Trading basses

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Matthew West, Aug 8, 2001.

  1. Matthew West

    Matthew West Guest

    Sep 7, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    Quick question:

    I've been trading emails with a guy in Michigan about trading my Fender Jazz for his G&L. Everything's been going fine so far, but I have one concern.

    He wants me to ship the Jazz to him first, then he'll send the G&L after the Jazz arrives. He claims this is because he only owns one bass, and can't be without one for several days.

    He keeps telling me he's on the level and so forth, but I'm not completely comfortable with the idea of trading sight unseen with a guy I don't know. Also, he doesn't have any pictures he can send, so I'm not completely sure of what the bass looks like.

    Has anyone here done this before? Any thoughts, comments or ideas? I realize that I may be overly paranoid, and I know most bass players are on the level. He has an ad posted on, and he's given me his home phone number, so it's not like it seems that he's out to do any shady dealings.
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I think you're getting into some risky business. Think about it: You're trading something you have for something you haven't seen from someone you don't know.

    I don't think you're being paranoid at all. Have you called the number and talked to this guy?

    Ultimately, you have to decide what you want to do. I do a bit of buying and selling online, but never anything like this. In your position, I'd try to sell the Jazz through the Classifieds on TalkBass (Give your fellow members a chance to buy your bass!:)) or through eBay and then I'd go out and get a G&L, but that's just me.
  3. Matthew West

    Matthew West Guest

    Sep 7, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    It's been posted in the classifieds here for several weeks. I'm not actually looking for a G&L. I really want the money to buy a Vespa scooter, but I thought I might take the guy up on his offer. I've been trying to avoid ebay like the plague, but I may have to resort to it.
  4. fisk

    fisk Guest

    Jan 3, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    DONT DO IT. No way in the world would I send my bass to someone I dont know. Especially since you havn't seen his bass, or know if he even has one (or is even a bass player).

    Do what you want, but there are a million scams a day done on the net. I wouldnt take the chance. But thats just me.

  5. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    I've traded with someone I met through TB. We agreed on the deal and each shipped the basses pretty much simultaneously. However the individual was a fairly long-term TBer and we talked (for quite a while) on the phone before completing the deal. We didn't have the issue of one of us wanting to have the other bass arrive first.

    You could look into the various escrow services. You could do it as two separate sales transactions. Like he sends you some money via the escrow service and you ship him the jazz. Once he releases the payment you send the payment back to him via the escrow. Then when the G&L arrives you release the money back to him. It would cost a few dollars for the service but would provide a lot more peace of mind.

    I wouldn't be afraid of ebay as a seller at all. I've sold a bunch of things and really as the seller you are in control. I specify prepayment, buyer pays shipping and put in the auction description what kind of guarantee I provide (i.e. the only guarantees I provide are no DOA on electronics, really). I've also bought a number of things and only once did I feel the item didn't quite live up to the description. I've grown tired of buying instruments via ebay because you don't get to try them first and if you do return something (many ebay sellers are commercial vendors and have an approval period) you end up eating the shipping both ways.
  6. Matthew West

    Matthew West Guest

    Sep 7, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    Oh, I'm not afraid of ebay. I've sold many a thing there. I just hate the fees.

    This is just more trouble than it's worth. I told the guy that he can buy it if he wants, but that I'm not really interested in trading.

    Thanks for the help.