Upgrades = More Resale Value?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MonkeyWrench32, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. Now that I have an MTD Kingston 5 on the way from Access-Bass.com (thanks Adrian! :D) I am thinking about selling my Washburn XB105. If I were to put a Badass V, Bill Lawrence P-46 and new wiring/pots/shielding/etc. would I make more money off of the bass versus selling it stock? I've had the XB105 for a few months and there are a few minor dings on it, along with pretty new Blue Steel strings.

    Any ideas?
  2. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Bad idea; don't waste your money.
  3. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    you would make a little bit more money off of it than stock, but the upgrades would cost a ton more than how much more you would make off of the bass. So overall, you wouldn't make as much money.
  4. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    nope, definitely not worth it.

    for a related example, check out Acura Integra's on ebay - you'll see plenty go for $3000 that have $10000 worth of modifications into them.
  5. Not the answer that I wanted to hear, but thanks. :)
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    The important thing is, at least IME it's the correct answer. Think of it this way... is it worth $300 in mods to make an extra $100 over the regular price of the bass? You'd lose $200.
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Tacking on to the other good advice here, you might think of it this way;

    Let's say you have a Kia Rio (about the cheapest sedan you can find). You put in a walnut dash and leather seats.

    When you go to trade it in for another car, it will still be valued like a Kia Rio.

    A polished turd is just a shiny turd.
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The only way a bass is worth upgrading is if you plan on keeping it forever.
  9. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    In some cases, an upgrade is a detriment to the resale value. Think "vintage" Fenders, Gibsons, etc.

    Don't modify a bass because you think it might be worth more - mod it because you want it that way. And save the original parts, so you can replace them when you sell it!
  10. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    The only exception I can think of to the rule is a Carvin with good pickups (Bartolini, EMG, SD) and corresponding preamp installed. I think that's got a pretty good chance.

    Then again, still wouldn't add more to the resale price than the upgrades themselves cost. :(
  11. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    i'll fall in line here and agree.

    i fell into the MIM Jazz upgrade trap a couple of years ago.

    STILL kicking myself.

  12. Amen to that.

    I just put $291.00 into a Yamaha that anyone can buy for $400.00 brand new. The mods were well worth it to me, because now the bass is over the top. I know (from past experience) that most mods mean nothing to someone else; but they do make out on the deal. Also, Chucko58's advice is very good.

    So, don't count on making money on mods you do to your bass, and don't expect to get a good price selling a bass to a dealer or store, sell it privately.

    Mike J.
  13. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Of course, if you're like me and you're a pack rat, you're not likely to get rid of any of your basses.

    I'm currently having work done to that 5-string Copley I bought off of eBay a while back. I'm having Basslines MM pickups and an SD preamp with slapswitch installed and I'm having the nut ground down a bit (because it badly needs it - the strings sit too high), the neck adjusted and a couple of frets re-seated.

    Why am I doing all of this? Because, as I said, I'm not likely to sell it and, as such, I may as well make the most out of it. The construction of the bass is such that the woods are really nice and I think that, with the modifications I'm having done, it will wind up playing and sounding really nice. It's my project bass anyway (I only paid $350.00 for it).

    So, if you like the bass and you like it's construction but would like to have some improvements made to it, by all means - do it!
  14. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    My experience has been that adding upgrades to used instruments may make the difference as to whether someone purchases your bass or someones else's, but you rarely get more money for the instrument. It just swings the sale. Bottom line: If you're selling it, and it ain't broken, don't fix it!:D
  15. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Right now, at the music store that I always go to, there is a used MIM Fender J for sale. It has upgraded tuners (Hipshots), Basslines pups, a Badass bridge, Dunlop straplocks, and an aftermarket pickguard on it. It looks and sounds/plays killer. It is selling for $75 more than a regular used MIM Jazz in the same condition that is sitting right next to it.

    Not worth upgrading unless you are keeping.
  16. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    My advice: only upgrade if you have no intention of selling.
  17. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    One thing that will make it sell for more is a good setup.

    When someone tries the bass and feels how nicely it plays, they will pay more.

    Of course if you can do a good job with the setup yourself, then its even better.

  18. haplo07

    haplo07 Guest

    Apr 13, 2002
    Tinley Park, IL
    i'm not 100% sure on this, so please don't bite my head of ppl. a while back when i was just started playing guitar i was using blue steels on my axe. when i was in the local musical music store i was taking lessons and i asked for a set. the co-owner (it was owned by two partners) said that they don't have an and will know longer carry them in their store. when i asked why they said that the extreame heating then cyrogenic levels of freezing they put them under made the strings have a brilliant sound, but at the same time gave them such hardness that they actually damage the fretbboard. i said "But, they sound so good.", and he said "Well they should for the fret job it will cost you over heavy use in a 6 months to a year."

    i know this should go in the string thread, but when you mentioned blue steels.. if i am wrong man, then i am wrong. it's just something i have heard. i would never slam DM as a company. i love their strings and still use them, but those blue steels i have stayed away from ever since i heard that.

    i won't mention the shop, so don't ask. i won't slam anyone if i can help it. i don't even like saying this about a DM product. however, if there is truth in it, and if i can save someone a fret job...
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I guess it all depends on what "heavy use" is. I play with a light touch. Blue Steels came on my used Brubaker 5 and after 4 months of gigging with the same strings I was floored at the fact that they still sounded great on this bass.

    No wear that I can see... at all.