Re: Repairs VS Value
It's the same as the survivor car vs. the restored or enhanced.
Bottom line only a master will make blems disappear and there are few and far of those. I used to be in the camp where I'd polish guitars if customers asked, and still would, but I'd never enhance them before I put them up for sale. It's my job to evaluate what it is in it's current state. My own, I prefer my guitars untouched, They live their history. I may hand rub light fingernail scratching to a shine, I'm not going to wetsand to remove them, I just don't want the clear cloudy. You can get into trouble wetsanding as I've personally gone thru top layer of clear to expose a layer underneath more than once, which is when I stopped. Where the two layers meet there will always be a fogged area at the edge, the more you polish it, the larger in diameter it gets.
Most people just want to make it "look better" so a poor touch up is better to them than no touch up. I don't think there's going to be a difference in value between a guitar with a few chips and dings and a guitar with obvious touch ups to those chips and dings. If a master could make them disappear it adds alot of value, but is too often never disclosed, and if it's disclosed now, might not be 3 owners from now. Even a master repair can be detected by a skilled eye, but master repairs would and should cost the equivalent to how perfect they are, so the guitar needs to be of a certain worth before spending the money makes financial sense, but most people have touch ups done for emotional reasons. Not to make them worth more, just to make them look better. It's their baby, they just put an ugly scar, they want it to look better so they go find some nailpolish. Or the other half that think the wood can't be left bare because humidity will get into the body. Trust me, it doesn't need that chip to get in. And "sealing the edges" so it doesn't get worse only makes sense if there is a loose edge to the chipped area and you plan on bumping it into something again. Chips usually aren't like that though. Smashes are.
I've done some pretty invisible touch ups, I haven't in some time, and I had a DNA that would have made good practice but it's smacks and smashes on a new guitar were the story it lived. I don't doubt that guitar pops up for resale touched up at some point, it was a nice one.