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Thread: What's up with the Blackbird secondary market?

  1. #11
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    Jul 2008
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    Southern California, USA
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    If you buy new, do you also pay for sales tax and shipping? That could drive the cost up as well.

    Also, as I understand it due to their manufacturing process, the instruments are remarkably consistent without as much variation from copy to copy. That could keep the instruments’ value as well.
    Last edited by ghostrdr; 07-31-2019 at 02:06 PM.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevejfc View Post
    I just passed on a used Clara (albeit with some minor cosmetic repair) posted on FMM for $600. I didn't pull the trigger because another project came up at the same time. The Clara sold quickly after that.
    FMM? Is this another place I need to know about and follow?
    My ukulele blog: http://ukestuff.info

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  3. #13

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    Only if you need another source of temptation.

    https://www.fleamarketmusic.com/marketplace/

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Utah
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    This is my personal Clara purchase story. I wanted a Clara for travel/outdoor/camping. I had hesitated for some time because of the cost. 5 or 6 people in my uke groups own Claras, so I had the opportunity to “test drive” one. Once I decided to get one, I began searching for a used one. I wanted a basic model, and many of the used ones had extras that I could take or leave. The used ones for good prices went fast and I missed out. With summer on the horizon, a 10 week or longer wait would have meant no Clara for summer activities. A basic model popped up on HMS. Bingo. Exactly what I wanted with a perfect set-up, and it arrived quickly.

    Maybe people who choose a quick sale for a modest bargain versus a direct order have a specific plan for using their Clara like I did. Or maybe they just really want one, and even a modest bargain is good enough for them.
    My ukulele family.....
    KoAloha Koa concert - circa 2006
    aNueNue Moon Bird concert - Spruce & Rosewood - 2018
    Blackbird Clara - 2019
    Cocobolo concert - 2019

  5. #15
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    Apr 2010
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    Mission Viejo, CA
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    As a former Clara owner, I can say that they are great ukuleles and the people at Blackbird are first rate and very responsive. That said, it does depend on which used Clara is being purchased. Changes (improvements) have been made to the design since it first came to market. If I were to buy a Clara again, I would not buy one of the earlier 2015 models.

    I would also not buy one that had been repaired. Mine had a repair done to the double-top soundboard that did not hold up. These are not wood ukuleles, that can be fixed by a competent luthier. There is also a bit of a concern when I see repaired Claras for sale. I chalk it up to the perception that because the Clara is synthetic it can take any abuse.

    John

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    Asking price is one thing, and selling price is another. Look at any item on eBay and then click on "Sold items" down the left column, and you'll see what they actually sold for.

    I've bought and sold a few used ukes, and the ones I've bought have been like new, so my question would be, why is the price so much lower than for a new one? It's great when you're buying, but not so great when you're selling. It's not like a car that has lots of miles on it. One-third of my current ukes were bought used.

    Many people think they can just go online and buy the uke of their choice. Unfortunately, that's often not possible, and waiting weeks or months is not unusual. I must admit that I've never seen that mentioned in an ad, but I've never shopped for a Clara.

    I've sold 36 ukes, and I've averaged 86.8% of what I paid. Some I gave away, and for some, people offered me more than I paid. In a couple of cases, I bought a uke at a low price, so selling it for market value got me a profit. Buying used ukes makes it easy to sell for the price I paid.

    I've never sold a uke quickly after buying it, but I understand how that could happen. You receive a uke, and you just don't bond with it. The feel and the sound aren't right for you.
    Last edited by Jerryc41; 08-01-2019 at 02:12 AM.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    I'm going to have to agree with the group here saying the Blackbirds are high quality ukes with very consistant feel, look and sound, and all are GREAT! Any of the big K and even custom ukes will usually play consistently great but vary in look and more importantly sound because wood varies. Sometimes you have some control over look if you get to choose from wood sets, but at the end of the day, every piece of wood (and that's most of what goes into traditional ukes) has it's own sound characteristics. So unless you get to play the uke before buying it (not usual unless you're in Hawaii) you roll the dice or how yours will sound (and sometimes look). Enter Blackbird where the build is consistent as is the look and especially the sound (which in my opinion is consistantly great, big, warm and clean). Add to that the whole thing about humidity/temp resistant and "no trees killed in the making" and you start to understand why they are in demand, and in short supply. Yes I am one of the buyers who payed a few hundred $$$ less for a near new Farallon that I came across by advertising I wanted to to buy one (never was actually listed for sale), and it immediately became one of my favorite players (and I have some pretty great ukes). And the fact that it is weather resistant and I can use it in my all ukulele band when the weather is "iffy", or take it sailing around high humidity, is icing on the cake! And also the electronics Blackbird is using are top shelf as well.
    Like many others here, I have bought and sold many high end ukes that I at least got to judge the look of before buying. I usually play them for a while until the next uke comes along and betters the look, sound or playability, then the lesser uke gets sold (in a feeble attempt to keep my uke numbers somewhat under control). Unless Blackbird comes out with something newer and better, my Farallon won't be for sale!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Port Hueneme, CA
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    I have been totally happy with my Blackbirds. Clara, Farallon and a Rider Six Guitar.
    We travel in an RV, the durability is important. My significant other loves her BTU and it is her main ukulele.
    Considering the wait to get one built, I see no reason to heavily discount a used Blackbird, unless it has been damaged. They are extremely consistent produced instruments.
    Keep Strummin'

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
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    At the moment Blackbird is listing the Clara build time at 5 weeks. Also at the moment, there is a 2018 used Clara with a couple added options listed for a few hundred dollars less than the new build price with those options. It all depends on what suits the buyer. Do they want brand new, with their exact desired features at full price, regardless of the wait time? Do they want a used model that maybe has the options they want, at a modest discount? Or perhaps they'll fall somewhere in between like I did and luck into a brand new model, full price, right options, well known dealer, less than 2 week delivery. A desirable ukulele, with a somewhat limited availability, and a few different options for purchase sounds pretty normal to me. Kind of like the aNueNue Moon Birds. People like them, not a lot of dealers sell them, and a few people sell them used.
    My ukulele family.....
    KoAloha Koa concert - circa 2006
    aNueNue Moon Bird concert - Spruce & Rosewood - 2018
    Blackbird Clara - 2019
    Cocobolo concert - 2019

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrdr View Post
    If you buy new, do you also pay for sales tax and shipping? That could drive the cost up as well.

    Also, as I understand it due to their manufacturing process, the instruments are remarkably consistent without as much variation from copy to copy. That could keep the instruments’ value as well.
    Sales tax - No; shipping - depends.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

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