Overpriced on Ebay

Someone didn’t get the memo. The vintage guitar bubble has burst (get it-burst?). It wasn’t long ago that a mid 60’s ES 335 (66-67-68) would sell for $5,000 or more. Bewilderingly, they are still priced at this level and higher and they don’t sell. If you ask me, folks aren’t lowering their expectations because they don’t understand the market. Or economics. Or supply and demand. Right now, there is a reasonable supply but virtually no demand. So why aren’t prices falling? Simple answer-when sellers need the money badly enough, they will drop their prices.  The dealers aren’t helping any either. Their prices are still often stupid high but at least they are usually negotiable. They are businessmen and they won’t survive unless they sell something. This may be the only time in recent memory that you could get a better deal from a dealer than from the general Ebay population. I spoke to the venerable George Gruhn recently about the Pelham Blue Trini Lopez and he seemed to agree that the market is in disarray. The Blue Book, which serves as a starting point for many sellers is, in his words, “all over the place”.   The average Ebay price of mid 60’s ES 335s is well over $6000 right now. There’s a 68 for $9905, a 66 for $8000, 3 more 68s for around $6000, a 67 for $6900. Even at the very top of the market, these didn’t sell for those numbers. I sold a very nice all original 62 for $11,000 about a year ago and the market was actually a little better then. If a 62 is worth $11K and was worth nearly $20K at the peak, then an average 68 should be around $3000.  It’s like everybody heard that 60’s Gibsons were worth big bucks and went into the closet or under the bed and slapped on whatever price the most expensive dealer was asking. It may be that many sellers know that these guitars were once worth this much and that these things only go up with time-never down. Like houses (LOL). Many are mis-dated. Many have changed parts. Nearly all are overpriced and nearly all think they are going to get what they’re asking. I know…I email them to discuss whether they really want to sell their guitars. I can pretty much guarantee that none of these will sell at these prices.  This standoff between increased sellers and diminished buyers probably won’t end until someone blinks or the economy improves.  Don’t get me started on blonde 335s from the early 80s at $5000 or more. Yikes.

2 Responses to “Overpriced on Ebay”

  1. frogbastard says:

    I’m with you brother.How often have you seen the phrase”Vintage,Collectible(like the star wars plastic cups at Subway) Rare,ETC ETC! Stuff that we shoved aside for better instruments made by Fender or Gibson ,have resurfaced at stupid prices.A $65.00 Harmony goes for $1000.00 or more.If you notice the “0” bids on Fleebay,then that just might be an indicator that the dream is over.

  2. cgelber says:

    It’s mostly greed that drives the prices. And ignorance. The “just desserts” for all those folks who think they have the “holy grail” whether its Star Wars cups or a 74 ES-335 signed by the sister of the keyboard player for Meat Loaf is that they don’t sell. And when they do, the sucker who buys it gets what he or she deserves. I have a cigarette butt allegedly smoked by Ringo Starr (I can’t prove it of course but maybe a DNA test…) That’s gotta be worth $15 grand easily. How many can there be on eBay?

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