The Prophesied Great Boomer Gear Sell-Off?

tommykat1

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^^^ 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 !
Great post! My son laments that he never spent time with me in the garage working on hobby cars. His mom disdained it. After we divorced, my son realized she just hated everything I did, tinkering around in the garage being one of them. He hopes that, one day, I will spend time with his son showing him how to rebuild a carburetor and change the oil.
 

Neal Pert

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One big missing part of this conversation is that tastes in gear change, too. There are a lot of old percussion and drum items that aren't "vintage"-- they're just old now, and available for a pittance because no one uses them anymore. The exception to this-- a 20's BB, for instance-- tends to prove the rule. I can easily imagine a world where the standard four piece drum kit is no longer the sort of thing people want.
 

TrickRoll

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A lack of savings isnt likely to be resolved by selling off drum gear.

An old K or Spizz at $2000 doesn’t cover much these days...

Better to focus on those that will treasure these items. But even that might be a challenge.
 

stevil

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The Baby Boom lasted almost 20 years, 1946-1964. It's pretty simple demographics that a sell-off will happen roughly around the time of, sorry to say it, the die-off. But considering the fact that some will sell before dying, and others will leave it to their heirs to sell, it will be hard to identify when the sell-off is happening without longitudinal data. The generation spans 18 years, so their anticipated deaths will be clustered over a roughly 18 year span. Then assume that the sell-off will start sooner than the die-off, since some boomers will sell before passing, but it run until after the die-off is over, since some boomers won't sell in their lifetimes. I'm not an economist or sociologist, but I suspect that the curve of the sell-off will be pretty flat. I'm sure it will affect prices on a systemic level, but maybe not so much that any individual transaction will be obviously affected by it. Add to this the fact that there are a lot of confounding variables that will affect whether drum owners want to sell and whether anyone wants to buy... :blink::dontknow:
 

JazzDrumGuy

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When I've seen parents with kids either at GC's or Bentleys, they are usually buying Pearl, Tama or PDP stuff that are standard sizes, along with standard hardware packs and starter cymbal packs for the $1K +/- range which is a lot of money. But the kid gets a new kit, parents don't have to worry about used parts and heck, the interest may wear out and they can return it, unlike Clist or online. Most of us here know where to look for good if not great drums out there for that price and most have hardware and cymbals. I think there will be WAY less interested buyers in 20 years for older kits but who knows. You may wanna sell now for a tad less to for sure get rid of it versus hold on and bank on retiring because you have a few vintage kits. Between music changing, instruments changing and other factors....thats my $0.02....
 

drumtimejohn

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This is an interesting thread. I side with many that people will sell slowly over time. Keep in mind it’s easier than ever to buy and sell. There must be a market for vintage and vintage style gear based on the large amount of reissues. This Gen Xer is buying and selling a lot within my age group and we haven’t even hit our greatest earning years.

My thinking is invest in 70s concert toms. That 50s nostalgic age group is just about to have a lot of disposable income. They are just waiting for Ludwig to put out the next reso free reboot. The serious investor may want to consider power toms too while they’re still cheap.

You heard it here first. Drumtimejohn, finger on the pulse.
 

Neal Pert

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We should all make wills that indicate our willingness to buy or sell our drums to each other for set prices. OK, that's morbid, but it'd make me feel better knowing someone had not gotten my Broadkasters for $75.
 

KungFuGrip

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Collecting-wise, I've dabbled in a lot of things over the last 25 years. I've seen this repeating cycle where eventually the only items that keep going up in value are the absolute rarest and best examples. Everything else starts sliding in value as collectors have to sell out into a shrinking market. If it was hot for kids in the 50s, like, say Lionel Trains, it's already there.

It's also not going to help that the rising generations have different musical interests and not much space to store stuff.
 

Peterk256

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I'm 64 and want to sell some of my collection. Unfortunately there are hundreds of 20" Medium Rides and dozens of Ludwig Acrolite snares on eBay and Reverb at any given time that I'm competing with, likely from other Boomers. It's hard to get over $100 for a 20" ride. Several months ago I sold a Supra for no money, it was the best I could get. Too many Boomers selling too much gear.
 

Tama CW

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....My thinking is invest in 70s concert toms. That 50s nostalgic age group is just about to have a lot of disposable income. They are just waiting for Ludwig to put out the next reso free reboot. The serious investor may want to consider power toms too while they’re still cheap.

You heard it here first. Drumtimejohn, finger on the pulse.
I must be all set then. I have a pair of larger concert tom kits and one power tom set. Tama just recently put out a monster concert tom kit of sorts. Not sure if that was a one-off or something they are planning on producing.

While getting $100 for any old 20" A Zildjian ride may not be easy. They are still quite saleable at $85-$90. And slightly better A's easily bring more (lighter ones, 50's, etc.). It doesn't really matter how many are on Ebay or Reverb as 90% of those are over-priced. Just price yours to the bottom 10% of the market, and it will sell. I'm in the market for a Supra at "no money." I've yet to own one and would like to try one some day. They show up so often in vintage 60's to 80's kits of all makes that it's only a matter of time.
 
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komodobob

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I'm convinced my kids will sell all of my stuff at a garage sale for 25¢ a piece when I'm gone...and they'd probably go as low at 15¢ a piece just to move it out and be done with it.
OK, so how old are you and what is your address? I want to be prepared, so I can check the obits in your local newspaper. :D
 

BennyK

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I believe what you're saying is correct , but interest in drumming for a living and " being in a band " is weakening so its still a niche market of sentimental collectors . " Vintage 90's " to me is of questionable importance , but drums like Sonor Phonics and Eames will always hold their value over egg shaped Ludwigs .
 

AaronLatos

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Even though "band" centric music maybe a lower percentage of what's on the charts these days, population growth, access to information about vintage gear, globalization are real things. Somehow, I doubt that the bottom is going to fall out on the vintage drum market anytime soon.

Plenty of young people are taking music making extremely seriously and using old gear to do it. A couple years ago I would have said to go hang out in Brooklyn and see for yourself... now young folks are moving to mid-sized cities to build their creative careers, but the general the still stands.

At the same time, the early 2000s market peak coincided with the retirement / empty nesting of an incredibly affluent generation with nostalgia from this gear the first time around. That moment, and their retirement savings, are hard to recreate... you can only artificially boost the economy by taking it off the gold standard once.

My guess is that the high-end the market will continue a gentle upward climb, while player level gear will more or less track inflation for a while.

All that said, even though I restore and flip some drums as a side hustle, my main work is as a player, so I'd be thrilled if the vintage drum market crashed out. Don't think it's gonna happen, though.
 

franke

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Most of the "boomer sell-off" action is in the guitar segment, as there are many serious guitar player-collectors out there with fifty-piece plus collections that over the last ten or so years have been hitting the market . The super-rare pieces get snatched up by other collectors who are often the same-age but who have yet to have their "need to downsize" epiphany, while other ROTM stuff goes for what would've been considered a "fire sale" price a few years ago (best bet if unloading a valuable guitar collection is to work with an auction house rather than DIY on eBay, since the former has access to the world market and knows who the serious collectors are). Vintage drums, or what is sometimes referred to as "collector-grade" drums, don't carry anywhere near the value of guitars (or other string instruments, like, for example, violins), but they do take up a helluva lot of space, and the desire for such is often what drives one to do the "full Kondo" on what lurks in the basement/garage/man cave.
 

studrum

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Even though "band" centric music maybe a lower percentage of what's on the charts these days, population growth, access to information about vintage gear, globalization are real things. Somehow, I doubt that the bottom is going to fall out on the vintage drum market anytime soon.

Plenty of young people are taking music making extremely seriously and using old gear to do it. A couple years ago I would have said to go hang out in Brooklyn and see for yourself... now young folks are moving to mid-sized cities to build their creative careers, but the general the still stands.

At the same time, the early 2000s market peak coincided with the retirement / empty nesting of an incredibly affluent generation with nostalgia from this gear the first time around. That moment, and their retirement savings, are hard to recreate... you can only artificially boost the economy by taking it off the gold standard once.

My guess is that the high-end the market will continue a gentle upward climb, while player level gear will more or less track inflation for a while.

All that said, even though I restore and flip some drums as a side hustle, my main work is as a player, so I'd be thrilled if the vintage drum market crashed out. Don't think it's gonna happen, though.
To dovetail with Aaron's ideas here, a very common fact not mentioned yet: They can't make any more of them. Production ran from - when? - 1915-1980, with the majority of the drums easily playable in a modern situation from 1950. At this point there is little attrition of this original group thanks to fanatics like us, and every time we rescue that Club Date kit found in a dumpster, no doubt Club Date prices might dip a little.
Think of the above in regard to Aaron's post. There might be a bit of shipping involved, but our global connectivity, love it or hate it, could keep prices in a nice place. Aren't there a lot of Round Badge kits, 50's Les Pauls and Strats, etc.in Japan from its boom, in the doldrums though that country may be now? Japan is a small country. As China and India's middle class establishes itself, what if their young folks get the music bug like the Japanese did, or become fascinated with all things culturally American, as often happens? Those are huge countries with mega - populations.
 

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