Fair appraisal? (Rickenbacker content)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassist4Eris, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Hi guys and gals. This here is my 1985 Ric 4003. First, I'm sorry to disappoint some of you, but it's not for sale. I'm just curious.

    I bought this bass used back in the early 90's for about $700, IIRC. No OHSC. They threw in a case that didn't quite fit right, which I replaced a few years ago with the Gator case in the photo. I knew it was worth a lot more than $700 today, but was curious as to how much, so I took it into a local guitar shop to have it appraised. They gave me a written appraisal of "$1500 to $2000". Verbally, the guy told me that I might be able to get as much as $2500 for it due to the "rarity" of the finish.

    Condition is very good. There are some very minor surface scratches in the finish on the back of the bass, which I couldn't even get to show up on a photo. Some numbskull (the 18-year-old version of me) drilled new strap holes because the existing strap holes were too small for the straplocks I was installing. Also, I no longer have the original strap buttons.

    You can see in the final pic where there is a chip out of the paint on the bridge right behind the G string, and a scratch on the tail end of the bridge in the A string area. Sorry it's out of focus. I don't have a good camera and wouldn't know how to use it if I did. But I think that you can see the nature of the damage, even if it's not the clearest photo in the world.

    Frets are still in good shape. The truss rods work (and are not maxed out) and the neck is perfect. AFAIK the electronics and pups are all original.

    So, two questions. First, what do you think the value of this bass is? And second, is the finish in fact rare? Thanks, and on to the pics:




  2. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    The finish is relatively rare, but that doesn't really boost the price that much. Rarity doesn't always mean valuable. What hurts this bass the most are the holes drilled in the strap button area. It doen't destroy the value, but it knocks few hundred off. I'd say a realistic price on this bass would be $1,650. Not bad for a $700 investment.
  3. thiocyclist


    Sep 19, 2012
    I think you got a good written appraisal but I doubt it'd ever pull $2500. I'd put it at $1700 or thereabouts. Strap holes are a pretty big minus so maybe even less... if you can do something to restore them where they're less eyesore-ish that might help.
  4. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Cool, thanks guys.
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    You can get a brand new Ric for around $1600 to $1700 ... So there is no way an early 80s 4003 should go for more than a new one. So tops $1600 ... with wear maybe $1400 to $1500 ...