trading 4 string basses for 5 string basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassmangreg, Jun 21, 2001.

  1. I have 3 U.S.A made Fender Precisions that are in excellent
    condition that I plan to trade for a Roscoe Beck Signature 5
    some way or another and also 2 U.S.A Precisions and a 1987
    Musicman Stingray (fretless) that I would trade for either a
    Gl 2500 or a Musicman Stingray 5. Shall I make an offer like
    that or try to sell the six basses separately ? The years of the
    basses are 1970, 1975, 1978, 1978 and 1995.
  2. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well, as a general rule, I don't like to trade basses at all. But, I did once, and I got burned, at least over the price given to me on the one I was selling. Since I hate the idea of "taking a bath" on trading stuff in, I'd recommend that you sell the instruments outright, take the proceeds, and apply THAT towards your Roscoe Beck.

    The downside, of course, is that it's generally a longer process to sell the instruments on your own. So, you'll have to decide if the timing is more important than the money aspect of it.

    That in mind, I'd also suggest to you that the more instruments you trade in towards the purchase of a single instrument, the more instruments you'll end up "taking a bath" on. In the long run, any store you deal with is probably going to want some kind of actual money, which you'll pay in any event.

    The bottom line is, I wouldn't trade at all. But, if your set on doing so, I'd try to trade as few instruments and use as much cold-hard cash as possible.
  3. I'd have to agree with RAM on this as well. Like he points out, the more basses you "trade" the more you are leaving yourself open to get burned.

    Good points RAM!
  4. A good way to buy stuff would be in a part exchange scheme with a store.

    This is how it would work - you walk into a store(preferably a small one that has the ability to order in - you don't get burned on trade in price as much as Sh!tar Centre or someplace).

    Ask how much they can get your desired bass for from their supplier. Then, ask whether they have a part exchange scheme. More often than not they will. Then ask whether they accept 100% trades. If so, trade however many basses you want for your wanted bass.

    In your case, I'd trade 2 of the precisions against the Roscoe, and another 2 Precisions against the G&L. If you wanted the Musicman instead of the G&L, trade a Precision and the Fretless MM.

    BUT, a 1970 or 1975 P-Bass is gonna be getting a lot of money from a collector. Therefore, if ou are ready to get rid of these basses, trade in your newer USA's and the MM for your Roscoe and your G&L/MM V, and then straight out sell the 70 and 75 P's to a private buyer. This $3000 or so will be great for a new rig to play your two new basses through!

    This way you will end up trading 4 basses for 2, and selling the other 2. Me, I'd keep the 1970 P for a few more years(2005 will be it's 25th Birthday;))

    P.S. A great place to sell basses is at


  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    While I am the first to stand up and say that ebay is a total PIA, it is really my salvation as far as saving me from the grips of dealers. Getting fair market value for your used instrument and then making a cash deal for the one you want is ALWAYS better than trying to trade. Even if you have to make a trip to the UPS hub and pay a few bucks in commissions.

    Also, you then have the option of buying used from an individual. That aways saves you money. I worked in a private owned, mom and pop music store for a while in college. Unless you were trading something we wanted and otherwise couldn't get, our rule was to get the cost of what the customer wanted in cash. Then whatever we sold the trade-in for was profit. IF you wanted our $800 guitar and it costs us $400, will give you $400 for your bass at most, without regard to what we might sell it for.

    Trading is always a bad idea.

  6. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Bummer deal! I just sold my Roscoe Beck 5 to a dealer. I didn't give it away but didn't get what it was worth either. I'm on a quest to get a Sadowsky so the RB5 had to go.

    I agree that the trade thing just doesn't work. It seems the more that you take to a trade the less that you get out of it. People seem to prey on people that are or appear desperate. Don't fall into their trap.

    I've currently got my Pedulla on Ebay and it seems to be doing well even though I'm probably not going to get what it's worth. It's kinda fun so far. It's something that you might want to look into.

    That '70 P bass should bring in about what a used RB5 is going for if your bass is straight and not too beat.

    Good luck on your quest.
  7. Thanks so much for your information, I think that now I
    can make my decision and that would be to hold on to
    these basses for a while. Although I would really love
    to be an owner of a decent five string. Maybe I will go
    out and get a 5 string Squire and see how much a difference
    my playing would be before I make any desperate moves.
    Also I think that maybe selling them and re-investing is
    also a very likely option but I will wait a few months to
    make that decision unless someone makes an offer that
    I couldn't refuse. I am very satisfied with the rigs that
    I use, click on my profile and you will see a list. Thanks
  8. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I'm sure you could raise th emoney to buy the Roscoe Beck by selling two of your Fenders.

    I suggest you post them in our Classifieds. Hey, it's free and we get a chance to buy your stuff.
  9. NightVampZ


    Jun 22, 2001
    Even though I have no experience at this whole selling/trading thing, I would sell them each individually because then, you have a better chance of getting the price that YOU want to get for them... So then, afterwards, you can shop around for the new one that you want.

  10. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Funny...I never thought of economics as predatory.;)
  11. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I never really looked at it as preying on people. I understand exactly where the store is coming from. While it was usually uncomfortable to offer someone a great deal less for an instrument than it is worth. I understand.

    As a store owner, you can't expect anyone that comes in as a buyer to pay you more than something is worth, and you can't make money if you are paying actual value for your stock. The whole point is to sell stuff for more than you paid for it!!!

    In the town where I grew up, there was a music store that didn't take trades. If you had something to "trade," he took it in on consignment. Priced it whatever you wanted to price it. If it sold, he'd give you 100 percent of the price you got towards anything in the store, or give you 85 percent in cash. I always thought that was a decent way to do business. For him to, he kept a bunch of nice used stock and had no overhead. More stores should consider that model. He would even let you secure the instrument that you wanted with a 90 day layaway.

  12. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    That is a very nice way of doing business, indeed! But, you can't expect people to go in to business to give their stuff away, can you? They have to make a profit, otherwise they couldn't afford the inventory or overhead. It does cost money to run a business.;)

    If a business owner doesn't make money, they can't afford their inventory. If they can't afford their inventory, they can't help you get gear. If they can't help you get gear, then you have to get the gear...and have experiences like Gabu did recently with
  13. Jazzbassman23


    Apr 20, 2000
    EBAY eBay ebay, however you want to spell it, use it. It's painless from the seller's standpoint. A quick check of the past two weeks revealed that a 1974 P/bass sold for $910, a couple of 76's for $775 and other late 70's models for between $430-$610. It wouldn't surprise me if you could get over a grand for your 70. And this in a buyer's market. Keep the nicest P/bass and sell the rest.
  14. Scott Cutrer

    Scott Cutrer Guest

    Aug 21, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    I have way too much experience in trading and selling basses. Since the internet, my life has been soooo much better. I will not trade a bass in on a new bass at a store. There is no way arround it, you will get ripped. The store has to make a profit on the deal and they are not allways very honest about how they go about it. But I have traded many times over the net via many different bass classified pages and have yet to get ripped and usually come out even or ahead. I dont do bass plus cash deals, just straight trades and have been very happy and met some great folks in the process. Even traded twice with some people. Just be careful and ask for references ect.