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Sep 8, 2022 - 5:06:47 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26481 posts since 6/25/2005

Just quickly perused the classifieds, and it struck me that a number of the listings are overpriced for what they are and from what's available in the banjo market. I don't want to opine specifically on banjos I haven't played or inquired about, so will limit my comments. But does anyone else took at the classifieds and and see asking prices--especially from the last two or three weeks-- that seem more than a tad on the high side? Or is the market heading upward?

Sep 8, 2022 - 5:24:01 PM
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15004 posts since 10/30/2008

There are those trying to push the market upward. Of course, we don't know what they actually SELL banjos for. I made what would have been a market typical offer of last winter for a nice banjo and was turned away, told that the seller had more than that in it.

I can buy ANY banjo I want, but I have limits on what I'll submit to.

Go to the brick and mortar vintage dealers on line.   They have banjos they've been offering for the same price for over a year.   They are not raising prices on stock in inventory.   What does that tell you?

Edited by - The Old Timer on 09/08/2022 17:24:57

Sep 8, 2022 - 5:27:38 PM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

1869 posts since 8/9/2019

Factoring for inflation, plus a little extra.

Why would the millionaire shareholder class be the only ones getting in on the price gouging?
If it sells, all the power to them.

Sep 8, 2022 - 5:43:46 PM
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65 posts since 3/22/2022

It’s a shame, I honestly think that banjos could be more popular if they had pricing more similar to guitars, though it’s a whole chicken and egg supply and demand thing I know. I know quite a few young people that are interested in playing but even a good time would be too much, I’ll be giving my ac-1 to a friends partner bc they couldn’t afford to get one, and I was able to scrape some money together to upgrade.

What was once an instrument of slaves, travelers, etc is now out of the reach of many working class people (at least in my city, where cost of living is already too much)

Sep 8, 2022 - 6:04:36 PM

595 posts since 4/28/2012

Well...Bill....you are not wrong. Weird stuff happening with the banjo market right now.

Every single Stelling that I have tried to buy in the last five months....belongs to a seller who doesn't forget to remind me over and over..."you know that Stelling is no longer making banjos so I figure that..." And so it goes on and on and on.
Forget about paying a fair price! Every seller wants a significant amount over fair market value! I just saw a Sunflower listed a few days ago at well over $5000.00. There was a Golden Cross on Reverb several months ago. It was listed for $4400.00.
It sold very quickly. There was a Swallowtail on Reverb two weeks ago at almost 6 thousand. It sold within hours. There are enough buyers out there who are flush with cash and willing to pay a premium to get what they want!!!

Edited by - Mark Douglas on 09/08/2022 18:05:40

Sep 8, 2022 - 6:16:16 PM
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595 posts since 4/28/2012

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer



I can buy ANY banjo I want, but I have limits on what I'll submit to.

 

 

 

 

 

Same here....it becomes a matter of principle for me.

Fortunately, I have good banjos and don't need to submit to any seller. There are banjos I would really like to have but nothing out there that I can't live without!

Sep 8, 2022 - 6:20:12 PM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

1869 posts since 8/9/2019

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer


I can buy ANY banjo I want, but I have limits on what I'll submit to.

 


Oddly enough, the only instrument I'm after these days remains 'affordable' by comparison to how modern banjos have increased in price in the past few months.

All 1927/1928 TB-5 conversions I see online remain relatively the same prices as pre-hyperinflation.

 

Not that I have 14k usd burning a hole in my pocket. 

Edited by - ChunoTheDog on 09/08/2022 18:24:26

Sep 8, 2022 - 7:27:28 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26481 posts since 6/25/2005

I have a scarce banjo (openback fretless) in transit that I paid what I think was a fair (but not cheap) price for. But it was less than many of the sorta-pre-war semi-Gbsons in the classifieds.

Sep 8, 2022 - 7:30:21 PM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

1869 posts since 8/9/2019

I'm sure glad I found and pulled the trigger on my raised head TB-3 conversion pre-pandemic because even archtop style 3's are going for lots of $$ nowadays, including the immediate post-war era Gibsons are now fetching way higher money it seems.

Sep 8, 2022 - 7:43:51 PM

81 posts since 7/24/2021

It seems to a bad time to sell a banjo. I have a banjo in the classifieds, I think is a fair price but maybe I have it priced too high ? I’m thinking about taking it down and trying to sell at a later date. There are a few sellers that are way overpriced. They own them and can charge whatever they choose. I try to be fair as most of us are on here. I’m just thankful I don’t have to sell right now. It s just not a good time .

Sep 8, 2022 - 7:59:43 PM
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2021 posts since 5/19/2018
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Asking price and selling price are two different things. But if anything sells for the asking price, that is what it is worth to a particular buyer...at that particular time.

Prices go up, sometimes way up, all based on supply and demand, and of course, available resources to buy. Conversely, prices sometimes also come down, unfortunately usually not as much as they go down, and that my friends is part of inflation.

As for banjos, both new and vintage, I have noticed quite a price creep in the past few years, which actually surprises me given the overall state of things in general. I kind of get it in regards to vintage instruments, the supply is finite. I completely get it in regards to new instruments given the cost of materials and labor, but there are only so many banjo players out there to feed the market. Eventually the price gets to the point where the buyers stop buying, and sellers either stop selling and hold the instruments, or relent and drop prices. I’m not holding my breath for any price drops, but they will come in time.

Sep 8, 2022 - 8:39:15 PM

185 posts since 8/31/2015

It's definitely been a noticable trend recently. I've watched the prices of all things Stelling and "Greg-Rich Era" skyrocket over the past several years and this year it's gotten even crazier yet. I was floored to see a Rich-Era Granada go for more than 6k the other day on the classifieds. I had one on my workbench a few months ago and honestly wouldn't consider that banjo worth that kind of money (but my opinion isn't what drives the market, shrug). I'd rather have a decent used car ;)
Bill, your apt description of "sorta-pre-war semi-Gibsons" made me laugh :)
-TD

Sep 8, 2022 - 9:49:34 PM

5499 posts since 8/31/2006

Won’t mention any names, but there is a certain seller, who. Is out of their tree to price things the way they do. But that’s none of my business and so I try not to pay attention

Sep 8, 2022 - 9:58:06 PM
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5499 posts since 8/31/2006

The stellings stick out like the biggest sore thumb to me, they’ve been going up I’m price for a while, big jump from the covid, and mr stelling doing the I’m going to retire, no I’m not yes I am thing. Don’t get me wrong bless him and his wife, I’m happy for them, and deserve it! It did impact price though

Years back a white star would be had for, ehhhh if your lucky lime 1800-1900 but mostly in the 2200 range, I’ve seen some for 4500 and on up

I personally don’t expect it to last, and than your going to have folk saying I spent 7000 for this, and they will be stuck with it , not a bad thing to be stuck with, but, you know

Sep 8, 2022 - 10:06:10 PM
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67 posts since 7/15/2013

This site has pushed the virtues of Stellings and Greg Rich banjos for years on end in hundreds of threads. For a long time they held a slight premium over their rival banjos but now I consider it a bit loony. I have some Stellings that I considered listing due to the current inflated pricing, but i'd never be willing to pay to get a similar model down the road if prices continued upwards. Supply and demand flow is as old as the market itself.

Lately the Rolex market and the luxury car market have taken noticeable dips, but it seems like certain instruments like Santa Cruz guitars and the previously mentioned banjos have kept creeping up.

In the past year i've purchased a Sullivan V35, Nechville Galaxy, Deering GDL, and several Cox banjos for at or below $2,000 and that leads me to just sour even more on Rich era RB3's for $4,500 and Stelling base models for $5,000.

Sep 8, 2022 - 10:14:46 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26481 posts since 6/25/2005

You can get an excellent new or little-used Gibson style banjo for significantly less than a comparable Gibson. But with no more Gibson banjos, those that insist on the brand are driving the price surge. Stellings have no copies, so that market is rocketing up.

Sep 9, 2022 - 1:23:59 AM
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4386 posts since 5/29/2004

You're lucky you don't live in the UK, banjo prices are a joke....

Sep 9, 2022 - 3:01:29 AM
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384 posts since 8/11/2007

There's one born every minute.

Sep 9, 2022 - 3:31:06 AM
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banjoy

USA

10600 posts since 7/1/2006

It's not just banjos. The price of some used cars and real estate has gone off the charts in the last couple of years.

Sep 9, 2022 - 4:49:56 AM
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2021 posts since 5/19/2018
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...And Tulips!

Sep 9, 2022 - 6:58:01 AM
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32 posts since 3/17/2022

quote:
Originally posted by Frailinandwailin

It’s a shame, I honestly think that banjos could be more popular if they had pricing more similar to guitars, though it’s a whole chicken and egg supply and demand thing I know. I know quite a few young people that are interested in playing but even a good time would be too much, I’ll be giving my ac-1 to a friends partner bc they couldn’t afford to get one, and I was able to scrape some money together to upgrade.

What was once an instrument of slaves, travelers, etc is now out of the reach of many working class people (at least in my city, where cost of living is already too much)


There are always people who say "nobody wants to play music anymore." Well, a lot of people want to learn, they just can't afford it. 

I shelled out $13,000 for my current bassoon, and the one before that was $20,000. So I'm lucky to have one decent banjo that won't embarrass me in public. 

But around here, if you don't have banjos in closets, attics, and under beds, then you're not a real musician.  

Sep 9, 2022 - 7:33:07 AM
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Players Union Member

mud400

USA

96 posts since 5/30/2016

I don't know. Many of the brands I follow have been just holding steady or trickling down slightly. OME, Deering, Wildwood, Prucha, Bishline and a few others.
There was a tick up for Heartland after Robin Smith passed, but those just aren't showing up to even compare right now.
I have noticed a lack of variety I would say, not many in my first list popping up right now compared to a year ago.
For how many Gibsons (all years) are for sale right now, I find it funny that the prices keep going up (except the real pre-war high end market for which I can not comment on).

Sep 9, 2022 - 8:03:58 AM
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2934 posts since 5/2/2012

About 5-6 years ago I was looking for something "different". Thought about an ODE 2sr or a vintage Deering Boston. Passed on the ones I saw. Now I've seen them offered at twice the asking price was then. Way out of my budget now.

Sep 9, 2022 - 9:25 AM
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2021 posts since 5/19/2018
Online Now

To answer Doug’s question above about how many Gibsons are for sale now?

I can answer that question.

There are many more Gibsons for sale now than have ever been shipped out the doors of the Gibson factory.

Sep 9, 2022 - 11:51:33 AM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26481 posts since 6/25/2005

quote:
Originally posted by banjoy

It's not just banjos. The price of some used cars and real estate has gone off the charts in the last couple of years.


Yup. I recently saw the same 2018 Toyota Corolla model I have for sale at $2,000 more tha I paid four years ago. Same dealer. 

Sep 9, 2022 - 12:40:54 PM
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rcc56

USA

4504 posts since 2/20/2016

quote:
Originally posted by Alvin Conder

To answer Doug’s question above about how many Gibsons are for sale now?

I can answer that question.

There are many more Gibsons for sale now than have ever been shipped out the doors of the Gibson factory.


. . . some of them have a Gibson part, though . . . 

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