Used Elrick market values

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jacochops, May 17, 2003.

  1. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Suzhou, China
    What is your opinions on why some excellent basses such as Elricks have such a soft resale value? I know many of you out there have them (some of you have MINE:D ) and can attest to their superior playability and tone. I've had Rob make 4 for me over the years, and they were all superior instruments (I sold them all but one, as I play exclusively 4s now). There are other examples (F Bass, Roscoe, etc) which are popular, excellently built and playing instruments as well that suffer from the same issue. I can understand that happening with a new luthier or one which is not as "high profile", but...Elrick???:confused:
    Opinions, please.
  2. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Suzhou, China
    I definitely am not looking to sell the bass, but it's just an observation that people will pay out the kazoo for one high end used bass, while another which plays and sounds as good does not enjoy the same resale value. Don't they have the same target market?
    Gotta love free will;)
    You're in Conn., huh? I went to UMass back when they would (note: past tense:D )spank UConn in college hoops! Those days are long gone!!
  3. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I'd add the soft economy to Josh's statements.
  4. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I've wondered the same thing about Elrick's. Mine is absolutely my favorite bass. IMO, the best bass I've ever played. Maybe not enough people have actually played U.S. Elricks?
  5. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I defintley think the economy has something to do with it right now, but for whatever reason, Elricks seem to be one of the worst at resale. I think they're going to be worse too now that the new Cort/Elrick's that are coming out. This is just a guess, but I think one of the problems may have to do with the fact that you don't see many shops on the West Coast picking up his line of basses. For the most part, it's an East Coast thing, so I think the distribution has an effect here. You don't see Smith basses with the same problem, and I think it is because more people have had a chance to play them and realize how great they are. I'd love to try an Elrick. I hear nothing but good things about them. Especially now with the prices being down, I might put the money out and try one out.
  6. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Suzhou, China
    Hey Thumper,
    That Elrick in your avatar used to be mine!! I ordered that from him back in 99 (I think), and those are the 1st Aero 5 string J soaps made. I had Larry make me several sets, as well as develop a couple of his current models for me (both the Elrick J pickup under a soapbar cover, 4 and 5 strings.)
    Enjoy that bass....mwah factor X10, and the 1st production singlecut made by Elrick!
  7. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I really haven't seen that to be the case. I mean, I know there's a 5-string Elrick, natural ash body, bolt-on neck priced at Bass Palace for $1,600. And, that's not a used bass.

    I know Elricks can go for quite a bit more than that, but when you consider they start for that low, for some of the best basses on the market, I might add, used pricing can get really low.
  8. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I'm not sure I buy your argument on this. There are a number of top end builders that produce a lower priced line, but that doesn't completely lower the resale of the entire line. I'll use Smith basses as an example again. He has a number of lower priced basses like the M and J bolt-on models. These are great basses as well, but it doesn't take away from the resale of the BSR/CRV Pro or Elite lines. The same holds true with Alembic.
    I guess what it all really boils down to it is supply and demand as someone else mentioned. There really isn't a strong demand for the basses. I don't know why that is because I hear nothing but great things about them. You'd think that more people would be interested in trying them. Again, I believe if more shops carried the line, maybe more people would buy them.
  9. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I think Alembic is a prime example of their basses selling for a fraction of their new counterparts. When I come across Series I and Series II Alembics, they're usually 1/4 of their new price. I've seen similar issues with Spector. My Spector, brand new today, would LIST for $5,899 (without case). However, identical basses are selling for significantly less: around $1,700. I've seen used Roscoes for close to that! In fact, Bass NW has a used fretless Roscoe at only $100 less, and they retail for $2,600 less!!!

    I really haven't seen Elricks used prices cut any lower, percentage-wise, than these. If you can give me examples, I'm all ears.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    That's been my experience too. As far as Elricks having among the worst resale values... hardly. I think Alembic sets the benchmark for high depreciation.

    One of the key points is supply and demand, which also ties in directly to the soft economy.

    There's a very nice looking Elrick that's been on an internet classifieds site for months at $3k used. Is it worth it? Probably... but just like everythig else, worth sometimes has little bearing on whether something sells. You need demand and buyers with funds to make the purchase. Without both, no sale.

    This economy sucks, there are tons of people facing financial hardships as a result of it. That translates to a) getting rid of the toys first or b)cutting back on discretionary spending. Not exactly a recipe for high resale value on a high end product.

    Just as a reality check, what instruments do people think are perfoming well in the resale market? I know what I've seen and it might surprise some folks. I know some people seem to think that taking a $1500 hit off the price of a new bass isn't bad at resale time.
  11. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    warwick neck throughs seem to be DECENT resale wise, cos i think the demand is there. i see plenty of 'high end' basses going for less than the average neck through warwicks. (not that i don't consider them high end :smug: )
  12. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    Jacochops thanks for the history on your old singlecut Elrick. I personally don't think used Elrick prices are all that low, not any lower than Roscoes or Laklands anyway. I paid $2,000 for my Elrick and it was so worth it to me I would do it again. A bargain to find the bass of your dreams IMO. I gigged with the Fbass fretless BN5, the Elrick, and the fretted Sadowsky Standard 5 over the weekend, the Elrick won the A/B for comfort, playability, and sound.
  13. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    JC, there's not a single new bass out there (with the possible exception of the Nordstrands) that won't dump at least 20 to 50% of its premium value the moment you walk it out of the store. Unfortunately Elricks are not exempt from that reality, but I don't think they suffer any worse that other brands.
  14. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    FWIW, I concur with the other folks who say used Elrick prices aren't really any lower than any other used high-end basses out there. It looks to me like regardless of the original list price, $2k is sort of a "ceiling" above which it gets very hard to sell a high end/exotic bass unless it says "Fodera" or "Alembic" on the headstock. (Note that even those prices may be losing even more value in terms of % of the original price.) Also, like in a lot of other sorts of products, the custom "options" that can bump the price up quite a bit when you order the bass new have very little impact on what you can get for it used.

    That's been my experience, anyway.

  15. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    I think the impact of TB, ebay and bassgear should be considered. To many people, the value of a bass is the lowest average price that it sells for on ebay (or just the lowest). Also, there are so many fine instruments in the price range that are so much more visible these days in the online formats, compared to hanging on the wall in a store (that includes Elricks). I'm guessing that the impact of the Cort/Elricks will be similar to Lakland Skyline/USA. I haven't really noticed a decline in the USA models, if anything they seem to be doing pretty well.

    Some basses I buy knowing that I may take a hit if I decide to sell it. This is obvious with a new bass, but on some basses the resale market is either small or unknown, or the resale value is known to be comparatively low (as mentioned, Alembic would be a good example).

    An example, an Alembic Epic 5 is going to sell for around $800 used. If I buy one for more than that, I should be willing to consider that to be the cost of choosing that particular bass. The used bass market is pretty much market driven, but fortunately there are often individuals that are willing to pay a little more for a specific bass because of wood type, pickup/preamp than the 'ebay average' would estimate. I've been pleasantly surprised a couple of times (when a bass sold for more than I expected).

    I had a beautiful Elick that I loved (and got on a great deal) that I traded for a Benavente. One way to 'get around' the possible low resale heartburn is to work out good trade deals.
  16. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    i guess people just dont know a good value when they see it. Rob makes killer stuff, and for some strange reason, they're not nearly as hyped as other makers, which maybe a blessing and curse.

    but i love my Elrick, and just cant get enough! when i visited the Epifani's shop, Nick said my bass was one of the cooler non-Fodera's that have come across his shop in a while. he might have blowing steam up my ass, but he seemed pretty happy noodling on it thru my Kern or his Epifani preamp. :p

    just wish Rob offered other pickups besides the usual Bart's i've seen in alot of them. thinkin' about getting a set of Aero JBass 5's, and sticking an Aguilar OPB-3. now that's gonna REALLY rock.
  17. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I agree with you, that Rob Elrick makes killer stuff! Personally, I think he's in the top 5 luthiers in the world right now.

    The only reason I bought a Jerzy over an Elrick is that I was given a lot of flak by Rob's distributor about wanting Aero pickups and a mahogany body instead of Bartolini pickups and a swamp ash body.

    Ironically, my Jerzy has Barts!:p

    Since a few weeks ago, though, Bass Palace was on tour and brought a bunch of their basses through Chicago. I had the opportunity to play their natural ash 5-string Elrick. They wanted a little less than the prices listed on their website (which is $1,600). To me, that bass is worth twice that! I'm considering it...

  18. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I'm not sure why they would give anyone flak about the Aero PUPs (other than cost). I think the Aero's are what sets my Elrick apart from everything else in my stable. It has serious punch for a neck-thru, and glassy highs that rival fretted basses (I think the pink ivorywood is also a player here). The Aero's give it a throaty bark that is totally unique and I've never heard it elsewhere. As to the pre, I have no complaint with the Bart, it is very flexible and covers most spectrums. If I were to offer a minor nit, it would be the bottom end isn't as heavy as my Sadowsky, but the bottom it has is clear (and not soft at all) and popping the bass knob on my Mesa 400+ adds some serious depth.

    As I've said before, since I got the Elrick, I've purchased an Fbass BN5f, MTD 535f, Sadowsky Standard 5, and Modulus Genesis, and the Elrick is still my favorite. I guess the search is over.
  19. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    i paid around $1700 for my Elrick... Its got a swamp ash body bubingo fretboard, maple neck and its one of the best sounding/feeling basses i've ever played yet. I will probably get another Elrick one day... but I have no money... but hey.. if I can buy one used for a good price I don't mind the resale value being low...
  20. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I agree about the excellence of Elricks, in general. The one I have (Gold Standard 7, bolt-on, see below) is unbelievably light and resonant. I also paid VERY little for it. Go figure.