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Pawn Shop Basses

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by manolo578, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. manolo578


    Nov 21, 2011
    Is it true that majority of pawn shops will sell vintage basses for cheap? I heard Robert Trujillo got Jaco's bass in a pawn shop for $300. Please share pawn shop bass stories if you have any.
  2. I think it's all urban myths.

    All of the pawn shops in my area sell junk like Squiers and Jay Tursers for as much or more than what you'd pay brand new!!
  3. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Most of them look @ the evilbay asking price and negotiate from there.

    I've seen equipment that would be an OK deal
    (not a great deal) if it were sold for $100, have a starting price in the pawn shop @$200 or more.

    I look often, but have never bought anything.
  4. manolo578


    Nov 21, 2011
    I haven't checked my local pawn shops yet but I'm curious to know what they offer
  5. Illini10


    May 15, 2012
    Elmwood, IL
    The offerings at the pawn shops I've visited have been mostly Squier and Peavey stuff. The prices seem high too.
  6. ffutterman

    ffutterman Talentless Bass Enthusiast

    May 7, 2010
    I think the internet has all but ruined good deals at pawn shops.
  7. Astreaux


    Aug 31, 2012
    Picked up a pristine 2010 Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass at the pawn shop for $119 including gig bag. Don't think they knew what they had. Is in perfect condition. No nicks, scratches or belt rash. Most of the pawn shops or cash converter stores around the Virginia Beach area it is hit and miss. Have seen a nice Epiphone T-Bird, but they wanted $350 for it. New they are $299. But I check each week, just in case I can stumble upon a good deal like the Jag mentioned above. A lot of Baltimore Bass, First Act, low end Dean, Ibanez and Peavey. Broncos too...

  8. haystack55

    haystack55 Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2011
    Houston, TX
    my experience has run the gamut both directions. I've found some stellar deals and seen some utter crap priced 200% over what I would consider reasonable. it certainly pays to shop around, especially if you're in an area which has a lot of pawn brokers.
  9. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    FWIW there was a TBer showing off his Pawn store buys in the basses section a while ago. He claims he got a few vintage (70's) Fender basses all for less than $200.00 ea. The pawn store was in Texas if I recall and must be clueless or have no idea what a computer is.
  10. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    As noted before, this is just a myth. Most pawn shops are on eBay. Why would they sell something for cheap when they know the market price is much higher.

    I remember reading somewhere that Robert Truillo bought Jaco's bass from the family of Jaco Pastorius and that the price was in the range of $1 million. Do some research on this but it's certainly not $100 from a pawn shop. I believe Bass Player Magazine wrote a piece about this.
  11. Yeah I actually read about that recently. He was entrusted with it from Jaco's family or something. Certainly didn't snag it from a shop though.


    Sep 15, 2012
    SLC Utah
    My buddy snagged a great spector legend for around $250. It was pretty beat up and some moron had scraped "flames" into the back of the finish, but it plays great and sounds so delishious! Makes me really want one.
  13. Any pawn shop that's done their homework won't be selling a bass for much less than its value.

    BUT - there are some who don't do their homework, and there are basses which are difficult to value. Every now and then a good value turns up.
  14. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    you can sometimes get an active bass that has a dead battery for cheap cause fellows think that it's broken, usually heavy metal style basses
  15. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Mine, too. I've gotten some astoundingly great deals and I've walked away from some terrible ones. It's all the luck of the draw and how willing the shops are to negotiate, which has everything to do with how much they paid for it and how long they've had it.

    FWIW, Robert Trujillo bought the "bass of doom" from Matt Brewster of 30th Street Guitars at an undisclosed price (I'm sure it wasn't cheap), as I understand it. Jaco's family did not have the means to purchase it and Mr. Trujillo stepped in to help the family get it back. At least, that's how I heard it. Mr.s Brewster and Trujillo may be the only people who know the whole story.
  16. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
  17. manolo578


    Nov 21, 2011
    I misread the article, the shop owner bought it for $400 but I assume he sold it for more if he knew it was Jaco's
  18. Depends on whether or not the shp specializes in instruments. My local Pawn **** head marks everything up and fancies himself some kind of Musical Messiah in town.

    Truth is he's just a bitter old know it all who doesn't really know much about anything. He also smokes in the store so each instrument comes with that Boone Pawn and Music smell.
  19. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I've noticed that Pawn Shops can have some decent deals, but if you are handy with setups or a soldering iron (and have some imagination to spare lol) you can uncover some gems. Nobody is going to plant a prestige series Ibanez or Fender P-bass in there for a reasonable price unless it is rather dinged up. You can refinish it yourself or just sport the wounds with pride. Idk why the relic guys aren't ALL OVER pawn shops, plenty of relic'd instruments that would only need a pickup and string change and maybe a neck adjustment to be great instruments.
  20. pflash4001


    Dec 2, 2011
    This is pretty much the case. I get paid once a month. Within a week, I've made the rounds to the 8-9 pawn shops in town. Most times there's nothing worth a second look, but every now and then...about 15 years ago I picked up a 1979 Rickenbacker 4001 for $180 with the original case. All that bass needed was a new set of strings. About 10 years ago I found a 1967 Gretsch Cher Atkins Tenneseean for $200. I gave that guitar to my brother for his college graduation. There are good deals out there, but you have to be in the right place at the right time.

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