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I am asking for tips about purchasing used bass Ü

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by herosalvador, May 11, 2011.

  1. herosalvador


    May 8, 2011
    hello again xD can you give me tips on how to negotiate when purchasing a used bass? i would also be grateful if you will advise me on how to scrutinize (or look for flaws on) a used bass guitar.

    thanks and more power!xD
  2. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    First thing that comes to mind is to do your research on the instruments you're interested in. If you're zeroing in on particular makes - Fender, Gibson, etc - there are books available that will walk you through the model years and the particular features as well as serial number dating.

    Vintage Guitar magazine used to publish an annual price guide covering a wide range of guitars and basses. eBay is a reasonably source to investigate prices; don't take a single example, look at as many as you can, that will give you a pretty good idea. Craigslist is the least reliable pricing guide IMO.
  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    There's really no "right" way to haggle. I think most people have their own twist on how to do it. For me, I just go to whoever I'm buying from (note: I always buy gear used) and say offer what I feel is a reasonable price, or if their price is already reasonable, just say I'll take it. Mostly I spend time on eBay, TB and a couple of retailers checking on new/used prices of the piece I'm eyeballing. As long as the price isn't higher than the average, I just buy it. If it is above the average, I'll offer just a shade below the average... this is pretty much always countered with another offer that is spot on average, and that's it.
    Sometimes I just throw out there "tell me your lowest price you'll take right now, I don't feel like haggling" too.

    On the exceedingly rare times that I'm buying new gear, it becomes a whole nother story, and depends on who I'm dealing with. ThePerfectBass.com sells what I play, and with their built-in TBer's discount are always cheaper than everyone else, so they'd get my business. Keep in mind, my entire bass playing career, I've bought exactly one new bass and one new head. Everything else has been used, and almost all of that right here on TB.
  4. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Inexpensive (cheap) Bass Category

    1. Examine for defects/damage...
    • Whenever possible like-new or excellent condition is preferred;
    • A good tactic is to ask for the best price before you examine an bass closely (if it seems overpriced, it may be time to walk away);
    • Psychology says that if you show much interest-you may be hooked, and the store/seller will know it!
    • Plug into amp & check for little or no fret buzzing or other obvious problems with neck/fit;
    • Electronics & knobs are be functioning as expected;
    • Tuners are functioning, nut is not cracked and slots in nut seem original or good height;
    • Sight the neck from the body toward the headstock for possible warping.

    2. Considerations before negotiating...
    • Asking price should be fair and not more than the bass is worth (used street value);
    • If tag is missing, or you want to pay less, tell them you want their 'best' price-before you demo, or take a closer look.

    I've never demo'd or bought a boutique bass, so I can't comment on those...
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I've bought a ton of gear over the years, lots of high end instruments and anything below that. First, be patient. Get educated on what you're interested in. That'll help get a feel for what the value should reasonably be, which will still come down to what you're willing to pay. By the same token don't drag your feet if you come across what you want for a reasonable price that's a legit item for sale. You can indeed lose when you snooze.

    Many assume I do serious in depth negotiating, which couldn't be farther from the truth. Once I know what the ballpark value would be, including RECENT resale value, I'll ask what a seller will take for it if I'm interested but wouldn't mind getting it for less. If the answer isn't in the range range I'm considering I thank them for their time and move on. Being willing and I mean seriously willing to say "no" and move on is the strongest bargaining position IME.

    As far as checking condition, esthetic damage is usually quite easy to see as long as you aren't in a state of euphoria over the idea of getting that piece of gear. In addition check the adjustability of the basic systems: trussrod, electronics, etc. If you have someone you trust who is more familiar with bass gear than you, ask them to come along and give you their opinion

    Be serious, mean what you say and don't play games. And if a deal feels fishy, walk.

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