Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?

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edcat7
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Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?

Post by edcat7 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:14 am

I've only bought used guitars and have at least once contacted the luthier for advice. I felt churlish since even knowing I wasn't a direct customer, he replied immediately and with good nature.

Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?
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David Norton
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Re: Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?

Post by David Norton » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:21 am

To the same degree that car dealerships should get a percentage when a vehicle is privately sold to another private buyer on the secondary market.
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CathyCate
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Re: Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?

Post by CathyCate » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:37 am

Interesting question. Along the lines of royalties or residuals? How would this be monitored and how long would the right(s) to such payment last?

My late husband was a movie buff and we always stayed in the theatre long enough to watch all the credits. If I remember correctly, the animated film Happy Feet included payments to the estates of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. It seemed humorous to me at the time, so you can see where I am headed with my requests for some clarification.

JohnH
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Re: Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?

Post by JohnH » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:56 am

Only if the luthier is selling the instruments. If you buy a used book from a private party, should the publisher and writer of the book get paid?

astro64
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Re: Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?

Post by astro64 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:24 am

I don't think you have to pay the luthier a share of the price, but you can always pay him or her for their time if they provided you with a lot of good info.

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Paul Janssen
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Re: Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?

Post by Paul Janssen » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:41 am

I bought my two luthier made guitars new and directly from the luthiers in each case. However, I have often thought what I would do if I bought a second hand luthier made instrument and I genuinely liked it. I doubt I would offer a commission, but at the very least I would likely contact the luthier to express my appreciation for their craftsmanship and to let them know that the guitar had found a new and happy home. I would imagine that many luthiers would appreciate this gesture?

simonm
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Re: Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?

Post by simonm » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:11 am

edcat7 wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:14 am
...
Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?
There are too many intermediaries who would be against it. In the art world there have been suggestions that if a work of art increases in value the original artist should get a modest % of the increase. I have heard numbers like 7%-10% however, I don't know if any artist has successfully implemented it. The percentage of art work which increases in value is likely even less that the percentage of guitars that increase in value once the price is corrected for inflation.

I rarely contact any professional builders (apart from pms here) as I feel the same way as edcat7 about using people's time in a completely one-sided manner.

UKsteve
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Re: Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?

Post by UKsteve » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:46 am

Clearly, they should not (unless selling the guitars themselves), but used sales and courteous advice to the buyer are often to their advantage: On more than one occasion I have bought a guitar used, been impressed, and commissioned a new model from the luthier subsequently. Friends of mine have also done this.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?

Post by Michael.N. » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:52 am

Not at all!!! and I'm a luthier. Then again if you insist! :wink:
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Gorn
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Re: Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?

Post by Gorn » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:26 pm

A guitar is - legally - nothing else than any other manufactured product. When sold by the luthier, it is the buyer's property. And the buyer can do whatever he or she wants to do with it. There's no kind of intellectual property like music, it's just a product like a cup, a car, a table, a roll of toilet paper or whatever. Even if you sell used CDs, you do not have to pay royalties to the composer.
If a luthier wants to take money for advice, he - of course - can do that, but I think this will be a very bad reputation.

Andrew Pohlman
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Re: Should luthiers get a percentage from used sales?

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:44 pm

There is also the concept of "final settlement" when talking about royalties. Many musicians take a lump sum upon delivery of compositions, which includes a stipend that waives any and all future royalties. At that point, whoever owns the copyright can duke it out for potential future royalties. Even if you think of a custom guitar as copyright-able, we can assume that all future royalties were part of the sale price.

Alternatively, patents are a little different. Gore's Falcate bracing is a possible example. If Trevor patented his Falcate bracing, then any luthier who used that design would owe him royalties. Not to pick on Trevor. Same could be for Smallman designs too if they were patented.

But at a much more basic level there should be no royalties involved. Where would you draw the line? Royalties on custom cabinets? A custom quilt? An artisinal whole wheat loaf of bread? :D
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