What price will you pay for a Custom Shop bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ChainGang70, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. ChainGang70


    May 19, 2016
    This may have been gone through already, but when do you think paying for a Custom Shop bass is worth it? What's the magic number? When do you not just get an American Std or American Vintage and make you own with upgrades or tweaking?

    I don't necessarily own instruments for the investment, but some are going to worth more than others over time. Some will even appreciate. Will the Custom Shop items be come a much better investment over time?

    So, at what cost is a Custom Shop worth it?
    Mantis Tobaggan likes this.
  2. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    If the particular bass you are looking at plays great, sounds great and looks great, you just have decide if it's worth it's price FOR YOU. Buying a Custom Shop, or any bass, with the idea that it's an investiment is a fool's game. Nobody knows what any bass will be worth ten or twnety years from now.
  3. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    There is no objective answer to this entirely subjective question.
    BlueAliceOasis, Ewo, arrowsun and 9 others like this.
  4. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    This can't really be predicted. The used market fluctuates and who knows whether this will be especially valuable in the future.
    lfmn16 likes this.
  5. ChainGang70


    May 19, 2016
    I agree. I guess I'm wondering who is finding the cost-benefit ratio working out on a Custom Shop? They gotta be selling somewhere.
  6. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    These basses come up on the used market for under two grand. That is the price point at which you can buy with a reasonable expectation of recouping your outlay in the event of a "flip."
    The Pino signature fetches around $2900-$3200 used, so any price below that justifies a "buy," although I wouldn't hold my breath for such a find.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
    Mantis Tobaggan and red_rhino like this.
  7. I'd pay for a Pino. I've never viewed a bass purchase as a (financial) investment, ever. My plan is to keep mine for life.
  8. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    I have to agree... In my case, Custom Shop is the last resort for getting a bass I can't get any other way. Like, for instance, a left handed, long scale Hollowbody bass. After years of looking, the Gretsch Custom Shop is beginning to look like my only real option for the kind of bass I want. For anything else? No, a Custom Shop bass wouldn't be worth it. All I'd be paying for is snob appeal and bragging rights. And, since I really don't give a flea fart in a windstorm what anyone else thinks about my stuff, it would be a waste of money...:whistle:
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
    BlueAliceOasis and RaggaDruida like this.
  9. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    You could argue the same - or at least very similar - point for most basses on the market. Some take a harder hit than others, but they all take a hit.

    A lot of people who buy CS instruments just play them, and get their value out of them that way. If one bought a $4K bass, played it for a decade, and sold it for $2K, the cost of ownership is $200/year, which comes to less than a buck a day. If one can afford it, why the heck not ?

    My $0.02 only...
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  11. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    A custom order will not typically ever sell for more than the initial cost. This is of course unless there is a buyer that wants those exacts specs or the builder is now deceased or in super high demand.

    Think about it this way. Say a new custom build goes for $2k. You have it listed for $1,800. Would it be worth it to the buyer to save $200 on yours or spend an additional $200 and order a new one with warranty? Say you list the same bass for $2,200. Would the buyer be willing to pay $200 more than the cost of a new one to not wait for a build? In most cases you would have to offer a pretty good discount to move it.

    At what cost is a custom build worth it? Well, that is completely up to the buyer. Some people spend $10k on a Fedora. Some $5k on a Sadowsky. Others $500 on a MIM Fender with different pickups, bridge, etc. Everyone has a different opinion and financial means.
  12. Ace Of Bass

    Ace Of Bass A Rooster Illusion

    Jun 27, 2006
    Like mentioned above, the cost justification is totally up to the buyer..I think the FCS is the best for the sound and feel that I'm looking for, and they're probably my favorite overall basses, but I can't imagine paying over $3k for one (or any other bass,really)..I've bought all mine used; except the P I have now (I traded a used bass for it when it was brand new) ..a used one at a nice price always comes along every once in a while...
  13. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    I'm about to spend $10,000 on a bass... Minimum, it's worth it to me. Although me bum huirts... From
    the wallet outward... (Here comes the tasteless joke... :) )
    I'll have to get another job to ... "Rectal-fy" the problem, financially speaking most soirtenly...

    Told you it would be bad...


    Being poor is a pain in the...
    Wow, it just hit me.... This is another variation of G.A.S.?!? (Cheeky, I know... )
    Hmmm... I'm talking about an upright though, Whoda thunk it?
  14. Edmang

    Edmang Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2013
    Cost is also relative to income. If you earn 20K a year, it is a lot different buying a custom shop bass compared to someone making over 200K a year.
  15. ChainGang70


    May 19, 2016
    I guess there's what you can and can't afford. But, why not just get that MIM Fender regardless of financial means? We know its the player that makes great music, not so much which particular model of instrument he/she is playing. I suppose we wants what we wants!
  16. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I put together my own basses. As my workshop only makes one off's - for very few clients, it's definitely a custom shop - more of one that what you're referring to, actually. I haven't spent more than about $1500 so far for any of my custom shop instruments, and they're all made exactly how I want them. Or they get reworked until they fit me.

    I know Fender gets more money for theirs, but until and unless you know exactly what you want (this takes years of experimentation), you probably shouldn't buy a custom shop instrument. Even then, don't buy it unless it's exactly what you want. BUT, if you do know what you want, and they will make exactly that, go for it. If you have angst over the price, then you either aren't getting what you want, or you can't really afford it, so don't buy it.
    BlueAliceOasis, DWBass and ajkula66 like this.
  17. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I'd pay no more than any American made Fender. I wouldn't get one for that much, but that's what I'd pay. That's what they're worth to me. Clearly others think they're worth more to them and they pay accordingly. Who's right? We both are.
  18. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I have no interest, so I would pay exactly $0.00 for a Fender Custom Shop bass. And I'm right, too. :D
    kesslari and Gorn like this.
  19. Worldeeeter

    Worldeeeter Inactive

    Mar 29, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    For me, that answer is $5800 so far. I seriously doubt I'll ever go higher than that, though.
    NEVER buy a bass thinking about resale value...especially a custom instrument. If you're thinking about selling it, you shouldn't be buying it in the first place (unless you own a pawn shop or music store).
    Buy a custom bass that you're going to play every day and love for 20+ years. If you ever sell it, the reason is probably that you're buying an even more expensive custom bass!
    RaggaDruida and Ace Of Bass like this.
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