How much would you guys pay for my partscasters?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by 63 vibroverb, Oct 17, 2020 at 6:32 PM.

  1. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    So I've built a bunch of partscasters I'm pretty proud of - a handful for myself and several others for family/friends/acquaintances. A few of these I've shared on here to what seemed like positive reactions (but I also know many of you guys are just nice people and very supportive). I have certain hardware/parts I like to stick to not because of cost (some actually cost more) but because I really like them. I also am able to get a lot of Fender parts including necks at wholesale cost. I stick with MIM Fender replacement necks for their value/quality, being finished, and because they almost never need any kind of fret work (I've been 99% lucky so far). Plus, I am crazy about their 1951 U-shaped necks.

    As for bodies, I usually handpick or request beautiful grain from an indie US/European maker. Finish would be transparent clear or lacquer color stain oil finish to show off the grain. I like ash, walnut, and cherry the most and will go with anything between a light tru oil finish all the way to a full french polish. I am very picky with weight and grain. And pickups will usually be at least Dimarzio Twang Kings or True Velvets standard, but also can upgrade to stuff like Budz or other indie winders.

    So my formula is an MIM neck (tusq or bone nut) paired with an oil-finished body with pretty grain, good heavy duty hardware and pots, high quality pickups, 4-way switch and electrosocket, and careful wiring/solder work. While I'm not really doing custom builds by request - I'm shooting to offer a high quality alternative to the MIM guitars like the Vinteras that will need absolutely no upgrades or mods. Maybe it's just me, but I feel something is always compromised on the MIM and even MIA guitars. And also, I would hope people would dig the one-of-a-kind looks of them with the oil finishes and unusual colors.

    So, purely hypothetical and thinking out loud, but what would you guys pay for something like this? As long as I am upfront about everything that I am using, is it unethical of me to sell a partscaster with the Fender neck? I get if you're handy and have the space/tools to put one together, it's nothing you can't do yourself. But to the guys that just want something ready to play, maybe this is something worthwhile? Guess I could just make one and put it out on the market to get my answer.

    walnut.JPG
    ash.JPG
    cherry.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020 at 6:53 PM
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  2. Fender-guy

    Fender-guy Tele-Meister

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    I love building partscasters and keep it as close as possible to vintage spec fender as I can. Allparts necks, mjt bodies and all 100% pure vintage reissue hardware and custom shop fender pickups. I’ve sold them all except a few and pretty much broke even.

    It’s more of a hobby then making a profit if that’s what you’re asking?
     
  3. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    I guess my question is directed more towards people who don't build, what they would pay for what I described. But I guess it would be hard to tell without playing/hearing one in person. So how much was breaking even for you, if you don't mind me asking?
     
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  4. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’d pay probably about half of what you think it’s worth (just being honest)

    Parts casters are only worth the sum of their parts when separated

    So let’s say the body all together costs 500 and the neck is 500 , I’d be willing to pay 5-600 for both of them attached

    Edit: I just saw the pictures, hypothetical as a buyer I see a “mystery” body so the value to me is in the neck and electronics
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020 at 6:56 PM
  5. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    It sounds like you're investing a lot of time in curating quality parts, although not necessarily a vintage "formula" guitar.

    The combination of parts, branding, finish and components are "odd" to my way of thinking, and the Fender branding in particular combined with the finishes you describe are unattractive to me.

    My own particular tastes - I'm not a fan of thick bridge plates or heavy-built parts on a Tele. I prefer the stamped, thin parts. I like that a Tele is held together by its tensions rather than by "bedrock" components. Maybe I'm quirky that way.

    Do all your components work to create something greater than the sum of its parts?

    Your guitars probably have their own thing going, is there a way to brand and label them properly as your own creations?
     
  6. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    To me, a partscaster is $300-$500. And that’s if it has really nice parts like a Warmoth or USACG neck and stuff. MIM necked partscaster is a max of $300 for me.

    My last partscaster was a Warmoth neck, Allparts body, fully finished. DiMarzio pickups, USA fender bridge with compensated saddles, Hipshot keys, and various other not cheap hardware. It was a brilliant guitar that cost me about a grand put together, counting something for my time, because I do good work and my time is worth something.

    It played and sounded top shelf. One of the best teles I’ve ever had my hands on. I got $350 for it when I was done with it. It was listed for three months. Of course I don’t want to mess with shipping, so it was only listed locally, but I live in a major metropolitan area with a huge live music scene. I started at $650. It eventually sold when it got all the way down to $350.
     
  7. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've bought two very nice partscasters and paid far less than the combined cost of parts. Forget about the labor.
    I've built some exceptionally nice partscasters and ended up selling parts separately. More $$ that way.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020 at 7:10 PM
  8. secretsoundz

    secretsoundz TDPRI Member

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    I'd lose the Fender logo.
     
  9. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    No worries, appreciate the honest thought. So no worth on labor?


    I'm definitely picking parts due to my liking and taste. Maybe "heavy duty" isn't the right word, but I do like a slightly thicker bridgeplate, solid gotoh tuners, good solid brass compensated saddles, etc.

    I would say I do put some good time/work into a really good body and neck joint. Most of the time, the neck pocket is smaller and I sand it just enough to get a real tight connection. I feel/hear more sustain, as do people who've played it.

    I'd like to think they have their own thing going on, with some of my touch. I'd put my partscasters up against the MIAs at the local GC, but some personal attachment could be playing a part in that as well. With work being scarce lately, I felt maybe I could put some builds out there that would not only help with rent but also give someone something a little different.
     
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  10. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    Damn, that sucks. Sorry to hear. So going thru what you went thru, you would be comfortable with offering $300 for one of the guitars above? You know the neck alone is $300, right?

    It's a genuine Fender neck with the finish over the logo.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020 at 9:52 PM
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  11. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It sucked, but didn’t surprise me in the least. Partscaster just aren’t worth anything in comparison to what they cost to build. I knew that going into it, I was just being optimistic.
     
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  12. JRtele

    JRtele Tele-Meister

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    My last build cost me around $3,000 Cdn in premium/custom ordered parts (and customs fees). Realistically I wouldn’t expect to get more than 1,000 for it.

    Yours are quite nice, but realistically I’d say to expect less than a used MIM tele. That price will fluctuate based on market conditions (primarily availability/options of other Teles)
     
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  13. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Afflicted

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    Think of it this way, I can go to a dealer and buy a new car much cheaper than the cost of the parts bought separately
     
  14. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    If I encountered that when shopping for guitars it would grab me!

    Maybe the key is getting people to actually play them and feel the difference.

     
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  15. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I think you would need to build a market based on your reputation as a craftsman. Anyone can buy parts but not everyone can select, assemble and set up to the highest standard. That's what I would pay for.

    So if you can assemble and set up better than most - you would have a marketable product and would be offering a superior product to most mass produced guitars.

    Fender custom shop charge a premium for a product that is probably not too different to yours - because people pay for it. Which I'd guess is mainly good marketing and a powerful brand.

    Good luck.
     
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  16. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    I understand that, but what if for the same price you're getting something better built with better parts and more attention to detail? And perhaps more beautiful. Would you still choose the dealer's car?

    I guess another question is, what makes Nash's partscasters better than mine or Jakedog's partscasters?
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020 at 7:29 PM
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  17. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Afflicted

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    I guess it all comes down to reputation.
    If I knew you and your work I would consider it
     
  18. JRtele

    JRtele Tele-Meister

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    Consider a hot rod that your neighbour built. It would be very nice. Outperform dealership cars, premium parts that he (I assume he but could be a she) hand selected based on his personal preferences. But assuming someone else loves it, including every single part, colour, alloy and option, unless the hot rodder is well known in that community, the car is worth less fully assembled than the sum of the parts.

    Because most people that recognize the value or worth of the car (or guitar) are probably and unfortunately capable of putting one together themselves (and with some personal touches to their taste).
     
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  19. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    To me a Partscaster is worth about half of what a similar new guitar costs .
    Now if you offer high grade custom modifications to stock guitars there may be an interest in that ?
    Think 920D Custom Guitars !
     
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  20. sudogeek

    sudogeek Tele-Meister

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    My partscasters (now only one left) are Fenders. Fender bodies (refinished), Fender vintage bridges, saddles, etc, but usually I use MIA necks as I like a wider neck. Still, I will have $700+ in a build but I expect that they would sell at $500 tops. Those I have sold were in that range. A few custom builds for friends were break even.

    I bet you could make profit on your finished bodies - those are nice. The rest is just commodity parts.
     
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