How to value vintage parts guitars in the current market?

Discussion of vintage Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Bass VIs, Electric XIIs and any other offset-waist instruments.
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mbene085
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How to value vintage parts guitars in the current market?

Post by mbene085 » Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:18 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm hoping to get people's inputs on a pricing dilemma I'll be facing shortly. The vintage market has been crazy hot, and I don't want to underprice, but I also don't want to gouge people.

I've got some vintage parts that can reconstitute a Jaguar. Pre-CBS ('64) neck, refinished contemporaneous body and pickups, plates and pots dating to '65 and '66, bridge and vibrato from somewhere in-between those dates. Only modern parts are the pickguard (Spitfire aged mint) and tuners. I bought most of the parts a few years ago with the intention of building myself a vintage jag, but ended up finding and buying/trading for a couple of keeper Jags that rendered the build redundant, so I figure I'll assemble it and move it on.

I'm not looking to pass it off as anything other than what it is, but what it is is still pretty valuable in today's market.

I have a feeling that most vintage parts guitars are passed off as originals and refins on Reverb, eBay, and Craigslist all the time. Do you think a '64-'66 parts guitar has a similar value to a standard refin? Less? If so, by how much? Which refin would its pricing be adjusted relative to, the old bones ('64) or the newest parts ('66)?

Curious to hear people's thoughts. My attempts at market research have been stymied by the fact that, other than on OSG, I never see people disclose that a guitar is a vintage parts guitar. It's usually just being sold as whatever the paint makes it look like (refin vs all original), with OSG sleuths being the ones who spotted signs that it was assembled from parts.

Any links to sold or for-sale parts guitars you're aware of, personal stories, percentage-based rules of thumb - any input is appreciated.

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Highnumbers
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Re: How to value vintage parts guitars in the current market?

Post by Highnumbers » Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:34 pm

I feel like once a guitar has been refinished, it almost doesn't matter that much (from a value standpoint) that all the parts left the factory together, as long as they are all correct parts to that year.

So a guitar assembled from parts is essentially no more or less valuable than a refin. So then all the other price factors apply (how well the refin was done, are any major parts are reproductions and not period originals, does it have original case etc).

Given the "Mr. Potato Head" nature of Fender guitars, I'm quite sure there are a vast number of "original" guitars out there that have significant parts swapped out, or the entire thing built from separate parts. This happened a lot back in the day.

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SWFC68
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Re: How to value vintage parts guitars in the current market?

Post by SWFC68 » Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:50 pm

I'm not sure I can remember seeing too many that actually call out its a parts guitar either tbh.
You'd probably get more for selling the parts than as a mutt though don't you think? More effort I guess.
if you go that route lmk, i might be interested in that neck....=P

-A

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mbene085
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Re: How to value vintage parts guitars in the current market?

Post by mbene085 » Wed Mar 17, 2021 4:14 pm

SWFC68 wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:50 pm
I'm not sure I can remember seeing too many that actually call out its a parts guitar either tbh.
You'd probably get more for selling the parts than as a mutt though don't you think? More effort I guess.
if you go that route lmk, i might be interested in that neck....=P

-A
I mean, the thought did occur to me. It's just that a few hours of wiring, assembly and setup will yield a totally usable guitar that I can enjoy until it sells, and selling the parts might mean a year of sitting on some of them.

Plus, for all the guitars cannibalized by Gibsondependable and the like, it would feel good to turn parts back into a complete guitar for once.

So do you all think I could price it in between a 64 refin and 66 refin with equivalent replacement parts (tuners and pickguard)? Only the pots and plates are 66, the bones and pickups are 64. I do have a mid 60's case for it as well.

The other factor is that my local market in Canada is starved for vintage guitars. I posted my 65 Mustang a few months ago for a not-that-low price and had 3 cash offers by the end of the day, so I can probably make more off the complete sale locally than I could selling parts to the US. There are no vintage jags on the Canadian used market that I can find at all, and the cheapest one on Reverb that ship to Canada is asking $3500 USD, and is a refin with more non-original parts than mine, and Canadians have to pay ~13% in tax on top of shipping.

In other words, a Canadian offset fan will probably be very, very happy to get their hands on one locally that they can see and touch before buying.

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