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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:33 am 
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Posts: 1903
Before getting to an answer, first realize that this is one of the most-asked questions at any guitar site. All too often the person asking is a newcomer whose brusque manners shows that their interests are mostly selfish, they want to know what they can get for what they have. I wish it were not so, I wish that more often these questioners had the grace to show respect for the fact that we are not pawnbrokers here, just people who love these guitars and who are sometimes willing (and occasionally even able) to share knowledge on a topic we love.

Mostly it's important not to get too excited about that treasure found under the bed- it's not going to make you rich (unless it's old and says Fender, Gibson, or Harley on it) It is a treasure, yes, but most of all it is a treasure of quality workmanship that offers rich value to the musician who plays it, who can unlock the mysteries of its beauty. One of the greatest values of vintage imported guitars is the high quality and low cost they offer to the player.

The other reason for asking this question is suppose you saw a nice guitar for sale somewhere, but you're not sure if the price is reasonable. Would that we could all afford to be incautious, but it pays to do your research all the while passion for that beautiful guitar is building in your gut. What you need is the OK to go ahead, it isn't junk, the price isn't inflated... is it?

The real answer is this: A thing is worth what somebody is willing to pay for it.

In any case, the best answer is one you can get yourself. Like it or not, ebay has become the major driving force in vintage guitar prices. Do a keyword search for Goya and see what turns up. There are usually a handful of them for sale at any given time. Realize though, that just because somebody is selling something for a high price doesn't mean they'll get the price.

It's best to go to ebay Advanced Search and look for the checkbox that says 'completed listings only'. This will show you for the past 90 days what prices actually got paid at auction close.

Remember to factor in the ebay insanity clause- some buyers will pay a hugely inflated price because they were desperate, or crazy, or misguided, or just because the other fish were biting that day. Meanwhile the denizens of the local forums are scratching their heads. Likewise sellers will post items for a ridiculously low Buy It Now for quick cash, and somebody gets a bargain. So a certain amount of insanity that has nothing to do with actual pricing is normal too.

Any time you can examine a guitar in person, that's worth anywhere from 50$ to 25% of its value, depending what it is. The guitar in the shop will always cost more than the one listed on ebay, but you get to hold it in your hands, and play it, and know what you're getting rather than waiting for the UPS truck and hoping for the best.

"OK, But what is the actual market value of my Goya/ Greco guitar?"

OK, ok. I'll do some of the work for you. Looking in Advanced Search (you have to be a logged in user to do this) I look for goya guitar* and find 25 items. The ones that sold were:

Goya acoustic guitars sold (6/06):
124.25
340.99
380.00
66.00
101.95
124.25
249.99
175.00
612.00
158.05
282.00

project (incomplete, broken?)
79.60

There were only a handful of Goya electrics with either no bids or the bids didn't go high enough to meet the sellers' reserves:

0.99
301.00
294.36

And some likewise incomplete acoustic auctions:

395.00
300.00
150.00
499.00
200.00

What does this tell us? Well, that typically people are paying between $125 and $400 for Goya guitars, with a few exceptions. I also notice where there are a number of prices in a similar range- seeing several completed auctions for $300-375 makes me think that's a somewhat 'normal' price. When several buyers compete but tend to come to a similar maximum price they're willing to pay, that becomes what we think of as 'normal'. There's a similar range in the $125-175 bracket. Without even knowing the differences between the models, where they were made, etc, I can see that much, and I can suspect that there are different categories with differetn value ranges.

That should be enough to get you going- frankly it's as much as any of us probably know anyhow.

BTW, if you are a seller with a guitar you want to sell, please feel free to post in the Guitars & Parts for sale forum. The best thing any seller can do to get the top dollar for a guitar is to include a lot of large, high quality picutres, preferably taken in the sunlight, and tell us honestly as much detail as you can see.


Last edited by X189player on Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 9:28 pm
Posts: 44
That's a great post X and really covers what a webmaster must deal with.

As far a eBay being a good price barometer, for the most part I disagree with that. eBay is way too flakey and prices can fluctuate wildly week to week (day to day even). Flashy ads, with lots of photos that take paypal generally garner much higher prices than simple ads with one bad photo that do not take paypal. As for stores, so many of them will ask the high price or higher published in VG Price guide no matter what the condition of the guitar. In my opinion the Internet, while a valuable tool for finding great guitars as well as great info on them...has been a double edged sword as I beleive it's responsible for raising vintage guitar "values" to completely insane levels.

eBay prices can go through the roof with auction frenzy (2 or more bidders that must have the item at any price) or can languish in obscurity and go dirt cheap because nobody's really interested that particular week (you touch on this and I totally agree). I also agree that eBay should be cheaper than stores due to the fact that in most cases you can't play before you pay.

Determining true value of a "vintage" guitar is getting extremely difficult. I've always used the vintage guitar price guide in the past, but even that has become virtually useless as it's almost always too high or too low.

You hit the nail on the head whe you say "A thing is worth what somebody is willing to pay for it. ". You could also say it's always worth what the last one sold for :-)


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