A new marketing tactic: "Certified Pre-owned"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Warpeg, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Yes

    20 vote(s)
  2. No

    97 vote(s)
  3. Not sure

    26 vote(s)
  4. Only carrots are more profitable

    43 vote(s)
  1. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    An interesting question came to mind today as I heard a radio commercial for a certified pre-owned car. What if some high-profile bass manufactures (and other instrument manufactures) offered certified pre-owned high-dollar instruments?

    The way I envision the typical process would be:
    • Brand name X has the program offered to its retailers that outlines the assessment criteria, general pricing strategy, marketing support plan, and commission structure that allows both brand name X and its retailers to profit from each transaction
    • One day, an owner of a bass, made by brand name X, sells or trades the bass to a music store that is an official retailer for brand name X.
    • The music store assesses the bass to see if it meets all criteria.
    • If it does meet all criteria, then it's put through brand name X's certification process and marketed as certified pre-owned
    Now, that's just my take on a potential high-level program. Do you guys think the industry could make money with something like this? Do you have other ideas of how programs could operate?
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  2. Probably too much hassle for too little profit. A bass isn't like a car, any issues are usually easily spotted by a potential buyer and they are easily returned to a retailer if something does turn up after the fact
  3. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Sounds like a lot of trouble for the big guys, and I think they all prefer the easier route, but the boutique bass builders might go for it.
    BassholeKI, Nedmundo and Mvilmany like this.
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    There's not enough money involved to make this worthwhile. The only time it would matter is for a very, very high end bass that was flawless in every respect - and in that case, who needs certification or would pay for it?

    Interesting thought, but I don't see it as practical.
  5. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Too much variance with no nationaly recognized way to document.
    I played a brand new Aerodyne bass yesterday at GC and the neck had a ski jump.
    Most do not.
  6. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    How is this in any way better than what good retail stores (the few that are still around) already do, which is a basic setup and cleaning on used instruments before putting them out on the sales floor? All you're doing is adding paperwork and increasing the cost to the consumer.
    Haroldo, wmhill and GlennRH like this.
  7. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    My thought was manufacturers such as Alembic, Smith, Wal, Spector, Fender (CS), Sadowsky, Fodera, etc.
  8. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    That's kind of what I'm trying to figure out. The term "certified pre-owned" is a marketing tactic used to get more money from customers. I'm curious to see if this concept could transfer over to MI.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Your local car dealership did NOT actually go through a "127 point inspection".

    It's all marketing in the car biz.

    It would be all marketing in the bass biz.
  10. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I've seen a few high end basses go back through their makers to be refurbished and resold. Alembic and Fodera I believe have done things like that in the past. I don't know how they ended up with the used instruments, but they were returned to near-new condition with refinishing and replacement parts. Could be that someone sent it back for refurbishing and then couldn't pay, or changed their mind, etc.

    But that's boutique makers rehabing their product and bypassing retailers completely, so totally different from what you're talking about.

    More similar to what you're talking about are repair techs being certified by manufacturers to do warranty work on their instruments.
    Jeff Elkins likes this.
  11. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Why does a bass being sold as used need to be certified it was pre-owned? It's kind of obvious since it's being sold as used.
  12. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    Retail: definitely not.

    Custom build: yes

    Scenario: people who buy Fodera’a typically contact Fodera. Someone Could trade in their original Fodera while buying a different one. Fodera cleans and refurbishes the original and sells it used with a warranty.

    Would I personally be interested in this? No. I don’t buy high-end bases like that, and I know what to look for with issues before buying a bass. I do my own set up work.
    packhowitzer and Matthew_84 like this.
  13. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The "certified" part refers to either an authorized retailer or the manufacturer going over the bass and making sure it is up to factory specs.
    BluesWalker likes this.
  14. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    True but they give you a list of things that says they did. If something on that list isn't right, you have 30 days to correct it. I went though this last year with a used car. They said the CD player was working in the paperwork (who tests that out on their initial drive?) so I was expecting a working, factory, CD player. In the end, they installed an $800+ radio at their expense.

    There are manufacturers that do this, F bass jumps to mind.
    PsyDocHill likes this.
  15. Lance Bunyon

    Lance Bunyon

    Jul 17, 2018
    This is already a thing. "Manufacturer refurbished".
    All over the Bay and Verb.
    TalHaz and GlennRH like this.
  16. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I know, it was a joke.
  17. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I would lean more towards the purchase of a certified pre-owned vehicle, if they offered a lifetime of new bass strings, in lieu of the actual warranty.

    They can keep the free car washes, too...

    ... free strings... send them to me, by the case...
    lethargytartare and mikewalker like this.
  18. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    sabre79 and SactoBass like this.
  19. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    This wouldn't be too difficult, I suppose. Essentially, it would amount to paying a little more than the typical price for a used instrument, and getting something like the original purchaser's factory warranty. It's similar to the extended warranties you can buy on appliances, for example. It could be sold and backed by the manufacturer, in which case you could get it serviced at any authorized shop, or sold and backed by the store, in which case you'd have to bring it back there.

    Some folks might pay a little extra for this, but with the great return policies at GC and Sam Ash, which probably do the highest volumes, I'm just not sure it would have many takers. Like others, I've read about things like this with boutique builders, where it makes sense if they repair/refurbish the bass in house.
  20. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    You would add overhead and jack the price up to the point where used instruments would no longer be attractive.
    Matthew_84 likes this.

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