Re: Current LNG Pricing?
I bought an New Old Stock LNG back in March 2001, paid nearly £3500 to get it into my hands from the USA to England (sale price+shipping+taxes). It had never been retailed and still had the plastics on it.
I was in the market to own what I considered the iconic guitar from my youth but which I could not afford when I was a poor 18 year old back in 1987. I did see one once in a music store in Hamburg of all places (or it might have been Kiel) while on holiday in 1988 but that was as close as I came to owning one back then. Money was no object when I made my purchase and it still remains the highlight of my collection (and the only one that still goes unplayed - which I struggle to justify as I am a player more than a collector!).
I'm not sure that helps you with a valuation with your specific guitar, but I would offer the following observations - the Steve Vai connection probably won't affect the value much, it might have done if it were a perfect collectors item but lets face it, Steve makes himself pretty accessible to fans even in these days of pay to meet and greet so I suppose its something of interest rather than something that adds massively to its value. Also, once they have been played (which I think is the best thing - I'm still horribly guilty I don't play mine!!!) they are really just another 2nd hand Jem, unlikely to appreciate massively against other Jems. The LNG seems to add a bit to the value but not loads. It's not like a DNA or swirl for example.
Strangely, I've considered buying a second hand 'player' LNG so that I wouldn't feel bad about getting my hands all over it (I'm not suggesting yours is a 'player' in the negative sense, it sounds a really nice guitar). By this I don't mean a beaten up dog but a nice condition used one that I could at least not be scared to remove from the case! But this is the bizarre thing, connected with value... I wouldn't be prepared to pay anywhere near the price I paid for my original one. I guess I would expect to pay a bit of a premium against a DY or a Floral, but I would struggle to go much beyond £1,500. I know that anyone selling an LNG wouldn't let one go at that kind of money but in the back of my mind I am always thinking... 'well, I've already got one....I'm not going to go way over the odds on buying another'.
And I suppose that leads to the reason while I will probably never get another one - I think vendors need to be educated in the value of what they are trying to sell and the vendor would probably think I need to be educated in what theirs is worth.
What would I pay if I didn't already have a mint one in the collection? Good question - I think I would still play the waiting game to see if a perfect one came up and then pay whatever was asked (within reason - but I didn't care about market value when I bought mine - it was an emotional rather than investment decision). If I had to 'settle' for a nice used one I would go a little bit beyond what I consider an already expensive price on DYs - so maybe I would be pursuaded to part with between £1200 to £1500 but at that money there are an awful lot of other tempting things to spend the money on (guitars or otherwise).
I think in the end you have to worry less about what the market value might be and decide on a figure that you can accept. One that will make you feel ok about the guitar no longer being yours. For some buyers (me probably) your price would look way too optimistic, for others it would be their bargain of the decade.
Then it's just a matter of waiting to see if that buyer is out there at the same time as your guitar - obvious I know, but that's the danger of deciding to part with something like an LNG... will you always wish you never really sold it, or is it time for it to go to another good home where it will be loved and used??? If underneath you don't really want to see it go then whatever price you actually receive you will always think... I let it go too cheap!
If you absolutely know it's time for you to sell it, then name your price and see how people react.
Sorry to have rambled so much, does anyone think I am making sense??