One-off gig requires gear... bad form to buy then return to GC?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dkerwood, Sep 27, 2021.

  1. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    So I have a one-off gig playing bass with a friend this weekend. It's the first time in literally a decade that I've had an outdoor bass gig that wasn't backlined. I sold my "big" rig - a medium-sized stack that shook bars and was BARELY enough for small outdoor venues - last year since it was sitting for nine full years. Most of my bass gigs recently have been either jazz or musical theatre - both of which are handled by my powered FRFR cab. Unfortunately, my cab won't handle a rock band outside, even for stage monitoring.

    Anyway, my friend is restructuring his band after this gig, likely with me on guitar, so I'm not sure when I'll next need a bass rig worthy of stage monitoring. I've put some feelers out with local friends to see if I can borrow something, but if that falls through, is it terribly bad form to buy something used from Guitar Center and then turn around and return it after the gig? I'll also be looking to see how much it might be to rent something (assuming that any of the local music stores even do that anymore), but the pay doesn't really justify the rental cost.

    Other brilliant ideas also considered.
  2. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    Well since we know you have no morals, why not just steal one? :p
  3. In my opinion it is poor form. They aren't a rental company.

    I understand that they have return policies however this would be a bad faith purchase.
  4. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    To be fair, I'm not a fan of the practice, but I see it a lot on the guitar forums, so it's good to know I'm not alone in my distaste.

    I'm just not sure what to do. Usually in this situation, I'd buy something that could be used later, but I have no idea when "later" would be.
    ReillyProductions likes this.
  5. If the band is to be reborn with you on guitar after this gig, does your friend have a bass player in mind already? If so, could you ask to borrow their rig?
    Jay2U, Ampslut, Outshined91 and 5 others like this.
  6. I used to work in retail, and had a few times where folks had obviously put gear through the ringer over the weekend and were returning it. Sometimes we'd hit them with a restocking fee, but mostly we just took it back. It did usually take time and effort to get it back to showroom condition.
  7. Here's an original thought:

    'Gee, I don't have a bass big rig any more, call me when you need me on guitar.'

    As for a 24 hour burn/return from GC, I'm no fan of theirs, but I couldn't do that, I just wouldn't feel it was a right thing to do. I find any time I'm having to crudely justify something a little shady, it's because I'm ignoring my conscience banging on the wall in the back of my mind.
  8. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    It is bad form to do that , doesn’t make you a terrible person , but that practice does tend to drive up the price of gesr and sales guy loses any commission they’d make on it so ….
    Guitar Center will rent gear … but the math may not work out for you on that. I’d reach out to local players see if you can borrow something or other option is buy something used market at a good enough deal you could sell it & break even maybe make a couple of bucks …
  9. willsellout

    willsellout I apologize in advance. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    No judgments coming from me. GC routinely fleece people with trade in values and depending on the store the overall customer service can be spotty. But if you do it take impeccable care of the gear and keep all original packaging. Be gentle in opening everything up and box it back up as it was when you got it. That will save them time with taking it back. They probably won’t lose much money on demo gear so I don’t personally have a problem with it, and am certainly not judging.

    I’d personally try to rent something if possible tho just to save the hassle.
  10. If you have to ask the question, you already know the answer.
  11. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Where I live, a bass amp rental is about $40 a day (head+cab). On the other hand, a powered PA speaker and sub combo with pole is only $16 a day. If I had to rent an amp this is probably what I'd do considering I already have preamps. Just a thought. :D
    Mr Cheese, gebass6, JRA and 14 others like this.
  12. Timmy_b


    Sep 13, 2021
    Have you thought about an IEM setup? At most you'll need a headphone amp or small mixer and a pair of IEMs
    dralionux and mrperkolator like this.
  13. spatters


    Mar 25, 2002
    This is the right answer. Obviously you already have a preamp you like, so you can go for the PA setup if it's cheaper in your area (but make sure it's loud enough for the gig before committing).
    Beej, Auggieinks, SoCal80s and 2 others like this.
  14. Buy an old Peavey then unload it for what you paid. That's a lousy idea even if it is Bain Capital.
  15. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    It doesn’t matter if you don’t know when you’ll need it again, what matters is you made a commitment and need to buy or rent gear to cover that commitment.

    So go to a pawn shop and buy the cheapest thing you can afford, then sell it back. OR a lot of pawn shops will sell you a return policy where you and they both know you’re gonna use it a minute and bring it back for store credit minus your “return” fee. Usually it’s 3-6 months from what I’ve seen. This is pretty useful for exactly your situation. Then you use your store credit for something you will use, haven’t been dishonest, and paid bottom dollar
  16. I put this inquiry in the same category as "I'm not racist, but...."
  17. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    This particular ethical question is pretty straightforward. Not a matter of “bad form.” It would just be wrong.
    Lee Moses, Haroldo, Jay2U and 26 others like this.
  18. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    I'll pile on the "it ain't right even if GC sucks" answer.

    Can you rely on the PA to support your sound? Monitors? I've gigged huge stages with a B15.

    If there is a PA provider, they may also have backline - check into that?

    Maybe post up here with your location and ask if someone will loan/rent a rig so you can get through it with integrity AND decent sound.
    KCBass434, Indexed, SoCal80s and 5 others like this.
  19. blastoff


    Sep 5, 2007
    way out west
    I thought they started cracking down on this somehow, because so many people were doing it.
    To me, it sounds like you’re getting gigs playing bass guitar. You should probably own a rig that can handle the occasional louder job.
    backin82 and MHensleyJr like this.
  20. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Yep. An attorney I know called that “the but giveaway.” If you say you’re for something, but… then you really aren't.
  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.

    Oct 28, 2021

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