Shop Spotlight: The Old Europe

While the vintage mainstream focuses on instruments from U.S. manufacturers like Fender, Gibson, and Gretsch, there is a growing market for guitars, basses, and electronics made in Europe.

Instruments from brands like Musima, Klira, Framus, or Meinel & Herold from the time between 1950 and the early ‘80s are very popular, with an ever-increasing demand that even stretches beyond Europe.

The Old Europe's Chris Kellner

"I started collecting guitars about ten years ago. Back then, I had five guitars and wasn’t really satisfied with the customer experience in guitar stores. So I thought it would be a good idea to learn everything about restoring, repairing, and setting up instruments," explains Chris Kellner from The Old Europe.

At around the same time, he started buying old guitars, collecting mostly old German and Japanese makes. "First, I started buying and restoring the guitars for myself. But then I sold a few of them and noticed that I could make some profit out of that. It basically started as a hobby and has grown since to being a serious side job."

In the early days of Chris’ Reverb shop called "The Old Europe," most of his guitars went to buyers in the U.S. But since Reverb is growing so quickly in Europe, more and more of his items are being shipped to France, Spain, and Germany.

So, how many guitars does The Old Europe stock in total?

"I normally work on about three or four guitars simultaneously and keep about 70 of them in my workshop. But in my storage space, I have another 400 of them waiting to be restored. There’s plenty of work to do, and I will most likely not run out of items for my shop in the near future."

Chris saw the potential of using Reverb pretty soon after starting The Old Europe back in 2015. At that time, Reverb was well-established in the US and had few users in Europe. Today, Reverb is available in four additional languages: French, Spanish, German, and Japanese.

"Reverb helped me a lot to grow my small hobby into a constantly growing business. From the very beginning, I had a direct contact at Reverb, helping me via chat or phone anytime a problem or question came up."

There will be a lot going on at The Old Europe in the future, which is not surprising if we look at the huge quantity of Chris’s instruments still waiting to be restored and sold.

"I definitely want to further grow the business and my shop. It’s such a joy to see my guitars being sold internationally to buyers who really appreciate those kind of instruments. With the increasing amount of European and German users on Reverb, I see lots of opportunities coming. I will also introduce Japanese and Korean Vintage guitars to my shop very soon, as well as some contemporary models. My main focus will be European and German Vintage, though."

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