What to Offer for a US Masters Sportster Flametop?
Hi all -
A friend who I was visiting last night heard that I play guitar and suddenly pulled a beautiful US Masters Sportster Custom Flametop complete with case out of her cupboard. She apparently won it in a 2005 Berghoff and Blues contest, and since neither she nor her family play guitar it's been sitting in the cupboard ever since. She wants to sell it - and she understands that it is a $2,500 guitar. Sounds right judging by the pricelist.
Here's the thing - what would be a reasonable offer for it? I didn't get a close enough look to figure out all of the hardware on it, but it is certainly in great condition. The one curiosity I noted (after searching the US Masters wesbite) is that it has only two knobs for the pickups (a la the Vector models) and also the uncovered humbuckers, although it doesn't have the five-way switch of the Vector.
Here I was wondering if we were talking about a golf jacket or a customized Harley-Davidson.
Can't help with the guitar.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
Exactly my problem! I don't know enough about the brand to know how to pitch my offer ... If it was a Harley Sportster I'd know exactly what to do - RUN ...
There's a "blue book" of electric guitars - you might be able to leaf through one at your local bookstroe or even the local library. Another thing might be to look through old eBay auctions and see what the offers might have been.
One other thing but it really depends on how much folks know (and how much you trust their answers ), you might check with the owners of local music shops. They would have to price one if it should happen to fall into their laps.
Hope this helps.
It is probably worth that $2500(according to the companies web-site and this is probably Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price, actual retail is usually 40% cheaper, ie. $1500), but if nobody really knows about the company (I'd never heard of it) then nobody is really going to pay $2500. One Thing I found on their web-site about the two knobs :
Versatek Harness: dual humbucker, 5-way switch with a volume and tone control
1) Bridge series humbucking; 2) Bridge inside single coil; 3) Neck series humbucking + bridge outside coil single; 4) Neck outside coil single; 5) Neck series humbucking
So there are two humbuckers and the pick-up selector is a five-way switch, fairly versatile. The wiring can always be switched.
Dadnabit, okay re-read the post and there is no 5-way switch.
I'd really be wary of spending $2500 on this guitar. I'd have to play it and take it apart and compare it to a Handmade Gibson, or custom shop strat to gauge it's worthiness of that price. Best bet, they won the guitar (they have nothing invested), offer them $1200 - 1500. (considering, if there is no five way switch, lean towards the 1200). That is the best they will get from any local shoppe, if they get that. Otherwise, they need to try E-bay. If they don't accept your offer, tell em good luck.
It is a small world for metal fanatics. I welcome you fellow musicians, especially the metalheads!
When it goes out the door it becomes a used guitar. Shops normally have to expect they can make 100% profit over what they pay for a used one, which will sell at retail for considerably less than a new one (which gets discounted from MSRP.) I think you've got a lot of bargaining room.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
Thanks for the feedback, folks. There is only one 'real' auction on eBay, and the number seems to be around $700. Of course it's a different model, but I'm guessing the fact that I'm struggling to find anything on this brand on the internet means that they don't have a very active market for them.
Gut feel is that it's such an unknown quantity I'd pitch around the $600 mark (it's US-made and seems to have quality woods so I'm sure it's worth THAT). But I'm also sure that my friend is hoping for a lot more, so I think I might step gracefully aside. What's the bet that when I talk to her again in a couple of years time the axe is still in her cupboard??? Ah well ...
How about this: just say you can't offer more then $600 based on what it is, but they are free to search for better offers. If they find it, great, if not they can come to you. And if it's really to low and nobody offers what they want, why not borrow it?
The other possibility is if you do not make an offer to them now, a few years will go by... when you do ask them about it, they will say..."Oh we could not get what we wanted for it so we ended up selling it for $400."
Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.
Don't I know it! I'll probably do what Ignar suggested: Make a 'bankers offer' of around $500 and then let her see what else she can get for it. That way she always knows there's a basic offer to avoid what Blueline predicts.
Thanks again for the advice, folks!