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Determining Cue Values, i.e., Prices. - 02-27-2015, 11:13 PM

Since a central database doesn't exist documenting the prices of cues sold, emotions play a large part in assigning asking prices, or list prices, and the amount of any offer that's less than full price. Recently I posted a question about what makes a certain cue-maker so special that the price of that cue-maker's cues are unusually expensive or at least some posted on the Forum have been. At the outset, I want to acknowledge that posting the question on someone else's thread that has a cue for sale is inappropriate and so I deleted my question after the selller expressed annoyance which in hindsight makes sense.

However, there were some posts on the original thread that aroused my curiosity. At a certain point in cue-making ability, greatness tends to get clumped together, sort of like a group of esteemed cue-makers and the way cue-makers distinguish themselves is with their individual cues released. That's how I see things......the difference between the top ten cue-makers on my list .is only slight and no one cue-maker stands heads above his peers and some are just a wee bit taller. Anyway, I have a question about one particular cue-maker, Dennis Searing, who's probably a cue-maker virtually any Azer would love to own. Why are Searing cues so seemingly expensive? I get that there aren't many being sold......I also get that there's a long wait period but that applies to other cue-makers as well. Heck, I've been told Mr. Hercek's wait for a new cue order is around 11 years......I mean how much further out can you go to distinguish any cue-maker from another....15 yrs. wait? Is it purely supply and demand and if that's what the answer is, then what makes Searing cues so high in demand. It cannot just be scarcity.

I am trying t learn more about what makes Searing pool cues so different. Another Azer recently posted on a thread "80-90% of the cue buying world do not realize the level of intensity Dennis puts into making a single cue. He is on another planet in comparison to "most" others". Well, I don't know what that means. Does it mean he tries harder? Does he reject more than he accepts in his cue-making efforts because he sets his standards so high? Is it because he makes so few cues? I offer Danny Tibbits as an example of another cue-maker that makes very few cues....way less than Searing, I'm just supposing that ........but is that a criterion for greatness?

When Dennis goes into his shop and spends 3-4 -5 -6 hrs working on a cue or cues, is his concentration so dialed up that he's trying harder than say another esteemed named cue-maker that for lack of a better description, isn't concentrating or trying as hard as Dennis? What is this thing about intensity of his work or any cue-maker's work for that matter? Is this about the design and look? There are lots of other cue-makers that make cues as handsome, and I submit also more handsome, than the Searing cues I've seen.

Remember, I'm not knocking Dennis's workmanship but I'm not praising it as being better than other cue-makers and IMO his designs also tend to be less ornate versions. So it's not the appearance or looks of the cue that set Searing cues apart from the rest of the pack, I'm imagining it has to do with some type of special difference. And like most Azers, the immediate thought that comes to my mind is the hit & feel.

Now if hit and feel is what distinguishes Searing cues, how does that relate to that intensity thing or anything like that....perhaps like a cue-maker having a more discerning eye or taking a lot more time than everyone else to complete his inlay work, or something like that? That's what I'm driving at because I do not understand the notion that an hour, afternoon, or a day, etc. of Dennis Searing's concentration at cue-making is any more intense or valuable than that same amount of time if it was given by Ernie G/, Joel Hercek, Barry Szamboti, or Ed Prewitt. The only thing that would seem to matter is whether Dennis works entirely alone and that these other cue-makers wouldn't have spent the same amount of hands on involvement making the cue because they rely upon assistants.

I've never heard that about the aforementioned cue-makers and so I presume their time would be every bit as focused and hands-on the same as if Mr. Searing was the cue-maker? I'm just trying to understand what makes his pool cues so different, aside from being expensive. I trust I haven't annoyed anyone with my query and we can chat via PM or via the Forum.......just trying to learn more from those more in the know about Searing pool cues.

Thanks,

Matt B


"My Pool Cues"

*Bob Owen Custom- Level 8 (s/d 4-24-16) - Flat Ivory Joint
*J. Rauenzahn Custom - Level 6 (s/d 5-4-16) - Flat Ivory Joint

*J. Rauenzahn Custom - Level 8 (s/d 2-23-15) - Flat Ivory Joint
*Ed Prewitt Custom '05 - Level 8 - Flat Ivory Joint
*Bob Owen Custom - Level 8 (s/d 5-4-14) - Flat Ivory Joint
*Tim Scruggs Custom (05-95) Level 7 - Flat Ivory Joint
*Runde Schon (03-85) Custom "R" Series (1 of 1)
*Palmer (Original) - '72 (All Cocobolo Wood)

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02-28-2015, 12:56 AM

All the cue makers you have mentioned have extreme intensity in their craft.
It would not be fair to say one cue maker has more intensity then the other Hall of Famer, and some future Hall of Famer's.

I don't believe any of the mentioned cue maker's have a helper, but not sure about Ed Prewitt and Dennis.
All the Cue Maker's mentioned have their own way of making cue's. That includes how long it takes, and how many they produce.

Pricing is all about supply and demand.

Barry Szamboti makes approx. 15 cues a years. Supply low, demand High.

Joel Hercek makes approx. 25 cues a year. Supply low, Demand High.

Ernie G. makes approx. triple digits a year. Supply is still low because of the sheer about of people over sea's and in the U.S. that want his cues.
This is what makes Ernie a Hall of Famer and the Greatest Cue maker alive.
He makes some of the Greatest cues in the world with execution second to none, and works by himself, and has the greatest work ethic to produce this amount of incredible cues.

Dennis Searing makes approx.??. 4-5 cues a year. Supply Low, Demand High.

The market is made by how badly people want the few cues that are made available. Looking at the above numbers. Doesn't take rocket science to figure out why prices are what they are.

Ernie is the exception to every rule. For 50 years he supplied the world with amazing cues and alot of them, and his reputation and unbelievable work is what keeps his prices up.

Best,
Ken

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Not sure how many a year
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Not sure how many a year - 02-28-2015, 04:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighEndCues View Post
All the cue makers you have mentioned have extreme intensity in their craft.
It would not be fair to say one cue maker has more intensity then the other Hall of Famer, and some future Hall of Famer's.

I don't believe any of the mentioned cue maker's have a helper, but not sure about Ed Prewitt and Dennis.
All the Cue Maker's mentioned have their own way of making cue's. That includes how long it takes, and how many they produce.

Pricing is all about supply and demand.

Barry Szamboti makes approx. 15 cues a years. Supply low, demand High.

Joel Hercek makes approx. 25 cues a year. Supply low, Demand High.

Ernie G. makes approx. triple digits a year. Supply is still low because of the sheer about of people over sea's and in the U.S. that want his cues.
This is what makes Ernie a Hall of Famer and the Greatest Cue maker alive.
He makes some of the Greatest cues in the world with execution second to none, and works by himself, and has the greatest work ethic to produce this amount of incredible cues.

Dennis Searing makes approx.??. 4-5 cues a year. Supply Low, Demand High.

The market is made by how badly people want the few cues that are made available. Looking at the above numbers. Doesn't take rocket science to figure out why prices are what they are.

Ernie is the exception to every rule. For 50 years he supplied the world with amazing cues and alot of them, and his reputation and unbelievable work is what keeps his prices up.

Best,
Ken
$1 for $1 I don't think you will not find a better looking or playing custom cue than a Bob Runde. Very limited supply, perfect player to me, priced reasonably. The quality of Bobs cues should demand 3x what they do now. I suppose once he is retired everyone will want one. Seems that the original Schons that he built are highly desirable. Over 20 years after leaving Schon, I believe Bob has perfected "his" style. I reccomend buying a high end Runde now as Bob probably will not be building anything overly fancy in the future and he could stop building cues any day. Once it warms up here in WI, I'm pretty sure he will be out hitting the "links". Seriously, get one.
  
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Appraisal
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Appraisal - 02-28-2015, 04:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavafongoul View Post
Since a central database doesn't exist documenting the prices of cues sold, emotions play a large part in assigning asking prices, or list prices, and the amount of any offer that's less than full price. Recently I posted a question about what makes a certain cue-maker so special that the price of that cue-maker's cues are unusually expensive or at least some posted on the Forum have been. At the outset, I want to acknowledge that posting the question on someone else's thread that has a cue for sale is inappropriate and so I deleted my question after the selller expressed annoyance which in hindsight makes sense.

However, there were some posts on the original thread that aroused my curiosity. At a certain point in cue-making ability, greatness tends to get clumped together, sort of like a group of esteemed cue-makers and the way cue-makers distinguish themselves is with their individual cues released. That's how I see things......the difference between the top ten cue-makers on my list .is only slight and no one cue-maker stands heads above his peers and some are just a wee bit taller. Anyway, I have a question about one particular cue-maker, Dennis Searing, who's probably a cue-maker virtually any Azer would love to own. Why are Searing cues so seemingly expensive? I get that there aren't many being sold......I also get that there's a long wait period but that applies to other cue-makers as well. Heck, I've been told Mr. Hercek's wait for a new cue order is around 11 years......I mean how much further out can you go to distinguish any cue-maker from another....15 yrs. wait? Is it purely supply and demand and if that's what the answer is, then what makes Searing cues so high in demand. It cannot just be scarcity.

I am trying t learn more about what makes Searing pool cues so different. Another Azer recently posted on a thread "80-90% of the cue buying world do not realize the level of intensity Dennis puts into making a single cue. He is on another planet in comparison to "most" others". Well, I don't know what that means. Does it mean he tries harder? Does he reject more than he accepts in his cue-making efforts because he sets his standards so high? Is it because he makes so few cues? I offer Danny Tibbits as an example of another cue-maker that makes very few cues....way less than Searing, I'm just supposing that ........but is that a criterion for greatness?

When Dennis goes into his shop and spends 3-4 -5 -6 hrs working on a cue or cues, is his concentration so dialed up that he's trying harder than say another esteemed named cue-maker that for lack of a better description, isn't concentrating or trying as hard as Dennis? What is this thing about intensity of his work or any cue-maker's work for that matter? Is this about the design and look? There are lots of other cue-makers that make cues as handsome, and I submit also more handsome, than the Searing cues I've seen.

Remember, I'm not knocking Dennis's workmanship but I'm not praising it as being better than other cue-makers and IMO his designs also tend to be less ornate versions. So it's not the appearance or looks of the cue that set Searing cues apart from the rest of the pack, I'm imagining it has to do with some type of special difference. And like most Azers, the immediate thought that comes to my mind is the hit & feel.

Now if hit and feel is what distinguishes Searing cues, how does that relate to that intensity thing or anything like that....perhaps like a cue-maker having a more discerning eye or taking a lot more time than everyone else to complete his inlay work, or something like that? That's what I'm driving at because I do not understand the notion that an hour, afternoon, or a day, etc. of Dennis Searing's concentration at cue-making is any more intense or valuable than that same amount of time if it was given by Ernie G/, Joel Hercek, Barry Szamboti, or Ed Prewitt. The only thing that would seem to matter is whether Dennis works entirely alone and that these other cue-makers wouldn't have spent the same amount of hands on involvement making the cue because they rely upon assistants.

I've never heard that about the aforementioned cue-makers and so I presume their time would be every bit as focused and hands-on the same as if Mr. Searing was the cue-maker? I'm just trying to understand what makes his pool cues so different, aside from being expensive. I trust I haven't annoyed anyone with my query and we can chat via PM or via the Forum.......just trying to learn more from those more in the know about Searing pool cues.

Thanks,

Matt B
Trying to figure out the value of a cue is quite difficult. I was in the mortgage business for quite a few years and a house appraisal can vary greatly from appraiser to appraiser if there are plenty of comps available. The blue books offer a lot of information but values are irrelevant not. I would think you could get 10 or so respected cue buyers or dealers together to assess a value range on any given cue. The other issue is that some builders are more valued regionally or for that matter only known regionally. I know a couple local cue builders whose builds don't leave Madison and everyone who has one loves it.

Another thing, most people who are the best at mechanics are not the best at sales or creating demand. Yes if your product sells itself or you have advertising it does help. However if you have a believer who will sell your cues you will be successful. I'm still waiting for a builder to figure this out, I can sell your product if I like it.

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02-28-2015, 04:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooter08 View Post
$1 for $1 I don't think you will not find a better looking or playing custom cue than a Bob Runde. Very limited supply, perfect player to me, priced reasonably. The quality of Bobs cues should demand 3x what they do now. I suppose once he is retired everyone will want one. Seems that the original Schons that he built are highly desirable. Over 20 years after leaving Schon, I believe Bob has perfected "his" style. I reccomend buying a high end Runde now as Bob probably will not be building anything overly fancy in the future and he could stop building cues any day. Once it warms up here in WI, I'm pretty sure he will be out hitting the "links". Seriously, get one.
That is true about Bob Runde, his cues are nicely balanced, have a great feel, and
they are all terrific players.
The old Runde Schon's are much more sought after then Runde customs, even
though the Runde custom cues seem so underpriced.
Sometimes I think it's because Runde Schons are not cored, and Runde customs
are cored, so people want the old stuff.
Then again people seem to like the old Schon designs much better than his new
designs, and the new designs are kind of odd at times.

I've had several Rundes are a few Runde Schons and I prefer the new Rundes.
The secondary market on the new Rundes isn't bad, R-Schons sell faster, but I like
the new ones.


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02-28-2015, 05:36 AM

I totally agree about Bob Runde cues.I have had his older Schon cues as well as his newer ones and his newer cues are a great value for the money.Bang for the buck.I believe that the OP was wondering why Searing cues are so expensive? Anyone have the answer?
Marc
BTW,the cue in my avatar with the diamond inlays,is a rare bumperless Runde It was my daily player till I got the all ebony ivory jointed Pierce cue next to it.The Pierce plays as good (actually better) than any cue that I have ever owned,and it is now my daily player.


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02-28-2015, 05:51 AM

GFY,

As I stated in a Pre-For Sale ad, go find a Searing and formulate your own opinion.

More importantly, why do you care about people's opinion of a cue? Buy what you like and enjoy it. Why make it so difficult?

I am not going to waste my time writing a "review" about CUEMAKER A and his cues, because someone will come along and say CUEMAKER B is just as good if not better.


IT"S A FRIGGIN OPINION....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavafongoul View Post

Anyway, I have a question about one particular cue-maker, Dennis Searing, who's probably a cue-maker virtually any Azer would love to own. Why are Searing cues so seemingly expensive?

Thanks,

Matt B
Doesn't this statement say enough? I think you are confusing value vs. cost (direct from a maker). People want a cue from Dennis (and a few other top tier guys) because they could double their money the day they receive it.Would you invest $5,000 to make $2,500 in one day? What if you had an offer for $10k on that cue?

I made a post on a dealer's Pre-For Sale ad, stating the "asking" price was $17,500. Do you actually think that was the price from Dennis? The other dealers Pre-For Sale ad the price was never given. I know, because I asked the dealer via text.


Chris


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02-28-2015, 06:24 AM

@OP,

If you want to learn more about Searing and other cue makers that you never heard of, try The Blue Book of Pool Cue values. Its available in book form or online database, where you can look up pool cue values.

http://bluebookofpoolcuevalues.com/


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02-28-2015, 06:41 AM

I've always assumed it just came down to supply. Obviously he makes an amazing cue, as do many others. I don't think any of the top makers stands above his peers necessarily. But when you make fewer cues than the rest the secondary market prices tend to get higher because there are enough collectors who want one. I see very few Searing cues, not just for sale but even posted in the gallery section. There just don't seem to be many out there. Cues at this level become part functional object and part art/collectible where scarcity can definitely lead to increased value.

Nice to hear so many good comments on Runde cues because I'm presently waiting for one! The anticipation is killing me and it's only just started, ha!
  
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02-28-2015, 08:06 AM

Name has lots to do with it. If Joe Blow and Searing make the exact same cue but one cue is signed but Joe and the other is signed buy Searing but Joes costs $1000 and Searing cost $2000. Which would you buy? I may be wrong but I don't think people wait 15 years for a SW because they play or look better than other cues. I think they either want to flip it or be able to say the have a SW. To some the name on the cue means more than it does to others. Now this applies to just about everything people buy and not just pool cues.
  
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02-28-2015, 08:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jburkm002 View Post
Name has lots to do with it. If Joe Blow and Searing make the exact same cue but one cue is signed but Joe and the other is signed buy Searing but Joes costs $1000 and Searing cost $2000. Which would you buy? I may be wrong but I don't think people wait 15 years for a SW because they play or look better than other cues. I think they either want to flip it or be able to say the have a SW. To some the name on the cue means more than it does to others. Now this applies to just about everything people buy and not just pool cues.

I may have to take the Searing for 2-grand based on the fact that I'm not familiar with Joe Blow Custom Cues.


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02-28-2015, 08:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CMD View Post
GFY,

As I stated in a Pre-For Sale ad, go find a Searing and formulate your own opinion.

More importantly, why do you care about people's opinion of a cue? Buy what you like and enjoy it. Why make it so difficult?

I am not going to waste my time writing a "review" about CUEMAKER A and his cues, because someone will come along and say CUEMAKER B is just as good if not better.


IT"S A FRIGGIN OPINION....




Doesn't this statement say enough? I think you are confusing value vs. cost (direct from a maker). People want a cue from Dennis (and a few other top tier guys) because they could double their money the day they receive it.Would you invest $5,000 to make $2,500 in one day? What if you had an offer for $10k on that cue?

I made a post on a dealer's Pre-For Sale ad, stating the "asking" price was $17,500. Do you actually think that was the price from Dennis? The other dealers Pre-For Sale ad the price was never given. I know, because I asked the dealer via text.


Chris
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02-28-2015, 08:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jburkm002 View Post
Name has lots to do with it. If Joe Blow and Searing make the exact same cue but one cue is signed but Joe and the other is signed buy Searing but Joes costs $1000 and Searing cost $2000. Which would you buy? I may be wrong but I don't think people wait 15 years for a SW because they play or look better than other cues. I think they either want to flip it or be able to say the have a SW. To some the name on the cue means more than it does to others. Now this applies to just about everything people buy and not just pool cues.
I'll take the Searing for $2k... All day long. If you can find a Searing for $2k please call me right away.


I do believe you are right about the name on the cue EXCEPT for me it is the man behind the name. Dennis does everything possible to make sure you have the best experience with his cues. I have two which were purchased on the secondary market. H e contacted me several times to make sure the cues were what I expected.

GFY (the OP) took my post and ran with it to create this thread. Pretty comical if I say so myself...


Playing cue: Dennis Searing
Break cue: Mike Webb
  
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02-28-2015, 08:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrynj1 View Post
where does one go to see a "pre-for sale ad"?
The Cue & Case Gallery.


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Break cue: Mike Webb
  
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02-28-2015, 08:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrynj1 View Post
where does one go to see a "pre-for sale ad"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CMD View Post
The Cue & Case Gallery.

and the Test Area


player...Barry Szamboti, South West, Runde Schon
player...Bill Schick, South West, Larry Vigus, Andy Gilbert
player...Black Boar, A-E, , Kenny Murrell, Paul Drexler
player...Bob Owen, Terry McFadden, Jacoby, Josh Treadway
player...Tim Scruggs, Bob Frey Woodworth, Davey Jones
player...Kent Davis, Predator, Loveland Customs
player...Pat Diveney, Palmer
breaker.Judd Fuller
jumper..Jacoby Jumper
shooter..Sig Sauer P226 357
cutter.....Spyderco Massad Ayoob
  
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