We all wonder if guitars are a good investment? Especially our own!
How many of us have justified to the missus that our new 'essential' guitar purchase will increase in value over time? ☺
The true answer lies in good old 'supply and demand'. But, hang on, is there something about to warp the used guitar market?
What will happen when all the guitars Boomers own find their way onto the market?
Economics suggest an over supply to suddenly hit the market, would send prices falling. Common sense says yes - and it's about to happen. Boomers aren't getting any younger!
You can never own too many guitars
Boomers don't just own one, they have multiple guitars.
The transfer of wealth from Boomers to their kids/grand kids is often talked about in the press. What will happen when those kids get to dispose of our beloved guitar collections?
A Boomer walks into a guitar store...
When you walk into a music store with gray hair you are treated like royalty! The young guys playing "Stairway to Heaven" in music stores are just kicking tyres! Sales assistants know that, it's us Boomers who have the cash and proclivity to buy, which in turn will earn them commission. The only reason we won't buy is if we can't hide the extravagant price from our spouses!
The guitar market has been a free for all for some time. So much so we are prepared to pay thousands, even for obscure branded products. The market is not just Fender and Gibson (though we probably have a Tele and a Strat, and a Les Paul).
Who knows whether the extraordinary amount of interloper guitar brands could have broken onto the market without Boomers? PRS and Ibanez have good products but we'll even buy obscure hand built brands as we build our expensive collections. And we'll spend thousands on these small scale, luthier built brands.
The cohort following the Boomers, Generation X are now coming to the peak of their earning potential and due to retire in the next decade, will they take over as guitar loving zealots? Unlikely. Their life/work balance is notoriously out of whack and they never listened to guitar solos in the way we did. Then we have Millennials, followed by Gen Z. They don't even value music, let alone guitar solos. Their idea of fun is being locked in a cupboard coding!
Most countries have aging demographics. Some, aged beyond the point of no return. Simply not enough kids to replace the workers/consumers who retire. This will likely cause China to collapse by the end of the decade, and many Western democracies will fare little better. So the pie is getting smaller for guitar manufacturers.
Nothing really points to a sudden expansion in the guitar market. A contraction is far more likely so maybe it's time, fellow Boomers, to downsize your collection and go on a scuba diving trip around the world while you still can?