Friday, January 13, 2006

GuitArt - The Guitar Calendar - "Quicksilver"

This is an original 1979 25th Silver Anniversary Fender Stratocaster. A vintage guitar that I bought from Guitar Center around 2002. I went in there looking at the vintage guitars and spied some 70’s strats. I’ve always been partial to the large, curvy headstocks on the 70’s model strats. Also, their thicker, more solid heavier bodies had more sustain.
Well, I saw a couple priced at $5,000 and $8,000, and then this new one that had not been in there for a day yet, an official ‘79 Silver Anniversary model was only $1299. I wondered why. I took it down and played it. It played fine. I played it through an amp and it sounded good. Nothing wrong with this. Normal wear and tear for a guitar of 25 year vintage. I couldn’t understand why it was so cheap for what it is. (keeping in mind that a brand new custom shop strat is that same price, but vintage guitars are usually worth more). I went to tell the young guy at the sales desk that I would take it and he was immediately unhappy. I sent him into the back to get the case and he came back and gave me a new case. I said no – it has to be the ORIGINAL case. (Vintage guitars are worth less without the original case) He went back looking again.
While I was waiting, another young sales guy came walking by and saw me standing waiting with the guitar in my hands and said, “You’re not buying that one are you?” He looked worried. I said, “Yes, why?” He said, “Awwww man! There is going to be a lot of guys pissed off at that!” and he walked away.

I found out later that the employees can only buy a guitar from the store after it has been sitting in stock at least 30 days. That keeps them from raiding all the good inventory and leaving the store with nothing to sell. It looks like one of the guys took this trade-in and wanted it for himself, so he priced it really low, so he could afford, it but high enough that not just anybody would immediately pick it up, and then he stuck it on the rack in a hard-to-see place under a staircase hoping no one would walk around under the stairs to see it and buy it. But I did. And I bought it. So I got a pretty good deal.


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