estebanana -> RE: Guitar makers, shop commission fee? (Sep. 15 2023 2:29:06)
Your prices become erratic from dealer to dealer
I understand your concern, however, that is just the way it is anyway. I had a student who reached out saying he HAD to have a Reyes, no matter the price. If I could get it under 15k I could KEEP the difference as a finder fee. Guitar salon had the one I wanted, it was 28K! [:D] Dan Zeff had one 15k that was even better. I made zero but my student was very happy. It collects dust in his closet.
I am the worst guitar sales person. I can’t tell you how many times I was approached to “sell guitars to my students”, where I would know the price of the acquisition then I would be able to keep whatever I can “rip off” from students and friends. I simply can’t do it, I can’t sell a guitar for more than I know it cost. Prices are erratic in this market. The two guitars that I EVER sold, are now sitting in my studio as we speak. I am the WORST sales guy. [:D]
your fee might drive your price into a higher range that will discourage some buyers. I want to of course raise the prices, but gradually over time at a steady pace.
Of course it discourages buyers. However, that is simply how you break through the glass ceiling. Like Blackshear. You can’t have a Reyes but you can have my copy at 10k. Want one? Get in line. This mean that your instruments probably won’t get played much, just sit in the rich guy’s closet, but honestly, that is ok. I challenge you to make an “elite” model or whatever, charge 10K through some fancy dealer where that is what the point is….make money of rich dudes that don’t care to bargain for anything, they want what they want NOW….and watch what happens. You can thank me later. [:)]
I’m working a different market mentality, and I’m not a copy cat shill like Blackshear. I don’t need to signify off of a famous makers name to raise my fee. If I make a guitar that’s a bench copy or a study of a certain era or style it’s for my own edification and humility as a student of Spanish guitar making, not as a marketing strategy to provide substitutes for dead men’s labor. Building for a customer who wants a bench copy of a guitar with the spirit of a past master is a different kind of labor of homage. I think playing the ‘copy the style of whomsoever’ to create a secondary market for cheaper models of a famous maker is absolute chickenshiet and the realm of those who are meshugehneh. Making making models called after a dead master builder is a tricky thing because copying is how you learn, but if you’re still playing the game of marketing yourself as the purveyor of the dead masters when you’re 75, you didn’t understand the assignment. At a certain point you need to individuate from the past and create your own unique models, just like a guitarist has to individuate in their own toque, but still recognize what masters they base it on.
In Japan and the US - Europe you can be your own name, but materials dictate price. Cocobolo and Brazilian fetch the highest prices. Unfortunately I’m allergic to Coco and don’t like how it looks, and I’m not fond of Brazilian either for several reasons. My path is to work under my own name without signifying off of dead masters, and to work with Cypress and other native woods I’ve collected and still bust down the ceiling on these terms. And I’m going to do it, am doing it now. I choose that road because it’s not paved with film flummery of guys who want a Reyes but can’t afford one. If you sell your elite model under your own agency of design and sound, the folks buying your work are more likely to play the instrument and not think of it as a object to stick in a closet.
I’m not in it to be a person who’s known for playing games with providing ‘ faux Reyes’ or Santos, but in it to absorb what they did and synthesize it into my own work.
My version of the letra:
esta noche quien manda, mañana mando yo!