Buying used: Check, re-check, then check again
So, as it says in my sig at the moment, I've got a bass I'm looking to get rid of. I decided to bring it down to the local used electronics store (I hesitate to say pawn shop because they actually hold the local dealer licenses for ESP, Hartke, Washburn, and a few other decent brands) and see if they'd make me a decent offer.
Anyway, as I'm headed in the door, I see a pretty red Fender P-Bass hanging up on the wall in the bass section. So I take my bass to the back where all the sketchy exchanges happen and am made a decent offer (I say decent in that I realize they have to make a buck but it's nothing I'd brag about). Anyhow, I find out that little red P-bass is on for $325 and I could get that and still have a few hundred in store credit left over for some more fun.
So I plug it in and it sounds good (as P-basses are want to do) but the action kind of weird. As I talk with the sales guy (who I know from around town and quite like) we both determine the neck has a bit too much relief. This is something I normally wouldn't think much of but for whatever reason my gut told me to check it in store. So my buddy grabs a fistful of allan keys and we go to work. And nothing fits.
It seems like everything is just a tad too small or too big. So, I grab my cell phone and shine a light down the access hole. You can imagine my surprise when, instead of a nice hexagon, I'm greeting with a malformed circle. She is, as they say, totally stripped.
At this point, I decide I'll pass. I asked what's the best they could do on the bass (the body was fine and the electronics worked) but they were only willing to knock an extra $25 off without their boss around (which is completely understandable).
That said, a warning to newer bassists or those buying used: BE THOROUGH. I can only imagine if that had ended up in some well-meaning parent's hands and not my own.
Anyhow, a bit long winded, but just thought this was worth sharing.
Fender Jazz Bass Club #1221