Before I sold Ponier Music to Music & Arts, I used to buy used gear. There was not a day that went by when someone didn't bring us something they wanted to sell or trade. A few years back an elderly couple (I’d bet they were well into their 70’s) walked in the door with something to sell. Reader: have you ever seen those little Marshall amps? I’m not talking about the practice amps. I’m talking about the tiny ones that run on a 9 volt battery and you can clip on your belt.
The couple walked up to the counter and put the little Marshall amp on the counter and asked me “How much would you give us for this?” I picked it up, looked it over and replied “Well, they sell new for $50, this one’s in good shape, I can give you $15 dollars for it.” The old man was incensed. “Oh no.” He replied. “OHHHH NOOOO!!! You are trying to take advantage of us!” I said, “How do you figure?” His reply was “This amp………….is worth $2,000 dollars!” He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a folded up computer printout. On that printout was an ad from an online music store offering a Marshall stack for $1,999.95. And the little picture (if you didn’t quite know what you were looking at) looks a lot like the little amp he put on the counter.
I smiled and asked them to come over to the electric guitar section. Luckily, I had a real Marshall stack in stock. I brought them over to it and said “This (with my hands doing my best Vanna White gestures) …….is worth $2,000 dollars.” At that point you could actually watch the realization come over their faces. Any thoughts of striking gold, wasn’t going to happen today. We all had a good laugh and they admitted they found it at a yard sale for $10 so they didn’t get burned or taken for a ride. They were a little disappointed but they did take the $15. So hey, They still made 50% profit!