Asking Price vs. Final Price: The Bad Monkey Saga's Lasting Lesson | Price Guide Trends

This piece was originally published on March 16, 2023 and has been updated as of March 23.

If you’ve been keeping up with effects pedal news over the last couple of weeks, you’ve no doubt been paying extra attention to a specific Chinese-made DigiTech pedal from the early 2000s, the Bad Monkey overdrive. Last week, we explained the story (below), covering Josh Scott’s video that demonstrated how this 20-year-old pedal—which, at the time, you could readily find available for around $60 used—was capable of sounds just as good as the mythical circuits that now fetch upwards of three and even four figures.

Expectedly, Scott’s broader point about trusting your ears over the hype of any single circuit has itself created significant hype around his Bad Monkey example. Almost immediately after the JHS video dropped, interest in the now-discontinued Bad Monkey skyrocketed, which drove asking prices upward.

Some sellers have listed Bad Monkey pedals for $600, $700, and even over $1,000 in some cases. These asking prices set YouTubers, TikTokers, and forum posters ablaze with commentary. But an important clarification to make is that no Bad Monkey listing has actually sold on Reverb for any of those sky-high listing prices, despite what some people are asking.

digitech bad monkey 6 month price guide screenshot
DigiTech Bad Monkey 6-month Price Guide graph. (Check it out for yourself here.)

According to our Price Guide, the average sale price of a Bad Monkey in good to mint condition right now is $180. On the high end, a peppering of Bad Monkey pedals have sold for over $200, which has driven the overall average up. But none of the individual sales from the last three days have since broken $200.

Granted, going from an average of $60 before the video to an average of $180 after its publish is still a significant increase—but not one of nearly $600. This illustrates another important lesson when it comes to hyped gear: asking prices are not always reflective of what people are realistically willing to pay.

If you have a DigiTech Bad Monkey that you’re looking to offload, there’s no question that now would be a good time to sell it—as long as your listing price is based on what people are currently paying. In other words, don’t expect to get a 1,000% return on your original investment just because of a popular video. To Josh Scott’s original point, watch out for the hype.

Earlier today, JHS' beloved madman Josh Scott listed a complete set of 11 early aughts, made-in-China DigiTech pedals that could be yours—for just a cool $55,841 USD.

He can't be serious, can he? Surely not. Though is he? Let's break down the bit.

Bad Monkey vs KLON, JHS Morning Glory, Zendrive, Fulldrive, and ODR-1

A few days ago, the JHS YouTube channel posted a video about a nearly 20-year-old, often-overlooked pedal called the DigiTech Bad Monkey overdrive. Josh shot the pedal out with his original Klon Centaur as well as a bunch of other popular drives (like the JHS Morning Glory, Zendrive, Fulldrive, and ODR-1) and was very pleased with the results.

Scott's well-demonstrated point was that guitarists in the market for a certain sound should really be going by and trusting their ears over anything else. Sure, the circuits that are heavily hyped and have become cost-prohibitive collectibles are great pedals. But the gear that's readily available and attainable for most players can be just as good, too.

digitech bad monkey 2-year price guide screenshot
DigiTech Bad Monkey 2-year Price Guide graph. (Check it out for yourself here.)

At the time the video was published, the DigiTech Bad Monkey was selling for an average of $60. But, somewhat predictably, the price has skyrocketed in the days since, and now Bad Monkey listings are selling for over $100, in some cases over $200 on Reverb.

This isn't the first time a JHS/Josh Scott video has influenced prices of gear, and not even the first time it's happened with a DigiTech pedal specifically. In April of last year, Josh did the exact same thing with the DigiTech DF-7.

digitech df-7 2-year price guide screenshot
DigiTech DF-7 2-year Price Guide graph. (Check it out for yourself here.)

Josh Scott took to his Instagram account today to respond to some of the complaints he's been getting from people who have noticed the increase. "To the people complaining that I raised the price on this pedal and 'now you can’t buy one,'" Josh writes, "I would like to remind you you had 19 years, but you never cared."

He goes on to say that, eventually, prices are going to go back to previous levels (though the DF-7 has yet to fully revert back its old mean). But the point of the episode, to reiterate, is that players shouldn't get swept up in the kind of hype that makes circuits unaffordable in the first place. And then, he punctuated his point by listing a batch of DigiTech pedals for over $50 grand.

There are plenty of excellent, under-appreciated, and affordable effects out there waiting to be found. The only question is, which of them will be Josh Scott's next choice?

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