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Buying a fairly expensive bass from Amazon.com

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by garciawork, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    On the positive side, Amazon return policy is solid and they're easy to deal with.
    On the negative side, they don't have a clue about what they are selling. I ordered a Spector bass from them about 4 years ago. Had to return it as soon as it arrived. You'd think a little thing like it being Fretless would be worth mentioning but nope, not mentioned anywhere in the ad or options list. I obviously assumed I was buying a fretted bass, especially considering it was advertised as a 24 fret bass. Lesson learned, I now buy from dealers or players not warehouse holding companies.
  2. mix ranger

    mix ranger

    Dec 26, 2016
    Make sure to check customer reviews when buying on Amazon. This will help you weigh ideas.
  3. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    The problem with buying a bass online is the same regardless of store- you haven't played it.

    That won't change, but IME_ my local stores typically do not have the bass I want, so buying local doesn't work either. Granted I will sit down and play a couple basses that might catch my eye in the store, but usually none of them speak to me, or they have some setup issues.

    So my last 7 basses have been bought online, 2 were returned because they didn't work for me, 5 were kept for at least 6 months. But out of those 3 either developed problems, or I just grew tired of them.
  4. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    And if you're a Prime Amazon member, the return shipping is free.

    Haven't bought a bass from them yet, but I'm not ruling that out. Bought lots and lots of other stuff though. The wife and I use Amazon for as much as we can. We hate to go shopping at brick and mortar stores when we can avoid it.
    wintremute likes this.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = my opinion Supporting Member

    IMO: you're OK!
  6. garciawork


    Mar 7, 2015
    Meridian, ID
    Thanks all, won't have the money together for a week or two, so I have some more time to decide.
  7. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    HAHA! Nicely done sir.
  8. garciawork


    Mar 7, 2015
    Meridian, ID
    One other option I have found for the new American Professional series not at full price is an "open box" from mucisionsfriend/GC/Music123: Fender American Professional Left-Handed Precision Bass Rosewood Fingerboard

    Is that something to stay away from? I have read many people getting a bad one from those stores and returning, only to have it pop up as an open box a few days later. Not my favorite color, but with a black or tort PG, I think it would look pretty good, and its less than a 3 year old one on Amazon... but risky... Thoughts?
  9. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008
    I have an American Standard bass bought from Amazon. No complaints, and it was even set up nearly perfect for me out of the box. I was impressed.
  10. FantasticFour


    Dec 14, 2013
    There are substantially less lemons among US Standards than Mex Standards (although they CAN be excellent too).
    I bought my US Standard Jazz from a big "warehouse" music retailer. Although they claim to offer a free setup before shipping, I doubt any human had even one look a this bass between the moment it left the warehouse and the moment it showed up at my door. That or "setup" is the art of giving a bass the same action as that on a celtic harp.
    I have no problem to report, however, and after a good homemade setup it plays (and looks) fantastic.
    In a nutshell, I'd do it.
    japhy4529 likes this.
  11. dinoadventures

    dinoadventures Feets don't fail me now!

    Jul 10, 2015
    Dallas, TX
    I bought a $1000 Yamaha BB1025x from amazon because no store in town would give me a return policy on ordering one in. The exact model and color I want came in two days and it was set up rather well. No regrets.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
    wintremute likes this.
  12. bunkaroo


    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    The only thing that would give me pause about ordering an instrument from Amazon would be something they've had in stock for a while. Specifically, what are their warehouse conditions (temperature, humidity)? I'd like to think that dedicated online music vendors give more thought to storage conditions than Amazon but who knows. Give some comments here that they've had good experiences, I'd be inclined to take a shot and see what happens.
  13. I am funny about online guitars, I really would want to see it 1st. I know most of the time they are fine. Also you can send it back. Yesterday my new unopened SKB case arrived & it has scratches on the sides. I will keep it, but its the principle.
  14. lpbfender

    lpbfender Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2012
    Stamford CT
    Not to repeat the above but in my experience:
    1) your buying an instrument that you will physically and audibly bond with.
    2) if you are a performer, your role is to entertain others making 1) even more important.
    3) each instrument is different.
    4) Amazon and online retailers sell based on price. There are exceptions like Wildwood and others.

    So, with Fender's improved quality over the years, and Amazon's return policy there's less risk. Probably fulfilled by Music 123.
    But I suggest only buying if you are tolerant of variations versus your expectations.

    BTW, there are a lot of great basses for sale here and as other posters have said GC used, and I'd also include Sam Ash. Also check out Sweetwaters dealzone.
  15. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    I've never bought open-box items from them but I think they're just ones people have returned, so there may or may not be something wrong, it depends on the reason it was sent back.

    Its worth mentioning that Musiciansfriend will often give you an additional discount if you call, anywhere from 10-20% depending on the item and what deal they have going at the time. For example, they're not allowed to list lower-than-normal prices for Fenders, but a few weeks ago they were 20% off once you added them to your cart. And their frequent 15% off promo codes sometimes work on Fenders if you call. They occasionally have 10% off open box items too. Oh and if you sign up for their rewards thing you get another 8% back in store credit.

    I should mention that I'm not a huge fan of Musiciansfriend, as they're usually more of a hassle to deal with than Amazon if you have a problem, but there are definitely good deals to be had if you know the tricks.
  16. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I bought my MIA Jazz Deluxe on amazon because it was right around the time the Elite's were coming out and a white deluxe was no where to be found. I found one one amazon. Came in perfect.
  17. garciawork


    Mar 7, 2015
    Meridian, ID
    Definitely crossed my mind. 3+ years old and likely sitting in a warehouse with minimal climate control may not be the best option. Being lefty suuuucks.
  18. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    I'm a lefty too, but fortunately playing bass right-handed has never been a problem for me. It fair to say I even prefer it for some reason, just as long as I don't have to use a pick. Holding a pick and strumming with my right hand are still the hardest things for me on guitar (which I also play right-handed), even after years of practice. Maybe that's why I'm so much more into bass these days! Oh, and playing nylon string right-handed is also not a problem because I can just use my fingers there too.

    But yeah, I'm definitely aware of how crappy the selection of left-handed instruments is. Have you ever looked at G&L? They seem to have more southpaw models than some other companies.
  19. garciawork


    Mar 7, 2015
    Meridian, ID
    Well, technically I write, throw, and do pretty much everything else right handed, but I could never even hold a right handed guitar properly. Left has always felt "right" haha. I am pretty sure I could use my fingers to pluck righty, but not pick, or strum, and my left hand could NEVER successfully navigate a fretboard. So, alas, lefty I am.

    I have looked into G&L. There are, in fact, a few LB-100's for sale (all burst, unfortunately). One on eBay, and another at... New Jersey Guitar and Bass Center. I would probably be happy with one, but one main reason I want to go newer Fender is the carbon support in the neck. I am in Idaho now, and from what I gather, and this could be totally wrong, the carbon in the neck helps with wildly varying temperatures, which we get here, both in winter and summer. It may be a total non issue, of course. The LB-100 on eBay has a body made of "empress wood", which I have never heard of. Is that a pro over ash/alder? Anyone know?
  20. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Returning a bass because you are not satisfied is fine. But insured shipping will cost you anywhere from $40~$85.