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Who has their own “Rules of Acquisition” for buying used gear?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by LGOberean, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    63
    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    I’ve had a busy day, and so, it seems, has this thread I’ve created. Lots of interesting perspectives and input. So much I want to reply to, so little time.

    Some said they buy guitars used; I’m pretty much the opposite. Although I have bought used guitars before, I prefer not to. Of the 9 guitars I have now, only one was bought used. When I buy a guitar, I expect to own it for years to come. I don’t buy with the thought of selling down the road. With most of the guitars I have now, I’ll never sell them.

    So things that affect the playability of the guitar, like fret wear, worn spots/indentations on the fretboard itself, etc., are not things I want to come with a new (to me) guitar. I don’t want to pay for wear that is detrimental to the way the guitar plays. I don’t want a relic’ed guitar, even if it was done naturally.
     
    beagle likes this.

  2. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Now wait just a durn minute here CK. You actually believe 25% of the average used selling price is NOT a low ball offer? o_O

    For example if the average selling price of a used XYZ is $500 you feel that $125 is a fair offer that will get you that guitar or amp? :rolleyes:

    Let's reverse it and say you're the one now selling that XYZ some years later and the average selling price is now $600. If I offered you $150 for it what would you say? Could you post it here without getting this? **** off. :p

    I mean no insult to anyone so please don't take this that way but those who low ball badly and refuse to come up with a fair and reasonable offer that results in a sale are my favorite guys as a buyer because you leave a whole lot of very good gear still on the table for me. :D

    But as a seller all I can say is after low balling me if your phone doesn't ring that'll be me. ;)
     

  3. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    No, refer to my previous post. Based on his reply to me, I'm pretty sure he means to say "25% OFF the average", not "25% OF the average".

    I'm in the "we have an alphabet for a reason" camp, myself... :lol:
     
    soulman969 likes this.

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  5. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    52
    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    My rules are simple:

    1) Don't let people take advantage of you.

    2) Don't take advantage of people.

    I have failed numerous times on both accounts, but looking back, I feel worse about the times I failed at #2.

    Karma is important, especially with musical instruments. When the karma is right, the numbers and percentages will work themselves out. If the karma is bad, no amount of number crunching will ever fix it.

    I used to say, "I wish someone had explained this to me years ago." The truth is, it was explained to me, it just took me a while to understand it.

    The Golden Rule isn't about being magnanimous... It's about success.
     
    soulman969, JustABluesGuy and paratus like this.

  6. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    One thing I always think about when buying used gear: How much would I be able to sell this item for if I had to turn around and sell it? I find that helpful in two ways. First, it enables me to assess how much of an asking price might actually be a premium for me to try the instrument. Ideally, I would want only guitars or amps I would not lose money on. But sometimes I'm very curious, and willing to pay a little extra just to give it a shot.

    The other way this can work to my benefit is in negotiation. More than once I've told a seller (in effect) "I have a very good idea of what I could sell this for. Not that I intend to. But sometimes things happen. You can ask whatever you want, but that's as much as I'd be willing to pay."

    If the seller realizes I'm honest and not BSing, it can lead to a productive discussion.
    MD
     
    soulman969 likes this.

  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    Those words usually indicate their price is way too high, without even looking it up.

    I use the rule "if you buy it right you can always sell it right". The general used market of guitars actually selling is between "25% of new street price" as that is what pawn shops, GC, and retailers will pay and "50% of new street price" that is what consumer buyers will pay for used. Plus or minus for condition and if they seller has gotten a dozen calls already.

    I take an ohm meter to CL meetups that has a 1/4inch plug instead of probes so I can plug into the guitar and measure pickup output at every switch position. Did that after getting a guitar home and finding the previous owner wired the one good pickup left in the guitar to all switch positions - my own fault. Most guitars being sold at good prices have something wrong with them but as long as I find out what that problem is I can weigh the price and solve it.

    .
     

  8. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Ahhhhhhh.......well that would make a rather huge difference now wouldn't it. I took it as it was written and it did say OF. Under that scenario in my example I guess he'd be at $125 OFF a $500 average selling price, $375. Still a no deal for me as a seller but at least the math works out now. Thanks moosie.
     

  9. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    It's a good rule to live by and as I see there are two main benefit. One for each.

    1) I'm far less angry about it all when I do this.

    2) I never have to go through life looking over my shoulder.
     
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  10. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    I'm usually thinking that as well and I believe it's a good way to go about setting a price range you can live with.

    If I can lay that out in my mind to begin with it allows me to shop only those pieces where I have a chance of getting the item for an acceptable price. Once I've eliminated anything out of my price range there's really no need to lowball any offer on what remains.

    I believe that if I can honestly point out the price range of recent sales and that my offer is within that range then as you posted the seller and I can usually come to an agreement. I feel both sides should come away happy with the deal.
     
    mad dog likes this.

  11. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    52
    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    You might still have to look over your shoulder on occasion... There are some real wackos out there.

    Being at peace with oneself is the real prize, IMHO.
     
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  12. philosofriend

    philosofriend Tele-Meister

    438
    Oct 28, 2015
    Kalamazoo
    Is this a guitar type that I actually play?

    Does this one sound better than the best one of this type that I have at home?

    Bonus points for: looks like it has been played a lot or needs repairs that I know how to do. Neither of these things bother me and they bring the price down.

    Do I have any extra money this month?
     

  13. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Well at least they won't be wackos I screwed over. :D
     
    JayFreddy likes this.

  14. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    52
    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    LOL
     

  15. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    What? More 25% OF? :D

    Sounds about right in this context. My GC looks it up on various used sites, then offers half. Probably works out to around 30%. Same-same.

    I can't imagine anyone but a desperate person doing that deal. I imagine most of their stuff comes in through trades. Which is just another way of saying the customer didn't realize how bad a deal they got.
     

  16. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 22, 2007
    Mid-Michigan
    Agreed though there are some oddball exceptions. A good friend of mine has trouble dealing with what he calls 'society BS'. It's a pretty broad definition as it includes things most of us consider pretty normal, like having a checking account. He refuses dealing with one and drives to pay his few bills with cash (he does have a bank account). He lives a pretty simple life, as you'd expect with that outlook.

    Society BS extends to negotiating: he won't negotiate over anything so trades in his guitars when he's ready to try a new one, and that is often, like several times a year. He mostly buys cheap guitars and will trade in a $400 guitar for a new one of similar value, taking a beating every time. No sense arguing with him to try selling or at least consigning because he will not deal with that 'BS'. So he's one of those guys who repeatedly gets hosed, and he ain't desperate, just a bit different.
     
    moosie likes this.

  17. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

    Dec 8, 2010
    Up North
    1) It can not be STOLEN. That induces Bad Karma.
    2) It has to be exactly what I am looking for. And that includes Condition.
    3) The Price has to be right.
     
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  18. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 16, 2005
    Texas Gulf Coast
    I will only contact a seller on CL if the guitar or amp they're selling is well below the going used market rate of said guitar or amp.

    I will never even bother with an instrument that's being offered at the going market rate.

    If I'm buying from an individual off of CL, I will ALWAYS offer less than what they're asking no matter how low they have it listed for.

    All they can say is that that's the lowest they'll go on the price and I can take it or leave it.

    Now pawnshops is a whole different thing altogether.

    If a store makes a BIG HUGE mistake when they put a crazy low price on an instrument because they wrongly identified it, then that's THEIR problem and not mine.

    It's not my duty to police them on their job to properly scan the internet for the proper going rate of the instrument.

    I don't think it's unfair that I get a $1300 Fender '57 AVRI Strat for $435 or a $1700 Boogie Roadster Dual Rectifier Combo amp for $433 at these pawnshops.

    Their running their business and it's their job to get the prices right on their stuff.

    Sometimes I don't need or want these particular amps or guitars,but I'll buy them because they're steals, and I can sell them or trade them later for a guitar or amp I REALLY want.
     
    CK Dexter Haven likes this.

  19. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Tele-Meister

    Age:
    55
    286
    Jun 7, 2017
    GCDB
    Spell check.. but yes that's correct I would put a $100 item at $75 to move it along, I rarely take less, I get offers I just decline them, if it sits for a bit I lower the price, you know like a real business.
    Now buying I like to see a $100 item for $25 but at this point I let the seller set the price, I can dicker like a mad man, but really I don't see the need, people have so much stuff they want to move you just need to wait. Case in point, my wife wanted a new flute, (nice flutes are 5-10K) She looked at a few "step up" models in the 1K range but would have liked to spend 2K to get something "intermediate",basically a new version of what she has. I said "you can do better used..wait" sure enough she ran in to a college classmate at a studio reunion this summer, who had given up playing due to a respiratory issue and sold my wife her old professional flute (probably about 2K 25 years ago) for $100 (seller set price) "i would like it to go to a good home, and get some use I know you will enjoy it" It will need new pads & regulation but still a great deal. Time trumps money every time..
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    moosie likes this.

  20. wayloncash

    wayloncash Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 7, 2012
    Houston, TX
    It's almost not worth buying used gear anymore. Everyone has astronomical prices. How can you only take 50 off a four yr old used guitar?
     

  21. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Tele-Meister

    Age:
    55
    286
    Jun 7, 2017
    GCDB
    I set CL to 5/100 where you can limit the pricing range, the 5 kicks out all the "$1" B.S. and the 100 keeps you from wading thru all the over priced stuff. Obviously if you are looking for something more expensive you will need to adjust, but I find the best way to to that is to put the name of the item in and search directly. ALLWAYS look at anything with a vague description "Guitar..$100" is junk most of the time but not long ago it was a Dot Studio + case, too bad I was heading OOT the next AM still it hung around for 3 days because no one looked. Last couple of months I have gotten an Affinity Strat for $30, Mustang I W/ footswitch for $35, and a few other things. Don't neglect Goodwill etc, most of the "good stuff" goes on line, and there is little rhyme nor reason to the pricing on what is left but I have picked up a number of small name brand amps and some drum stuff (DW/Pearl/Ludwig on the cheep) along with lots of budget guitars for less than $50.
     

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