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Dealer selling bass damages during prep - thoughts?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hillbillypolack, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Hillbillypolack


    Mar 2, 2018
    I found a bass on Reverb, had a particular few details I was looking for (model shall remain anonymous), struck up a conversation and asked a bunch of questions. Made an offer below their listing price, they countered by adding some extra strings, and I went for it. Happy enough, I was looking forward to it. Great communication too.

    The day they plan to ship, I get a call from their tech saying they were adjusting the truss rod, removed the neck and now there’s a big paint chip outside the neck pocket. Pics look like it’s close to 3/8” x 1/2”. so it’s a decent size.

    I said let me think about it, called later & said if there’s nothing else damaged, knock $150 off since I wasn’t expecting a ‘new project’, but I do understand stuff happens. The shop owner is offering $50 off.

    What’s your take? I’m of the mind that we had an agreement at a price, which will now cost me $x in materials and time. It seems the owners take is that he ‘cut me a deal’, and he’d be losing more money if I didn’t settle at $50 off.

    My thought on that is the damage isn’t my fault. Take it out of the techs pay or delete one of the extra string sets he was including.

    I’m not going to name the shop nor post pics, just asking for general thoughts on this. My inner zen wants to make it enjoyable for both parties.
  2. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    I have no idea the value of the bass, so it's hard to say. Don't use it as an excuse to pay less than the bass is now worth. I would pass on the bass, but cosmetics are important to me.
  3. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    I’d say $150 off, or thank you very much but not interested for several reasons. First is that the damage you describe devalues the instrument by at least that much. Second is that cost of repair is likely even higher, with results that still won’t likely return bass to the value it had before the chip. Third is that you’ve already made your offer and the counteroffer is wholly inadequate. In things like this my offers tend to be take it or leave it.
    BrentSimons, IPA, PDGood and 15 others like this.
  4. Hillbillypolack


    Mar 2, 2018
    That’s kind of my take for two reasons- I didn’t expect a ‘new project’ which is now going to cost $x in materials and time. Plus, I know having a luthier repair that chip is going to cost the shop $150 easy. Easy. Then he will have a previously damaged guitar while trying to recoup that cost.

    I’m pretty good with paint, so all things considered I can deal with it, I just thought $50 off for a rather large chip was on the low-ish side.
    ObsessiveArcher and JRA like this.
  5. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    Difficult to say without knowing the relative value of the bass. Asking for $150 off $500 is one thing. $150 off $3,000 is another. On the other side of the coin, offering $50 off $500 is one thing and $50 off $3,000 is another.

    - John
    meatwad, JoeWPgh, JakeyBran and 16 others like this.
  6. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Hello. My first question would be "Why did they have to adjust the truss rod now?" The second, "Why didn't they ask me if I would approve a neck adjustment (especially since it would require neck removal) before closing the deal and shipping?"

    Knowing only what you described, my intuition is that 1. probably there is no foul play here; but there might be, and 2. unless this is a truly rare make/model/year/configuration/etc., find a different bass to buy.

    Regarding 2, since you are not buying based on firsthand experience of this bass, but are "buying by wire", remotely, you're already taking a big chance on its sonic character, despite the generic reputation of its make/model/etc. Particularly if it is being sold as new (never sold, that is), any damage to its sales floor condition in your ownership lowers its value for future resale; even if that future is next week.

    In the end it will depend on your priorities. Maybe resale is a low priority, but the rarity of this bass is a high one. But yeah... if this bass isn't quite rare, I would look for a different example.

    Good luck!
    dbbltime, Standalone, TinyE and 2 others like this.
  7. Hillbillypolack


    Mar 2, 2018
    - John[/QUOTE]
    The agreed price was $1700, for round numbers without shipping.

    Discontinued model, nitro finish.
    JakeyBran likes this.
  8. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Unless you can get it repaired for $50, which you can't, its a sucker's offer.

    The only good news is they informed you of the damage before they shipped it.
  9. Hillbillypolack


    Mar 2, 2018
    Agree with your entire first paragraph. Earlier I received the shipping notice, two hours later I get this phone call . .

    Also agree with you on potential resale and the ‘instant devaluation’ via the neck removal. I know stuff happens but sometimes I have to pause . . though I do believe it was an honest accident.
  10. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Tell him that you’ll pay the original price, so long as he professionally fixes the chip. Otherwise, full refund.
  11. Hillbillypolack


    Mar 2, 2018
    I guess a subtle variation could be. . . if I agree to the original price, would he pay for the repairs at a shop local to me (Elderly instruments for one example).
  12. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    I would pass on it and see how long to takes them to offer it to you for the $150 you were comfortable with.
  13. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    If the dealer has a reputable tech, they should be offered the chance to repair the bass. It would be the most economically viable way to make you whole again. The paint could have chipped because it the screw was over-tightened at the factory, not due to the tech's error, so I don't think it is fair to blame the tech. The shop has been pretty honest and upfront from the sounds of things. With a nitro repair, you may not even notice it. If you are not satisfied with the repair, get your money back and walk away.
    craig0316 and pudgychef like this.
  14. Hillbillypolack


    Mar 2, 2018
    That's a good approach, though by the sound of it, they don't have an in-house paint tech, and send their functional tech work out.
  15. MMiller28


    Apr 27, 2003
    3/8"x1/2" chip removes at least $150 from the value of any bass over $1,000, IMO. I wouldn't even buy something with that damage.
    dralionux, jefff100, Conkal and 4 others like this.
  16. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    How about $50 and you have it fixed for me to where I can’t tell it ever happened.
  17. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    if ultimately we're talking about a great bass at a great price and the cosmetic chip is in a fairly hidden spot then get the best deal / repair you can and call it a win. I've gotten over / fixed unreported damage and enjoyed my good fortunes.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  18. Tvrtko


    Dec 27, 2002
    South of the USA
    I would say "Thank you very much. These are a new conditions. I am off".
    Count minutes for the new communication of $150 off....
  19. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    Hmmm....brand new and damaged? Which word doesn't belong in that sentence?

    I'll be the first to admit, when I'm spending money I can't tolerate much foolishness. If I've put my best foot forward and I get a counter, I'll pass 99.9% of the time. The .1% being if it is something I desperately want and not likely to find another.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  20. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    You have every right to get a full 100% refund. To fix the paint would probably be a minimum of $300.00 because the body will need to be sanded down and then resprayed.

    If you are asking for only $150.00 off, that is very reasonable. If the business doesn’t want to do that then request a complete 100% refund and settle for nothing less. The owner can say if he deducts more than $50.00, he is losing money. Well, welcome to business. They are the ones who damaged the bass, and not you. Therefore, sometimes in situations like this, you as a company will have to eat the cost and lose money on occasion.
    JeffreyET, MDBass, Spidey2112 and 7 others like this.

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