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Anybody bought from a pawn shop?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GodPlayedBass, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. Been eyeing a 5 string bass thats been sitting in this pawnshop near me for about 3 months. Anybody ever bought from a pawn shop before? Post experiences below please.
    donkeygrl, Ggaa and mb94952 like this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Not in person, but I've bought from several different pawnshops on ebay and Reverb, mostly successfully. Had to return a guitar once because the bridge piezo was kaput, refunded no problems.
    Bass4Brkfast likes this.
  3. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Yes, about 9 years ago in Philly. No issues and very good prices.
    fleabitten likes this.
  4. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    At a pawn shop, no.
    At a furniture store, yes!

    Years ago, Wife and I were looking for a new couch.
    Went to a local store that sold new and used furniture.
    In the back of the store sat a dust covered John Gray custom, active, 4 string bass and case and a Fender Bassman 100 and a 215 Bassman cab.
    Bought it all CHEAP!
    Flipped the amp and cab the next day and doubled my money.
    Gigged the bass a couple of months and sold it also and doubled my money again!
    Kinda wish I'd of kept the bass now.....
  5. WillyWonka

    WillyWonka I "heart" pointy headstocks Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    Pawn shop business model around here is MSRP + 30%, so no.
  6. rockdoc11


    Sep 2, 2000
    Back in the day (1980s through early 2000s) before widespread internet and information access, one could repeatedly score great gear inexpensively at pawn shops. Collector friends and I would go on "guitar safari" regularly, driving through a circle of small farming towns and coming home with cars loaded.

    Now . . . not so much. These guys universally caught on the the music gear market.

    Today craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are probably the best ways to score the occasional deal.
  7. 90% of my guitar collection has come from pawnshops over the last 15 years.

    I've gotten some AMAZING deals on guitars on basses.

    Most of the guitars/basses were bought at wholesale or below.

    I NEVER EVER look online anywhere when looking for guitars or basses.

    There's no stores in the world that could come remotely close to the deals I've gotten.

    Here are prices I paid of just the basses I still own.

    $59.95 - '74 Fender Jazz Bass
    $115 - '90 MIJ Fender PB-57 P-Bass
    $190 - '92 USA Hamer Chaparral
    $204 - '94 Fender Jazz V Plus 5-String
    $400 - '78 Fender P-Bass

    These are just my Bass scores.

    I have A LOT of amazing scores on guitars.
    OogieWaWa, jamro217, krfoss and 9 others like this.
  8. Even though most pawn shop owners/employees are pretty savvy about fair used street value on almost everything under the sun, price accordingly, and try to get that, pawn shop tradition holds that making a sale to the first customer through the door that morning ensures a profitable and lucky day for the salesman. Here's your chance to get them to forego the "fair street" standard.

    Go in some afternoon and audition the bass very thoroughly the way you would any musical instrument you're considering buying. Make sure it's up to your standards and free of any unanticipated flaws you'd rather not pay for.

    Then, when you're sure you want it, show up well before opening time one morning, be the first in line and through the door, and let the negotiating begin. Every time you balk and head for the door, you'll get a lower counter-offer. You'll end up getting the item for only a few bucks more than they have in it, which is assuredly well below street value.

    It worked for me, a couple of times.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
    OogieWaWa, jamro217, fhm555 and 7 others like this.
  9. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    I think I bought from a pawn shop once or twice back before the Internet, nothing special.
    jamro217 likes this.
  10. Thundar

    Thundar The other ones are complete bull$hit Supporting Member

    Many many times over the last 35 years..the last time I picked up a Spector Legend 5 string and an Ampeg B100R
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
    jamro217 likes this.
  11. I love pawn shops and have scored some really good deals over the years but pawn shops aren't what they used to be.
    jamro217, five7, mb94952 and 9 others like this.
  12. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Several times.
    Hard to get a steal these day with the internet, but I've seen some very good stuff.
    (Classy one near me, and quite a few seedy ones.)
  13. matthewbrown

    matthewbrown Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Harwich, MA, USA
    On St. Patrick's Day once I walked past a pawnshop that was selling a bright green Pedulla Rapture 4 for under $200. I bought it immediately and used it as my main bass for years. Sold it later when I stopped doing commercial gigs for a few years, and man, do I miss that bass.
    jamro217, mb94952, punchdrunk and 4 others like this.
  14. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    Only online direct with pawn shop (no ebay, no reverb) and each time was without any issues. Usually used buya.com to locate and then went from there.
    jamro217 likes this.
  15. Jinbu


    Nov 12, 2017
    Does it count if you work at the pawn shop? Lol. I actually bought my first bass from a pawn shop, long before I ended up working there. Picked up a couple other great basses and some skinny strings as well since working there.
  16. el jeffe bass

    el jeffe bass

    Nov 22, 2013
    New Mexico
    Back in 1992 I bought a 1974 sunburst Gibson SG guitar for a great price. I still have it but don’t play it much. One of these days I might sell it and buy something cool bass related.
    mikewalker likes this.
  17. ItsmeSantiago


    Nov 23, 2015
    Never pay their asking price. I bought my GK MB Fusion head for $280 when they were asking for $600. I gamed them a little bit, but that head sat for months from what I'm told. My buddy got a 70's P bass for well under a grand at a pawn shop.
    thetragichero likes this.
  18. A lot of them use national price guides, so the days of finding a steal may be a little difficult. However . . . . . a lot of them are not very versed in stringed instruments:

    A local pawn shop (where they short-sold a bass I had in with them BEFORE the 90 days were up, and my interest was current) stayed on my radar, as frankly, whether intentional (what I think, really) or accidentally, that bass should have been there for me to redeem. So let's say a small vendetta was in my head. This was back in the Bad Old Days.

    I walk in there one day, and there's a very good or mint minus Yamaha BB5000AII, the Taiwan version with the bigger body and the TRB PJ pickups. Wow. At the time I owned the 5000 and the 5000A in white, like this AII. Had to have it. Asking $895, not out of line at all. I ask to try it, they let me plug in, and every time I play a note anywhere on the neck, it drops like a whammy bar pushed all the way in. Hmmmm . . . .

    I look up at the keys. Some fool had stuck the cut end into the open hole in the shaft, then went maybe a half-turn around each post. I (or most anyone else on TB) caught this in a hot second. Otherwise, it's in excellent shape.

    Guy come back. 'Whaddya think?'

    I said 'I'd buy this right now, but it will NOT stay in tune.' I play the riff from 'Money' (even civilians recognize Pink Floyd), and sure enough it sounds just crazy, notes sliding all over the place.

    'I'd have to take this downtown to my buddy's shop, works on Vince Gill's guitars, the best, but IT AIN'T GONNA BE CHEAP TO FIX. So I'd go, whaddya think, $599 so I'll have some money to pay him' (knowing damn good and well they cheaped out on the guy that lost it).

    He says, 'sure, I can do that'. I paid up, and got out of there PDQ.

    Went home, strung it up with new Boomers, played perfectly . . . . . and stayed in pitch perfectly. Yes, I was maybe a dirty SOB to pull that, but . . . . I got even. Awful really, but there it is. I slept even better the day I sold it for a grand.

    Never had a deal like that before or since.
    SoCal80s, MattZilla, design and 3 others like this.
  19. I’ve literally never seen anything in a pawn shop worth buying, and what they have had costs more than new.
  20. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    S. Texas Hill Country
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    I bought my first bass, a Harmony H2 from a pawn shop on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood in 1977 for $75. I learned to play bass on that instrument, it served me well. Just like this one...
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 16, 2021

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