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Visit to LI Guitar Show: My points of view as a consumer and one how had a guitar to sell…so before any of the dealers out there jump on board top bash and beat me up…read this through first and see it from your customers’ point of view please…

This was my first visit to the guitar show and I was mostly very disappointed on several fronts….

Positives:
1. Ran into some LPF members and put some names to the avatars and faces to name such as John (O2glps), who said he gets a kick out my up front, off the cuff and darn the PC posts on the LPF.
2. Also ran into some guys who actually watch me on TV so that was pretty cool so I got to talk about fishing as well
3. A few buddies of mine showed unexpectedly and we had some laughs and giggles.
4. Hit the Mirabella Guitar booth and hung out with Chris and John (O2glps) on the boards
5. Listened to some music.
6. Got my “pro 10 pack” of strings from D’Adarrio for $30.
7. A cool GIANY Flying V that worked and was played by a guy who was good with strings that looked like cables…

Disappointments:

1. It was brutal walking about in a sling and not being able to play any of the guitars on hand, acoustic or electric…

2. This seems to be a very jazzy oriented show in that the jazz bar pays jazz…all the booths seem have jazz players in them showing the newest jazz amps, jazz strings and jazz guitars…no real folk, rock or blues today (Sunday) although a good selection of acoustics

3. Nothing to listen to but jazz and with the pain meds I can take… a good half hour of this and I could be ready for a good snooze (LOL)…but great players though and I did enjoy it.

4. VERY little in the way of vintage parts…couldn’t even find a switch tip for an early 70’s LP from anybody…and only one guy there seemed to so call specialize in parts but nothing really except some decals etc..

5. No real deals anywhere from anybody!...examples to follow…later

6. Very, very little in the way of vintage tele’s, strats or LP’s. but tons of custom and vintage arch top jazz guitars, some acoustics and 80’s LP’s, saw a few 80’s “V” and a couple of 80’s explorers. Most vintage electrics I saw were 79 to 82 guitars??

7. Very, very, very little in the way of amps anywhere…a few blackface deluxe reverbs for $2,800, a few Bassman piggy back combos…usually in a booths being played through to check out guitars, a very few tweeds nothing really.

8. Was not impressed by what the dealers had there to sell in the way of electric guitars….

I got into conversations with other consumers at the show that I knew and didn’t know and all seemed to have pretty much the same complaint…buyers & dealers wanted to buy ridiculously low and sell high retail at this show…without really working or meeting “us” “half way” points…and no real deals on anything….and many of the people walking in with their guitars walked out with their guitars and very little guitars sold from shat I can tell. I have been doing these sorts of trade shows, albeit in a different industry, but I have been doing it long enough to know when sales are being made and the traffic is flowing and good…

A few examples and stories…

Example 1. This one fellow had a 79’ deluxe cherry sunburst with one changed PUP. He wants to trade it in or sell it…he happens to go to a dealer I had a problem with last year (he didn’t know this) who sold me LP tuners without bushings rendering them useless. Any way, this dealer has an 80’ cherry sunburst LP deluxe on the stand at the edge of his table for $2,495…. The fellow asks what he can get for trade on his guitar which is basically the same guitar, a year older, in equal condition except for the one changed tuner….the dealers says $900….the fellow says but I paid $1500 AND you have basically the same guitar for $2,495! Dealer doesn’t work with him at all loses a sale, loses the trade in on a deal and consumer walks away….

Example #2: I was at this same dealer earlier in the day and introduced myself in person and brought up the tuner problem from last year, he remembers but still makes no compensation offer to me or apologizes and makes no movement at all to fix the situation…but asks what I have in the case and tell him my 72 cherry sunburst LP…this is the same one he has already e mailed me on three times this winter after seeing it on my Gbase account and I remind him of that as well….he says he’ll keep in mind the tuner situation when he makes me an offer….which turns out to be $1800 or $1,900….. I say to him you have a 1980 burst deluxe right there for $2,495, you don't think you can sell a 72 for more than that??? So even after he beat me on tuners and admitted to it…he then still makes me what I thought w as a very poor offer on my axe…fine and dandy so no sale here either…

Example 3:
One dealer had the exact same year (74’) Strat as mine in the same color only mine was a little better yellowed, my body in better condition, but they were close, and my head stock better ambered, but his was rosewood neck which is what I want…his asking price was $7,295…the best he could do for me with straight cash was $7k….no go here for sure especially…since mine is priced at $6,500 give or take a few $$’s…I also had my 72/73 cherry sunburst deluxe in a pristine 5 latch original case with me as trade bait or for straight sale…he liked it but would not meet my $2,500…but never even made a counter offer…or tried to get the guitar and cash for the strat which I came by his booth three times to look at so he knew I was hot for it…weak on his part..

Example 4: A dealer asks me what I have in the case…I tell and show him…he likes it very much and asks how much. I say $2,500…he asks how can he make anything on that…I said you could make some right now and more if you sit on it for a few months perhaps, but I say “I know dealers have to have room to move and make a few bucks so make me an offer. He offers me a 65 deluxe reverb for my guitar and $500…I say no thanks….he has no guitars I am interested in….but he was nice and I’m willing to call him this week and see what else he has. He was nice and took the time to speak with me and at least try to do something.

Example 5: Another dealer asks me what I have in the case…I tell and show him…he likes it very much and asks how much. I say $2,500…his friend/sort of partner/buddy is there and he too is very taken by the guitar…plays it loves it…the main guy takes it and plugs it in and loves it… his friend tells him he’s crazy not to buy it and he can make money on it right away and even more if he waits. I thought I had a deal and the dealer wanted me wait around and hour or two so he could make a sale or two and get some cash in pocket. I say fine and hang having fun. Two more times I go by and we both agree we know he wants it. He says to make sure I stop by before I leave. I do and at this point he says he spoke to somebody about me, went on line and looked around and now he doesn’t want it any more…who the hell knows what means but he says he’ll think about it and perhaps get back to me…

Many, many of the dealers I spoke with and over heard in the bathroom all had the same complaint…not much traffic and even less cash flow and business…no wonder

A question I always have is how much do dealers expect to make on resale of used instruments…..do they want to make $1k, $700? $500 or $300 per transaction?? In the first example it looked like he wanted to give a guy $900 for a guitar he was selling right in front of this poor guy for $2,495…that’s a pretty sweet mark up?? He a has a right to make as much as he can or wants, but the consumer was insulted and I would be too under the same circumstance…why not offer the guy a little over the grand…say $1,200? He was a consumer ready and willing to deal…make him feel good and get the deal done. Even if the dealer sells the axe at $2,300 he still made $1,100 on the transaction…that’s not enough??

Would I go back to this show?…probably because $10 admission is fair compared to some of the boat show prices and it’s something to do and hang out…free parking is always good but I was very disappointed in many things today…even though it was my first time there. I’ll see if anything else pops into my head in the morning from this show.
 
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