What you’re going to pay for a stock from me is what that’s worth later too.
A word to you who might one day consider selling the stock you got from me, or are considering buying a 'used' custom stock. They are not 'used' in the sense of a piece of mechanical equipment that has life taken off of it. No matter how banged up (short of being broken) a stock might be, it is only a few short hours of sanding and oiling away from pristine 'new' condition. A non-factory gun stock has value equal to it's value of the blank it was carved from in today's dollars, plus the labor to carve and finish it. It will never reduce in value. It will only increase as walnut becomes more scarce. That doesn't mean a large market is going to come pounding on your door when you go to sell it. The number of airgunners out there willing to drop the price of a new gun on a custom gunstock made from a spectacularly figured piece of wood are few, so when the time comes to sell your custom gun stock, I would recommend you hold firm on the original price you paid. The stocks I make and oil finish are generational items. The actions these stocks are carved for will last for multiple generations if not allowed to rust away, and the wood will last far beyond our lives.
Someone looking at a custom gunstock for sale ‘used' might think “Why should I spend a grand or more on this guy’s 'used' piece when I can have one made for that same price anytime I want it?”, but that is incorrect. I don't make many, and I won’t do it forever. Walnut is becoming scarcer and scarcer every year, and the spectacular wood I have now is exceedingly rare and very expensive. It will only appreciate in value.
Not all the work I do is at that high price point, but even a stock carved from a lowly $100 piece of wood, and if you agree that $300 for eight or more hours of my time carving is fair enough, and even if you do the finish sanding and oiling and your time is free, that four or five hundred dollars is the value of the stock for now and forever, if not increasing in value. However, you're still going to be into the stock for more money than the average airgunner is willing to pay for an entire gun they can go plink with. The value is there, but the market is small.
The bottom line is if you are contemplating having me make a stock for you, do not do so with the thought that you might have to flip it down the road to recoup your money quickly to buy something else. The correct position is you will have me make a stock for you because you can not get it anywhere else at any other price, and you may not be able to get it from me forever either. Enjoy what you enjoy while you can enjoy it. And when it comes time to move the piece, do not do so in a yard-sale (tag-sale for you east coasters) mentality with the hope for some quick cash. You will get pennies on your dollar and you will hurt the custom gunstock industry by demonstrating that an expensive stock has no actual value, when it does. It has high value that only increases with time. It's just the number of people that appreciate nature's own art and the artisan gunstock maker's work are few.
So when contemplating buying or selling an expensive custom stock, do so with the understanding that the re-sale market is small, but if you do put it up for sale, stand firm on it’s value. What you paid me is what it is worth down the road, if not more as walnut becomes rarer. It would be much better if you plan for it to remain in your collection providing you and your heirs with the pride of ownership that comes from owning a unique and spectacular piece of the natural world.