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Basses in Pawn Shops

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Juniorkimbrough, May 4, 2005.



    Dec 1, 2004
    Asheville NC
    I got a sunburst, all original 1960 Gibson EB-2 with the OHSC in great condition at an obscure pawn shop while I was on vacation in MAine, for $150. That was sweeeeeet.
  2. Mel Monihan

    Mel Monihan

    Mar 30, 2004
    I used to be one of the "Kings" of pawn shops.I would go out every saturday and check every pawn shop in the county looking for bargains on musical instruments and amps.I did find quite a few deals in the "old days".Today most of the old mom and pop pawnshops have been bought out by those Texas conglomerstes, Value Pawn and Cash America pawn etc.
    These guys go strictly by the blue book prices on equipment, no matter what condition the equipment is in.I can do better at The Guitar Center on a new instrument than I can on a used one in a pawn shop.
    The best shops are still the mom and pop shops, if you can find them.Get to know the owners and be friendly, and if a good deal comes along, you can score big.One of the members on the forum pointed out once that pawn shops around military basses can be a treasure chest.I have found that to be true, sometimes the men get strapped and practically give things away.
    As in everything else though, YOU have to be good at what you do.Do your homework and have a good,quick working knowledge of what a good deal is and what a great deal is.They are still out there, there are just alot more people looking these days, and ebay has actually hurt the business of getting that great deal in a pawn shop.
  3. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Got my first Sting Ray from a pawn shop for $200 and it was a sunburst finish/w black pickguard(pre-Ernie ball). Years later I got a Yamaha BX5 headless five string(remember those?) for $175!! I dont think the guys at the shop knew anything about the basses or companies at all.
  4. OiBass


    Apr 9, 2003
    I got a '89 Gibson T-Bird w/ case in great shape for $625.00-

    12 years ago-
  5. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    seems like every pawn shop i go to researches their used equipment
    using the internet .
    most of the time i'll pass on their used stuff because i can usually pick up new or nearly new for about the same price...

    i do agree about the shops near military basses .
    many times i've seen nice gear , but they still wanted too much for
    used stuff ...
  6. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    That's what I was going to say too. I'm not going to talk in absolutes, but it seems as though the era of great pawn shop deals are going the way of the dodo. The internet is making it way too easy for pawnshops to get any sort of price (auction, MSRP, list, whatever) and just choose that one. They STILL don't have any clue about pricing, but now at least they have something to latch on to, no matter how ridiculous it may be, to charge you a tremendous amount.

    I feel like, find a pawn shop without access to the internet and there ye shall find your treasure... arrrrr...matey.

  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I just picked up an Ibanez Verdine White for $225.

    The days of pawnshop deals aren't over IME... you just need to know what you're doing. Yes, they'll probably know the value of the obvious stuff but that doesn't mean they'll know what an F bass or Elrick or whatever's just under the radar is worth. That's why I've found Polytones cheap and all sorts of other stuff too.
  8. rockdoc11


    Sep 2, 2000
    Ebay has changed things a lot.

    I was recently in a mom and pop pawn shop, and glanced over the usual assortment of cheap crap hanging on the wall.

    The "mom" said, "Looking for something good, huh?"

    I said, "Yeah."

    She said, "Anything nice I get that comes in, goes up on ebay right away. I get maximum dollar, and no wasted time."

    I suspect that's happening with more and more pawn shops.
  9. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town.

    Oct 1, 2001
    I got my '79 t-40 in a hardshell a couple of years ago for 250 bucks. Not a super deal like getting a 'ray for 200 bucks, but the instrument was flawless, unplayed, with sparkling hardware, and it still had the plastic "sticker-like" cover layer over the pickgaurd showing what each knob and switch does, and man does it sound good.
  10. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    I hate that whole "wasted time" approach pawn shops have. The true seediness of the pawn shop experience always finally hits me again when I ask to see a piece and they almost unwillingly hand it to me then ask for it back like SECONDS after and ask if I want to buy it already. Geez. If I wanted to buy a used car, I would brought my driving gloves.

  11. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    well i stopped by this afternoon and it turns out it wasn't a Pbass......it was an older Washburn bass.....actually they had two...the 4 string was 119 and the 5 string was 149.....but this was what was on the tag.
  12. Razman

    Razman Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    I bought a T-40 for $96, including tax. No case and it was used, but in pretty good clean shape. I eventually sold it for just a hair more than I had in it (I did get a bag and new strings for it). I do think that deals are getting harder and harder to find, but I still do my regular rounds of pawn-shop hopping and see stuff on occasion. Even with the chains, if I see something that has been in there for a while, a deal can be had. I own a six- and 12-string Applause acoustics (with the aluminum frets/fretboard) which I paid around $80 for each, both in very good shape. I like them because they'll look the same another 20-30 years from now, and play great.

  13. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    I found a Telecaster that was stolen from me in a pawn shop once. Don't delude yourself. Even with the stringent reporting that is supposed to be done, a large majority of the items that are pawned have a dubious past.Pawnshops used to display some pawned items and some overpriced new items. They just love to haggle, though

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