Guitars available for pre order

I have tried exactly that and the shops had zero interest. Most these shops are just dealers for major brands so it would be unreasonable to think that they would take an interest in someone like me.

As for other shops, I am going through friends of friends for this, and unfortunately takes time…

Not unreasonable, but probably blocked by bigger supply contracts.

I’m assuming the big brands will expect a certain percentage of shop footage (or a degree of exclusivity) - I knew a music shop here in the UK and they said their supply contract with a particular brand that does famous blues guitars essentially bankrupt them as they were so expensive, nobody bought them anyway and they couldn’t supply cheaper brands that people would actually buy.

There are only a handful of shops, and so not many would even be at liberty to help. I did do some asking around and Taiwanese will pay big bucks but it seems brand is a huge factor. Just like people will pay big bucks for a Tesla because it’s more about the brag ability than anything else. People here will pay for face but not quality.

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In my youth, I once signed up for a night class in acoustic guitar making but had to drop out after the 3rd lesson. It did give me an appreciation for the work and skill involved though, and the cost of materials. I don’t think your prices are unreasonable for a hand-built guitar. Unfortunately, I can’t buy one because of financial and other reasons but they look good. Padauk and purpleheart are expensive, exotic woods and I never heard of them used in a guitar before. We used them in marquetry.

Many players would love a hand built guitar, especially a customized one. But Taiwan seems like a very tough place to do business because people are cheaper than a Scottish duck’s ass and nobody thinks outside the box. They would prefer crap from a big name western brand to something quality that doesn’t have the name they can impress friends with.

Only thing I could suggest is make a nice looking website and try to sell online. A simple web page with just an email for ordering would be cheap and easy to make from a free template. Then you would need to use social media (instagram, etc) to drive traffic to your site. Businesses have to gather momentum but every sale is an advertisement if you have an identifiable brand.

I’ve reduced my website to a facebook page simply because of cost issues. If I can break out of Taiwan’s market I’d do this but believe me, the market in the US is much more competitive than Taiwan. At least there are few in Taiwan skilled enough to do the work.

But thanks for the suggestion. I hope at least we can keep a discussion going, and I think discussion will ultimately drive demand rather than just having a website. It’s either that or go OEM which requires insane capital.

Padauk is actually pretty reasonable as far as exotic wood goes. We have stuff like zircote which is not only more expensive but difficult to work with.

Etsy

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Portraying yourself as an “artisanal guitar luthier” by using sites such as Etsy, as Marco suggested, might work for you.

Some friend of a friend (tedious link) literally sold sticks with smiley faces on them on Etsy and made quite a few sales.

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Bullshit. People like to pay high prices for brand name crap here. I should know I’m a road cyclist. :laughing:

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Which is why you @Taiwan_Luthiers should work on your guitar aesthetics. Don’t stop with boring traditional templates. Make yours unique. Offset sound port or side sound port with a special design. Marbled/mosaic fretboard with ivory inlays. Something that sets your guitars visually apart from the typical guitar.

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Where am I going to get ivory? It’s illegal you know… Best I can get is ivoroid.

I’m not that good at arts… any suggestions? A lot of these art like options tends to cost big bucks to execute due to the cost of materials (such as ivory).

I can retrofit an existing guitar with a sound port, I think anyways.

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I can try that, it will be expensive in terms of material and time though.

I still need guitars that the average person can afford.

notice the side sound port and striking wood design

posting these kinds of guitars on etsy will definitely get attention

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I kinda thought about doing a variation of that on one of the purpleheart guitars, as I have a few pieces of curly maple and purpleheart that was too small to make whole guitars out of… but then I realized I don’t really have enough pieces.

Edit: Actually I’m just wondering. I don’t really have money to buy expensive materials. I have time, but it depends if the time is spent doing other paying work or just time to kill. I don’t mind killing time doing some artistic pieces like the examples you posted, but fact is expensive materials just cost money. Stuff like well figured curly maple and the like… So I’d even propose if you want to spend some money to commission me to make something weird or out there, I’m willing to listen. Tell me what you want and I’ll tell you if I can do it or not.

I’ll also add that he has taken care of my 5 other guitars for 3 years: repairs, set-ups, enhancements, pickups, etc. He does excellent work at a good price, and if you want to get some idea of his work before you make the plunge on a custom guitar, talk to him about what he can do for the guitar you already own.

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The average or even intermediate-advanced guitarist would likely not be willing to spend that much on a custom guitar when they can get, say, a Taylor GS Mini for 20000 NT at their local store. I know you’re making quality stuff, but my guess is your creations would attract seasoned and serious musicians only. Word of mouth/ Networking might yield better results.

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What about resonators? Metal body?

Some perspective on “custom” guitar prices - note this is already built and you have no say over the matter.

That’s real nice

I also get a lot of work done by @Taiwan_Luthiers

He’s very skilled.
So at least 3 testimonials now on Foromosa.

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