A group to discuss selling the instruments and accessories we build.  Where to sell, how to display, what works and what doesn't.  Where do you find your buyers? 

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  • @Brian Revels

    That's awesome man! Try to get a picture still from the video and use it! Use the video on your page and make sure everybody that looks at your builds about it. There's nothing wrong with showing proof that your builds are actually instruments and not a novelty item. The average person looking at it most likely won't be able to tell if it's good or not, so show it to them proudly! 

  • @KentuckMojo, That's really cool and great inspiration. It's a different sort of thing, building these. I try not to get upset about all the guys who build awesome looking guitars, but can't play a note. It's crazy too in that I have a few CBGs I have struggled to sell because the boxes don't have the Cigar labels on them anymore and "look like box guitars" as I have been told and "not like an actual cigar box guitar". 

    I have been selling a lot of Diddley Bows lately. I sell them affordably and for a competitive rate. 

    I recently had a customer contact me with a video and pictures of Kenny Loggins and his band playing around on the Diddley Bow I made for the customer. Kenny and his bass player both signed it and seemed to enjoy playing it.

    I read your post, and have read others recently (the one about the Paul McCartney and Johnny Depp builds) and can't wait to see if something like this happens. I know it may never, but until it does... I will just keep making and selling these to whoever wants one. 

  • Ive been lucky to sell mine to people after ive played at parties amd by word of mouth im looking at Ebay later this year , ive also been lucky to have Mcaans misic store take me under there wing i have sold 5 through them and they have ordered 12 more which 6 are going up to there other store up north of my area yes there on consignment but better to have a iron in the fire than not , My market stall is almost finished and looking forward to see how that pans out i did a stall with a friend one saraday and didnt sell a thing but from that i was rang by people i had spoken to and have made guits for them , i do dumpster dive and quality parts builds depending on how I want to roll and hey if they want a guit thsts had  all the Christmas tree stuff slung all over it ill build it but it comes back to the Roots of the music i to am a musician of many years and prefer the dumpster dive builds because of there unknown qualitys i price my rigs at $175.00 for a DD build and 275 for a fancy parts build so far people like my DD builds compared to the bling bling of assempled parts . Just my opinion .

  • I can't tell you how much crap I've taken on this site (as well as other CB related sites) because I do not use skeleton keys, broom sticks, and junk or because I make ukuleles instead of CBG's. I pay a premium price for premium parts, so my builds price reflects that. I have literally had people insult me (and think it was funny) because of my approach to CB builds. I do not make CBGs from garbage found on the street and attempt to sell them for $199. I make CB ukuleles that are true acoustic, box hanging from the neck ukuleles. They are each made to a high standard so they will play as well as they look. I am a musician of many years and I know there is nothing worse than an all show and no go instrument when you are a serious musician! From build one, my attitude has been make it for the working musician! I have worked really hard to get my name out there, and THAT"S what it takes! There ARE a million guys out there hammering out CBGs. Some of them have never played an instrument in their lives! You will see my profile picture IS a professional touring musician...  Sundance Head, who LOVED his CB Uke! My builds are in the hands of Guys like Sundance, Mathew West, Alabama Shakes, and Black Stone Cherry's Ben Wells. Those were given away for a mere picture! 

    BUT, here's where it gets good! After I sent an email and  thanked the GM of the local Convention Center for any help they gave me to meet Mathew West ( I had sent several emails to several people to make it happen) he asked me to come see him and bring the ukes for him to look at. I met with him and he told me it is customary for the venue to give the touring artists a gift from the city and he wanted too buy my ukes and let me give them to the artists so I can tell them about them and how they are made here in our town. So I get paid for the instruments, and I get to meet the artists, get pictures, give them the uke and I will get concert tickets and backstage passes as well! And it all started with me giving the one ukulele away to Sundance Head (y profile pic) at the Grand Ole Opry! There are places to sell your instruments, but a little ground work may go a LOOOONG way to getting your instruments noticed as different from the rest!

    I am currently building Travis Tritt's instrument, and I have to... no, GET TO make one for Willie Nelson, Allison Kraus and Casting Crowns in the next few months, all of which I get to meet and showcase my builds for. Do you think I will be asking more for my builds? YES! (usually bring $200-350)Do you think I will really care about selling on eBay... not so much! Get out there and make a name for yourself 1st, then start selling them and pushing them more!

  • Will Rankin Some of your best bets are with online shops.  I sell on Etsy and do okay (I sell Cigar Box Amps, Preamps, and Guitars).  Setup is pretty easy and online fees aren't horrible.  Ebay may be another option, but I have heard it's very hit or miss. Sometimes music stores will help out, but that's more consignment. You can try to find Craft shows, but I haven't had much luck personally with those (lots and lots of happy lookers, but not a lot of sales).  Best of luck!

  • Hi everyone! I'm recently new to this site, however have been a long time facebook junkie.... My wife and I of 16 years just opened up a ma and pops shop selling and building homeaide CBG's..... I have a few of em on consignment, and I have my own facebook page called Lil Momma Jo's Guitar Shop.... I haven't got the web page inventoried yet, however..... to make a long and critical story short.... here's my question....

    To market these CBG's what is the quickest way to move the product.....I have over 2000 boxes over 300 tins...of course they aren't all done up but nearly 75 CBG's are complete and need new homes.....
  • Pavlov - yeah it sucks trying to cater to the unwashed and unknowing.  We still do craft fairs with our other non-musical products but learned the hard way NEVER do an outdoor fair!  I won't even get into the time a storm came up close to closing and while my guitars were getting blown all over and the tent was trying to become a kite this women decided to sit down in our space and chat about her nephew who played guitar 20 years ago.

  • I've pretty much given up on the craft fair scene for selling CBGs.  The people who attend these are ignorant of what they are (I don't mean that as an insult, BTW, it's just that they don't know about the blues scene).  My best successes have been in a permanent booth in a blues-themed art store and at music festivals with a blues/country base.  As to Etsy or Ebay, I think the market is getting saturated with hit-and-run builders that are in it just to make a fast buck and don't really understand the luthier-ship (is that a word?) necessary to produce a quality instrument at a price that will give a profit. (i.e., people shopping on line will buy the lowest-cost item, not necessarily the best quality.)  After all, if you can't get them to pick it up and play it first, there's no way they can appreciate your craftsmanship.

    At general product arts and craft fairs I've been more successful lately building "Strumstick" style backpackers.  People seem to accept these as true instruments whereas the reaction to CBG's is that they are toys or at best, oddities.  With the same investment in parts and time, I can get 50% more for a strummer than a CBG.  I've given most of my cigar box inventory to my wife who makes other items out of them.

  • I sell on Etsy.  The local craft shows weren't worth it for me, even the good shows (with several hundreds of people) that had low to reasonable fees.  The last one I did took me 3 months to prepare for, 3 days of selling, and I only made $150. CBGs aren't really popular around here (lots of people never seen or heard of them).  You'd think that'd be good. But like Wayfinder I get a lot people saying, "Wow, that's awesome", but hardly any sales.  Now starting in November of this year and going til I shutdown my Etsy store the 2nd week in December... I sold around 8 or 9 CBGs (all but two I had to make).

  • Bottom line for me was with ebay the instruments left the building. I wasn't bothered by profit. I'm using my work as a small retirement income. It helps a Lot even if it doesn't show a profit.
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Shops selling 'Local Art'

I live in western North Carolina, near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are shops in several mountain towns which cater to tourists. Some specialize in 'local art'. I have consigned instruments to about 5, and all have sold some. They think I'm an artist. [Please don't tell them!] Most dealers need a 25%-40% commission when something sells. I like that I don't have to deal with the public, I only have to forge a relationship with the dealers. I like that I don't have to do events…

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Selling in Canada

Hello fellow CBGers,  I have made close to 15 CBG's , acoustic, acoustic/electric and electric. I have sold 2 acoustic/electric's(one with preamp), and 2 electrics so far. I havn't done a show/market and really don't want to. 2 were sold a place I worked at and the other 2 were sold online. Pricing seems to be the most difficult part of the process. I compare my guitars to others selling online, build quality, type and demographics come into play. I think major cities can demand more $ due to a…

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Shipping Costs

I've been shipping my pickups(small packages) all over the world and didn't really have an issue with shipping costs, until now. A customer contacted from Canada and asked me if I would sell one of my Whiskey Crate Stompers. I thought, sure, why not? I gave him a fair price and told him free shipping. It cant' cost that much to ship a .4 lb item from the states, right? Well, best price I could do was $45. Anyone have tips on reducing shipping costs? I do ship about 15 items each month. Thanks,…

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4 Replies