It’s been a great ride. Like a rollercoaster, there’s been ups and downs, twists and turns, and never a dull moment. However, no ride lasts forever and that’s the case with RSG. I am winding down operations and scaling back custom guitar builds, eventually taking this back to a being a hobby. It’s not an easy decision, but there are two main factors that led me to this decision:
Local business restrictions: I live and operate this business in an area where the “governing authorities” have repeatedly overreacted to the coronavirus. Many small businesses have been fined or shut down due to government mandates for “safe” operating environments. Businesses run out of a homesite, such as RSG, have had such unrealistic limitations and restrictions imposed that we’ve basically had to shut down or go underground. Things were looking better a few months ago as restrictions were lifted, but now it’s heading in the wrong direction again and, frankly, I’m tired of playing the game. Politicians are getting paid way more to make stupid decisions than I am in repairing and building guitars, so it’s an uphill battle and I’m low on ammunition.
Supply chain issues: Nearly all of the parts and supplies that I use and sell are made in the USA. However, many of the raw materials for those parts are sourced from other places in the world. It’s become extremely hard to maintain stock on certain items (like vintage taper pots). One of my suppliers told me in February that they would have more stock in May… it’s mid-August and they still don’t have a restock date yet. I don’t make much money on parts because it’s competitive and there’s not much margin, so it doesn’t make sense to continue working from a limited selection of parts. Why are suppliers having these problems now? The blame is put on everything from lack of shipping containers to fewer ships running between Asia and the US, but the blame ultimately ends up on COVID.
I will withhold my opinions about the pandemic, but the facts are pretty clear that many businesses are being driven out of business as a direct result. Perhaps things would be different in another city in a different part of the country? I don’t know, but that only solves one of the two problems. Maybe in a few years I’ll reconsider, but for now I need to focus on other things to make a living and improve my spiritual health.
The inventory of items for sale on the RSG site will be maintained to ensure it’s consistent with the Reverb listings, but once the items are sold out, they most likely won’t be restocked.
“Don’t take no bullshit from nobody” (Doug Pinnick, King’s X)
“Play guitar” (John Mellencamp)