How much should I expect to pay for a timepiece drumset?
May 25, 2021 4:23 AM   Subscribe

My all-time favorite musician is releasing a lot of his music equipment on a re-sale site, as he’s moving studios and overloaded with gear. Not many details have been given, but…

It seems like it’s going to be a flat price, not an auction. I am very interested in getting one of the items - a 5-piece drumset - no cymbals just snare, floor Tom, other two Toms, and bass drum. The resale site says only the day it will be released, not the time. I think it’s a first clicked, first served type of thing. Any tips from people who are used to waiting for something to drop and hop on it? Also - don’t just guess but if you have any basis to take an educated guess, how much do you think something like this will go for, for sale? It’s a pretty popular but past-their-peak band. I want to know if I have a chance, and I want to be prepared. I already emailed the site and they wouldn’t give me any more info.
posted by jitterbug perfume to Shopping (6 answers total)
I assume by a "timepiece" drum set you meant "five piece"?

Price all comes down to brand, age, and condition, PLUS whatever this person wants to tag on because of whatever level of "fame" they have. There's absolutely no way for anyone to give you any sense of what it might cost without know more about the set. Is this guy a drummer? Then expect to pay more? If he just does recording and has a drum set, it could be less desirable.

You can get run-of-the-mill sets from Tama, Yamaha, PDP, etc. new in the $500-$1000 range. If he's a drummer, and is really into equipment, it could be vintage, or a higher end set from DW, and those can be several thousands of dollars new.

I paid $400 for a ten-year-old Gretsch Catalina four piece set. My friend collects vintage kits and has a nice collection of desirable kits that he paid in the $600-$1200 range (but those are generally just kick, rack tom, floor tom).

And then there's shipping. is a good place to look for similar drum sets to see what. they're going for. Any of the "celebrity" collections they sell always have jacked up prices that only make the items Wirth it if you're a fan. Even though this isn't being sold on, expect the same.
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:00 AM on May 25 [2 favorites]

As others have said, it all depends on who made the drums, when they were made, and bonus $$ based on who the drummer is. For example, last year, Alex Van Halen put up for auction one of his drumkits that he used for an entire tour back in the 1980s. More than five pieces, more than five figures.
posted by emelenjr at 6:19 AM on May 25

Some of it's going to depend not just on who the drummer is, but who his fans are. There are certain drummers like Stewart Copeland from the Police. The Police were a popular band, a lot of music fans remember them and respect them. But drum people go absolutely apeshit over Stewart Copeland. A Stewart Copeland-used kit is one of those "if you have to ask" prices, even though the Police, as a band, aren't like species-level-event famous. On the flipside, the drummer from a band like Hootie and the Blowfish that sold a bunch of records but isn't considered a drum god would probably be a lot cheaper.

Age matters, too. It's been a thing for a while for baby boomers to spend their money on things that remind them of their adolescence. So if it's a band that boomers listened to in the late 60s and early 70s, even if not a particularly popular band, you're going to have a lot of deep-pocketed demand, and that'll set the market. For a band like Dinosaur Jr, probably less so, because there aren't that many Gen-Xers, and most of them aren't as rich as boomers. Millennials are harder to predict.

My tip for a first click sale would be to enlist multiple people in your effort. Get a handful of friends and family to log on to the resale site and all try to buy, and then pay the winner back. If there are 99 other people interested, you've got a 1% chance of winning by yourself, but a 5.7% chance of winning if you have five friends also trying.

When you emailed the site, did ask if you can buy early? If it's really just a garage sale and the guy's not trying to raise a bunch of money (in which case he should do an auction), the goal is just to get rid of the stuff. Can't hurt to try.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:54 AM on May 25 [2 favorites]

Based on a quick look at equipment from other still-popular-but-used-to-be-more-so rock musicians on resale sites, it looks like the basic equipment was priced at about resale value +10-20% and the proper instruments were at resale plus about 30-50%. If the piece is iconic or recognizable (he played it on tour or in a video or it's his own signature model) you might expect even a bit more. So if you search re-sale sites for the same kit, maybe tack on 50% and that's a fair guess.
posted by AgentRocket at 8:16 AM on May 25

Response by poster: It was in a music video, so it’s iconic, but not to a huge group of people like if it were in a Taylor Swift video or something. I have a bit of money to throw at it, I’m just trying to see if it’s at all realistic and what to expect.

And - Is a first click, first served site? I want to check out some of the celebrity pricing.
posted by jitterbug perfume at 11:56 AM on May 25

Response by poster: Also, they will only tell us the date and not the time that this is being listed, what time would be likely?
posted by jitterbug perfume at 4:01 PM on May 25

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