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How much would you guys pay for my partscasters?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by 63 vibroverb, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. USian Pie

    USian Pie Tele-Meister

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    Here's the funny thing about partscasters:

    If you slightly change the headstock shape and put your own brand on there, they go from being "partscasters" to "semi-custom small builder" guitars.

    See Valley Arts, Schecter, Charvel....
     
  2. cosmiccowboy

    cosmiccowboy Tele-Afflicted

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    ANYTHING is only worth what someone is willing to pay. Business 101 :cool:
     
  3. Drew617

    Drew617 Tele-Meister

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    Good point and mostly agree, although I'd point out: Even if we assume QA for $bigbrand to be suspect, I think mass production still eliminates some of the more extreme nonsense that might be possible in an unknown, low-end partscaster. You won't have a neck heel .25" mm too tall for its pocket, 9mm bushings in 11mm holes, poorly dremeled pickguards, straplok screws forced into a body .5" beyond the hole that was drilled for them. Parts that "wrong" just aren't going to be available on a shop floor in the first place. OP's guitars are clearly a few classes above any of that jankiness, but issues like those aren't out of play in the generic hobbyist partscaster market. The bad ones will affect OP, even if his are not bad. This part is more opinion than the rest: I think reuse of a branded Fender neck in particular screams "unknown partscaster."

    As has been pointed out, I think the challenge then is reputation and branding, because it's necessary to distinguish the product from the generic hobbyist partscasters. Sure, amazing partscasters can be made but how do you assure a potential buyer that's what you offer? That requires sunk cost, and by then it's not really (as most buyers are concerned anyway) a partscaster anymore, it's a Nash or a 63vibrotone, etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
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  4. Gregorski

    Gregorski TDPRI Member

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    My perspective...

    1. Personally I would only be interested in a partscaster made by someone else if it was built specifically to my specifications, mostly (and in priority order): Finish, neck profile, pickups. The value is largely in it being unique and tailored to my needs and wants.

    2. If I saw your guitars advertised on reverb etc. With the Fender logo on the headstock I’d immediately assume it was someone trying to pass it off as a fake and probably would never bother to read the description. I’d recommend not using the fender logo and branding it with your own stamp.

    3. Pure guess here but to realistically make money from this you would need to build brand reputation as a good “custom” alternative to mainstream options. There are loads of ways you can do that and social media is your friend in a real big way here.

    4. As someone said, making minor changes to headstock shape etc turns you into a “boutique” builder rather than a hobbiest (just a logo change probably does the same)

    5. You mentioned Nash. I’m not familiar with that brand but I know of a builder in the UK who I suspect uses prebuilt parts based on his base prices (and has built for globally known musicians). Base prices are not much more than a vintera. His finishes are exceptional. I think that’s key to being able to turn a profit. It’s the “handcrafted” concept rather than mass production which makes the difference. See pic below. (Hopefully I’m not doing him a disservice by my assumption).

    6. Not directly relevant to your post but others have mentioned fender custom shop. I’m aware of one boutique builder in the UK whose prices are below fender CS, bodies are one piece made from a blank, necks are AAA roasted flame maple, hand carved, pickups are hand wound to your specs by boutique makers, any finish you want. Guitars are absolutely gorgeous but I suspect if the original buyers were to sell used they’d be lucky to get half what they paid. It’s all about brand recognition unfortunately.

    7. Your guitars look great, just not to my taste personally. Would be nice to see close ups to get a feel for the level of finish. Please take my comments as constructive input as intended.

    upload_2020-10-23_23-4-44.jpeg
     
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  5. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard TDPRI Member

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    Unless you can buy wholesale if you build a Tele or Strat from high quality parts it will cost you as much as if you bought a high end Fender Tele or Strat. I have a Tele made from a Musikraft (licensed Fender body and neck manufacturer) body and neck finished in nitro w/Lindy Fralin pickups made to my specs (selected from a range of specs offered by the manufacturers) with Callaham hardware & Sperzel locking tuners. Parts total $1,330.95. I also have a Strat (body and neck from Musikraft) w/Fralins, w/Callaham hardware.This one costs less because I bought the unfinished body & neck from a guitarist who was gifted them by his brother and he had to quit playing because of a health problem before he got to use them in a build. I bought the and neck at 40% of the original price from Musikraft and I applied a hand rubbed TruOil finish so the cost of the finish was minimul. Even at that my parts cost was $967.48. I did both of those builds in 2010 so those were 2010 prices. BTW shipping cost for the Tele parts was $123.35. Add that to $1,330.95 total $!,454.30. Shipping for the Strat parts was $125.15. Add that to the $967.48 total $1,092.63. The only advantage I found and it is substantial if you're building them to play is that you can select the build specs.. I did enjoy every minute of both projects. Good luck.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  6. alexwilds

    alexwilds Tele-Meister

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    I play and build partscasters and I have sold several at zero profit as favors to family and friends. The problem is a flooded market for non-Fender telecasters. Here in Japan one can buy old lawsuit guitars, many of them absolutely excellent instruments, all day long for $100 - $300. Even Fenders go for $500 - $700 or so. If you like to build guitars and want to sell them for a profit, design your own; 'custom' guitars bring better prices than 'copy' guitars.
     
  7. egotrip

    egotrip TDPRI Member

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    lots of people worship the name on the headstock . secondary is playability and quality of tone .
     
  8. TwangBrain

    TwangBrain Tele-Meister

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    20201023_232614.jpg
    I sign or burn/etch my parts headstocks with my name as I don't use big fab factory parts or seconds...even if the shape is identical to the 'F' brand, i think it's not only a false representation, but it's a slight to the thought and work that I myself put into it. Not to blow my own trumpet, but most of my assemblies and (2 of 3) builds I've found on-par with Fender CS guitars. That said, I wouldn't expect anyone to pay an abundant or exorbitant amount of money on one, and they aren't f/s anyway...however, if someone wanted to trade, I'd consider that (except for a few of them).
     
  9. Weazel

    Weazel Tele-Holic

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    Really?
     
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  10. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Bingo. People can get a 50s Vintera new, with return policy and warranty, for $800 all day.

    Hard to buy similar quality parts for much less than that all in, and before labor.

    That’s just the way it is.
     
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  11. Mgeek

    Mgeek TDPRI Member

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    Everyone's pretty much covered the 'no money in partscasters' thing, but I wouldn't write off the idea of making some/all of those parts yourself if you're serious about giving it a go. It's a learnable skill that doesn't require vast amounts of tools. You can do a lot with a bandsaw and a hand router

    Wood is pretty cheap in the scheme of things. I can get a maple neck blank for 15 quid here in the UK so doubtless cheaper in the states. It's a crowded market for sure but there's money to be made if you can figure it out and get a reputation for being good.
     
  12. Weazel

    Weazel Tele-Holic

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    That is an expencive route. Being a somewhat accomplished assembler/tech locally for years, I have learned to just hold on to my dayjob. Even if my work is highly thought of (so I'm told), guitar players tend to stick to the trademarks at the end of the day.

    I do make a few quids on regular service work though.
     
  13. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    With the parts you mentioned, I’d pay around $500 or so.

    For a bit more I can get into a Bob Logan, who from what I understand makes his own bodies, and I’ve played and owned his stuff and know he’s legit.

    For a bit less I can tweak a Classic Vibe which I’ve done before with very good results too.

    So that mid level partscaster market is a tough one for me.
     
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  14. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Afflicted

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    I think the OP got a lot of honest and valuable opinions here even if they were generally discouraging.

    When MIMs first came out and their quality was bad there was a company that hot-rodded them and made them great players with upgraded parts. They were still Fenders but better and less expensive than American Standards for less. That company is long gone and today Fender MIM quality is excellent in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
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  15. Kbore

    Kbore TDPRI Member

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    That is a GREAT suggestion and great way to "go for it". You'll always wonder and likely regret not trying. Its big on your mind or you wouldn't ask.
     
  16. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm in a similar yet very different situation. I'm building a series of Tele style guitars (12) that are painted by an internationally known First Nations artist. I'm making the bodies from red cedar (which has turned out to be quite problematic) ...the neck on this first one is an Allparts. For the rest of the series I will be using necks that my friend will build using his CNC machine. I will design a headstock and decal/logo or perhaps inlaying a silver logo. My CNC friend is also a pickup winder and he will wind the pickups as well. He's also a great jazz guitarist and has started building acoustic guitars. He's way more talented than I am!

    The concept is to make these guitars as much 'west coast built' as possible in terms of materials and people involved.

    I guess the point I'm driving at is this, as the guitar maker I fully realize that the value that will eventually be given to these guitars comes almost entirely from the artist's artwork and not my guitar making skills. That's just the way it is and I'm okay with that. I'm monetarily invested (as well as time invested) in each instrument FAR beyond her investment....but that's okay, I'll easily get my money out of it and more. She's is willing to split the profit 50/50 with me and given her track record with her artwork that could possibly mean a pretty decent penny for us both. It's likely these guitars will attract the attention of art collectors as well as guitar players. I want them to be played!!

    So, can you find something to make your guitars unique...even in a small way. At the very least create your own decal/brand. Using an aftermarket neck is not overly problematic I don't think....there are well know builders who do just that. On a personal note that irks me a bit but hey, there ya go.

    There's a lot of people out there doing what you're doing so you gotta find an affordable and distinctive way to make yours stand out even just a bit.

    Good luck!!!
     
  17. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 Tele-Meister

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    I wouldn't buy anything like that because there would be zero resale value, or I'd lose a ton of money trying to nearly give it away. With no established name or reputation you're sunk. That's what I think. Plus there are a bah-zillion "boutique" makers to compete with these days. Such as Suhr, etc that already make Fender copy guitars and have a reputation. (And sell Strat copies for $2,800 that only come with a gig bag... LOL)

    I don't know all the laws regarding counterfeit items, but putting them together with a Fender logo headstock is probably not a good idea. If you check out the US Customs website (this is considering imported and knowingly selling imported countefeit goods) to knowingly sell counterfeit goods carries a first time offense penalty of a one million dollar fine and 10 years in prison.

    I don't know how that relates to a manufacturer of counterfeit goods, but probably not good. Yes, the first buyer you can explain that its a MIM aftermarket Fender neck with a Fender logo, but once its out in the market and nobody down the line heard the story from you, people can easily sell it as a fake.

    My 2 cents since you asked. You'd have zero market with me... I already have 25 guitars and a scary potential Fender counterfeit doesn't appeal at all. Even if Mother Theresa blessed it with olive oil...
     
  18. 808Rocker

    808Rocker NEW MEMBER!

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    Im not sure that I would pay money for someone else’s idea of the ideal guitar. I have however forked out some coin on a couple, one of which shown below. It doesn’t matter what it costs to me because it’s exactly the specs I wanted and I picked out the exact neck and body from several of each. Looks and sounds exactly the way I wanted. MUCH cheaper and IMNHO, better than what I would have paid for thru CS.
    *Which brings me to the point of, I don’t think I’d pay good money for a guitar that’s not the way I’d want it, knowing that if/when I went to sell it, I’d lose 50-75% of the investment.
    **Second point. If you’re starting a business, you either need to make something better OR cheaper than someone can get somewhere else. With the choices we have today, both of those ventures would be tough going!

    95FC4AD4-C63F-4CB4-A126-B22941DB7D23.jpeg 9DAC2A27-7467-47CE-A5DA-36E38B013AE5.jpeg
     
  19. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Holic

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    Partscasters.
    Hmm, yeah, I've assembled a few.
    It started about seven years ago when a friend gave me a really nice set of double creme DiMarzio pickups: a Super Distortion and a PAF. I had no guitar that I wished to put them in, so I put one together. Had no previous knowledge about parts quality so I bought most everything from GFS. The guitar went together pretty well and I learned to source parts, so there's that. Plays good (after a nut reslot) and sounds great. Pretty, too IMG_20200810_112705.jpg
    It was fun and I learned a lot.
    Decided to try it again: 20151209_061925-1.jpg

    My long time friend and bassist was smitten. I told him how much money I had in it and that he could buy a new CV '50's for the same, or less, but he wanted it. I'm glad it has a good home.
    Assembling partscasters has scratched the itch and prevented me from (occasionally brutally) modifying more expensive guitars. No interest in being in the business, not trying to sell, got some unique guitars for my trouble.
    I highly recommend the activity.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
  20. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Afflicted

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    This! Looks like you OP do nice work, but the one thing that would deeply bug me about it is buying a guitar with a trademarked Fender logo on it that wasn't built by Fender. At best I would consider it misleading. Have no logo, or have your own logo made.

    Otherwise my only concern would be arranging some way to play it hands on before deciding what I would pay for it.
     
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