Here’s an interesting topic…just how do we put a price on a GUITAR that is:
- Ultra Low number of it produced
- Lack of sales history
- Excellent to Museum Quality Condition
Let’s run through one example that meet all 4 criteria above. We’ll take a 1968 Rickenbacker OS, Fireglo Model 360 with pointed horns … as pictured in this article.
So we know it’s vintage; 25 years or older is the qualifier. Next try and fit the guitar into a ‘collectability’ category…”A” being highly sought after, “D” being less so. Experience is a help on this, however the community will advise well on it too. Pick up the phone, ask the questions. Then use some detective work by searching for the model of guitar in the internet and sale websites. Then, Google what artists from the era played one. Tom Petty, John Lennon, Roger Mcguinn (Byrds) and many others used this one. Because of its distinctive sound, I lowered from an A+ to B+…not married to it but feel comfortable on that scale level.
Lack of sales history is going to be the tough one as only about 17 of these were made in 1968, some say 11 (I’ll find out). In fact the model itself was in production for only 3 years…maybe 4. There are not going to be any sales history or ‘comps’ in this case, however the scarcity alone tells the story…iconic guitar that people want with a handful that exist.
Condition is easy, just have a good long look at the finish, binding, metal parts, plastic parts, wood, neck…well you get it. Dating the pot codes, pickups and serial numbers is all internet available stuff. There are folks you can send photos to as well. That’s a good resource to verify facts and dates.
Buy a blacklight…a good one. They’re cheap, don’t skimp. Take the guitar and light into a dark room, no daylight, set it safely down and turn on the black light…BEFORE turning off the room lights! Accidents are expensive. Then look to see if it glows well, consistently and watch for black lines, patches etc. New paint/lacquer will not glow, appearing black. Remember, it’s the wood you are inspecting. Plastics should also glow, and be the same intensity as each other unless a newer part was replaced.
Finally, use a resource book such as the Official Vintage Guitar Price Guide. Buy 3 or 4 from different years…2000,
2005, 2010, 2015 and today’s version…2020. Trends are what you’ll be looking for with the 2020 book giving a fair market value. My belief is that it’s a great “guide” but who knows what people will pay in the end. It simply establishes a base-line.
If you do all of this…not hard…you’ll find the example guitar we are using is $20,000
Remember too…that’s why we are here. We can do this and then much more to help you out with value!
David Peterson, Founder CEO.