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Who can afford a $5,000 guitar?

When America is in a recession, priorities change

It's been over 10 years since America has been in a recession, and many economists say one will happen in mid or late 2020. Should you be worried about this? Not really, because economists often get things wrong. But they are correct the nation is overdue for a recession.

In times of recession, people come to the realization very quickly that absolutely nobody needs anything in a guitar store. What typically happens is that guitar stores go into panic mode and immediately make every attempt to dump the expensive inventory, even if it means selling guitars barely above cost. After that a shift happens where many stores will refuse stocking anything that sells for over $2K, and then the store just rides out the recession until things start getting better again.

What I'm seeing right now in the Texas Guitar Center stores I've been to is many over-$2K choices. The economy is doing well, buyers are confident enough to finance $2K to $5K, so sure, GC will stock them since most will move.

But when the next recession hits, those same stores will flush out that expensive inventory quick.

When is the best time to buy that expensive guitar?

There are some who believe the best time to buy expensive guitars is when the economy is at its worst so you get the best deal.

I disagree with this.

In times of a better economy, there are few significant advantages.

For really expensive guitars, warranty service (should the guitar require any) takes 1 to 3 months to get back to you in a good economy, and 3 to 8 months when it's bad because of downsizing.

Inventory of more expensive guitars is more plentiful in a good economy, so if you get a dud, it can be replaced. In a bad economy, you could be stuck with the dud because replacement guitars might not even exist.

For expensive guitars with custom parts, the same applies. Good economy = replacement parts available. Bad economy = get on a waiting list with no guarantee you'll ever get the part.

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