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How Much Does Color Discoloration From Stickers On A Rickenbacker 4003 Devalue It?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gull, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Gull


    Aug 7, 2012
    Tampa Bay
    Hopefully this is posted in the right spot.

    I just bought a used Rickenbacker 4003 bass from Guitar Center. It's in great condition, sounds fantastic, a real beauty... EXCEPT that the previous owner thought it a good idea to put stickers on the thing.

    I've seen other posts that try to figure out how to fix the issue -- and it doesn't look like there are great options. My question is different:

    What do you all think the devaluation is for a 4003 Rick with discoloration to the finish due to 2 stickers?

    + A 6"? vinyl sticker on the back of the bass came off easily and the discoloration is mild but noticeable to a future buyer.

    + A 2"? sticker on the front of the base uses a stronger adhesive and I haven't removed it yet - but I'm expecting a similar or worse discoloration.

    If the "99" on the metal jack input is the model year then it's a 1999. I do know it's pre-2006 because it doesn't have the push-pull for the 4001 sound. So it is possible the stickers have been on there for 12 or so years. This is in sunny Florida.

    GC has a 30 day return policy. So I plan on asking for a discount because a) I didn't buy it with discoloration in mind and b) I worry about resale value.

    They listed the bass at about $1890. I bought it at about about $1550 ($1450 w/ tax).

    I'll post photos later tonight when I can take some shots. But what do you all think? Is it a hundred bucks? Hundreds? More? Less? Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Gull


    Aug 7, 2012
    Tampa Bay
    Should this post be in the general bass forum? If so - sorry about mucking up the luthier's domain...
  3. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    If you bought it having seen the discolouration it might be tricky to renegotiate...

    I don't really know though.
  4. Gull


    Aug 7, 2012
    Tampa Bay
    Thanks Plunger. Actually I didn't see the discoloration until after I bought it because the stickers were on the bass when I bought it. Once I bought it, I brought it home and started to take them off.

    And GC, with their years of experience, made no mention of the possibility of discoloration. I figured the stickers would just be an issue of getting the adhesive gunk off (as they mentioned being the sole issue as well) -- not that there would be discoloration.

  5. Martin89


    Nov 8, 2010
    Glendale, AZ
    Unofficial Endorser: Ibanez, D'Addario, Zoom
    You can do a return but I don't see much in the form of haggling after you've bought it. Next time either expect the discoloration or ask the seller to remove prior to negotiating a purchase price. You're lucky the sticker wasn't covering up a major ding/chip or anything like that.

    EDIT: And that's why GC made no disclosure of the discoloration; they probably bought it with the stickers on it and they weren't going to risk taking them off to find out what was underneath. They have no way of knowing what's underneath there and aren't going to speculate on it either.
  6. Gull


    Aug 7, 2012
    Tampa Bay
    Thanks much Martin. Yeah, I'd expect some haggling if they want to keep a $1k+ sale from becoming a $1K+ crediting back to my card.
  7. bassman700


    Nov 6, 2011
    How bad is the discoloraion? If it's real bad I would see if GC could do anything for ya... Discount is doubtful though, because you already bought it. If it's not too bad, it might be something you can just learn to live with...
  8. well id return it a new one can be had at around 1550$-1600$
  9. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    If you bought it to play it, just play it, and don't worry about it. if you bought it to re-sell it, it was a bad choice as a flipper. I hope it's meant to be played.
  10. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    Play the bass, Play it hard. If the discoloration bothers you, learn to live with it or use some sandpaper.
  11. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    BIG +1
  12. Mossmatic

    Mossmatic Compulsive Modder

    Jul 19, 2012
    What bothers me is you paid nearly the cost of a new Ric for a 13 year old bass... Last time I checked, they were going for about $2,000, (which I think is a bit too much).

    Whatever you might expect to accomplish in terms of haggling, don't let that stop you from haggling just the same. The worst they can do is say no. If you don't even try, it's like you saying no.

    If it were me and the discoloration bothered me that much, I'd just return it and spend the extra $100 or so for a new one.

    edit: Oops, sorry, I just noticed that you said it listed for $1890, but you paid $1450.
  13. Maybe you could get some really fine, like 2-3000 grit wet sand paper and wet sand it? After the haze dries you could polish it out, it might blend out, but i'm not sure what finish the bass has.
  14. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Given all of the threads I've read about poor Rick QC, those stickers were probably put on the bass to cover discoloration that came from the factory. :p

    All kidding aside, how does it play and is resale value really that important to you? Given GC's return policy, you shouldn't have too many problems returning it. You can probably find one without the discoloration for $50-$100 more used anyway.
  15. If you like the bass and can live with the discoloration but just thinking you paid too much for it, take it back to GC and tell them you either want a partial refund or you would like to return it for a full refund. Be prepared for either eventuality. (1) They give you some money back, they retain the sale, you're happier with the price you paid, win-win. Or (2) you return it for a full refund and take the advice given here and re-invest in a new or near-new Ric for the same price you paid for the one you have.

    Unless GC credit is your only financial option. If you have other ways to finance a Ric, then you need to put the ball in GC's court and let them help you decide how to proceed.
  16. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    You talked GC down $440 on a used instrument?? I thought they didn't budge on used prices?
  17. Televator


    Aug 24, 2011
    I'd try to return it, personally.
  18. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I highly doubt they will give you money back, they might even want a re-stocking fee to return it. I haven't bought used from GC but usually when you buy used, you buy as-is. I almost guarantee GC has this policy.

    Sorry, but you did buy it while knowing it has aesthetic flaws. Why do you think they never tried to remove the stickers themselves?

    I am curious to see how this pans out though, so please post your results, I have subbed the thread.

    I hope it turns out well for you, in regards to what the cost would/should be, well I personally wouldn't buy a used rick for much more than $1,000 even in great shape. I can get them new for $1500-1600 (at least that is what a bunch of TBers claim, TB doesn't lie :D)
  19. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    That bass probably had a "price drop".

    GC has other ways of working around used gear prices. Every week they put out a coupon worth between 10%-20%. Technically you can't use those coupons on used gear. But I have used them several times. Depends on the store manager and the willingness to move gear.
  20. Yerf Dog

    Yerf Dog

    Jun 29, 2009
    Carol Stream, IL

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