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Which bass brands are best for resale?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tampabass, Jan 12, 2019 at 10:18 AM.

  1. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    I know you are, but what am I?
    PLEASE, no brand bashing
    Which bass guitar brands are best for resale, in terms of price & speed of sale? And why?
    I was going to do a poll, but there are too many brands to list.
    And again, looking for positives on brands you like, NOT negatives on brands you don't like.
    (BTW, I'm asking because of a recent experience selling one of my own guitars. I'm a player, not a collector looking for intel. :)
  2. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I’ve lost the least amount of money on Fender basses.

    I’ve lost the most on high end, boutique basses.

    This is coming from a bought new/sold used perspective.
    Bassist30, Jazz Ad, Kmonk and 16 others like this.
  3. FuzzFace80


    Jan 5, 2019
    Buying used, selling used, I found Fender's to hold the most consistent value. I almost never buy new. This goes for amps and guitars as well.
  4. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    I know you are, but what am I?
    Yes, I generally buy used, even if "used" means bought but returned without ever being played (I have purchased a couple of those on a well-known retailer's used site).
    JeffJ2112, dabbler and FuzzFace80 like this.
  5. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    I know you are, but what am I?
    In my experience, Fenders hold their value more than any other brands. Which brands would be second, third, fourth, fifth place?
    ppiluk likes this.
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Fender, Fender, and Fender. More buyers, and a simple, known quantity.
  7. jonnybass1


    Dec 9, 2011
    Brampton, On
    In my experience Squier seems to hold its value the most. If I buy new and sell used. Fender Mexican seem to have the next then American seem to have to worst resale of the Fender brand. However if you buy used it will probably sell again for the same price or possibly more depending on how long you have it and how much fender ups their new price.
  8. Lowendtech

    Lowendtech Trending in no particular direction Supporting Member


    And Fender.
  9. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Ken Smith.
  10. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    Fender, Sadowsky Ernie Balls seem to hold their value pretty well too
    Tampabass likes this.
  11. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Due to their increased pricing over the years, I've made money on every Modulus bass I've turned loose of over the past 5 or 6 years.

    Same can be said for Sadowsky, although I don't have personal experience as I haven't considered turning loose of mine! :cool:

    And +1 on what others have said about Fenders. Pre-1980 American models do especially well on the used market... nice little investments those are, even today.

    And G&Ls always seem to hold up fairly well on the used market... again, especially the American models.
    Tampabass likes this.
  12. Jewce


    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    None. The second you open a box, or take a bass home, it loses half its value. If you buy used, you can sell it for whatever the used market is going for. So, basically whatever you paid for it.
    fhm555, BobKos and Luigir like this.
  13. Lowendtech

    Lowendtech Trending in no particular direction Supporting Member

    This (sadly) does not hold true in Canada.
    Must be a market thing.
  14. maxschrek

    maxschrek Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    Chattanooga, TN.
    Zemaitis. The real ones.
    TN WOODMAN and BassikBrad like this.
  15. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Rickenbacker. Many used ones go for more than the original purchase price, even recent models.
  16. Rickenbacker, like stated above. MusicMan, and Fender.
  17. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    Endorsed by K.B. Guitars, Nordstrand Audio Pickups, Von York Strings and Gallien-Krueger Amps.
    I think a majority of mid level basses retain the most value. Here is why I think this.

    Let’s start with boutique basses or basses that cost $5k or more. I will use Sadowsky for example. I love Sadowsky basses and hope to order at least 1 some day but the bass that I want is going to cost me between $7k to $8k or possibly, slightly North of that. For the sake of the argument, let’s say $7k. I keep the bass 1 year and it’s still in new condition. I then have a family emergency and have to sell it. First, it’s a custom shop so the market is going to be narrower. I have to find a buyer that meets 2 criteria. 1. They can afford it. And 2. That specific bass that I ordered to my liking also attracts them too.

    The Sadowsky, if I waited long enough, I could brobably get $6,500.00 for it but it may take a long time to sell. Realistically, if I needed to sell it quick, I would have to let it go for somewhere between $5k to $6k and even then, it may take months to sell. A Sadowsky or boutique bass is probably for someone who plays semi to full time professionally and plans on keeping the bass for life or at least several decades.
    On this bass, I may have lost $2k.

    Next, you have the mass produced MIA made basses. Most sell new for $1,500 to $3k. Same scenario happens and I have to sell my $2k bass quick. To sell this bass, I need the same 2 criteria’s met that the boutique bass needed met as well. The only advantage of this bass is that it appeals to a larger market. It’s not as much money and even a non professional player may own one. The MIA mass produced bass is in new condition and because it’s mass produced but not as expensive as boutique basses, probably the most that I will be able to sell the bass for is $1,400 to a low point of around $1k. For the sake of the argument, let’s say I sell it for $1,200.00. I have now lost $800.00. Not as bad as the $2k though of the boutique bass.

    The next basses are your mid level, made in Mexico, Korea or Indonesian basses. These sell for $800.00 to $500.00. These basses are flooded in the market and are owned and played by everyone that is a beginner up to a full time professional. Although the latter is probably not as big of a market. The same scenario happens again, a year down the road but my bass is well kept for and still in almost new condition. Let’s say my bass $700.00. The market is flooded and it is mass produced but because mine is in excellent condition, let’s say I get $550.00 for mine. I have only lost $150.00. Not bad and when life gets though the bump in the road and things improve, I can buy another one like my sold one once again. Either new or used and I’m back where I left off for not a lot of money. If cared for properly, these basses can also last a life time. I have 6 basses that are anywhere from 25 to 30 years old in this category. They are bone stock and have no issues. 2 of those toured with me, have done countless shows, endless hours of practice and don’t die. Definitely, the best bang for your buck!

    Last, is your entry level bass. These sell for anywhere from $250.00 to $400.00 tops. These are primarily for beginners, most are made in China and have very poor quality a majority of the time. Let’s say the bass I got was $300.00. A year later I decide to upgrade. Because kids and beginners are rough on gear, most of these in the market are either beat up or have issues due to the lack of build quality. Most sell for around $150.00 to $200.00 if kept in excellent shape. Now sure, I can try for $250.00 but why would the buyer pay that when he can get a new one with warranty for $50.00 more. For the sake of the argument, let’s say I get $200.00 for mine. I only lost $100.00 on my initial investment. Yes, it is less money than the mid level basses but only by $50.00. But the quality in a mid level bass compared to an entry level bass is night and day. And that is why, in my own personal opinion, a mid level bass is your best bass of value and resale.
    Ghastly, dmt, mikewalker and 3 others like this.
  18. Hands down Rickenbacker they hold their value incredibly well!
    Sandman64, Spidey2112 and jamro217 like this.
  19. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    1. Fender
    2. Fender
    3. Fender
    4. Fender
    5. Fender
    100. Carvin / Kiesel
  20. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I've lost much more on commercially made, brand name basses than on my Warmoths. Stuff that works for you and that you never sell - you never take a loss in resale. The lesson here is, if at the time You're buying it, you think you might want to sell it at some point, you're buying (or in my case, building) the wrong bass.

    I'd also say that, w.r.t. custom builds, don't consider them until you REALLY know EXACTLY what you want - if you're guessing, buy something kinda close, mod it, figure out what works for you and what doesn't. Buying your "dream bass" before you KNOW what you really like is one way to really get hit with a loss - when you go to sell it, it isn't anyone else's dream bass.
    gln1955 likes this.

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