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Thread: Selling price

  1. #1
    Registered User PT66's Avatar
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    Default Selling price

    How do you determine the selling price of your creations? I have been asked a couple times how much I would sell an instrument for. I donít keep track of my time when I build an instrument. (Itís a hobby) I donít really keep track of material costs. My instruments arenít flawless. And they arenít built to a standard design. (Hard to compare to other things on the market) Iíll admit I have more instrumentals than I can play. (I like building) And my wife would like me to thin the herd.
    Dave Schneider

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling price

    Quote Originally Posted by PT66 View Post
    How do you determine the selling price of your creations? I have been asked a couple times how much I would sell an instrument for. I don’t keep track of my time when I build an instrument. (It’s a hobby) I don’t really keep track of material costs. My instruments aren’t flawless. And they aren’t built to a standard design. (Hard to compare to other things on the market) I’ll admit I have more instrumentals than I can play. (I like building) And my wife would like me to thin the herd.
    If I was in your shoes I would use eBay to determine what people are willing to pay. It takes a little work. Put one up for auction with a high reserve, or at least a reserve above what you would like to get. If the instrument doesn't make the reserve you don't have to sell it. If the bidding gets to a number you would accept you can relist it at what that number was and everyone that had bid on it will receive a notice that it's been relisted. If it sells and meets your reserve raise it on the next one you sell. That determines what someone will pay for it.

    If nobody bids or if the bidding doesn't reach where you need to be I'd suggest renting a self-storage unit and somehow keeping it from your wife.

    You can also consider donating them to a musical organization that helps folks. I know there are a few for young people and at least one for veterans.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; May-14-2023 at 11:20am.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Selling price

    I’m sure some builders will offer guidance, because it’s a particularly complex issue. Fundamentally, absent sales to either recognized performers or people in the trade, an unknown ‘hobby’ builder is hard put to value an instrument even at the cost of materials, let alone a wage. This means that even low-output builders have to devote effort, and perhaps money, to establishing a market. Otherwise, an instrument can’t even be valued against the lowliest products spewed by factories. Your beautiful, and doubtless great-sounding creations don’t have price tags until they are put to use, which is sort of a catch-22. There may be a tiny market for people who like to buy limited or rare things with no intention of playing them, and that’s also difficult to quantify.
    Since we don’t have a handy machine that can ‘score’ a guitar or a painting and print a tag between 0 and tens of millions of bucks, it’s up to you to engineer the reputation that makes the value.
    And that’s a skill most hobbyists would rather not concentrate on.

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    Registered User PT66's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling price

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    I guess I will keep building for the pure joy of creating.
    Dave Schneider

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling price

    You should read through this thread.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

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    Default Re: Selling price

    Quote Originally Posted by PT66 View Post
    ... building for the pure joy of creating.
    Neat batch of instruments - thanks for sharing! But, uhmm, what's with the "Klene's Buzzer": Looks too big for a cigar box, too small (& wooden!) for pizza??
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    Registered User PT66's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling price

    Cigar box bass.
    Dave Schneider

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  11. #8
    Registered User PT66's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling price

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    Dave Schneider

  12. #9

    Default Re: Selling price

    That's really cool!
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    Default Re: Selling price

    I'm considering putting one of mine on consignment at a local guitar store (not Guitar Center, etc.), letting the owner know what I would accept (i.e., no chickens or rugs)

  14. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling price

    Good advice from those here however, I would keep it simple. Figure out what other similar instruments go for and factor in how much you are attached to that one. Also factor in the nagging wife factor (NWF). Frankly you have at least a dozen you’ve made. And you can always build another. Pick a number that would be a fair price. Let it go… or don’t.
    Jim

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  15. #12
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling price

    I might suggest going to a large festival. They often have a retailers section, with many instrument makers showing their stuff. Scope 'em out and see what they are asking and for what kind of quality. (Keep in mind asking price ain't selling price.)
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  16. #13
    Registered User Chris Fannin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling price

    Is it possible to post some videos of them being played? I'm sure folks would love to hear them.
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  17. #14

    Default Re: Selling price

    I like Mike's suggestion of donating them. If your name is on the label inside, it could eventually lead to someone soliciting a build or a sale. It's obviously a labor of love for you anyway.

    I took up building mandolins because as a school teacher raising a family, I couldn't afford $3k for a carve top instrument. The last few I built easily sound as good or better than what you can get for $3k these days, but without that known name on the peghead, I would likely only get half that.

    Flat top instruments sell at a much more reasonable cost. You could sell a few at a reasonable discount to recoup some hardware and wood costs. You have to remember your competing with entry level Asian instruments.

  18. #15
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    Default Re: Selling price

    Hopefully you can get them out into the world one way or another. It's sad to think of them not being played, unable to realize their potential.
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  20. #16
    Registered User PT66's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling price

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    Some got moved to the family room. I like them all. I just can’t play them all at once.
    Dave Schneider

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