Players Exchange… Vintage Guitars Wanted
By: Rachel Rocks
If you’ve ever driven on 3rd St. in Lemoyne, chances are you’ve seen the bright yellow, Players Exchange sign. Players Exchange has been operating for close to 20 years, in the same location, by the same owner, Scott Frange. You might also recognize Scott’s name because he’s been a well-known bass player in the area for over 40 years. He’s played with many different talented artists in the area like The Middleton Brothers, Shea Quinn, Lizzy Hale (from Halestorm) and most recently, Bob Barry, just to name a few. He’s not just a collector looking to make a couple extra bucks, Scott is a musician who’s been around the music scene long enough to learn a couple tricks about instruments, and what works, and what doesn’t. Also, what holds its value and what doesn’t.
Players Exchange is a place you can go to Buy, Sell, or Trade used guitars and amps, and other instruments. The instruments can be anywhere from entry-level to high-end vintage. Players Exchange mostly deals with either used or vintage guitars, but he is continuously purchasing all kinds of instruments. The store looks small from the outside, but it’s amazing how many instruments he has hanging up and displayed throughout the store. There is even a special vintage/retro room that is pretty awesome. You know a vintage room is complete with cardboard stand-ups of Paul Stanley of KISS, and of course, Michael Jackson, and then a ‘76 Les Paul in the window. At the time he even just traded in a 1940 000-18 Martin, that was barely ever even played, and in the original case. Another very cool piece was a 1940 Double Lap Steel Guitar with it’s very own, unique amp. That is just to name a few. There are so many interesting pieces, and I’m sure different items are unique or meaningful to different people. When you enter the retro room, it’s like entering a whole new era.
Sitting in the store with Scott, he has some very interesting, and almost unbelievable stories of how he’s acquired some of his most interesting pieces. Nothing stays in the store for long, especially if it has a high value. Players Exchange has a prime location with over 10,000 cars passing by its storefront windows daily. While I was interviewing Scott and facing the street I got distracted by two young guys driving by and pointing to the Players Exchange window obviously excited about something they saw. Then about 20 minutes later Scott got a call asking, “Is that a ‘76 Les Paul in the window?” When Scott confirmed it, they immediately asked him to pull it out of the window, and they would be in to check it out later.
People have learned over the years that Scott doesn’t mess around. He’ll pay you top dollar for your instrument, but he also won’t take junk. He doesn’t repair anything major, and he doesn’t take “frankensteins” or modified equipment. If it has extra knobs, buttons, etc. He’s not interested. He wants it to be as original as possible. If the items have what he called “collectors eye-candy” such as tags, receipts, pictures, stories, etc… it is even better. Since items move in and out of the store so quickly, his inventory is constantly changing. It’s one of those stores you can keep coming back and see something new every time.
Some people come to the store to trade in their items, but Scott also does house calls. You have to first call him and be his eyes and describe your item, but if it’s appealing enough, he’ll gladly come out and check it out for himself. He also frequently uses Tango which is a live video chat that can help be his eyes on the instrument. It’s very easy to do even from cell phone to cell phone. Technology has definitely helped make Scott’s job much easier. If you plan on making a long trip to see the store you might want to call ahead first. If Scott gets a call about a nice piece of equipment, he doesn’t wait til after store hours to go see it, he puts a sign on the door and runs out to see the item for himself.
Also while I was there someone came in looking for something as simple as a guitar pic. Unfortunately Players Exchange doesn’t have small accessories. There are plenty of music stores that sell those types of items. Players Exchange focuses more on the instruments.
One of the main reasons Players Exchange has stayed in business so long is because Scott takes every customer seriously, and treats them with great respect. It could be anyone from a Dad bringing in his son for his first acoustic, or a serious collector. Either way the customer is given his full attention. He asks questions to find out exactly what they want to use the instrument for. Being such a long term musician himself, he understands different instruments are needed for different situations. Are you in a heavy metal band? Or are you playing on your church worship team? No matter what your plans are he’ll do his best to get you the best instrument for your needs, and if he doesn’t have the perfect thing for you, he’ll send you to another store. He’s worried more about getting you the instrument that feels the best and that you will actually use, than the price tag itself. Scott is also so confident in the instruments he sells, that he gives all used instruments a six month warranty. Scott prides himself in his exemplary customer service. He knows most of his business comes from referrals, and repeat customers. He has customers that travel quite a distance because they know they can count on Players Exchange to have good quality merchandise to purchase, and/or they will also give them top dollar for their used instrument.
If you have any vintage guitars or used equipment in your house, give Scott a call. 717.975.2385. If you’re driving through Lemoyne stop in and check out his amazing store. Stopping in and talking to Scott was like stepping back through history in the central PA music scene. He definitely knows the scene better than most people I’ve had the time to talk to in a long while. Help keep history alive and stop in and see Scott today at Players Exchange located at 225 S. Third St., Lemoyne, PA 17043.