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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi to all my guitar making buddies.Was asked this question about custom made guitars and as I don't really know how you guys operate would appreciate you letting me know.
Thanks
Benee Wafers

Question: I'm not giving anyone $4000 dollars on a guitar I can't try and decline if it's a dud. Name a builder that will build me a $4000 guitar and let me back out at no cost?
 

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Benee Wafers said:
Hi to all my guitar making buddies.Was asked this question about custom made guitars and as I don't really know how you guys operate would appreciate you letting me know.
Thanks
Benee Wafers

Question: I'm not giving anyone $4000 dollars on a guitar I can't try and decline if it's a dud. Name a builder that will build me a $4000 guitar and let me back out at no cost?
In my case that would depend on the guitar. If it was something specialized that was not mainstream i.e something weird. then it might be very difficult to sell if the client decided he didn't care for it. In a case like that there would have to be at least a hold back for the price of the wood. Chances are that if you are paying someone in the range of $4000 for a guitar to be made then you are, if you've done any research at all, dealing with a good luthier who puts out a product that is worth the price. You have also probably selected the wood you want the guitar to be made from. I was just discussing this very thing on another forum yesterday. People order something and then after you've put a lot of time and effort into it they decide that for whatever reason that they can't afford it and want their deposit back. Probably couldn't afford it at the time of ordering and knew it.
On the other hand I only make a few guitars and I don't make anything weird. I can sell any guitar I make quickly for a decent profit. I have a number of back orders and if someone decided to bail, the people waiting for guitars would have first chance to buy it instead of the one they had on order. I've not encountered that type of problem though.
 

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I would agree with Lowtones. In my case I would have to have a proportion of the cost of the materials which would be non-refundable.
If the customer backs out of the deal after the guitar has be started they lose 50% of the deposit with the remaining 50% only being returned on the sale of the instrument or the use of the materials. The amount of the deposit depends on the instrument more if it is a complete custom build less if it is one of my own designs.
 

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Benee Wafers said:
Thanks LT, Skelf.
What is the customary deposit on a custom made guitar?
Benee
It varies from person to person, however I would think cost of materials would not be out of line.
 

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Benee, very few luthiers will build a custom instrument and offer a full money back deal like Jeff was asking about. Different builders will have different payment schedules. I have not dealt with many but those I have are very willing to work with a customer to get a payment plan that works for both. Most will break it down into three payments. First payment is to secure the materials. Second is an in process charge to help off set labour and sub contract costs. Third and final is usually required prior to shipment. As stated above most will refund the amount received to date less a percentage providing the finished instrument can be sold or the materials used on another project.

Check out Josh House's ,Tony Karol's or Sheldon Schwartz's websites to see their price breakdowns.
Michael Greenfield use to have a schedule posted but no longer deals directly with the public.
With the ever fluctuating exchange rate many like George Rizsanyi or Andrew White just ask that you contact them directly to discuss your requirements.
Very few luthiers have a three to four year waiting list. So most build spec instruments to stock or send to retailers. If one of these was to be purchased and found not to fulfill the buyers expectations then it would be up to that builder or retailer and their in-house policy.

By the way, don't take Jeff's comments so seriously. I see this sort of thing on forums all the time. People type things thinking one way but readers may interpret it in another. And the hostility escalates exponentially from there. I'm not taking sides here just stating that one should always take things posted on forums with a grain of salt. (Exchange "salt" for a large glass of your favourite beverage, should you be so inclined.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input Stepen and yes I was trying to get an answer to Flowerdays question about handmade custom guitars.
Not to worry, nothing taken seriously. I just noticed an edge to his reply and inquired about it, is all. Nuff said.
Benee Wafers
 
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