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New means NEW .... right?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheBlueFalcon, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. TheBlueFalcon


    Sep 17, 2009
    Over the past 4 weeks I've attempted to buy myself a new bass guitar.

    In that time I have ordered 4 different basses. Each of them has been advertised as new. But every one of them has been either a display model, or a return, or taken out of the box for some other reason. So each of them has been returned.

    I'm starting to wonder if this is some kind of sign, like I'm really unlucky or just not destined to get one for some reason. It's starting to make me wonder if I should bother.

    Do guitar dealers in the USA advertise items as new and send used or returned models?

    Is anyone else in the UK having any similar issues? Or is it just me?
    Mike Whitfield likes this.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    You mean "fake" new basses? It might be a thing.:(
  3. stigbeve


    Sep 24, 2014
    Hopefully fifth times the charm.
  4. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Supporting Member

    I would hope that a new bass had been taken out of the box at least once for a setup upon receipt. But yeah, new means new, and fingerprints, neck dents from hanging, scratches from being played on the floor, etc are all good reasons for discount.
  5. I've read on here more than once that Musician's Friend sends out returned items as new.
    I've only ever taken the instrument out of the box myself twice in my life.
    Once was at GC when I requested an in-box Squier VM.
    The second time was when we took delivery of an Ibanez Mikro recently.

    My other two "new" instruments were demos in the store, but I bought them at discounted prices.

    I bought a MIM Blacktop Precision from Sam Ash several years ago & returned it about two weeks later, because the neck was slowing giving way forward. I had to retune it every 2nd day & the relief & action were creeping up.
    When I came back a week later it was up on the rack again, but with $100 knocked off the new price.
    There was no wear or damage on the bass, the only thing I'd done was remove the plastic prom the pickguard.
  6. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    sleight of hand dealers have been increasing over the decades, there's an abundance of unscrupulous salesmen in the guitar world and you must weigh each incident as to whether it's worth the hassle in dealing with them in any manner pre or post purchase. if it involves shipping then it's even worse, often they take advantage of the hopes you'll just eat it and be done. I virtually have never bought new and this BS is one reason why, you shouldn't have to put up with it but is rather common now.
    CereBassum and EatS1stBassist like this.
  7. It's happened to me, too. "New" should mean brand spanking new, in my opinion.
    MMiller28 and EatS1stBassist like this.
  8. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    You can't go to a store and find a new bass?
  9. Katthestar


    Aug 4, 2017
    I buy most of mine used so I don’t take as much of a hit if I sell it later. I think maybe 2 are worth more than when I bought them, but they’re vintage. I just got a brand new Fender American Professional Jazz Bass and it was my first new bass. When I got it, it had never been touched before and came in the Fender box. I even got a truss rod adjustment tool! It was fun, but expensive. I would try buying from a reputable place online or a local store.
  10. B-Mac

    B-Mac Sorting Things Out Supporting Member

    New means new
    returned means open box
    demo means demo or open box
    scratch and dent can mean open box
    NOS means new old stock that has never been returned or a demo
    If it was never sold and has a valid serviceable warranty it is new, but even then it is debatable based on the above examples
    GC routinely sells wall hangers as new even if they've been there for a long time and have been man handled
    Certain websites have 'open box' items for a discount
    Where did this happen to you? Did you return for a full refund? Got a link?
    Got pics?
  11. blmeier7

    blmeier7 Supporting Member

    May 7, 2006
    Amarillo, TX
    I’ve been hearing of this happening more often over the past couple of years. I’m wondering if it might be that it is more common to return mail order items compared to say a decade ago. I know I’ve personally returned a handful of brand new basses that I wasn’t happy with for whatever reason.

    From a business standpoint of turning a profit it makes sense that retailers can’t take a financial hit on every returned instrument. But I’m totally with you...I wouldn’t want to purchase a brand new bass that has been played by someone else for a week or two while they decided whether or not they were going to keep the bass.

    I think the retailers should disclose whether or not the bass is new-in-box or not. It would be interesting to see the return rates of guitars and basses from some of the major online retailers. I’m just concerned that if the majority of players demand an untouched bass that we may start seeing restocking fees.

    But I guess I’ve been fortunate, I’ve probably purchased at least a dozen or more “brand new” basses, and it wasn’t evident that any of them had been previously played outside of a basic setup.
  12. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    The more people order a new bass (or two or three) and return them before the 45 day expiration, the more of this you see. The big retailers don't want to swallow the markdowns created by their generous return policies.

    Edit:Or what was said by blmeier7:thumbsup:
    pioneerp61, petch, -Asdfgh- and 10 others like this.
  13. Look at it this way, IF they started selling everything returned as USED then they'd have to take a chunk out of your wallet for returning it. Best-Buy calls it a restocking fee!
  14. Yep! There should be a difference between New and NOS.

    My #1 was bought with what seemed to be a used price (good deal), the serial # date said it was a couple 3 years old but I'm pretty sure it was "new". As in I am the only owner.

    But yeah, if it's advertised as brand new I would want to know if it came straight to me or has been played and returned a couple times.
    PWRL likes this.
  15. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    As long as it is under warranty, and doesn't have marks on it, who cares? Frankly, I wouldn't want to buy something that hasn't been checked out to make sure everything works properly and sounds good. If it hasn't been taken out of the box, you don't know if it works properly.

    It used to be you went to an actual music store and bought a bass off the rack.
  16. SleepyShark


    Feb 28, 2018
    The Low End
    I think OP might be referring to basses that have clearly been used and not just taken out of the box for a setup. Protective film removed, missing case candy, perhaps some scuffs on the pickguard.

    While not a huge deal in the long run, an item that may have been a floor model or returned should be labeled as such, IMO. They are often labeled at sold at the "NEW!" price point.
    Cyborg likes this.
  17. SleepyShark


    Feb 28, 2018
    The Low End
    At the risk of sounding pedantic, I think it depends on the store.

    The specialty bass and guitar shops in my town? I wouldn't even question buying something off the rack. Etiquette is you ask for an instrument and the employee will get it for you. It's a smaller place so they can make sure the instruments are being handled with care.

    Big box music stores? I can see someone's hesitation if it's clearly been played. Floor models might arrive with clear cosmetic flaws from belts & jean rivets, maybe a toggle switch has been over worked. I dunno. I'm not saying it's a clear cause for return, but I get other people's hesitation.
    Mike Whitfield and packhowitzer like this.
  18. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Obviously if it has a flaw, it shouldn't be full price.

    It frankly, what do people expect? They "buy" instruments so they can test drive them and then return them. So what should an internet seller do if they get a return that has no issues?
  19. SleepyShark


    Feb 28, 2018
    The Low End
    Most buyers probably don't care, I'd guess.

    In an ideal world for the consumer? A very slight discount with the disclosure that it was returned with no flaws, but margins are probably already tight and that would make it a less desirable piece of inventory with that disclosure, so I'm not sure...
  20. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Yep, buyers don't care, but sellers do. Again, what should the seller do in that situation? If there are no flaws, and it still is under warranty, it's new IMO.

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