With custom call making and collecting continuing to grow in popularity the values of certain call makers is sky rocketing on the second hand market. This is nothing new, certain calls have always been valuable on the resell market. Something has changed though, the older calls from years past used to be the big ticket items. While newer custom calls sold for face value or close to it. It was not uncommon to see a 10/10 call resell for slightly less than original cost and be fair offer. With call makers setting limits on their time and closing their books we have seen the market shift to supply and demand.
Brand new custom hand turned calls are reselling to double to triple their original cost on the second hand market from some makers. While classics will always carry strong values, new calls from a few companies are matching values not seen for new calls. Once an announcement is made that Books are closing the market goes into a frenzy driving everyone to fight to get in before they do. With the availability for a new call disappearing until further notice those who are left in the cold are willing to shell out big money to obtain one on the second hand market.
I have talked to MiG Custom Calls owner and BTBN corespondent Michael Meredith numerous times about this because no matter how modest he is his calls are on the ones this applies to right now. Mike has seen his company grow from a rising up and comer to a front runner in the custom market both through hard work and quality and according to Mike "Call making started out as a hobby for me. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I'd be where I'm at now. Still doesn't make sense to me that someone wants to pay for a call I turned out, let alone what I've seen some of them sell for second hand. I'm humbled by it to say the least."
I asked him what he thought of closed books and the craze it has created in the market and he said "I can assure you this is not a publicity stunt or hype attempt to me, nor is it to any of the call makers I know who have closed their books. The crazy secondary prices my calls are bringing drives me crazy. The guys that have their books closed have earned that reputation based off of their work. People who have quick turnarounds are for different reasons some because of free time, some guys have quick turn around because they don't make a good call. I went through a good long spell where I could have you a call turned and mailed in two days max. No waiting list. And that was because my calls sucked. As my calls got better, so did my brand name. And there are guys like Ostovic that build a damn fine call but don't want the headache of having to work that often."
With the craze over closed books and the way the market is moving these days I can assure you it will be here for awhile and the market will continue to be the wild west in sorts. I asked Mike if he intended to raise his prices to capitalize on his current popularity. "I have not changed my prices since the recent increase in popularity in my calls, and I don't see myself doing so any time in the near future. Maybe one day, with the support of both loyal return customers and new customers alike, I can make this a full time adventure and allow myself to take on more custom calls in a years time. But only time and the Lord will tell."