DigiTech’s once-obscure Bad Monkey overdrive has seen huge price inflation on the used market after it was tipped by JHS pedal guru, Josh Scott. Now a Bad Monkey once owned by British blues rock ace Gary Moore (opens in new tab) has hit Reverb for an asking price of $12,633. So how long can the bubble last?
If you’re catching up on the story, the scramble for the overdrive pedal began with a helpful clip from Josh Scott, in which he compared the cheap DigiTech pedal favorably with Klon’s near-mythical Centaur overdrive. Cue the out-of-production stompbox (which originally retailed for $59) appearing on used sites for asking prices north of $600.
Those with any interest in stock markets, property or tulip bulbs (opens in new tab), will recognise the classic signs of a market bubble. As noted by Investopedia (opens in new tab), the five stages of a bubble include: displacement, boom, euphoria, profit-taking, and panic.
To be fair to the sellers of the Gary Moore unit – UK stomp box dealer and manufacturer, Pedal Pawn (opens in new tab) – at least this one has some intrinsic value, thanks to its association with the guitar icon.
It is also not out of step with valuations from other celebrity-owned effects. This is the age of rockstar’s Reverb clear-outs and high-profile auctions, after all – a world in which Kurt Cobain’s Boss DS-1 goes for $75,000. But it’s fair to say Moore’s Monkey still carries an attention-grabbing price.
Regardless, judging by market behaviour, we’re currently somewhere between ‘euphoria’ and ‘profit-taking’, sending excited pedal buyers to listing sites and leaving others frantically digging through their closets in search of Bad Monkeys.
Yesterday, Scott mocked the listing euphoria that followed his coverage of the pedal. In particular, he addressed those people who saw the inflated listings (the profit-taking) and complained he had raised the price – reminding pedal buyers that they had 19 years to buy it before he mentioned it.
“People listing for $600 and people buying them for $600 are two very different things,” emphasised Scott. “Sit back, relax, and enjoy guitar with what you have.” The price, he assured them, will eventually come back down.
This, we imagine, will precipitate the panic stage. That is the point when a market suddenly and collectively understands it’s lost its head and realises that, for whatever reason, no-one in their right mind should pay that price – and listings subsequently head south.
Meanwhile, the ever-droll Scott has taken to Instagram to debut two amusing new T-shirt designs in the pedal’s signature green tone, both priced at $25.
One design reads, “I bought a Bad Monkey for $49, now they’re $650.” The other states: “I can’t afford a Bad Monkey because now they’re $650.” “So there’s a shirt for everybody”, notes Scott, somewhat wryly.
So there we have it. An economics lesson delivered in pedal form. For now: hold tight to your purse strings, enjoy the memes and try to resist the urge to get involved.
That being said, we would be tempted by an “I bought a Bad Monkey for $650” T-shirt. Though we’ll pay no more than $250 for it…