How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

Would you pay 14 large for this repaired guitar? I'm guessing no. Nice case though.

My guitar buddy (and my best customer) Kent from Nashville wrote to me and pointed out this particular guitar on Ebay. I’m not sure what bugs me more; the fact that it’s wildly overpriced for what it is or the fact these poor suckers paid Ebay a big reserve fee so that it wouldn’t sell for 3 to 5 times what it’s worth. I call them poor suckers but the truth is that these people are probably just lazy.  It’s pretty easy to find a serial number chart and figure out approximately what year a guitar is-which it appears they did and apparently ignored. Second, it isn’t that hard to go to a shop and get an opinion from a dealer (I know, it’ll be low). Or just plug in vintage ES-335 into Google and you’ll probably find me or Tom H ( or some other vintage site. Or maybe just look at the current listings on Ebay and figure out which one looks most like yours-which also might be what they did. I’m guessing they saw the 64’s listed for $13,500 to $28,000 and thought  “OK,

Looks like a wide 'board to me. This could be a very cool player and I'll bet it would sell in a heartbeat if the owner priced it right. I get people looking for wide neck 65's all the time.

sunburst, block markers, two pickups and the name Gibson on the headstock-it must be worth the same. True, that doohicky that holds the strings is different on mine but how much can that change the price?” There’s a certain logic to that thought  that is undeniable. The guitar is probably a 65. It could be a 66 but the peghead angle looks like it might be 17 degrees and the nut looks like it might be the wide one. So, here’s a guitar that may only be a month older (or a year) than the ones for $14,500 to $28,000. It isn’t illogical at all for a seller to think “well, if that one’s worth $28K-which it isn’t-, then mine, even with the break should be worth at least half that.” There’s nothing wrong with that logic other than the fact it’s wrong. Logical, but wrong. First off, the $28K one isn’t worth 28K and most people look at asking prices instead of taking the extra minute to look at sale prices of completed listings (go ahead, take a look. Not too many are selling are they?).  And how logical is it that a repaired headstock would cut the value in half (If I had a 57 Jaguar XK-140 with a repaired transmission would it be worth 50% less?). Actually, it’s about as logical as a refinish cutting it in half (if I had a ’57 Jaguar XK…oh, never mind). But that’s how it is with vintage guitars. There is no less logical collectible out there. Antique furniture gets close.  The seller does himself (or herself) a huge disservice by not doing the homework. First off, they paid way too much in listing fees. Second, they destroyed any credibility they may have had with serious buyers. Third, they just look clueless. At least they didn’t do the “tone for days” thing. The thing that surprises me most is that the seller seems to know about gear. This isn’t Aunt Molly selling Uncle Lou’s old guitar now that he’s passed on. That I get . Here’s what I think it’s worth at retail. If it’s a wide neck 65, it’s worth around $3000-$4000. If it’s a narrow neck 65 or a 66, it’s worth $1750-$2500. The range is due to the fact that I don’t know how serious the break was or who did the repair. I also did something on this listing that I don’t usually do. I wrote the seller and told him he was high. I probably could have phrased that better. Then I told him to go to this web site and start reading.

Leave a Reply

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)