Here is a recent conversation I had with some one interested in one of my Cigar Box Guitars. Some people don’t appreciate art.

Him: can you make me one for 100 bucks.

Me: No.

Him: Well, how much for an electric one?

Me: They start at 250 dollars, depends on what you want.

Him: I can buy a Squire Strat for that much.

Me: Yep.

Him: can you beat their price.

Me: I don’t make Squire Strats.

End of conversation.

I don't make guitars, I make art from some lumber and cigar boxes.
You make it a guitar when you play it.

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Comment by Jerry Jordan on April 10, 2017 at 1:39pm

We have all been through this. I freaked out when I saw builders asking $1850 for a build. Some build for fun, some for profit. Some are heirloom quality, and some just players. I can relate to building $200 CBG's, but the most I ever asked for one of mine was $88. I charge $65 for a fretted piezo powered build, $10 more If I choose the pickup. And $20 to $30 more if they want a special pickup. And they always want you to put in a humbucker where there was a piezo.   Just a viewpoint. One day I'll make a $200 sale, but I'm in no hurry.

Comment by Taffy Evans on April 9, 2017 at 6:49pm

I had a guy in the shop today who left me a repair and after taking my valuable time telling me what he plays and how good he it etc. he walked out the door saying "now don't rip me off.

Now that really hurt, all I could say was "hey I have never ripped anybody off".

I could have, and still might, tell him off the many, many customers who have paid me more than I have asked for, saying keep the change sometime that is $5 to $15.

For this guy I just did what he asked for, replaced the jack. He would have got his guitar cleaned, tuned, frets polished and fingerboard oiled. He might have seen that as a ripoff.

Cheers Taff

Comment by Wade on April 6, 2017 at 8:12pm

If you make something you are in love with, it is easier to place a fair price. I have learned to let the serious hagglers take a walk if they don't respect my work. 

Comment by Hal Robertson on April 3, 2017 at 10:32am

By day, I'm a wedding and event photographer - and for my area - I'm expensive. I also have years of experience, thousands of $$ of equipment and can produce images that make brides cry with joy :-) Generally, when the conversation starts with price, they're not my customer.

The same is true with CBGs. When I sell, they're on the higher side. But like John said, I can't justify selling a fretted guitar for cheap. I love the craft side, but my time is worth something too. I can build a CBG quickly, sell it for $125 and make some profit. But I don't want to. My goal is to build something durable, extremely playable and a guitar that my client can't put down. Not selling volume, but so far, pretty happy owners.

I think Anthony is on the right track!

Comment by John Sawyer on March 31, 2017 at 11:47am
My struggle is: what is the price at which I can value my time and still keep them moving. I see so many priced super low, and I refuse to sell a fretted git for $175... the work, tooling and skill that goes into this makes that price unsustainable for me...
Comment by Anthony Crociata on March 30, 2017 at 8:15pm

Its funny, the next person who asked bought one. If they haggle, they don't really want it. I never struggle with pricing, but sometimes they do.

Comment by John Sawyer on March 30, 2017 at 6:53pm
I have found from being self employed as a consultant that those who are concerned primarily with price don't value your time... I still struggle with pricing a CBG. . .

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