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Anyone here ever sell their bass on consignment???

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Lindy, May 17, 2004.

  1. Lindy


    May 15, 2004
    :help: I own a bass (carved 1962 Juzek--Master Art I think but not sure) that I will probably be selling this summer. I'm giving it up because I just cant physically handle it any more. I can still play the bass, but hurt my back falling off of a stage a few years ago, and its really hard for me to move like I need to to get it in and out of the bag, adjust the endpin, etc. so I've finally decided to let go of that part of my life, and sell the bass. Anyway, someone suggested in another thread that I leave it with a dealer or bass shop to sell for me on consignment. I would like to hear from anybody who has actually done that.
    How long did it take, what was the fee, did you have any problems? Any pitfalls to watch out for? Any trouble getting your money or your bass back? Any shop that you would recommend, or any that you would avoid?
    I'm new on the list. Please share your knowledge and experience. Thanks a lot.
    Lindy :help:
  2. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Well, consignment is very common. Usually 15% in the midwest and %20 on the east/west coast. Your previous post and subsequent thread pretty much answers what you could do about selling your Juzek. 1) If you want the money now, sell it to the dealer that offered $2000. 2)If you don't mind meeting other bassists, sell it on/through Talkbass for no consignment fee. 3) If you can wait 6-12 months, and don't want to hassle with selling it yourself, put it on consignment.

    You will get more money for it if you take it out east. I can recommend several good shops, but I'd rather post that in a private message. PM me for that...

    Most reputable shops will let a consignment bass go out on "trial" for a week or so. Sometimes basses sell in a week, and sometimes they sell after a year. Juzeks are pretty consistent, and unless yours is far-out and needs major work, it would >>probably<< sell under three months through an established bass shop. Expect to get a little less (-$100 to $500) than the asking price; buyers like to ask low.

    Don't let the consignment option scare you. Most basses are bought and sold this way.
  3. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    I have seen it take from 1 day to over a year depending on if you set a reasonable price, are willing to come down on the price, or if your price is a pipe dream.

    As I stated in your last thread 20%

    No problems

    Make sure the consignment percentage is in writing before you leave the bass in the store with the selling price included. Get a copy of all paperwork. Make sure the store has to call you before lowering the price unless you state a range of prices accepted in writing.

    No problem getting the money. Your bass is not worth being sued over.

    I have bought and sold items on consignment. I have been in the musical instrument business since 1974 (retail and wholesale). Unless you bass is the big payday (and a Juzek is not, not a bad bass but not 200K either) a reputable shop will do exactly what they say.

  4. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I don't recommen taking the $2,000. for it unless it needs some work done. Like I said in your other thread, the Bass is worth more in the East. I would like to see the Bass if I could and make you an offer.

    Consingment would be best but I would do a search on the Juzek and Wilfer sales of similar models. If yours is a real 'Master Art" model with Violin Form and Highly figured back and sides, then it should bring much more than the lower grade models.
  5. In my opinion, consignment is not a very great idea for the instruments most of us play. I can see a very expensive instrument maybe, since the market is going to be small and someone in the business could probably get it more exposure, but an ordinary bass should be easy enough for average joe to unload without paying the high cost of a consignment. Also, I think those types of instruments don't sell that well in shops; I had a fairly nice bass on consignment in a comparatively high traffic shop a few years ago, and it got almost no interest at all in the months it sat there, even though the owner (a friend) tried to get rid of it. I ended up selling by posting an add at the local university bulliten board, and it sold in a few weeks plus I saved that consignment fee.
  6. poalf


    Feb 27, 2003
    Phoenix, Az
    I'm about to put my Wilfer (violin corners, flamed maple back and sides) on consignment: 20% on the west coast. I listed it on this site about 5 weeks ago, sent emails to instructors at the 3 colleges in the state and got no response. Could be I'm asking too much, but I'm trying to not take a bath on bass (now there's an image) for the second time. It was listed "OBO." I have not tried the local newpaper yet, but am not hopeful.

    Anyway, here in the desert (although not as isolated as Sierra Vista) with a limited market and a fairly well known dealer who sells out of his house 3 miles from mine, I think I'm hosed. I've wondered how non-dealers in a small market sell their instruments. So I'm going the consignment route. Not sure what else to do but am open to suggestions
  7. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    I take in consignment pieces all the time in my shop. Depending on the piece of gear and the time of year the product could sit for a day or for a year. IMO and in my town, this time of year is a good time to sell upper end pieces. People are getting their tax returns back and are looking to spend. IME things seem to calm down a bit during summer time, resulting in inventory sitting on the wall for a bit longer. However, a bass like this is going to attract a certain kind of buyer, so the timing may not be as big of a deal.

    If you do decide to put it on consignment make sure that you have something in writing saying that the bass is indeed yours. Also make sure that you have the right to come pick up the bass any time you want, before it's purchased of course. Most shops have insurance against instruments being damaged, destroyed, or stolen so ask them about that as well.

    As far as the pricing goes, let the store know what your bottom line is. Make sure they will call you if someone is offering less than what you want. I will usually get two prices from my customer:

    1) What their ideal price is
    2) What their very bottom price is

    Like some other people have said in this post - people like to feel like they got a good deal. So allow the store a little bit of wiggle room on the price.

    I wouldn't worry too much about them selling the thing for less than you want. Remember, that the more the bass sells for the more money the store will make. So unless they don't like money, it is in their best interest to sell the instrument for your Ideal price.

    Hope that helps some :D
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I sold my Kay on consignment at Gage's. I told them what I wanted to get and they said that what I was asking was doable (that they would be able to offer it at a price that would get me what I wanted and cover their percentage). And the bass sold within a month. The bass sounded better than other things in that price range in the shop, which helped. Sam (at Gage's) says that how quickly your bass moves really is dependant on how many other basses in that price range the shop has, how your bass stacks up to that selection in terms of sound, playability and amenity (bag, pick up, etc). If there are a lot of $2-4K basses, then yours must
    1. be cheaper
    2. sound better
    3. be able to sit without selling for a long time

    All in all, I think it's easier to sell a bass at a place where people come to look for a bass to buy. There clientele is ENTIRELY bassists, whereas the local mullet wrapper has a clientele that is primarily NOT bassists.
  9. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I have my Batchelder on consignment right now in NY. It wasn't my plan, but when I took the Gilkes out for trial I couldn't fit both Basses in the car. ~~~~~

    I brought the Batchelder in for an Insurance Appraisal and found out it was worth a bit more than I expected. When the 'Stock' is up, sell it !! ~~~~~~~

    My dealer friend has much more traffic and contacts than I do. ~ Good dealers really earn thier commissions! ~ When a man works, you gotta pay him !!!!!!
  10. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I seemed to have misplaced my Dictionary Of New York Slang, so Ed, what is the origin and history of "local mullet wrapper"?

    (And I'll probably never use this damn smiley again, so here goes...)

  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    It refers to a daily news publication so revered and reknowned that it's best use is for wrapping fish...
  12. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    It is a major advantage to the bass seeker to have a place to go to and try many instruments. The ultimate match is very elusive; the player generally gets a strong feeling when he and the instrument work well together. The dealer's job is to present potential mathes in a professional environment with minimal salesmanship. I try to just let the bassist and bass find each other, then have them test it out in the real world. Only 25-30% of these trials end in a sale, so a lot of presenting, arranging, shlepping and adjusting goes into every sucessful match. I do, however, generally encourage owners of lower-end basses to first try selling on their own, for several reasons; 1) it's usually pretty easy to find a buyer, 2) I don't have very much traffic in that range, 3) for the same amount of work, my payout is much less, and I might be better served slaving at my workbench. Just thought you guys might appreciate my take from "the other side".
  13. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    There's one big danger of consignment no ones' mentioned that I've seen quite regularly in my area. The bass owner brings the axe to the shop thinking it is worth around 6x. Shopkeep says no, it's a nice bass and in mint condition it could bring 10x. But we need to do about 3x worth of work. OK, that's done and the bass begins to sit. and sit.[at an inflated price of course.] Fiinally the owner needs to pay a nasty bill. Under pressure to sell the shopkeep says for various reasons I can only give you 2x for it now in cash. In the end the shopkeep gets paid for his [inflated] work and gets a fixed up bass for real cheap. The original owner gets hosed. Watch out for this scenario-it's a time honered bait and switch variant.
  14. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    Hi Hope you dont mind if I chime in here. If you are in range of NYC and you are interested in someone else doing the legwork then David Gage is an excellent place to sell your bass. It is the place where EVERYONE goes everyone coming thru town every student from Boston to Washington and everyone from Europe. I sold two basses there and I know (especially cause Ron Carter loves hus Jusek so much) that those instruments are always sought after as working jazz basses and the best of them are really nice axes. David is fair, he wont cheat you and although you will pay 20% your bass will sell as fast as it can there. That said, a Jusek like you describe should sell here fairly quickly. Before I found my bass i would have gone far and wide to check out something promising (course I always started at Gages)...
    A bass like that should bring a lot more then 2 k. I've looked at Juseks in NYC 3 sometimes 4 times that.
    best of luck