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 Post subject: Please help with value of guitar
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:22 am 
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Husband passed away 16 years ago and finally can let go of his guitar. It is a Fender Precision Jazz Bass. Number on back is 254712, Any help on price? Not sure the age of it either, how can you tell age? Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Please help with value of guitar
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:31 am 
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Hi
Sorry for your loss.

To help you with the value we would need to know if it is a Fender Precision bass OR
Fender Jazz Bass. At the top of the bass neck where the chrome tuning keys are located, the bass should say "Fender ****** bass". Post back what is printed on that part of the instrument.

We will be better able to determine the date after we know that info.

There is a place on Fender's website that lists serial numbers (under the support tab on the web site). That bass could be dated between 1969-1970 according to the serial you gave. More info the better to help you find the aproximate date.
Those older Fender basses go for thousand of dollars.

Post back as much info as you can and I am sure someone on this forum will be able to help.


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 Post subject: Re: Please help with value of guitar
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:29 am 
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Neck says Fender Precision Bass. Numbers on back plate are 254712. The owners manual that was in the hardcase says jazz bass. Are they the same? A precision and a jazz?? confused here. Thanks for your input.


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 Post subject: Re: Please help with value of guitar
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:57 am 
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Pics would help greatly. Need to see the finish, condition, etc. You may have something pedestrian or you may have something special.

Make sure you include one straight-on pic so we can view the string alignment.

Also, sight down the neck, down across the frets, from the headstock down, with the instrument in tune. The neck should be ruler flat or at most have only the slightest bow in it. And no bumps/ski jumps. The strings should be only a tiny bit off the fretboard. If you can measure exactly how far, that would help.

You could always take it to a reputable luthier (not some chain store hack) to have him spiff it up for sale, check for obvious flaws, put new strings on, adjust the truss rod, etc. "Just checked out" can count for a lot when it comes to desirability and not getting taken for a ride by potential buyers who may use your ignorance to their advantage. Most times a trip to the luthier can be recouped in the subsequent sale.

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 Post subject: Re: Please help with value of guitar
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:22 pm 
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If the neck says Precision, let's go for that for now, but pictures would bring better clarity.

Bass values are based on vintage, condition, color and demand. Right now the demand for Precision bases is soft and artificially keeping prices lower - but an excellent condition P in your vintage, in a solid or custom color will still bring upwards of $5000. Sunburst Ps are not doing as well.

I think it is a great idea for you to have a professional appraise it. Determining a value is not easily done online as the bass has to be disassembled. However, if you can post some nice pictures, which will confirm the type and condition of the bass, we can offer a ballpark value, making an assumption all parts are original. To get closer you need to remove that assumption.

So sorry to meet under these circumstances. Sorry for your loss.

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Collector of vintage Fender 4 string basses.


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 Post subject: Re: Please help with value of guitar
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:03 pm 
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Also value depends upon originality and provenience, meaning original parts matter (except strings), original finish matters and documentation such as receipts etc helps a bit also. Even the condition, originality and authenticity of the case itself and original items included with the case (manual, cable, strap, cloth) plays into the value.

To give you a ballpark figure, it is just too big a ballpark and we have too little information, such as no photos. I can safely say that if the case is original and in good shape it is probably worth more alone than the instrument cost new. Cases in good shape are going for between 300 and 400 in this vintage. Also where you are selling matters. Music center cities like NYC, LA, Nashville, Seattle and almost all foreign markets will realize a higher price than say Dover or Tampa or an economically depressed market like Detroit. So where you sell it matters too.

The previous recommendation to get a professional opinion was the best advice you could get. At the least you need a real appraisal. It could be worth a substantial amount of money. The tune-up (set up) was also a good idea if you plan to sell it yourself locally.

There are vintage instrument experts who could look it over and give you an idea. There are music stores in almost every town, but most of them don't actually deal with many 1969 Fenders nor know much about them. You need to get it to a real vintage dealer.

The more respected vintage dealers will often charge an appraisal fee and will issue a written appraisal which could be used for insurance purposes or as a reference point in a private party sale. It also will reveal any issues such as value robbing modifications or defects. The appraisal value is typically higher than the price a vintage instrument will actually bring, but gives you an idea of the value in general and authenticates it for potential buyers. Generally an appraisal from an authority is in order on an instrument of this vintage if for nothing else but insurance purposes. A free appraisal here or anywhere else is worth essentially what you paid for it.

Sometimes a vintage dealer, even one on the up and up, will tell you it appraises for X amount of dollars then offers to buy it for half of the amount that they just told you it was worth, sometimes even less than half that appraisal figure. The dealer will eventually sell it for more like 80 to 90% of the appraisal value down the road. I would turn down any such outright offer unless you are in a huge hurry to sell it. Whatever the dealer offers you it is certain they plan to approximately double that investment in a reasonable time.

An attractive and often overlooked alternative to selling it outright to the dealer at a fraction of it's appraisal value is a consignment sale, in which you enter into an agreement where the vintage instrument dealer acts as your representative to sell the instrument and keeps a commission when it sells. Usually these are 1 year written contractual agreements and the dealer takes actual physical possession of the instrument acting as your agent selling it for you. The disadvantage is paying the commission and shipping costs to the dealer if any. Advantages include that the dealer will sell it far faster and for more money than the average private seller can. Even after the commission fee you will almost always still come out better than in an outright sale to a dealer while the instrument gets a buyer much faster than you could in any private sale other than eBay. Also consignment vintage dealers will "set it up" (do the tune up) a local tech would charge you to do, so there's no need for that added expense as they are going to do that anyway in order to sell it.

There is one advantage and more numerous disadvantages to a private sale. The big advantage is paying no commission. You may pay no commission but private party sellers realize lower sale prices than dealers. While there is a market for these instruments, actually finding a buyer with the ready cash required can take a great while unless you are in the community. You will hear from a lot of flakes who do not have the money but just want to see it or waste your time asking questions, many of which you may not know how to answer since you are not very knowledgeable about Fender basses. Not knowing much about them, you can get out of your depth quickly with a buyer asking questions. Private party sales seem to do best on eBay however eBay can be a real minefield to tip toe through in a multi-thousand dollar instrument transaction. Ebay horror stories abound about vintage sales gone bad. Some auction winners just never paid me and I had to relist and go through a bunch of hassle to get my fees refunded. I've heard worse outcomes, such as chargeback scams. So be on your toes if you go the eBay route. Also don't lose sight of the fact that eBay charges commission fees also and on a multi-thousand dollar item the eBay fees add up real fast.

All in all a consignment sale with a vintage dealer can realize a bigger payment for you than selling outright to the dealer, but you still need to check out their reputation because a vintage dealer could gyp you too. So the key here is to find a noted reliable vintage instrument dealer that does appraisals and consignment sales with a verifiable track record. Usually these dealers will have vintage instrument shops. Sometimes they don't. This is the point where I bring up George Gruhn. He is the most noted vintage instrument authority/dealer/appraiser in the USA. His shop is in Nashville, TN. His reputation is well earned. You can call and talk to him or his people and if you decide to go with a consignment vintage dealer closer to your home, it is possible George Gruhn might know someone equally reputable closer to your hometown. He's so famous his store was featured in a Visa TV commercial some years back. It ended, "and bring your Visa card because Gruhn Guitars doesn't take American Express."


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 Post subject: Re: Please help with value of guitar
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:53 am 
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It's a bad time to sell a vintage Fender bass. Don't sell it at a shop, either. You'll lose yer butt.


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 Post subject: Re: Please help with value of guitar
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:13 am 
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Dalembic wrote:
It's a bad time to sell a vintage Fender bass. Don't sell it at a shop, either. You'll lose yer butt.


Actually values have been going up, especially on pre 70 CBS era stuff. Not as bad now as 2 years ago for sure.


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