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Carvin's Too custom???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TLicksBass, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. TLicksBass

    TLicksBass Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2009
    North Carolina
    Hey TB'ers,

    So I recently took in my Carvin PB5 in to my local Guitar Center for a possible trade as they had some nice Roscoe and LowEnd basses which don't come across too often in my area. I proceeded to get my custom Carvin (cost about 2k) appraised to see what kind of trade I could get. Now, I know that most chain stores will try to low ball you when it comes to trades, but the guy I was dealing with say something to me that stuck me as odd. He told me that "Carvin's are too custom that they don't have a good resale value or are hard to sale due to the fact that their custom." That being said, is this even possible? Can a guitar/bass be TOO Custom to have it's resale value lowered? Anyways, he proceeded to tell me my 2k bass would only be good for $800 in trade. At that point, I immediately walked out, not that I was upset, but more that his comment of something being "Too Custom" was boggling my mind. I'll post pictures of my bass to see if anyone thinks it's "Too Custom".

    What are your thoughts?

    Attached Files:

    kobass, Mechanical and tubatodd like this.
  2. It's not only the custom aspect but it's also that carvins don't typically hold their value as well.
  3. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Anything made specifically for one person is going to be less valuable to anyone else.

    Customized bass. Tailored suit. Prosthetic arm. None have good resale value.
  4. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    I can't believe they offered $800, I would have guessed they would have been more in the $400 range.
  5. TLicks - that's just the way Guitar Center works. By the way, that's one beautiful Carvin/Kiesel.
  6. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Used Carvin's tend to sell for roughly the same amount regardless of the amount of upgrades tacked onto them. You might get back 10% of the upgrade cost when reselling .

    So I actually think the GC offer was really good given that a shop will usually offer half of what they think they can resell it for. They think they can sell it for $1600, which they REALLY won't be able to do.

    DISCLAIMER: I also custom ordered and resold a PB5 a while back. Really wish I'd kept it.
    byoung93888, Gearhead17, tbz and 4 others like this.
  7. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    What I want to know is why in earth would you want to get rid of that? It's frickin out of this world!
    I recently decided that if I ever get a chance to spend over $1K on a bass, it will be a PB5...but not nearly as gorgeous as yours!
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  8. megarat

    megarat (Not My Real Name) Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    Squirt Island, USA
    Aw man ... I currently have a prosthetic arm for sale on craigslist. No wonder I haven't been getting any calls.
  9. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    The more custom an instrument is, the tougher to sell, unless you are lucky to find someone with the exact same tastes.

    You can always sell a black/black or sunburst/tort P, if you get my drift.
  10. jmbjandfam

    jmbjandfam Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2011
    Foxfire Village N.C.
    I don't think that trade offer was a bad one. I am actually in the market for a Carvin PB5 and the ones I've seen sell recently that were similarly equipped (except for the finish) were in the 800 to 1k range.

    Edit: Here's a recent example that I missed out on.

    Carvin PB5 5-String Electric Bass N/A Black
    Ant Illington likes this.
  11. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    You could sell your Carvin (super sweet, by the way, and not over the top custom) and then go back for the Roscoe. And when discussing the pricing on the Roscoe, keep saying..."I don't know....this thing seems pretty custom to me. How much you gonna knock off?"
  12. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    They will offer you half of what they think they sell for. There is always a low ball rationale. That is just how it goes.
    Clark Dark likes this.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    That's not a low ball - 50% a fair offer from a store. You want more, sell it yourself. You want cash now and no hassle, you get less.
  14. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i agree that's not a lowball offer. it's about what i'd expect to get if i put it on CL or ebay. i find carvin stuff - which i've owned and sold a fair amount of - always has lower resale value than, say, fender, and as others have said, the more an instrument is customized, the less people will want it.

    btw, on top of that $800, were they going to give you 10% or 15% off of the purchase you wanted to make? they don't usually do that when you're buying used, but it's worth a shot.
  15. Beautiful bass. We bass players know it. Guitar Center knows it.

    The average guy walking into Guitar Center doesn't know it. The average bass player has maybe heard of Carvin but knows little about them.

    And yeah, custom jobs don't hold value well. You customized it for you, and there probably aren't an abundance of players like you out there. Every custom build I've ever done I took a bath during resale.

    When he said "too custom," that's probably what he meant; it is too specific (brand, features) and not generic enough for the average customer to take a serious interest in. GC is looking for a sure-fire and timely return on their investment. Actually, I'm surprised they would go $800. That one would sit on the sales floor for a long time and they'd be lucky to break even when and if it sold. I've seen the same types of "custom" and unique guitars and basses hanging in my local GC for literally years.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  16. lefty1979


    Mar 30, 2008
    DFW, texas
    $800 is Waaaaay better than most of the GC's I've been to would offer. I'd take that deal in a heartbeat. You'll be lucky to do better selling it privately, and if you do it won't be much better. By the time eBay/paypal takes their cut, or the sketchy craigslist regulars beat you down on the price and waste a ton of your time, GC's offer doesn't sound all that bad....
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  17. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    As someone who has owned/built customized cars, motorcycles, guns, and even knives - I can tell you that, almost always, a "Custom" anything is hard to sell. Your only real hope is that a buyer who likes exactly what you like comes along; and depending on how exotic your taste in things is, you will either wait a long time for him to show up; or, you can just take a deep breath - and lose your shirt. Which I've done, more than once. I have a Carvin, too - an extremely nice '06 lefty LB-20 that was built as a Rick substitute, back when Rickenbacker quit making lefties. It's a marvelous bass (and a fair Rick substitute, too), and cost the original owner around $1500. I got it off the 'bay for about $500, apparently never played, in '09 - and I was the only bidder. The sad fact is that to most people, "Carvin" = "Custom", and... well, you know... The same thing applies to Alembics, Warmoths, and a few other makes, as well. I'm not going to tell you what to do... but personally? Unless that Roscoe plays and sounds a WHOLE lot better than the Carvin, I'd keep my money; stay home; and play the snot out of that gorgeous thing....:thumbsup:
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  18. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    Yeah, $800 is a pretty nice offer from Guitar Center. Kinda surprised they went that high. The PB5s that have sold here go for $600-800. Most of the customizations that pushed the price of your bass up are important to *you*. They make it *your* bass. Unfortunately that stuff rarely appeals to other people and holds little value for them. It's a nice bass, but resale value on highly individualized instruments is much less than you would think.
    Ikkir likes this.
  19. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Wow, what kind of offer did you expect? If GC keeps it long enough they might get $1200 for it. They are being pretty fair offering $800. It IS a gorgeous bass, but that's the reality of the market.
  20. Thundar

    Thundar Living in sin at the Holiday Inn

    Man that is one beautiful PB5!

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