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1952 Fender Telecaster - Rumble Seat Music

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by tjh5207, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. tjh5207

    tjh5207 TDPRI Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Today I went up to Rumble Seat Music to look at a 1952 Telecaster. The guitar is 100% original. It weighs 7.7 pounds. Overall the guitar is in good shape except the neck is really worn. There are huge ruts in the fretboard and the frets are shot. It almost made the guitar unplayable. The guitar also does not have the original case. The bridge pickup sounds great, but the neck pickup was a little weak on output. It is on consignment and they are asking $36,500 ( page.html). I offered them $28,000 cash and a mint 1956 Narrow Panel Tweed Deluxe. They declined my offer and almost laughed in my face. I really think my offer was very reasonable and on the higher side considering the severe neck wear and non original case. What are your opinions? Was my offer too high or too low? What do you think is a reasonable offer for this guitar?

    Attached Files:

  2. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Tele-Holic

    May 27, 2009
    South Bend, Indiana
    I think your offer was pretty fair based upon your description of the fretboard wear on that particular guitar.

    There was a really nice, super clean '52 at the Charlotte Guitar Show last August. The dealer was asking $35K for it but he told me he would take $32K for it. He didn't sell it there but it sold two months later at the Arlington Guitar Show.

  3. telenevile

    telenevile TDPRI Member

    Aug 4, 2013
    I'm really surprised they declined your offer.

    For reference, book is $35000 mint condition. With the missing case and needed re-fret, Their asking price is very ambitious.

    Kind of insane, really.

  4. tjh5207

    tjh5207 TDPRI Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    That is kind of what I was thinking telenevile. Being it was on consignment, I think they may not have had much wiggle room.

  5. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    I think your offer was generous, considering it was virtually unplayable.

  6. telenevile

    telenevile TDPRI Member

    Aug 4, 2013
    Yeah, consignment is tough. I'll bet you a 1952 Tele that whomever is selling that bought it in 2007 or 2008 when the market was high, and stands to loose quite a bit even from that $36k price tag.

    A lot of that these days...

  7. dman

    dman Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 28, 2008
    Antioch, IL
    I'd buy a Squier CV butterscotch Tele and keep the Tweed Deluxe...and $24,020!

    Then again I'm a notorious cheapskate!

  8. tjh5207

    tjh5207 TDPRI Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Does anyone currently know of any all original 52 or 53 Teles for sale in the 25-28k price range?

  9. geddy402

    geddy402 Tele-Meister

    Jul 29, 2011

    Not exactly what you're looking for but he has a 51 Broadcaster with a factory refin. Closest I could find in that price range. Might be able to get a couple bucks off if you pay cash.

    And don't let dealer's get you down. That was a good offer. Especially when you'll take the hit when you have to refret just to get it playing. Which is what they're made for which is unfortunately forgotten about in the vintage market.

    Good luck in your search!

  10. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Jun 24, 2004
    Anderson, IN
    I've dealt with Elliott quite a bit over the years, and he is usually very easy to deal with. Consignment is probably the reason for no flex on this one.

  11. Ron Garson

    Ron Garson Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    May 18, 2003
    I'd say that it was definitely the consignment that was the sticking point here. I've sold a few guitars on consignment, and the store always tries to get the full price, but if there's a lower offer made, the store would always call me to discuss. If I said no, the store told the prospective buyer no.

    There's sometimes a bottom price agreed between the store and the owner, and that is the "wiggle room." If you offer below that, the store will just say no.

  12. H. Mac

    H. Mac Friend of Leo's

    May 26, 2012
    Atlanta, Georgia
    I understand that there's two sides to every story and we don't know what Rumble Seat has to say. And of course, it's not wrong to decline an offer, even a five figure cash offer.

    However, regardless of whether the guitar was consigned or not, the trouble is that the OP felt as though Rumble Seat "almost lauged in [his] face."

    Rumble Seat could have thanked the OP for the offier; could have declined it more politely; could have explained that the price was firm; could have explained that the guitar was consigned; could have offered to take the OP's contact info in case another guitar came along, etc.

    Offending a prospective customer with $28,000 cash isn't wise.

  13. chrisgblues

    chrisgblues Tele-Afflicted

    May 31, 2010

  14. sparkletele123

    sparkletele123 Tele-Meister

    Jun 13, 2012
    London, UK
    Don't buy from people who almost laugh in your face.

  15. lewis

    lewis Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    With the kind of money your spending it's worth the time to be patient for the right vintage Tele.
    Whether they realized it or not, Rumble Seat was telling you that wasn't the right one.
    Smart of you to play before you pay.

  16. monkeywalker

    monkeywalker TDPRI Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    H. Mac is spot on there. If these guys made you feel that they were laughing off your offer, they don't deserve your business.
    Sounds like you made a realistic, and reasonable offer to me.
    If you are willing to spend that kind of money on a guitar then you deserve to get what you want, I hope you find it sir.

  17. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

    May 18, 2013
    United States
    It seems like those guitars are typically a lot more than $35000 - but that's no excuse for laughing in your face....I have seen 1960 teles go for $28000, and anywhere between $50000 and $80000 for an original blackguard... I am not sure these are guitars you play a whole lot or bring to gigs, but they sure are cool!

  18. John Owen

    John Owen Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jan 29, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    Try Emerald City Guitar

    You should consider talking to Jay Boone at Emerald City Guitar. I bet he can get what you are looking for at a reasonable price. He has a constant flow of high quality vintage guitars coming through his store. He's a stand up guy, will give you a fair deal and I guarantee he won't laugh in your face. I have no affiliation other than it being my favorite guitar shop. Here's a link:

  19. johmica

    johmica Tele-Meister

    Mar 10, 2011
    berea kentucky
    Gruhn has a '52 listed for $27,000. It has a rewound bridge pickup, but is a beautiful instrument.

  20. ripgtr

    ripgtr Tele-Holic

    Oct 12, 2012
    Austin, TX
    GC in Austin has a 53 for 33K I think they are asking. I am not an expert,but it looked all original. I did play it, the bridge pup was wonderful, one of the best tele tones I have ever gotten (drri). The neck pup was kind of ugh. Nice frets (not sure if they were orig) but played great, nice V, felt great. I would bet they would take less than their asking (although I was told their vintage stuff is all priced by their Hollywood store, so who knows).

    Having working in used music store, yea, consignment is tough. The store doesn't make much. We would have on file on every consignment the owners phone number and if they would take offers. Some were dead out firm, this price or no sale. Though that could change if it sat for a while.

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