vintage basses at Guitar Center

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tightbidness, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Has anyone here visited the East Brunswick Guitar Center? They currently have two vintage Fender Jazz Basses on eBay. Both basses are custom color with matching headstocks and paddle tuners. Really beautiful. I like GC for certain things, but it makes me sad when a great vintage instrument winds up at GC. The vintage stuff is way overpriced and stays on the wall year after year.
  2. adept_inept


    Jan 9, 2006
    i know EXACTLY the basses your talking about. i live 20 minutes from e brunswick.

    and yea. it sure is sad to see all those GREAT guitars/basses gather dust because of exorbitant prices.

    o well. **** big business.

    but yea. sweet basses.

  3. fenderaholic


    May 25, 2005
    Burbank ca
    i think i saw it on ebay. is it a white jazz with a matching headstock priced at $4,500 or somthing like that ? They are realy overpriced. you could get a 50's p 100 percent original with a refinsish for that price maybe less.
  4. Yep, a white Jazz with a matching headstock, and IIRC it has had a body only refinish.
  5. alanbass1


    Feb 8, 2006
    What do you mean by 100% original with a refinish? :confused:
  6. ytsebri


    Sep 1, 2000
    Dude, a refin absolutely destroys the value of a vintage instrument. As far as GC selling overpriced stuff, I kinda disagree. I have been to tons of smaller mom and pop stores who try to rake you over the coals with that stuff. Also, you have to consider the market GC is selling vintage gear to. Collectors. By the way, I'm sick of hearing about this music store this and this music store that. The store itself is only as good as it's employees. Granted 80% of the schmucks who work at Guitar Center have no knowledge of anything, but the same could be said for any music store. I digress. Most collectors are GOING to pay X amount for these vintage instruments because they are rare. And yes, that will drive prices up every year. That's basically the law of supply and demand... I know, I know, they sit around collecting dust. That's because most pieces take a special collector looking for exactly for what he wants. And that 60's P bass at Guitar Center may be tagged at $4500, but that investment of $4500 may make you $7000 ten years down the road. Then you'll be happy you paid $4500.
  7. jordanm


    Feb 24, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    The pricing shouldn't be what it might be in the future, it should be what the bass is worth now. Who knows it might actually be worth what there asking if it sits on the wall for five years. I don't think I would ever be happy paying what guitar center prices for anything. Most of those mom and pop stores you were bad mouthing will give you good deals if you bargain. GC will rip you off no matter what.
  8. ytsebri


    Sep 1, 2000
    Sounds like you just had a bad experience with GC. I believe their prices are more than fair and more likely than not at the lower end of the spectrum. Not only that, but you can generally bargain most of the salesguys down as well. We have 5 GC's in our area and generally they'll cut you a break on stuff. That being said, I can walk to a small chain around here, or more than a couple of mom and pop stores and some will deal with you and some won't. I chose to shop at GC because they won't rip you off. There is a small mom and pop style music store in Fort Worth that tried to sell me a MIM Jazz bass for $550 and absolutely refused to come down on the price at all. Their counter offer was that I could put it on layaway. I walked into the GC in Arlington and asked what they could do on the same bass and they sold it to me for $340. Did that music store jack me over. Probably, but then again I just had a bad experience there and my opinion is probably colored. But because of that one salesman that worked there and did that one deal, I will never shop at that store again. Hell, that guy is probably long gone, but my opinion of that place is colored. Likewise, my opinion of GC is colored. Back to the topic at hand. As far as Vintage Gear being priced what it's worth today. I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that any vintage instrument GC tries to sell in it's stores is well within Blue Book or Vintage Guide value. I'm not saying that it might not be at the high end of that, but generally, they do a pretty good job of pricing gear at fair market value. The problem is fair market value for those instruments are not within reach of the average joe normally. The reason that fair market value rises like it does on vintage gear has to do with the amount of the exact same piece that are in circulation. I'll sum up by saying, go to any vintage guitar show and then say that those particular instruments aren't worth what GC prices them at. They will sell at that price and generally GC is fair compared to mom and pop booths at these conventions.
  9. schmittuml

    schmittuml Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2004
    Lowell, MA
    point me in the direction of a 50's P for under $5000 honestly....
  10. Over in San Jose(my closest GC), there's a '63 Jazz Bass, olympic white with a tortise shell pickguard. I think it's going for 12k. And its in pretty bad condition. GC trying to rip off people? I think so.
  11. See, I'm biding my time until the "vintage instrument" investment craze is over, and the old coots that own all this gear start dying off, and their kids start selling them in estate liquidations.:ninja:
  12. I wouldn't really call that ripping people off. I mean, if I walk into a Guitar Center and drop $12k on a guitar without knowing what I'm buying, I deserve to lose that money.:)
    It's like anything else; vintage basses are worth exactly as much as somebody is willing to pay for it, not a penny more.
  13. Admittedly I've never compared GC prices to the Blue Book. My observation comes from surfing the Web, watching eBay, and comparing actual selling prices to GC prices. I've seen vintage guitars and basses priced at near $1000 above the going rate. Also I've only been to Guitar Centers in New England and Pennsylvania. Maybe pricing is different in other parts of the country. GC can charge whatever they want. That's the beauty of this country. But you gotta wonder why those instruments hang on the wall for five years.
  14. LMAO, but why do you only "kinda disagree?" Only working for GC part-time?
    GC, among others, has done to the vintage instrument market what day-traders have done to the oil commodities market: send prices into the stratosphere by insuring do-nothing middlemen get paid, and convincing the unwashed those items are worth the price.
    True, there are mom-and-pop owners that jack the prices of "vintage instruments" stupid-high, but the difference is the little guy's balance sheet is printed in red ink until the item sells while GC's corporate value goes up, because they're holding a dozens or hundreds of instruments whose value is added to the corporate whole.
  15. The Guitar Centers in my town never have any vintage gear. They don't have room for them in between the Ibanez's and Squiers.

    Seriously, though, I've never seen a true "vintage" instrument at a Guitar Center here in Denver.
  16. ytsebri


    Sep 1, 2000
    See, this is the beauty of Capitalism. Again the whole supply-demand deal. Alot of your instruments that are going for 10K plus were not only made pre-CBS, but also in much smaller numbers than when Fender switch to the full assembly line production. Also, the other thing that helps value is custom or rare colors like Fiesta Red. Naturally when, say 25 of a particular color, instruments are made with a nitrocellulose finish that allows the impact of time and atmosphere to attack the paint, and destroying the finish over the course of 40 years they'll be worth a little more than the ones that were produced in numbers by the hundreds. When your so called "unwashed" compare the fact that this '64 is $4000 more than that '64, they aren't educated enough about these instruments to differentiate the value. Also, the effects of time are the biggest measuring stick in this case. A played, well worn, dry rotted, '64 with replacement hardware and such is naturally going to be worth less than a "closet classic" type '64 that has been hardly played and only has minimal finish checking. I'm not saying that I believe, however that the percieved value of all vintage instruments are inflated though. But another thing to take into consideration is that a musical instrument is much like a muscle car. The original owner put sweat, time, and love into an instrument and wants to be fully compensated for parting with it. As a matter of fact, most guys will try to take advantage of buyers (including Guitar Center) for many reasons. These are the reasons these instruments are priced so high. I don't blame GC for trying to make a few bucks off of brokering the transaction from end/beginning user to end user.
    That's true too. :rollno: The guys that more than likely sell these vintage instruments (I don't know of anyone that would buy a $5000+ instrument from a new or unknowledgable salesman) have studied what these instruments are, educated themselves with instruments and know what they're talking about. As a matter of fact, most GC's have guys they consider their "vintage" guys and will more than likely turn the sales over to these guys so they don't f@#* it up. Since I have amassed a large amount of knowledge on basses in general and devoted a lot of time to that knowledge, I can appreciate what kind of work goes into it.
  17. Thirty years ago we professional players would seek out vintage instruments such as pre CBS Fenders, earlier Gibsons etc. because the quality of the then production line gear had suffered immensely. In Fenders case most pros considered current models unplayable and quite rightly so. Occaisionally you would find a quality "relic" hanging on a local music store rack that had been traded in. In1977 I bought a '64 Lake Placid Blue P Bass for $225 (which I still have) and went through a number of nice 60s models in trades with other players.

    Over the next two decades guys started hanging on to these as the supply became shorter. Now with the world wide web and Ebay these vintage instruments can be exposed to a huge international buyers market and naturally huge increases in value. Most buyers of these are not obtaining them to play but to collect or horde as I call it. A lot of them left the country never to return. Bummer! but there is nothing we can do about it and prices will continue to rise.

    On the other hand, Stores such as G.C., Musicians friend,etc. have actually helped in the pricing of current production models by forcing local stores in smaller towns to compete with mail order type pricing. I can remember when my area had two stores to choose from and you were lucky to get a 10% discount. I just find it hard to knock G.C. & M.F. beacuse they do offer fair discounts and can usually negotiate on prices.

    Thats my2 cents worth. !
  18. gwx014


    Dec 22, 2005
    The Guitar Center by my house used to have a Vintage 1974 Rickenbacker 4001 Maple Glow. The price tag was $2,000. And it sat their for a while. But when the dropped it down to $1,699 It sold within a couple weeks.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    GC has some of the Higest prices i have seen on Vintage pieces.
  20. Guitar Center is like most other Music stores. They give you the least for an instrument and sell for the most.