Have Vintage Bass Decreased in Market Value?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bluesbass99, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. bluesbass99


    Jun 14, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    I just got a question removed because it was perceived as a "soft-sell" question. Let me less direct. Has the vintage bass values declined in market value. I have a 2011 Vintage Guitar Price Guide, and the values I see for similar basses on eBay are significantly lower than those published in the price guide.
  2. It called a soft economy, as the printed money buys less the non essentials lose value.
  3. pinebrookjohn


    Oct 24, 2009
    Scranton pa
    Ebay is what the "true" real world value of a used well anything is.
  4. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I wouldn't put much faith in some "price guide". Value is what someone is willing to pay, and these days it ain't much. Craigslist around here is flooded with used gear every single day. I haven't jad to buy anything new other than strings in years. It's a good time to be a buyer, not so good if you're a seller.
  5. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Vintage Guitar Price Guide hasn't been a useful source since the internet happened. Ebay isn't a great guide either really, some stuff goes super cheap because it was listed badly, or ebay decide to hide it from search results for a while. The fact you can make money buying stuff on ebay and reselling it on the same pretty much shows that.
  6. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    For the win.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Only the completed auctions as some folks have BIN's on their gear that totally defies logic, and only as a ballpark, as condition and originality must also be taken into consideration.
  8. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    The vintage market has its ups and downs but it isn't what it used to be. It took a large hit several years ago. It's still big business as is evident by the number of online auctions and vintage instrument shows that take place every year. Serious online auctions are organized by instrument auction houses. Ebay isn't the only player so prices there are only part of the picture. In the long term, values continue to increase. I think that the difference is the base of collectors is smaller than what it used to be. In the past you had investment bankers and other sorts who aren't musicians buying instruments solely as investments, and driving up prices. I knew guy who would make monthly trips to Japan, instrument in hand, where buyers would stand in line to outbid each other paying crazy amount of cash to buy instruments. That sort of frenzy drove up prices everywhere and put vintage instruments out of the league of many working musicians. Those days are behind us. The internet has changed the way that the industry works. It is now a global market. Mostly, the relatively smaller group of collectors that are left are serious about what they do and that continues to drive up prices when the economy is good.

    We live in a time where the quality of current production instruments is better than a lot of the vintage ones. I'd take a new high end production instrument over a vintage one in a heartbeat. There is less interest in vintage instruments because you can buy new copies of vintage models. Aside from the collectors, there will always be individuals with deep pockets that want certain pieces for nostalgic reasons.
  9. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    I don't follow the vintage bass market too closely, but based on my regular scans of the TB classifieds and the 'net in general, my conclusions are this:

    The vintage market is still down a good bit from the '07-early '08 peak.
    The market has essentially stabilized in the past couple years, I don't think prices are down from 2011.

    Looking into my crystal ball:
    I expect prices will rise again in the future, BUT probably not as quickly as in the 2000s. The Boomers are retiring now, and the pool of buyers will shrink some.
  10. dspellman


    Feb 16, 2012
    I think this is the snake in the woodpile as far as vintage guitar prices go. The main reason that a vintage market exists is because of the nostalgia and wealth of the baby boomer generation. As boomers retire (over the next 15 years or so), I think a lot of collected/hoarded gear will be appearing on the market (it's already happening). Some of those pieces are in better shape than what's been commanding big bucks till now, so folks who have marginal pieces will be seeing their values decrease. More importantly, there are fewer interested buyers in succeeding generations, less nostalgia, different musical interests, etc.

    The economy is obviously a factor for any discretionary spending, but if I were holding expensive guitars that I knew I'd be getting rid of some day (I am), I'd be quietly starting to move them or exchange them for pieces I'll really use over the next 10 years.
  11. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Big +1. That guide is less than useless. It's created and kept in publication by guitar dealers. Who, as it turns out, are responsible for the data used to set the prices listed in that guide. It's a scam.

    I'll politely disagree here. You can, every so often, find a guitar that's poorly listed, and therefore sells at a price below market value. But the days of finding those items are much fewer and farther between than they used to be. ebay's users have become more sophisticated, as has ebay's search engine.
  12. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA

    Wholeheartedly agree!