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Sunday at the Guitar Show (No, George wasn’t with me)

I’m encouraged by the number of readers I’ve accumulated in the 2 months that this site has been operational.  While I’m no expert in the field of web site and blog construction, I’m learning a lot as I go along.  One thing that I think I’m lacking is an effective way to reach out to folks who might need the services of an expert so that they don’t get taken by unscrupulous dealers when they show up with a family heirloom guitar with the intent to sell.  I saw a bit of this firsthand over the weekend at a guitar show. I won’t mention the show or the dealer but I walked in with the same 65 SG that’s for sale on this site.  I was told by one dealer that it was a 71 SG and that he felt it was worth $2000 to $3000 but that was retail and he would give me $1800 for it. Most of the dealers said “how much do you want for it” which I think is wrong. If you aren’t a dealer-just an interested buyer, then that same question is legit, IMO. The correct approach for a dealer-and I saw it more than once is “let’s see what you have”. The dealer who opened the case, looked over the guitar, told me what I had and gave me a retail price range and a cash right now offer had it right. Everyone should agree that the dealer needs to make a buck, so you can go ahead and eliminate any dealer who tells you he’s paying you the retail value. On the other hand, if you consulted the internet, the Blue Book and your Uncle Harry who knows about these things, you probably have a retail value in your head which, frankly, you aren’t going to get from a dealer. The advantage of selling to a dealer is that he will pay you a reduced price but he will pay you right now. Today. If you want retail and you’re willing to do the research and list it on Ebay or The Gear Page, then you might get it. Or you might be wrong about the year and the value and get even less than the dealer was offering.  One example. Recently a 64 ES 335 was listed on Ebay with a buy it now of $3000. It lasted 15 minutes and it was snapped up by the first person who realized that the seller missed the value by 300-400%. A dealer would have certainly paid $9000 for it. It was a bit rough, so I would value it at around $12,500 which is what the guitar ultimately went for when it showed up again on Ebay a week or two later. If the $3000 seller needed the cash badly, his best bet would have been a trip to his nearest guitar shop. A no reserve auction would have been a better choice but those can backfire too-especially if you don’t know what you have and you don’t have time before you need the cash. Had this individual been able to find my site and send me an email, I could have given him some guidelines that would have netted him at least 3 times what he got.  I’ve notified the search engines and gotten some links up but it seems slow to take hold.  So if you read this and you aren’t a collector or a player and you need help with your guitar, send me an email or comment on a listing and ask a question. I’m trying to make this as easy as possible. At the same time, I hope to educate, entertain and spread the word about how great these guitars are. And thanks to everyone who has registered and is taking part. You rock.

One of these is worth more than 20 times the other. Can you see a difference? Hint: There 2 obvious ones and 2 not so obvious.

9 Responses to “Sunday at the Guitar Show (No, George wasn’t with me)”

  1. Eric says:

    I’ll make the first guess…the one of the left because of the long pickguard. That’s all I got. The other thing I noticed was the knobs, but I don’t think we’ve gotten to those yet.

    The other things I noticed: the screws on the pups are different and the sticker on the inside of the f-holes are different. Not sure what that means.

  2. OK Guitars says:

    You got the 2 obvious ones (pickguard and knobs) and one of the less obvious (label). Very good. There are actually 3 more clues.

  3. Andreja says:

    Shape of the horns are different, ABR 1 against Nashville bridge and the 3rd (unseen) the tuners.Reissues in the 80’s had Grovers # Klusons on late 50’s and 60’s.

  4. OK Guitars says:

    You guys are way too smart for me. I didn’t include the tuners but you’re right. I also didn’t include the horns but you’re absolutely right about those as well. The Nashville Bridge is a little hard to see but it’s definitely different. There’s (at least) one more thing. See if you can get it.

  5. Andreja says:

    larger f holes?

  6. OK Guitars says:

    The larger F holes were from 68 until 81. They went back to the small ones for this “reissue”. They could be slightly different but not appreciably. Hint:
    You can see it on one guitar but not the other but it’s very distinctive to 50’s ES-335s only.

  7. Andreja says:

    so whats the last feature…?

  8. OK Guitars says:

    Look at the strap button on the one on the left. It’s white (because its plastic). This was considered a bottom of the range model and Gibson cut a lot of corners wherever they could. Only the 335 had plastic. My 59 ES-345s had metal strap buttons (although one of them had one plastic one). The plastic strap button persisted from 58 until early. Most 61s I’ve seen have metal but I’ve seen at least a couple with plastic. Also, these differences allow you to differentiate between the guitars but they have little to do with the difference in value. Putting a long guard and a ABR-1 bridge on an 82 won’t add much to its value.

  9. Eric says:

    Awesome post. Nice going Andreja.

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