Going into business - pricing your work, etc.

Hey sully, I'm getting into guitar making and have completed a few amateur-y guitars but want to step up into a more serious realm. My main question is a rough price range of what you typically sell your guitars for. I understand the price varies greatly depending on the specs, but I want a general idea of what to expect. A secondary question and probably none of my business, does making guitars supply ALL of your income? Do you need to do other stuff to make ends meet? If so, how does the work schedule look, how many guitars do you have to make to generally make that happen. My ideal way of doing things would be exactly your set up, a small garage, 1man operation, but professional work which yours very much is! My goal and purpose for these questions is to know if getting into this industry is doable and/or a good idea, any advice or information you're willing to share would be awesome. ( I imagine this wouldn't be a public response =p ) Thanks Sully!


Hey Matt,

 You can find my general pricing info in the FAQs on the site, but my advice toward that aspect would be not to worry so much about what to charge at this point, as that’ll work itself out. You have to factor all kinds of things into your pricing; obviously, you’ve got your material cost, you’ll need to figure out what your time is worth, and your experience level should be factored in as well. As far as my own personal economics, I definitely do NOT do this full time. Not even close. To fill in the rest of the gaps, I highly recommend reading what my pal Doug Kauer has to say about building guitars for a living; it’s probably the most comprehensive answer I’ve seen. In a nutshell, be prepared for very long hours, making less than minimum wage for those hours when you break it all down (especially when you’re starting), and a TON of sanding. Roman Rist, someone whom I highly respect, once said in response to how glamorous it must be to build guitars, “eh, it’s mostly a lot of sanding!” The man knows what he's talkin' bout.