Buying a Fender Jazz Bass with no serial no?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mthykim, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. mthykim


    Sep 5, 2020
    I'm looking to buy a MIM Fender Jazz Bass on Craigslist, and the seller says there is no serial number on the guitar. Given this, he has suggested that I come try the bass in person to make sure it works as it should.

    Are there any ways to 1) Verify that it is a legitimate fender bass, and 2) That it wasn't stolen? The seller says that the bass was passed down from his father and that he doesn't have much information on the bass.

    Below are the description and pictures of the listing.

    Beautiful condition w/Gold & Chrome Hardware and Hardshell tweed case
    Note - Decal on neck indicates USA - It was an add on. It was made in Mexico
    Alder body with Clear lacquer finish
    Fender Jazz Bass pickups
    “U” shaped neck with vintage tall frets and 7.25” radius
    Original Bridge with smooth slotted saddles
    Original tuning machines
    For sale is a Fender Standard Jazz Bass Made in Mexico. It is in Excellent condition. Fretwear is minimal and the truss rod is fully functional. No warps or twists. Included is a Fender hardshell tweed case.

    Attached Files:

  2. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    $500 for a used MIM Jazz bass is more than I would expect to pay without the missing serial number. There are only two reasons to take the serial number off: 1) its stolen; or 2) they were trying to pass it off at some time as a USA made bass, possibly both. There are ways to confirm the Fender build, stamp on the neck, the routing, the make of the electronics etc. This bass has two fraud indicators already and is over priced. I would stay away.
  3. What you have to think of is if you decide to move the bass on in the future, if you buy it (believe it or not, this actually happens :woot: ).

    As RSBBass says above, there are only a few reasons for the serial number being removed and none of them are cool!
    Aqualung60, sawzalot, Picton and 3 others like this.
  4. You could probably find a nice G&L Tribute for about that price, or any other number of quality Jazz style basses that wouldn't require you to question their bona fides for $500.

  5. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    The serial number is a non issue. $500 is way too much. Sellers love to think their case is worth something.
  6. mthykim


    Sep 5, 2020
    Thanks all for your advice! I'll move on and search elsewhere.
    pacojas, mcnach, Bajo Clarkko and 2 others like this.
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Also, I've never seen that decal with 'Custom Shop' on it? That seems off.
    smokescreens, PWRL and staurosjohn like this.
  8. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    It's an MIM Jazz bass or maybe even a Squier VM.
    Is it even worth thinking about other than buy or pass?
    Offer him $100 less if you like the way it feels and sounds and if you do decide to sell it later on, list it as an unknown parts Jazz bass.
    If you think it might be a Squier, walk away and buy another Jazz bass...they're all over the place for that price or better.
  9. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Maybe I'm alone in this but a case with fabric owned by a stranger kinda grosses me out. Fluids. Insects. Who knows what else.
    Ghastly and Real Soon like this.

  10. I’d stay away from public transportation with that mindset. ;)
    lfmn16, Aqualung60, mcnach and 5 others like this.
  11. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan DNA Endorsing Artist Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    I have to laugh @Gorn. The case isn't worth anything unless you are in the market for a case. My '82 Jazz that I bought in '85 came with one of the Fender molded cases. It was nice inside and held everything well. Then one of the metal "bump" legs broke off...and then the molded cover started coming away from the foam core. And then...I started looking for a case. I really wanted a case like the one that came with my 1965 Jazz bass. It was the black luggage type case with the orange plush inside. Well, if you want one of those from Fender now, you're looking right around $200 for it. Ended up buying a Gator version of that case instead which still wasn't cheap and seems heavier than I remember the Fender case being. The corners are more square than the Fender one was and it still smells like glue on the inside when I open it (got it for Christmas), but it works very well and I'm happy with it.

    Now to put this in perspective, when I bought my Jazz in 1966, the price of $279.99 included that luggage type hard case. So, to the right person it might be worth something. When I was looking at that MIM bass with the MIA and "custom shop" decals on it, I was thinking,"well at least it has a decent case instead of a gig bag."
  12. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    It's not entirely worthless, but I often see a $200 bass being sold for twice that much because it comes with a case. That's what seems silly to me.
    Rip Van Dan likes this.
  13. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx!

    Oct 31, 2006
    Western Hemisphere
    Goofy decal, but still a cool lookin' bass.
  14. Wilmingtonian


    Aug 20, 2011
  15. Snibborwocky


    Oct 16, 2015
    lol @ fake USA Fender "custom shop" decal on headstock... oof. Red flag, red flag red flag...
  16. MIMike


    Jan 1, 2013
    West MI
    $500 is at least twice what it’s worth.
  17. Mr Socko

    Mr Socko

    Mar 1, 2000
    Looks like a Chinese knockoff that you can get new for around $350. The clue is the Custom shop decal and the gold hardware. I saw a P bass like it here in Denver and found the Chinese site that sells them on line.
  18. Kaplan


    Jul 25, 2018
    The body wood grain does not look like alder. It's sen ash (used on Squires) or ash.
  19. It’s a nice looking and probably playing bass in what seems to be excellent condition. It might have a replacement neck that’s better than what the original was. I’d offer the guy $300 and buy it for $350 tops. Case is nice but irrelevant to me if I were looking.
  20. Just throwing a third possibly out here. The replacement MIM necks from Fender do not come with a serial number. From a used perspective it presents a problem for me because there are some years of MIM that I avoid.