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Trading basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Adrian Cho, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I'm considering moving to a different bass and currently have my bass up for private sale. I'm finding in my location especially that there are very few buyers. I've been thinking about trading the bass in at a shop (one of the larger shops in the US) where I would buy my new bass but I'm concerned what kind of a "deal" I might get. In general I would expect that any shop is not going to offer me a very good price on my bass. I only have enough to trade up by a few thousand dollars and I'm not necessarily looking for something that much better but just different so it's not like I'm going to a shop to buy a far more expensive bass that the shop can make good money on. Unfortunately I don't have the cash to buy another bass without selling this one and I can't really be without a bass for any length of time either. I would be interested to hear the thoughts of others on this topic. Thanks.
  2. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    If you don't have what you'd love, love what you have... :oops:

    (for whatever it's worth) :meh:
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I don't know if DB sellers have a different philosophy, but in general trading instruments is cost negative for the trader.

    Many of the shops around here will give a good trade value if you bought the instrument you are trading in from them. In fact, one piano seller allows full paid value for a piano (assuming reasonable condition) if you trade up to a nicer piano. Otherwise, they aren't really excited about trading.

    I worked in an instrument store in college. We took a ton of heat for the trade offers we made. Ultimately, a dealer makes more off a trade than a straight sale, but there is a risk there that the dealer has to absorb.

    In your case, you are most likely not going to get a great offer on the trade because of the new bass you are seeking. The cash difference that you will pay out to the dealer will be far less than the dealer paid for the bass he sells you. So, until your bass clears the floor, he is in the red. Depending on the deal, it could be for several thousand, and depending on the bass and the traffic he sees, it could be for several weeks or months.

    The dealer is very likely to offer you a trade that will make up for his temporary loss in a big way once your bass sells in his shop.

    I would expect, BEST CASE, to loose 20-25 percent of the street value of your bass in trading. As said, I have never tried to deal with DB shop in this manner, so I am conservative in my estimate. With slabs, you can loose 40-45 percent easily trying to trade.
  4. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanks Chasarms - your comments are pretty much what I've been thinking.
  5. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    Also consider that many small dealers have mostly consigned instruments for sale, on which they cannot offer a trade (since the bass they are selling belongs to a third party, who must be paid when his/her bass sells).
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Have you considered including a note in your classifieds that you might entertain trades with other individuals?

    I have traded a couple of slabs straight up before for other EBGs of equal value.

    It seems simple enough that there is someone out there, like you, wanting something "different." Maybe you could get together play each other's basses and work out a deal. It seems the idea would at least open up a few more avenues for you.

    Good luck.

  7. Wyzird05


    Dec 1, 2003
    South Bend, IN
    I work for a discount instrument retailer and we really don't give jack for trades. When a customer is disgusted at our offer I usually recommend the local high schools, but in your case I might recommend getting in contact with local colleges to see if any of their bass students might be interested or the school itself might be interested

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