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At what price point do older basses become "collectible"?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by smcd, Aug 21, 2012.


  1. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I was reading a thread on TB about discontinued basses, and whether their being a discontinued model makes them more valuable. Which got me thinking - there is a dollar value that acts as a make-or-break point, below which a bass is not collectible.

    For example - a $200 bass, no matter how rare or well made - is NOT a collectible bass. This based entirely on the price it brings. I don't think a $500 bass is collectible, either.

    I imagine each person has that magic number in mind. To me, that price is $800. Obviously, a bass more expensive than $800 is not automatically collectible. But, to me, a bass that can be had below $800 can't be called "collectible".
     
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I think it depends on the nature of the collection, and what the collector has in mind for it.
     
  3. I can't say if its collectable or not but I found an old 95 Epi non reverse T-bird in a pawn shop a few years back, paid $180 for it. I have been asked to sell more times then I can remember and have been offered as much as $400 by more then 1 person. I'll I know is people want may bass. Lol
     
  4. I would say the instrument's age, quality and availability would be the prime factors.

    Today's price does not necessarily mean it will be collectible. Technically, you need to consider the value of money at a particular time. For example, in 1969 you could buy a Les Paul Deluxe for $425 (per link). Try looking up the value of a '69 Les Paul today. lol
    http://vintage-guitars.blogspot.ca/2006/01/gibson-les-paul-deluxe.html
     
  5. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Yeah, I don't think the current or past sale price has anything to do with desirability and collectability.
    I'd guess an old Kay or Kraftsman guitar sold for very little when new, probably less than $200, but some people collect them now.
     
  6. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I collect Peavey basses, but with the exception of 1 of those instruments, none are collectible. This based entirely on the price. So though I and others collect low-dollar basses, what we collect isn't really "collectible".

    Another example - Robin basses. These basses fit the criteria of long discontinued, high quality and rarity. But because they can be regularly found for under $700, they're not "collectible".

    On the other hand - US made Fender Zone basses. Discontinued, rare, high quality - and because they consistently run over $1,000 in price - they are collectible.
     
  7. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    The original purchase price isn't a factor. It's the price a bass is selling for in today's market.
     
  8. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Still not a factor.
     
  9. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Totally is a factor. A $200 bass is not collectible. People may collect them, but they're not collectible.
     
  10. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    People collect everything from bottle caps to Ferraris. There's no single unifying principal other than that the collector wants more than one of something.
     
  11. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I don't think there is a set price at which they may become sought after but I do believe they need to be truly sought after at the time they are produced in order to eventually command a "collector's" price.

    As much as some TBers like to think I really don't think there are too many teenagers sitting in their rooms string at magazine pictures of basses saying "One day I'm going to get that Squier!!"
     
  12. João Bourgard

    João Bourgard

    Jan 21, 2010
    IMHO a collectible item is an item that it is not made anymore... so even a 200$ instrumentsan become a collectible if the manufactorer drops the producing of said instrument and it becomes rarer as the time passes
     
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Price has absolutely ZERO to do with collectibility. Doesn't matter whether you mean original price or current price.

    For a while I collected uncommon short-scale basses. Most are pretty unpopular in the general market, so many went for fairly low prices. But they were rare enough to be something a collector would seek out.

    Collectors base their collection on categorization, not dollar value. IOW a collection might be "lead toy soldiers from before 1940", and the collector might pay $0.50 for a single toy soldier, or they might pay $500, depending on how badly they wanted that specific piece for their collection, and how lucky they got with the seller. The one that cost 50 cents was just as collectible as the $500 one.
     
  14. boynamedsuse

    boynamedsuse Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Availability vs. demand is what sets the "collectability." Some instruments, like USA Peavey basses are great values even today and some can still be had for $200. As time goes on and more and more of them get beat up or used for projects, there may be a turning point where the number left has gone so low that the price doubles or triples for a particular model in a short time and at that point they become collectable. I believe it has already happened to Sarzos. I doubt that Sarzos will remain the only example.
     
  15. sorry to be "that guy" but:

    collectible - things considered to be worth collecting (not necessarily valuable or antique)

    i have 22 basses and the most expensive one was $410....YOU TELLIN ME I DON"T HAVE A COLLECTION?


    i'd say this is collectible too, note the warranty card, manual and unseen case candy (thumbrest and such)...cost me $270 and i don't think i would sell it for 5 times that

    T-40.
     
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    LOL, that's a good one.
     
  17. CnB77

    CnB77

    Jan 7, 2011
    NJ
    Are you reading what you're typing?
    Exactly. Definition of collectible- Adjective:
    (of an item) Worth collecting; of interest to a collector.
    Noun:
    An item valued and sought by collectors.
     
  18. side note: i was in the grocery store one day and they had some sargento shredded cheese which was labelled as "collectors edition"...hmmmm
     
  19. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    It simple when something is in demand and is desired by those who want them. The age has nothing to do with it. There are plenty of old basses not worth much since they are not wanted by collectors. I have 3 -83' SQ MIJ Squiers that are getting a demand for and going up in price for those who want them. It's simply who wants them and what will they pay?
     
  20. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    You just contradicted yourself :)

    As you said, if people collect them...they're collectable.
     

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