question to successful deal hunters and deal landers

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by tamer_of_banthas, May 24, 2020.

  1. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    It depends on what you mean by "overpay"- If you walked into a shop and paid list for a guitar that you could have gotten for 15% less by ordering online, but you did it because that specific guitar felt right to you in a way that others didn't, then I wouldn't call that "overpaying". Paying list from an online vendor without doing 15 minutes of web searching to find the same thing for 15% less from another vendor is what I think of as "overpaying".

    Years ago I had an epiphany- I was traveling, and by the time I got to my hotel at around 10pm I had a raging headache. Normally I keep ibuprofen in my bag, but for some reason I was out that night. Anyway, the hotel gift shop had packets of four capsules of ibuprofen for $5. I was outraged- I could get 10x that amount at the grocery store! But it was late and I had no car, and there were no stores within walking distance. It was pay the $5 or go to bed with a headache. This was when it hit me- I wasn't paying $5 for four measly tablets of ibuprofen, I was paying $5 to solve a problem. At that moment, getting rid of my headache was absolutely worth $5. It's all a matter of perspective.
  2. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    All my deals are online. The best ones were each some kind of unique situation that brought the price down for me, but was not widely known or recognized by everyone else. Sometimes these situations lasted for a long time, too.

    One involved a AV58 that had been special ordered by a small shop. Buyer wanted the 64 model, though. Both white blonde, both new to market in 2013, easy to see how they messed up. Small shop just wanted it gone, and their working capital back. Advertised on Reverb correctly as 'used', but it wasn't. The buyer never accepted it. No one played it. But the price was in line with used.

    I didn't realize all of this, just knew it was what I wanted, but I wasn't planning on spending money that day. So, I lowballed, just in case. Offer was promptly denied, as I expected. Sigh of relief, in a way.

    Then, four hours later, the store owner messages me, am I still interested?

    Well, NOW I am.... so we spoke on the phone, because I wanted to know the story - why so cheap if it's really new, and why is he chasing me? (I didn't ask that last bit directly)

    'Cash grab' was the phrase he used. Said he couldn't afford to hold it and wait. Meantime thanks to Google street view, I could peer in his shop window at some point in the recent past. Even see price tags! The shop was selling lessons, band instruments, and Squiers. They just didn't have the market for a high end US Tele.

    I explained my (bonehead) thinking at the time, which is that I really wanted a Suhr, and I'd need to immediately refret this one with stainless. Etc etc. I have found that a low price is much more readily comsidered if the other party can relate, even just a bit. Much better than if I'd just said $1150, take it or leave it.

    The owner decided he could do it (which I knew the moment he contacted me).

    Long post, so just quickly, another time I wound up with two warehouse fresh CS Strats, a few weeks apart. Dealer had lost their Fender dealership, and was blowing out a big run of guitars. They were trying to be like Daves or Wildwood, ordering a bunch, with pickyps wound just for them, etc. I think thise sold well, this was their second run. But I think Fender had recently firmed up dealer requirements, and they would have needed to put up too much capital, for guitars they might not sell. The company was Pro Guitar Shop, the pedal place. Now gone, because the owner died, but this was before all that. Anyway, prices were a bit less than the list price of the AV Strats.

    There are a few more like those. But, some of the best deals came when I stopped needing brand new. Tons of perfectly good B stock. Each one is an opportunity. Just because someone had remorse, or because there's a tiny nick somewhere you never look... sure, I'll pay 35% off. My #1 335 was a b stock. So was my AV64 Tele.

    And used can be even more spectacular.
    tamer_of_banthas likes this.
  3. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 16, 2014
    Antelope, California
    This x 1000.

    It's so easy to comparison shop nowadays and you don't even have to leave the house. I can see it if you're supporting a local music store, and for a lot of things in my life I do pay the upcharge to help keep the little guys in business. But when you're talking AMS, MF, GC, Amazon, Sam Ash, Full Compass, StewMac, etc. my money goes to the lowest price + shipping I can find.
    tamer_of_banthas likes this.
  4. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Up North
    True that!
    Sure, I Want lots of things but, do I need it?
    That becomes the role of the seller.

    If the price isn't right, I don't need it.
    Toto'sDad and tamer_of_banthas like this.
  5. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Friend of Leo's

    Nov 16, 2005
    Texas Gulf Coast
    First let me admit, I don't buy any guitars/basses/amps/pedals at any guitars shops (GC,Sam Ash etc.....,and I ONLY buy used.

    I mainly buy from pawnshops, FB Marketplace, and some on CL.

    The main thing when trying to get the best deal on any instrument, is to know as much as you can about it, and know the average market selling price of one in good condition.

    If you're buying of off CL or FB Marketplace, get all info you can before you make an attempt to contact the seller.

    After you've made contact with seller through e-mail or texting, ask if you can talk on the phone.

    If this is a guitar/bass, etc., you're REALLY interested, this is what you want to do.

    When you talk on the phone, you can try to find some type of common ground.

    Maybe you like the same music, guitars, food, concerts, just anything to make a connection.

    Try to talk to the seller as long as you can.

    This is very important because, after you've found common ground and made some type of connection, then it'll be WAY easier to ask for a really good price for the item.

    Also be ready to use any and all issues to try to get a better price, but remember never to get ugly or try to dismiss the instrument because they won't budge on price.

    If you find and instrument in a pawnshop, you try to do make a connection, but it has to be a little quicker, and sometimes this might not happen.

    Anyway, in a pawnshop, once you find the item you want, look it quickly to find the going market rate so you know if it's in line price wise.

    Next, you have to find as my issues with the instrument as you can.

    Look for replaced pickups, replaced tuners, chips, scratches, chips, rubs, non original case/or lack of one.

    I forgot to mention that you always get a WAY better price with cash on hand, so you might want to keep $500-$1000 on hand, which I always try to.

    First ask for the best cash price they can do on the item right now, and see what they say.

    I try to see if they'll go at least 40% off the asking price.

    Once they come back with what they're willing to take, I see how close it is to 40%.

    If it's not, then I throw out as many issues with the guitar as I can, including missing or rusted string, because nothing is off limits.

    Sometimes they call in the manager, and I'll tell them that I really want the instrument, but nicely point out all the issues, and why their asking price is to much.

    One key that I'll mention again is, never get rude or mean with the salesperson or manager if you can't agree on the price that YOU want.

    It's better to thank them for their time, shake their hand, and let them know if they want to negotiate a better price in the future, you'd be interested in talking again.

    Leave your phone number with them or your business card with them, so they can call you if they can call you.

    All these things have help me get some SUPER CRAZY AMAZING deals on guitars,basses, amps, pedals over the last 15+ yrs.

    Here are some of the deals I've negotiated at pawnshops over the last 10 yrs.

    $64.64 - '74 Fender Jazz Bass
    $100 - '88 Carvin DC127
    $100 - '09 Fender Highway One Honey Blonde Tele
    $120 - '87 USA Kramer Baretta 1
    $120 - '96 MIJ Fender Jagstang
    $125 - '90 MIJ Fender '57RI P-Bass
    $149 - '98 Yamaha LL-11
    $180 - '79 Fender P-Bass
    $180 - '98 USA Parker Nitefly
    $180 - '78 Hamer Black Bound & Crowned Sunburst
    $180 - '97 Yamaha Gold Sparkle Custom Limited edition 5 pc. kit w/hardshell cases
    $190 - '92 Hamer Chaparral Bass
    $207 - '94 Fender Jazz V Plus
    $207 - '96 Larrivee D-05 Dred
    $258 - '09 Taylor 210E
    $270 - '03 Taylor 515-CE Jumbo Custom
    $286 - '05 Gibson LP Studio
    $300 - '65 Gibson LG-O acoustic
    $300 - '03 Epiphone "Elite" LP Custom
    $315 - '89 Fender Jazz Bass
    $325 - '90 Fender Strat Plus
    $400 - '78 Fender P-Bass
    $400 - '10 Mesa Boogie Roadster Dual Rectifier 2x12 Combo
    $400 - '01 Gibson LP Jr.
    $400 - '07 Fender '57RI AVRI Strat

    Second Tier pawnshop Scores:

    $600 - '07 Gibson SG-3 #006 Limited Ed.
    $600 - '00 Gibson SG Custom Supreme
    $646 - '05 Taylor 414-CE Fall Limited
    $762 - '08 Gibson LP Standard Plus
    $785 - '76 S.L. Mossman Great Plains
    $923 - '95 PRS Custom 24 10-Top
    $923 - '81 Martin 7-28 7/8 Scale D-28
    $993 - '89 Gibson LP Standard
    $1200 - '03 Tom Anderson Hollow T Drop Top HSH
    $1340 - '15 Suhr Classic Pro SSH
    $1400 - '83 Gibson ES-335 Dot

    My CL negotiated scores

    $230 - '00 Gibson LP Special
    $500 - '75 Fender Strat
    $850 - '08 Gibson LP Standard Plus
  6. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Up North
    The relationship started when they said I Want You To Buy This From Me.

    I agree with the chatting part but if you are going to negotiate from First Position, you have to be assertive.
    It can be done without being rude, offensive, condescending, ....

    If they Really want/need to sell, they need to know that.
    Keep in mind, they needed the Money long before you ever came in to the picture.
    tamer_of_banthas likes this.
  7. modavis99

    modavis99 Tele-Meister

    Aug 22, 2010
    New Jersey
    Best deal I ever got was on some new Gibsons as part of the great Gibson Memphis blowout at CME two years ago. That started a relationship with a sales person there who would routinely give me 25% off or more depending on the gear.
  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !

    If you want deals ... you need to buy used guitars. The savings off of new is huge.
    Some used guitars are in NOS show room floor condition.
    Some used guitars are battered and beat and broken and need fretwork, hardware replaced, or a good setup -- but the price often reflects that additional savings.

    You do need to educate yourself on how to spot partscasters, fakes, and hidden headstock repairs or the good deal can turn upside down on you.

    Gibson is a mess of headstock repairs and I won't touch any of them anymore.

    tamer_of_banthas likes this.
  9. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Feb 22, 2020
    Tri State, MS
    have cash on hand, buy used, buy local from people you have relationships with, get comfortable asking: is this the best price you can offer on this?, and be willing to walk away. Best overall strategy
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