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Anybody ever sell all or most of your gear to pay off non-emergency debt?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by donahue, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. donahue

    donahue Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2015
    I'll start off by saying I totally understand selling gear to pay for a medical or family emergency etc but this discussion is not about that situation.

    I've accumulated a pretty respectable gear collection over 15 years but I also have about $25k in remaining student loan debt I've been paying on for almost 10 years as well. The loan payoff process is slow and a burden due to the what-seems-like perpetual payment I make.

    I couldn't pay off the whole loan with the sale of all my gear but I could put a real fat dent in it and lately I've been thinking about it. However, the thought of parting with most or all of my gear is kind of scary as well :(

    Has anybody ever sold most or all of their gear to pay off non-emergency loans or debt: auto, home, student, credit card etc. Was it worth it in the long run and how did it feel? Discuss please.
    el_Bajo_Verde and jeffmensch like this.
  2. Lost my job - not quite the same thing, but I do have money in savings but finding another job has been a challenge all year. Started selling off my collection. Some days its tough but I have a lot I’ve been buying and selling for over 30 years. Of course the stuff that most people want is the gear you least want to part with. And people typically don’t want to pay much cash for your gear - many just looking for a deal (hey, of all people, I get it!) - so you end up selling your best gear for mediocre money.

    In your case - what is your student loan interest rate? If low, no worries - pay a little extra each month. If high, get that loan paid off asap!
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Another way to look at your situation: Calculate the total interest you would save over the life of the loan.

    You'd probably save enough to replace your equipment.
    jefff100, gln1955, Remoman and 5 others like this.
  4. If you're not a working musician, then if I were you, I would sell off everything except one bass, one amp and whatever minimal basic gear you need to keep up your hobby. I'd want to bring that debt down as much and as quickly as I could.

    'Course, that's just me, I don't like being in debt.
    saabfender, dan1952, SunnBass and 3 others like this.
  5. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
    I tend to hoard some equipment that I like to have (mostly pedals, a few synths, sometimes a few uncommon instrument like a Bajo Sexto, or a Ashbory bass), but when in need some big money (for example, to finance a trip to Europe), I've sold without any regrets any gear that I don't use live with my bands.
    Commreman and donahue like this.
  6. donahue

    donahue Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2015
    Hey guys thanks for the replies. I'm not a working musician. I play in three bands, one gigs regularly, one any week now, and the other a month out but I def don't make a living from it. I like the idea of calculating the interest. I'll do that and get back to you on that. It's 4.75%.

    This isn't a whining thread by any means. I'm just looking to know how it feels to let go of choice gear to pay down debt. Do of the positive feelings of being out of debt out-weigh potential feelings of regret and depression from selling nice or hard-to-replace items? This would be a major decision for me.
    Helix likes this.
  7. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
    I never regretted in the long term any instrument I sold, even a 64 P-Bass i owned.
    Commreman, Helix and donahue like this.
  8. BobKos


    Apr 13, 2007
    All good advice above. The only consideration I would have relates to your avatar. Appears to be a lefty Ric. That being the case I would especially consider any treasured lefty basses in current ownership. They may be tough to replace down the line.
    reddog, pcake, donahue and 1 other person like this.
  9. Abrahampost


    Feb 22, 2013
    I've actually done just what you are thinking about. I sold off pretty much everything I had except for my main gigging essentials to pay off student loan debt. It isn't an apples to apples comparison because I had some high interest private loans(8% apr).

    I still have one pesky student loan to pay off but it is only a couple grand and a low fixed rate so I just set an auto payment for it and try not to think about it. I will say I do not regret the decision at all. I have since bought a couple new toys/gone to concerts/taken weekend trips that I would never have let myself do if I still had that debt looming. Also last I checked those closed loans on my navient account have gone up to a 16% apr (yikes!).

    In my opinion having less stuff and less debt is a win win. Also if you get rid of that monthly payment you can start putting that money into a 401K/retirement account and not even notice the money missing.
    jeffmensch and donahue like this.
  10. I sold two Rickenbackers to help fund my house purchase. It was dumb and I would not do it again. However, I also sold a really amazing Markbass rig because my friend and her little baby were going to get evicted in winter. I miss that rig, but I would do it again. I don't know if the latter constitutes an emergency, as it did not directly affect me, but it felt necessary.
    wildman2 likes this.
  11. On the other hand, what you're considering doing isn't really a bad idea. What I learned is that there is a lot of cheap gear out there that can get you through that lean time. Considering how much interest is tacked onto a student loan these days, as painful as it may seem, it might not be a bad idea. I wouldn't sell it all, though. You don't want to come out of it with just a sense of bitterness.
    donahue likes this.
  12. donahue

    donahue Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2015
    Awesome input guys. Yes, my Ric is a lefty fretless model with no dots. I will probably never see another like it in my life. It's not even on google. Also my 90's Warwicks. Good lefty 90's Warwicks come up about once a year for sale anywhere. Thing is that kind of stuff sells the quickest for the most money. Thats the rub.

    I've also convinced myself that all three bands need a different bass with a respective back-up and and different amp-cab rig as well. A little ridiculous. Maybe a little soul searching there will help me realize I can heavily thin the gear.
  13. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    I sold off a ton of stuff because having a ton of stuff was getting to be overwhelming. I don’t miss any of it.

    But I’m not left handed. That puts a new spin on things. I’ve never considered how hard it would be to replace great lefties. But none of the other stuff is left handed, so start with that.

    Sell some stuff. Where else are you getting 4.75? Pay it off and be done.

    At this point, if I haven’t used something in six months, I’m looking at turning it into cash.
    donahue likes this.
  14. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    Yes, in the 90's, to eat.
    I learned that if a girl is going to feed me, don't destroy that it you will regret it if you aren't truly self-sufficient.
    My buddy got me a job at Excite in Sausalito after I moved back to San Francisco from LA.
    I turned all of my attention to technology to mentally run away from failure.
    The life I was living up to that point was a dead end.

    20-something years later I decide to start playing again when my married + kids friends all decided to start dad band-ing it as an excuse to socialize and not feel old in our mid-40's.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
    Stumbo and donahue like this.
  15. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    I’m currently trying to downsize with the plan of reducing debt, but unfortunately everyone else seems to be broke too.
    Stumbo and donahue like this.
  16. Sounds to me like you could downsize significantly indeed. Of course that's just me, but I've never needed a backup bass for a gig, and I have one rig that covers it all.
  17. Vooter

    Vooter Supporting Member

    May 11, 2009
    Bronx, NY
    Pay off the debt. You can always replace the gear, but you won't always get an opportunity to pay off debt...
    donahue, dan1952 and jeffmensch like this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    I have, and yes it hurts.
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    My question is why were you accumulating a respectable gear collection when you had a big chunk of student debt?

    I wouldn't just dump it, but put everything up for a fair price, and start paring things down.
    donahue likes this.
  20. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Yep -- sold off a 2015 P bass. Took a $400 hit but still got short of a grande for it. Made a sizeable payment to the bank.

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