Manufacturer refurbish bass vs. New bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheOnlyJuan, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. I tried to see if this subject has come up before but I could not find it. I know the difference betwween the two like: manufacturer refurbished are basses that could not pass standard for "new" so the serial number is eliminated and usually replace with a serial number on a sticker for the purpose of not allowing false warranty claims (refurbished basses do not have warranties). New of course, means that the bass comes new in the box straight from a dealer and has a warranty that can be extended by the dealer at their discretion.

    Whew! Having said all that, aside from the price difference and lack of warranty would you suggest to someone who is really interested in buying a bass to look at Manufacturer refurbished?

    I do not have much in the way of experience with refurbished but I would just like to know what options are available for me when I decide to buy a bass.

  2. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Actually what you're describing is more generally called "B stock", and this can include refurbished items. Actually refurbished items are ones that got sent to a store, and maybe even bought by a customer, but then returned to the factory due to defects. The factory then fixes up (refurbishes) the defective item, and sells it as "B stock".
  3. I think buying a B-Stock instrument, or one stamped "used" "2nd" etc. from the factory, is only for those of us with a lot of experience and a keen eye for whether or not the instrument has flaws that will require heroic efforts to correct.

    Some B-Stock has very minor cosmetic flaws, or something that was easily and thoroughly corrected in the factory, like an electronics issue.

    With others, the problems can go much deeper. You really have to know what you're looking at, and I'l never buy a B-Stock item sight-unseen again.

    The last time I did this, it was with several Takamine acoustic guitars purchased via eBay. The seller told me they were marked "second" but he said they were perfect. My tech and I got to looking at these guitars and decided they were junk. It would have cost almost as much as the guitar itself to salvage them.
  4. These 2nds are stamped at the factory usually with a used stamp, the serial number ground off and a sticker with a serial number put on.Most of the time its cosmetics, maybe a very visible body seem , dips in the paint etc. However it could be a busted truss rod , faulty electronics etc. I like to think of it as buying a car with a salvaged title , it may or may not have been fixed properly. There usually sold by a 3rd party , i bought a 2nd squier bass off ebay from a seller that gets them direct from the factory , it had a truss rod defect.

    This differs from musiciansfriend or guitar centers "used" basses. Those typically are bought by customers who return them , due to buyers remorse , shipping damage, quality issues the customer isnt satisified with which may or not have warrated it being a 2nd but was overlooked.

    That said I have bought many 2nds and "used" squiers. If i was buying a upper end bass I rather get a used (from a person) bass that was never a return or second and is in good condition.
  5. Thanks for the words of wisdom. I did buy an Ibanez SR300, put on some D'addario ECB82 flatwounds and this bass is a dream to play. It helps to know that I asked the seller many questions and he was relatively close to me so that if I had a problem I could take it to him. I guess I lucked out on that one, eh?
  6. Bennettj

    Bennettj Guest

    Apr 7, 2012
    Being a beginner,(even though i am in my 50s) - i also have thought about getting a B-STOCK guitar.
    But i always seem to get outbid.Or the price doesnt seem low enough to me.(i admit to being frugal)

    Im interested in what folks have to say about this topic,cause i have already been burned a few times on a famous auction site.
  7. For the most part its merely cosmetics and nothing structual. I have bought dozens of B stock-the only issue i ever had was a truss problem.The odds are in your favor and if bought from a reputable dealer they usually disclose any issues, if they dont then the item is not as described and a return is warranted.

    So i would just buy from a reputable dealer , and unless your handy stay away from truss rod issues or anything that has neck issues

    For me though I need to get something B stock cheaper then what it goes for used to make it really worth my time, b stock items that are stamped used on average are going to have a lower resale value.
  8. @Bennettj,

    I am just about there myself (49) so I know what you are saying. As for this "famous auction site" (e..y) there are several ways to cover you a$$. First contact the seller and ask them questions or specifics about what you are looking at. If they are reputable they will answer whatever questions you have. This will also serve as a record if you have a dispute and want to file a case. Remember that sellers on many sites are required to disclose the condition of the item. Failure to disclose can negate any contract you created with seller when you agreed to buy from them.

    It is a good idea however, to buy b-stock or refurbished items from reputable sellers. There is a store which sells on this famous auction site called New Jersey Guitar that specializes on selling refurbished items. A guy by the name of Glen will answer any question you may have about any item and stand by what he sells. I got my Ibanez this way and it was a great buy for me. By the same token, I got burnt on a Squier Affinity Jazz Bass from a different seller on the other side of the country.

    I was also informed that unless you have a good knowledge about and know how to fix basses then it would be better to go the used route. There are several ways you can win auctions and one of them is called sniping...
  9. I agree about the B-stock issue. Unless, you are planning to make a commitment on keeping it, don't buy it. If you are planning on "flipping it" (Why?...I don't know) then definitely do NOT buy B-stock. You will be lucky if you can recover half your money back.
  10. MrBassman17


    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    For my 60th birthday, I thought I'd treat myself to a new guitar, and, since I had been wanting to take up bass again, this was a perfect excuse! So, after much research and deliberation, purchase a Epiphone Les Paul Special 4 string bass from a eBay dealer. It was listed as 'Factory Reconditioned', with the explanation that it did not pass initial factory QC checks, and was shipped to their facility outside Nashville TN. for the remedial work. The pictures on the listing showed no obvious flaw, and none was indicated in the disclaimer. As it comes from the Gibson facility I thought it was a safe bet, and I was right! I had a set of D'Addario flat wound chromes put on and the instrument checked out by the tech at the shop I use. Everything is 100% and I am a happy camper! So, I have no fear in purchasing this way, but certainly do your homework before committing to anything, as always. I'm now waiting to receive my second bass, a mint Fender Squire Jaguar Vintage Modified, which I also purchased on eBay, but this time from a private owner who is upgrading to a different instrument. For under $200 I'm getting a broken in instrument that was treated with care!
  11. Yeah exactly and if you buy it to flip it and represent it as new I think most buyers would be pretty pissed when they get a bass with a scratched off serial number.
  12. I think I know the bass you a referring to. Was it shipped from Staten Island, NY and has Duncan and Fender pups? If that is the one, MAN I was gassin for that one....if it wasn't, then in the words of the late Latka Gravas, "Never Mind!"
  13. That's why when I am looking buy or am browsing, I look for pictures of the back of the headstock which is where the serial numbers have been changed and the word "used' has been stamped. Not always the case but a good place to start nonetheless. NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK could wind up saving you more than just money.
  14. Agreed, It saves some hedaches.
  15. soulman969

    soulman969 Inactive

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    +1. Yep, I would never buy a B-Stock or Factory Second without inspecting or playing it first unless I had an unlimited right to return it if I didn't like it.

    Slight finish flaws that don't affect the playability or tonality may be acceptable but when it gets down to defects that are expensive and difficult to cure it's not worth the money saved. You'll never be happy with it.
  16. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    Know what the flaw is. Finish? Who cares. Structural? Ill pass.
  17. Oleg BassPlayer

    Oleg BassPlayer

    Feb 4, 2016
    It's hit and miss. Yesterday I finally received a refurbished Squier VM PJ. It has a small finish defect, a few frets seem to have been glued with superglue (visible remnants of it on the rosewood around), and the most disappointingly, the distance from the string to the edge of the neck is visibly longer for the 1st string than for the 4th. On the other hand, the neck feels smooth, no buzz, it sounds good, no visible wear or somebody's gunk on the fretboard, costed me $220. Mixed feelings.