When to Liquidate your Gear- 500 Words with Adam P Hunt
500 Words When to Liquidate Your Gear
There are countless articles in music periodicals urging people to buy gear I doubt there is the same number of articles talking about when to sell.
It’s an uncomfortable scenario to be sure its also one that every player will have to face sooner or later.
Even Eric Clapton sold off a sizeable amount of his gear.
I know that I’ve had to sell off a good amount of my stuff so maybe my experiences may take some of the sting out of the process:
Redundancy. At one point I wound up with three Stratocasters. I love Strats but since I’m not a touring musician I didn’t need three. One afternoon I played each back to back and kept the one that really spoke to me.
Damage. Every guitar or amp or stomp box is going to experience its share of knocks. Sometimes the damage to the item is so severe that it surpasses the value of the equipment. Snap the headstock off of a Chinese made Epiphone? It may be less expensive to buy a new one rather than to have it repaired.
Economy. As loath, as I am to admit it I’ve experienced long stretches of unemployment. At a certain point, the question becomes what is more important, a closet full of gear, or a roof over your head. The last time I checked a Les Paul wasn’t listed on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, food and shelter, however, are.
Downsizing. Somewhat related to the economy but it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to loose a job. Say you working for a company and they transfer you to another office clear across the country, how much gear do you really want to haul with you? Maybe you get a significant other in your life and you have to make room for their stuff.
You’re old. Jake and Elwood haven’t knocked on your door to say, “We’re getting the band back together”. Do you really still need that Fender Super Showman full stack? Probably not. Would a smaller amp still achieve a full chub? Probably. With clubs and studios insisting that players use smaller amps perhaps you may have more amp than you really need.
Injury. That’s another difficult subject. Django was able to make due with a mangled hand and so were Jerry Garcia, Tony Iommi, and Les Paul. There are also a good number of players that have been able to do very well with missing hands also. But the loss of wages and costs surrounding physical therapy may necessitate the liquidation of some gear in order to make ends meet.
You want some new gear. “Goldernit that Wangblaster is a dang sexy guitar”. I hear you say. “But, looky here, a closet jammed with Footstompers, Earwreckers, and Freakmagnets gathering dust”. Time to get busy on eBay.
Hopefully, you may never find yourself making these sort of hard decisions but if you do, be methodical, and make sure you have your priorities right. The world is full of guitars even if you have to let a few go.