The Vintage Strat Market by the Numbers

The vintage Fender Stratocaster market is often looked at as a bellwether for the vintage guitar market at large. Today, we're exploring Reverb's historical data on vintage Strat sales, and letting the numbers do most of the talking.

Average Prices by Model Year for Sunburst Strats
This graph shows the average sale price for original, Sunburst Strats for each year of production. Expectedly, there's a major price drop off for Strats built after the CBS takeover of Fender in 1965 that continues through the '70s.
Vintage Strat Sales on Reverb by Frequency of Production Year
Inversely related to the the average price, this graph shows how many guitars from each year have been sold on Reverb as a proportion of all vintage Strat sales. Naturally, highly coveted '50s Strats sell infrequently compared to the lower-end late '70s models. The extremely high number of '79 Strat sales is partially due to the introduction of special edition 25th Anniversary models in that year.
Prices on Sunburst Strats by Year
Next we'll look at average prices of vintage Strats on Reverb over the course of three years. We've divided these sales into eras with similar pricing and collectability status.
Commonality of Finishes for Strat Sales on Reverb
Nowhere in the guitar world is finish more important to collectors than with vintage Fenders. These graphs show the breakdown of original finishes within all vintage Strat sales for guitars from the '60s and from the '70s. Original non-sunburst finishes are extremely rare for '50s Strats with insufficient volume to justify their own graph.

1960s Strats

1970s Strats

How Much Does a Refin Lower Value for
Different Strat Eras?
A non-original finish on a vintage Fender can take a serious toll on its market value, even in cases where the finish is done by a highly-skilled professional. Here's a look at the value of Stratocasters with non-original finishes compared to those with original finishes across five different periods.
Most Expensive Strat Sales on Reverb
In closing we present not another graph, but rather just a quick gallery of the five most expensive Strats to sell on Reverb.
1963 Black Stratocaster

1963 Shoreline Gold Stratocaster

1957 Sunburst Stratocaster

1963 Olympic White Stratocaster

1954 Sunburst Stratocaster

Note: the numbers above are limited to sales on Reverb. We think this should give an accurate reflection of the market in general, but may be different from prices achieved in private sales and through other channels.

Is there another corner of the gear world you'd like to see more data on? Let us know in the comments and we'll see if we can tackle it in a future post.

Buying Guide: Stratocasters
Learn everything you need to know to choose the right Stratocaster for you.
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