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What do you consider near-mint?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GeneralElectric, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Just got a bass in the mail yesterday that was described as near-mint. On close inspection there's a finish ding the size of an eraser head on the front contour. There is also some worming on the back from a belt buckle. Neither of which was mentioned, and this is what I've found in a cursory look over.

    It sounds and plays great regardless though.

    Am I being too picky?:confused:
  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Near mint should have some scuff marks on the tops of the frets, and the control knobs may be in a different position than when it left the factory. That's near mint.
  3. Dings, dents and worming aren't near mint to me, either.
  4. Yeah, near mint is exactly that. I'd accept light clearcoat scratching (somethign that could be buffed out easily) and maybe some light marks on a pickguard, if any, but thats about it. Normal wear and tear is more appropriate for what you describe, which is not in my opinion near mint. Then again, there is some kind of latin phrase that applies to buying things :)

    In the end, if the final price was a good deal and the damage is something you can live with I wouldn't sweat it, but if you payed more than you would have based on the assumption that it was almost new, I'd at least take it up with the guy.
  5. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I personally consider something like like pick scratching, swirl marks, etc, to be near mint. But here's the seller's description. I deleted the name of the bass as I don't want to name names. It said near-mint in the title.

    EDIT: The pictures don't show the wear either. Where the worming is, it looks like a smear in the photos. Not sure if its just a smudge in the photo, as not the whole thing was properly lit.
  6. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    That would be "Caveat Emptor". Roughly translated = buyer beware!

    I agree with other posters, "near mint" should be almost new with light surface marks you can easily buff out or with "very" light to no fret wear. These should in no way impair the instrument either visually or play wise.

    If the OP payed more for it compared to the same model from other sellers based on the fact that the seller listed it as near mint then he should contact the seller and try for a price adjustment.

    If the bass has worming on the back, well IMO that's NOT near mint. I would rate it a excellent condition (if it's not through the paint) or very good condition (if it was) and state the fact that otherwise the bass looked new.

    Keep Low :bassist:
  7. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Devils advocate:

    So, it was described as "Near mint" which I think we can all agree is Not mint= evidence of use and or wear. You chose to not inquire further as to exactly what "Near mint" means to the seller? Caveat Emptor.

    I don't think of what you describe as near mint either but if condition where important to me in the transaction I would have pressed a little harder for a description.

    It went from "Near mint" to "Exceptional Condition" to pics that where less than relevatory and poorly lit...That would have set my BS detector off.

    I don't think given the item you could call it a $100 disagreement in value. That's fairly cheap tuition at the college of hard knocks.
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
  9. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Just saw this thread. I'm the seller and I'll step up here (even though I feel that G.E. should have shot me a PM before posting this thread).

    I guess one man's description differs from another's. "Near Mint" to me means a few minor cosmetic flaws, which this has. Nothing even remotely major in my humble opinion, but I guess that's what it is, just my opinion.

    Anyway, the small ding CAN be seen in the without guard pic below, just above the bridge:


    The the "worming" (even though I think that's bit of a stretch of what it is) can be seen here on this photo:


    Both of the above pictures were posted in the FS thread

    In my defense, G.E. asked me to put it on hold and I did for 36 hours. The money did not arrive until 9 days later, but I was cool with that. He also asked me MANY questions about the bass AFTER it was already on hold and had me take off the control plate, neck, pickguard to look for specific things for him which again, I gladly did.

    He did not ask specifics about dings, worming, etc. I would also have gladly answered any questions regarding that. I'm certainly not one to hide anything or to screw anybody over here on TB.

    That being said, if G.E. does not like the bass, I'll offer to take it back. I had MANY others offer to buy it from me after I put it on hold for him.

    Not trying to start anything here with G.E. or anyone else. Just giving the other side of the story.
  10. b_carville


    Jun 26, 2008
    I really dislike the term "Near Mint".

    Sellers really misuse this term & not just for instruments.I deal in vinyl records & it's really overused in that area.

    If an item has been played even once it's not "Mint". It's "Very Good Plus"(VG+) or "Like New". Mint means unplayed out of the box. Stuff can come from the factory with dings or shipping damage & that item won't be mint.'Most instruments at your local guitar depot that have been pawed at by everybody are no longer mint.

    I don't want to sound like a fanatic, but I get people trying to sell me instruments,vinyl records & CD's all day & they always say the condition is Mint or Near Mint.9 times out of 10 the CD's & Vinyl will have scratches & the instruments will be pretty beat & still they insist that they are "Near Mint".

    I've already have had people trying to sell their Relic's calling them "Mint"condition.
  11. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I had emailed the seller for more pictures, and got them as requested. I trusted the sellers word as he's got a lot of positive feedback here.

    The image of the back of the bass: What looks like a fingerprint smudge was actually worming.

  12. GE, not to be nit-picky but he doesn't say "near mint" anywhere in the listing. (Yeah, I found it.) He does say "exceptional", so now you need to determine what exceptional condition is for a five or six year old bass.

    (Too late!)
  13. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Also, I'm not sure what kind of action I should take either. Should I just forget it and leave him neutral feedback, I'm about to message him, but I don't know what to say about the finish.

    I described the finish to him, but I don't know what course of action I should pursue.
  14. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    It says near-mint in the title of the thread in question.
  15. No you're not being too picky.

    Mint means "mint." Like it was just minted. Like it just rolled off the assembly line. Minty. Newer than new.

    It's not a hard concept to follow. Except if you have to fight against every single mouth breathing moron that has something that resembles decent shape referring to it as "near mint."

    That leads to more and more people using the term to mean "light wear" and "near mint" meaning 'slightly more than light wear."

    Just reading the responses in the thread- the term is completely misused.
  16. Madcity Fats

    Madcity Fats Supporting Member

    May 28, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    You're not being too picky by a long shot. Personally, I wouldn't consider half the guitars hanging on the wall of the local GC to be near mint, just because too many teen troglodytes have beat on them.

    To me, near mint means you've effectively bought it new without the warranty. It can be well used, so long as it looks new. With vintage instruments, I'd be a little more forgiving. A stock '62 jazz that's suffered some hardware oxidation from simply sitting around might qualify, depending on the collector I suppose.

    I'd say, as a rule, any flaw that would be considered a defect on a new instrument and would merit a return exempts a guitar from near mint status. I don't care if you dinged it the first time it came out of the case, it's "excellent" at best. This would be like trying to pass off a silver dollar to a coin collector as mint when there's clearly a big thumbprint on it. Good luck with that.

    This is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to eBay. There's waaaay too much "near mint" gear out there to be believed. I especially love it when I can see a ding or scratch right in one of the photos they've posted. Or when you get one of these "this bass is near mint and everything is original except for the bridge, tuners, knobs and case" descriptions.

    That's another thing. If it ain't stock, it ain't near mint. Don't try swapping out a G&L MFD pickup for an EMG and telling me it's just like it came from the factory.
  17. So it does. I was so preoccupied with the description.
  18. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    G.E., there are no mint basses, period. Mint is a theoretical standard by which an item's condition is measured -- like Plato's forms, or the way comic books are graded. Near mint would include a few minor cosmetic flaws, and in my opinion, the bass you received is probably near mint. That said, Quad has offered to take the bass back if you are not happy. I think you should either keep it or return it, whichever will make you happy, but either way, I'd leave him positive feedback.
  19. zenrad

    zenrad Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2009
    Bergen County, NJ
    He replied in this thread - why don't you PM him and work it out offline? Like he said, others want to buy it, so if you're not happy with it he said he'd take it back.

    I don't know either of you but that sounds fair enough to me.

    My $.02
  20. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Happy to take it back. I have the other PMs saved from the others that wanted it. Probably get even more for it on Flea Bay. The choice is his... Again, I went WELL over and above what most sellers would do. I answered ALL questions (and he had many) and even when I had to take half of the darn bass apart for him (took neck off, took off control plate, took off pickguard, took addl pics, for him ,etc). I feel I've done little to nothing wrong here.

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