Why are So many Pono ending up in the Marketplace?

The number of Ponos for sale probably reflects the number of Ponos sold to begin with. There are simply more of them in the market. I've sold Ponos because they are replaceable. If I want to thin the herd I think twice about selling a rarer uke. There really is a wide range of Ponos. The best ones can be better than an average Ko'olau. The worst ones are no better than a cheap Lanikai. I am a big fan of the tenor Pro Classic line, but the others in my experience are hit and miss.

Similarly Mya Moe, there are lots of them compared to a lot of customs. Despite the waiting list its easy to get another one. They sell for enough money to make the sale worthwhile.

For me buying a ukulele is less buying a "thing" and more buying an experience. If I sell it I may feel that I enjoyed the experience but its not the experience I am looking for at that moment.
 
One problem that can happen, and I know does with guitars anyway, is that the better a player you become, and the wider variety of instruments you play, the more you come to appreciate quality. There is something to be said for true craftsmanship, whether we are talking about furniture, musical instruments, cars, etc. Personally, I don't need a "high end" car and would not spend the money on it. I have always bought what I could afford in a car (never new), and have therefore never had a car loan. My current car is a 2000 Toyota Echo that I bought in 2004.

Also, I could not care less about going to a fine restaurant. To me, there is little point because once the meal is over, it is gone and will pass through me and be gone forever in a day or two, though I know several people who live for a trip to a fine restaurant and really enjoy doing that. I tend to put more value on something that will last me a long time and provide enjoyment again and again during that time. There are many things that can do that, such as a decent set of golf clubs, or a home theater system, or a big house in the suburbs, or model railroading, or fine cameras, whatever else is available.

However, for me, I appreciate fine craftsmanship in musical instruments, along with being able to learn and play them well. I have two wood acoustic guitars, a 1997 Taylor 912c and a Santa Cruz Guitar Company (SCGC) Firefly. Both are fine instruments, however I can readily sense the difference in quality between the two, with the finer workmanship and sound going to the SCGC. I could also readily sense the difference between the Riptide ukulele (a relatively nice instrument, definitely not "junk") and what I replaced it with (traded it in on a Kamaka Ohta-San concert). To me, those differences were important, but may not be to somebody else (just as is the case for me with cars).

In a car, all I need is a dependable means of getting from point A to point B and back as inexpensively as possible. In an instrument, I really do appreciate the workmanship, appearance, and sound that a high end ukulele or guitar brings every time I pick it up to play.

Different things are important to different people. We all have different priorities and ways of applying these to our buying habits.

For some people, playing a ukulele is not enough, and collecting or churning through instruments may well be. For other people, playing and learning new things about the ukulele is of primary importance and as long as their ukulele sounds reasonably good and handles well enough, it will serve them for a long time.

So in a thread such as this, we all have to realize that we are different in how we approach the ukulele and there is no one approach more valid than another. One person may say "just enjoy what you have", while another revels in posting NUD with fun pictures, while yet another enjoys putting up Youtube videos of new tunes s/he has learned. None of these is a "better" way, since in each case, the person is doing what he or she wants to do and is getting enjoyment for having done it.

Tony

Once again, Tony, it seems as if we have similar philosophies. 1999 Toyota Corolla here, bought used in 2001. I've never bought a brand-new car either, and I feel the same about high-end restaurants. :)

Instruments, though - my first non-childhood uke was a $100 Ohana. While there was nothing inherently wrong with it, I knew within three weeks of playing it that I wanted something of higher quality. I already knew that I liked the Kamaka sound and plain-jane look, but balked at the price tag. Instead, a Koaloha Pikake soprano came my way for a bargain-basement price, so I went for that. Again, within a few weeks I was feeling dissatisfied (mostly due to the limitations of only having 12 frets). Shortly thereafter a Kamaka HF-2 concert came up locally on Craigslist, again for a bargain-basement price. I met the seller, offered him $100 over his asking price because I felt that he was cheating himself (he needed money to pay the rent, supposedly - been there myself many times!), and that uke has been a daily player ever since. That was 6 years ago.

My experience isn't with Pono, which I've never played or even seen in the wild, but more with mid-price ukes in general, and based on that - I wouldn't say skip the Pono/midrange and go straight for a custom, but I *might* say "skip the Pono/midrange and go straight for a K-brand" - assuming that's the sound one wants.

Also worth noting: I've had one custom in my uke journey. Past tense - note that I don't have it any longer.
 
From the Department of Anecdotal Evidence and Small Sample Size: I sold mine a year or two ago because I never got comfortable with the thick neck.

Me too. Also, mine was a tenor, and though I thought I'd like the deeper body, it didn't work for me. It seemed like a good idea on paper, but when I couldn't actually live with the instrument, I passed it on for another one. Not a Pono, because something else was more comfortable to play--a cedar/rosewood concert, same wood combo as the Pono, shallower body, and thinner neck profile. This one happens to be a Mainland. BTW I prefer closed geared tuners, but they were a bonus on the Mainland and not why I chose the uke. Love it!
 
I see all the Ponos in the marketplace as an opportunity for those of you who like to shop, buy, sell, try... lots of ukuleles. It is a great time to get a great deal on what might be a great ukulele for you, if you are wanting to try a Pono, or add another Pono to your ukulele family.

When I very first found UU and got into ukulele playing, Pono was the first brand that I really started looking into, really listening to on YouTube, and really researched when trying to figure out what kind of instrument to buy. I ended up with another brand, for financial reasons, but loved all that time with the Ponos online.
 
I have a cheap soprano (Kala), a mid-range semi-Hawaiian concert (Kelii) and two higher-end ukes, a Kamaka pineapple and a spec Barron River mahogany concert. These are all the ukes I bought (except for a LoPrinzi soprano that needed to be returned due to a twisted neck), I haven't sold any of them, and I don't want to. They are all really different ukes, and they all have individual voices.

Am I weird? I am if you look at this board. The closest I have come to trying out a uke before buying was playing a Kamaka HF-1 at Willcutt Guitars in Lexington, KY--before I laid down the money for the pineapple. I saw pics of ukes #2-4 before buying, but only heard samples of one (the BR). This doesn't account for the feel of the ukes and their overall playability. My Kelii has a thick neck, the Barron River has a super slim one and the sopranos are in the middle. I may be less picky than others about that stuff. My Kelii is similarly mid-range in price to a Pono deluxe, and it is fantastic. To those who want the longest sustain and the loudest volume, it is the winner of all my ukes. It's strung low G and plays sweet slow ballads; it sounds like a tenor. Somebody else might prefer a different sound.

I figure people buy a Pono because they are so highly regarded here--HMS has a gazillion videos of them sounding fantastic--but then people get one and realize that they really aren't Corey Fujimoto after all. Maybe the uke is a lemon, a dud. Or maybe they don't like the Ko'olau strings (I don't) and don't bother changing, or they would rather play a uke with a more classic sound like sopranos and some concerts have, or they're like me and have tiny hands and can't do tenor stretches, or they just need money and know the Pono will sell. I bet way more Ponos are never sold and are happily owned. But I don't doubt that there are many more reasons for selling a Pono than I could think of.
 
The number of Ponos for sale probably reflects the number of Ponos sold to begin with. There are simply more of them in the market. I've sold Ponos because they are replaceable. If I want to thin the herd I think twice about selling a rarer uke. There really is a wide range of Ponos. The best ones can be better than an average Ko'olau. The worst ones are no better than a cheap Lanikai. I am a big fan of the tenor Pro Classic line, but the others in my experience are hit and miss.

Similarly Mya Moe, there are lots of them compared to a lot of customs. Despite the waiting list its easy to get another one. They sell for enough money to make the sale worthwhile.

For me buying a ukulele is less buying a "thing" and more buying an experience. If I sell it I may feel that I enjoyed the experience but its not the experience I am looking for at that moment.

Thing is, Kala, Lanikai, Oscar Schmidt, and Ohana are the big sellers. they sell way more than Pono since they are in many of the distributor chains, but yet we see very few in comparison for sale.
I wish I had sales numbers for each. it would be an interesting thing to compare apples to apples. a so many resold per 100 sold as new in a year.

Keep in mind I am not saying Pono ukes are bad. just an observation.
 
Thing is, Kala, Lanikai, Oscar Schmidt, and Ohana are the big sellers. they sell way more than Pono since they are in many of the distributor chains, but yet we see very few in comparison for sale.
I wish I had sales numbers for each. it would be an interesting thing to compare apples to apples. a so many resold per 100 sold as new in a year.

Keep in mind I am not saying Pono ukes are bad. just an observation.

True about the sale numbers, but Ponos have a better reputation than the Kalas/Lanikais/Oscar Schmidts/Ohanas, and their prices start higher because they don't do laminates. The top end Pono is about twice the price of a top end Kala (not the Elites made in CA). If I were selling a uke and had one of those brands and a Pono, I would probably sell whichever one would get me the most money. I wouldn't bother selling my Kala KA-S; I'd give it away. If I had to sell a uke because I needed the money, I'd probably sell my Barron River. I have had it the least amount of time=bonded with it the least. It's my most expensive instrument=more money for whatever I needed. That might be the case for some. In your research, did you note why the seller was making the sale? Some say why, and some don't. I have seen some very shocking sales on the Marketplace here. Perhaps I'm too attached to my instruments, but I can't imagine selling them unless I really really really needed the money.
 
I would like to add that Rappsy sells a lot of Ponos on here. He seems to come across a lot of them. He may have 3-4 on sell at a time. This may account for some of the higher numbers.
 
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I would like to add that Rappsy sells a lot of Ponos on here. He seems to come across a lot of them. He may have 3-4 on sell at a time. This may account for some of the higher numbers.

that's a whole other issue. it seems that they may be breaking a rule in the market place

"Member-to-member private sales which form no part of a business"
 
that's a whole other issue. it seems that they may be breaking a rule in the market place

"Member-to-member private sales which form no part of a business"
No rule broken there. My friend Lenny has just tried a lot of ukes, and many Ponos.

I've gone through quite a few ukes myself. I enjoyed playing every one. But I like trying new ones, and only keep so many. Thus, a lot of great ukes have gone to other players to enjoy. Must be a lot of people do this too. That's why we see so many nice ukes in the marketplace. I agree with what has been said here earlier. The number of a particular brand uke being sold is probably reflective of their production volumes.
 
Don't know. The wife just got a Pono Pro Classic 5 tenor spruce/rosewood. She loves everything about it. Before buying she was told two things....the neck is huge and the stock strings suck (dull & lack projection). Both were false in this instance. She has tiny hands and had no problem at all converting from a Kala neck. With the Pono radius fret board, she thinks it's easier to play than Kala. The stock Ko'olau 'Alohi Strings (low G) are lively and resonate. No complaints there either. The build quality and finish are excellent.

So happy to hear that the uke arrived and she likes it.
I have small hand yet the Pono neck does not bother me at all. My other uke has thin neck and it hurt my wrist.
Pono is indeed the entrance to a future custom uke.
My only complaint is the weight !
 
Thing is, Kala, Lanikai, Oscar Schmidt, and Ohana are the big sellers. they sell way more than Pono since they are in many of the distributor chains, but yet we see very few in comparison for sale.
I wish I had sales numbers for each. it would be an interesting thing to compare apples to apples. a so many resold per 100 sold as new in a year.

Keep in mind I am not saying Pono ukes are bad. just an observation.

not sure I would go through the trouble of selling a cheaper laminate uke..I would gift to someone who needed a uke....how much would you sell a $120.00 uke for anyway..you still have to pay shipping to the person who buys it....:)

I still think the Collins ukes that are being resold for what ever reason is a question too? they build very few but your research shows that they are being sold used also..this much more of a comparison to a high end Pono than a low end Lanikai....IMO
 
I received my Mainland Slothead mahogany concert Uke today, and I now know why you don't see many being sold! Wow! Better than some $1K and up ukuleles I have played, really!!!

I know. They are really nice.
 
I have noticed that a LOT of Pono ukes end up in the marketplace.
What is the deal? Are they bad so people are dumping them?
Did a search in the market place for the last 6 months and took the first 10 pages and got these numbers:
Pono 24
Koaloha 12
Kala 11
Mya Moe 6
Fluke/flea 6
Collings 5
Martin 4
Kamaka 4
Ohana 4
Mainland 2
Kanilea' 2
Oscar Schmidt 2
KPK 1
Mele 1

24 Pono is a lot considering how many they make and the price range.
Also there have been a ton of Mya Moe as well for the number made. I see more of those than any other custom uke.

This is an academic question. what do you think is going on? Are Pono just a upgrade between the cheap Kala and a nice uke?
Do Mya Moe ukes just get sold because they are worth a good amount of money and people will sell them first?
Or is it that are not all that and people dump them since they don't like them that much?


I do not see any Loprinzi ukes listed. Not surprised. i own one, it's my favorite.
 
Once again, Tony, it seems as if we have similar philosophies. 1999 Toyota Corolla here, bought used in 2001. I've never bought a brand-new car either, and I feel the same about high-end restaurants. :)

Instruments, though - my first non-childhood uke was a $100 Ohana. While there was nothing inherently wrong with it, I knew within three weeks of playing it that I wanted something of higher quality. I already knew that I liked the Kamaka sound and plain-jane look, but balked at the price tag. Instead, a Koaloha Pikake soprano came my way for a bargain-basement price, so I went for that. Again, within a few weeks I was feeling dissatisfied (mostly due to the limitations of only having 12 frets). Shortly thereafter a Kamaka HF-2 concert came up locally on Craigslist, again for a bargain-basement price. I met the seller, offered him $100 over his asking price because I felt that he was cheating himself (he needed money to pay the rent, supposedly - been there myself many times!), and that uke has been a daily player ever since. That was 6 years ago.

My experience isn't with Pono, which I've never played or even seen in the wild, but more with mid-price ukes in general, and based on that - I wouldn't say skip the Pono/midrange and go straight for a custom, but I *might* say "skip the Pono/midrange and go straight for a K-brand" - assuming that's the sound one wants.

Also worth noting: I've had one custom in my uke journey. Past tense - note that I don't have it any longer.

We do seem to have similar philosophies, and in several threads we have now seen that. :)

One thing about used Toyotas is that they do seem to be a safe purchase. I have put over 100,000 miles on mine since I bought it and have had no trouble, though I do have regular maintenance done as I would any car I might own.

With regard to ukuleles, it sounds as if you found what works for you. One of my ukuleles is a custom Koalau that would have been very expensive had I not traded a guitar straight across that I would otherwise have had to sell. The HF-2 is a nice ukulele, so it sounds as if you did the honest thing in your situation and got a great ukulele in return. My favorite of the Kamakas I have tried is the Ohta-San, and fortunately it is the one Kamaka I have. It took a while to find a suitable soprano, but I finally did with my old Martin 2K. It seems easier to me to find really good sounding concert and tenor ukuleles than sopranos. I am sure that is personal taste and that others can readily find a soprano that works for them.

Tony
 
No rule broken there. My friend Lenny has just tried a lot of ukes, and many Ponos.

I've gone through quite a few ukes myself. I enjoyed playing every one. But I like trying new ones, and only keep so many. Thus, a lot of great ukes have gone to other players to enjoy. Must be a lot of people do this too. That's why we see so many nice ukes in the marketplace. I agree with what has been said here earlier. The number of a particular brand uke being sold is probably reflective of their production volumes.

131 posts in the marketplace in a year and a half is not a business? many people have not sold 10 ukes in the whole time they have been on UU, he is selling 10 a month.
 
As for the original question, I can think of three possible reasons:

1) Pono Ukes are perceived as mid-range, so they'll get sold when people upgrade.

2) Pono Ukes retain a lot of their value, so they're worth reselling, whereas you might not want to go through the trouble of selling/shipping an inexpensive laminate Uke.

3) Seems like they aren't to everyone's taste; some complain about fat necks, heavy weight, or lack of volume. None of this is true for me, though. I have been pleased with every single one I've owned (six or seven), and much more so than with the K brands. The ones I have all produce plenty of volume, neck profile in the Tenor size is strikingly similar to other makers (I measured), and the same goes for weight, with most differences being due to the species of wood: My Pono Ebony Tenor is a lot heavier than my Pono Acacia Tenor, whereas that latter is similar to my KoAloha Opio and my Kanilea Tenor. Sure, they aren't exactly lightweight, but they feel sturdily built. They have a very nice finish and many features that you'll only find in the custom range. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one in a heartbeat.
 
Maybe it's a conspiracy led by shipping industry.. cuz they make out like bandits on these.
 
As for the original question, I can think of three possible reasons:

1) Pono Ukes are perceived as mid-range, so they'll get sold when people upgrade.

2) Pono Ukes retain a lot of their value, so they're worth reselling, whereas you might not want to go through the trouble of selling/shipping an inexpensive laminate Uke.

3) Seems like they aren't to everyone's taste; some complain about fat necks, heavy weight, or lack of volume. None of this is true for me, though. I have been pleased with every single one I've owned (six or seven), and much more so than with the K brands. The ones I have all produce plenty of volume, neck profile in the Tenor size is strikingly similar to other makers (I measured), and the same goes for weight, with most differences being due to the species of wood: My Pono Ebony Tenor is a lot heavier than my Pono Acacia Tenor, whereas that latter is similar to my KoAloha Opio and my Kanilea Tenor. Sure, they aren't exactly lightweight, but they feel sturdily built. They have a very nice finish and many features that you'll only find in the custom range. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one in a heartbeat.

I played a friend's Pono MT tenor that was made some time ago, marked made in China and finished in Hawaii, and the neck was indeed quite thick. My just received Pono MT has a neck comparable to other brands and it was made much more recently in Indonesia. So, the same model has differing neck profiles depending upon when and potentially where made. This may account for some of what is heard about Pono necks.
 
131 posts in the marketplace in a year and a half is not a business? many people have not sold 10 ukes in the whole time they have been on UU, he is selling 10 a month.

That would be a very poor business model at the prices he's asking.
 
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