"excellent condition" - am I too picky?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by David Wilson, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    When buying a used bass, what would you say is "excellent condition"?

    I would expect some mild surface scratching, given the bass has probably been gigged & rehearsed with, but no dings or scratches which go through the finish.

    I just bought a bass mail order from a retailer who described the bass as in excellent condition. There's a ding on the front, and a scratch through the finish on the back.

    Now, if I'd known about these up front, I might not have cared too much. But I think these defects would be worth mentioning so I could make that judgement call in advance.

    Am I being too picky? Note this isn't about whether a bass should have dents or not. Of course they'll accumulate them over the years, nothing is perfect. My question is really regarding terminology used in selling used basses/guitars.
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I tihnk a little ding like that is ok, but scratches are a no-no.
  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Had they mentioned those two blemishes, excelent condition could pass, but without mentioning that I would say that should have called it good, but used.

  5. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    I´m not an expert in this issues, although I know from the Bass Palace´s web page the terminology they use to describe the overall conditions of an instrument, so I think your new baby could be in the "excellent" level, with few minors scratches (sp?). At least the guy didn´t tell you the bass was MINT.

    Look at this one, for example:

    Just my 2 cents....

  6. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I'm gonna agree with you Nick. "excellent" condition usually inplies no significant flaws. If you look on blue book guides for variosu things, whether it be a car or a bass, "excellent" is usually described as having no scratches or chips in the finish. Personally I would rate that bass at "very good", but not excellent. When I sell a bass, I make not of every finish flaw, regardless of the condition. It is a good practice to always ask the seller if any cosmetic damage or defects exist if teh pictures are obvious and your not goign to get a chance to inspect the item.
  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    u already said that

  8. "Excellent" being one step below "mint", should mean no dings or scratches. Ding or scratch makes it "very good".
  9. I'll take it off your hands:)
  10. once I see dents,scratchs, or dings that go through the finish of a bass, I say it is in "player's condition" cuz well, it has been played and been through situations rough enough to do that...correct me if I'm wrong...
  11. I would take excellent to mean no major scratches or dings that went through the pain. I know if I was selling that I would have mentioned the two bad spots just so people know. I am pretty picky myself about the condition of my stuff so I would have said "excellent condition but has two blemishes" and then posted a pic of them.
  12. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    If someone says "it's in excellent condition", I would expect no dents, dings or scratches.
    If someone said "it's in good conditon", I would ask why. I expect to hear, "it has a few dings" or "it has a few scratches" and "it has a couple of small dents".
    I would call the retail store back and ask what they can do to compensate for it, since they misled you into thinking the bass was in "Excellent" condition.
  13. I think that's pretty excellent. If those are the only dings, you're very lucky. I think you're getting too technical with the terms... I agree with his definition of excellent, you can't expect 100% from a bass that's been played, things happen. It would have been nice if he would have mentioned the dings, but he didn't say it was spotless. I'd consider it excellent, with a ding and a scratch (and maybe pics of them to be sure).
  14. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Double post but not by me. Probably a glitch in the matrix.

    Better now?

  15. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Thanks everyone for their responses. It's nice to see the majority agree with me, but I was open to me being too picky.

    When I'm selling anything, I'm completely upfront about the condition and take great pains to make sure all dings/scratches are described.
    Here's my condition scale:
    • Mint - somehow, has no scratches on it at all.
    • Excellent - has some usual surface scratches from use
    • Very Good - a ding or two, maybe some deep scratches

    If selling, I'd never have described it as 'excellent', I'd have said it was 'very good with two blemishes'. While I could live with it in this condition, I feel the retailer was not competely honest in their description. They have a 24 hour approval period, so it's going back tomorrow morning.
  16. "90% - Excellent (Exc)- 9 - Light exterior finish wear wear with a few minor dings, no paint chips down to the wood, normal nicks and scratches, light observable neck wear in most cases."

    "80% - Very Good+ (VG+) - Above Average - 8 - More exterior finish wear (20% of the original finish is gone) that may include minor chips that extend down to the wood, body wear, but nothing real serious, nice shape overall, with mostly honest player wear."

    It looks like your bass' condition was a little overstated...sounds like Very Good+ to me.
  17. bollefen


    Mar 13, 2003
    i got a bass from ebay. the seller said original, excellent condition but had holes drilled in the top, beer or something spilled on it still under the pickguard, sticky dirty, down right disgusting condition.

    had to take it all apart and totally clean and set it up. nice now but couldn't do much about the holes. I also wouldn't have cared about the holes if disclosed but the jerk just misrepresented the item.

    sorry the bad experience you had but a lot of us have. now before i buy i have my own checklist of questions i ask and send in email so the seller can't weasel around.!!

    bill :meh:
  18. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    No David, you're not too picky. I agree with you 100%. Excellent means light surface wear and no noticeable dings or scratches.