A Less Than Ideal Deal....

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Mike Burduck, May 29, 2002.

  1. Mike Burduck

    Mike Burduck

    May 21, 2002

    This is my first post here, and the forum looks great. I don't think I'll be violating any sort of forum policy by telling the following tale of what happened when I attempted to purchase an old Alembic bass from a dealer via the Internet. I will not mention the dealer's name in this post. To find out who it was, you'll have to e-mail me privately.

    This bass was described as being near-mint (with only a few very minor dings and nicks). I was told that the owner was more of a "hobbyist" than a "player." I made an offer, the offer was accepted, and the bass was shipped to me. Here's what I found when I opened the box containing the "near-mint" bass:

    1) serious hump in the fingerboard (treble side). Talk about buzzes.....

    2) where the back of the headstock meets the top-rear of the neck, the lamination had "popped" and was sticking up

    3) two fairly nice size cracks on either end of the PIN jack

    4) at one point in the bass's life, it appears that someone had stripped the bridge pickup adjustment screws. To replace them, someone did a fairly poor job of inserting a dowel that would hold a new screw. After inserting one of the dowels, they drilled a hole for the screw, and carelessly drilled the hole right through the body of the bass! There was a rather poor attempt to repair this hole evident on the back of the bass.

    My local luthier told me that the bass would cost at least $700 to repair (to "true" the neck and refret, to repair the popped lamination, to fix the two cracks near the PIN jack, to replace some of the position markers, to refinish the repaired areas, and to pay sales tax).

    The dealer was very nice when I called to say that I'd be returning the bass, and he told me (without any prompting from me at all) that he would do three things:

    a) call the seller (the bass was on consignment) and tell him about the problems

    b) ask the seller to lower the price

    c) relist the bass with full disclosure of the problems.

    Well, shortly after I returned the bass to the dealer, the bass reappeared on the dealer's website. There was a lower price listed, but no disclosure of the bass's true condition. So much for item "c" listed above. The bass was relisted for two days, and then it was gone from the website. I'm not sure if some other person bought it, or if it was pulled for repairs.

    One of the interesting things about this whole deal is that before shipping the bass to me, the dealer made a big point of asking me what sort of set-up they could do for me to help make the bass "fit" with my playing style. I've been playing for almost 33 years now, so I have to wonder if the dealer really figured that I would not notice the bass's problems.

    Now I know you guys know this, but I'll say it anyway: be VERY careful when purchasing a bass "on line."

    Oh, one more thing. I'll have to wait up to 30 days for my full refund. That's a long time to have $2500 tied up.

    Feel free to contact me off-forum if you'd like some more information.



    PS I forgot to mention one more thing. Some of you might remember me as an administrator from another bass site. Well, make that a "former" administrator! Apparently, I should not have told the story I just told here (and I never even mentioned the dealer's name in the post in the other forum).
  2. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    ASounds like the dealer is doing the right thig by refunding the $$$$.

    This bothers me. I'm glad I'm not a member of that other forum!!!! If you are looking out for people buy telling them to be aware of something that happened to you & you got booted, THEIR LOSS & OUR GAIN!!!!!!

    Welcome to TB!!!!!!
  3. Mike Burduck

    Mike Burduck

    May 21, 2002

    Thanks for the kind words of welcome!

    The worst thing about the refund deal is that the dealer will hold my money for up to 30 days!! I'm not too pleased about that....

    Yes, I was "removed" from my position because I tried to inform the bass community of a bummer of a deal. (Never even mentioned the dealer's name in my post, but asked folks to contact me via private e-mail if they wanted to know the dealer's name) But that's life.

    Hey, as I'm originally from Queens, it's good to talk with a Staten Island guy!

    Take care,

  4. Johnny BoomBoom

    Johnny BoomBoom Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Welcome to TB - you find a better quality of listener here!! Oh, and thanks for the warning of buying over the internet. I think there are a lot of good deals out there, and also a lot of bad ones - it's worth reminding people of the bad ones every once in a while in case they get complacent!!

    Glad you're getting your money back - shame you're having to wait for it. Still could have been worse, you could've been stuck with a useless piece of wood!:)
  5. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Mike -

    Indeed, welcome. And thanks for the story, we have to keep an eye out for each other out here...

    ...quick disclaimer: I do work at Bass Central (and don't hide it). I'm really disappointed to hear that another dealer would treat a customer and a deal like this, whoever they are (it certainly was NOT us!).

    I seriously doubt you will get "run out of town on a rail" here for posting this, and if you are, I would be severely disappointed. Even if Bass Central were involved in such a problem, I'd want it in the open where it can be discussed and people can be informed.
  6. snyderz

    snyderz Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Welcome to Talkbass, Mike.

    For any of you TBers that have questions about preEB Stingrays, this guy is is THE MAN!

  7. Mike Burduck

    Mike Burduck

    May 21, 2002
    Thanks for the kind words, Doc! Good to hear from you again!

  8. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Wow. I'm sorry you were removed. That's very disappointing. I thought your original post was too lenient to begin with.

    Well, welcome to Talkbass. You'll find the membership here skews all over the place, but there are plenty of people who know what they are talking about, and a lot of good folk, too!
  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Hey Mike, Where can I get one for free!!!!!:D :p
  10. Mike Burduck

    Mike Burduck

    May 21, 2002

    And it's good to hear from you, too!

    Yes, I thought I did the right thing in the right fashion in my original post in that other forum. And I didn't even mention the darn name of the dealer! All I wanted to do was keep the bass community informed, which I what I thought was one of our functions over there. But life can be funny that way....

    Stay well!

  11. Mike Burduck

    Mike Burduck

    May 21, 2002

    Hmmm....for free, eh? Hmmm.... I'll have to work on that one for a while.

    But if I ever decide to sell one of my '76s, I'll let you know.

    Take care,

  12. silvermaneZ

    silvermaneZ Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2000
    Houston, TX

    Welcome! Glad to see that you have joined us. You will find alot of different folks around here, but looking out for the general bass community and letting us know of shady deals is always welcome.
  13. Hello Mike, welcome to the TB forum! That deal definately sucks, hope you'll get your money back soon......
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Hi Mike, nice to see you here.

    Also nice to see you didn't get stuck with that bass. Sounds like a dealer who seems challenged when bestowing "near mint" on a bass. Oddly familiar:). I know that's subjective but your's apparently wasn't even close. I guess "very good condition" would mean it has "most" of it's tuners and knobs and no gouges more than 1/4" deep;)
  15. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Hello Mike, Sorry to hear about your misfortune but it sounds like things will work out (eventually). Thanks for the heads up on the Alembic. I'll PM you for particulars, if you don't mind.
  16. Mike Burduck

    Mike Burduck

    May 21, 2002

    Yep, I'll give you the particulars (as in the name of the dealer) if you contact me via private e-mail. I think that's the best way to go. It allows me to do what I feel I must do while keeping the forum here sort of in the clear by not mentioning any names here. Of course, that got me demoted elsewhere....

    All other details of the deal were mentioned in my initial post here.

    Take care,

  17. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    Please, send me the name of the dealer... I'm going to consider to buy an Alembic on line...
  18. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com

    As a dealer I am Sorry to hear man. I just resently got screwed my self as a dealer by a private party individual. Of course I try and handle customer's alittle different then most.
    I put faith in my customer's like two individual's do when they deal with each other.

    Example, then I am do a trade with someone I send my instrument at the same time they send their's. I don't require theres to arrive first for my inspection and then send there's new bass out a week or two later (their has been an occasional exception).

    I try to practice the theory that everyone is trust worthy.


    best of luck and glad your getting the funds back.
  19. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    I think that a dealer should get customer's bass before shipping his one. Am I wrong?
  20. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    when dealing with other countries I have to. With in the USA its alittle easier to deal with people and trades. whats a $200 airline ticket when we are talking $1000-5000 instruments.

    Everyone desirves to be treated fair and with respect. I try and do that. I realize that shipping at the same times isn't a huge deal, but an example.

    Plus I figured Guard got a plug so why not I!:D

    But I appreciate your willingness to have faith in the dealer dread!