pawnshops vs. music stores

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jomahu, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. jomahu


    Dec 15, 2004
    Bos, MA
    when selling an instrument, where does one get the better deal - in a pawnshop or at a music store?
    and by better deal, i mean "not get ripped off as much."

    i've gotten nailed very badly by a certain local music store when it comes to trading used gear, so i'm just curious.

  2. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    that any business buying your instrument needs to sell it for more that they paid. Simple enough yet think of if like this;

    A used gizmo sells to consumers for $300. Lets assume that the consumer buys the gizmo from the store for the three hundred.

    Sale price=300
    subtract commision
    subtract operating overhead ( a portion of the lights, heat, electricity, telephone, rent, insurance etc all divided into the slaes figures for the month)
    and lets leave a couple of nickels on the table for the owner and investors (if any)

    What left over is what they can pay you for your used gizmo.

    You do stand a better chance at a store that you are a good and regular customer. This of course i getting harder to do, in the era of internet sales and the guitar o' plex mega store.

    Do you have any decent consignment shops in the area? They are also getting harder to find.

    Maybe sell it here at a reasonable price and pack it well. Lots of people here to help.

    Best of Luck,
  3. Always sell second hand, screw pawning it or selling it to a music shop, either will rip you off
  4. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    In general, a pawn shop will only give you 1/3 of the value of the instrument. Most of the time, they don't know what you're bringing in, so they have this encyclopedia and they look up the value and unless it's a total piece of crap condition wise, they'll give only a fraction of what it's worth. If you're dealing with a music store, I don't think they'll rip you off as much since most of the time, they'll know what they're dealing with.
  5. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    It's not a good idea to sell an instrument to a music store or pawn one. Always sell second-hand directly to a buyer.

    Music Stores are only a good deal if you want to buy an instrument they've had on the wall for a long time. You can talk them down pretty far because they want to move some product. Pawn shops generally don't have a great selection. I guess they can be cool sometimes, and you can definately talk them down pretty far. I've seen a dude talk a pawn shop down like $200 on an amp that was marked $295.
  6. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Try to sell it to someone who's looking for it. I use eBay to sell my gear, but listing it here is a good idea. At the least, put an ad in the local paper; don't sell to a music store or pawn shop!
  7. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Exactly. There's a bass or two I'm thinking of selling, and if I do, I'll do my best to sell em to TBers before I go to any store. Because everybody would get a better deal out of it- I'd get more money for my stuff, a TBer would get a new bass instead of potentially sitting a store forever, not to mention the fact that places like GC always seem to ask insane prices for used gear.

    I'd rather make more money, and help another musician get a better deal.
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    You don't need to have that complicated a formula. Music stores are looking for around a 30-40% margin on ANYTHING they sell; $300 x 70% =$210 OR $300 x 60%= $180.

    Which means they'll prolly offer you $140 to start with...

    I'm not sure why that equates as a "ripoff", they don't buy anything else to sell in the store for the same price that they are going to sell it at. Why should it be any different for you? The ONLY advantage to selling to a music store or pawn shop is that you walk out with money in your hand. You don't have to wait for somebody to "buy" it. Which means it's generally a "last resort" situation, somebody needs bread IMMEDIATELY. If you have the luxury of time, selling directly to the buyer is going to net you the most money, Next to that is putting it "on consignment" at a shop, they generally need to make at least 10% on the sale (because you are accessing their customer base, you don't have to run ads or print flyers, spend time showing it to potential buyers etc.).
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    You are going to get the best price selling a piece of equipment on your own, either through local classifieds, on internet classifieds, or on Ebay.

    You will always lose money when trading something in or selling it outright to a music store or pawn shop. These places are in business to make money, which means that they need to make a profit on anything they buy, when they resell it.

    Moved to Miscellaneous.
  10. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I've always sold direct, either locally by something like craigslist or word of mouth, or online via eBay, Dudepit or Talkbass.

    Except once, I had to move some cabs quick. I got them dirt cheap, walked into Sam Ash expecting to break even, when in fact I ended up profiting $100. Good deal for once.

    That was almost a year ago and they're still sitting there.