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Does anyone else feel that the Used bass market is very slow?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by chrisbmets, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. quindecima

    quindecima Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2016
    Walterville, Oregon
    Are you near Oregon?
  2. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Things aren't selling because buyers are afraid their offer will be considered "lowball" and they'll be verbally abused by the seller. ;)
  3. Charlzm


    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    To the OP:

    Last year, I priced a custom-order Warwick bass that would go for about $6k new (with a many months long wait) at $2k. Not a single nibble.

    I feel you.
    DrZ and organworthyplayer337 like this.
  4. I don't know, this is a tough one. I think a lot of factors play into it. A big factor is, the new guitar market has changed. New guitars are WAY cheaper than ever before, and they are not junk either. And then I see used stuff priced for almost what a new one costs. To me, if it's used it's worth 50% of new, at best. I don't care if it's used for a day, or 20 years. 50% of new at best, then we go from there. So considering that I can buy a brand new Ibanez Gio for $200, it's tough to compete against that, even if you have a really nice guitar. Because the brand new player doesn't know one from the other, he just sees the brand new Ibanez at $200 and your "used whatever" at $350. How do you compete there?

    I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that's the world we live in now. I'm also not saying it's apples to apples, it's clearly not. But again, price is the bottom line, not quality. This is a WalMart world now.

    I've been drooling over the ESP LTD B-206-SM and watching the used market for months now. There's probably 50 of them out there. But the problem is, you can get them brand new for $570. My "50% of new" theory puts it at about $280-ish. All the used ones out there range from $350 to $450. Why would I pay that much when I could just pay a bit more and get a brand new one? Or, alternatively, why not just buy the Ibanez GSRM206 brand new for $200? Again, how do you compete with that?

    I tend to agree with others that gear tends to get priced emotionally instead of realistically.
    Balog, Frodolicious, Robert B and 9 others like this.
  5. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    This may be true for less expensive run of the mill things but high end stuff like an F Bass can be priced extremely low for what it is and still be a hard sell these days. I've been watching a bass on Reverb for around a year that started at $8.5K which was a little high but still a reasonable price all things considered and now it's down to $4K and still not selling. Whoever buys it will get a seriously smoking deal and the seller will no doubt take a significant loss. Saying "it's clearly too high" is an oversimplification.
  6. matti777

    matti777 Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    Still waiting for my cheap Warwick
    Pizza1988 likes this.
  7. Charlzm


    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    $2k used for a $6k new bass still too much?
  8. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Um, you bought it. And then swapped necks. That ain't "new". That's a parts bass.
    Crater, Balog, inthevelvet and 21 others like this.
  9. cornfarmer

    cornfarmer jam econo

    May 14, 2002
    Every time I look in the classifieds here, I don't see much of anything interesting, let alone anything priced under a grand. Most of the ads are cork sniffer coffee table potato basses, or overpriced dime a dozen Fenders.
  10. kmon

    kmon Supporting Member

    May 11, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I think if you're selling a used bass you have a lot more competition than 5 or 10 years ago. When i first started playing I had CL. Now the list of used gear outlets is in the dozens. I can spend frikkin hours shopping and comparing prices online. Unless you have something really special you better sell really really low.
    TerribleTim68 likes this.
  11. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    You don't think it's too high? If he lowers the price $100 a week it will sell. The market dictates what is fair, not the emotions of the seller.
  12. If I choose to sell an instrument, I always sell it to a music store. I don't care that I sell for a good bit less than I would get if I wait patiently for someone to come along and buy it. The reality of the situation is that, if I have decided to sell it, I'm done with it and have gotten my money's worth out of it anyway. The fact that I get a bit of money back for it instead of having it sit in a case is a bonus for me.

    With regards to the used market slowing, it seems to me that the value of used higher end basses is going down and sellers are reluctant to adjust to that reality. Many times you see a bass being bought and then resold a few weeks later at the same price. That's a bubble that's bound to burst since at some point you're just going to run out of buyers. Face facts, the musical instrument market has been contracting for a while as a whole. The number of baby boomers who are still actively playing and sinking money into playing is declining at an ever accelerating rate and younger generations don't have the same desire or disposable income to fuel the $1000+ used bass market.

    Perhaps, though, it's just too many sellers wanting to prop up the market with unrealistic opinions about just exactly how much used things depreciate. If your true desire is to sell something in a timely manner, then you must continue to lower your price until it does so. If you don't want to lower your price, then you don't care about how long it takes to sell and should, therefore, not worry about the market being slow. Instead, worry about the ratio of people who want to sell the same item in a timely manner to the number of potential buyers of that item factoring in the declining population of buyers at a higher price...


    Sorry dude, it's a buyers market and buyers don't want a fair price, they want a really great deal to even bother starting a negotiation or nothing at all
  13. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Several posters here, including the OP are trying to unload custom instruments. That's much harder. It may have been what you wanted and has everything you think is awesome, but that's you. It's probably not me or most other players. Sucks, but that's why you see unmodded used Precision and Jazz basses selling well. Those are commodity items for which there are a lot of buyers.

    Additionally, look how most stores price used gear. It's a lot cheaper than new. 50% is industry standard, more if you can get it, but that's the standard. And that's your competition.

    The OP probably feels like he's cutting his arm off with a chainsaw pricing his F Bass at 3 grand (and so would I if I'd paid full pop for it) but list is 3800 and that would indicate a used price of around 2 grand.
    dramatwist, uusak and ajkula66 like this.
  14. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    For the VAST majority of people, $6K new is too much... :)
    Volker Kirstein and uusak like this.
  15. Yep, I had a nice Squier VM jag I had to almost give away. I saw a guy had a perfect ESP LTD D4 he finally gave it away at $250
    DrZ and Rapisme like this.
  16. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Stuff will sell. Ya just gotta price it well, for the buyer.
  17. Charlzm


    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Clearly, but I seriously overestimated how many people were willing to pay $2k for a screaming bargain.

    I'm seriously considering just setting it on fire and posting a video.
  18. sheltjo6

    sheltjo6 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2012
    Yes, I agree. Used basses tend to take longer to sell than amps, cabs, pedals, and parts.
    My guess is buyers want the option to return an instrument they purchase online in case of buyer's remorse.
  19. I haven't noticed a slow down, been selling my stuff on consignment at my local shop lately. No hassles, no shipping, no returns, and no CL people to deal with. Once in a while the shop will call me with a counter offer. I may accept...or not, my choice.
  20. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    I think people want to much for their used stuff so I just buy new. I need to see 40% off new to even consider it. And it takes longer to get too.
    Balog likes this.

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