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Which basses lose most value from new?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dBerriff, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. dBerriff


    Oct 2, 2004
    Oakham, UK
    I have a Fender Deluxe Precision that I bought in England from a dealer for just over £1000 (and that was with a small discount). I have seen a 2 year old example in good condition go on eBay for £460 which is about the same as a passive American Precision. Luckily I don't need to sell but it got me thinking.

    That is one heck of a drop in value, although it is perhaps an extreme example. I know it is far less risky to try before you buy, especially with the variable quality of some makes, but over 50% loss in value needs some swallowing. At that level it is worth taking a few chances on eBay, then keeping the best and selling the rest.

    So which makes hold their value? Musicman looks good. G&L not so good. Fender - it seems to depend on the model. Boutique or custom basses made seem to take a fair drop.

    Any comments?
  2. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    In the USA, the average new price of an American Deluxe Precision is around USD 1300, which is way less than the
    USD 2200 or so that you paid for yours. This could have something to do with the used prices you are seeing.
  3. I would say that boutique basses that were built to a heavily customised spec by the buyer making them in effect one offs. These will take a big drop on resale.

    just my 2c.


  4. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA

    New, a series 1 is about 10 grand
    Used, about 3-4
  5. dBerriff


    Oct 2, 2004
    Oakham, UK
    I accept there is a big mark up in the UK (or rip-off Britain as it is often called), but I think this is a different issue. It costs around $200 carriage plus 25% taxes to import a bass but it is still often worth it.

    I was thinking more of percentage loss against the new price. The drop in resale value does not seem related to quality. Musicman (deservedly) seem to hold their value but G&L (just as good quality) do not. Fender Deluxe American basses do not seem to hold value, although also excellent basses. Just my observation really, after watching eBay for a while. At the end of the day it is just market forces.
  6. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    'fro speaks the truth. However, drop in resale has nothing to do with quality. Just the market.
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Worst resale probably Carvin. Peavey is underappreciated as well.

    One sure-fire way to guarantee great resale in a bass is to look for the word "Fender" on the headstock.
  8. superfly


    Aug 4, 2004
    I would have to say G&L basses don't keep a great resale value.
  9. warwicks seem to drop by half.
    Though the vetts seem to be the best from the bunch in resale vs new
  10. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    easy solution is save yourself the money and only buy second hand. (and only buy a respected name brand like Fender, MM, Gibson etc.. then at least you will be able to sell it if needs be..) my .02c
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Anyone seriously concerned about resale value "after" you buy a bass should be as concerned "before" you buy. Dollar wise boutiques do drop the most. Seeing a $6k bass drop more than $2k in resale value isn't all that rare. Percentage wise it varies.

    Buying used lessens the depreciation hit you open yourself up for IME.
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Brad how would you know anything about selling basses? ;) :p ;)
  13. I agree with Whafro

    Alembics lose mucho value
  14. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Its just tougher to sell a high end bass on the used market. Lots of guys dont want to shell out the cash. Makes resale suffer, IMO. Alot easier to sell a bass that was $1200 new for $800 than it would be to sell a $4000 bass new for $3000 used. Sorta like homes and hi line autos.

  15. Bassosaurus


    Aug 27, 2005

    For the most part, yes. If there is a high demand and long waiting list for a new one though, people will sometimes pay silly money a used bass (more than what they could buy one for new).

    A custom bass from a no-name maker will lose the most value right off. Although these can usually be had for a relatively lower price in the first place.
  16. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Carvin. They are VERY nice basses for the money. Used ones are a steal. I was able to get $1,100 for a fretless 6 that cost me $1,400 + about $400 to replace the electronics. I was pretty fortunate.
  17. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    conklin bass prices seem to fall through the floor around here
  18. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Lakland USA, although I think its due to the high quality of the Skylines.
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Among factory basses, I think G&L takes the biggest drop. I think another reason why it is harder to sell a used boutique bass as an individual is that buying a new or used bass from a dealer, one can either use a credit card or finance the purchase. Americans generally have a pretty low savings rate, so most of us don't have $2-4k around for used boutique basses.
  20. LA


    Oct 17, 2001
    MTD American basses seem to have a lower-than-expected resale price, but I could be wrong.