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Jul 13, 2020 - 6:17:31 AM
1227 posts since 1/13/2004

I havnt been on this site for a good while, but hopefully yall can give me some up to date advice. As far as an investment, what new banjo keeps or increases it's value over the years? I believe for a while this was true for Stellings, does this still hold up? any others? Thanks

Jul 13, 2020 - 6:25:37 AM
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beegee

USA

21766 posts since 7/6/2005

Buying a "new" banjo as an investment is a myth made up to keep your wife quiet. The only banjos I consider investments are pre-war Gibsons and that market is very small statistically as far as investments go.

Buy a quality new banjo as cheap as you can and play it and enjoy it.

Jul 13, 2020 - 6:32:56 AM
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10795 posts since 10/27/2006

The right vintage banjo purchased at the right time for the right price resold to the right buyer years later.

With the exception of certain pre-WWII Gibsons, it's highly unlikely that the resale price exceeds inflation.

Jul 13, 2020 - 6:41:02 AM
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13122 posts since 10/30/2008

At best, if you buy a new banjo that turns out to be very popular IN THE FUTURE, it might hold its value, more or less.

Investing in a banjo requires that you buy it CHEAP. I read years ago where one of the well known vintage instruments dealers said "we make our money on the BUY end". But even in those cases, it's generally best to sell it at a profit as soon as possible, vs. stashing it away for future sale.

Jul 13, 2020 - 7:26:25 AM
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2181 posts since 9/25/2006

Shipping costs these days have dramatically reduced the ability to "flip" a banjo for a profit. You better buy and play what you like. Those of us with BAS are really suffering these days.

Jul 13, 2020 - 7:27:24 AM
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2181 posts since 9/25/2006

quote:
Originally posted by beegee

Buying a "new" banjo as an investment is a myth made up to keep your wife quiet. 


SSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  Quiet!  Very well said though.

Jul 13, 2020 - 8:21:26 AM
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1005 posts since 5/19/2018

Really not a way to look at an instrument. Especially banjos.

I have made SMALL profits off of some of the instruments I have sold. Also had some losses. Happy if at the end of the game, I break even, but with everything going on I would look at instruments to be a very poor investment choice. Buy what you like and discount any thought of making money in the future.

As for the Wife, even she is clued in to the value of these things. Folks, never underestimate your significant other, they can always sniff out a myth.

Jul 13, 2020 - 10:00:39 AM

400 posts since 7/20/2013

BeeGee has it right.

Jul 13, 2020 - 10:05:42 AM
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1984 posts since 1/10/2004

A banjo is not an investment. Rarely a quality instrument will roughly break even after inflation, etc. Consider any decrease in value the cost of your use and enjoyment of said instrument.

Jul 13, 2020 - 10:17:28 AM

247 posts since 12/7/2017

If you find real bargains you can expect some benefit reselling. I did that for years with benefits from 0 to $700 for a banjo. But I don’t consider that as an “investment’, just taking advantage of opportunities from time to time.

Jul 13, 2020 - 11:35:22 AM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

23805 posts since 6/25/2005

A banjo is a tool, whether it’s in the hands of a novice or a pro. Tools are not good investments. Best long-term investment is Califonia real estate. There’s only so much of it, and lots of people want it.

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 07/13/2020 11:41:45

Jul 13, 2020 - 11:55:03 AM

rlars

USA

4 posts since 5/10/2020

Keep my eyes open on the used market for instruments that are priced low enough that I can turn a profit, or if I have to sell it fast, I should be able to recoup what I spent.
This keeps me playing all sorts of instruments, which is fun, and I get to try different brands.
I don't think that any new instrument will hold or increase it's value, and if it would, it'd be hard to know ahead of time.

Jul 13, 2020 - 2:35:53 PM
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4172 posts since 6/15/2005

 Is this topic another #$@&%*! banjo joke???

Jul 13, 2020 - 4:05:28 PM

10795 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

A banjo is a tool, whether it’s in the hands of a novice or a pro. Tools are not good investments. Best long-term investment is Califonia real estate. There’s only so much of it, and lots of people want it.


Including my children. 

Jul 13, 2020 - 4:08:42 PM
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m06

England

8980 posts since 10/5/2006

A musical instrument is an investment in joy. 

An investment with an incentive to keep hold of it and growth is exponential. What more do you want? wink

Edited by - m06 on 07/13/2020 16:11:27

Jul 14, 2020 - 3:38:51 AM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

23805 posts since 6/25/2005

quote:
Originally posted by mikehalloran
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

A banjo is a tool, whether it’s in the hands of a novice or a pro. Tools are not good investments. Best long-term investment is Califonia real estate. There’s only so much of it, and lots of people want it.


Including my children. 


surprise

Jul 14, 2020 - 5:29:56 AM

lanemb

USA

122 posts since 3/11/2018

I bought a Gibson New 36 years ago It is now worth 3 times what I paid for it. That is a long time to wait for a profit. Bought a Stelling new a couple Years ago. Don’t think I’ll make it another 35 years to see which appreciates the most.

Quality instruments at least maintain a reasonable value if you don’t rush to sell it. Banjos don’t seem to just fly off the shelf.

Jul 14, 2020 - 5:40:37 AM
Players Union Member

OM45GE

USA

98752 posts since 11/7/2007
Online Now

What BeeGee said is spot on except that I generally like to buy used and let someone else take the depreciation hit.

I collect vintage parlor guitars. I've always bought guitars that I wanted, not for an investment. Fortunately, I have always made a profit when I sold them, sometimes for a significant amount more than what I paid. More importantly, I enjoyed them while I had them and would have been happy even with a loss.

Jul 14, 2020 - 11:35:05 AM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

23805 posts since 6/25/2005

quote:
Originally posted by lanemb

I bought a Gibson New 36 years ago It is now worth 3 times what I paid for it. That is a long time to wait for a profit. Bought a Stelling new a couple Years ago. Don’t think I’ll make it another 35 years to see which appreciates the most.

Quality instruments at least maintain a reasonable value if you don’t rush to sell it. Banjos don’t seem to just fly off the shelf.


More than half that paper “profit” would be lost to inflation, showing again that banjos are simply not investment material.

Jul 14, 2020 - 12:28:21 PM

845 posts since 3/23/2006

In investments, one usually looks for liquidity, that is, many buyers available when you want to sell the investment. If BHO is any indication, the number of people willing and able to pay high prices for high-quality banjos may be decreasing.

Jul 16, 2020 - 5:51:38 AM
Players Union Member

spini

USA

393 posts since 9/10/2014

This is short term, but I look at many used sites and a couple times a year I find great deals on cheaper banjos. Such as RK35, Epiphone MB250, Deering Goodtimes.... I buy clean up and set up, flip for an average couple hundred after all fees and parts. I mainly do it because Im retired and get bored, and cant help shopping for banjos.

Jul 17, 2020 - 10:28:20 AM

370 posts since 9/8/2005

I agree with most of these posts, but let’s face it. A good banjo should outlast the player. An “investment grade” banjo, such as a Nechville Heli-mount may have a better chance of upholding its value due to Nechvilles scarcity and history of reliability. A cared-for quality instrument potentially has an unlimited lifespan, with endless opportunities for spreading joy.

Jul 17, 2020 - 12:59:44 PM
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182 posts since 2/17/2004

Discussing this with collectors and shop people; the young folks don't seem to have much interest in paying thousands of $$$ for a vintage instrument, they are happy with an affordable modern one.

Don't get me started about craftsmanship & tone........erg!

Jul 18, 2020 - 6:21:50 AM
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2279 posts since 12/31/2005

The question involves more than investment. It also asked what holds value. There is a huge disparity there. For example, the difference in price between used and new Deerings is very large. A Robin Smith, Hatfield, Sullivan, Huber, Davis, Stelling, or Yates (who did I forget?) is going to lose less market value in the short term. The difference between what you pay and what you sell for is "rent," and usually exceptionally good rent when you consider what you are getting.

Nothing new currently being made can be anticipated to increase in value in real terms. There are just too many good builders creating supply every year. These are durable products made to last at least 100 years. At some point, with the continual building, the supply will far outstrip the demand for these instruments. The only thing keeping it going now are those of us who have several (too many?) banjos. Once the boomers and older Gen X'ers downsize or the kids sell off the collection, there will be a glut. Unless, of course, there is another FMB/Beverly Hillbillies/Dueling Banjos/O'Brother event :-)

Some vintage (emphasis on *some*) Gibsons can be expected to increase continually over time, but many just rise around the rate of inflation, leading some here to believe they have an "investment." The market of truly amazing and collectible Gibsons is small and well tended to by a few dealers. If there is any profit to be had, they will be the ones to make it (nothing wrong with that).

Jul 19, 2020 - 11:12:17 AM
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1726 posts since 9/10/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Murphy

The question involves more than investment. It also asked what holds value. There is a huge disparity there. For example, the difference in price between used and new Deerings is very large. A Robin Smith, Hatfield, Sullivan, Huber, Davis, Stelling, or Yates (who did I forget?) is going to lose less market value in the short term. The difference between what you pay and what you sell for is "rent," and usually exceptionally good rent when you consider what you are getting.

Nothing new currently being made can be anticipated to increase in value in real terms. There are just too many good builders creating supply every year. These are durable products made to last at least 100 years. At some point, with the continual building, the supply will far outstrip the demand for these instruments. The only thing keeping it going now are those of us who have several (too many?) banjos. Once the boomers and older Gen X'ers downsize or the kids sell off the collection, there will be a glut. Unless, of course, there is another FMB/Beverly Hillbillies/Dueling Banjos/O'Brother event :-)

Some vintage (emphasis on *some*) Gibsons can be expected to increase continually over time, but many just rise around the rate of inflation, leading some here to believe they have an "investment." The market of truly amazing and collectible Gibsons is small and well tended to by a few dealers. If there is any profit to be had, they will be the ones to make it (nothing wrong wit


You are spot on! Brian.

Jul 21, 2020 - 1:09:03 PM

banjonz

New Zealand

10954 posts since 6/29/2003

In the early 2000's when my marriage went west, I purchased a Gibson ESS from Curtis McPeake's. I could have bought any other make but because Gibson were the iconic brand, I felt it would have a better resale value. After playing it for over a decade then deciding to quit performing, I sold it. Given the cost of importing an instrument from the USA and the exchange rate, I still sold it for more than I paid for it. I put this down to the name 'Gibson Mastertone'.

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