1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

why is it that zon's depreciate so much?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by steve_man, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    I was just looking around at a couple of Zon's from site to site. I noticed that they are a more expensive bass. at an average of just under $4000 They cost more than a lot sadowsky's, modulus, and a lot of the new custom makers. So it's noticed that they are not a cheap bass.

    I also remember people saying that zon has some of the best crafstmanship you get out of many basses today.

    and the GAS factor is staggaring!

    eg from bass nw.

    eg from bass central.

    So why then are these bases being sold for about 1200-1600 when they're on average a year old?
  2. I think that their retail list prices may be on the high side, but their "street" prices are on par with all the other highend builders. You can buy a new one in the $2200-2700 range. I'm sure they have some basses that sell for more, and some for less as well.
  3. Chaputa

    Chaputa Bass-Not just fo eatin anymore Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2003
    Between DC & Balimore
    High-end basses tend to not have the greatest resale anyway. I have a Zon that I got used, and I absolutely love it. If I paid for it new...I dunno... I would definitely try to find one used if you're interested...
  4. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I don't have an answer for this either. This seems to be the case with Lull, Lakland, Conklin, Roscoe, Modulus, Elrick, Smith and several other super incredible basses. So it's not just the Zon basses. These basses are usually found, used, in beautiful condition, too.

    The only thing that I can figure out is that there is a list price and a street price. The used price is usually about 50-60% of the street price.

    If you look at the scheme of things, the Fodera's seem to be the ones that really hold their value on the used market.
  5. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Kind of like buying a new Caddy,
    ridiculously overpriced till you drive it off the lot. Then, good luck getting rid of it.:mad:
  6. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Malthumb's $2,500 rule:

    Most basses that list for more than $2,500 have a more limited audience to begin with. That has two opposing effects on the supply / demand curve.

    With the new bass, only so many people are willing to pay more than $2,500 for a bass, so this restricted demand results in a smaller supply. Those who want them and are willing to shell out the bucks, buy them.

    When the owner decides to sell, there are still not a lot of people willing to spend $2,500 or more. In addition, those who are willing to spend that much have pretty much settled in on what they want for the $2,500, and it may not be what you are selling. Result is the seller either lowers the price even further to move it (further reducing market going rate) or the seller commits to holding on to it until that right buyer who has to have that bass comes along.

    Probably the two biggest exceptions to my $2,500 rule are Sadowskys (a lot of pent up demand for both new & used) and MTD (no explanation except that they just must be that good).


  7. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Excellent analogy, James. But it's even rare to find a used Sadowsky or MTD that is selling for over $2500. But they do sell fairly briskly.
  8. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Well said!!! I would have thought the same but I am way to lazy to type all that out!!;)
  9. if you think thats bad look at what alembics go for new vs used... as far as mtd goes... their low end basses, kingson/grendel dont hold their value very well used either
  10. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Pedulla's are horrible at holding there resale value. When it comes to the retail-vs-used pricing ratios, I think they are the worst of all the higher end basses.
  11. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Yeah, I shoulda been more clear when I mentioned MTDs that I was only talking about the USA models (535, 635) since they're the ones that transact above $2,500.

    As far as Alembic resale values, that is precisely the reason I've become such an Alembic nut over the past several years. Since the used prices are generally waaaay below the actual value of the basses, I've been able to buy them used, play them, and sell them for about the same that I paid +/- $100.

    In the process I figured out what I like most in terms of options, then spent a ton of money on a custom ordered Alembic. If I were to ever sell it, I'd probably lose about half what I paid, since some of the options I ordered are important to me, but maybe not to the next guy. Point is, I can't see a situation that would cause me to sell it. In my eyes, the bass is worth what I paid for it.

    I'll stop here, since this is supposed to be a Zon thread.


  12. I had clearly understood you as referring to the US MTDs. Context is, y'know, everything.
  13. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Much of this comes from the unrealistic MSRPs that makers are assigned to their stuff.

    According to the Modulus website, it would cost roughly $3,400 for a Q5 just like mine. I payed $1,500 two years ago for it, used and mint.

    Today, I might get $1,300-$1,400 if I was lucky.

    It isn't just Zon. If you buy a top end bass new, you should buy it because it is a must have, keep forever kind of bass. (I've never seen one of those) or because you aren't worried at all about money. Because, if you try to sell it, you'll easily loose $500 and maybe as much as $1,000.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Thanks for typing that;)

    I think the $2500 buyer wanting exactly what they want is a big factor. Personally I love a deal so being the original owner means very little to me. For others, they're perfectly willing to make the big leap.

    IME the biggest example of this is Alembic, where original owners tend to spend relatively staggering amounts... makes Fodera buyers look like pikers;). Yet at resale time the difference is amazing.

    We had a pretty good discussion of worth here about a month ago. The consensus was, you can think something is worth whatever you want... until you get someone to actually pull the trigger on the purchase it's just conjecture.

    Welcome to reality:D
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Apples to oranges. You're talking his mass produced models vs. custom handmade basses.

    IME the Korean MTDs hold their value as well as pretty much anything in their price range. Remember, the chances of losing a grand on a Kingston are pretty slim;)
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    You can lose alot more than a grand on a high end bass. As long as you're aware of that, go for it.

    I'll be waiting;)

    Seriously, I've taken advantage of the soft resale market, probably more than most people. Because of how I buy, the vast majority of what I have is still worth more than I paid for it. Depreciation for the original owner is no fun at all... for them:D
  17. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    If you pay any attention to AGB at all, Zons may simply make your eyes roll back in your head.;)
  18. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Maybe I've been up too many hours today but what is "AGB"?:confused:
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Ground zero for some of the funniest "It's Zon or nothing" stuff imaginable. It stands for alt.guitar.bass, a usenet group.
  20. There are basically three makers that have "good resale value":


    These basses will keep between 65%-75% of their retail value, typically, as used.

    Everything else: figure 45%-50% of retail in the used market (unless you're Brad Johnson, then all bets are off! ;) ).

    Oh....and Alembic: Inside joke - Buy for $8000, sell for $800. They're great instruments, but they're so custom that it really negatively effects their resale value, unfairly in my opinion, but that's the market.

    Why? Supply & demand is a part of the equation, but so is actual & percieved value.

Share This Page