#1
I'm selling an amp at the moment so the issue of pricing has raised its troublesome head.

Now looking at the market for guitars, a decent guitar seems to hold its value relatively well. I'd say that they lose, on average, around 20% of their value when sold second hand.

Amps on the other hand seem to fall by much more. I'm not sure why but it seems that an amp depreciates at a proportion of about 25-50%.

I contend that that is a fair assessment of the second hand market (if you think otherwise then post your views), and I'm wondering why that is the case. Is it because there are more components to go wrong? Is it because of a fear of the cost of retubing? If you were selling an amp would you put it up for half what you originally paid (new)?
#2
That's pretty accurate. Dunno why... It just is.
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#3
Supply and demand, that's why.


I have experienced different value depreciation though. About a third of the price on average, but it varies a bit. The more obscure and less sought after a product is, the less you will get.
#4
Quote by TheQuailman
Supply and demand, that's why.

So you're saying supply of amps is higher than guitars? Or that demand is lower?
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BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#5
Quote by tubetime86
So you're saying supply of amps is higher than guitars? Or that demand is lower?

Or that people are willing to fork out more for a used guitar than for a used amp where ts lives. Like I said, the numbers I've experienced are different.
#6
A guitar with 15 years of playing wear is more comfortable to play and looks sexy. Amp components burn out with use, so unless the amp valuable for its vintage appeal, there's no benefit from wear.

Plus, guitar wear is almost usually purely cosmetic. A guitar either works or it doesn't. A used amp might have a bad repair job or undiagnosed problem that you wouldn't know about unless you opened it up or it broke again.
#7
Roc hit it on the head.
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#8
Quote by Roc8995
A guitar with 15 years of playing wear is more comfortable to play and looks sexy. Amp components burn out with use, so unless the amp valuable for its vintage appeal, there's no benefit from wear.

Plus, guitar wear is almost usually purely cosmetic. A guitar either works or it doesn't. A used amp might have a bad repair job or undiagnosed problem that you wouldn't know about unless you opened it up or it broke again.


+1

Old guitars are sexy, old amps are just dirty unless they're something rare or collectible.
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#9
it depends on what you are trying to sell.
different markets depreciate at different rates.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#10
...I think that old amplifiers are sexy, too...
"If you're looking for me,
you better check under the sea,
because that's where you'll find me..."
#11
^ Depends on what old amplifier. I wouldn't give you a dollar for some of them.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#12
Quote by Roc8995
A guitar with 15 years of playing wear is more comfortable to play and looks sexy. Amp components burn out with use, so unless the amp valuable for its vintage appeal, there's no benefit from wear.

Plus, guitar wear is almost usually purely cosmetic. A guitar either works or it doesn't. A used amp might have a bad repair job or undiagnosed problem that you wouldn't know about unless you opened it up or it broke again.


Fair point, though limited. For an amp that's a significant number of years old this rings true. I'm not necessarily talking about 'vintage' amps here, but modern ones. A quick look on popular second hand auction and/or private advertisement websites will show you amps that are maybe one or two years old selling for 60% of their RRP. Plus I think vintage amps are quite shmexy.

The risk of components dying in an amp certainly seems to be important, but there must be more to it? Is it the psychology of guitarists - the guitar is 'the thing', the amp is merely the means to make 'the thing' happen? Outside the murky walls of UG I know good guitarists who have been playing for years who make infuriating comments about how the guitar is what really matters and the amp is just a 'speaker'. Social conditioning of guitarists could be affecting the market.

Is it that the guitar is the thing you wield, and the amp is the thing that loudly sits in the corner? The actual guitar is a more interactive object to the musician and more frequently handled?

And even if the above reasons are true - individually or collectively - surely that would mean that the market should charge more, and secondhand sellers can stop short-changing themselves?

Now of course desirability, quality and popularity all have a part to play in this equation, but, I can't see a full explanation merely in that stuff.
#13
I'm really confused by what your asking.

if you bought new you gotta deal with depreciation. if you buy used the value usually remains stable for a while.

This is true for guitars and amps. A brand new 3k-3.5 k amp goes for 2-2.2 easily as soon as it's taken out of the box.

A 3-3.5 guitar is worth 2-2.5 as soon as it's taken out of the box.

there are few exceptions to this. Even Soldano SLOs which are 4300 new drop to 3k used. Doesn't matter how new it is.

If you're talking about the vintage market that's an entirely different matter entirely.

But the same logic applies. Collectability drives the price of certain items up. Others depreciate to hell.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
Last edited by AcousticMirror at Jun 10, 2010,
#14
What I'm saying is guitars and amps both depreciate. That can't be denied. Excluding the vintage market, for now, amps seem to depreciate at a quicker rate than guitars do.

This is not picking on a particular amp or guitar individually, but a broad brush measure of the market.

The question I'm asking is why this is so. The market dictates that things will sell for what someone will pay for them, so, when there are no obvious reasons why the price should be low (damage/requiring repair etc), why is there still disproportionate depreciation. Is the only reason that guitarists will be willing to pay a smaller proportion of the original value of the amp when buying secondhand because of the risk of something going wrong?

This is sort of a breakdown of the psyche of the secondhand amp/guitar buyer, to try and see what the main motivations are.
#15
Well, id be very cautious of buying an amp used. Theres alot to go wrong, and your average joe cant really fix it themselves or figure out the problem.

Buying a guitar not so much, wear and tear on a guitar looks sexy, and worn in guitars feel the nicest. Electronics problems with guitars are usually a 5 minute repair job. Playability can be helped with a set up. There isnt much to go wrong. Other than it being in peices, which is usually pretty obvious.
#16
Quote by Duv
What I'm saying is guitars and amps both depreciate. That can't be denied. Excluding the vintage market, for now, amps seem to depreciate at a quicker rate than guitars do.

This is not picking on a particular amp or guitar individually, but a broad brush measure of the market.

The question I'm asking is why this is so. The market dictates that things will sell for what someone will pay for them, so, when there are no obvious reasons why the price should be low (damage/requiring repair etc), why is there still disproportionate depreciation. Is the only reason that guitarists will be willing to pay a smaller proportion of the original value of the amp when buying secondhand because of the risk of something going wrong?

This is sort of a breakdown of the psyche of the secondhand amp/guitar buyer, to try and see what the main motivations are.



yes, I understand what I'm saying. I'm just saying that your fact is not a fact?
how are amps depreciating faster then guitars?
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#17
Quote by AcousticMirror
yes, I understand what I'm saying. I'm just saying that your fact is not a fact?
how are amps depreciating faster then guitars?


Firstly I never said this was a 'fact', and secondly you said you were confused by what I was asking so I just explained it to you...

You need to read a little more carefully:

Post 1:
I contend that that is a fair assessment of the second hand market (if you think otherwise then post your views)

Post 2:
A quick look on popular second hand auction and/or private advertisement websites will show you amps that are maybe one or two years old selling for 60% of their RRP.

Post 3:
What I'm saying is guitars and amps both depreciate. That can't be denied. Excluding the vintage market, for now, amps seem to depreciate at a quicker rate than guitars do.


Clearly opinions, made on the basis of an empirical assessment of common auction/second hand goods websites. If you did the same you would see what I believe can be seen; accelerated depreciation of amps.

If you think otherwise, then fair crack, I was never claiming that my suggestions were true. I do believe that many would agree though.
#18
Are you talking about initial depreciation or the depreciation that comes after the initial depreciation. The initial depreciation is the difference between the average used price of an amp and the new price of an amp. That happens the minute you take it home. Same with a guitar.
After that initial depreciation there is very little additional depreciation for guitars or amps. Unless they are updated in which case the price may go up or down.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#19
^ I think you identify a fair point.

The way things seem to go there's initial depreciation for both. Then there's further depreciation for mods/damage, that you rightly identify. In the case of vintage gear twenty years later there's a jump back up again.

None of it seems gradual - as you'd get with cars. As soon as it leaves the forecourt there is a big drop, and then a gradual decline until the car's death.

In my opinion I just think that the initial depreciation is greater for amps than it is guitars. Further, even in cases of 'new/hardly used' second hand sales it seems that people are happier to put the asking price for a guitar much closer to the initial purchase price than they would an amp.

This discussion may seem a bit vacuous, but I was just interested to see what the underlying reasons may be behind this apparent assymetry. Plus because I'm selling an amp/replacing it (most likely) with a used amp this issue has come to light/is of personal relevance.

I think beckyjc probably hit the nail on the head earlier - there's just so much that can go wrong with an amp, and it's all hidden away in the mysteries of circuit boards with tiny components. At the same time I think it still smacks of unfairness. Socio-psychological reasons may play their part as well but I guess we'll never really know...
#20
Well I understand what your saying but still I need to know what market/value/price points your looking at. You're making a generalization based on things you've seen which is fine. But give me some examples and I'll combine that with what I've seen and we'll come up with the answer.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#21
On top of what Roc said I think there are just a lot more used amps than there are used guitars. There are plenty of people who bought a monster tube amp to play at home and realized just how bad a half-stack sounds played at TV volumes and now want to get rid of it. And you also have all the jazz and blues guys dumping their tube amp collections for one good modeler that can cover all the bases.
#22
^ I feel like most people over 18 don't buy monster amps to play in their bedrooms.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#23
Quote by bubb_tubbs
^ I feel like most people over 18 don't buy monster amps to play in their bedrooms.


One would think that, but peruse the NYC Craigslist and you’ll find plenty of people dumping 100+ watt amps with cabs because it’s just too loud for an apartment.
#25
Perhaps New Yorkers are simply dumber than the average bear?
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#26
I think the op is confusing depreciation with simple absolute used value.

if things did depreciate across the board like cars then it would matter significantly which year the amp was. For 90 percent of cases this just isn't true. The newest used jcm2000 is worth exactly as much as the oldest one of the same configuration.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#27
^ I don't think I'm confusing depreciation with absolute used value, since absolute used value = original value - depreciation.

On what you're saying about cars, if amps lose value because of fears/the risk of components failing surely the year is important as the older it is the more likely it will die.

As I said before though I don't think it would be possible to pin down exactly what the reasons are for the absolute used value, but I do think risk/possibility of failure on used amps is higher which pushes down the price.