Meet & Greet

Arlington (TX) Guitar Show weekend


This is yet another weekend of the huge/ginormous Arlington (TX) guitar show - is anyone going to be there?

I'm thinking about dragging one of my guitars for trade (not a Gretsch) tomorrow, I don't have much time this weekend.


I went ahead and took one of my Gibson SG's to the show (a '61 RI) to try and trade for a Jazzmaster or cash out - it's been a while since I've been to a show and I took away a few things:

  • The main brands (including Gretsch) are fun to look at, but it's a lot more fun looking at the REALLY oddball/offbrand guitars. The weird 60's brands are all over the place and each one is unique. Rows and rows of stratocasters (and acoustics) don't do it for me, but everybody's on their own trip, right?

  • Anyone who doesn't generally know the value of their guitar (via the web) before going is an idiot (with the exception of the truly rare guitars, where you might be going to get true appraisals) .

  • I saw about 3 1959 6120's - one had a reneck (6k) and the other two were between 12k and 16k. There were a few others that I didn't pay attention to, was not looking for Gretsches specifically so they were underneath (or above) the radar, as it were.

  • There was one dealer that had all vintage guitars and probably had 300k worth of guitars there. I was interested in how they looked but I'm not that target market.

  • Dealers - for the most part - were all pretty nice. Two of them told me I had my guitar priced exactly right, they just couldn't swing it. Four of them lowballed me and I just stayed polite (and firm on my price). As I told one, "I understand YOUR margin, but MY margin is not YOUR margin". He smiled and we shook - all on good terms.


I have to say that I am a bit surprised that a vintage guitar dealer, at a vintage guitar show, would express any interest in purchasing a modern-day reissue of any guitar. Maybe I don't understand who these dealers really are and what they want/need for their businesses.


I suspect that the dealers that approached me (most of whom had a varied assortment of vintages including newer) have customers who buy those newer reissues. Flipping a guitar that you know will sell is a pretty easy proposition if you get it for the right price.

I'm guessing there are 150+ dealers between the two halls. I posted a sign on my guitar case that said what it was and what I was looking for (cash or trade) and they approached me, I didn't approach any of them. With that said there were a bunch of true vintage dealers with only vintage gear and trust me, they didn't give me a second look.

Register Sign in to join the conversation