Who can afford a $5,000 guitar?
The answer to this question is not what you think it is.
Where things go into "too expensive" for most guitar buyers is when the guitar is the price of a fairly decent 10-year-old used car. At the time I write this in 2019, that tipping point price is $5,000 USD. For that cost, you can get any number of cars or trucks with under 100,000 miles that will run for a few years, depending on what it is.
To be clear, five grand will buy you a whole car.
Even though this is true, guitars that sell for this kind of money such as the Gibson 125th Anniversary Hummingbird seen above do sell regularly.
Let's find out.
When America is not in a recession, people buy stuff
When the nation isn't in a recession, it's not necessarily true that people are making more money. But it is true that more people can afford finance payments.
As a general rule, guys who spend thousands of dollars on just one guitar rarely pay for it all at once. It will be financed. In fact, you will see on that link for that guitar that it can be financed for $230/month for 24 months.
When the American economy is doing well, guitars like the Hummingbird do get sold because buyers are confident enough they can either ride the 24 months out, or maybe ride 12 to 18 months and then pay the whole thing off early (which you can do).
Some guys will even buy the guitar just as a means to rebuild credit. When the economy is good but your credit is bad and you keep getting denied over and over again, chances are Guitar Center's finance program will approve you anyway.