Would you ever consider buying a 70's Fender P Bass with a scratched SN???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kulit17, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. kulit17

    kulit17 Wal Collector #35 Supporting Member

    So the other day I was heading towards the Cape with my Fam and saw that a local music store had a big yellow sign "store closing". So today I headed over there during break with a coworker to check out if they had anything good. They had a 70's Fender Precision Bass in stock i guess under consignment. Included original black case but no pickup or bridge covers. Not exactly a minty bass and it has it share of mojo, but one particular thing i noticed was the serial number on the headstock was scratched off. I didn't spend that much time in the store to ask many questions, so i'm not exactly sure how they verified it to be 70's P bass, (date at the heel, pot date codes, etc.), but I assume they must've verified those aspects.

    Bass itself looked pretty decent. Had a good amount of cracks on the clear coat but nothing structurally bad. It was very light, I would say around low 8lbs. For what it was, i thought the price was a bit in the high side, but from what the guy at the store was telling me the previous owner may be flexible. I'm not really interested in this because of the scratched out serial number, but if it was some stupid price, i may have done something bad.....:bag:

    so curious on other people thoughts if they's consider purchasing something like this.
  2. Bassmunnky


    Jul 3, 2004
    New York and Philadelphia
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitars
    Someone is going to buy it....
  3. SoLongJake

    SoLongJake Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2007
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Probably stolen at some point in it's past. I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.
  4. Me either. Since the store's closing, there's no recourse in case something unfortunate comes up. You would be the last person to hold this potentially stolen item.
  5. xander8280


    Dec 29, 2011
    If you get it, check the neck pocket and get some fender certification. Send them pics of the headstock and pocket. They'll send you a new decal, and maybe certification to carry so you don't get the finger pointed at you.
    But yeah, it was stolen(most likely)
  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +1 I would have asked some questions about the bass to see what was up?
  7. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    I'd think about it. There's a chance it might not actually be a 70's Fender and might be a decent bass :bag:
  8. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Haha, classic.
  9. kulit17

    kulit17 Wal Collector #35 Supporting Member


    anyways, store closing was just for that location only. they still had another location that was remaining open and they would pack whatever was remaining when they shut the door permanently after the end of this coming weekend. (Hence not really any good deals there - although they were selling some junk parts, like pickups for $5 a piece with "some work, some don't as a tag" :rollno:

    co-worker said he wanted to go back possibly mid this week and pick up an acoustic he saw there that he liked, so perhaps i'll tag along again and get more info.

    I actually went there to see if i can score a deal on a nice stool, but they told me they bringing those to the other location :atoz:
  10. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Inactive

    Jan 20, 2011
    nah it's hot & some poor chap's got his junk in his hand.
  11. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Whatever concerns you have now about buying a bass like that, those very same concerns will be there among potential buyers when you try to unload it. Stuff like this usually has to be unloaded at low prices, so it's important to buy it at a low price.
  12. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
  13. BoomBoomOGTL

    BoomBoomOGTL Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2012
    York SC
    Basses w/ missing/defaced serial numbers = Bad Mojo. Keep your karma clean.
  14. jbossolo


    Sep 22, 2011
    ^ Good advice. No one needs bad mojo.
  15. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I passed on a '56 Les Paul for a great price years ago in a store for the same reason. Sometimes I wish I'd bought it, but if I had it would always bother me. If Fender will provide a new decal and a letter then maybe it's not too bad, but I'd still be wary. Have you checked the local CL for a stolen bass announcement?
  16. John Freeman

    John Freeman Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    Just curious here. Why would Fender provide a new decal and certification. They may know when the bass was made but not who owned it and if it legally passed hands.

    Plus, I'm not so sure they freely send decals.

    Anyone have any experience with this?
  17. baileyboy

    baileyboy Inactive

    Aug 12, 2010
    If it's all-original, the separate parts have value, so I would buy it for that reason alone if the price was right.
  18. I doubt that I would. There MIGHT be a legitimate reason for a serial number to be damaged/missing, but just in case, I would not want to be the guy caught "holding the bag", so to speak, if it were(and quite possibly is) hot.
  19. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    Serial number scratched out or not, I've always assumed that any used equip purchase has the risk of being stolen at some point.

    Secondly, I've always assumed that if I was in possession of an item previously stolen, that the item would be returned to the previous rightful owner and I would be left to deal with the person I bought the item from. AKA: the monkey in he middle!

    I've taken up the practice to have a bill of sale signed by anyone I buy from that has specific language that says the item is not known to have any criminal history or used in criminal activity.

    While this paper makes me feel better - I'm wondering if this practice protects me from any real problem that may surface.
    Or is just a fact to consider when buying used? Buyer beware!

    Any consumer protection lawyers out there who may know?
  20. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    An M-16 or a rocket launcher, sure. Not a Fender Precision.