First Guitar show - Any Advice?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Tempus_Fugit, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. Tempus_Fugit

    Tempus_Fugit TDPRI Member

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    I am going to my first guitar show tomorrow (Lansing MI).

    Looking to add another guitar or two to my collection. Still wanting an early 70's tele.

    Any general do's / dont's words of advice / cautions?

    thanks!
     
  2. gitarjoe

    gitarjoe Tele-Afflicted

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    been to a few guitar shows looking at vintage telecaster. make sure the owner has a good reputation. I had some guy try selling me a refin, that he said was original.
     
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  3. CodeBlue

    CodeBlue Tele-Holic

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    I'm not a gambler but I would use casino rules - Don't take anymore money than you can afford to lose & leave the credit card in the truck for emergencies only.
     
  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Best advice is to go on the last day (if it's a multi day event) and pretty much wait til the last hour to buy. The dealers/gypsies will be more likely to discount prices because they don't want to pack things up and transport to their next show. Most of these guys do this for a living, and don't want to carry any more inventory than they have to. DO NOT PAY their asking price...those are for the rubes. If you take anything to sell, carry it around in the aisles and let other members of public make offers....don't waste time with the dealers, they want to pay PENNIES for your gear.
    If you haven't already guessed, I'm not fond of guitar shows. Used to go fanatically, but in time learned what a (generally) scam they can be. Don't mistake "nice guys"/friendly dudes for people with any scruples or ethics. And I know there will be howls of disagreement here, but that's my take on shows. The internet has been a blessing AND a curse on instrument transactions, so just be aware.....and good luck. (and report back)
     
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  5. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    You know all those guitars you see at the local used guitar shop that hang on the walls for years without selling? That's most of what you'll see at a guitar show.
     
  6. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    Bring Cash! Seriously, cash is king at shows and over the years I've seen heaps of folks miss out on a great deal b/c they have to run out to/go to the ATM....

    Get there early as possible... AND staying or coming back at the very end like NJH states is a great strategy for dealing with dealers...

    IME, the best deals I've found are from regular folk/hobbyists/individual dealers as opposed to bonafide (vintage shop) dealers. As DB points out, they pretty much bring their store staples and IME mainly go to buy stuff up.

    Use your gut feeling - especially when dealing with vintage instruments...
    Try out and play instruments you are interested in and don't hesitate to ask to have the control plate, P/g, neck, etc... removed to verify authenticity.
    Folks that get annoyed/defensive by this generally have something to hide and aren't worth doing business with IMO.

    This book is great to have on hand - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002ACOZD4/?tag=tdpri-20 and can help eliminate drama and dishonesty.

    Oh, a pair of earplugs on hand can be helpful too.

    Have Fun & Best of Luck!
     
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  7. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks 2 Headed Goat (gotta be a story behind that screen name!), re-reading my own post, I was much too harsh on some of the sellers at shows.....some ARE "nice guys", as you put it, "regular folks/hobbyists who aren't the hard core rockstar wannabe/ dealers. Thinking back, I have met some nice people at shows, and gotten some pretty good deals too. I need to learn to reign in my cynicism and pessimism sometimes.
     
  8. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    The last couple shows I went to didn't have many deals. The majority of what was there was either expensive pieces from stores that were trying to entice people to visit the physical location or kind of junky stuff.

    These days I usually end up spending more time looking at the accessory people.
     
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  9. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's

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  10. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

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    When I first started going to shows a wise older gent gave some sage advice..
    Double your money...fold it over and keep in in your pocket..still holds true.

    If you have never been to a show and don't know anyone, I would be very leery of making a major purchase. Every hobby/obsession that sells this way has a pecking order, and good guys and dishonest people and as mentioned previously it can be hard to tell them apart, and that information is not gong to be shared freely with a noob.

    Go to get the feel of things, talk to LOTS of people, observe, ask questions, make some small purchases from people you think you might like to develop a relationship with, be pleasant, and don't try to flash your knowledge; start with questions you know answers to and judge the responses you get silently, nod knowingly, be agreeable..."umm I see" is a good response to practice.

    Be reasonable in your bargaining; know a deal when you see it don't be the guy who when he sees a gold bar for a dime insists on getting two for a nickel, nothing worse than the buyer who picks up a $ 25 pedal priced to move at $10 and gives you the old "will you take $9..I gotta tip the restroom attendant" or wants a $5 strap for $4.. Yea I will probably take it but I now think you are a jerk, and when the time come for you to get the nice thing you want from me three shows down the road, I'm getting that buck back + interest..I'm also going to be less than forthcoming with information about fellow dealers and inventory I know they have in the van, or under the table, or tipping you off that the amp you keep looking at two tables over has been with the guy for two years, and yes you probably could get a good price on it.

    Have fun, be cool, and remember rare is the most overused word in the collectibles game.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    I can't say about the Lansing show, but I took my 9yo at the time to the November Taylor MI show a few years back and we did fine, not the cautions I see already posted. He asked about going back the next year he had so much fun. I showed him a relic Strat for $4,000 he thought was a hoot as who would pay that much for a wrecked guitar? Saw the Reverend guys there.

    A year ago I bought a table and sold used gear and some scratch-built bodies there. The other sellers were all well meaning and I didn't see any bad dealings going on. I priced stuff to sell and sold quite a bit. Talked to a lot of people; thought I'd be sitting idle so I took some broken guitars and the toolbox to work on them but they were just as broken when I left as when I came.

    Best times to deal are just like a garage sale. First hour the show opens 'look for the under priced deals' and the last hour or two before sellers are packing up (some pack up early) for the 'low low negotiations to avoid loading the car'.

    .
     
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  12. trep53

    trep53 TDPRI Member

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    I've been to few guitar shows but I only bought accessories never a guitar. I like buying from my local music store.

    I really enjoyed looking at all the gear
     
  13. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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    Go and look, maybe play some. If you buy use a credit card so if something goes wrong with the deal
    the credit card/bank will go fix it in most situations.
     
  14. Tempus_Fugit

    Tempus_Fugit TDPRI Member

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    First off thanks for all the advice. The most useful advice was to be cautious with the "pros" and concentrate on regular dudes selling some of their guitars.

    I managed to restrain myself, although there were really no vintage Fenders to be had anyway.

    I picked up:

    A Black USA Les Paul Std that has a quality looking older headstock repair. Beautiful guitar, cheap too. This is actually the first electric Gibson I have ever played or owned. Plays and sounds great for the price of an Epi.

    A very cheap MIK Squier Strat that I plan to practice my setup skills on.
     
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