Should you buy a guitar during hard economic times?
Is this a good idea or not? Let's find out.
Generally speaking, if you're buying a guitar, such an expensive one like the recently released Fender American Elite Stratocaster as seen above, you're either buying it for yourself or for someone else.
"Someone else" doesn't mean gifting the guitar. It means buying a guitar as an investment piece, which as I've said before several times is one of the dumbest things you could ever do. Don't buy guitars as investment pieces. Just. Don't. Do. It.
3 hard fast rules when it comes to buying expensive electrics
Rule #1: Never finance; always pay in full up front
An expensive electric guitar is a luxury item. And for any luxury item to be worth something, it has to hurt to buy it. If you're going to slam down $1,500 USD or more, you just do it. Don't even think about financing it.
If you have to think about the money you're about to spend before you buy, you don't want it. If you really wanted it badly enough, you would have bought it already.
"But I don't have the money..."
Then don't buy it until you have the money. And when you do, spend it all. Yes, it's going to hurt. That's the whole point.
Rule #2: If you buy new from the guitar store, you'll never get the complete original package
The best example I can give of this is what happens with the cheaper brands such as Squier and Epiphone.
Did you know that every single new Squier Stratocaster and Epiphone Les Paul comes provided with tools (usually a truss rod key and string saddle key if needed)? If you bought yours from a store, I guarantee you never got those things because you bought it off the rack.
Did you know that electrics over a grand are treated the exact same way? The guitar store doesn't give a crap if you get all the original tools and paperwork or not. All they care about is making the sale. You never get all the stuff the guitar is supposed to come with.
The only way to truly get it all is to buy it online and have the guitar shipped directly to your house.
"But what if I insist on seeing the unopened box in the guitar store?"
That guarantees nothing. You think guitar stores don't know how to reseal a package so it looks like it has never been opened?
Again, if you want the complete, unmolested package, you must buy it online. It's the only way.
Rule #3: THERE IS ONLY ONE RIGHT TIME TO BUY A GUITAR
Yeah, I unleashed the all-caps fury for this one, because it's the most important thing to keep in mind.
When is the right time to buy a guitar?
Answer: When you have the money.
Yes, the answer is that simple.
If you have the money, buy the thing. Today. Right now. Don't think about it. Just do it.
My only advice is that when you buy the guitar, buy for YOU and not as an investment piece. If you buy for investment reasons, I guarantee you will lose. Don't be a loser. Be totally selfish and buy for yourself. That's the winning way of doing it.
"What about the bad things I hear about the economy?"
Ultimately, economic climate has absolutely nothing to do with your guitar buying decisions, nor should it influence them. No matter where you are in the world, an economic crash can happen at any time. Will you get any warning of this? No. When it happens, you will never see it coming no matter which economic "experts" you listen to.
Modern society runs on money. If it didn't, the world would have have switched to 100% solar energy for primary means of power and all vehicles would run on nothing but natural gas and biodiesel exclusively. But obviously, that didn't happen. Why? Because there's no profit in it. The world does things in ways where someone always profits and that's just the way it is.
Believe me, nobody is truly ready for an economic crash. And the best way to think about it is to not think about it.
Right now, at least in the US, the economy still works. I can still buy guitars online or from a store if I want. Chances are you can do the same.
As long as we can all actually buy guitars, that's a privilege we can all enjoy. It's when we don't have the privilege that things get bad real fast.
In other words, buy now while you actually can, because if a crash does happen, then you won't be able to buy any guitars at all at any price.