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I can't believe the prices on telecasters recently

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by fender4life, Nov 14, 2020.

  1. Blackshadowrider

    Blackshadowrider TDPRI Member

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    So just doing an inflation check; a 1952 Fender telecaster with case list price was around $190. Adjusted for inflation cost to 2020 that is now $1,842. Current Fender list price for the American Professional Telecaster is at $1499. Comparing to a current Fender American 50's is $1999. The Broadcaster reissue is $1999. Another comparison is the American Performer is only $1149. Now these are list prices and not discounted so not too bad considering. A better comparison may be minimum wage in 1952 was $0.75 and is now $7.25 in 2020, so in 1952 you had to work 253 hours to buy a Tele and in 2020 only 206 to buy an AMR Pro Tele.

    I think a lot of folks get lost in the low prices of import models thinking a new American made Telecaster is a lot of money. I am surprised at the cost increases on the MIM models. What I have seen this year of COVID is demand, especially in the used market place where prices have creeped up and things are selling on eBay and Reverb. I buy a lot of parts and there is not a lot of good stuff being listed and what is, seem to have high price tags and they are even selling. There is not a lot of dumping guitars at this time because we musician's need the cash (yet).
     
  2. David C

    David C Tele-Meister

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    This is an interesting thread. I am in my 60s and think guitars and amps have always been expensive. Even when they cost $400 bucks, they weren't exactly free. Minimum wage was $1.60, so do the math. I honestly think that guitars and amps today are still cheaper than they were then. $1500 bucks buys you a new Tele, which is a lot of cash, but it seems lower overall to me than the old days. I believe a lot of us have become accustomed to buying goods at foreign prices, which are lower, but weren't options in the 60s and 70s. It was either made in the US or it wasn't in the store. If it was foreign and in the store, it didn't sound at all good. My first guitar was a $20 import from JC Penney's and it sounded like it. So I have learned to live with what I have. I am now building old Fender reproduction tweed amps, playing my old tele, and enjoying myself in a great hobby.
     
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  3. David C

    David C Tele-Meister

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    I think we hit the "Post Reply" button at the same time!
     
  4. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 Tele-Meister

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    Well, the S2 Vela should be significantly cheaper because it is NOT an American-made guitar. All of the PRS - S2 line are "assembled" in America with hardware and electronics made in Asia... where they can be made as cheap as possible.

    It would be more cost effective to just buy a USED SE model from PRS (from between $300-500). You'd have basically the same guitar inside. Not much difference outside... and no way in hell am I going to pay $4,000 for anything with birds on the neck when I can get 6-8 guitars of all different pickup combinations for that kind of stupid money.

    Not a PRS fan at all... in fact I blame Paul Smith for jacking up prices on guitars so that we now see all guitar makers trying to match his prices... Thanks, Paul...
     
  5. biffnix

    biffnix TDPRI Member

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    Honestly, it's always about profitability, and market sustainability. Businesses are nimble enough to change pricing as the market situation changes. If demand is high, then prices will rise. As demand falls, then prices drop. Markets always charge the price that leads to sustainable profits for the company. Much as Apple laptops cost significantly more than Chromebooks, as a similar example. You can buy an entry level iPad for $299, or an iPad Pro for $899 and more. There are different product lines for different market segments. Complaining that the Ultra series is too expensive, at the same time Fender offers a sub-$200 Squier series guitar, won't sway Fender from continuing to extract profit from its premium branded lines. The only thing that will drop prices on the premium lines would be lack of sales. I mean, a Lexus is just metal, glass and plastic, just like a Toyota , right? What's the difference? They both do essentially the same thing - take you from one place to another. I guess I should complain that a Lexus sedan costs so much more than a Toyota sedan - why can't I get a Lexus and only pay a Toyota price? Those are just different brands from the same manufacturer, even! So unfair, right? ;)
     
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  6. VillainSean

    VillainSean Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    Also keep in mind the fees that these online stores are taking has also gone up, which I know is being reflected in the prices.
    A couple "brick & mortar" stores that use these sites just roll the fees into the asking prices, adding that 5%+...
     
  7. Meechomarcho

    Meechomarcho NEW MEMBER!

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    Couldn't agree more. Used prices for readily available non-vintage gear are often plain stupid. Why would I buy something used when, for a few bucks more, I can get it new from Sweetwater (or a dozen other reputable shops) with (1) free shipping, (2) full warranty, (3) generous try-out period with no-questions-asked return policy. Remember the old saying about a new car - once you drive it off the dealer's lot, it is worth 70% of what you paid for it.
     
  8. Kerberos

    Kerberos Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I'm with you, I just don't see it, the prices that is. With modern manufacturing, you'd figure these guitars would be dirt cheap. My friend just bought a 65" TV for $250. Retired as well, the Tele's you described are spot on, and get out of reach quickly. I just picked up a Squier Vintage Modified '72 Thinline. It's 5 years old. I think new they we're selling for $299. I paid more for it, I'm thankful I got that deal.
     
  9. pippoman

    pippoman Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    As far as prices going down to next to nothing because of all the people who are now buying because they’re bored and wanna learn to play only to find out it just isn’t for them, it could happen. But most are buying entry level instruments, not the more expensive gear. I would think the higher end instruments would be less likely to depreciate drastically in value. Those who can afford to buy them can likely afford to keep them, plus I would think they would be accomplished players who aren’t that interested in selling them for a song. As Billy Gibbons once said, “But now I might be mistaken, hmm hmm hmm.”
     
  10. David Menke

    David Menke TDPRI Member

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    Partcaster are the way to go if you want the best for less, and not concerned with resale.
    Warmoth will let you pick all options, finish the body and neck for you. You can order the parts, and have a certified good guitar tech, assemble them for around $250 with setup, and you get the best playing guitar. Warmoth necks and bodies are Fender Licensed and my builds are much better playing guitars than the Fender instruments. Sad to say but true. You can get either Fender pickups, like nocasters, or get Seymour Duncan, Fralin etc and have a custom built guitar to your spec. Winner!
     
  11. David Menke

    David Menke TDPRI Member

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    My partcasters usually end up costing $1200 to 1500, but I buy expensive pickups and hardware. I like Warmoth, which is a bit more expensive on bodies and necks, but are excellent products.
     
  12. 60telepicker

    60telepicker TDPRI Member

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    I recently bought a Custom Shop tele that checked every box for me: quarter sawn roasted neck, dark rosewood slab neck, vintage tuners, 6105 frets, 9.5" radius, 3 barrel string-thru-body bridge, nitro with aged light relic finish, yellowed vintage white (my favorite color besides balacguard butterscotch), white pickguard. Every box...Pickups - Fender 63 CS - were crapshoot as I purchased online, but turns out I love them. Came out of the box set up great for me, 3 barrel bridge intonated to my ear (my test is play octaves on all string sets up the neck). Long story short, very expensive for my budget; made me swallow hard many times as I gassed over it. But fortunate to be able to swing it, and a month later, I'm forgetting about the $$$, in time that will fad to a distant memory. And I have several pieces up for sell if any work out that will help offset some of the cost
     
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  13. David Menke

    David Menke TDPRI Member

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    For a beginner, or as a second guitar, squires or the player series, offer an excellent value for your money. Only thing is on the headstock of the squires, you do not get the Fender logo. You have to get a good setup on the less expensive guitars and maybe change some of the hardware, but once it is done, this could be a good investment as a playing instrument. Just need to find a comfortable radius neck and a setup that makes you want to pick it up daily.
     
  14. JustPlayItLoud

    JustPlayItLoud TDPRI Member

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    I must just be lucky. Albuquerque is a gold mine lately on Craigslist/Facebook. Deals are everywhere. Just picked up a 2x10 Ampeg bass combo for $200 that was in stock at Guitar Center for $499. You just have to be quick. If you aren’t ready to drop cash that day it’ll be gone. A month ago someone was selling a Classic 70s Strat with a hard shell case and upgraded with Fishman Fluence pickups with the rechargeable battery pack for $450! The guitar was basically free when you factored in the cost of upgrades. By the time I was done with work it was long gone. Still kicking myself!

    Obviously you always have the knuckleheads trying to sell stuff for $10 less than new and Teles seems to hold a little higher on price and go quickly but there are still deals out there.

    Keep scouring Craigslist for those deals. As others have said try to check it super early or late when fewer people are online. I also find I have better luck if I start asking when they can meet up right away and ask other questions after they start responding.
     
  15. David Menke

    David Menke TDPRI Member

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    Here are some prices for you from Fender

    Price list from 1968
     

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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
  16. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Wow, just noticed MIM tele's have gone up a lot. More than double in recent years. However, MIM strat's may not have increased as much? Am I seeing typical values correctly?
     
  17. catboyzee

    catboyzee TDPRI Member

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    Its not just Telecasters, the costs of a lot of musical equipment has spiked in the last few years.
     
  18. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    It seemed to me that when Fender and the guitar media started making a big deal about Teles in 2010 that the buzz for them took off and has never come down. In ten years I have yet to find a really good deal on a used Tele, no matter its intended price point. Strats are easier to come by at a good price. Makes sense... teles are cooler.
     
  19. ChickenKiller

    ChickenKiller Tele-Holic

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    Dude we need a photo!!!
     
  20. bdrhythm

    bdrhythm TDPRI Member

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    Bobs_von_Frankenstrat.jpg
    I think it prices are ridiculous for Strats and Teles these days. We're talking about bolt-on neck guitars here. These are not luthier made instruments. Anyone can purchase a body, parts and neck and have a qualified luthier put it together (or even put it together yourself, if you have know-how). The only thing left original on my blond strat is body. I've replaced, piece by piece, everything on the guitar. This axe is more than 30 years and relic'd by me the old fashioned way (played and toured with for years!). I've had people offer quite a bit for this guitar--it places like no other strat and sounds like no other, either. What people are paying for is simply the name. I have a Highway One Tele which I got for $400--plays and sounds great. And a lot of these "premium" strats and teles have issues when first purchased--I have students that have guitars they crow about ("I got it for $2,000...), and my first impression is "it needs work." The neck is too bowed, or needs relief; nut is cut too high; no shielding; etc. It's nonsense. And some of the "vintage" teles/strats are even worse--in terrible shape; barely playable, 7" radius and pencil thin necks that are very hard to set up without buzzes. But it is what it is. This is not to say there aren't great guitars out there that are built well, play well and sound great. I don't want to give the impression of a blanket statement, but I've seen plenty of costly Fenders that I'd never even consider trading my beauties for.
     
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