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Santa seems to be giving the gift of basses this year but...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tom Young, Dec 25, 2017.

  1. Tom Young

    Tom Young

    Dec 21, 2017
    Greer, SC
    Merry Christmas my friends! I have noticed on the hot thread of the day that some of the keepers of the low end have gotten some really beautiful axes for Christmas and some were ordered online. My question is why? Some may call me a naysayer or something of the like in terms to online purchase of instruments. I have struggled with this for a couple of months now because I too am considering this but there’s one thing holding me back. If I order it online I’ll be buying something I might not like. Meaning how much homework did you guys put into an instrument prior to placing your order? I have seen both sides of the spectrum being able to touch before I buy. I’ve purchased some amazing lower eschelon instruments and played and turned away some top shelf duds! What’s your guys opinion? Thanks in advance!
    Gearhead17 and Mr.Ace like this.
  2. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Around tax time,I may be buying a six string bass.
    I have about eight to nine candidates at this time.
    Practically all of them can only be bought online.

    I do a lot of research about the candidates.
    How much they weigh.
    Location(due to CITES wood concerns)
    Electronics problems.
    Average price.
    Clark Dark likes this.
  3. I buy pre-owned from G.C. or S.A., so if there's an issue I can just return it.
    Gearhead17 and Mr.Ace like this.
  4. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    I cheat.
    A local music store, Music and Arts, is owned by Guitar Center and I buy a lot of piddily stuff there.

    They give me the same 30 day return period but I pick it up at the shop and can take it back as well. They also give me a fair discount and the local sales dude gets commission.

    I also research my buy and have never taken one back.
    Glazenn, Mr.Ace and Spidey2112 like this.
  5. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    It's return policies. They are generally very buyer-friendly should the worst happen. Also, reputation for customer service is policed by the internet. If you pander garbage and refuse to resolve issues, word will quickly spread.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  6. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I’ve been playing bass since 1968. I only bought my first sight unseen instrument in 2014. So I can understand where you’re coming from. I always was - and still am - a firm believer in trying before you buy if at all possible.

    Since then I’ve purchased several more basses online, many of them from the classifieds here. And it’s worked out really well for me. Good prices for really good instruments. Good people to deal with too.

    Bottom line: hands on is still the best way. But the reality is it’s becoming increasingly difficult - unless you’re lucky enough to have a decent guitar shop within a reasonable driving range of where you live. I’m not so lucky. So online it is. And so far (knock wood) it’s worked out just fine, and with no bad surprises.

    Note: I’ll +1 with all the posts above mine about doing your homework. Know what and from whom you’re buying and you’ll do just fine too. The importance of having a reputation for good customer service and a buyer friendly return policy can’t be overemphasized. It’s a little trickier when buying from private sellers. But you can develop a feel for them too. The single thing to always bear in mind is the old warning that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
    HolmeBass and Gearhead17 like this.
  7. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    Try finding a new Spector, Warwick, Fodera, Dingwall Alembic or any number of basses not carried by your local dealer, and you soon realize the only way to try one is to buy one - online.

    Just make sure you buy from a dealer that has a reasonable return policy.
    Gearhead17, TonyP- and Spidey2112 like this.
  8. European Law. Distance Sale (i.e mail-order,internet,over the phone) sellers are legally required to accept returns for at least 14 days from receiving. If we don't like something then back it goes :D
  9. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I once asked a salesperson at my local GC if I could try out a Sadowsky...

    ... he replied, 'Gezundheit!'

    I ordered, online, sight unseen, never heard of one in my life (Thanks, TalkBass and of course, Roger and Company!)...

    ... I love all my guitars, but my MV4 is pretty close to bass nirvana, for me...

    ROOTSnFIFTHS Low-end Lover since '78! Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2012
    NJ to Sin City
    I will personally never order online because I have to FEEL the bass. Especially Fender brand. I find they vary (especially the older models), and I like to 'feel' my way to a keeper. Of course I have enough shops around to have that privilege.

    Others I know shop online without regrets as long as the return policy is good. Just can't do it myself.
    Fender_Bender likes this.
  11. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I play unlined fretless only. Good luck finding even a lined fretless in most stores, thus 58 of my 60 basses over the years have been bought on-line. The 2 that I inspected were 3 1/2 hours away.
    gebass6 likes this.
  12. Merry Day after Christmas, This is my first post in TB and this tread got me wondering. I've returned to playing after a 32 year break - long story - and have own only 3 basses (Fender P bass, Ricky 4003, and my present PJ bass - well 4 counting my first bass, an Aria, when I was 13 y.o.). For those who have bought/sold basses, is there a standard procedure or check list you run through before buying? Do you use a tuner, do you make adjustments to the instrument, etc? Is there any tell tale signs that, if present, immediately turn you off to the buy? Thanks,
  13. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    For me, there is no point in trying to FEEL basses at a store because they are not set up to my preference. I can properly evaluate a bass only after setting it up to my specs and only thru my rig. So I have no issue buying online.
  14. I live in Albuquerque, NM - a metro population of ~1M people. Our flagship music store (who, over their 35 years in business, carried Modulus, Roscoe, Conklin, Lull, Music Man, G&L, Mesa, Genlzer, Genz-Benz, SWR, Eden, etc) closed down in 2017 - leaving us with a failing Guitar Center, Music-Go-Round, and a small handful of guitar-oriented shops with nothing more than beginner pack basses. If I'm interested in anything remotely high-end, I'm stuck driving to Denver (7 hours) or Phoenix (8hrs)... or purchasing sight-unseen online. I can tell you I'm not wasting 2 days and driving 1000 miles to try out something that I might not even like when I can order it online and try it at home, with my own gear, in my own bands, etc.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
    jamro217 and gebass6 like this.
  15. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    it's a roll of the dice even if you enjoy quality try time prior to purchase and usually won't really know the bottom line on any bass til months down the road. I buy on educated impulse as much as feel if lucky to have hands on and have only been disappointed once in decades, that one was local and should have been a big name sure thing (it may still), conversely my new favorite is a $120 online pawnshop prize with yet something similar on it's way as we speak. it just goes to show you never know, therefore I like to buy for sport, my catch is to seek the inexpensive, if it goes bum it doesn't hurt too bad and when you score it feels even better. there are too many killer basses out there for scratch to throw good money away on anything close to $500 unless it's built by the gods. if you do then there's no grumbling allowed.
  16. Mr.Ace

    Mr.Ace Bass players rule!

    Sep 8, 2015
    Pompano Beach FL
    Endorsed by Fusion ( maker of killer gig bags)
    I’ve got my last 3 basses here on TB.
    I’m sure i could have sent anyone of them back if I we’re unsatisfied. I always like to hear the bass in a live mix to truly understand its capabilities/ limitations. So it’s hard to even do that at say a music store, or what not. At this point I choose an instrument based of the reputation of the company making the bass. Also if they’re known for their customer service. For instance, I bought a US lakland Second hand here off TB. I was having an issue with the jack. I called lakland to inquire on purchasing one from them. The first person I talked to said they would get one in the mail immediately, free of charge. I pretty much buy everything online. I also like gc used online, and love Sweetwater for their CS.
  17. I was kind of in your shoes. Came back after a long period away.
    Given the physical ravages of life but without going into detail, I did a LOTTTT of research before buying my first bass of my new music life. The idea was to buy something not real expensive, just to see if playing was possible at all. The research paid off, the price was right and a return policy was in effect. Of course some luck played into it but I got a bass that was good and that I was able to play easily (not well mind you, but easily).

    I do attempt my own setups and have actually turned the above bass into mod learning platform machine It's always in some stage of not being fully finished, even though still playable most of the time.

    I know exactly what I THINK I want optimally, for my next bass. Problem is that it's a real hen's tooth and as a result, I have not played one so have trouble justifying the "rare" pricetag, especially with a no return policy. I've done all the hands-off homework possible on this. Playing one would be the ultimate, but a good return policy would certainly make it easier.
  18. Zant


    Jan 1, 2017
    Me I go through sweet water they have great customer service if you have a problem with a purchase they will make it rite
  19. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    If I hit over about $5k again, I will be very hands on in design, and then I will pick it up.
    Toronto to Santa Rosa (alembic) is not too far to go pick up a bass that expensive.
    My one and only Ebay bass, where I not highly skilled in repair and setup, should have gone back, but I decided to fix it. It would have been very disappointing to most people. It will probably be my last mail order bass, as one purchase = 100% failure rate.
  20. Mechayoshi


    Dec 7, 2015
    I agree in a way, but even with dead strings and high action I've be able to sometimes tell if a guitar feels right or it it just isn’t going to work for me. That being said, I’m not afraid of online purchases since new or used, it’s going to need a setup anyway.

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