Mudcat Café message #2733453 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123303   Message #2733453
Posted By: PoppaGator
28-Sep-09 - 04:07 PM
Thread Name: Valuing a Gibson
Subject: RE: Valuing a Gibson
Determing the value of an instrument that you have in hand (as a seller) is much easier than asking for the price of a hypothetical make-and-model that you'd like to buy.

When I was curious about the value of my well-worn 1969 Martin D-18, I took it to a reputable shop where the proprietor does valuations (or assessments, or whatever the term might be) for a fee. When I asked what he charged, he explained that his collected his fee when he provided his opinion in writing as documentation for insurance, divorce settlements, inheritance, etc. He'd give his expert opinion verbally for free, and in fact many customers decide that they'll pay for the document only after learning what price he would name for a given item.

Since I was only curious, and not in the market for an official evaluation, I was glad to get his opinion for free: $2400-2500 as of early 2006. A lot higher than the $300 it cost when new, but not at all higher than the price of a new D-18 (which surprised me ~ I had thought that a Martin of that vintage would be intrinsically more valuable than a comparable new one.)

Customs may be different in different areas, but it's probably worth a try ~ see if you can get an expert opinion for free in this manner. (Also, keep in mind that just as for cars or anything else, the wholesale value/price is always different from ~ lower than ~ the expected retail price.)

I can't remember the name of the gentleman or his shop, but I can pass along the info that this occurred in New Jersey while I was in Katrina exile four years ago. The shop is located in Westfield, NJ, just across South Avenue from the train station, and the owner had previously worked for many years at the very prominent stringed-instrument shop on Staten Island, NY. (I forget the name of that place, too, at the moment, but I'm sure that many US-East-Coast readers will know exactly what business I am referring to.)