Best Guild Investment?

rikiheck

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Suppose I wanted to buy a Guild semi- or hollowbody guitar, to play, but also as an investment. What would people suggest?
 

rikiheck

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To add a bit more context: My father recently gave me the baseball cards he had as a kid. It's mostly the 1955 Topps set, which includes Sandy Koufax's rookie card, as well as Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, etc. And duplicates of most everything. I'm keeping the best of each card and selling the rest, and I want to put the money raised into something nice. I really nice guitar seems like a good choice.

If anyone wants to help spend my money, this:


is what's on Reverb now, in terms of semi-hollows.

Riki
 

AcornHouse

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The formula for investing has always been: buy low, before people actually covet them; buy rare, D25s (for example) will never be good investments because they made so many; buy in the best condition; and buy what’s desirable, you can have the rarest guitar in the world, but if nobody wants it, it’s not worth that much.

The first item is very hard to do now, unless you find a closet Queen with a clueless seller.

My advice: buy the best guitar that you can afford (that isn’t above current market value) that YOU like! You’ll get enjoyment out of playing it now, and probably make a modest profit when you sell. (And, that’s the key here, modest. Guilds don’t have the overall caché that vintage Gibsons and Fenders have, so it’s doubtful they’ll ever double, triple, or more, in price like they have.)
 

fronobulax

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I am a firm believer that buying guitars for investment is foolish. I know people will disagree and that's OK but if I needed an investment it wouldn't be a guitar.

Since I always seize on words, if we rephrase this as - which Guild semi- or hollowbody guitars have been associated with consistent demand and rising prices over the years, there might be some anecdotes but I don't think the market data is known with any confidence. The search link you show is cluttered with Newark Street instruments which I doubt will increase in value in the next decade. But if I wanted to guess what might retain or increase value I'd start with Guilds trading for over $2,000. The Duane Eddy might be one. Artist Award and some of the "jazz boxes" might be another. Very good condition instruments from the 1950's. Those might narrow the search enough to make informed decisions. If that is not helpful then there might be an opportunity to rephrase the question :)

A cautionary tale - an investor bought some brand new collectable, commemorative gold coins. They were expected to increase in value and they did. The investor was proud of the coins and sometimes brought them out and used them as chips in poker games. When the time to sell them came the investor was dismayed that they no longer had any value, beyond that of the gold, since the nicks and scratches from handling made them worthless as commemoratives.

So playing your investment has the potential to lower its value.

Buy the guitar that calls to you and don't worry about what you reap when you sell it :)

Thus saith the Curmudgeon.
 

GAD

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Guitars make terrible investments. Especially now.

Hell, forget about investments - 99% of guitars aren't even a good hedge against inflation.
 
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GAD

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A cautionary tale - an investor bought some brand new collectable, commemorative gold coins. They were expected to increase in value and they did. The investor was proud of the coins and sometimes brought them out and used them as chips in poker games. When the time to sell them came the investor was dismayed that they no longer had any value, beyond that of the gold, since the nicks and scratches from handling made them worthless as commemoratives.

This is not an investor. If this was you then I apologize, but this person was... less than smart.

Most people who call themselves investors these days are nothing more than speculators. I see it in stocks and crypto all day every day: People who want to make a quick buck repeating the "formula" of buying a thing that increased in value when they're actually buying the thing AFTER the big increase in value. If Bob bought Bitcoin at $10 and made millions, then I'll buy bitcoin at $60,000 and make millions, too!

Also investors do research and are generally smart and methodical about what they do. Anyone who had done even a lick of research would know that condition is everything with rare or desirable coins.
 

fronobulax

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This is not an investor. If this was you then I apologize, but this person was... less than smart.
The story was told as a cautionary tale for people who did not distinguish between "investment" and "speculation" and were hoping to make money by purchasing tangible collectables now and selling them later at a presumably higher price. Or perhaps it was just an example of an investor who didn't do enough research?

:)
 

PittPastor

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If I were buying a guitar for an investment, I wouldn't buy a Guild at all. It's too niche and the fact that the company changed hands so many times makes appraising them harder. In general, I would say that Vintage is the way to go, and you would want a vintage guitar that was played by someone important (at least the same model.)

But, as someone pointed out, the more you play it, the lower the investment goes -- unless you're someone famous... so what's the point? If you aren't going to play it, there are better investments. If you are going to play it, you're going to ruin your investment. Tough Catch-22 there...

And, finally, I reference what is printed on each box that goes out the door. The Guild Creed, so to speak:

Guitars like this aren't made just for looking, or admiring, or for having just to "Have".
Guitars like this aren't made to be collector's items, or kept in mint condition.
Guitars like this are made for sold out concerts, and local dive bars.
Guitars like this have screamed battle cries, carried the broken hearted, and strummed a lullaby.
Guitars like this don't just play at Woodstock, they open it.
Guitars like this are - Made to Be Played.
-- GUILD GUITARS​

FWIW, YMMV, and any other disclaimer that applies...
 
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DrumBob

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I would disagree a bit with some of the opinions here that tell you don't buy a Guild as an investment. Vintage Starfires have traditionally been "sleepers" on the vintage market, but if you can find a nice old SF-IV or V in excellent condition for a low price, I'd say buy one, but don't expect to strike it rich when it's time to sell, and keep it in its current condition. They creep up in value slowly over time, but will never appreciate in value, nor will they bring the dollars like a vintage Gibson Les Paul, or ES-335, for instance. The Vintage Guitar Price Guide is a good reference tool in determining guitar prices. There's a new one out now.

I have always said that Guild electric guitars are the redheaded stepchild of the American electric guitar industry. They were never as popular or as plentiful as guitars made by Gibson or Fender, and they never will be. That's not to say they weren't well made. Far from it. But Guild electric guitars were almost always copies of something else out there. The Starfire is a copy of the ES-335. The S-100 is a copy of the SG. The Bluesbird was somewhat based on the Les Paul, etc. In the 80's Guild copied Superstrats, pointy shred machines in garish colors and even Telecasters.

We all dream about finding a mint condition vintage guitar under some farmer's bed in the sticks, but that doesn't happen very often these days. There's too much information out there. People can easily access the market value of anything.

One Guild that seems to fetch higher prices is the S-200 Thunderbird, due to its rarity. Lately though, sellers have been asking unreasonable sums for nice original examples, particularly on Reverb, the home of "Delusional Sellers On Drugs." Some sellers are playing up the Dan Auerbach association, which is a pretty flimsy reason to price that guitar in the stratosphere. Nothing against Dan. It's not uncommon to see them asking $5-6K and more for one in excellent shape. Of course, "asking" is not always "getting." There was one moron dealer asking over $20K for one recently. He ought to have his head examined. Another dealer in Norway right now wanted $15K for a sunburst S-200. He's already dropped his price to $8200, and that's still too much for what is ultimately a niche guitar that never sold well in the first place. Don't get me wrong; I love the S-200. I had two original examples years ago and now own two Newark Street reissues, and will probably own another at some point. They're one of my favorite electric guitars, just an elegant and distinctive, although controversial design. You either love the shape, or you don't.

Ultimately, just buy a nice vintage Guild that pleases you that you'll want to play for years and treat it well. If you make a few bucks years down the road, consider yourself lucky.
 
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Sal

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My view on buying nicer music gear has been primarily to buy used and try not to overpay. Then I have something I'll enjoy and maybe I'll be able to get my money back out of it. I tend to keep things for years and end up making a little. The things I buy new; guitar pedals, mics, mic stands and stuff, will always retain some value. My wife can't say the same for all her eye glasses, shoes and purses. So I'm in the clear with this.
 

rcboals

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My view on buying nicer music gear has been primarily to buy used and try not to overpay. Then I have something I'll enjoy and maybe I'll be able to get my money back out of it. I tend to keep things for years and end up making a little. The things I buy new; guitar pedals, mics, mic stands and stuff, will always retain some value. My wife can't say the same for all her eye glasses, shoes and purses. So I'm in the clear with this.
My wife invests in the same things. We can't go to Costco without her getting some clothing item mostly tops. She never misses a chance to say something about my 13 guitars that are all worth at least what I paid for them and some a great deal more. Pic of my investments.
 

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g2vAZW.jpg


"Doc, set the Delorean to 1959....We're going guitar shopping!!"


^besides that....I'd say to put your emphasis on finding a guitar that makes you want to pick it up every day, no matter the value. Many years ago, I went to a local shop with the intent of spilling my wallet on a midrange Martin or Taylor. After narrowing my choice down to a few models, I asked the guy to pull out as many as they have in the back so I can find "the one". While I waited, I picked up a random plain jane $160 Takamine that was just sitting on a stand in the corner. After 3 min of noodling I knew it was the guitar I was leaving with. Search over. To this day. everyone that picks up this cheapo guitar is floored by it's sound and feel. Complete butter!! Best $2000 I didn't spend...ever!!(y)
 
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Mr_Christopher

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Another approach is to buy the guitar you really want and see yourself enjoying for decades to come, get it at a good price, a price that you think you won't take an absolute bath on if you had to sell it. Then spend your investment dollars on quality company stocks, index or mutual funds and/or real estate.

Note that if you had bought a Guild Starfire III in 1965 for $300 you could get as much as $2,700 (according to reverb) and I suppose net about $2,400. Nice return on your $300, eh? But wait, there's more....

1637159590294.png

However, if back in 1965 you invested $300 in the S&P 500 (and re-invested all dividends) you'd have about $78,000 today.

On a sort of related note, not long ago I owned a 1950s Fender Deluxe. My dad got it at a garage sale for $15. I ended up owning it however I never really got that much enjoyment out of it because I was always worried about damaging it or doing something that would negatively affect the value because of it's age and collectability. I sold it and bought an amp with no collectable value that I get a great deal of satisfaction from and I never worry about "will doing this (or that) affect the value"
 
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Your first point about having purchased in 65 isn't all that much of a return, especially for a 56 year long hold...as a dollar in 1965 has increased through inflation by 754%. That puts the original value w/ inflation currently at $2,262. To sell today, theoretically, you only stand to gain a couple hundred bucks at best. At least they are holding their value. (y)
 
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AcornHouse

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And remember, the original poster was asking about purchases today as an investment. Unless you guys have a time machine that you’re hiding from the rest of us, any talk about buying back when is moot.

I’ll say it again. Unless you can find an incredible deal on a closet Queen, you can expect small returns, if you get decent deals, but you’re not going to get rich.
 
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^ correct. And finding one takes patience and diligence. Have saved searches on eBay and check them weekly. Check online estate auctions weekly. Etc..

(There's currently an online estate auction I know of that has an old Guild Thunderbird tube amp listed. Current high bid is $17. ;) )
 
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swiveltung

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I have found that even oddball guitars I thought would never increase in price and sold to break even have doubled in value over 10-12 years.
Not sure what the OP means by Semi or hollow. Archtops? or Acoustic electrics?
Turned out my Songbird was a good investment. So was my F-20.
 
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I've also personally found that looking for good deals to purchase now rarely pays off and that casting a net that allows potential deals to come to your attention over the long haul works best. Almost all my gear is used vintage...and I've never paid anywhere close to market price.
 
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