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My PRS is Worthless!!! - Epitaph...

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by AxemanVR, May 17, 2018.

  1. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    This is an addendum to an earlier thread I started on the subject...

    Well, I finally decided to let it go and put it up for sale on eBay.

    I listed it with a "Buy It Now" price of $3400 with the intention of getting at least $3200 for it, which is what I got:

    ~PRS eBay - SOLD c.JPG

    While I'm more than happy with my decision (I never really bonded with this guitar) I still can't wrap my head around how a very early Paul Reed Smith model - made in his quaint little original factory - couldn't even fetch as much as a brand new model which is being mass produced in a heartless corporate plant!

    My advice to anyone looking to get one of these?

    Go for a used "SE" model, otherwise you might get stuck with a very expensive (yet quite lovely) paper weight...

    Last edited: May 17, 2018

  2. axis69

    axis69 Strat-O-Master

    Feb 5, 2016
    Markets are fickle.Early guitars from big makers with a long history and big recognition, get more interest.I think there may be too many boutique makers and its diluted the prestige of owning one.
    AxemanVR likes this.

  3. mjark

    mjark Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 15, 2015
    There are a lot these days. PRS has spawned a few. Knaggs for instance.
    AxemanVR likes this.

  4. circles

    circles Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Well, you 'drove it off the lot' so to speak, but I don't know guitar prices.

  5. Dalendl

    Dalendl Strat-Talker

    Jan 2, 2016
    NW Mn
    I've got three CU24s i bought back in the 80's. If I could sell them for what you sold yours for, I'd be very satisfied. I'm not sure why you're dissatisfied. Show me any guitar you can buy today and know you could sell in a few years and almost double your money, heck, I'll buy two.
    Textele and Stratapotamus like this.

  6. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 8, 2016
    Did you get the $ 3400?
    I can't tell from the picture.

  7. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    Don't get me wrong...

    I got mine for a super low price 20 years ago - $1100 from someone who didn't know what they had - so I still made out like a bandit on it.

    I'm just a little shocked that they are worth so little that's all.

    I'm sure part of the problem has to do with the quality of their SE import line, which by most accounts are outstanding, so I suppose it's the "why pay more for the same thing" syndrome...

    circles likes this.

  8. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    Not "dissatisfied", just puzzled, since it was arguably made back when PRS was the big deal.

    I think you're assuming that I'm complaining about not making a huge profit, but I'm looking at it more from a "desirability" point of view, and they just don't seem to be all that desirable anymore I guess (something like mine use to bluebook around $4500+ at one time)...

    Last edited: May 17, 2018

  9. Dougeryb

    Dougeryb Strat-Talker

    Apr 18, 2017
    It kind of depends on your intent when buying a guitar in the first place.

    When I bought my guitars (one being a PRS), the only things that mattered were the sound, playability, and appearance. Resale value never entered the picture.

    I wouldnt hesitate buying another PRS, or another brand with poor resale value, if I bonded with the guitar.

    I guess if you look at the guitar as more of a commodity, then sure, resale value matters.

    But if I were looking at commodities, guitars in general, would be one of the last things I would invest in.

    Just my own personal opinion.
    RaySachs and HTSMetal like this.

  10. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    I just bought it because it was only $1100 dollars!

    I wasn't very knowledgeable of PRS guitars at the time, so thinking of it as an investment wasn't even on my radar. All I knew was that I got it for a smokin' hot deal!

    Afterwards I really tried to like it but it just never grew in me. It was only then that I started thinking about it in terms of resale and at the time the market for PRS guitars must have been at an all time high.

    So, my point here is that something drastic seems to have happened and the prestige these guitars use to enjoy no longer appears to exist, at least not in the same way.

    My theory is that PRS guitars flooded the market after it became a company whose sole desire was to capitalize on the brand name as much as it could. There's nothing wrong with that I suppose, but I kind of wonder if they actually shot themselves in the foot!

    Anyway, mine is now long gone and I have no regrets, but I still can't honestly tell if the PRS story is one of success or folly...


    Last edited: May 18, 2018

  11. Chief101

    Chief101 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 14, 2012
    First, I must be out of the loop. Who owns PRS if not PRS?

    Second, I’ve never been a huge fan of PRS, owned one/played many, but after they knocked off the Strat with their Silver Sky I have no use for them. They jumped the shark on that one.
    Mr Sneaky and Mutnemom52 like this.

  12. TSims1

    TSims1 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    I think PRS is actually on the cusp of a major refresh again. They are building terrific guitars with incredibly consistent build quality and top notch playability. In my opinion, they have always been respectful of the electric guitar tradition while incorporating enough of their own design to make the guitars not feel like rip-offs. That is a HARD thing to do. I’ve turned into a PRS guy myself after finally realizing how wonderfully they play.
    BlueCajun, Dalendl, Flat Tire and 2 others like this.

  13. slowesthand

    slowesthand Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 23, 2011
    I'm not sure why you think over $3000 is "worth so little ". It has nothing to do with how good SEs are, over $3000 is a lot of money for a guitar, very few players are in that market. Most people who have that level of disposable income will prefer to buy new, others will want the Strat or Les Paul they wanted for many years.
    I would also think that color would be considered extremely undesirable be most players and they would want a pretty big discount over a red or blue guitar for example.

  14. CephasG

    CephasG Strat-O-Master

    Dec 13, 2017
    Land of Lincoln
    You did great then, more than great actually. Congrats on the sale.
    StratSounds and Textele like this.

  15. RaySachs

    RaySachs Strat-O-Master Silver Member

    Jun 25, 2017
    Philly area
    The reason 50-60 year old Fenders and Gibson’s are worth a mint today is because there’s a general consensus they never made better guitars than those early ones, before the guitar boom and before they had to quickly ramp up production in the mid/late 60s. That’s not the case with PRS, who are making better guitars today than when Paul started off building them by hand.

    There are some few people who will really covet a PRS from their first years when Paul was largely making them himself and some of those really early ones may have some “vintage” sort of appeal. But for the most part PRS has just gotten better and better at making guitars. Their QC coming out of their much bigger current facility is second to none and better than they were doing 30 years ago. While Gibson is bankrupt and Fender is probably close, PRS is having their best years. Love it or hate it, they’re selling Silver Sky’s faster than they can make em (which I guess COULD lead to the same kind of quality problems, if they try to ramp up too quickly, but I don't see that happening).

    I recently spent nearly the same for a one year old 594 that you just sold your 30 year old Custom 24 for. I suspect it’s a significantly better instrument. Buying a new one today would have been over $1000 more. It’s over triple what I’ve ever spent on any other electric guitar. It’s an amazing instrument. I’m more of a strat guy at heart, so it’s not quite my favorite guitar, but I can say without hesitation it’s my best guitar.

    I don’t know what PRS’s trajectory will be - maybe they’re peaking right now and will never make better guitars than they’re making now. In which case in 60 years a 2015-2020 PRS may be something to covet for “vintage” collectors. Or maybe in 20 years they’ll be making guitars that smoke the quality of what they’re making today, in which case I wouldn’t expect the stuff they’re making today to have that much value then. But if they’re making better guitars in 30 years than they’re making now, I’d expect those to be worth more than what they’re making today. As today’s PRS guitars are generally worth more than the stuff they were making in the early days... I’d say you did really well in the one you just sold and if I can still get $3000 (in today’s dollars) in 30 years for the 2017 model I have, I’m sure my kids will be thrilled with that. I guess there’s a chance I might even be around to see it, but I’m not betting on that...

    Last edited: May 18, 2018
    Brian H, AxemanVR and Stratoskater like this.

  16. Textele

    Textele Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oct 10, 2009
    I don't think it is a lack of desirability that is driving prices down on unique guitars such as yours.

    You have all the big name stores offering 36 to 48 months, same as cash, no interest financing on brand new gear.

    IMO the used market is as soft as it has ever been.

    Cash is king for the buyer's (used gear) market that exists now.

    The "sellers market" on used and vintage guitars ship sailed away well over a decade ago.

    Just look up asking prices on Ebay compared to what the completed, sold listings are. It's quite the reality check.

    And the prices most are asking in my area on Craigslist are ludicrous. That is why that stuff just sits there for months and months.
    Brian H, AxemanVR, BlueCajun and 3 others like this.

  17. Textele

    Textele Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oct 10, 2009
    I actually thing you did very well on your sale, all things considered.

  18. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    getting over 3k for a used guitar is pretty damn good in my mind.

  19. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    I'm certainly not privy to the inter-workings of the PRS Guitar company, but shortly after getting my PRS guitar I began paying closer attention to them and I recall reading articles about their move to Stevensville, Maryland and I seem to recall terms like "corporate structure" coming up.

    Based on the music industry press releases since then (especially after launching their new budget import "SE" models) the general consensus seemed to indicate that Paul Reed Smith "the man" was a somewhat separate entity from Paul Reed Smith "the company" and his role was more like that of a figure head.

    Of course I can't say this for sure... maybe he just sold out, but I think it's relatively safe to assume that he's at least not 100% in charge of making every critical decision these days.

    Whatever the case, all I know is that they don't seem to have quite the panache' that they used to have.

    Don't get me wrong, I feel the quality of their guitars is excellent overall and I wouldn't turn one down if I found one I liked.

    None the less, I can also confidently say that I'd be more likely to go with an SE model now too, which I feel is the reason their high-end image is diminishing - and THAT is the point I'm trying to get at in this thread - despite the impression that I'm talking about something else...

    Last edited: May 18, 2018

  20. Grux

    Grux Strat-Talker

    May 17, 2018
    Clarksville, TN
    Guitar markets are oversturated, especially with $3000 plus guitars, which not everyone can afford. Look at Gibson, still selling les Paul's for those prices and qc being very bad for quite some time. I see them on craigslist all the time for $2000+ that supposedly were "special" yet someone is selling them. Special to one may not be special to others.

    If I, myself, had $3000 for a guitar I'd much rather give Ron Kirn (a masterbuilder) a crack at building me a one off. That would be where I saw value personally, and for that price I'd be closer to getting 2 guitars....completely unique to boot.
    AxemanVR likes this.