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Re: Where to get a Quality Bass: Store or Private Deal?

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Posted by Martin Sheridan on June 02, 2001 at 14:54:41:

In Reply to: Re: Where to get a Quality Bass: Store or Private Deal? posted by Ed on May 14, 2001 at 11:30:56:

: Any luthier or shop (like Kolstein's) is going to add a percentage to the price they are asking for an instrument. It is, after all, a business.
: But it is doubtful that any one individual is going to have the range of basses that you will be able to play at any reputable luthier or stringed instrument shop.
: Part of what you are paying for by paying this percentage, is the ability to have a responsible entity legally liable for "full disclosure" of an instrument's condition, establish a line of provenance, and be available and willing to accept "their" instrument back when you want to trade up.
: If you know of someone selling an instrument, by all means have your luthier check it out. Just don't pass up a good bass to wait for a "deal" that may never materialize...

..In essense I agree with Pete. You can find a bass either way and there are pros and cons to each. Bass shops have to make money on their sale, but let's face it players like to make a little too. As a maker/dealer I can tell you that players more often get an inflated idea of what their bass is worth, and have difficulty being objective. I've had players bring me basses for consignment wanting two or three times what their instrument is worth on the open market, sadly this is often the result of inflated estimates or appraisals given by other shops who usually don't know much about basses. I often buy from players so I'm certainly not saying this shouldn't be done. Sometimes people don't play anymore and they just want to get rid of it. On the other hand I know what I'm looking at. You can buy a bass for $500 that needs $5000 worth of work. Now if the bass is worth that or more when the work is done, and you can afford it, maybe you've done ok. I once worked on a bass a guy payed $7000 for that when we were finished was worth over $40,000(Italian! Need I say more). But if the bass isn't really playable be careful. You can blow a lot of money hoping it'll turn out to be the perfect bass. If you know a good bass repairman to take it to, do that. I've never minded seeing somebody get a good deal, and all of us bass players should be so fortunate once in awhile. But I've seen people buy basses they thought were carved and weren't. They are just all kinds of pitfalls. I guarantee my basses against cracking for a year, and will give you what you paid for it on a trade up. So that's an advantage of buying from some dealers. Good bass hunting. If nothing else it's educational and a lot of fun.

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