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Why do Mexican Fenders get all the cool colors?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mantis Tobaggan, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    I think that the focus of this thread is why Fender is conservative in it's MIA color selection, and as has been mentioned here, a crucial component of that decision on FMIC's may likely be ROI in the minds of their target market for the MIA product, as the higher price point is targeted to a higher economic bracket than their overall average retail demographic, and often includes collectors and other folks who turn gear regularly.

    With that in mind, the multitudes of Fender copy basses don't really factor into this scenario.
    Some are fine instruments to be sure, but as far as ROI is considered, particularly long term ROI, the knock off basses aren't even close to MIA Fender - and again, as I reference above, I believe that the likely ROI mindset of the target market influences FMIC's color selection, and I can't imagine that copy basses offering extended color pallets has any influence on FMIC's core MIA market.

    With the copies, as well as with the Fender imports, it's not a good or bad or better or worse situation, it's just a market reality.
  2. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    What is ROI and about these brands not coming close to MIA Fenders I would put my “Fender Copies” up against any Fender..
  3. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    I was intentionally trying to NOT ruffle your feathers with my reply to your post. Google "ROI" and I think you might get my point... ;)
  4. Whatever the colors are, I don't know why I can't pick maple or rosewood/pau ferro, etc. fingerboards and matching pegheads. Fenders forever look unfinished to me with that natural finish peghead face regardless of the body color. I realize I'm kicking against 60+ years of history, I just don't like the look and I never will. I'm sure my opinion is keeping FMIC up at night . . . . .
    MartinB, bdplaid and Mantis Tobaggan like this.
  5. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Most industry folks are not going to really talk about this sort of thing, but if all of the "cool" colors (which I love too), sold great, Fender would make more than enough of them. Sterling Ball is one of the few inside guys who has talked about this many times, and he says that black, white, and red sell, and other colors really don't. A few TB threads about Fender are not representative of the Fender global market.
    12BitSlab and Mantis Tobaggan like this.
  6. Companies make colours that sell.

    I remember an interview with Sterling Ball (musicman) where he said that he had to make black basses and white basses because that’s what he sells.

    But I agree- the player series has some nice colours!
    Mantis Tobaggan likes this.
  7. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    True. G&L and others do the opposite, which makes sense.
  8. Not trying to be funny and absolutely truly, last June I bought a wooden mask of a deer head in the store with the purple doorway. I love Guanjuato. It was my third trip there.

    dmt and Alik like this.
  9. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    I bought my Player P because of the color and that it's a better bass than the MIAs. I'd love to buy an MIA (support the USA and all that), but I've been bitten by quality issues with those basses too many times. And the last thing I want is a burst nor yet another black bass. The red looks cheap and reminds me of a Squier Affinity.
    br1qbat likes this.
  10. codiak


    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I like regular white/maple if it has to be painted because you can add whatever color pickguard to it, but natural is also a good choice IMO. But my sage green player p is awesome. It looks like white, but it’s cream. I made it look just like the Jazzmaster they released.

    Mantis Tobaggan likes this.
  11. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    ROI, that's funny. Putting a different color in the spray gun one day a week, yeah, that one hell of an investment!
  12. Highroler79


    Apr 24, 2013
    Some of it has to do with the Laws in California, they are limited on what paints they can use I was shocked to see some metallic American models in this form. But in Mexico they can do what every they want.
    12BitSlab and Mantis Tobaggan like this.
  13. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    Interesting, glad to have made you laugh! However, I was referring to the end user's ROI.

    Here's something that's even funnier; having the inability or unwillingness to grasp simple context, and yet still feeling compelled to respond with an inflammatory comment.
    Hilarious! :roflmao:
  14. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    This tread must have jumped the shark, because now we are taking on each other.
    dmt likes this.
  15. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    The same reason most cars are black, white, grey or some variation of these. Because color is something people are finicky about and when the instruments are expensive (like cars are) the manufacturer runs less risk of producing a color no one likes if they offer only "safe" options. Whereas there's more room to play around with the cheaper lines because it's not as big a hit to the manufacturers or dealers if a unit doesn't sell.
  16. B-Mac

    B-Mac Sorting Things Out Supporting Member

    definitely growing one me...………..
    MoeTown1986 likes this.
  17. FunkyEel


    Dec 29, 2018
    Portland, Oregon
    Works for me. I can get cool colors and block inlays without spending a boat load of money.

    Attached Files:

  18. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    Only the CFO of Fender knows for sure but I suspect it's the other way around.
    The profit margins on the US made models are much higher because if you compare a US and MIM the cost of good sold is most likely very similar.
    Labor cost even though lower in Mexico only account for a very share of the cost of the instrument. Think of it this way, where is there more profit: in the $649 Fender Player or the $1,899 Fender American Original?
    Sure the Fender American Original cost more to produce (case, better wood (?), more expensive component, US labor...) but not $1,250 more!
    Mantis Tobaggan likes this.
  19. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    You don't hide good looking wood. At least that's my approach.
  20. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Same reason that only tort pickguards are allowed on P basses hereabouts: it's what Leo liked, so by golly, we're gonna like it too. Clearly they're making what sells, and have a whole lot of market data to back up their choices.

    But also....

    If I had a MIM and MIA bass sitting next to each other, specs/setup/strings roughly identical, and had to pick one for a hard rockin' gig tonight, I'd probably grab the MIM. Why? It'll sound just as good in a live mix and costs a lot less, so if I get bit by the bug and do a stage dive, a ding or two on it would hurt less than they would on my pricey prize MIA.

    Plenty of us play it cool in the back, feet together, bit of head nod while grooving, but a fair share of us also rock hard and righteously. And Fender knows that. And I suspect that they market their instruments that are nice but not too nice to abuse a little toward those players, who not coincidentally may like cool/weird colors.

    Take it a step further: Squiers have color combos that NO bass with the big Fender logo will ever get to sport, and I think it's because groups like some local afropunk bands I saw last week WILL damage their instruments every gig but also suit up with neon cables and bright pink strings...and inexpensive but playable and very cool looking instruments that get replaced every so often are part of a very fun and exciting kind of show. And yes, there were several Squiers (and a Washburn and an Ibanez) onstage, mainly in the hands of the most energetic players. They all looked really cool and got swung around a lot. None smashed into speakers, though.
    dmt and Mantis Tobaggan like this.

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