrument at a time and truth be told, I really only need one low G and one re-entrant tuned ukulele.

so, one might think I should just keep my two best sounding, yet I have more.. in the beginning, my playing wasn’t super precise or great and playing a better instrument did yield a noticeable improvement in sound. So I acquired a few to try out different brands, or different features like a cedar top or a radius fretboard.

Now, for me, many of my ukes are associated with some special sentiment or memory. Such as an Anniversary model or the model I bought on my one and only trip to NAMM. I have a hard time letting those go. Others, I happened to score good deals on, so I have a special memory of how I obtained those And to replace them now would cost significantly more, still others I bought for a specific purpose (such as the blackbirds or the flea) so I could just leave them out without worry about humidity.

of the three I’ve let go, I didn’t bond with one; the second was sonically similar to another I had and I preferred the other which I had for longer; and the third, I had some sentimental attachment to, but basically gifted it to my daughter’s friend because She would get way more joy out of it than I would.

I am somewhat troubled by my inability to let some of them go. I don’t like the idea of losing money. I don’t like the hassle of trying to sell it and then ship it, etc.

anyone else feel this way? While I dont have quite the collection that some of you have, I am running out of space and that alone has helped curb my UAS.
 

KohanMike

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I have space in a humidified display I made in a bookcase that will only fit eight ukes, so if I want another, I have to sell one of them, which I haven't had to do in a long time. My first year of playing uke in 2013, I accumulated sixteen tenor cutaways, mostly under $200, then when I got my first custom, I decided to keep only the ones I liked the most, which was four. It took almost five years to build up to the eight I have.

Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
8 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 36)
•Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
•Member The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
 

Cadia

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I can only play one instrument at a time and truth be told, I really only need one low G and one re-entrant tuned ukulele.

so, one might think I should just keep my two best sounding, yet I have more.. in the beginning, my playing wasn’t super precise or great and playing a better instrument did yield a noticeable improvement in sound. So I acquired a few to try out different brands, or different features like a cedar top or a radius fretboard.

Now, for me, many of my ukes are associated with some special sentiment or memory. Such as an Anniversary model or the model I bought on my one and only trip to NAMM. I have a hard time letting those go. Others, I happened to score good deals on, so I have a special memory of how I obtained those And to replace them now would cost significantly more, still others I bought for a specific purpose (such as the blackbirds or the flea) so I could just leave them out without worry about humidity.

of the three I’ve let go, I didn’t bond with one; the second was sonically similar to another I had and I preferred the other which I had for longer; and the third, I had some sentimental attachment to, but basically gifted it to my daughter’s friend because She would get way more joy out of it than I would.

I am somewhat troubled by my inability to let some of them go. I don’t like the idea of losing money. I don’t like the hassle of trying to sell it and then ship it, etc.

anyone else feel this way? While I dont have quite the collection that some of you have, I am running out of space and that alone has helped curb my UAS.
Yes, sort of. I have three I may let go, either because they sound very similar to something else I prefer playing, or I just didn't bond with it. I don't like the hassle of selling and shipping either - I'm a better buyer, lol. But I feel at some point soon I should do it, and let someone else enjoy those ukes.
 

chris667

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I got rid of all the ones that didn't mean anything to me.

The ones that stay are about experience and friendships. Honestly, all the others are just stuff I bought.
 

Dohle

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I definitely feel the same at least in some regard. The number one reason for me to keep a uke is whether I play it often enough, although there are a few outliers, some collector's items that I don't play that often but would never ever sell. I try to keep ukes that are different enough from each other so I have a reason to switch between them. Since I only play in re-entrant tuning outside of my baritone the differences come mostly from tonewoods and size. And since I mostly play sopranos and concerts, there's only so many wood combinations to be had. It's actually really good for UAS. I have about a dozen ukes currently so finding a new uke that's different enough from what I already own isn't that easy. And if I find one that I really want but is too similar to what I already have, it means I have to sell one of mine first which I find to be a hassle as well. Sometimes it's painful but it keeps my collection (and wallet) in check. :)
 

DownUpDave

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I had a certain criteria for sound, playability and looks. So over the course of years I would usually buy used play them for a while then decide if they were keepers or not. A radius fret board is desirable to me so most of my ukes have that. I prefer a big open resonant sound that is on the warm side, string experimentation can sometimes help with that.

I have more ukuleles then I need sure, but each one gives me joy in one way or another. I love the look of beautiful wood, be it furniture, crafts or instruments. The visual appeal can be as strong so the sonic qualities
 

rhiggie

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My story is not unlike many of the others, I choose ukes for different sizes, designs, shapes, woods, looks, but mostly sound. My difference is I feel like ukes were built to be played, and crazy as it sounds, if they are just sitting in their case unplayed and out of tune, they are "sad". I've built a couple ukes and guitars and I put a lot of me into my work. And that part of the uke would not want to be trapped in a dark case for long lonely periods. Every uke has that component in it (I know, I'm a little crazy). So for me, it all comes down to play time with my ukes which is impacted by their voice, feel, and sometimes by the story that brought them to me. Like others have said, when I get a new (to me) uke, it gets played and compared to others in it's size and woods. If it's a great player but similar to another, I sell whichever is the "step down" uke. I don't have a problem selling because, like I said, I hate "sad ukuleles"! And following this method keeps my numbers down and also raises the overall quality of my herd which in turn slows down my UAS.
I do get lots of opportunities to play my ukes, I play in an all ukulele band "Far From Done", I teach some beginners uke classes, and help lead a couple uke jams, so I rotate through all my ukes (except for one custom Ko'olau that never leaves my house). And knowing so many local uke players (many with UAS) makes it a little easier to move on my ukes that are starting to get "sad"! Plus teaching beginners to play ukes, I can appease my UAS searching for great ukes for beginners and setting them up for easy playing.
 

kkimura

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Mostly I sell ukes to help fund new acquisitions. But sometimes one will sit in it's case long enough to tell me it's not happy being ignored, so I find it a new home to make it happy.
 

UkerDanno

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I have 3 that are my main players, a high G concert, low G tenor and an old Martin soprano with high G. The others are really just wall decorations, my first uke, and a banjolele with an Islander that is really just a handy twin of my Kanile'a, but I rarely play it, I just keep it because I like it. I just got a Kamoa grand concert, which I may use as my low G instrument, depends on how I like it when I get some Living Water strings on it.
 

Rllink

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I've only sold one, an Ohana Soprano. I loaned it to a lady to play at a sing along and she was getting the hang of it so I told her to keep it a while and see how it went. Every time I saw her she would say that she had to get it back to me. After six months or so I saw her one day and she told me to just sell it to her. I told her a hundred bucks and she wrote me a check. Same story with my cheapo Makala concert, I loaned it to my dentist, who is also my wife's cousin, a year ago and I haven't seen it since. Except he has offered to buy it and I won't sell it. But I don't care how long he has it.

I have three at the moment. A Mainland concert that my grand daughter broke and I fixed it. An Ohana that replaced the Mainland before I fixed it. And a Kala baritone that I got to bridge the gap between guitar and ukulele. I keep them because I have no reason to get rid of them. The reason I want to keep the one my dentist has is sentimental.
 

Wiggy

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Why buy? To experience a different sound or feel (ease of play).

Why sell? If for whatever reason I don't like it, and someone wants to buy it.

Why donate to Goodwill? I am not interested in playing it or trying to sell it. But it is playable.

Why trash or burn pile? It has no redeeming qualities or It is unplayable. Like a bad DVD or CD; just end it.
 

mwilson

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Excepting entry level instruments, I have had some sort of seller's regret on every instrument I've sold. Some have left scars. Had I just kept them all, I would be one happy picker. Sadly, the surest way to determine if you would want to keep an instrument is to let it go.
 

Neil_O

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Sadly, the surest way to determine if you would want to keep an instrument is to let it go.
This is so true of every thing I own, except tools, I've never gotten rid of a tool!
 

merlin666

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Of all ukes that I have owned so far I only don't have two any longer: my first that I bought online I just didn't like much and I sold it locally to someone who could play and inspect it so they were sure they loved it. The other was my first and only soprano and I also didn't really like it so I donated it to a raffle for a good cause. My remaining five ukes all have different configurations and have specific roles for which they get used and they are good for that, and I don't plan on getting any new ones or selling one of those. They sound the way I make them sound.
 

mikelz777

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Why I sold:
- Lanikai starter concert - At the time, I felt pangs of guilt and excess having 3 ukes so I sold it. Historically, it was the lowest quality sounding uke I've owned but it still sounded pretty decent and it had a breezy feel I haven't experienced since. I wish I still had it.
- Kala ziricote - I was dazzled by the striking wood grains and impulsively bought it. It was a nice uke but unremarkable and didn't add anything to what I already had.
- Romero Creations - It was the one that was soprano length, concert scale with a tenor body. I was lured in by the novelty of this uke but when I played it, the edge of my hand and fingers kept hitting the tuning machines closest to the nut which I didn't like at all. On the back of the neck where it transitioned into the headstock there was was a bulge there right where I put my thumb and it drove me nuts. I wasn't too fond of the boat paddle style either. It sounded nice but that was about all I liked about it.
- Pono tenor - My first foray into the tenor size. I had reservations about how plain it looked even before buying it but bought it anyway. I didn't really like the feel of it and the fun/newness of the new uke wore off very quickly. I never bonded with it and rarely played it after the first couple months.
- Gold Tone concert banjo uke - To be honest, I think I got caught up in a fantasy of playing a lot of claw hammer and folk type music on it. After getting it, I couldn't get into that harsh banjo sound and realized that if I wanted to get into claw hammer and folk type music that I could still play it on a regular uke and that I would prefer it with that sound. This one was my quickest regret purchase. I don't think I even had an hour's worth of play time on it.

Why I keep:
I currently have 6 ukes representing 4 different brands. Five are all-solid and one is a solid top/laminate. All are made of different woods so they are unique in their own way. I've thought of selling to reduce numbers or to make space for another uke but I don't think I could pick one to sell, I love them all. I could randomly pick any case not knowing what uke was in it and I would be happy playing whichever uke it happened to be. I'm very happy with the sound of all of them, there isn't one that is lacking in some way. For quite a while there was one of the six I wasn't totally happy with because I hated the original tuners and subsequently because of a sloppy and substandard tuner replacement job I paid someone else to do. After several years of this I treated myself and bought a new set of tuners and did the replacement job myself. It turned out great! I now had the pride of having done the job myself and having done it right and ended up with a look that I loved.
 
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ripock

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The only time I "sold" my ukes was when I went to higher end ukes. I decided I needed two high end ukes for re-entrant and linear tunings, and a baritone. I'm still saving for the baritone, but I'm halfway there. So I gathered up all my cheaper ukes and took them to the music store and offered them up for trade-in credit. I didn't get anything like a fair price, but I didn't care. I just wanted them out of the way. I would have given them away.
 

necessaryrooster

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Without a real ukulele store nearby, I bought a lot of ukes to try them out. When they weren't what I was looking for; either didn't like the sound, or the feel, I sold them. I've also sold a few that I've liked just fine when wanting to upgrade. I only have one "keeper" concert right now, and the bar that any new concert has to meet is the one set by that uke. If it's not as good or better than that one (assuming it doesn't offer something different that the keeper doesn't have), it just won't get played as much, and what's the point of having ukes you don't play?

Still not quite sure exactly what it is I'm looking for, but I have a feeling I'll know it when I play it.
 

Kenn2018

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I am fortunate to have acquired some very nice tenor ukuleles over the last two years or so. Some of the older ukes that I thought were keepers and thoroughly enjoyed playing when I got them, now stay in their cases as I play the newer ones.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the older tenors. They still sound very good and are nice to play, but they have been eclipsed.

I'd rather play the Kinnard than the Pono. The Collings than the Cocobolo. An MP Mike Pereira than my Moodyville. My Ono instead of my Opio.

It's not the thrill of a new uke over an older one. I have newer ukes that I haven't bonded with. And, I will never part with my Pono Spruce/Rosewood Cutaway that I bought in 2017. I love its sound and it fits me really well.

There are several reasons I have or will divest a tenor. It basically boils down to one thing: if I don't play it very often, for whatever reason, it's time for it to go.
 

Graham Greenbag

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H’mm, selling Ukes. I don’t have many Ukes but I do have more than I need. However only two have any resale value and even then their sale would raise little money. The Ukes that I have sound fine enough and play well because I’ve set them up well, those that defeat my good efforts are trashed ‘cause a duff instrument is something I’ll neither use nor sell to someone else. Those that play well but don’t suit my tastes are eventually either sold to recoup expenses or given away - let someone else enjoy them and the pleasure of Ukes.

Music has more to do with the player than the instrument: the more I practise the better I sound (on the same Uke). When I sell - or even give away - it’s been more to control numbers and manage storage space than to raise funds. YMMV but I don’t buy expensive instruments (so don’t get much back when they’re sold) and still make better music on my cheapies than some of my friends do on their super duper Ukes.

At one point I used the principle that any new Uke in (into my pool of instruments) must either end up being better than a particular favourite of mine or be sold, it’s a good rule but I don’t always apply it. So long as I enjoy playing something, have space for it and it isn’t worth more than a token amount I keep it; that way I’m never short of a ‘good enough’ and expendable Uke to take ‘outdoors’ or to travel with. Playing Sopranos helps with space and cost management - two of the many reasons why I love and normally play Sopranos.

I guess that the biggest question here is why do you sell Ukes? Perhaps it’s to raise funds, perhaps its being finished with a particular experience, perhaps the sound doesn’t suit and perhaps you’re looking to change up or down the market. They’ll be other reasons too but unless you know answers to that basic question you’re stumped, it’s all about knowing what you want to achieve and why what you currently have is unsatisfactory.
 
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mjh42

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Well I've only ever purchased 5 ukulele's. I've handled many at shops and events. Researched online as much as I wanted to. All were bought before playing. All are slightly different. I'd not likely buy two of the same. Of the 5 I've only ever sold one. There were times when playing or playing specific songs the sold one sounded good, other times the sold one had a dull--thudding sound. It had to go. I'm happy with what I have at the moment.