question for luthiers here

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Jose Marques
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question for luthiers here

Post by Jose Marques » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:59 pm

I have been in festivals and i have offered 2 guitars already ...

My question for luthiers is, it works as promotion?
In a chat with a German luthier he told me that he had done the same 2 , in different festivals, and he decided not to do anymore ... reason...

he told me that he doesn't found that the winners had been happy receiving the guitars, like , the 2 ond winner of his guitar doesn't even shake his hand and thank... i said "WHAAAATH?"

i have offered 2 guitars and, they at least thank me, at least had been polite to me, but that thing was glued to my mind... the winners really appreciate that effort , they know that being making a guitar we have lots of hours of work and money?

Your opinion?
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Re: question for luthiers here

Post by simonm » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:28 pm

No personal experience.

I have always assumed that guitars given as prizes were paid for by the main sponsors - it never occurred to me that the luthier would be giving them away (unless for some reason the festival was a very personal interest). My view is that in any significant festival, the financial value of the guitar is the significant point for the winner. Most players would probably prefer cash. Once a player is famous enough then attaching his/her name to a guitar probably means it will sell better to collectors.

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Doug Ingram
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Re: question for luthiers here

Post by Doug Ingram » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:10 pm

Doesn't apply to me, but I wouldn't donate a guitar as a give away in a situation like this. It becomes assumed that the luthier's can just give and give. They've probably already paid a lot for their exhibition space, travel, accommodation, not to mention all of the time and expense preparing guitars for the show, etc. Unless the give away guitar was accompanied by a lot of promotional value, its a no win option.

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Waddy Thomson
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Re: question for luthiers here

Post by Waddy Thomson » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:53 pm

I have donated two guitars to the same Classical Guitar Competition and Festival. The key, I think, is to not make it a prize in the main competition. Most of the top competition players already have a pretty high end instrument, which they are not likely to give up to play your offering, unless it is considerably better than the one they have, which isn't likely unless you are selling guitars in the $5 to $10K range. In my case both guitars went to the winner of the high school division, which seemed to work out pretty well. One went to a player who already had a guitar he loved, and while it didn't get played much in competition, it did get used by him a good bit, and went to college with him where it has seen a good bit of use. The other became the students primary guitar for several years, and has been played in and has won a number of competitions. The point here is to make sure someone who gets the guitar will likely use it.

The exception to this is a friend of mine who makes Panormo copies. He donated one to the same competition, and it was donated to the Division I winner. Different situation. Never meant to be a primary guitar, but a secondary guitar for use with special music.

On the other hand, Doug is right. They just assume giving a guitar is not such a big thing, and don't hesitate to come back asking for another. Admittedly, in my case, I have gotten a lot of good promotional value out of the two I did donate, though. The other problem is that you can only write off the cost of the materials, not the price of the guitar. I wrote mine off as advertising expenses. I have to say, that in my case too, it became a kick start to the sales of my instruments, through the promotional efforts of the competition. Not a bad thing!

Again, I think the key is that the winner gets an instrument they are likely to play, particularly in competitions. If it goes home and stays in the case, or ends up on the bay for a couple of hundred bucks, not worth much.
Last edited by Waddy Thomson on Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: question for luthiers here

Post by printer2 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:20 pm

My sister is an artist and she is regularly hit up to donate something to a fundraiser. She did mosaic an old guitar as a quick piece and asked me for any I made that were not ready for prime time. I did have one of my early builds for her which was my first attempts at all softwood guitars. She made the same request of asking Doug if he had any 'mistakes' that he had laying around (and later realized what she said, as Doug is quite accomplished and it would be like someone asking her for one of her 'mistakes'), from what I gather Doug did not take it badly. Anyway she normally declines the honor of being asked to donate, it rarely results in any benefit. I probably should build one to donate to my organization, enough high priced people where something might come of it. Also it would go towards a good cause.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: question for luthiers here

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:28 pm

A guitar is such a personal thing I would fear winning one (not that there was ever much chance) because of the the feeling it would end up on a well know auction site.
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