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More stupid pricing

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by Mark Adams, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams all wood nut

  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

  3. Nutkin

    Nutkin Canoodler

    That's pretty funny. There is a link " click here to ask us a question directly" where we might find out what, indeed, he is smoking.
    Apparently whatever it is, it has caused him to put an apostrophe before the plural S in "canoes" and add a modifier to "Unique" (so unique)
    [/grammar nazi]
  4. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    The problem I see with overpricing is that someone else may use this as a guide for selling their own canoe, rather than considering what canoes actually sell for.

    Many sellers quote the current price of an Old Town wood/canvas as the basis for their pricing, but it seems they don't look farther than that. For just a bit more than the $11K Indian Girl reproduction, someone could have one of Jerry Stelmok's gorgeous limited edition works-of-art:

    Consider the following as an example of a buyer who was smokin' something. This canoe was discussed here in forums-- it was listed on eBay and had a duck and buck painted on the outside. Yes, it's a beautiful restoration-- but how many beautiful restorations have we seen, that sold for around $3,000....
  5. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Nutkin: As the daughter of a high school English teacher, I am somewhat of a grammar Nazi myself.

    Here's a quote from the web page with the Morris that I pointed out (above):

    "...we did our best to minimize its’ appearance..."

    As all grammar Nazis know, no apostrophe is needed at all when dealing with the possessive of "it". So, "its appearance" would have been correct. Someone apparently knew that "it's appearance" would be wrong: "it's" is the contraction for "it is". Hold the apostrophe altogether! Conserve punctuation!

  6. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Now, shall we discuss the liberal use of the adjective "rare" when applied to wooden canoes? Personally, I feel the use of "rare" in front of "Old Town" constitutes an oxymoron, unless we're talking about something in Benson's fleet... :)
  7. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    What I've seen

    What little bit of watching I do on ebay seems to show that overpriced canoes don't sell. Even fairly priced canoes don't sell often when they are in the 1k-2k range.
  8. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Well, it depends on the usage of the word "rare..." could it not imply "half- baked" ???
  9. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Rare= kinda brownish on the outside and pink in the middle...?
  10. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Or, "less than done," as in, it has a lot of years left on it?

    I'm really stretching here...

    But you're right, the OTs can't be that rare, as I've had two fall into my lap without even looking for them. Now, if the Rushtons and Morrises start falling my way, I'll be worried. Or excited, I'm not sure which...
  11. Nutkin

    Nutkin Canoodler

    I'm pretty sure he was fully "baked" when he wrote up that ad...:eek:
  12. Nutkin

    Nutkin Canoodler

    You have greater fortitude than I. I couldn't bring myself to go much farther than the first one or two lines. But $30,000? Amazing!
  13. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    How much is your canoe worth?

    Just to stir the pot some - I was rendering Concord grapes today:

    Whatever someone will pay for it - no? Didn't grandma say, "you don't get what you don't ask for"?

    Maybe, just maybe, we informed ones are the ones that are hallucinating? Or even shooting ourselves in the foot?:D "we - us"? where is my, "Elements of Style"?

    The Morris apparently sold for a very high price, but you don't see 15 footers every day, it appears to have been a nice restoration, and if money was no object and you had a place on the water, wanted a really nice solo canoe, or a had a nice showroom, or a Morris collection, and you just had to have it....

    Who is laughing now?

  14. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Serious, heavy-duty collectors are going to outbid many of us, every time. If they're willing to pay these prices, I sure hope one of them would like one of my "rare" Old Towns, after I get them restored! :eek:

    Grandma also said something about a fool and his money... guess it depends on how you look at it...
  15. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Fitz-- that Morris is a 17 footer (one of the two most common sizes-- the other being 18 feet). And I think you are correct with "we" rather than "us"... just sounds right, and sometimes we have to go by ear. But your reference to "Elements of Style" reminds me that we may have bought E.B. White's canoe and will be seeing it in-person early next month. Yay. It IS a fifteen footer, is more exciting than a Morris (sorry Bert), and won't be up for sale within my lifetime, even for ten grand... even if E.B. never set foot in it (but maybe a little mouse or a spider did).

  16. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood


    Okay, 17 footer. Sorry, the "15" in the url made me jump to conclusions.

    I've been running this through my gourd for some time. I guess my point is that I think most restored canoes are undervalued and it is not immediately obvious to me as to why. Classic cars, motor cycles, tractors, airplanes, antiques, even other boats, and other restoration industries seem to do better.

    I know supply and demand drives the price, but why such a difference between shelling out big bucks for a newly built canoe versus a very nice restoration? They are not building the antiques anymore, so there is a limited supply of 17 foot Morris canoes.

    I agree, the $30K for a wreck of a canoe is over the top, but maybe $10K for a restored Morris "should" not be totally unreasonable?

    Maybe we need an "American Canoe" show to compete with "American Chopper" to drive up popularity and promote our craft. Rollin might do pretty well in the ratings :D.

  17. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    What you've said is so very true, Fitz. If "a thing is worth what someone is willing to pay", why are "they" only willing to pay three grand for a beautifully restored canoe?

    Maybe we need to set the mark a bit higher, and hold out for someone willing to pay for the honor of having an historical canoe and for the labor that went into preserving it.

    And we DO need a TV show! Building and restoring wooden canoes--- canoe history (which speaks loudly of human history)--- using the canoe in different ways and in different places--- man, what a great show!

  18. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I suspect that most significant restorations can not be sold for a profit. There is an old car at which the owner claims to have cost over $25000 to restore yet the bidding in two eBay auctions has never gone above $8700. I have some restored canoes that are not likely to ever sell for anything close to what they have cost me but I have no plans to part with them. Tim Hewitt put it well at saying "If your goal is to make money on a canoe, go into another hobby, you'll not likely make any here :). If you enjoy working on old canoes and eventually need to sell them to make space for new projects, this is a great hobby."

    New things usually get a price premimium because they are less likely to have hidden problems. There isn't a big supply of nice old things but the demand appears to be limited as well. Both cars and canoes seem to share these charactertistics.

    A good television show and other advertising could help. The appearance of a model canoe on the Antiques Roadshow recently appears to have made a significant difference in that market.

    I hope that a few of these canoes actually sell for their 'stupid' prices because it may help increase the average market value for all of our canoes.

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  19. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Even though some pricing seems to be quite high, now is a good time to buy. In checking the completed items on Ebay, you can find a first year,1941 Old Town sport boat in Maine, in unrestored condition was only bid to around $200. It didn't meet reserve. I offered an almost restored 1951 sport boat with lots of disclaimers on Ebay for $399 with no reserve, and nobody bid. I bid on an unrestored , advertised 14', Peterborough canoe in Presque Isle, Michigan, mostly because I wanted to take my wife on an overnight trip north for our anniversary, and bought it for $161. Of course, there are exceptions, but I haven't seen very many.
  20. OP
    Mark Adams

    Mark Adams all wood nut

    I have talked to the guy up at Vintage Canoe Works. He is a very pleasant fellow. He also has a loyal, moneyed clientele. I see nothing wrong with getting 10800 for a nicely restored Morris. I'd love to be able to sell my restorations for that! He says he spends "hundreds" of hours on a restoration, which I don't get. It usually takes me 40-50 to do a restoration, and I do a nice job. But, for a lot of time, that price isn't out of line.

    I DO think it is absolutely insane to ask 30k for a rough canoe, and to be misinformed to the point where you are claiming that it is one of only 8 left. I can think of 2 right off, and I have heard of 8 more, through one shop alone.

    I'd love to have a Herald, even that one, but I'd only go 3k max on it.

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