Selling Signed Guitar - Tips?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by CajunJ, May 13, 2021.

  1. CajunJ

    CajunJ Tele-Holic

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    I’m selling my Takamine acoustic that I got signed by Dave Matthews on a movie set in Louisiana.

    I had it listed for not much over the going rate for a Takamine G series. Talked to a buddy and he told me to get it authenticated. Turns out it’s pretty easy to do and not very expensive. Should be able to put a few more bucks on the asking price.

    Anybody have experience selling/buying a signed guitar? Tips, opinions?

    Looking to put the money toward a Jag or Duo Sonic.

    FBDBACE8-C4FA-449F-9E8C-383034EC791E.jpeg
     
  2. Harbinger77

    Harbinger77 Tele-Meister

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  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    If the autographer is still, uh, still among us, it adds very little to the value of a guitar.
    If the guitar in question is a good, serviceable instrument, the signature may actually detract from it’s value and sale ability.
    Authentication is important if the signer is legendary.
    Personally, I’d offer it at fair market value.
    I’d mention the autograph in the ad, but I would not expect it to increase the guitars value.
    It’s just my opinion, but I did music store retail/repair/management for decades.
    Good luck!
     
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  4. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Afflicted

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    I remember there was an authenticated guitar signed by Dick Dale on my local CL for a looonnnggg time. I couldn't believe it just never sold. I'm not sure if people care about signed guitars. I mean, Dick Dale pulls more weight that Dave Matthews. Considerably.
     
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  5. teletail

    teletail Friend of Leo's

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    Scribble on it and tell them it was his drawing and it will double the price! Seriously though, I don't think Dave Matthew's signature is going to be a factor in selling the guitar. I'm probably the exception, but I wouldn't pay 2 cents for anyone's signature on my guitar.
     
  6. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    I think selling it as an instrument AND memorabilia only suits a small niche of buyers. Personally, I'm not interested in memorabilia, only the instrument, so I wouldn't buy a signed guitar unless the price was right - as in very low. Conversely, someone looking for a signature to display might be willing to pay a certain price - but in that case you'd want to compare the Dave Matthews signed guitar to other Dave Matthews signed items to get an idea of price.

    I would say that guitar is only worth MORE than a run of the mill Takamine acoustic to the buyer who is looking for a Dave Matthews signed acoustic guitar.
     
  7. Falstaff1960

    Falstaff1960 Tele-Meister

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    Seriously, The signature of someone still alive and signing away is not worth much. This would only be of interest to a rabid fan. Now if it was a Strat and signed by Jimmie or SRV?
     
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  8. jayroc1

    jayroc1 Tele-Meister

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  9. SamIV

    SamIV Tele-Holic

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    Nothing against you trying to make the money you think its worth, we all like money, but I would probably remove signature once I bought it. But that's just me.
     
  10. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    When I was selling houses for a while, I was taught that a swimming pool can be either a selling point, or a deterrent, depending on the attitude of each individual buyer. The value any customer places on it is both unpredictable and unexplainable. I think an autograph on a guitar is like that too.
     
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  11. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Agree with the above. A Tak G series is a nice guitar. Look at Reverb and other exchanges and list it for average cost of similar. You might lose 10% for the signature or you might not. It really depends whether a DMB fan is looking to buy at the right time. I don’t think you’ll get killed on the price. But it’s not going to increase the value either.
     
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  12. fretWalkr

    fretWalkr Tele-Meister

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    Tips? Don't have anyone sign a guitar. There is the Willie Nelson exception with Trigger. So add "if you want to sell it" to that sentence. Have them sign an album or piece of paper instead and leave the guitar unmolested.
     
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  13. 4 Cat Slim

    4 Cat Slim Friend of Leo's

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    +1 on what brookdalebill said.
    I encountered a gentleman who had a guitar autographed by
    Cuco Sanchez (1921-2000), a Mexican singer/songwriter and actor.
    There was not much interest in the guitar when he tried to sell it.
     
  14. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    My brother used to have a Yamaha SA2200 (Gibson ES-335 type semi-hollow). Beautiful guitar. He got BB King's signature on it after a show in NYC. Brother has pictures from the night for faultless authentication.

    When he decided to sell the guitar, the BB King seemed to draw in more views on eBay compared to other similar guitars. But the final sales price was right in line with the other guitars. Did BB's signature help to sell the guitar? Maybe. Did it add to the sales price? Probably not.

    And Dave Matthews is no BB King.

    From watching Antiques Roadshow and doing some very casual antiquing myself, signatures tend to add value when one or more of a few things are in play: the signer is super famous for the long haul; the signer rarely signed autographs; the object that was signed is somehow connected to the signer. For example, a game-worn Tom Brady jersey might get added value if it was signed. And more value if it was some "big" game vs. just a random 45-7 win over the Jets when Brady was pulled five minutes into the 4th quarter. Add more value if it was signed right after the game vs. ten years later at a random meeting with him.

    But his signature on a Woodrow NFL-licensed Patriots guitar is going to be worth something to a very, very limited audience which means it won't be worth that much. Woodrow's whole business is selling brand licensed gear. They don't really make guitars, they make wall decorations. Brady is not known as a guitar player. He was paid to sign that guitar. Which likely mean's he gets paid to sign lots of things. All of which diminishes the value of any of his signatures not directly related to playing football games.

    Your Tak is just a low-end acoustic (not criticizing, just that's what it is). Dave Matthews is not know for playing Takamine guitars of any type. And to be honest, DM is not really known as a guitar player (even though he is really, really frickin' good). He's known as a singer/songwriter and band leader. If this were a DM signature model Taylor or Gibson, and he jammed for a song with you on that very guitar before signing it and giving it back to you, and you had video/photographic proof of that, then the signature might be worth something.

    As it is, the DM signature on your Tak may help to sell the guitar by reaching a slightly broader audience, but I doubt it will bring in any extra money compared to an unsigned version. And as others have said, that signature will also be a turn-off to some potential buyers.
     
  15. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    Agree with some of the others. The trick is to try to track down a buyer who wants that signature. Not someone who wants that guitar.

    Maybe there's a Dave Matthew's forum or Facebook group out there you can list it in.
     
  16. telemaster03

    telemaster03 Tele-Meister

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    Personally, the only reason I'd buy an autographed guitar is to hang it on the wall to display the autograph. For a personal guitar I don't want anybody's scribble on it. That's just me.

    I've never been able to understand folks who think someone's autograph increases the value of a guitar.
     
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  17. Falstaff1960

    Falstaff1960 Tele-Meister

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    One of my pet peeves with autograph guitars is most (not necessarily the case here) are on the cheapest guitar out there and most often not even a kind of guitar the artist played. For me to show any interest, it would need to be the make and model that person plays or even better, a concert or recording used, by that artist, example
     
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  18. CajunJ

    CajunJ Tele-Holic

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    Wow, thanks for the responses. I guess my initial instinct idea of selling around market price was correct. I had no idea signed guitars could be such a turnoff. I’m not into autographed stuff at all, but I was a huge Dave fan years ago when I got the guitar signed. It was a big deal to me at the time. The guitar has been in the closet for years. My daily player is my D-18. I always thought I’d hang it in the wall in my office, etc. one day, but I really don’t have the same sentimental attachment to it that I once did. Things change with time I guess.
     
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  19. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    Unless it is Buck Owen's signature on a Telecaster, an autograph is an eye sore on an instrument. It might move the needle for a casual fan, but not for a musician that will use the instrument as a tool.
     
  20. CajunJ

    CajunJ Tele-Holic

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    Right. My target audience is specifically a Dave Matthews fan, not someone who wants a tool.
     
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