THE second-hand value of a ukulele has plummeted to £1.12 after thousands simultaneously lost interest in the stringed instrument.
Six months ago, a decent quality beginner-level ukulele with case was valued at £45.
Experts had predicted the crash – which follows a year-long ‘speculative uke bubble’ during which legions of middle-aged men took up the inexpensive instrument in the hope it might make them feel alive again – although they have been shocked by its severity.
Tom Logan, musical instrument market analyst at Donnelly-McPartlin, said: “All the conditions were right for a perfect ukulele storm.
“First, the number of ukulele players in the UK now far exceeds the demand for ukulele recitals, which despite being exaggerated by enthusiasts and Frank Skinner, is almost non-existent.
“The glut of uke players has devalued ukulele proficiency so players are no longer considered cool, if indeed they ever were.
“Add to this the uke owners who have simply lost interest organically, after having achieved sufficient mediocrity to strum When I’m Cleaning Windows quite slowly.
“This triggers a mass offloading of ukuleles onto Ebay, into car boot sales and in some instances even free ads papers.
“We had hoped that Britain’s current obsession with all things vintage and ‘retro’ may have been enough to sustain the ukulele. But sadly not.
“And I don’t think the market has bottomed out yet. Expect to see former ukulelists in the street, trying to swap their instruments for potatoes.”
The current uke crash is the first major instrument catastrophe since Recorder Wednesday in 1993, when millions of schoolchildren simultaneously quit the simple wind instrument after tiring of the one-note tune Busy Bee.