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Seeking advice on selling rare King Mortone Upright Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by RADtunez, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. RADtunez


    Aug 28, 2012

    I'm new to the forum, and whaddya know, I'm here because I'm actually selling my bass.. So basically I need your help to make sure this is my first and last post on this remarkable forum :)

    I'm in need of some advice about the market surrounding old plywood basses. Specifically I have a King Mortone, which, when it was sold to me, I was told is from the 30's. When I took it to David Gage to get it set up and get a bridge cut, I was told that it was actually a really rare piece, as it was factory manufactured to be a lefty bass (as in, the posts are swapped so the sound post is on the left), thus making it a dream for a lefty player. Otherwise, as-is the bass sounds really great, and is quite healthy minus some dings.

    So I'm curious about two things, one: what's the market like for a good King plywood from this era, and how in gods name do I market this as a rarity, which all the luthiers tell me will fetch "top dollar" from the right (lefty) buyer. Any tips on finding the right clientele? Is there a bass-buying and selling site I don't know about? Is it really possible that the silence on craigslist is a sign that 1500 is too high of a price, or am I just impatient?

    Thanks, I welcome any and all wisdom on the matter.
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Is it set up for a lefty now? If you want to market it that way you should get it set up lefty so lefty buyers can play it and the bass used as intended. Being a lefty bass, I would think it would be worth much less to a righty player, if it's is set up right handed now. The lefty market is small, so you will have to find the right buyer if you want top dollar. I'm no expert on marketing this bass, but I would think $2.5-3.5K is possible, if it doesn't need anything. Start high, you can always lower the price.
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    ...and you can list it in the Classifieds right here.
  4. Tell me the serial number and I'll let you know when it was made.

    I just sold mine, which was a 1939 right-handed model that was poorly maintained before I reworked it (OK, maybe during and after the time I reworked it...:bag:). I got $2,000.

    Considering the condition and non-professional work, the buyer and I were both happy with the price.

    Market value right now on an older King in good condition runs $3500 to $4K, though in the real world probably less because of the economy and the fact that no one seems to have cash available.

    As far as yours goes, the trick to craigslist seems to be to consistently renew and renew your ad until the right person sees it, gets interested, and hopefully buys it.

    I've seen your ad, and the lack of photos isn't helping you, so that's one improvement you could make. You could also have the Gage shop do a written assessment of the bass, which shouldn't cost too much. Just keep hustling, and it'll sell.
  5. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this bass should NOT be set up for a right handed player! You just can't reverse the strings on a double bass. I has a bass bar and sound post positioned for ONE set-up! It'd probably sound horrible if set up as a "righty."
  6. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    You are correct.
  7. You're correct but there are a few genres where uprights are prevalent and players generally don't really care too much about how a bass sounds acoustically.
  8. Post here on Talkbass and, as Kungfu said, get some good photos. Also, list the specs (scale length, size, Eb or D neck, strings installed, etc.) I'm in the market for a new bass, and I'm constantly asking sellers to provide basic information, which inserts a stage when my enthusiasm for the bass could be lost. You should list everything up front--it makes you appear more knowledgeable, reliable and serious about making a sell. Imagine seeing an ad for a used car that went like this:

    American made car
    $5,000 or best offer
    Call (555) 555-5555

    I see too many bass ads that offer about the same amount of information. Would you even bother to call this person? I never reply to used car ads that fail to list the mileage.

    Make it as easy as possible for someone to be interested. Not everyone is going to be familiar with King Mortones (they're smaller basses with Eb necks, right?), so give us all the details you can, and don't waste potential buyers' (and your own) time by neglecting to provide basic info. When someone replies to your ad, they should be saying: "I really want to come see your bass because it might be just what I'm looking for!" not asking you to measure the scale length.
  9. I just saw your reworked ad (well, I assume that it's you). Excellent job. It's a gorgeous, pre-war King and I imagine now you'll have little trouble selling it. Best of luck to you.

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