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When Do You Trade, When Do You Sell?

Jim T.

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I was wondering how often people here are willing to lose as much as a couple of hundred bucks to trade for another bass that suits their needs better rather than do the sometimes long wait to find a private buyer to sell at a better price.


I'm considring trading my Ibanez SR 406 in on/or for either a Fender Mustang or an Allen Woody short scale bass. I'm really wanting to sell it for it's fair price to buy hardwoods to build a six string short scale, but the urge to go the easier route rears it's ugly head...


How often do you folks sucumb to the "easy" but more expensive way out?

"When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have."

Edgar Watson Howe

"Don't play what's there. Play what's not there" Miles Davis

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I've bought , sold and traded probably 50 basses over the past 2 years.


I prefer to sell , and buy over trading.....but have made some very good trades (good for both parties )


Trading involves a bit more trust ,.....and I would only trade with someone I kn0w and trust. Fortunately , for me , I know ( and trust ) quite a few people online... :)


I wouldn't take the 'easy' way out if it meant taking a loss of $200 ( in trade value)


Better off to sell and get a fair $$ for the bass than to lose in a trade ......patience.




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The last used bass I bought was in '72 and I've never sold or traded. The hardest thing for me to grasp is the market value - what is this bit of wood really worth; what can I expect to get for it (regardless of what I paid). For example, if I wanted to sell my $2400 '02 Kinal 5, is it worth $2000? $1800? How would I know?


Jim, with an Ibanez 6, I suspect that you can't go to ebay and find 20 of them on sale.


I wouldn't trust a store because they have to make money on it. Some of the bass stores may be better, but only in that they'll tell you exactly what's up (not that you'll like it). They can only buy from you based on the sale value minus their profit. An even value trade doesn't do them any good unless what you are giving them will move faster than what they already have.


Good luck in your decision.



Acoustic Color


Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Trading something in to a store is not the best idea in the world, but sometimes it is necessary.


If the store sells it or if you sell it, the price is going to be approximately the same. Therefore the store is going to give you about half of the selling price.


You could sell it yourself at a lower price than the store would ask and still make more money than if you traded it in.


Some things are difficult to sell and maybe a trade in makes sense in those cases.


I've also sold things on consignment at music stores...you leave it at the store and they get 20% when it sells. I sold a custom made fretless this way...and it hung on the wall in two different stores for over a year before someone bought it. I also sold a custom made lute that was in the store for almost a year. (it had moveable frets! Has anyone ever tried that on an electric bass? It's actually common on lutes and viols and the viola da gamba).


And even if the instrument you are selling is a hunk of junk, at some time in the future you will remember it fondly and yearn to have it back again. Just like your first girlfriend. And just like the first girlfriend, maybe getting rid of it was a good idea.

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I'm big on selling and trading (and hell it supports our postal system...or at least until we can email instruments around!) But it's always good to have better quality instruments than what you can afford, for well, what you can afford! If I bought everything new, I wouldn't have my lovely Stingray, if I didn't trade, I wouldn't have my Warlock with a Kahler Tremolo! And on the other hand, it's easier to buy old parts people have pulled of instruments...cheap hard-to-find pickups, slightly used tuners, a pickguard to replace that one stupid you just broke! If it weren't for buying and selling, I'd still have this many basses, but they'd all be Ibanez.
\m/ Timothy Lyons
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There's a store here in Tulsa that will give you full purchase price for a trade-in, on a more expensive item, if you originally bought it from them. It has really helped me upgrade my equipment over the years. I just recently gave a Squire Bronco bass (that my son had out grown) and $250 for a used but in excellent condition G-K 1000RB.




pray peace, all love and unity


"There are only two kinds of music; good and bad."

~Duke Ellington~

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I never lose money. I buy low and sell high, and neither can be done conventionally at a store. A trade can only work to your advantage with another individual that has something of more value that he wants to trade. You always come out on the short end dealing with a store.
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