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Cheap prices in United States and americans average gear

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by leobajista, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. I live in Argentina and I have a concern that always comes up in talks with my friends.

    It is known that prices in United States are very cheap. So much so, that in my case, with an expensive dollar in my country, it is still cheap for me that price.

    The concern is why there are so many Americans with MIM Fender instruments, Epihones Guitars, cheaper Ibanez lines or SX!

    I'll give you an example:
    I recently bought a used Fender Jazz Bass American Standard; the asking price was approximately USD $1,800.
    The price was really cheap, because usually its price is USD $2,400.

    Imagine it? The prices for Argentina and USA equivalent is:
    Squier / SX -> Fender MIM
    Fender MIM -> Fender USA, Musicman
    Fender USA / MusicMan -> Rics, Lakland USA, Sadowsky
    Rics, Lakland USA, Sadowsky -> I don't know... maybe Carl Thompson.

    Here in Argentina the legal minimum wage is $ 528.
    What is the legal minimum wage in the United States?

    We never can't understand if the difference when it comes to spending on equipment has to do with a matter of wages, or with a common issue: here we know that good things have to pay it expensive and there is no other alternative.
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Oh sweet merciful crud... here we go again.

    Just wait for the Squier/SX lovers to come in and say theirs is better than any MIA they could find and don't read the headstock when factoring in a quality decision.

    I however do agree with the OP that you need to spend money to get quality gear. There is a reason Fender sells MIA for more than MIM and so on and so forth.
  3. wcoffey81


    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    tariffs, trade agreements and such probably play a part in the added costs. as does added shipping and higher warranty costs.
    you will probably never get a straight answer because there are too many factors.
  4. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Is this thing on!? Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    I believe many of the basses you mentioned (US Fender, Music Man, Ric, Lakland) are made here in the US. I've always thought that items are generally cheaper where they're made than they are overseas or very far away.

    When you mention the minimum wage being $528, what is that for? Weekly? Monthly? We have an hourly minimum wage which is currently $7.25/ hour.

    Sadly, I believe that many Americans buy things on credit, so it looks like they can afford a bunch of nice stuff, but the reality is they are simply in debt up to their eyeballs. This isn't always the case, but it is prevalent.
  5. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    Min wage is $7.25/hour. There are a lot of musicians in the US that play for fun and have other stuff going on in their lives. They could buy a Fender MIA, but for their purposes it wouldnt be necessary.
    Also, if you like the way Squires sound better than Fender MIAs then why would you get the more expensive one. Tone is a matter of preference.
  6. What you are trying to tell me is that the choice is not a matter only of price, but people who have a MIM really thinks it's the same quality as one MIA or a MusicMan?

    I mean ... a person who can afford a MIM or a MIA, choose a MIM because "is the same thing"?

    I'm surprised. It wasn't any of the assumptions I had. :confused:
    I can hear when a instrument excels in terms of their price, but I appreciate the difference in quality and durability of an expensive bass.
  7. The problem is that paying shipping and 50% tax, the price is also cheaper.
    Unfortunately our government is currently applying import restrictions.

    Monthly. 8 hours of work per day ($3.3/hour).

    Well, I play for fun. Very few people earn money with music, and even less here. Well, I play for fun. But I would have liked my second bass would have been a medium range Ibanez and not a cheap FAIM (made in Argentina), manufactured with very bad quality wood.

    That is, if you play for fun, the decision is the same as if you choose a Playstation 3 instead of a Playstation 2. :D
  8. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    There are so many factors that influence the price of an instrument in other countries that there is no way of answering the question definitively. Your situation is similar to those who live in Australia and want to purchase a U.S. Fender, Gibson, Musicman or other pro-level instrument.

    One poster mentioned that there are, taxes, tariffs, fees, shipping costs and monetary exchange rates that effect the cost to the end user. This has everything to do with what is costs you to purchase a bass.
  9. ACNick

    ACNick Guest

    Oct 23, 2012
    South Florida
    I once bought an expensive bass (+/- $1000) because I bought in to the whole "More money=better quality=better instrument" mentality. And after a few years with the "quality" bass, I still find myself struggling to not sell it. I really want to like it; it is beautifully crafted, it has top notch hardware and electronics, and a well know name to back it up. But to tell you the truth, I honestly enjoy playing my $200 bass more. I'm not saying the expensive bass is worse than the cheap one, it's just not as fun to play. Surely it is all in my head. I think it would be silly to buy an instrument I don't like simply because everyone else says I should like it (I fell into that hole once already).
  10. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Your average American make about 40K a year. The US is a car based culture. It cost about 10K and up to operate a car in the US per year. The car takes up a big chunk of an Americans paycheck.

    I am not sure Americans have the passion that some folks have. I am not sure weather they are willing to sacrifice most things to focus on one, like bass.
  11. VinKreepo


    Nov 13, 2009
    Why is it everyone thinks Americans are rich? I don't understand this concept. Sure, there are lots of rick people in America... but I am not and neither are many of the people here.

    Also, why does everyone assume American bars are like English pubs? (Not saying the OP does, but it has come up here on TB before) They most certainly aren't... they can be rough and dirty and are almost never a place where you could take your kids. Hell no, I am not taking a $1000 USD bass into some god forsaken hell hole to get smashed, spit on, pissed on, etc! Lol

    Furthermore, LIVE music is NOT as important in America as it is in most Latino cultures. You will often notice many of the most exotic and expensive custom luthiers are Latino. There is a beautiful sense of respect for musicians in the Latino community and various countries that has been degraded here in America due to the desensitizing of Americans (especially teens) by YouTube, iPod/iPhone/iTunes, American Idol (and show like it), and just the general sense here that ANYONE come be a famous musician along with the fact most modern American music lacks drive, soul, and originality.

    There is much more than meets the eye when it comes down to why Americans will shell out 500+ for a used iPhone on eBay and spend $300 on a crappy bass.

    I imagine your axe of choice holds more value in a culture where people love live music than in one where people want to know if you saw the new viral music vid from Bieber on your latest iPhone.
  12. Anthony Fury

    Anthony Fury

    Jan 20, 2009
    What you don't see, or hear about, is that our dollar is artificially deflated by #1. ludicrously inexpensive Chinese "goods" and #2. illegal labor. So our gov't says: "there iz no inflation, IDK wat u r talking about LOL." People who used to have plenty of disposable income 10 years ago are now faced with the actual super-inflation of our dollar without being paid any extra. Even if you work someplace which gives you "4% / year cost of living" - I have news for you, you're still being robbed. And what do people do instead of complaining? They sit politely at their cubicle, thankful for their job.

    So, most working stiffs (like me) who demand brandy new stuff (not like me) can't justify (or in reality, handle - see the credit rant above) a $1600 retail purchase on a luxury good (if you're a hobbyist).
  13. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Uhh.... I'm guessing Argentinians as a whole aren't any more enlightened when it comes to bass gear than Americans are. I'm sure there are many in your country that have cheap gear, and aren't able to afford or justify buying pricier stuff. Same here in the states. Actually, I would argue that we have TONS of people with very expensive gear who are hobbiest players, and may not even be that proficient at the instrument. You will see a very vocal population on TB that talks about the merits of certain lower quality instruments, but many of us like the so called "good" stuff as well..
  14. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Don't forget that many states have sales tax.

    And unlike in most other countries the sales tax is not included in the displayed price.
  15. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest

  16. There's something good about at 250 million consumer market with no tariffs and sales borders. Large companies could ship goods back and forth based on supply and demand.
  17. I have not such concept.
    I just ask the question, because of the relationship between minimum wage and the price of a bass.
    For example, the price of a used MIA Fender here are 4 minimum wages, while in the United States is less than a minimum wage (if the amount of hours worked are the same).
    I can assure you that live here is expensive too. :(

    Well, I do not want to talk about politics and economics. But here in the last years, annual inflation is 25% / 30%.
    What is more, although it seems a joke, the price of the dollar here goes up (20% per year).

    You're right.
    But I'm sure if the price ratio was similar, many people here would be better equipped.
    I can give you my example: I have played on stage with a Hartke HA2500, after several years of playing bass. For that price ratio you could have an Ampeg SVT.
    Off course, in my early days, I played with a national transistor amplifier.

    I mean... A few days ago I got my Fender Jazz Bass out of the gigbag, and bystanders watched it as if I were showing a pirate treasure. :D

    I really thought that taxes were included in the price.
  18. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    All I know is that I live in America and I can get all the expensive or cheap gear I want I feel sorry for folks living in countries where gear is priced through the roof and hard to get so please excuse me as I go back to playing one of my babies.
  19. pflash4001


    Dec 2, 2011
    I CAN get a high end bass if I wanted to shell put all that cash and rearrange my finances for a while, but why? I have 3 Rickenbackers. One was my grandfather's bass 40 years ago and it was passed to my dad who then passed it to me. The other two were the results of spectacular good luck. If I hadn't come across those deals, there's no way I could justify spending the cost of a new Ric when all I do is play as a hobby. I may feel differently if I made my living off music, but I don't. It's a way for me to de-stress, and it provides me a little spending cash, but that's it. I guess it's like asking why they don't drive a Bentley. What purpose would it serve? Something less expensive serves the purpose. Granted in assuming the musician in question is playing a bass that stays in tune, is in decent condition, and well maintained. If its doing the job, why get in debt?
  20. I have enough money to buy expensive gear, but I generally don't (except for my SVT). The most expensive bass I've ever bought was an $800 Gibson RD Artist and I sold it after a year. I'm quite happy my my collection of <$500 basses. I also don't generally buy Fender, Squier, or SX.