Build it yourself

All right, first I have an assignment for you. Go to the following URL on eBay and look at the item, then if you like, look at the rest of the seller’s inventory, then come back here so we can discuss it.


Interesting? I found it searching for used Les Paul guitars. That isn’t the only company that sells “project” guitar bodies and necks, but their the first one I ran across.

Seeing those bodies at a fraction of the cost of an actual Gibson, Fender, or Gretsch left me with several questions.

First of all, if you buy a 2015 Gibson Les Paul Studio body, does it come with a Gibson factory warranty?

I’m thinking not. It would be like buying a stripped down Vette body and filling it with your own components. I doubt that Chevy would stand behind the product, and in this case, I wouldn’t think Gibson would either.

Another question, where do these stripped down guitars come from? Does this company buy say, a $1000 guitar, strip out all the components, them sell everything individually? How do they make any money on that? The example guitar, you could probably buy all the parts for anywhere from $25 all the way up to ten tines that. Even then, you’ve only spend say $750 for a $1000 guitar. How is this company profiting?

Unless these are blemished or used or even demo guitars that they got at significant discount on, but even then, I can’t imagine them being able to pick up a 2015 Gibson Les Paul Studio for what it would take for them to turn a profit at $459 for a body and neck.

Another question is, if you do purchase one of these project guitars, once you have it all assembled and functioning, can you make a profit selling it? Would you be able to sell it at whatever the going rate for a used Gibson is? Would an appraiser be able to spot it as a fake? Or is it considered customized?

I’m only curious because I’ll essentially be replacing everything on my lawsuit era Ibanez Les Paul except for the tuners, the volume and tone pots and much of the original wiring, and if I find that an enjoyable experience, I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at one of these projects where I’d have to put in all the hardware.

Maybe it could be the start of a new avocation for me: Shadow Ferret Guitar Customization.



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