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Online or in a physical store?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tonygrilli1985, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. In store

    167 vote(s)
  2. Online

    142 vote(s)
  1. When buying an instrument such as a standard american p bass, would it be advisable to purchase online or in the store? I was thinking the store because I heard every bass sounds different and trying each one out is important. What's your opinion?
  2. If possible, it's always best to try before you buy. It's your best way to evaluate whether a particular bass is the right instrument for you.

    Sometimes it's not possible if a certain model is only available elsewhere. In that case, we really don't have a choice. You can try to read up on as much detail (specifications, reviews, demonstrations, etc.) It's also a good idea to look into a store's reputation. Chances are very high that TalkBass members would happen to live near a particular store, and contribute their comments.
  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I don't remember the last time I bought a bass in a store. All of mine have been online - used on TB, from ThePerfectBass.com (My favorite toy store!) and when I see a deal from Amazon/Guitar Center online.
  4. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    Try out a Made in Mexico model side by side - in many cases, the sound is nearly the same. The feel overall is the big difference I have found. The American usually has a nicer feeling fretboard and neck. SOME MIM models feel quite good compared to the American. You can save a bunch of money going the MIM route.......

    If you buy online, take advantage of the return policy. GC is good because you can order it and return it to any GC store for a FULL refund within 30 days.

    Buying a bass you have never played (especially a particular model) is usually a bad idea. However, I bought my first Spector like that and now that is the only bass I will play. Incredibly lucky I guess.
  5. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    I used to only buy in stores, but over the last few years I've become a regular customer of online dealers like Sweetwater.

    The basses I've checked out in local stores lately have had consistently bad setups. Even the cheap Squier Jaguar I got from Amazon had a great setup out of the box.

    Now one would expect that a good brick and mortar store would go out of their way to adjust an American Fender properly. I hope the stores in your area are better than the ones in mine. So my advice is to check out your local dealers (especially to compare MIM to MIA Fenders), but don't be afraid to buy from a reputable online dealer with a good return policy.
  6. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    It's important to go into a store to see it for yourself and try it out, but for me personally I prefer buying online - if I'm investing a decent amount of money in a brand new bass, I want to be the first person to have played it (there are some people who use music shops as public libraries - walk in, pick up several basses with no interest in buying anything, then leave).
  7. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    I prefer buying in store. I have had mostly good success buying online but there's always that little tinge of doubt that what I get from UPS will not be exactly what I want. When you can play it in a store you know what you're getting.
  8. I've gotten my last 3 basses from Sweetwater. They do a 55 point inspection, and have pictures of the actual basses for sale by serial number - plus I don't have to pay the 10% WA State tax.
  9. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    This one's a toughie...it depends on what you are buying.

    Something that's on the iffy side of QC like a Squier VM/CV, lower-end Ibanez, or something of that ilk I would try in a store before I nabbed it. Most company's higher-end instruments support will at least be more likely to work with you on QC issues. If you can try before you buy, that's the best route to go.
  10. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Online - assuming it's less expensive and has a no-hassle return policy. I have always done really well buying from GC online because if, for some reason, I ended up not wanting it, I have returned it to my local GC for a full refund, including shipping.
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    It's always nice to lay hands on it, but not necessary if you have any acquaintance with basses.
  12. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    No contest

    At least for me

    I don't even buy strings, pickups, machineheads online... I positively don't buy online at all

  13. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I only buy in stores or from local sellers. If I can't play it first, I'm not interested. I have bought several basses online and have been disappointed every time.
  14. Pattycakes


    Jun 22, 2013
    my recent purchases i have ordered through a local retailer. i had played the models i bought beforehand, but not the exact instrument i ended up purchasing (obviously)
  15. TravisJ


    Aug 16, 2013
    My last three purchases (2 new, 1 used) were all done online and I couldn't be happier.
  16. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    If you buy online you don't get to dazzle complete strangers with guitar-store chops........
  17. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    In Store..You read guy,s complaining every day of neck gaps and buzzing basses etc. from basses they bought online.Im just sayin....
  18. dls119


    Jun 27, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I voted "in store," but I feel I have to qualify my vote by saying I generally will not buy a bass sight-unseen. I am, however, more than happy to buy just about everything else online, eg. strings, effects, amps, whatever. My Amazon wish-list can get frightening.
  19. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    While I voted "In Store", I have purchased basses on line or sight unseen (or unplayed). Sometimes, a deal is too good to pass up. My preference, however, is to try it before I buy it.
  20. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    A friend of mine could not decide between a Fender MIA Jazz and a Sandberg California.
    So he ordered both, with a 30 days return possibility.
    He tested them several days and returned both.
    Afterwards he went for a trip to a big shop that's about 5 hours away and came back with a Sandberg in slightly different setup. I played all these basses and the Sandberg he returned was by far my favorite, his favorite obviously was the one he bought.

    So when you're in for something like an American made Fender where there is a ton on sale that all look the same, go and have a feel before you pull the trigger.