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Buying Bass online vs local music store?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Wattoosi, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. Suddenly 123 has my fav bass guitar way cheaper than at any of the local music stores. I am a little concerned about buying online because of potential issues, tune-ups etc, and I will have to play it considering the 45 day return policy if I don't like it. It's a MIM Fender that I have played here and there and can't tell any difference in sound between any two of this model. The deal is I can restring, adjust sting hights to fix buzz, etc. but adjusting the neck is something I have never done (if this would ever need to be done) or having the instrument intonated is way out of my league. This is the stuff the local music store will do for free, but to pay them an initial $200 more or so to have those services is something I am wondering about. Help!
  2. 4string4ever

    4string4ever Guest

    Apr 18, 2004
    Orlando, Florida
    Usually your local music store will match a price that you find online. Just print it out and take it in. As far as setup, it's really not that hard as long as you have the knowledge, which you can gain right here. Three easy steps is all it takes, with tuning in between. There are also many internet resources that can tell you how to do a setup.
  3. Yeah, the local music store is pretty tight on their prices. I'm gonna call the Guitar Center in the next state (itsa bit of a drive) to see what they will do. And yes, I do need to learn more about setting up.
  4. Since we're talking Fender, I'd recommend buying local. Their QC issues have been brought up a billion times (probably literally). They're just a brand I wouldn't want to buy without having handpicked it myself, or secondhand from another bassist, who handpicked it theirselves.

    Then again, if I read your post right, and you have a 45 day grace period for a return, with the online site, it could be worth the risk. However, it could be worth attempting to talk down the local store. With a catalog ad in hand, the local guys here will match the price. However, they have return policies that are highly lacking.

    Your other option, driving to the closest GC, sounds like your best bet IMHO, then. For all the backlash GC gets, I've had mostly pleasant dealings with mine. True, you will probably get a salesperson that makes you think you're at a used car dealership instead of a music store, and you'll be trying instruments several others have probably had their grubby paws on, but there are positives.

    I'd almost guarantee they'd match the online price or maybe outdo it (tell them to leave off taxes or something). Also, they have a thirty day grace period for returns. I've used it twice, and the first time was easy. I caught a little grief the second time, but I sill got to do it.
  5. hahaah, yeah it's like buying a used car, what an operation. It's like, whatever you want, the salesperson already owns one: "Yeah, i have one of those!" "Nobody walks" haha
  6. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    The last four basses I have bought I have bought sight unseen off the internet;
    1. Warwick neck thru thumb bass from Bass Central
    2. Pedulla 8 string Thunderbass from ebay
    3. Peavey Grind bass from Music 123
    4. Alembic Mark King Custom deluxe from Alembic via Bass Central
    I've also bought several guitars, amps and studio equipment online. Any competent repairman at the local music store can set up your instrument for you if you choose not to do it yourself. Most online music retailers have a good return policy so if you can save money I'd say go for it :D
  7. sal paradise

    sal paradise

    Aug 12, 2004
    I would try and bargain with the local shop. For me, guitar center wasn't a very pleasent buying experience. A local shop seems much easier to deal with.
  8. It depends on the bass buying something new retail is different than doing an ebay deal where you are in more of an "as is" state of mind.

    I just bought a MIM 60's bass from Music123 and ended up returning it because of quality issues (bad upper oct fretwork, and cheap/crap hardware). I'm glad i could send it back but the shipping of buying and returning cost me about $100 that's just lost. So I would have been better off buying the bass at GC for a little more money and getting the known quantity of quality.
  9. vacman


    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    Not to beat a dead horse but always try before you buy. IMHO Fender QC is all over the map so buying from 123 or MF is a crap shoot. Most local retailers will match price or come close to it because after all some cash in the till is better then none. And most local retailers I know like sticking it to the big internet houses like MF and 123....BTW, good luck fiding your ax :D
  10. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    1. $200 for a set up service is obscene

    2. Every and I mean EVERY electric bass player on the planet needs to know how to do basic set up and maintenance tasks which include neck relief, string height and intonation adjustments. It's EASY, it's fun and you get better results faster than going back and forth to a store.

    Don't let it intimidate you. At the end of the day, it's just a peice of wood. That goes for my Sadowsky as well.

    If you can bend over and tie your shoe laces without falling down, you have all the manual dexterity you need to do basic maintenance on an electric bass.

    Besides chances are excellent the guy you give the $200 to can't bend over and tie his shoes.
  11. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    It's always better to go local. The reason the prices are higher are because it's tougher to have enough money left over to pay the mortgage and feed your family when you're dealing with such a small operation. From This thread
    That's my opinion. There's more involved that the bottom line and a setup. :cool:
  12. not_jason


    Aug 4, 2004
    on my rack of 4 guitars and 3 basses sitting to my left, only one of them was purchased at a local store, and that wasn't even a music store, it was some weird salvage store. 2 were bought from friends and the rest were purchased via mailorder. the guitar stores in maine are utterly pathetic and i would not even think about giving them my money. not only do they not stock nearly enough basses to even give me a decent choice, but of the basses they DO have in stock, only one of the stores carries any fenders at all, and it's like 4 or 5 of them. and then the go and do stuff like mark MIM fenders 600 and up, squier affinity p basses for like 250. one of the other stores sells basses that are terribly flawed right off the wall, all of them are set up terribly and i've played at least a few that i suspect of having bad necks. all of them again priced much higher than anyone should have to pay for them by at least a hundred bucks. It's downright unethical.

    so i go with mailorder. that was i get selection and i don't have to pay twice the actual value for things.

    true story, i've never had the opportunity to play a stingray through an amp. my friend thought that was absurd.