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How important is the cost of the subsequent sale to you?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by VictorW126, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. Double bass is a big beast and a sustainable investment. I have changed several instruments. Probably, I could even make money on the sale if I had such a goal. I am content that I have not lost anything. The market is small but stable. When I buy DB I don't think much about liquidity as I know I can always sell it if I want an upgrade.

    Now I am faced with a difficult choice. I want to buy a bass at a high price and I'm pretty sure it won't sell easily. It will definitely be a loss of money if I want to sell it. It is a small fractional size, laminate and not expressive sound. It costs four times as much as similar Chinese student bass and twice as much as I bargained for. But this is what I want.

    As always, I am sure that I will never have to sell it, as I thought about all the previous double basses. But when I bought and sold the previous basses, I was a lonely and young man. Now I have a wife, kids, middle age, and a lot of things to consider before spending any money.

    I am wondering if the loss of value factor is important to any of you?

    p.s. Yes, my two carved full-sized basses will stay with me (if anyone is worried about my practice).
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I buy instruments to enjoy playing them, so I don’t think about whether they would be easy to resell. As long as I am living within my means in doing so, it seems the wisest way to go. It strikes me as like any other relationship: if we are thinking about how easy it might be to disentangle ourselves from any particular partner at the beginning of the relationship as part of the relationship itself, we have already engaged in a form of cynicism that doesn’t bode well.
    MrSidecar, statsc, Dabndug and 14 others like this.
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Short: If you're thinking about selling when you're thinking about buying, there's your answer.

    Long: I'm a longtime guitar gearhead -- something used and generally offbeat is always moving on the guitar wall. Gear-hounding is my warped idea of fun and I learn different things from each instrument.

    Bean-counters would say I lose money with these transactions. I say it's the cost of learning (and fun).
    johnh89, HateyMcAmp, Dabndug and 4 others like this.
  4. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    There is something happening in the market for a particular luxury item that, although way out of my means, interests me. Rolex watches have become a form of currency with buyers and sellers constantly checking prices and making buying decisions with the intention of selling. Rolex is artificially limiting supply to the point where buyers are put on a waiting list (often waiting several years), for the privilege of paying $10,000 for a product that makes them feel special and may be worth $12,000 in a year. It also may only be worth $8,000.
    Back in the 1970s a Rolex could be purchased for a few hundred bucks and would be worth well over $10k today, some models fetching more than $100k. In the past, a Rolex watch was seen as a product that was of high quality which would tell time and not break. It and it’s owner could go through life together and then be passed to the next generation.

    Point? Buy well made products that serve their purpose. If resale value is important, consider that but don’t buy with the intention of doing well on basses. The average person will lose money selling a bass.
  5. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    I've bought about 20-25 musical instruments in my life, sold maybe half of them, and have never considered resale on a one of them. I buy musical instruments to play, not to re-sell.
    Sam Sherry and AGCurry like this.
  6. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    Boy, I guess I disagree somewhat - at least to the extent that I'll say it depends on an individual's financial and living situation.

    A bass is a little different than a Rolex - you can't just stick it in a drawer! ;) So if you have a small place, or anticipate moving, hanging onto a bass you don't want/use could get a tad old. And "losing" $5k on the resale of a bass would be different if your annual income was $20k as opposed to $200k.

    Having said that, I agree with folk that resale shouldn't be the dominant factor in deciding to purchase something you really want. I'm often surprised at folks' attitudes towards their homes and possessions, as tho they are all supposed to constantly increase in value.

    I tend to think of things more like cars - the depreciate. Which I sorta view as the "rent" I pay for the pleasure of using them. So if you enjoy something for 2 years, after which you sell it for $500 less than you paid for it, that's less than a buck a day. No big deal at all.

    If I were the sort of person who continually bought and sold gear (which I am not), I assume I'd view any "losses" from resale as simply the cost of enjoying my hobby.
    DrMole, VictorW126 and AGCurry like this.
  7. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    I have never once thought of resale value when buying anything music related.
    My rule of thumb is anything I sell will only bring me at most 50% of what I paid.
    I sell things for two reasons
    1 to fund a different purchase
    2 to help out a fellow musician who needs a break
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
  8. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I've had my double bass for so long now (23 years) played it on so many gigs and made so much money with it, resale value couldn't be further from my mind. (Sure, I'd like to get as much as I could when it's time to trade up or retire. But if I got zero, I would still feel content, knowing it paid for itself about 100 times over and always sounded great in the process.)
    Electric basses come and go a lot more. I think more about the $$$ in that scenario. I usually don't make a profit when I turn one over (especially when I consign), but the loss is small enough that it is justified for the fun I had. (And if we're talking just a couple hundred bucks over a couple of years, it doesn't take very many gigs to recoup that.)
  9. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    I've never considered resale when buying an instrument, but i also don't buy them often and tend to stick with an instrument for the long haul. If i were a more frequent buyer or collector i might consider resale more.
  10. 16fuss

    16fuss Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2005
    I just bought a bass from a colleague for 500 Euro. It is carved and German built in the 1920s. It doesn’t rattle, but it is pretty beat up. Nice sounding, but very quiet since the back doesn’t vibrate (cracks and bad repairs). I wanted to loan it to students.
    It turns out, that this bass is my dream of playability come true! Everything fits for me!!
    It needs full restoration and will be worth not much. I feel your pain!!
    Since I have 4 other basses, I will keep it and think about it later. It is a good thing not to overpay on basses. If you can not sell it for the price you pay (or let’s say 25% less) it is probably too expensive.
    AGCurry likes this.
  11. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    I don't tend to consider re-sale value when buying musical equipment but then again I am much better at buying than selling.
    Just a bit of curiosity, why is a fractional sized laminate bass so expensive? The ones I have seen sold (not put on sale) tend to be well under $1K.
  12. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    Kinda maybe related - when our kids were young, it seemed like every time we turned around we were paying for something or another. But early on, we decided that we would never question spending money on music or books. Sure, there are some limits at the extremes, but we would always look elsewhere to economize if needed. Always were willing to spend on lessons, decent instruments and supplies, music, etc.
    Looking back, I still think that was a pretty good setting of priorities. And we still have a closet full of instruments which get used infrequently, and we've sold/given away several others as our kids aged/moved away.
    Thomas88 likes this.
  13. Jim Dedrick

    Jim Dedrick Jim Dedrick Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2016
    Port Deposit, MD
    Some thoughts here- if you don’t think about the value of you savings than, in my opinion, you will never have them. So it is always important to think of spend as an investment. If you have built the savings and there is plenty to handle all of the twists life raising children may bring than by all means buy the instrument. No need to worry about resell.

    Now, if playing music is you income it becomes a budget of want the business can manage. Are you making enough to live with budget or will the new instrument help increase your income to offset the cost?

    Me personally, always consider cost. That’s why I played my 1st DB for over 30 years. I started looking for that next instrument when budget was available with no real risk to savings. And yes, playing does fund all my gear.
    VictorW126 likes this.
  14. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    Perfectly said.
  15. Like basses, art multiples tend to increase in value, but wooden postcards by the great text based artist Jenny Holzer have been reprinted and can be had for $20 right now from printed matter in NYC. I suggest starting your collection with this. jennyholzer_ProtectMeFromWhatIWant-image-24590-1.jpg
  16. A more serious answer: You don't want the bass you are "stuck with" to be a goofy fractional size, especially one that as you say, doesn't even sound that great. Whatever you think it is going to be a solution for there maybe something better and more interesting is yet to be invented down the road. If fractional sized basses were a true solution to any of the real issues we face, trust me, they would be as cheap and common as a basic hybrid.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
    16fuss likes this.
  17. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2010
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  18. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    So, the Best Man shouldn't mention or joke about the Bride and Groom's Prenuptial Agreement in his speech/toast at the Wedding, correct?
    Got it....
    Jim Dedrick and Dabndug like this.
  19. Thanks for your thoughts, it is appreciated. It looks like losing value is not something that most of you care about.

    I don’t know the answer. The seller set a price. Maybe he doesn't want to sell it :D. For me, this is a reason to plunge into doubts and calculations. If this bass cost less than $ 1000, I would buy it right away.
  20. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    I always consider the value of things I buy, but the reality of the bass market is that most basses will not appreciate in value. Now that I am in the business, my intention is to make money on the transaction, but after doing a lot of repair and costs associated with running a business.........?
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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