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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Stratocaster Prices: Something to ponder

drksd4848

USA

Sep 1st, 2017 12:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A Fender Stratocaster in 1968 cost $330. If you wanted a case, tack on another $57.50

Type those numbers into the inflation calculator and you'll find those prices in today's dollars as $2,369 for the Strat, and - get this - $412 for a case!!!

That's $2,781 out the door!!!

A strat today: $1450. And that comes with a case!!! Wow! Way to hold the line. But for me that raises two questions:

1. A question no one seems to ask: What are the margins on a Stratocaster in 1968 vs the margins on a Stratocaster today? I know the manufacturing process has changed quite a bit since then.

2. Is a Stratocaster made in 1968 the equivalent of an American Stratocaster, or CS Stratocaster today?

Hmmm...

Fender Price list

(This message was last edited by drksd4848 at 02:07 PM, Sep 1st, 2017)

littleuch
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Florida

Sep 1st, 2017 12:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm sure CNC and other manufacturing aspects significantly reduced man hours in the creation of a guitar. But point taken. Even at today's "bargain" pricing by comparison, I still prefer to make my own from parts since, IMO it offers custom shop options not available in production models.

stratcowboy
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USA/Taos, NM

Sep 1st, 2017 02:45 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yes...I've done that calculation on several occasions; mostly with the prices from 1954/55, when a Strat was something like $249. You get similar results for sure. Makes you wonder how those cats back in the '50s could come up with scratch like that for buying a guitar. And also makes me realize that kid I knew in 7th or 8th grade (1962/63) who already had a Strat, must have been pretty well off. Or exceedingly spoiled--or both. But I remember being awestruck at the time. "A REAL Fender Stratocaster!!"

Peegoo
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Activity does not

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Sep 1st, 2017 02:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have no data to back this up, but margins today are probably better (even with the "cheaper sale prices") because of current lower shipping costs and a much larger network of retail vendors.

Up until the middle 1960s, when containerized shipping began to completely replace break-bulk shipping, up to 50% of the retail cost of most items was shipping.

Packing, crating, loading, and unloading ships, trains, and trucks was incredibly labor intensive and space-inefficient. It generally took as much time to load or unload a ship as it did for the ship to make the ocean crossing. This was due to hand-made wooden crates and containers being non-standardized sizes and shapes. It was a crane, large cargo nets, and stevedores scrambling around like ants day and night.

Freight containerization has drastically cut wholesale and retail costs of just about everything, including houses (building materials).

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Sep 1st, 2017 03:20 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Since 1968:

Inflation up by 7.1 times
Strat price up 4.4 times
Minimum wage up by 4.5 times

So for lower wage workers, a Strat still costs almost the same, in terms of hours worked to afford one.



5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Sep 1st, 2017 03:24 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm shocked at how much Fender has raised its prices for the upper end of its production models.

Luckily, I acquired my 4 American Deluxe Strats when they were reasonably priced (I bought one of them on sale for $800 about 15 years ago). The replacement model, the Elite model Strat, is close to $2,000!

drksd4848

USA

Sep 1st, 2017 04:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

" But I remember being awestruck at the time. "A REAL Fender Stratocaster!"

That's back when having a Strat really meant something. Back then, a guitar was looked at as a serious musical instrument.

Now, they are pretty much a dime a dozen and, thanks to the Guitar Center culture we have, guitars are treated like toys.

I suppose there is nothing inherently wrong with that. Many more people can play them. It kind of trivializes it though.

(This message was last edited by drksd4848 at 10:15 PM, Sep 1st, 2017)

Leftee
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VA

One foot on the brake, one on the GAS
Sep 2nd, 2017 06:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Back in those days the average player didn't have... say... 5 Strats.

stratcowboy
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USA/Taos, NM

Sep 2nd, 2017 08:30 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Back in those days the average player didn't have... say... 5 Strats."

I still don't. LOL...

ejm

usa

Sep 2nd, 2017 08:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Te 52: "Since 1968:

Inflation up by 7.1 times
Strat price up 4.4 times
Minimum wage up by 4.5 times"

Where/how did you come up with these numbers?

drksd4848: This disposable toy culture has one advantage. For this of us willing to buy used and patiently prowl Craigslist/eBay/etc, it can work in our favor.


Peegoo
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Sep 2nd, 2017 09:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

We all have 5 Strats.

He posts here too :o)

drksd4848

USA

Sep 2nd, 2017 12:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Disposable toy culture. That's a good way to put it.

And because Strats are everywhere now, there's far more depreciation on a used one to the point where it would be ridiculous to buy a new one. In fact, you take a bigger hiti on an American Strat then you would on a Mexican Stratocaster.

(This message was last edited by drksd4848 at 02:11 PM, Sep 2nd, 2017)

BF66Prince

Texas Gulf Coast

Fender Aficionado BF Lifetime Member
Sep 2nd, 2017 03:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

This is no reason what so ever to buy a new guitar now days.

Why pay top dollar when you can patiently wait for a killer deal to show up on CL or a pawnshop.

I frequent pawnshops 5 days a week during my sales routes.

I've scored AMAZING deals on guitars yearly.

In the last 10 months, here's the guitars I've scored.

$230 - '00 Gibson LP Special
$325 - '90 Fender Strat Plus
$435 - '07 Fender '57 AVRI Strat
$600 - '07 Gibson LTD ED. SG-3 #006
$300 - '03 Epiphone Elite LP Custom
$438 - '89 Fender Std. Strat
$450 - '01 Gibson LP Jr.
$280 - '07 Fender "Reverse Headstock" JH Strat
$50 - '11 Fender Squier Strat loaded w/ 3 Hot Gold Lace Sensors.

2 yrs. ago I scored a '75 Fender Mocha Strat for $500.

You just get WAY more bang for your buck when you buy a good used electric guitar.

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Sep 4th, 2017 04:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Those are some incredible deals! I buy used quite a bit, but I never see deals like that. If I do, I assume there's something wrong with the guitar that's not revealed in the ad.

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Sep 4th, 2017 06:27 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

BF66Prince, agreed. I have bought new, but the majority of my instruments were acquired used. It took a few years to find the right AmStd Strat, but I finally found a clean one I liked with OHSC for $600ish by being patient.

Peegoo
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Activity does not

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Sep 4th, 2017 10:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The deals are out there. You just have to be patient and know when to pounce, because if you wait one second too long, it will be gone.

I bought a pristine 2014 Custom Shop Historic Murphy-aged 1958 Les Paul (link) from a private seller for less than the price of a new LP Standard. I think the owner really didn't know what he had.

And no, it's not stolen (I checked). It is the best guitar I own.

These retail for $8K and up; mostly way up, which is really stupid.

This.

BF66Prince

Texas Gulf Coast

Fender Aficionado BF Lifetime Member
Sep 4th, 2017 02:55 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You're correct Peegoo.

The biggest part of getting amazing deals on guitars is having enough cash on hand and making the deal at that moment.

I always keep a lot of cash on hand for this reason.

I'm usually able to control and steer the deal my way.

The fact that I'm able to show the Benjamin's right there and then allows me to close the deal that I want.

It's worked for me time after time after time........



bluzcat
Contributing Member
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Eastun' Carolina

Like Ringo, I'm happy to be here!
Sep 7th, 2017 09:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I bought my '98 Strat Plus in '99 for $650- that's MIM territory
these days. My '04 50th AMSE was $999 and I choked on that price (but still bought it ;) ).

stratcowboy
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USA/Taos, NM

Sep 7th, 2017 09:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I purchased my #1 Strat (far and away the best Strat I've ever played/owned--including vintage pieces and Custom Shop stuff) for $500 w/Fender hardshell case. It's a late '98 build American (excellent quality build on this thing, with a chunkier than usual neck), that I purchased in the fall of 1999. The plastic was still on the pickguard and the guy I got it from just never really had gotten around to playing it.

This one ain't goin' nowhere...

My Tele I got for a bit more than that. But also an excellent deal via the pre-owned world.

jay1vinton

Hawaii, USA

Perfect is the enemy of good enough
Oct 11th, 2017 05:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I paid 524 bucks out the door for my brand new 95 AMSTD in 95, the molded case was about 60 bucks. I was short and decided on the molded, when I should have purchased a proper rectangle case.

My same guitar now probably wouldn't fetch much more than original price. I've had work done on it.

If I knew as much about guitars then as I do now, I wouldn't have given it a second look. I would assume that many have gone the same road.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Stratocaster Prices: Something to ponder




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