paying "fair market value" for garage sale finds

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by charlie chitlin, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I understand the desire to be honest, but if I want to pay "fair market value" for something, I don't need to go rummaging through lofts/attics and garages.
    There's no shortage of great gear at fair market value.
    I want a DEAL!
    Now...I don't have a mask and a gun, so I'm not looking to pay someone $50 for a '56 Strat.
    But what if you DO find a '56 Strat and can only scrape up, say...$2k?
    Do you pass?
    If someone says "make me an offer" and you're looking for a deal on a guitar, what percentage of "fair market value" do you think is ethical?

    As an aside...a guy I knew asked a farmer how much he wanted for his motorcycle that, at the time, was worth about $20k.
    The farmer said, "A LOT," so the guy offered him $10k and the farmer accepted.
    When he got back with the dough a couple days later, the farmer held it in his hand and said, "Son...I paid $450 dollars for that motorcycle. I figured if I doubled my money, I'd be doing great; but I never expected anything like THIS!"
     
  2. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    offer what you want to offer. If they turn you down, they turn you down. If they get all emotional about it, that is on them. You'd be amazed at how often they just want it gone and all the fru fru niceties and pawn stars, american pickers stuff is just silly. If I saw a 56 strat and I liked it, I'd offer what I'd pay for a strat.. maybe 500.00... they probs have NOTHING in it... so 500 is a windfall...
     
  3. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Friend of Leo's

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    It’s between you and them. Nobody else’s business. That being said when I bought my little G&L , I gave the guy a heads up on what it was worth and gave him a chance to increase his price if he wanted to. He was leaving on a church mission and just wanted to get rid of the guitar. I’ve always been up front and I can’t say I’m going to change any time soon. I just lost out on a Epiphone Masterbuilt fingerstyle guitar because I told them what it was and that I couldn’t make it over to see it for a couple days and not to hold it for me.

    But I sleep good :)
     
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  4. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

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    I've thought about this, and if it were me and I came across someone selling a valuable vintage piece of gear (especially someone older who doesn't have the desire to do an internet search), I'd feel obliged to alert them to the potential value of their item. If it was something I wanted, I'd work out a deal that would be fair to both parties.

    My real dream is to find a piece of vintage gear that's broken at a garage sale and fix it up so that it has a second life. That way I could get it for a good price AND have the fun of restoring it. :)
     
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  5. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I hear ya...that's definitely one way.
    I can't shake the picture of the elderly folks scraping along on a fixed income...never learned how to use the internet...offering me their '58 'Burst for $400.
    I always figured I'd flip it and throw them a nice bone.
     
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  6. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    I let three rare tools go in an antique shop years ago. They were priced at about 20% of market, perhaps 15%. I'd done well already and figured that I could either buy them and flip them upward a little bit but give someone a deal on a tool they could use (they're rare, but useful and not so rare that you couldn't use them).

    Then, I figured I'd leave them for subsequent shoppers because maybe I was just being a pig.

    The next day, I decided to go back to pick them, and a dealer had bought all of the tools in the booth at once and relisted them elsewhere at market price (and probably sold them), so the mythical person benefiting because I left them behind, it never happened.

    No clue on the strat what I'd think was fair, but if I really thought it was worth a lot, I'd probably buy it, check it over and sell it and share it with the original seller if all worked out. If you were on the wrong side of that equation and always wanted "to be fair", and passed the guitar up, chances are a dealer will find it. If you try to pay full freight for something you might not have bought anyway, it could be faked (as in a real stratocaster, but with parts faked or aging faked) - you're stuck with it. It's risky.

    With people selling pieces of masking tape off of the inside of a 50s or 60s fender for hundreds of dollars, what if you get the guitar and find none of the innards to be original? What if they're near era replacements and you couldn't tell at the time?

    the other thing you could do to the seller is tell them that you're not interested in the guitar, but that they need to get it out of the yard sale and take it to a reputable appraiser, and then perhaps get some help listing it. I've helped people sell things that were valuable that they didn't know were valuable. Never got anything in return, but it's really little time to do it - and the money goes to the person who had the item. Often those people are the ones who could really use it, anyway.

    (by the way, I talked to the original dealer for the tools the next day when I was in the shop - it was a booth shop and he happened to be coming in to check his booth out. I said "I left three $150-$200 planes here yesterday that were marked $20, and was surprised they were all here, and thought I'd come back today to pass them along for a deal to some other users. I was surprised they were marked $20, and am disappointed that they're gone. He said "I know what they were worth. I get a lot of stuff for next to nothing, and a dealer cleaned me out. But I end up selling a lot of tools to dealers). He knew well that he was giving up money, whether or not I think it was rational, that's his choice. he wanted a certain amount from them and to keep his hobby moving and not have his tools backing up on top of him. Had I not talked to him, I still would've assumed a dealer or ebay flipper cleaned him out, but would've also assumed he had no idea what they were - they were edwin hahn jointers, by the way. I was wrong assuming he didn't know what they were worth - he just didn't care).
     
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  7. SngleCoil

    SngleCoil Tele-Holic

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    9 times out of 10, the person just wants to get the stuff out of their house. I can't tell you how many times I've practically tried to GIVE nice stuff away at yard sales just to get rid of it without the hassle of hauling it away somewhere. If you are on the receiving end of a great deal - take it and enjoy it.
     
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  8. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    If I were at a garage sale, I would figure it's everymen for himself. If there was a '52 Tele leaned up over there in the corner, I'd say; Would you take fiddy for the guitar? If they said no but I'd take, than we could go from there. If they let it go for the fifty I would just consider that I was lucky that I beat the other guy there that would have tried to get it for twenty five.
     
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  9. IronSchef

    IronSchef Tele-Afflicted

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    in today's world, there is absolutely no flipping reason why someone looking to sell something would NOT know the approximate value of the item (a few seconds on google will reveal that). If they are trying to sell stuff w/o doing their homework, its on them, not me -- ill take a bargain if I can get it, no guilt at all!
     
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  10. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If someone says “make me an offer“ at any kind of a sale I say the following:

    “I’m the buyer not the seller. You’re asking me to do your job as well as mine but - I’m up for it !
    I’m offering you a dollar. I fully expect a counter offer so do that and then we’ll be one step closer to me giving you money - and that’s what this sale is about isn’t it ? “

    Or some smart ass variety of that.
     
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  11. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The days of finding gems at garage sales are gone, with regard to vintage guitars. You might find a sleeper of an amp, but these days it’s the the way around - many so called “garage sales” or “yard sales” are actually people who deal in second hand discards and know exactly what stuff is actually worth. These are the people buying a box of rummage at the thrift store for a dollar, and selling all of the individual items for $1 each. These are the people who have a “Squier by Fender” and are convinced that it’s valuable simply because it has the Fender name on it.

    So it’s moot discussion for the most part, in my experience, if not honorable.
     
  12. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I pretty much use the same tactic whatever I'm buying. I don't haggle on groceries, but I might at an open air market. Cars, none of that stuff they use, season discounts etc. to suck people into the store means anything to me. When I go to buy one, which isn't often, I research what I'm interested in, decide what I'll actually pay, then search for someone who will sell it to me for that price. Dealer service doesn't mean anything to me, they will all lie to get your business. When I buy a house, I make an offer, realtors have sometimes told me, you're going in too low, only to call me later and tell me that I got the house. I don't really care what anything is valued at by others, only what it is valued at by me. I'm the guy I gotta live with on a deal.
     
  13. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    There are still deals at a garage sale, it just depends on what you're looking for.
     
  14. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    I don't give a rat's patootie what fair market value is when I'm buying. I'll pay what I can afford and if that gets it, great, if not I figure it wasn't meant to be.
     
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  15. raito

    raito Poster Extraordinaire

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    Last garage sale deal I made was for CDs. The lady had a basket full of them. I offered a buck a CD. That was less than I'd pay at a second hand place. It was more than she'd get at a second hand place. So we both got a deal, and I told her which second hand place paid the best if she still had some at the end of the day and wanted to clean them out.

    Both of us won.
     
  16. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    im looking for a good deal when I hit places like that.
    If they need to sell, and they do not have to overhead of a real Srore, they will.
    Feel free to call me CHEEP, just don't call me collect to do it.
     
  17. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I get proactive now.
    I walk right up to something at a swap meet or garage sale, pick it up and say, "GIVE me this!"
    When they say, "GIVE it to you?!?"
    I say, "We're haggling...I'm starting low!"
    A little humor gets some great discounts!
    I am reminded of the old guy, in some of my last days as an antique motorcycle restorer/dealer, who was at a swap meet looking so forlorn, I had to ask him what was wrong.
    He had just sold a whole garage full of motorcycles he'd had for many years. He decided to keep one that he liked and was looking for some parts for it. He realized that he had sold entire motorcycles for less than he would have to pay for a fender.
    You could say that he was foolish and should have done his homework, but he was a regular old working guy from the rust belt and the money he could have gotten could have gone to repairing his house or buying something for the grandkids.
    And he was so damn sad.
    OTOH...if some old dude says to me, "I want $350 for the '48 Indian.....or the '56 Strat....." well....it's unlikely to happen.
     
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  18. draggindakota

    draggindakota Tele-Meister

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    If an item has a price, then that's what I'll offer. It's not my job to research their crap and inform them of what they could be getting for it. Now, if it's just open for offers I'd offer what I thought I could afford and if they say no well that's that.
     
  19. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know when I'm being honest with myself or not. I'd make an offer I can afford and one that I can sleep with. If I offered $500 of a 50's 175 and they accepted it, I'd feel guilty of swindling them. I'd probably be inclined to discuss the potential value and let them decide if they still want to accept my offer.

    In fact, I've done just that with my '63 335.

    My mentor passed away in 2013. He left behind a house full of musical instruments (He was a guitar player first and foremost, however he was proficient on 20 instruments). When he died I told his sister that I'd help her catalog some of his stuff. It was a very cathartic experience for me.

    She wanted his stuff to go to good homes that would carry on his legacy. I wanted something of his to remember him. It didn't matter to me what it was, just something. That day I left with a parts guitar and a vibro champ that had BF bassman guts jammed into it.

    About a year later his sister contacted me and a few other of his close friends saying that she had distributed as much of his stuff to the proper homes as she could and was now tired of the rest of his stuff taking up all the corners of her house and wanted someone to come in and take all that was left. If it gets sold then share that with the family. I told her I wasn't in the position to take all the rest of his stuff (2 pianos, about 25 guitars, 6 lap steels, 3 fiddles, some horns a couple of drum kits etc), but if a few people wanted to come together and grab some I'd be willing to help.

    She found someone to take it all, but asked me again if I wanted anything else before it was gone. There was one guitar. He tried to sell it to me a few years prior. It was a '69 (I believe) ES150. A full depth 335, full hollow guitar. Since she wasn't a guitar player or musician she had a hard time figuring out what guitar I was talking about and kept showing me pictures of his '63 335. I said that's not it, but she persisted.

    She told me to come out to the house and look. Prior to his death he used his 2006 LP special double cut to help me figure out some info on my grandfathers '57 LP special. When I got to her house that guitar was sitting out. I showed her a picture of the guitar I was referring to and she said that guitar was returned to the person that gifted it to him. I was a little bummed, but also felt good that it went to the right place.

    She related to me the details of his 335 and it's less than expected appraisal by Norman's Rare Guitars. She said that her and her mom had talked and that if I wanted the 335 that they would be happy to know I'm the keeper of it. I said that I don't think I can afford it. She looked at me and said, "He thought it was a $20k guitar. We had no reason to refute that. With the appraisal we have it's not about the money to us. It's more about his legacy. You meant a lot to him. How about $1800 for the 335 and the Les Paul?" She knew what they were worth. I accepted.

    She then told me that if they didn't speak to me to let her know and I could always return them.

    About a month later I decided to take the guitar in for a setup, but it had to be a guy I could trust. I took it to a VERY reputable guy. He spent a week with the guitar and gave me his appraisal of it (he's been a consultant for Gibson and Fender over the years, as well as a dealer and broker). He told me that he couldn't agree with Norm's, but not that they weren't wrong--just incomplete. He gave me a number much larger. I contacted his sister and told her all of this and gave her the contact info of the guy I had work on the guitar. I told her that I fully understand if she wants the guitar back and to sell it. She didn't want it. She said that her and her mom are content with the guitar being in my family.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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  20. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think vintage dealers giving lowball numbers is a new thing.
     
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