Say you want to sell a medium-low value bass...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by eastcoasteddie, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. ....and it is somewhat highly modified (2 pickups where only one existed plus a variety of extra tone shaping controls), but it seems that it’s value is mostly estimated by its original, less valuable condition?
    Do you bite the bullet and take the loss or hold out for who-knows-how-long before you get the extra $100-$150 over it’s estimated value you really want for it?
    jamro217 likes this.
  2. Anachronism

    Anachronism Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    You will probably never get the extra money you want. Modifications rarely increase the value much, especially if they are complex and irreversible (those tend to reduce it). Unless a buyer wants those exact modifications, and trusts that they were well done, the bass will be worth less to them than if it was stock.
  3. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    The mods are worth nothing, to me at least, generally. Mainly because I tend to think mods change things but rarely improve anything, and because I don't know how competently the work was done.
    Luigir, Ikkir, TolerancEJ and 6 others like this.
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Mods like those normally reduce the value. There IS no "extra $100-$150."

    No one wants someone else's project bass. I assume that I'll have to repair and re-wire anything that another person installed, because they usually screw it up. And they usually screw up the body, too. Chances are I wouldn't even look at it it, but if so, start at half the original price and then reduce from there.
    Ikkir, TolerancEJ, Munjibunga and 8 others like this.
  5. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    A lot of the time you have to hold out for $100-$150 with or without mods. Some awesome basses stay in the classifieds for months at good or even great prices. It's a buyer's market.
    El-Bob, jamro217 and MattZilla like this.
  6. Pretty bold statements...
    Fortunately for anyone who buys mine (if I even sell it) will never have to re-wire anything due to screwups...
  7. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I had one nut try to talk down my asking price once because my bass had fretboard decals!
    I told him I could take them off in 5 minutes flat.
    He said "No, that's okay. If my girlfriend doesn't like them, I guess I can take them off."

    Even little mods mean absolutely nothing to the buyer.
    Crappy pickups replaced with Lace Sensor Man O' War pickups?
    Audere JZ3 preamp?
    Etc, etc, etc.
    Keep it stock or don't expect even the regular price.
    Beej, TolerancEJ, Munjibunga and 2 others like this.
  8. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    Are you going to sell your awesome Sledgehammer with all those awesome mods?
  9. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    You missed the point of understanding the mind of the people who you might be selling your bass to, and instead made it personal. Those comments weren’t at all about you.
    Marihino, Beej, Ikkir and 13 others like this.
  10. I doubt anyone is attacking you personally but they don’t know how well the work has been done regardless of how many times you say it’s done well. (Again, not an attack, just making a point.) I typically figure that a $300 bass with $300 worth of modifications is worth.... $300. That goes for buying or selling on my part, and any mods I have done won’t have to be redone either but I don’t expect you to know that or buy into it.
    Ikkir, Pilgrim, jd56hawk and 2 others like this.
  11. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    Why not just part it out? Depending on the make/model of the bass and all the extra parts, you may come out ahead.
    Arnel M., Beej, wncBass and 5 others like this.
  12. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Post multiple prices:
    Price with original pickups back in,
    Price with upgrades,
    Price for just the pickups.

    I’m looking at trading a bass for a guitar and offered the guy choice of necks and choice of pickups. All good choices and we’ll see if he likes any of them.
  13. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    I want to +1 everything said already, but having worked retail selling guitars, 99% of buyers look at mods as being equal to paint dings. Lace Sensors and Hipshot ultralights in a zero -scratch -ding -swirl -dust -fingerprint MIM P... not $599, not $699- they want $450 for the bass + case, spare stringset, picks, cloth, snark tuner, Fender snowboard hat, free lessons for a year, keys to the store...

    I did have a -completely- modded Korean pointy guitar sell for double what it'd have likely sold for mint only because it found its right buyer- but that took five months. Also, if all of those mods were commissioned on a fresh guitar at the shop it would've either doubled the selling price or made the whole sale a loss.

    Part it out. Even a bone-stock Affinity Squier is worth more as parts than complete.
    Arnel M., Beej, Pilgrim and 2 others like this.
  14. gln1955


    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Even if someone likes the mods you did, they aren't likely to pay more for it. It's just a selling point for that bass over the same bass in stock condition.
    Arnel M. and Pilgrim like this.
  15. electracoyote

    electracoyote Supporting Member

    How badly do you need the money, and how much time and patience are you willing to invest in the sale?

    When I'm in this situation, I boil it down to two choices:

    List it at a very fair price, be willing to accept the best offer, and let the market dictate the price for the whole kit and kaboodle. One transaction, one shipment, done.


    Part it out and see if the aggregate of what you make on parts gets you a better return on your investment. Unfortunately, that option involves a bigger time commitment and more patience, selling, and shipping.

    I almost always take Choice 1. Yes, I take a bit of a bath, but my time is more valuable and offsets any return on my actual investment I could hope for.

    It's a pretty common scenario with custom/modified basses. Good luck with the sale(s).
    Arnel M. likes this.
  16. Seems like a lot of angst over a real non-issue. Post it for what you think you can get. If it sells great, if not reevaluate your ad.
    Stumbo, Arnel M., the_home and 5 others like this.
  17. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
  18. Ask yourself this: "If mods increased the value of a bass, why are all of the original/stock specimens going for the highest prices?" Even a beat up stock '60's Fender is going to be worth at least double, maybe triple the value of its modified twin, regardless of what the mods are. I know it's a tough pill to swallow, especially if you do meticulous work and use the finest parts available. The truth is the potential buyers have no way of knowing that until they see the instrument first hand, even then the possibility of returning it to its original condition is more work, time and money. Reversible mods aren't as costly but still turn off a lot of buyers.
  19. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I really overthink modded basses. I wonder what was wrong with them in the 1st place to warrant a change. Then I wonder what’s wrong with it now that the mods were done. I usually rule the bass out completely once I see it was modded.
    But, a bada$$ bridge & dimarzio on a p-bass is just fine. Single coils in place of humbuckers on a Sadowsky Metro is just fine IMO.
    All these preamp swaps are a turn-off for me.
    MattZilla likes this.
  20. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    The only mod that won't hurt the value is one that can be reversed.
    deste likes this.
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