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Why are used teles so expensive?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Cedarburger, Dec 20, 2020.

  1. Munchie99

    Munchie99 Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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  2. Guitar MD

    Guitar MD Tele-Meister

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    I’m assuming that you mean a FENDER brand Telecaster, so that G&L & Squier options (both great options at good prices IMO) don’t factor this discussion. If so, let everyone know so as to focus discussion.

    I think that a) if you are patient and b) vigilant (i.e. ready to pounce w cash), you can find a deal. That pertains to lots of guitar models, but it’s a bit like saying that styrofoam is biodegradable.... it’s just a matter of time .

    I tend to think that undervalued guitars appear in the market less and less given available comps on the internet and market data spanning years to price from. Since many of the existing/sold guitars are on Reverb or eBay these days, the fees increase prices. Therefore, CL seems your best source.
     
  3. dreamsinger

    dreamsinger TDPRI Member

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    Good question. I'm guessing that the Tele formula is so basic that really good ones are are a matter attention to detail. There are a few guys chomping at the bit to buy my Partscaster (which BTW doesn't have a single Fender part on it) at over $1000. If the economy weren't so bad and gigs were plentiful I wouldn't sell it for twice that.
     
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  4. Blockhart329

    Blockhart329 TDPRI Member

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    The only reason is supply and demand. As long as we have people willing to pay these ridiculous prices, the prices will keep going up.
     
  5. slowcarfast

    slowcarfast TDPRI Member

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    I've seen this same trend for a few years, back to when I bought my first Tele, so I don't know that it's pandemic related, although demand does seem to be up. I saw a MIM Strat with a loaded 57/62 pickguard for $300 recently. So, in general, there are still deals to be had. I would tend to think, as previously noted, there are just more Strats out there being a more common go to for newer players. And for lots of long time players for that matter.
     
  6. RichCuellarPDX

    RichCuellarPDX Tele-Meister

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    Plenty of 'em for sale here in the Northwest.
     
  7. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    About 10 years ago, the Tele in one of its early forms hit its 60th birthday. I remember the guitar media making a big deal about it, and I watched the prices for used Teles go up almost immediately. For some reason, the buzz has never died down. I think it's cool for the Tele to continue to be so popular in its old age, but I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for a new one!
     
  8. musicmand

    musicmand TDPRI Member

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    Market research for Tulsa, OK on this date:

    0 MIM Telecasters available (one guitar notwithstanding - it didn't have enough photos or details to confirm or deny; see below)
    2 MIA Telecasters - $1000 and $1400
    1 MIK Telecaster - $600

    5 Squier Telecasters, ranging from $200 for an Affinity standard Tele to $400 for a Thinline or a John 5 model.

    Off brand:

    G&L USA ASAT Plus - $900
    SX Vintage Series Telecaster (standard configuration) - $325
    Legator dual humbucker - $350
    Slick standard config Tele - $250
    Unbranded Telecaster - $125
    Kit Telecaster - $125

    As an outlier, there is one Tele in an Esquire configuration, but there's not enough information to determine what Fender model it is or if it's even really a Fender - $600. Based on the photos, it looks to be similar build quality to any standard MIM Fender I've played from the late 90's/early 00's, but there's no info on the front of the headstock other than "Fender Telecaster." Black logo, gold outline.

    One interesting thing that I was reminded of is that unlike the Strat, the different models of Telecaster are substantially different. The market for a Thinline Deluxe is decidedly different than that of a Standard. P90s, mini-humbucker, or a Nashville Deluxe are again going to hit a different "niche" than simply going from a standard Strat to a SSH Strat. I could easily own 4 or 5 Teles without much sonic overlap between them, whereas the effective range of the Strat is confined to SSS, SSH, or HSH, and there will be a ton of overlap between those models. Moreover, if you're a Tele player who wants a Strat tone, you can grab a Nashville Deluxe which is readily available, whereas a Strat player who wants a Tele sound has pretty limited options.

    Just a few thoughts as to why the Telecaster is in higher demand. I'm currently waiting for a sub-$100 Squier Tele to pop up because I have my parts Tele strung up in Nashville tuning and really want to get it back to standard.
     
  9. Chuck berry

    Chuck berry TDPRI Member

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    I tried an experiment because l wanted to know if there was really a difference. I looked and played a US tele and a mexican tele. The US had noiseless pickups while the mexican did not. The feeling the playability was the same. So l took my 96 tele and put in noiseless pickups and got the same tone same sound as the expensive one. However,the one's in demand is more expensive than the other.
     
  10. Orson Cart

    Orson Cart NEW MEMBER!

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    Why not build one from good parts. Granted the resale value won’t be as high but you’ll get exactly what you want and it’s a tele so you won’t be selling it anyway.
     
  11. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    Way fewer Teles. Strats are hartder to make, have more complicated hardware, etc., so it's not really a cost basis situation. Strats are vastly more popular and are readily available as a result.
     
  12. goodguy

    goodguy TDPRI Member

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    Too many numbskulls on here claiming “it’s because Tele’s are better” ...
    It’s simple Supply & Demand:
    1) Strats way more popular in the last couple decades - hence the overproduction of Strats & Strat variants. Oversupply = lower prices.
    2) Oversupply can lead to over familiarity & desire for other options. Aka “trends”.
    3) Manufacturing lags the trend as they change production to meet the trend - so there’s a window when supply is low & demand is high = higher prices.
    Perhaps lack of Econ courses is the reason for so many “starving” musicians.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2020
  13. pblanton

    pblanton TDPRI Member

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    Here's a used Classic Vibe Tele for $280 : https://www.musiciansfriend.com/gui...ic-vibe-telecaster-solid-body-electric-guitar

    I have a few Teles and one of them is a "Harley Benton TE-52 Vintage" that is a damn fine guitar. They are about $165 new, plus ~$35 for shipping. https://www.thomannmusic.com/harley_benton_hbt1952.htm I did replace the "vintage-style" saddles with brass compensated ones, just because I had them already from another project and not because it needed it.

    Their Black Paisley (https://www.thomannmusic.com/harley_benton_te_70_black_paisley.htm) is also a super nice Tele from Harley Benton. Here are some good reviews of it by Jonathan Koh. He's the reason I bought my HB TE-52 Vintage:





    But, if you're brandwashed and just gotta have that "Fender" decal on the headstock, then get ready to spend another few hundred dollars for a MIM Fender tele, or another $1k for a Made in America Fender Tele. For the money though, you won't find a better deal on a capable Tele than Harley-Benton / Thomann.
     
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  14. THX1123

    THX1123 Tele-Meister

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    People are saying there actually aren't more Strats, and that Teles aren't actually really more expensive.
     
  15. hotdotdog

    hotdotdog TDPRI Member

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    I may know the answer. At least in my life, of nearly 60 years playing guitar, I have found it's hard to find a Strat that you really like. I went through a dozen of them until I found one I would call a keeper. Telecasters on the other hand are easy to love and it may be because they are less complicated to produce. If you like your guitar you wont part with it at much of a discount but if you have a Strat that didn't work out for you, you will likely unload it at a loss just so you can move on.
     
  16. harlycarly

    harlycarly Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I've always found there is a distinction on used gear, which is primarily what I've ended up buying over the years. There is the "asking" price and the "offer" price. I always feel like there is a little wiggle room, but try to be respectful and not completely low ball someone to the point of being insulting. I also expect the same in return so if a price is way jacked up I'll likely avoid even asking about it. I also find that Reverb and Ebay prices can tend to be a little higher because of the ability to advertise world wide. I've gotten some incredible deals over the years, a lot of times from people I knew locally that might be looking for an upgrade and selling for that reason. I have also sold a few things at great prices to others to appease the karma gods. I think a lot of times people would figure thy could always get another Tele. But for me, the back and forth negotiation and dickering is part of the fun. That said, if the high "asking" price is completely non negotiable it usually becomes the "walk away" price for me.

    But I've got to admit, the prices on used Telecasters seem to be out of this world these days. Glad I bought mine when I did.
     
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  17. Matt Sarad

    Matt Sarad Tele-Holic

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    Another question is why is a Nash more than a Fender?
     
  18. Tele Plucker

    Tele Plucker Tele-Meister

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    WOW....I COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER. WELL DONE!
     
  19. BlueTele

    BlueTele Tele-Meister

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    Questions like these remind us all of three things:
    1) There are beginners with very little skill nor the experience developed over time to notice and appreciate the details, the nuances, and influences of each feature of an instrument (body wood, neck and fretboard wood, pickups, bridges, saddles, guitar weight, etc.), and how different ones of these features will influence their tone, feel, and experience playing their instrument. And...
    2) Budget - we all know what we can afford and can’t afford to pay for an instrument. There are great players or great players “yet to be” that have little or no money to buy the quality of instrument that will help them achieve their potential, and...we all know there are players who have a lot of disposable income who have the high-quality gear, that are tone deaf and have no sense of rhythm. In between are the rest of us, but it starts with one universal rule: buy what you can afford and play it until you notice that the guitar, not your skill, is limiting you. Until that happens save what money you can so when you’re ready, you can step up to the next level of quality.
    The important thing too, is to be “honestly” aware of your skill level. You know when you’re good, but the tough one is knowing when you’re still not so good and probably should not step up to a higher quality instrument that may not let you achieve what you desire to hear. This is why the used guitar business is so big: people with enough money buy the expensive “custom shop, limited edition, often artist-endorsed, instruments made with exotic woods and the best electronics and hardware...even with the fancy case, and wonder why they still sound the same. And that is because of...
    3) Time - you get back what you put in with anything in life, and you don’t get back what you don’t put in. The older we get in this cell phone texting, social media, super-smart technology world where everything happens for us instantaneously with little or no effort, the faster and better we want everything else to be, including how fast we’ll all become the next EVH (R.I.P. Eddie), Jimi, Eric, Jeff, Robben, SRV, or Jimmy. It takes TIME, and guitar is the perfect thing for a perfectionist because you will NEVER perfect the instrument to your satisfaction. Jeff Beck once said that he never listens to his own final albums because he is never fully satisfied with the way they turned out vs what he “wanted” from what his creative mind “wanted” to be heard. Ask any pro golfer if they have perfected the game. “Zero” will say “yes”...they are always trying to be better. Guitar is the same thing, so...
    Start with what you can afford, play every day and come away with learning something new - small or large - that you didn’t know the day before, be patient, and save money on a weekly basis, even just $10 to $20. By the end of the year you’ll have $500 - $1,000 toward your next instrument. And the fun, cool thing is that today while you’re trying to figure out a certain song or lead solo, you’ll hear some other song in there. You’ll say: “wait, that is from ‘this song’” and you’ll quickly shift gears and figure out another song that you weren’t even thinking about. THAT is fun and very satisfying, and makes your skill level go up a notch.
    Sorry for the “thesis.” Good luck
     
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  20. BlueTele

    BlueTele Tele-Meister

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    Simple: it is called “inflation.” Cost of materials and labor are always going up. Everyone always wants to make more money whether they ir anyone feels they deserve it. Simple example: gasoline. The oil companies want more profit and to pay their investors more dividends, so they increase the cost of gas to the private gas station owner by two cents per gallon. So...the gas station raises the price to us by 3-4 cents per gallon. With every product or service offered in America that we consume, all of the sudden we have little or no money left to pay for all that, so...we raise the price of our product or service that we sell, or we say “hey boss, I need a raise”. If you are somehow lucky and you and your coworkers all get a raise, then your boss raises the price of his product or service. So...to keep good talent in a awesome economy with the lowest unemployment rate we had in 50-60 years like we enjoyed before COVID-19, employers were giving raises and bonuses to their smart, skilled employees because they could go down the street to their local competitor in the same business and get hired for a buck or two more per hour. Inflation my friend. It is all about inflation.
     
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