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Do Warmoth basses have little resale value?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DaveCustomMade, May 24, 2011.

  1. If you build a Warmoth basses, should you expect much less than what you put into it [cost of parts] if you choose to sell it?
  2. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Your either/or scenario offers no options. In essence, you're asking "will I lose most of my money if I choose to sell my Warmoth, OR will I lose most of my money if I choose to sell my Warmoth?".
  3. Labi


    Jun 14, 2006
    I would say that if it's something standard like a P or J body/neck with P or J or P/J pickups and any of the standard colors wouldn't lose the resale value. On the other hand if your custom is made of very specific requirements like a J body with two P pickups, or some other uncommon specs, than it would be pretty difficult to sell.
  4. HertzWhenIPlay


    Jan 15, 2011
    I like things that go BOOM
    I was eyeing a nice warmoth - fretless, jazz that was for sale online. It ended up going for about a grand....no idea what the initial cost/investment was.
  5. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    it's like anything else..you pay more for a finished Warmoth than for an unfinished Warmoth. You can get a finished body with the matching finished headstock and pay more upfront which if kept pristene will bring you a larger return versus an unfinished body someone simply tung oiled. I think as science concious as this forum is a prospective buyer will be interested in pup's, preamp vs passive, bridge, and tuners.
  6. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Generally, a bass assembled from Warmoth parts by a hobbyist will be lucky to recoup the money invested in parts alone. That is, if the result is an exceptional instrument. You can kiss the labor you put into it goodbye.
  7. Alper Yilmaz

    Alper Yilmaz Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I do not understand if the two options presented here are different, but my experience with assembled basses with Warmoth
    parts is that they go for significantly lower values in the second-hand market than what you invest in the parts. People must be looking into some name recognizable in the headstock even if the quality is much less than Warmoth parts.

  8. Unfortunatly yes, Warmoth has a very low resale value. Unfortunatly the name on the headstock has alot to do with the average consumers perception of value. Sure it may have better woods, pickups, hardware than your average Fender, but without that name on the headstock, it's worth less. I've seen it my store where I will have a nice custom on the wall for a great price, and people will pass buy it and look at the name brands.

    If you are putting together a Warmoth, you can not think about resale value. Think about putting together the most perfect bass made for YOU. One that you would want to keep forever.
  9. Ok, so I'm not going crazy. I read the OP over and over trying to figure out what I was missing.
  10. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    Right on the mark! As long as you have lemmings that are more interested in a brand name than in quality (this goes for almost any consumer good) you'll find this to universally true. IF you compare real value as opposed to perceived value - the real doesn't always come with best known name, just the better (higher priced?) marketing...which of course is paid for in the end by the consumer. Perform your own due diligence on any equipment. This site is full of the "flavor of the month" mentality. Dare to think outside of the box...you'll thank yourself later :smug:
  11. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    Personally, if I went with building a bass from Warmoth parts, I would be trying to get something that I really want, is highly personalized for me, and i would have to be in pretty dire straits to sell. Because of that and as Alper said:

    ...you probably are not going to get as much in resale value. If that's a problem, buy a Fender. It would keep it's value much better.
  12. In general, much less. Unless you configure it in one of the high-profile and most commonly accepted ways (i.e. P Bass, sunburst, 4-string, passive split P pickups, etc.). If you personalize it even a little bit, you limit the interest you'll get on the used market.

    I just practically gave away a Warmoth build, J Bass, Candy Apple Red, with vintage fret wire and a D-Tuner. An outstanding bass in looks, playability, and tone. No one wanted it here, it sold for around $400.00 on eBay.
  13. James Judson

    James Judson

    Jul 16, 2009
    Go buy a new bass from GC and then put an ad in Craigslist. You'll get offers at about half what you paid. There are exceptions but the math works the same on most musical instruments unless you can say "vintage" then all bets are off. The jems are in the used market.

    "ALL" of my friends that built their own ended with junk worth close to $0.

  14. dollar store ketchup is superior to heinz
  15. I couldn't imagine putting together a warmoth with the thought of "I'm gonna sell this" in your head, but with no experience on the subject of reselling a warmoth at all I'd say I highly doubt they do well on the resale market. Unless of course you are really patient and the right buyer happens to come along.
  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    How exactly do warmoth products equal worthless junk? My custom bass plays and sounds better than any other bass I own.
  17. Good point. If you're going to do a build, try to make it something you really want.

    But even doing that is sometimes not enough. I have a couple of builds in my collection, and I'm scratching my head asking myself, "What was I thinking?" They seemed like good ideas at the time, but now...

    Needs change. Personal tastes change. Your perfect custom build may not be so perfect down the road.
  18. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    yeah you build a Warmoth to have a bass you always wanted , ex. Long Scale EBO with Wenge neck :D:bassist:


  19. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Doesn't matter whether it's Warmoth or Fender. ALL used basses sell for a lot less than new ones.

    If you're concerned about getting out of it what you have in it, then you should buy used and shop until you find a good deal. A good deal on a Warmoth or a good deal on a Fender. Either way, if it's a good deal then, pretty much by definition, you'll be able to sell it later for roughly what you paid.

    All that said, I'm not convinced that a Warmoth build of a popular style (say, a Warmoth with a standard P or J setup and good quality parts) depreciates any more than a "name brand". It seems like name brands often sell used (even in totally mint condition) for roughly 50% of the cost of a new one. Some, less than 50% (e.g. Peavey or G&L). Some, more than 50% (e.g. Fender). But, all in the general vicinity of 50% (yes, I KNOW there are exceptions!). I built a Warmoth J for under $1000. And I'd bet I could sell it for at least 50% of what I have in it. Actually, I think I could probably get $700 - 800 for it, based on comments from folks here.

    So, in the end, it seems to me that, from a financial perspective, building your own Warmoth is no worse a decision than buying a brand new name brand bass. Maybe even better, just because, if you're going to lose, say, 30% of your investment, it's better to lose 30% of $1000 than 30% of $1500 or 30% of $2000.
  20. arsie


    Jan 19, 2011
    Yeah, fretno has the right idea. But yeah, I think carefully about brands when considering resale value.

    Its not just brands though, its how close it is to the original state. Frankensteined Fenders is going to be worth less than a factory spec Fender of the same period, even if the replacement parts are of a higher value/quality. If you wanna hang onto resale value: buy used, try to sell it at the same price at a later date.

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