How does changing the bridge and saddles on a Road Worn '50s Telecaster affect it's resale value?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi guys!

    I'm getting ready to sell a Blonde Ash 2019 Road Worn '50s Telecaster, and I removed the original Fender bridge and steel saddles, and installed another original Fender bridge that has Fender brass saddles on it.

    Please note that I still have the original bridge and steel saddles.

    My question is should I put the guitar back to all original, or keep the replacement bridge and saddles on the guitar and include the original hardware?


    What I'm getting at is will having the guitar back in its original state fetch more versus if I keep the new bridge and brass saddles on the guitar and include the original hardware?


    And before anyone says it, I KNOW we're not talking a lot of money difference here :)


    If you don't believe the new bridge and brass saddles makes a dimes worth of difference price wise, I'll just put the guitar back to original state, and either keep or sell the bridge with brass saddles separately.
     
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  2. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Holic

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    I honestly don’t think it will change the value very much at all.

    nobody’s paying more for a guitar for a slightly fancier bridge, IMO

    mods can decrease the value of a guitar. They rarely increase it significantly.
     
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  3. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi nickmsmith, how's it going my man, I hope all it well with you!

    Let me ask the question differently then.

    If the highest the guitar will sell for is X dollars, will I be more likely to the sell the guitar easier for that X dollar amount with the current installed bridge and brass saddles?
     
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  4. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Friend of Leo's

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    I think, as long as you have the original parts in the case, and nothing was modified on the guitar (for example - tuners swapped requiring different screw holes) I would not hesitate paying exactly the same as a guitar that didn't have the parts changed.

    In fact, the more I think about it, if your guitar was hanging on the wall with the changed bridge and saddles and next to it was the exact same guitar completely stock - and the salesperson said to me "that one with the brass saddles comes with the original steel saddles in the case," I'm actually MORE inclined to buy that one for the same price with EXTRA pieces.
     
  5. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Holic

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    It’s going great! Thanks a lot!!!

    I think it totally depends on the person who’s looking to buy, which is unpredictable. Some buyers will value it being all original, some buyers will value it being upgraded, slightly.

    if it were my guitar, I would probably put the originals back on, and sell the aftermarket one. Not sure how much that bridge will fetch though.

    I can’t imagine it bumping up the value in any significant way. I think people will look at the model, and say “this is the approximate value” and offer from there.

    I don’t think it’ll be a factor at all, as it is now. I think people look at the model and the country of origin most of all, everything else is kinda secondary.
     
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  6. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    I agree that including the original bridge actually makes it more attractive at the same price, but it doesn't add enough value to ask more.
     
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  7. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I always keep the parts I swap out. I may use them on another guitar or swap them back if I decide later on I like them better.


    Keep them and if you sell the Tele...swap 'em back so you can keep the saddle and bridge you like and use them on the next Tele you buy. ;)
     
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  8. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    And the first thing the guy who buys the guitar will do is remove the Fender saddles and replace them with brass compensated saddles. It’s not a collectible guitar. It will become whatever the player who buys it wants it to be. That’s either the beauty or the curse of a Telecaster.
     
  9. Harbinger77

    Harbinger77 Tele-Meister

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    +1 put original one back on and sell aftermarket bridge separate.

    Won’t add value per se but will attract more potential buyers.
     
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  10. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Well, that's interesting. Putting the original bridge back on it has no down side that I can think of. The new bridge is probably a desirable upgrade, but it's subtle enough that most buyers probably wouldn't notice. I don't really see a clear right answer.

    That's just how helpful this internet thing can be!

    Here's what I'm trying to relate to: I bought an American Telecaster that has one of those Rutters bridges that has three saddles, each made of a different metal. And, I do have the original bridge.

    On the one hand I like the fact that the I've got this fancy, expensive bridge on that guitar. But, on the other hand, I'd never be able to tell anyone that this bridge does anything special, at least that I can hear. I bought the thing at a price that meant that this expensive, but largely meaningless upgrade was paid for by some other guy, so maybe a slight advantage to me?

    Or not. I don't know.

    Ever wish you just left well enough alone? :D
     
  11. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi Harbinger77!

    Not that it probably makes any difference, but to be clear, the replacement bridge is an identical Fender bridge that I had a luthier stamp an appropriate years early 50's serial number on it, and as I said, the brass saddles are vintage Fender ones.

    Jerry
     
  12. Harbinger77

    Harbinger77 Tele-Meister

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    You were very clear. I didn’t misunderstand you.


    Modifications don’t add value. Period.

    At best they keep people away from the potential buyers’ pool, at worst they also detract value.

    As long as you have the original, you’re not in a jam.
     
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  13. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    No problem :)

    It was just the part where you said I had an aftermarket bridge that threw me off, because the bridge and brass saddles are Fender OEM parts.

    But your overall point is well taken, so thanks Harbinger77!
     
  14. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you think you will use the replacement bridge again, remove it and re-install the original. If you feel it plays better with the new one, just include the old one in the case - or ask the buyer which he prefers to have in place when shipped.
     
  15. Vermoulian

    Vermoulian Tele-Meister

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    I don't think the new bridge would make a difference in price but the fact that it's been modded might put off a potential buyer. Including the old bridge would probably make it more desirable, at least to some buyers, but ultimately I would not expect either situation to bring you more money for the guitar, so unless you really want the parts out of your house (a legitimate factor), you'd probably be best off swapping the original bridge back onto it and keeping the replacement, either to sell separately or for potential use on another guitar or project.
     
  16. IrishBread69

    IrishBread69 TDPRI Member

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    I actually disagree with that.

    It's all subjective.

    If I saw two identical used guitars and one had upgraded Fender pickups, for example. I think it's reasonable to add a small upcharge to that. Compare two US Tele Deluxe models. If one had CuNiFe pickups and another had stock, I'd consider the CuNiFe one more valuable. Another person may not. I wouldn't add the true cost of the pickups on top of the base price but that's worth more to me for sure. We're not talking huge sums of money here but that's a modification that adds some value.

    I think the other important distinction is official Fender parts. Stick an off brand pickup set in there and I'm not interested.
     
  17. Harbinger77

    Harbinger77 Tele-Meister

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    A broken clock that’s right twice a day.

    It’s not subjective, because your hypothetical doesn’t consider reselling the instrument.

    The likelihood of not two but three people wanting the same mods is infinitesimally low. So the mod never adds value.
     
  18. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    ^^^This.

    The difference in value between the guitar with the original bridge and the 'upgrade' (very subjective, depending on who's buying) is minimal if any. And we're down somewhere near single-dollar differences. If that's important to you, sell both items separately.
     
  19. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    In my opinion/experience, an “upgrade” is in the eye of the beholder. In my mind, a good upgraded part at best retains resale value where a sideways or slight upward change is a discount for being modded. You are always starting with the discount for modding then adding back for the quality of the parts. So for me:

    - Decent “Upgraded” pick-ups = maybe same price as non-upgraded used price. Maybe a little more if you include the originals but not much
    - Most other “upgrades” including cheaper altered pick-ups = discount
    - Reversible (non solder) “upgrade” with original parts in the case = same price as non-upgraded used price
    - neck change = partscaster so low resale

    For example, I have a Mexican Jazz Bass with the covers added, noiseless pickups and a very nice John East preamp. I think I might get a little on top for the preamp but the other mods I’d say don’t push the price up. The only time you might get lucky is if you find a buyer who wants to do exactly the same mods as you. Otherwise, always better to return it to stock and stash or sell the upgrades.

    My angle, anyway.
     
  20. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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