How Much Is a COA Worth?

wholelottaburst

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Question:
If you're considering selling a Custom Shop Historic Reissue how much of a hit on the price will you take if there's no COA?

And if you're the prospective buyer should you be concerned with a significantly lower resale value if you can't provide a COA with the guitar if you decide at some point to sell?

What is a COA actually worth? I spoke to a salesperson at a well-known Custom Shop store today who said not having a COA should only knock $50 off the value. I disagree and think it's more valuable since Gibson won't issue a replacement. I think it's more like hundreds of dollars.

What do you think?
 

toymaker

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How much is it worth...not much. Very few buyers ever do anything with the COA. Most just leave it in the case - a few frame them though I guess.

How much does it effect resale of a guitar...depends on the guitar/condition but the answer is typically 10-30% of price.

For example a well used 2004 R8 that would sell for 2750-3k might command a hundred or 2 less with no COA.

A collectors choice model selling for 6500 could easily be cut to a 4500-5k ticket with no coa/case candy.

It doesn't effect value of the guitar- it DOES cut down on marketability/number of buyers (especially in an internet sales setting) due to authenticity concerns (for whatever reason - knock offs are too lazy to fake COAs). Less buyers means your going to have to accept less. But if your already in the shallow end of the pricing pool your going to find more buyers. The deeper you go - the tougher it can be.

In general - worst spot to be in is a late model R9 without it - lots of inventory, few without coa, buyers will be most sensitive to this "flaw".
 

wholelottaburst

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How much is it worth...not much. Very few buyers ever do anything with the COA. Most just leave it in the case - a few frame them though I guess.

How much does it effect resale of a guitar...depends on the guitar/condition but the answer is typically 10-30% of price.

For example a well used 2004 R8 that would sell for 2750-3k might command a hundred or 2 less with no COA.

A collectors choice model selling for 6500 could easily be cut to a 4500-5k ticket with no coa/case candy.

It doesn't effect value of the guitar- it DOES cut down on marketability/number of buyers (especially in an internet sales setting) due to authenticity concerns (for whatever reason - knock offs are too lazy to fake COAs). Less buyers means your going to have to accept less. But if your already in the shallow end of the pricing pool your going to find more buyers. The deeper you go - the tougher it can be.

In general - worst spot to be in is a late model R9 without it - lots of inventory, few without coa, buyers will be most sensitive to this "flaw".
I appreciate your thoughtful and informative post. 10 - 30% is significant when talking about a $4k and up instrument.

I agree, and this is in line with my intuitive sense of the market.

Also, having the CoA and other case candy lends a sense of the instrument having been cared for, or at least the seller being careful and mature enough not to lose it!
 

filtersweep

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A regular reissue? You can spot them a mile away without a COA if you know anything about Les Pauls.

But I agree- that if it is a special reissue in any way, you will take more of a hit.

I wouldn't care about a regular R8 if everything else was in order. But I am not a 'collector' either.
 

cybermgk

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Also, having the CoA and other case candy lends a sense of the instrument having been cared for, or at least the seller being careful and mature enough not to lose it!
I might agree on the COA. But, unless the person has 1 or 2 or 3 guitars, saving a lot of the case candy can be considered clutter for many and be tossed. If the person actually totes the guitar around a lot in the case, keeping it there isn't that wieldy. I never expect case candy on a used guitar, unless they just bought it.

As I said COA is a different story. MAYBE the Gibson photo in the shop.
 

mudface

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$200 on an average re-issue.

Special edition models,... it depends.

For example.......... Most CC's are clearly identified with their serial numbers on the headstock and control cavity...and their also chipped at the factory (like all other CS guitars)... Being that CC#1 is a Greeny and highly desirable at crazy pricing, without the COA could make it more reasonable..... but i seriously doubt by much.....it may get dismissed by serious collectors....and that leaves the door open for a PLAYER that has got to have one.....it's desirable enough that a missing COA may not turn away the right buyer.....and if you wait around for a $1000+ break it could be gone.

Same with "Pearly Gates" or a "Page #1"..... or any other highly desirable special edition. They are still indentifiable without a COA.

Artists signed models will take a huge hit.....as these are often over priced in the used market.... and no certification of that signature is no bueno.

A missing COA does matter depending on what it's missing from.
 

uncle mud

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I recently bought a used custom shop Special. I was choosing between 2 of them. The one I didn't buy had no coa, so I chose the one that did have the coa. I would not buy a reissue without the coa. There's plenty out there to choose from that retain the COA.
 

Tim Plains

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I'd also say up to $200 on a regular reissue. Maybe up to $500 on limited runs like CCs. Of course, many guys wouldn't touch one at all without a COA, so there is that aspect too. I wish Gibson stopped providing them.
 

judson

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depends alot to some, personally its rats ass to me if i am buying or selling....

as a buyer, i hope the seller places a big discount for no COA and or case candy...hell forget the case as well as i dont care really as long as it plays great...if your buying a guitar for the right reason, that stuff really isnt important to me....price is important for anything.

as a seller....if that means alot to you...move on and go find another, having the COA wont make the guitar play better or worse :dunno:

oh but i will include a counterfeit barry manilow autograph if that will seal the deal....... :rofl:
 
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bblooz

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It's subjective to some degree, as evidenced by the variety of responses so far. Early CS Reissues didn't even have COAs, and nobody started really caring about them for the first decade or so, thus many were lost (especially by Guitar Center!). Now that there is more attention to fakes, more folks are keeping better track of that pesky document. For those of us who have owned and handled many Historics, identification is easier than for the uninitiated newer buyer. For these folks, the COA gives a little peace of mind, and shows care and legitimacy by the precvious owner(s)/seller when taking the plunge on a substantial $ purchase.

On another point, if I'm selling without a COA, I'll say it doesn't matter. Whereas if I'm buying, there has to be a discount LOL!
 

Subterfuge

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I agree 100% with the above Post, with all the fraudulent deals out there the original COA is a big reassurance that the guitar is genuine ... I'd probably pass on a sale without it .. there's just so many others to choose from
 

toymaker

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Ok - let me expand upon my earlier post (and remind you why COA is not as big of a deal on a ultra high end guitar vs a mid level R9).

As I stated earlier - a used R8 fir example is not likely to be a "collector piece" - player grade stuff has a built in value (its intrinsic value).

By the same token - what would you value an original '59 burst with original case and tags...300k, 350k? - its quite a rare piece on its own and rarer with papers. Now without the tags would you expect a 30% price break...probably not - its desirable on its own, and other methods of authentication are available (at a cost).

You have the same option when buying for example a Pearly Gates...20k guitar can be authenticated at a price. So even though the COA adds to overall value to most - not having it doesn't render the guitar worth 30% less because of scarcity and the fact other authentication methods exist.

Now a 2014 R9 for example - that guitar cost the same to authenticate more or less as a 20k guitar (shipping/experts time and writing a letter) - but that cost (call it a grand fir simplicity sake) represents near 20% of the guitar value - versus 5% of the aged Pearly Gates. On top of that - there is a larger supply of inventory....I pass on a 1 of 50 example....I might wait years for my next shot. I pass on a 1 of 1600 (in any particular year) - my next shot will likely come in weeks if not days.

Supply/demand - scarcity raises all values, including those of items with a perceived "defect". And as mentioned- your in collector territory vs player territory on the spectrum.

Worst to not have a COA for in my opinion remain the CC models (except for #1 due to scarcity) and then "run of the mill" R9s.

And to the point brought up that any decent eye can catch a fake. To a degree- yes. But fakes are getting better - and what about quality Luther made clones....your correct - a Chibson can be spotted quickly - but what about a re stamped R8 or a well built clone. In person again not super difficult - but a few crappy photos on ebay....not so simple.
 

toymaker

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And personally - I wish Gibson offered "at a cost" either in house verification or a list of dealers who will do it.

For example - Randall Knives will refer me to experts on their product if I have a 50s or 60s knife I want to know meets Korea or Vietnam Era to support stories given about how dad/uncle/grandad carried it during their time in the service (can add value to collectors).

Why can't Gibson make a deal with preferred shops to authenticate a guitar - not give a new COA - just give a letter and verify its legit.

People are so damn stupid about that COA - feels guitars are going like coins and sportscards...slab them with a grading agency - never to be touched by mortal hands again. It ruined the fun of those collectibles and probably will ruin this one too.
 

mudface

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Another example is my 2011 Les Paul BB Custom... it was made at the Custom Shop.... though it’s not an Historic, just a regular CS Les Paul Custom.... doesn’t need a COA but it has one.... I wouldn’t care about a COA with that particular Custom Shop instrument. Just no need for one.
 
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wholelottaburst

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And personally - I wish Gibson offered "at a cost" either in house verification or a list of dealers who will do it.

For example - Randall Knives will refer me to experts on their product if I have a 50s or 60s knife I want to know meets Korea or Vietnam Era to support stories given about how dad/uncle/grandad carried it during their time in the service (can add value to collectors).

Why can't Gibson make a deal with preferred shops to authenticate a guitar - not give a new COA - just give a letter and verify its legit.

People are so damn stupid about that COA - feels guitars are going like coins and sportscards...slab them with a grading agency - never to be touched by mortal hands again. It ruined the fun of those collectibles and probably will ruin this one too.
To you point about verification by Gibson, I contacted Jon Sutherland at Gibson customer service who says he can verify via email with the guitar's serial number and "detailed picturess". Gibson won't provide a replacement COA, but will reply via email confirming the guitar's authenticity.
 

your idol

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Ive always found them to be ridiculous. Thats just me. I dont care if the guitar I want has one or not. You cant play it and honestly i dont wanna sell it to someone whos so hung up on a worthless piece of paper thats theyd deny themselves a good guitar. You hmm and haw over a COA I just move on. At this point those in the market should be able to tell its real and it has an RF chip right inside it.
 

judson

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Ive always found them to be ridiculous. Thats just me. I dont care if the guitar I want has one or not. You cant play it and honestly i dont wanna sell it to someone whos so hung up on a worthless piece of paper thats theyd deny themselves a good guitar. You hmm and haw over a COA I just move on. At this point those in the market should be able to tell its real and it has an RF chip right inside it.
i agree ......


but i forgot about the the RF chip which is used for factory use only is my understanding.....not like chipping your dog...

but i am surprised someone has not figured out how to read them....yet
 


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