Are Gibsons Overpriced?

Discussion in 'Project Depot' started by Spleen, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. Spleen

    Spleen Active Member

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    It’s a common subject amongst guitarist, if you’re a Gibson guy (girl) they’re worth every penny, if not they’re offensively overpriced. So what guitars actually compare eaqually to a Gibson at each price point. Build quality, wood used, electronics, finish etc. I ask this as a fairly staunch Epiphone man, never owned or even played a Gibson! Hope this is a fun topic.
     
  2. snarph

    snarph Well-Known Member

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    if your talking about current production Gibson they are but if you mean a when they had quality control and cared about what they pushed out the door no
     
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  3. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    They didn't cost as much back then either.
    My first J-45 co$t me $110 + $15 for the case brand new back in 1962.
    My most recent co$t me $4000 used in 2016.
     
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  4. OpenG

    OpenG New Member

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    I think they are overpriced.
     
  5. backinit

    backinit Well-Known Member

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    Currently yes. I think the public is paying for gibson's bad marketing and product errors.
     
  6. Bad.Seed

    Bad.Seed Well-Known Member

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    Current and recent new prices are ridiculous. This is coming from a diehard Gibson guitar fan (note: NOT FanBOY, I think they suck as a company)

    Henry trying to turn the company into a "lifestyle" brand because of his over-inflated ego, instead of focusing on making great guitars that their followers actually want and pricing them right is what is killing the brand. Hopefully the new management will right that, since Henry will officially be out of the picture for the 2020 production year.

    That being said, there are fantastic deals to be had on the used market, as it's so saturated at the moment. I've bought used studios as low as $400 with a case. I like my agiles, LTD's, schecters, ETC, but I'm going to take a Gibson LP studio or faded over an EC1000 any day of the week at the same price point.
     
  7. tonebender

    tonebender Well-Known Member

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    They sure sell a load of those high dollar models, so relatively speaking I would have to say no. When no one bites, then they are overpriced.

    A company with over 100 years of heritage making fine instruments is not the same as a pop up factory making clones far enough removed to avoid litigation, in Indonesia or South Korea. It's just not the same. I used to make comparisons too but I finally came to realize there are eggs and there are egg beaters.

    Buy what you want, buy what you can afford, it's all good. I am not a fool for spending money on a Gibson and someone else is not a fool for buying an import. We are all just musicians having fun.
     
  8. Bad.Seed

    Bad.Seed Well-Known Member

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    Good point, and item is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. If they're still selling enough volume to justify the price, then I guess they can't be considered overpriced for the market.
     
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  9. golem

    golem Well-Known Member

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    I usually take a market based approach to these arguments. Since we're seeing QA/QC issues, retailers constantly have stock they have to sell at reduced priced, and the company is bad straits financially, and all this during a period where the markets are doing reasonably well: it would seem that the market seems to say that they are overpriced.
     
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  10. Sinster

    Sinster Well-Known Member

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    As a Gibson whore. I feel they are overpriced and they shouldn't try to make the consumer pay for their financial screw ups by jacking the price up.

    I have purchase studios less than 450 w/case between 2009-2013. Every single Traditional I have purchased has been a couple hundred less than what the current going price for a Studio. Mind you I got them on clearance.
     
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  11. voodoorat

    voodoorat Well-Known Member

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    in a strictly monetary sense, one metric to evaluate whether or not something is overpriced would be the difference between the average new price and the average used price--how well the item retains value. by that metric i don't think gibsons are that overpriced compared to other guitars.

    as far as what you get for your money compared to some imports... probably, although by that retention of value metric the higher quality guitar might not be the most overpriced one monetarily.

    i dunno. personally i don't think i'd buy a gibson new because the price is high enough that the 30% or whatever hit you take up front winds up being significant, and also they are plentiful on the used market. but i also like my 2 gibson tributes a lot and wouldn't mind having a classic or something if i ran across the right one and had the scrilla handy.
     
  12. Mr. Leyvatone

    Mr. Leyvatone Well-Known Member

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    There are many ways to approach this question about cost vs. value.

    As for the retail price of guitars I would compare it to the cost of concert tickets. Buying a good import is like getting a good ticket a face value.

    Buying any upper tier guitar is like buying a front row ticket from a broker. You KNOW that someone is profiting from your desire for a premium product, but you understand that if you want it, that's the price.

    And the market does truly set the prices. Gibson may be hitting the bullseye, but they're not missing the board entirely. If they were they would have been out of business long ago.
     
  13. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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    Value is truly a personal perception.

    I grew up on a 1950 ES-125. As a guitarist in bands, I played 85% of the time on Gibson-style humbucker guitars and only recently came to feel comfortable with the Strat as a guitar I can do a gig or session with. I still own the 1950 and have (3) Epiphones and (1) Tobias (Gibson brands).

    Seeing PRS making superior made in USA guitars at the same or lower price point, make me feel that Gibson has to continue to do better with higher-quality and competitive pricing.

    I am touring the Gibson factory on Monday and can ask their opinion.
     
  14. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    Their cheap stuff like the zero and m2 and the melody makes from a few years ago were way overpriced. They take years and huge discounts to flush through the channel. Much of Their high end stuff I suspect is similar. The standard type stuff is pushing pretty hard on its price point but seems to sell.
    When you get to some of the last decades workhorse models like the faded, studio, cm and lpj/sgj they hit a nice sweet spot. If you want your guitar to wear in or dislike the sterile plastic candy coating they are nearly the only game in town and a huge value. If you value historic name or made in usa and have no ability or inclination to mod then much of this lower middle priced segment could be considered fairly priced.
    Assuming you can return the periodic turd.

    Other models prices? Could be considered bat shit crazy, preying-on-the-elderly priced.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  15. Razzle

    Razzle Well-Known Member

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    I think they are... if you're talking the $2-3 grand and up. Below that not as much.

    Maybe it's just me, but I would never ever buy a new gibson up in that price range and above, not worth it to me!
     
  16. Hoser

    Hoser Well-Known Member

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    Over all I would say no they are not over priced, The higher end gibsons are worth the price, customs, deluxe etc. Even the new ones, much more attention to detail and more skilled craftsmen making them.
    The lower end ones I wouldn't pay those prices for what you get, but you will get a decent guitar that will hold its value, they are more production line, and are hit or miss.
     
  17. kungphugrip

    kungphugrip Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    gibsons prices can change drastically from year to year, some years they can
    get crazy with some of the pricing but for the most part they are good value,
    some years are far better than others, '12 '14 '16 were killer Gibby years imo!
    i think that 1400/1500 area is Gibsons sweet spot,Studio is a lot of guitar for the money
    and very hard to beat PFP
     
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  18. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    The real question is are the new agile overpriced? Seems the price has moved considerably upmarket recently are are knocking on the door of many used gibsons.
     
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  19. Stig

    Stig Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    You're right, they didn't. Even with inflation.
    Just out of curiosity, how many hours did you have to work to earn $125 in 1962? An online calculator I just used put the value of $125 in 1962 at about $1027 today. Still less than the price of a current J-45.
     
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  20. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    I was in high school working part time in a skating rink & was making $20 a week after taxes which would have been about a dollar an hour.
    I have no idea of the gross pay, just what I took home. :)
     

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