If you are familiar with Guitar Fetish, you might have heard about their epic factory buyout clearance sale.
They have had one available almost every year since 2014, even though the website says explicitly that these are limited opportunities.
You can find factory buyout bodies, guitars, basses, necks, and acoustics through this process. It is essential to note that every product purchased during a sale like this comes in an as-is state. That means you’ll need to give it some love before it becomes a usable product.
If you purchase an electric guitar or bass, you might need to rewire the instrument to get it to work.
Factory Buyout Clearance Sale
Every audio shop features numerous sales throughout the year. You can find decent deals on things during Black Friday events, a summer sale, and when new merchandise hits the floor or comes online. If you see a factory buyout clearance sale, it means you’re typically purchasing abandoned merchandise.
When you shop the factory buyout clearance sales from Guitar Fetish or another manufacturer, it’s crucial to review the product listing. The information found there will provide some clues about what to expect with your purchase.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’ve looked up the available acoustic factory buyouts and find a dozen guitars listed. You’ll find the titles offer some information about what to expect.
- Natural Acoustic Dreadnought Style
- Natural Medium Jumbo Style Acoustic Guitar
- Black Dreadnought Style Guitar Rosewood
Out of those options, the best guitar to select would be the last one. Rosewood is not a protected species globally, which means you cannot obtain it on a new instrument.
The only way to import new rosewood is to have an export certificate from the CITES Management Authority in the nation of origin. Once the shipment reaches the United States, it would need to clear through customs, which is unlikely because of the guidelines to prevent its entry.
That means the only way to get a rosewood neck is to purchase an existing guitar with it.
If you don’t need to have a whole guitar, you would also have the option to purchase rosewood necks with a factory buyout clearance sale.
You’ll need to be careful when shopping because some items in this category don’t have any frets. That condition saves you a ton of cash ($30 vs. $180), but it also means more work.
When you purchase buyout necks, you’ll also need to invest in tuners to make sure that you can string your instrument appropriately.
The bottom line is this: for the price that you get items at a factory buyout, you’ll get some decent quality items when you shop smartly. It’s even possible to grab a few things that might not normally be offered for sale where you live because of regional restrictions.
What Are the Terms of a Factory Buyout Clearance Sale?
When a company decides to have a factory buyout clearance sale, it typically means that you’re purchasing distressed goods. Everything is sold as-is. Guitar factories find themselves stopping in the middle of a production cycle when a brand goes bankrupt.
That means orders get canceled, the lines get stopped, and thousands of partially made guitars might be sitting on the floor.
You can find some of them unrouted, but finished in every other sense of the production cycle. Some of the guitars get disassembled to take the parts out for other pieces.
Depending on the sale, you’ll find different bodies, necks, and other spare parts just waiting to find a new home. Nothing in these transactions is what you could classify as a brand-new item, even though the product has never received any play.
These are limited-time opportunities because the products get sold at prices where the overall buyer gets their money back. It’s not unusual for the customer cost to be below the wood’s value.
Some pieces even have brands that don’t have regional sales permission for sales, but you can get your hands on the product when you shop through these sales.
It is essential to remember that all sales are final with a factory buyout clearance. As Guitar Fetish says, “You buy it, you own it, you deal with it.”
If you have a moderate scratch on a guitar, you can wet sand and buff it to clean up the look. Deeper marks might need refinishing, but you’ll still get a decent price on an incredible instrument.
Items in a factory buyout clearance sale are usually offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Most of the best things move fast, which means you need to act quickly if you find something you like.
Look at the terms and conditions of the sale carefully. Putting items in your cart won’t reserve the product for you. The payment method must be approved before it is something that you’ll get.
It’s a bit of a risk, but you’ll also get some high-quality parts, bodies, and necks when reviewing these components.
Should I Buy a New or Used Guitar?
Choosing a new or used guitar is an important decision when you want an instrument to play.
The best reason to buy new is that you want a guitar that doesn’t have any wear and tear on it. You know that the frets will be in perfect condition.
New guitars have significantly fewer risks to manage if you want to pick up an instrument to play right away. Although this benefit comes with an extra cost, you’ll have the ability to say the guitar is yours alone.
A new instrument depreciates once it leaves the guitar shop, so you’ll want to choose which one you prefer carefully.
It also helps to purchase a new guitar when you’re unsure of what you are buying. If you look at the second-hand market, the product you end up getting could be a bit dodgy. There’s always someone out there trying to scam someone out of a quick buck.
Used guitars make sense to purchase when you know the true value of the instrument. If you find one worth $1,500 and you can grab it for under $1,000, that price tag is a decent bargain. You can find some incredible prices out there for world-class instruments if you’re patient and know where to look.
You won’t typically get that result from a factory buyout sale. Those guitars are more for custom builds or repairs.
When shopping for used guitars, you’ll want to be careful about the people who try to hide an instrument’s defects. They’re counting on the fact that you don’t know what you’re looking at it to score some extra cash.
Others sellers gave up learning their guitar and had it sit in the closet for years, never knowing what it might be worth. You can even find some instruments at estate sales where the property manager wants to raise funds and give you a reasonable price.
It also makes sense to shop for a used guitar when you want an instrument, but you also need to save some cash. Even if it is only a couple of years old, you can see significant reductions compared to the retail cost.
Is a Factory Buyout Clearance Sale Worth Reviewing?
I love factory buyout clearance sales. It gives me a chance to find guitar parts at steep discounts. Although the quality is sometimes a little hit or miss, you can reduce those risks by carefully reading each product description.
Over the years, I’ve grabbed some jazz-style Fender guitar bodies and necks for under $100. My best find was an Ibanez® rosewood bass with the electronics intact for $70.
If you don’t have the time to shop for these items, I highly recommend grabbing a Fender Player Jazz Electric Bass. It’s an affordable instrument that plays above its price point, delivering sustained tones and fluid motion while handling any riff or drop.
It uses the single-coil pickup with a vintage saddle to give you the legendary sounds this brand has produced for decades.
I love working on guitars, so a factory buyout sale makes sense. Everyone else will need to decide themselves if that kind of investment works for their needs.