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The Used market and Price Issues

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by powmetalbassist, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    Alright so Over the past 5 or 10 years I've noticed the new to used value of instruments go up, particularily since the recession hit (2008). Anyway what I'm refering to is that if said piece of gear goes for $500 it would have sold for about 50% value used. I understand that it depends on the product, but I'm talking about your standard run of the mill "generic gear". Anyway In the last few years I've seen the following trends when dealing with people on Kijiji, Craigslist, Ebay, or the plethora of forums available to musicians

    1. Over stating value to get true value, but not budging on the overstated value. I have used this tactic before but in a more reasonable manner. What the above means is if I want 50% of retail value I ask for 60-75% and am willing to take OBO. This way I avoid lowballers. What I've noticed is people offering 70% value....Firm. Your Mexican made Bass may have sold for $400 in the store but now that you took it out of the store it is worth $200 (50%), but they ask for $300 firm. Same with medium-high end gear.

    2. When calculating 50% adding taxes then cutting the price in half. This is BS. So someone buys a product for $400 and in Canada we have a 14% tax which adds roughly $60 to the product. So they mark it down to 50% of $460 = $230. Why should I be paying taxes for something used, to someone who is not a representative of said government? The product is used, I'm probably already paying for shipping and customs if I bought the product out of country. This seems like a new dirty tactic.

    3. Half of Suggested Retail Price(SRP). This is bogus. I log onto musicians friend, or a manuafacturers website and they sometimes have SRP. In store the equipment is selling for atleast 10-20% under SRP. Said seller is selling at 50, 60, 75% of SRP. What the hell is he thinking? SRP is never the actual retail price it is a guideline. If I can buy a product new for 1000 or used for 700 (because SRP is marked at 1400 x 0.5) If the seller is not going to budge on the 700 or try to sell it for 800, I might just buy it new for 1000 and get the 6 month-2 or 3 year warranty!

    4. Value on the dollar. In Canada this is a huge problem. I have a personal experience dealing with this. Back about 5 years ago the Canadian Dollar was worth 68 cents versus the greenback (US Dollar). Our retail price on the Peavey Tour 700 was 750ish dollars. Recently when I tried to buy one used with the Canadian Dollar about equal to the greenback the Tour 700 was selling retail in stores for 575. I couldn't find a used one for under $450 and saw some as high as $600, all this was before shipping. I understand that these people aren't price gouging, and I totally understand that they bought it for 750 and want 50-60% value for it, but the value of the product has gone down considerably since you bought it. When I can buy it new for the same or less then what the people are trying to sell it used that product is not going to move as a used product till you find a sucker who hasn't done his/her research.

    5. "Out of production" or "Rare" gouging. I've seen this even before the reccession. People stating it is "Out of Production" or "Rare" and charging more for the used product then when it was new. Sure I can't find a new one, but the parts inside the product are the same or less valuable then the new stuff coming out. It is a dastardly way to gouge people who really want that sound and take advantage of their GAS. My advice on this is wait and be patient, you can usually find it somewhere else. Either it's a marketing ploy (not really that rare) or someone else may have a similar Rare product at some other time down the line.

    I understand everyone is trying to get the most for their used gear, but as a musician would you really want to pay "extra" for your new piece of used gear. I don't mind paying a little extra on some used gear if I really want it, but these people seem to be popping up more and more and it infuriates me that in a economy such as this that musicians would turn into the fat cats of wallstreet.

    Just wondering what other peoples thoughts on this were or other trends you've noticed on the used market.
  2. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    Well, one way to avoid overpaying for a specific piece of used gear is to not buy it.

    I guess I just don't see reality in your rant, IMO it's pointless; the used gear market is buyer driven.
    I think you are confusing "value" with "asking price". While they could conceivably be one and the same, they are two entirely different concepts. You mention all these wild theoretical scenarios but seemingly fail to recognize the fact that regardless of what "trends", "tactics", formula or psychology the seller uses to calculate the price they can't make you buy something.
  3. Foamy


    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    I hope you didn't lose toooo much sleep on this.
    Good points, yes, but like edbass says....
  4. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    Nah, not losing sleep over it, just trends I've noticed. may have sounded like a rant, but it wasn't intended. tried to convey a less "ranty?" tone in the final sentence of the post.
  5. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    The only price issue on the U.S. side of the border seems to be sky-high asking prices by individuals.

    Note to sellers: average 'dinged' instrument-priced at 75% of the current street price, or used for 6-12 months bass just aren't worth sky-high prices to the rest of us. (This also goes for above-average 'used' basses priced very close to 'new' street prices.)
    Take your losses, and get over it-sellers.

    Between sellers that have no concept of a 'new' bass losing value when it leaves the store, or those making lame attempts to take advantage of buyers-by listing them at unfair starting prices, it definitely makes for some fun (and LOL moments) when reading classifieds.
  6. I've noticed really good prices if you sit on stuff. I always ask more than I expect just in case someone has to have it. Like if I got something to sell that cost $1000 I'll ask 650. But i don't expect much more than 500 if I can even get that. I've picked up some great deals about 40% of the new price that are in awesome condition. Some of it better than the gear GC puts out on display. It's def a buyers market but people always GAS for gear and will pay more than they should. My .02 cents
  7. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    I've noticed the same thing ,gear prices on kijiji can't play with used prices on TB.

    But maybe it's just our area plus the much more saturated american market which makes them incomparable since we're
    a polite little farm town in comparison.
  8. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    Maybe I'm missing something, but exactly how are high asking prices an "issue"?
    Do you or someone you know have a disorder that compels them to arbitrarily buy things at "asking price" regardless of how much the seller is asking?

    Seriously, I'm curious about the thought process involved in this "asking price" concern; how does an asking price have any effect whatsoever on anything unless some BUYS the item for that price?

    If someone lists a bass like mine for $1500, will someone feel compelled to pay $1500 for mine? :confused: Should I raise my "asking price"? :D
  9. It seems that I've had the opposite experience. I've been buying MIM Fenders for about $200 with cases.
  10. T Bassman

    T Bassman Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Its a free market, and buyer beware.

    If the consumer can't be bothered to exercise their due diligence and research pricing (especially during a recession, when cash is supposed to be tight) tough for them. In this day and age of access to information regarding variable pricing in multiple markets through the internet.... well you get the picture. Even just checking completed listings on Ebay can shed light on a snapshot of market value of a given product for the un savvy.

    What I am tired of is self proclaimed 'Guardians of Craigslist/Kijiji', who are always calling people out for their asking prices. Bunch of nonsense IMHO. If I own and wish to sell, the market I sell in will dictate the value of said product. If you don't like the price, move on until you find said item at a lesser price. Guess thats why we have access to shipping and international sales? Theres just no need for people to take commerce personally. Its not about your feelings. Just da' loot.
  11. Epidrake


    May 24, 2011
    Definitely have to be careful checking prices on used vs new lately. There are so many deals on new equipment nowadays if you are diligent. Used prices are definitely higher than they used to be. The OP was saying that the sellers don't want to budge on their asking prices.

    Fleegetastic! WHERE are you finding MIM Fenders with cases for $200???
  12. T Bassman

    T Bassman Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Im aware thats what the OP was saying. Hence my point.
  13. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Edbass, by the time I'd spent my first few years in the financial business world, I'd grown tired of unscrupulous business practices, and among those, what I called overly greedy sellers-in terms of knowingly, and grossly overpricing items for sale. Let's just say that when the average 'like' item sells 20-25% or more (approx.) below the asking price of a higher item in the same market (or store), it smells like you know what.

    Sure it's legal, but it still stinks.

    If you prefer to look at this from the standpoint of maximizing profits, or 'make them pay' whatever you can get out of buyers, we'll can agree to disagree.
  14. Overpriced gear does not sell. And it's dirt easy to check prices via Internet searches, even using your smart phone.
  15. T Bassman

    T Bassman Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2010
  16. Yep. Especially here where the GFC impact has been minimal and interest rates are falling!

    I've been trying to move my Tony Franklin Fretless for a couple weeks now. All Ive gotten is tyrekickers complaining about the price or people wanting to play it/hear it with no intention of buying it. The market looks to bare about a grand for an instrument I paid 3G for a couple years ago.

    Its in near new condition, hardly played, plastic still on pickguard, cased its whole life. If thats worth a grand, the market can shove it - I'll keep it and starve instead :)
  17. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    There have been a couple of times when I've seen someone post a guitar or something for $150, and a quick google search shows that GC or wherever is selling the same thing used for $100. Brings their price down to $90 pretty quick.

    You do see a lot of crazy asking prices, sometimes an uninformed seller, sometimes a conman trying to rip off uninformed buyers. But that's just caveat emptor.

    I think it's got to be hard on people trying to sell premium instruments - your Sadowskys and Foderas etc. The pool of potential buyers ready to drop a couple grand is pretty small in the current economy, and if you're going to spend that kind of money you want it to be perfect, so people will be picky. You just have to wait that much longer until the right buyer materializes.
  18. I've bought a MIM J and a MIM P both with cases in the last 6 months. The J from a guy who needed money and the P from a guitar store but I showed interest and then waited 3 months to buy it and told the owner that I wasn't really interested if I had to pay more than $200.

    I've got my eye on another MIM P right now too. I don't really need it but the price is right.
  19. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    You are “in the financial business world” and don’t realize that an asking price on used goods has no bearing on an item’s fair market ACV? I think you are missing the point entirely.

    The used market regulates itself; if an asking price is too high in your opinion, DON’T BUY THE ITEM.
  20. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    Look at Guitar Centers used site and look up a specific bass. You will find the same exact condition basses with a variance of up to 30% of price? Why? Location, Location, Location, or they gave someone nothing or too much for the bass in trade.

    Peavey T-40's were $100 pawn shop basses 10 years ago, now for some reason the are going for 350ish. Sterling RAY34 basses are 700ish new and I have seen them used for $299 some places. Wal basses could be had in the 90's for $600 used. Now they are thousands.

    The used market is all about supply and demand. Mostly perception. You can't put a solid value on perception.

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