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The Les Paul as investment

Ribald

New member
Joined
Jul 26, 2001
Messages
126
I'd like to hear your opinion of which of today's Les Paul models -- including historics, customs, and standard lines - would make the most sense in terms of investment value five or ten years in the future. That is, I want to buy a Les Paul today and be able to sell it for significantly more five years from now. Should I get a Standard, a Class 5, an Elegant, or what? Thanks.
 
G

GuitarsfromMars

Guest
Ribald said:
I'd like to hear your opinion of which of today's Les Paul models -- including historics, customs, and standard lines - would make the most sense in terms of investment value five or ten years in the future. That is, I want to buy a Les Paul today and be able to sell it for significantly more five years from now. Should I get a Standard, a Class 5, an Elegant, or what? Thanks.

I think if you were to get yer hands on a 1959 LP Std...you be getting a reasonable return on yer investment:)spin
 

Tom Wittrock

Les Paul Forum Co-Owner
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
42,567
Ribald said:
I'm talking about current models.

Then forget it. Those aren't investments. Any nice Les paul could be worth more in the future, but the track record, and sound reasoning says they won't be good investments, as you describe [selling for a profit].
The "dividends" these guitars pay, are the usefulness and the enjoyment they give you. And, that has value.
But, if you want to buy now, and sell higher later, buy vintage.:tw59
 

cndoman

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2002
Messages
1,578
5 years, I don't think so, not on a new one. look at what a 98 goes for now on ebay and you will see. Now you may get lucky and find a deal on a used one that my bring a good return, if you had bought a jimmy page a few years back you could have made some money. I started buying Gibsons a few years ago when my ira rates went to nothing. No tax deduction,but lots more fun. The only time I made good money on an Lp was pure luck. I was in a GC and the scumbags offered this guy 600 for his lefty std. I took him aside and said I'll give you 750 cash. now. or never. He did it. I kept it for a year and got 1100 for it on the bay. That's the most money I ever made on a guitar. But I don't buy them to make money, I do it because ............I'm a guitar JUNKIE. ..yes thats why.
 
B

Bluejazz

Guest
Ribald said:
I want to buy a Les Paul today and be able to sell it for significantly more five years from now. Should .
"significantly more"? That would be the hard part. Don't know if that's possible. But, the current and quickly depleting Historics with Brazilian fingerboards should do okay, depending on a few things. The Gary Rossington model as well, considering that I'm still seeing R9 Murphys at $3000 extra (wtf).

For "significantly more" investment possibilities you have to go vintage. And that is whole different bag of tricks when it comes to the somewhat more affordable guitars. There's land mines all over the place.
 
W

Wizard of Ozz

Guest
If you're looking for a good investment look into some Mutual Funds.

If you're looking for a guitar to play and enjoy, any of the models you first mentioned are excellent choices.

;)
 

Cogswell

The Duke of Dumbassery
Joined
Mar 19, 2002
Messages
15,717
Ribald said:
...I want to buy a Les Paul today and be able to sell it for significantly more five years from now.
I'm laughing so hard I'm crying.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: KoP

Unmensch

New member
Joined
Jul 19, 2001
Messages
1,035
The trick seems to be finding something that flops when it comes out, is discontinued, and becomes popular later. The original bursts for example. The Jimmy Page model wasn't a total flop, but I remember reading a few JP fans being disappointed with the model when it before it was discontinued.
 

58flame

New member
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Messages
501
I am an investment advisor.
If I (or anyone) knew what was going to be the hot thing tomorrow, I'd be rich.
Anybody that tells you they know what is going to be the next best thing, is lying. Plain as that. Nobody has a crystal ball.

You want good investment advice, here it is, absolutely free:

1. Max out your 401 (k), IRA, or whatever retirement plan you have.
2. Buy into as much additional tax deferred investments as you can. Variable life insurance, annuities, 529 plans, etc.
3. Diversify with the proper asset allocation model.
4. Stick to the investment plan and don't deviate until it is absolutely necessary (a change in risk tolerence is a necessary deviation, for example. a market correction is not, in most cases).

Trying to guess what will make you the most money is like throwing darts blindfolded.
 

birdsy

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2002
Messages
209
Buy a house in Sydney.. near the beach.. if you can afford it.. believe me you'll make a shitload of $$ in 5 years.. assuming you can make the repayments.

btw..I sold a 93 standard last year (bought new) and made a handsome profit of $50.00
 

6L6

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 30, 2002
Messages
1,971
58Flame speaks the truth! The more realistic question to ask might be: "Which current model Les Paul can I buy today and not take a bath on it in a few years?" Low production numbers, pristine original condition, great top, and med-light weight will always be good for resale value but appreciation? No absolutes but I'd gamble to say you're better off following 58Flames advice and buy a nice used '99-02 R8 or R9.
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
2,765
well...

With some good buys on vintage guitars you MIGHT be able to make significant profits in 5-10 years. You might not.

58Flame's investment advice is good solid advise, but I think some of it depends on your income and tax brackets.

I believe that the safest, and surest investment is unimproved land. If you buy in an area reasonably close to a population centre (and don't buy at the top of a price spike) you can hardly lose.
LAND, They aren't making any more of it, except in the Netherlands.
 

DonP

Active member
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Messages
3,020
Buy low, Sell high.

If you want a return on investment, the best way is buying an investment that is undervalued to begin with.
 

burstone

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2002
Messages
6,748
Unless you buy all original vintage pieces (in good conditions), don't see guitars as investments. You'll have more disappointments than rewards.
 
B

Bluejazz

Guest
It was unfortunate when used R7's (a year old) dropped below the price of a new Standard, thereby entering into dime-a-dozen territory.
That was a slap in the face to a better built guitar, when they'e sold $600 or $700 less than the original purchase price. I just sold my '01 LP Custom for $100 less than what I paid for it, yet still more than what a used R7 goes for. Go figure.
 

RiverCityVintage

New member
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
27
Then forget it. Those aren't investments. Any nice Les paul could be worth more in the future, but the track record, and sound reasoning says they won't be good investments, as you describe [selling for a profit].
The "dividends" these guitars pay, are the usefulness and the enjoyment they give you. And, that has value.
But, if you want to buy now, and sell higher later, buy vintage.:tw59

BACK FROM THE DEAD!

I googled market future trends on les pauls and this was one of the first google returns.

it's funny really, I am a very humble independent shop (because just being a musician doesn't cut it), and anything from 1988 to 2010 is my bread and butter. I bet in 2003 the msrp on some of the models brand new was about what they might sell for used now, but there are folks out there ready to spend some coin on something like an early Les Paul Classic from the 90's, nearly twice what they sold for MSRP back then. Especially the plus and premium plus, and especially if it says 'model' instead of 'classic'. It was a nice 1960 reissue more or less, with a short tenon. I bet in 2003 you could pick up a les paul classic premium plus from say 1996 for 750-900..... try 2500 or more today.

A lot of those guitars hold high regard now, some people call it 'good wood' but whatever you want to call it, the beginning of Henry J's tenure holds value to folks now. Gibson's triumph and rebirth from the Norlin era, and a serious effort to reclaim the brand (but without the pressure and b/s that social media and brand influence hold over it while they are trying to do it once again today....'play authentic' and Mark). You have to recognize a decent product in a lineup with the junk, and be able to qualify the differences. I think they are great investments, because the future will always find a way to cut cost and try to follow inflation.

Thoughts? I love talking about stuff like this.
 

BLuesGuitarMart

New member
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
22
For me personally, it wouldn't be worth my time to have bought a guitar in 2003 for $1,000 and stored it unplayed in a case for 16 years just to make a $1,500 profit. I've moved house more than ten times since 2003, storage is always at a premium in my houses (I live in a capital city) and a return of under $100 a year for the hassle just isn't worth it to me. I could have invested that $1000 in a friends start up and possibly made a lot more. I was dumb(er) in 2003 though so I didn't invest in anything.
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,375
I always tell people to buy an instrument to make music and to have FUN , because at the end of the day that's exactly what it's all about !
 
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