My plan... good idea or stupid?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tupac, Feb 25, 2013.


  1. Tupac

    Tupac

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    My plan is to partition $1000 and do nothing but spend it on basses. I'd buy used, so I'd hopefully keep that amount afloat and cycle through as many basses as I want, buying, selling, and buying another. Can this work?
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    I don't remember what amount I started with (not that much), but I did something like this years ago. At present, I have more gear than ever and the account has a few grand in it. I have made some sweet deals.
  3. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    If you buy/sell/trade locally, maybe.

    PayPal fees and shipping will kill you if you are looking to sell to CONUS.
  4. Diesel Kilgore

    Diesel Kilgore

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    I own 3 basses and total cost for all is about $370. 2 used and 1 new. If your trying to get as many basses as you can. It will be totally do able. Depends on what your after.
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  6. R&B

    R&B Don't want no treble. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Location:
    Southern California, SoCal
    My kids get on my case for selling at break-even or a loss. Oh well, it's a buyers' market at the moment. Good time to get started if you're buying!

    If GAS rules, you may not consistently turn a profit. And shipping is expensive!! But you'll have a lot of fun.
  7. Mr L

    Mr L

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    I did this exact thing.

    Bought a Squier J for $50 sold it for $150

    Bought a VM j for 150 sold it for $220

    Bought another Squier J for 75 sold it for 120

    Then bought a Mexican P for 250.

    Craigslist is a wonderful thing.
  8. Grateful

    Grateful Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you buy used, are very patient, never buy on impulse and get nothing but amazing deals on in-demand basses from solid customers you can maintain it to a point. Shipping fees, paypal fees and other stuff like tend to eat up the nest egg...

    It will be a good test of will power, salesmanship and business acumen!
  9. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Location:
    State College, PA
    I did something very similar but stuck with higher-end limited edition models. Several years ago you could do very well even after fees and shipping. Not so much anymore. The key is to know what's selling and not get attached. Man I cycled through some great basses and I found a lot out about what worked and didn't work for me. That part really helped when considering custom builds.
  10. IronLung1986

    IronLung1986

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    make sure you do a quick format or you'll be waiting for hours :D

    geek alert.
  11. sbpark

    sbpark

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    :)
  12. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    The key is patience. Hold onto your money, but be ready to pounce.
  13. Nephilymbass

    Nephilymbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    Fayetteville Ft Bragg NC
    I've bought and sold a lot of basses over the years. I used to get German warwicks at almost half off new a guitar center because I was a popular customer and people never tried them because they were so expensive. So eventually id get rediculus offers because they wanted to freshen thier inventory. My thumb nt5 I got new for 2800 and they are almost double that. Because I got a deal when i bought it I basically played the bass for a couple years then sold it at little cost. My custom Ernie ball I actually waited for it be built longer than I actually had it in my possession and I sold it at no loss because it was exactly what the guy wanted and he didn't want to wait on a custom build.

    All that said 1000 isn't enough IMO . The resale value on basses under a grand are pretty harsh. I'm looking for a fretless J but I honestly wouldn't pay more than half of what they costs new.

    Buying in the states and selling world wide can help especially if the brand has no distribution somewhere and someone really wants something. Not to mention with the dollar low people from other countries are getting a bargain themselves. My custom Ernie ball shipped to Germany. My thumb nt went to Dubai and only one my 4 warwicks stayed in the states.

    Thing is its tough sell gear at even half the new costs these days. But basses do sell better than amps. My ampeg 810 in a roadcase has been sitting at my house for a year. It works like new but I don't have a vehicle to move it anymore and I havent been able to sell it at 600 when that's what I paid for the case alone.
  14. Immigrant

    Immigrant

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Location:
    West of Stumptown, USA
    I did what you're thinking of four years ago. It worked great for almost two years; I never sold a bass for less than I had paid for it and being new to bass, it gave me a chance to play lots of different basses and discover what I like or don't about certain models. Being mechanically inclined, I was able to rescue a few nice basses and make a little coin on them.

    Then it all went bad. People don't have the disposable income they did a couple of years ago. The local Mom&Pop say they still move guitars OK but not so much with basses.
  15. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Location:
    charles town, wv
    Just out of curiosity, what are you trying to accomplish?

    I've been very lucky, selling most of my basses for about what I bought them for, some a little less, some a little more, but as someone else said, the shipping and paypal fees took a bite out of any potential profit.
  16. 45acp

    45acp

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Location:
    Texarkana TX
    I did this starting about 2 years ago- i love soundgear basses and my goal was to eventually own a 1200/1400 for minimal or no money as my main gig bass.

    I started with a $150... i bought a fretless SR300 that had a defective finish. I refinished it with auto paint i already had and sold it for $280 locally. Bought another SR300 and flipped it too. Got an SRA500 for cheap (scratchy pots fix) and flipped it.

    2 years later from flipping basses and an amp, i have a near mint 97 model SR1200 as my main gig bass, and an SR900 for backup and i have $300 out of pocket in both of them.
  17. sbpark

    sbpark

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    You just have to be lucky. I recently picked up a 1976 precision that was apparently locked away in someone's closet for the last 20+ years. I bought the bass, it came in a 1980's Fender American Standard HSC and a crate practice amp all for $250. I sold the amp for $60, and am also selling the Badass bridge that was on the bass. It's all about being patient, and having good timing and some luck! I have since replaced the pickup and bridge on the bass and bought some original bridge and pickup covers and an original HSC for the bass, but I am still WAY ahead of the game and could make a sizeable profit on the bass if I sold it to put toward something else, which was my original plan, but after getting her back to close to iriginal spec and setting her up I ended up keeping her!
  18. sondich

    sondich Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Fontana, California
    Disclosures:
    General Manager: Commercial Forest Products
    +1

    I think you'll have a lot of fun. It will kind of cap the $ that you're spending on gear, too.

    Business-wise it's probably not a great use of capital if you accurately account for the time/hassle involved in all the transactions (looking at instruments, driving, getting stood up, deals falling through, etc). You'd have to pretty much be buying used gear for about what Guitar Center buys trade-ins for in order to turn a profit, unless you assign no cost to your labor.

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