The Prophesied Great Boomer Gear Sell-Off?

"poppies"

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I’ve heard several people anticipate that due to low average personal savings rates and rising living costs, Boomers may sell off vintage gear en masse at some point. This might suppress prices, since there are fewer interested buyers in the next generations, and they’re often constrained by high debt levels.

I suppose a factor that may offset this would be if Boomers just leave the gear to their heirs, but those heirs may also sell the pieces.

Do you think such a sell-off will happen, or do you think there will be off-setting factors?
 

spazapproved

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Well.. not sure about the selling off of their gear but I have a good friend who has already put me in his will to get his drum collection.
 

JDZ

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Whew! At first I thought "Boomer" was selling off his gear.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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Unless you have a crystal ball any "Great boomer gear selloff" is pure speculation. Baby Boomers have been sporadically selling gear on ebay and other places for over 20 years now so it's not gonna suddenly be for sale all at once anytime soon. Thousands of boomers are still in buying mode, too. I don't forsee most guys in their 50s, 60s & 70s suddenly ridding themselves of musical equipment with an "en masse" fire sale "due to low average personal savings rates and rising living costs"

Heck, most musicians I know will die still embracing their precious gear.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I met a guy a few mos back who jettisoned his entire collection of nearly 30 snares, 20+ cymbals, and his few drum kits. I have a friend who just scored a 32 kit collection (all vintage Gretsch/Ludwigs!) from a collector who was calling it quits............I guess time will tell......
 

"poppies"

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Anecdotally, it does seem that I’m seeing more listings lately of entire collections for sale, and also increasing “paring down” posts here and elsewhere.
 

Fullerton 9/72

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We boomers are going to have to sell them off - eventually - or our kids will. Even our generation won't live forever. Who's going to buy them? Younger generations have less money to spend for anything other than food, electronics and 'experiences'. They are largely a renting generation. (I know there are exceptions, particularly some fine kids who post here!) Where would Millennial drummers store their bulky collections? Haul them around from rental apartment, to rental apartment? As a generation, they want only the minimum of furniture. They want "tiny houses". Who is going to want our stuff, especially if its scratched, faded and/or yellowed? Wealthy Chinese collectors, perhaps, to a very small extent. Millennials have no nostalgia for times they didn't live through. I certainly didn't. (I wanted the new 1979 stuff!) They'll want the drums of their generation, not ours. Even the best of our collections will not end up in that magical "drum museum", that all the sellers on eBay talk about ("museum quality!") I can't see too many Millennials getting overly excited over MIJ/Stencil or entry level student drums. There will be exceptions, like, for example, wooden Dynasonics or Buddy/Bonham kits, but for the most part, few young people will want to buy them, and the values for much of our gear will sadly tank.

What of the uber-expensive, modern, collectible boutique drums like Craviatto?

We should just play and enjoy what treasures we have, while we are still able to, and hope that we will still be around to witness the great Boomer sell-off.

Great. Now I need a drink.
 

TheElectricCompany

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I sure hope it comes soon. I'm tired of waiting for those 24 and 26 champagne Ludwig kicks to come along.
 

tommykat1

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Interestingly, the same discussion is going on in automobile circles. The wealthy millennials are looking for modern low production supercars--Bugatti, McLaren, ultra high end Porches, etc. Prices for 1960s US muscle cars and many European sports cars have stabilized or are declining. Of course, the overall vintage car market is in a bit of a slump, so there's lots of speculation going on.
 

Tama CW

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Fullerton 9/72 got it right. It's simple demographics. The shift has been occurring for years now and will probably continue for another 5-10 yrs. Just too many kits and too few younger buyers....means declining prices. Only the best kits, scarcer ones, and odd ball ones will hold most or some of their value....and some very specific ones could actually increase in value. This is going on with all collectibles from the Boomer era, cars, toys, comics, coins, stamps, sports memorabilia, etc....probably even housing. Get used to it. The boomers ran the prices of these things up since the early 1980's with a couple corrections along the way. The shakeout has been occurring since 2007-2008. 1950's to early 1970's collector car prices generally peaked around 2007-2008. There was a short reprieve during 2014-2015 as the economy peaked from the 2009-2011 recession. The worst is probably yet to come....and could take years to fully shake out....likely occurring by 2028-2033. The housing market is on 78 year cycle scheduled to bottom around 2033....last major bottom was 1955. Money will be super tight by then. And the sharp decline in collectible prices will probably occur with the next MAJOR downdraft in most sectors of the housing and stock markets. Of course there will always be pockets of isolated strength in those areas with increasing populations and services.

I've seen a change just in the past 14 months. Drum gear is generally cheaper across the board from Zildjian early A's to 1940's to 1980's drum kits....most seem 10-15% cheaper to me than in late 2017. Today's rip could just be next year's wholesale levels. The drum manufacturers keep on churning out new gear. So our favorite classics have to hold up in quality and appearance to newer stuff made over the past 10-30 yrs.
 
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cochlea

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I feel fortunate that I have a 17 year old son who plays the drums and has grown to appreciate vintage gear and its history. He will be getting my '65 Ludwig Super Classic at some point down the road and has vowed to never sell it.
 

cwdrums

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I'm done collecting and have been for over a year now. At 63 I'm enjoying playing a handful of my drums more than collecting. It used to be fun and the hunt was more exciting than the kill (purchase). One of my sons wants a few snares and a couple of kits but other than that no interest from my other son or young grand kids. That could change as they get older, who knows. I have been in touch with a drum shop in Portland Oregon who will buy my collection for approximately half of agreed upon market value (wholesale value). I never got into the vintage drum market for a profit it was for fun. I would probably break about even if I ever did the package deal, it saves me the time and cost of listings, packing, shipping, etc.... They are just drums I can't take them with me.

Coy in Idaho
 

"poppies"

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As has been noted, I think the key to the impact on prices will be whether the flow of sell-offs happens slowly enough over decades that demand can pretty much meet it, or lots of people start thinking similarly at similar times and flood the market.

I lean toward the latter being slightly more likely from things I’m seeing and hearing lately, but it’s certainly a very nuanced issue.

No one is buying a 1920s Black Beauty for thousands of bucks today because that was the cool new drum to have when they were a teen!
 

W&A Player

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I have already downsized my collection to less than half the size it was five years ago when we downsized to a smaller house. Our children are both capable of either using or selling off any drums or associated gear that outlives me. My wife will not have to deal with that if she outlives me. I'll just make certain to periodically update the inventory list with estimated selling prices and photos. Current inventory consists of five 4 piece drum sets all mid 20th century American-made drums, one 1950's Gretsch cocktail outfit, a half dozen spare vintage snare drums in unusual factory wraps, about 20 A Zildjian cymbals from the 1940's through the 1960's. Several mid 20th century bass drum pedals, and enough stands to outfit a half dozen drum sets. I also have a few project snare and tom shells in various states of completion.
 

DWSlingerland45

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I feel fortunate that I have a 17 year old son who plays the drums and has grown to appreciate vintage gear and its history. He will be getting my '65 Ludwig Super Classic at some point down the road and has vowed to never sell it.
^^^ This^^^ I had a discussion more than a few years ago with Komodobob at the Delaware Drum Show on this very topic. My thought is that I don't see alot of kids being brought to these shows. Or with their parents in the music stores I get it that maybe Its Dad or Mom's ONE Day where they gets to go drool amd spend a few bucks BUT if we don't pass down our appreciation for the vintage gear to the younger generations then we will see a time where very few people even know what a 1920's Black Beauty looks like. Doesn't matter if you're a car guy, a Hunter, fisherman, musician, woodworker etc.... Pass on the traditions ... Explain that this was grandpa's lathe, rifle, Heddon fishing lures collection, split window Corvette or Ludwig trans badge 4 piece kit. Show them whats special about it... Pass on your passion and "geekery" over the things that you enjoy! Create the next generation of collectors !
 

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