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Buying basses from the net?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bass87, May 14, 2003.

  1. I'm looking to buy a new bass after my GCSEs and my Dad suggested looking online for one. I've always been a bit iffy about this, as I don't know what condition the bass is in, and I haven't even had chance to play before I buy.

    I just wanted to ask what experience other TBer's have had buying basses from the net. Where did you buy from? What condition was the bass in when it arrived? How much was shipping? I'd be especially interested to hear from UK Tber's who have bought from the US, as this is what I am likely to be doing.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. If you order from the UK or Europe, you should be OK and have your bass within a week. No customs restrictions or anything. One hint on ordering stuff from mainland Europe - what with the language barrier and everything, make sure you know what you're getting.

    From the US things are a bit different (YMMV) - I've ordered 2 basses from the States. They were both sent by the US Postal Service, and the first one arrived a month later, all safe and sound, and with a customs and handling bill of £70 to pay. (I'm not complaining - even with the customs charge, it was still £70 cheaper than anywhere in the UK). The second one... well, it still hasn't turned up yet, and it was sent nearly seven weeks ago. Not sure if it's been lost/damaged in transit or being held up by customs - the guy I bought it from is currently looking into it at his end.

    Russ :bassist:
  3. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    A proved reputation hystory, Good Warranty Svc and a safely & insured shipping package from the seller is the Key. (if you already know what are you looking for, of course).
  4. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Places I've dealt with online that i HIGHLY(!!!!) recommend are Bass Alone and Bass Northwest.

    Really honest people at both places and EXTREMELY helpful. Can't say enough good things about both dealers.
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    My experience: all my five strings have come via the net. No bad experiences with the sellers, and the goods always arrived intact. Here's the list of sources, in order:

    Bass Northwest
    Swapped basses with a member of the Fender Discussion Page (fender for fender, natch. :) )
    GGuitars (received two in exchange for one plus cash)
    Bass Central

    Got excellent service from all three internet dealers, would recommend them without hesitation. Regarding the private transactions: I suggest making sure the seller is friendly, answers all of your questions, offers a return policy (24 hrs is typical I think). Also, go with your instinct: if you get weird vibes, back out. I did that with one potential transaction: the pictures were iffy, and there were other intangibles that didn't seem right, so I walked away. This was a purchase that I was unsure of... I'm not sure how I'd react if I got weird vibes about gear that I wanted badly.

    That's just the basses, btw... I've bought a bunch of other gear over the net as well, including power amp and speaker cabs. Got my fingers crossed that I'll be OK in the future... people do get burned out there.
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I have bought and/or sold more than a dozen basses over the web.

    One piece of advise: Ask specific questions. One man's mint is another's good, etc. Avoid accepting words like "a few" or minor." Ask "How many?" and "how big?"

    If the person deals over the net all the time, they will understand. If not, perhaps they aren't the best person to deal with.

    Good quality, well-lighted photos are preferred.

    Dealing with dealers is probably more reliable, but you'll also pay more.

  7. ThunderbirdIV


    Apr 14, 2003
    I have bought a few t-birds for my collection over the net. From America to here in London.

    I bought one last week for about £600. Came in a few days with $100 shipping.. but i got stuck for over £100 on VAT and customs.. even though it was labelled as a gift.

    I say if the whole deal looks stable and the bass looks right for you in good condition, go for it. But be careful of taxes etc.. which may pop up and surprise you.

  8. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Since I've lived in small/medium towns for the last 10 years or so and have acquired an unfortunate taste for high-end gear, pretty much all the bass stuff I've bought in the last 8-9 years has been over the 'Net. That would be dozens of basses and probably a dozen or so amps and cabs. The vast majority have been pleasant and satisfactory transactions.

    I can only echo what other folks have said here: 1) get complete contact information and only deal with folks that you feel like you can trust, 2) get as much detailed information in advance as you can to be sure you know exactly what you're getting (especially when shipping from overseas!), and 3) have an agreement in advance about how long you'll have to look over instrument and what will happen if it has problems or it's not what you expected.

    Unfortunately, I've not really done much overseas shipping, so I can't offer you any advice there.