Top 11 Reasons I (Mostly) Buy Only Used Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tampabass, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    (a tip o' the hat to Joe Nerve)
    1. I don't care about nicks, dents and scratches - so I have no fear of them.
    2. Price. I shop wisely.
    3. I'm not scared of having other people's gunk on my equipment. Nobody gets out of here alive, or gunk free.
    4. I don't mind having an instrument that's already broken in.
    5. I NEED to be able to get rid of basses with no hassle, if necessary, so I never buy at over-inflated prices.
    6. I'm not hung up on having a warranty; most are "limited" anyway.
    7. The smell of new does nothing for me.
    8. Peeling plastic off of pickguards and pickups holds no special thrill.
    9. I don't mind waiting a little while to get what I want, in the color I want, with the fingerboard I want (maple, if you wanna know).
    10. I always buy at a price that enables me to resell and either make money, break even, or at the very worst take a $50 hit. It's a great way to "try" basses without making a $$$$ commitment that I might later regret.
    11. I don't care if my "used" stance bugs anyone.

    Double overtime bonus
    12. It seems silly to pay the "new" price for something that will depreciate in value the minute it leaves the store (yes, there ARE exceptions, but not as many as you'd think).
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
  2. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    Right there with you.

    I've owned two new basses my entire life and the last one I bought new was 1986, still have it.
    EatS1stBassist and Sav'nBass like this.
  3. el jeffe bass

    el jeffe bass

    Nov 22, 2013
    New Mexico
    If you purchase the right bass, take good care of it and keep it for a while, it will probably be worth (eventually) at least as much as you paid. Both my Fender P-bass and my Rolex YM are worth more now than originally paid. But it's much easier to do if you buy used
  4. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    I think I've owned only one new bass my entire life, the one my parents got for me -- Fender Telecaster -- when I first started playing bass, at age 13, in 1974 (yep, I'm in the 50-plus gang). Sold that one a long time ago, unfortunately. But it wasn't a great player -- boomy, heavy.
    Amps, however, are a different story -- have bought several new.
  5. Warhawk

    Warhawk Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2003
    South of Heaven, Ohio
    I've gotten most of mine used and don't regret buying any of them.
    Sixgunn, Spidey2112 and Tampabass like this.
  6. I buy used because I'm cheap.
  7. derg

    derg Supporting Member

    May 26, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Even my "new" bass was a factory second!
    Warhawk, EatS1stBassist and Tampabass like this.
  8. Opinions being opinions, of course:

    I personally never buy a bass with the intention of selling it. I’ve slowly built up a small but respectable stable of instruments and I don’t buy things that I might turn around and sell; I never have, really. It’s a personality thing I guess. I see guys on here buying/selling basses on a monthly basis. No judgment, just not my style. So I have no issue buying new, especially if something plays really well.

    Of course I’d end up losing out on some of my initial investment if I ever had to sell due to an emergency etc. but I guess it’s a chance I’ve comfortable taking. By the time I’d have to sell, the “lost” money was well worth the amount of time enjoyed per dollar.

    Let’s say I played a bass for 5 years and had to sell it for $500 less than I got it for. That $100/year was well worth the enjoyment I got out of it.

    Again, opinions are opinions. Some people would never hold on to a single Bass for 5 years. You know who you are! :roflmao:
  9. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    The last bass I bought had issues with the preamp that the previous owner didn't want to deal with. So I was able to purchase it at a discount and have a local tech get the preamp back to factory specs, plus add a preamp bypass switch. Now it sounds fantastic and it cost me less than my near-new fretted bass (also purchased used). TB Classifieds continues to do me right.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  10. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    I've owned 30-40 basses throughout my career, all used except one that I bought new.
    My first bass. A fire engine red Japanese monstrosity of a bass From Radio Shack that had a pickguard covering almost the entire body. That was 1969 and it took me months of saving to finally get the $47.50 to buy it.
  11. Sav'nBass


    Jan 18, 2009
    Virginia Beach
    I have owned 19 basses.. I still own 6 of them.. Out of those basses 3 if I remember correctly were new. I buy used for all the reaso s listed by the OP.
    Tampabass likes this.
  12. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I like your entire list, but just want to add that I think buying a used bass with "nicks, dents and scratches" isn't just unimportant but actually a bonus -- because it totally eliminates the anxiety about putting the first ding in it myself.
    EagleMoon, Sav'nBass, Warhawk and 4 others like this.
  13. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    Okay, I'll bite.

    Rolex made a bass? :wideyed:

    Was it a Precision? :D
    Warhawk, Sixgunn, Tampabass and 3 others like this.
  14. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    Of the many, many basses & guitars I've owned over the years, IIRC, only a handful were new.

    Search the market, and you can pick up a perfectly good instrument, with very little wear for a lot less than it would cost to purchase a similar style/type model new.

    It makes sense financially, you can buy a higher spec version for a similar price to a new, but lower spec version. It's also recycling, so you're not requiring new raw materials to be acquired and then processed. The downside is that you're not paying to keep the factories open, but instead, you are spending money in your local economy by keeping local businesses afloat.
  15. There's a fine line between cheap and thrifty.

    Let's call us thrifty... :thumbsup:
    Warhawk, Sixgunn, 4sight and 3 others like this.
  16. pudge


    Sep 13, 2008
    Whatever you can get a deal on,new or used.
  17. Manticore


    Feb 27, 2016
    SoCal and PNW
    Numbers 6, 10 and 12 are a curiosity. I've never understood buying an instrument based on price, either today's or at some future point. It is a tool meant for use; value is created by utility, not price. A good instrument is valuable, and will tend to hold it's price or appreciate. I bought my first Alembic new in '92. As a veteran of thousands of gigs, it has evidence of wear, yet if I were to sell it (I won't) I would be able to get a far higher price today than what I paid for it. That said,the real value is in 26 years of use.
    And no, it doesn't much matter if anyone agrees with me.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  18. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I'm all about the deal, new or used... sometimes, it's hard to get 'thrifty' to work alongside 'OCD'...
  19. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Ah, a rebuttal for Joe Nerve.
    I buy used because of the price and the fact that the market is full
    of good used gear for a great price.
    I bought 2 high end basses used, one site unseen.
    It was the only way I could afford them.
  20. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    I've owned probably 50 basses and I think four were new. Two were from a music store (pre-internet, 1981ish), one was a Fodera Emperor fretless V that I looked for two years used and couldn't find one, and the last was a Lakland that I bought used, was damaged in shipping, returned it and found a new one online on sale for only $100 more. I've bought basses used from buddies, from music stores, I've answered classified ads in the newspaper, Craigslist, eBay, Talkbass classifieds, Reverb, and some other sites. I buy used for all the reasons listed above, but mainly price.

    I'm hovering right around 20 now, with a couple for sale and my eye on another one or two.
    Warhawk, EatS1stBassist and Tampabass like this.

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