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Thread: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

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    Default Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    New web site this morning, name change, a bit of predictable chaos with broken links to lots of landing spots on the site which we'll correct from this end. But changes to their business model--lots of changes. Won't go into it but will let it filter out slowly and I'm sure lots of people will have their opinions. Appears they are wanting to become a bit Reverb like in what they're offering. The Carters are already working part-time basis as the store was sold to North American Guitar.

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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    This is a Reverb Store that TNAG has been operating for a while:

    https://reverb.com/shop/as-is-guitars
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    I don't have time to look into this and from what I was told probably won't, but apparently the big business model change is the ability to log in to the new site, consign your guitar, and then the new business model manages all of the financials, etc. from that point forward. As in, big business model change. More than I wish to attempt to understand at the moment. Right now I have 44 broken links into the new site in the Classifieds to rectify that the firm that was being paid the big dollars to figure out didn't.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    I can't find their consignment fee on their website. Maybe I'm missing it? The North American Guitar takes 20%, so I am assuming Carter's terms will be similar.

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    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    All I can say is I hope Walter and Christie are enjoying their lives... they have been very kind to me over the years...

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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    I got my Gilchrist from Christie who was wonderful throughout the process, and I too will always be grateful!

  9. #7

    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    Will they still be representing Gilchrist for USA orders?

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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    I hope this doesn't make me say, "man, remember when Carter's was THE place!" I hope it remains the place. Although, this may explain an unsatisfying visit one of our forum members had there just a few weeks ago. I was there the week after and had a great time...

    I also hope the Carters are enjoying themselves!
    Last edited by CES; Nov-15-2022 at 3:05pm.
    Chuck

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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    While there will always be a market for boutique and vintage guitars and mandolins, I see that audience getting smaller and smaller... especially for expensive vintage instruments. I think sellers and consignors of vintage instruments had best wake up and smell the burnt coffee... there's just no reason (unless you're a "collector") to pay ridiculous amounts of money for old Martins and Gibsons when there are so many fantastic instruments being created all over the world for a fraction of the price.

    The way I see it anyway...

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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    I have a couple of bookmarks to their old site and those broke as well. Another thing I noticed when I went to the new site is that there is a filter for Seller, which makes sense when I read Scott's comment above. Still hoping to visit the store one day, but I doubt I'll be able to meet the Carters in person when that happens. Definitely wishing them the best.

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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    Walter, Christie and and their staff have always been great! The store has always been a great place to visit and the service area is top notch. I've purchased a couple, consigned a couple and also just wandered around.
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    Registered User Marcus CA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    I hope this doesn't make me say, "man, remember when Carter's was THE place!" I hope it remains the place.
    Remember when Mandolin Brothers was THE place? That was because Stan Jay was THE man. MandoBros was the only music store I've ever been to that I liked even more than Carter's.


    Quote Originally Posted by Glassweb View Post
    While there will always be a market for boutique and vintage guitars and mandolins, I see that audience getting smaller and smaller... especially for expensive vintage instruments. I think sellers and consignors of vintage instruments had best wake up and smell the burnt coffee... there's just no reason (unless you're a "collector") to pay ridiculous amounts of money for old Martins and Gibsons when there are so many fantastic instruments being created all over the world for a fraction of the price.
    I agree completely, and I think that the execs at Martin (and maybe Gibson) realized that earlier this century, when, tired of getting $0 on each sale of a vintage Martin, they came out with their Authentic line.

    Last year at Gryphon, I got to play a new $6K Martin Authentic 1937 D-28 side-by side with a $45K 1943 Martin D-28. It was one of those fair unfair comparisons. The 1943 desparately needed new strings, and the new Authentic was really new, so neither one was at its best. That said, to my ear, the 1943 was just slightly better, and certainly not $39K better.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

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    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus CA View Post
    Remember when Mandolin Brothers was THE place? That was because Stan Jay was THE man. MandoBros was the only music store I've ever been to that I liked even more than Carter's.



    I agree completely, and I think that the execs at Martin (and maybe Gibson) realized that earlier this century, when, tired of getting $0 on each sale of a vintage Martin, they came out with their Authentic line.

    Last year at Gryphon, I got to play a new $6K Martin Authentic 1937 D-28 side-by side with a $45K 1943 Martin D-28. It was one of those fair unfair comparisons. The 1943 desparately needed new strings, and the new Authentic was really new, so neither one was at its best. That said, to my ear, the 1943 was just slightly better, and certainly not $39K better.
    That's the key right there... "certainly not $39K better".

  19. #14

    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus CA View Post
    Last year at Gryphon, I got to play ... a $45K 1943 Martin D-28. The 1943 desparately needed new strings...
    I'm really shocked to hear Gryphon wouldn't invest in a $10 set of strings to bring out the best in a $45K guitar.......?! (especially risking someone mentioning it on an online forum...)

  20. #15

    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    Tomorrow the Authentic will be worth less than what you paid and the vintage Martin will be worth $45k (at least). Different pool of buyers.

    In every market you need to know your buyer pool. The Carters know their buyers pool. Not sure their successors do. Iím guessing Christie and Walter have an exit timeline. Itís probably soon. Last I heard TNAG was making offers on other shops, outside of Nashville. Interesting strategy, but again, know your buyers pool.
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

  21. #16

    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    Carter Vintage was a wonderful place each time I visited and Christie was friendly and welcoming. I wish her and Walter the best. They built a world class music store that was unique in my experience. Who else ever had seven Lloyd Loar F5 mandolins in stock at one time? I hope the new owner can retain at least some of what the Carters had that made the place so special.

  22. #17

    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    How do you "sell" a business that has 95% of their inventory consigned? Are the consignments transferred to the new owners? Wouldn't the consignors need to be contacted and sign new agreements? Not sure how this works. I know when pawn shops are sold it can get sticky with regard to the loans/collateral. Sometimes the person who pawns is given very little notice. Again, not sure if this would apply with consignments, but if I were a consignor I would want to know where I stand.

    No doubt the new owner is buying the goodwill of the Carter's name, in part.

  23. #18

    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    Quote Originally Posted by Glassweb View Post
    While there will always be a market for boutique and vintage guitars and mandolins, I see that audience getting smaller and smaller... especially for expensive vintage instruments. I think sellers and consignors of vintage instruments had best wake up and smell the burnt coffee... there's just no reason (unless you're a "collector") to pay ridiculous amounts of money for old Martins and Gibsons when there are so many fantastic instruments being created all over the world for a fraction of the price.

    The way I see it anyway...
    There will always be a market for expensive vintage instruments.

    People with money, and money for this sort of investment have
    different priorities.

    I don't have money but I own a brace of old instruments and they
    are all worth more than I paid for them.

    With apologies to the Carters, I plan to take them to Hell with me.

  24. #19

    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    Quote Originally Posted by thumbknuckle View Post
    There will always be a market for expensive vintage instruments.
    That's probably true. However, my generation didn't grow up with name brands. We grew up with knockoffs and MP3's of Nirvana songs. Even my rich kid friends didn't have "real" Strats, they had Mexi-Strats.
    Millennials will be seeking a completely different experience, and with a completely different value proposition, than Silents and Baby Boomers were looking for in purchasing vintage instruments. Things are going to (continue to) change a lot in the next 20 years.

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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    Clarifying my statements from this morning since a couple of people privately asked. My overriding concern has nothing to do with the staff of the store, but everything regarding the contracted web development group that rolled the new web site. It's not what anyone should expect when they break almost every link on the internet to individual items, but I see this happen over and over. You can Google pricey instruments that are listed on their site right now and if you click the link you might get to a default page that doesn't list the instrument, or you might get a 404 error. Business owners can't be expected to understand all of this, but a competent web developer should. That someone engages in this and charges a lot of money for that kind of result boggles the mind. Rule 1: do no damage.

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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    That's probably true. However, my generation didn't grow up with name brands. We grew up with knockoffs and MP3's of Nirvana songs. Even my rich kid friends didn't have "real" Strats, they had Mexi-Strats.
    Millennials will be seeking a completely different experience, and with a completely different value proposition, than Silents and Baby Boomers were looking for in purchasing vintage instruments. Things are going to (continue to) change a lot in the next 20 years.
    People are paying $8k for a Collings I35LC (new price increase went into effect). And they are not Boomers. I watched a kid (sixteen) pick out a DeTemple Tele and a Carr amp in TME a few weeks ago. He chose that over a car, his mother told me. So, there are going to be folks out there, of all ages still buying.

    I've been watching the instrument market, and its not going to flatten out much, especially with all the price increases on new stuff. A stock Collings MT is now $3950. Stock, satin finish.
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    I haven’t been there since the leadership change. Walter and Christie were absolutely incredible to deal with. Even before I had a podcast, they treated myself and even more importantly my non musician wife like we were top customers. Whatever their plans are going forward, I hope they enjoy every second of it. They brought a lot of musicians joy!

    Sorry to see Scott having to deal with website issues but judging from “word on the street” from lots of Nashville friends, it’s not surprising to see this post.

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  32. #23
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    The merger between Carter Vintage and The North American Guitar occurred several months ago.
    When I was over there a few weeks ago, Walter Carter was at his usual spot in the shop.
    Unless something has changed since then, I will assume that he is still working there.
    Kim Sherman, who is a managing partner, was also in there. She is splitting her time between the Carter store and the TNAG store.
    From all appearances, it was business as usual.

    The new website appears to be functioning as it should now, at least from my desktop.
    If anyone is still having problems, you might want to contact them directly. Try TNAG [The North American Guitar] first-- it's usually less busy over there.

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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    I'm really shocked to hear Gryphon wouldn't invest in a $10 set of strings to bring out the best in a $45K guitar.......?! (especially risking someone mentioning it on an online forum...)
    Yeah, I was especially surprised when I brought it to the attention of a longtime staffer there (who knows me), and he didn't seem all that concerned about it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    Tomorrow the Authentic will be worth less than what you paid and the vintage Martin will be worth $45k (at least). Different pool of buyers.
    Tomorrow, perhaps, but not necessarily a few years from now. Since prices in the used market seem to be tied to the corresponding prices in the new market, I'd bet it will only take a few years to for that Authentic's value as a used instrument to match what it was being sold for.

    In the mandolin world, I look at the price fluctuations of Loars over the past 15 years. As others have mentioned, when players and investors can get (in alphabetical order) an Dudenbostel Ellis or Gilchrist or Heiden F-5 for $100K less than a Loar, and when the prices have Loars have dropped 25-50% in the last ten years, are they going to take the next plane to Nashville to select their favorite of the Loars at Carter's?

    I was telling a story from April or May of 2021, and that Authentic was tagged at a little over $6K. I don't think it was in the store for a month. Now, 1 1/2 years later, that model gets tagged new at around $7K.

    Meanwhile, that 1943 D-28 finally left Gryphon's inventory a few weeks ago, after spending over a year as the flattop that spent the longest time in Gryphon's inventory. I have no idea whether it finally sold --- presumably below asking price --- or taken back home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    In every market you need to know your buyer pool. The Carters know their buyers pool. Not sure their successors do.
    Agreed on both statements.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

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    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage Guitars is now Carter Vintage Exchange

    Walter generously reached out to me privately, so I've edited my earlier comments. It is nice to know he is still taking an active role in the business. I always had tremendous respect for him and the way I was treated at his store in the past.

    Marty nails it for the future of the vintage market. I grew up playing and buying "old guitars" for fair prices, & hanging at the legendary 48th street scene; I was groomed by Stan Jay. As a fourteen year old with an interest in archtop guitars, he let me play my first original D'Angelico, He knew I didn't have $700, but he also knew that when I got older, I'd remember him and come back and buy many more. For the rest of his years, he was always my first choice. We did lots of business together both buying and selling. I had him as a guest in my old Mandolin Magazine column and others.

    Somewhere around the mid 1990s, old guitars turned into "vintage" guitars, the prices climbed, and suddenly they were horded by a bunch of snobby old guys, who refused to groom a younger generation and teach them why they were important. 25 years later, you've got payback with an entire generation like Marty's buddies who never were allowed to play "vintage" guitars and so have no desire for them.....
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