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rockbassist
Member
Username: rockbassist

Post Number: 68
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 8:24 pm:   Edit Post

First of all I love my Epics and as soon as I can figure out how to post pictures if them I will. I do have a question though. On the Alembic website it lists the staring price of an Epic at $4,400. Still a lot of money by most musician's standards. I recently posted one of my 1997 Epic 5 strings on EBAY with a starting bid of $1,000 and nobody bid on it. I also placed a 1976 Fender Precision with a starting bid of $1,000 and also did not receive any bids. I guess my question is why? I have friend who is a Berklee trained bassist who told me that Alembics do not hold value because the average person hasn't heard of them. Most beginner to intermediate players read Bass Player and see their heroes playing Fender, Ibanez and Warwick. As a result, you can find used Warwick basses selling for close to what they sold for as new retail. I agree that is true but why don't Alembics hold their value? I love my Epics. I cannot imagine playing anything else which is why I decided to keep the one that is my favorite and post the other on EBAY. Again I ask, why don't Alembics hold value. I am not trying to criticize Alembic or suggest that they are inflating their prices. I am just looking for other opinions.
Thanks.
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1082
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 9:22 pm:   Edit Post

I thought we pretty much discussed resale value issues in your Flitz Metal Polish thread?
oujeebass
Member
Username: oujeebass

Post Number: 69
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 9:01 am:   Edit Post

I missed the Flitz Metal Polish thread.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 1090
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 9:29 am:   Edit Post

Here it is:

http://alembic.com/club/messages/393/25249.html

Bill, tgo
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 662
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 10:33 am:   Edit Post

I guess no one wanted to pay a grand for a 76 Jazz. I know I wouldn't.

The whys of used prices are right up there with who killed the Kennedys, why is the sky blue, and what's really behind the fence at Area 51.

J o e y
oujeebass
Member
Username: oujeebass

Post Number: 70
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 10:35 am:   Edit Post

And we wonder why rock is dead.
olieoliver
Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 69
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 9:48 pm:   Edit Post

I'll put my two cents worth in on the resale on used ANYTHING. It all boils down to supply and demand and more importantly WHAT the supply is and WHO the demandees are. A good example is a 42 Martin D45 guitar that sold on ebay last month for about $250,000. Yes the guitar was old, yes they only made about 70, but 1/4 million dollars, come on. What they had here was some "collectors" not players who have too much money and too much lust for not being out done. And personally I think a grand for a 76 "ENDER"Jazz is not that bad a price, depending on what kind of shape it's in. CBS didn't do that bad a job on them until much later.
The key here is if you have someting you are going to sell wait and watch until you see n up swing in the price of similar items being sold on ebay. Likewise do the opposite wh buying but either way check feedback on the other parties and always ask questions when in doubt.
bumhucker
New
Username: bumhucker

Post Number: 3
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 7:41 am:   Edit Post

watching prices is a good tip.
also, you might try starting the bidding at .99 or super-low WITH a reserve of $999. It's a mind trick. I have put up items with a low starting bid and a buy-it-now and they end up getting bid up PAST what the buy-it-now was!! There is something exciting about bidding and thinking you're going to get something cheap and then as the auction comes to an end people get fired up and the bids climb up.
A low starting bid can get more action and involvment- because it gets them into the game. If the starting bid is really high people can forget to bid at the last minute and forget about the item.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3436
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 8:38 am:   Edit Post

Kevin; since you're asking why you didn't get a bid on your bass, I'll try to help with some suggestions. I look at a lot of Ebay Alembic listings (but I'm trying to cut down <g>). It has been my observation that pictures can make a big difference in the success of a listing. The pictures in your listing did not really show the beauty of your bass. For instance, many listings have pictures that you can click on to get a larger and more detailed view; yours did not. The picture on the top left, in addition to being small, is a bit dark; it doesn't really give the bidder much information. The picture on the top right is the only picture of the back of the body and the back of the neck. It looks to me that this bass may have an exceptionally nice looking Mahogany body. But it's kinda hard to tell from the picture and I've looked at a lot more Alembics than have many folks that would be in the market for this bass. If the picture was a good bit larger, I'm guessing it would be a big selling point. Also, an additional picture of just the back of the body would be nice. The picture of the headstock is not exceptionally clear; you can barely make out the logo. The picture of the front of the body does not show off that wonderful looking grain. This picture should be the highlight of the listing, but instead it makes the finish look dull. I'm guessing it's at least partly due to the glare of the flash. The flash glare makes it look like the bass hasn't been polished recently. A good picture here would show off that really nice grain.

Also, when you do a search under musical instruments for Alembic, your listing does not show a picture of the bass like many of the other listings do. I nice body shot here would draw attention to your bass.

I don't follow the prices of Epics closely. I do know that they stay fairly steady and trade fairly often. I'm guessing that the prices of four string Epics in good condition generally run $850 to $950; and that the prices of five strings run higher than that. Your bass appears to be in very good condition; so I'm thinking that $1,000 for your bass is probably a good deal; but again I don't follow the prices on Epics that closely. (Last week an Epic four string sold for $1,632; which is historically high, but it did have a nice picture of the top and included a hard case.) The lack of a case could be an issue for some folks, but it's been my observation that a lot of Epics have gig bags rather than cases. A picture of the gig bag might help. My guess is that if you can get some better quality pictures, you should be able to sell this bass for at least $1,000. A little patience helps too; some weeks there just aren't many buyers looking for what your selling. Over the last few months, prices for an Alembic F-1X have ranged from below $400 to well above $500; an increase from the low end to the high end of more than 25%. So timing is a factor; and patience helps.
rockbassist
Member
Username: rockbassist

Post Number: 69
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 8:34 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks to everyone for their responses. I checked other prices prior to posting on ebay. There seems to be more demand for vintage Fenders than anything else. I priced the Fender and the Alembic at starting prices which were below what others were asking and posted several high quality pictures. It just seems odd that some of the higher end basses such as Alembic, Zon, etc do not seem to have the resale value that other basses do. I'm sure that this is due to the same reason why non bass players criticize Alembic users, IGNORANCE! I guess in todays world, so many younger players are seeing their heroes using Ibanez, Music Man and Fender, etc and do not realize that there are much better alternatives. I'm actually glad that neither bass sold. I can continue to enjoy them. As far as the comment by bigredbass, I respect your opinion but I was selling a 76 Precision not a Jazz Bass. Although I do own a 78 Jazz. Both are very nice basses. Personally, I would never criticize anybody for playing any brand of bass. It all comes down to playing what you can afford and what makes you happy. Again thanks for all the responses.
bassdr
Member
Username: bassdr

Post Number: 52
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 2:26 pm:   Edit Post

I'm sure Joey wasn't dissing your bass or choice of basses, but I too have never been a fan of Fender basses and this is just a personal choice/opinion- others would not like my 79 Rick 4001 or my Essence :-) Michael (Flame Koa Essence)
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 688
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 2:45 pm:   Edit Post

Certainly not! I must admit to a knee jerk reaction when it comes to pricing vintage Fenders, as to my mind (believe me, a distinct minority) pricing in the vintage market is just past my understanding. I understand that it's driven by the market, but I'm still clueless to it all. I just fail to see why I'd pay ALEMBIC prices for something I could build myself from Warmoth parts exactly the way I'd like, for thousands less. In a lot of cases all the 'old' means to me is that it's a little elderly, wiring needs work, hardware's starting to turn, the finish is brittle. . you see where I'm coming from. I want first rate tools: Why would I buy 50 year old Craftsmans, rusty and rounded off, when I'd save money on new SnapOns? Maybe not a really romantic outlook, but it's the way I see it. I buy only players, I'd never buy a bass to put away. I also have the distinctly minority view that this market WILL one day turn down, and your instruments will not be worth what they are now in most cases. There's never been a market that's NEVER adjusted itself sooner or later.

I always believe that WHATEVER instrument is the best tool for your individual expression, GO for it.

J o e y
bassdr
Member
Username: bassdr

Post Number: 54
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 2:56 pm:   Edit Post

Amen Joey- it sickens me to see the "INVESTORS" buying vintage instruments just to turn a profit, the same thing has ruined classic cars and motorcycles- just look at a Barret-Jackson Auction on tv and you'll see. Michael
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 1122
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 3:38 pm:   Edit Post

Eventually the market will turn down. In fact, I'm expecting Stradavarious violins to come down to $300 sometime in the next 60 days! LOL

Seriously, though, I too think it insane that my '61 Strat is worth as much as it is. Especially when I realize I paid $125 for it around 30 years ago. (Best investment I EVER made). On the other hand, there are only so many of these around and IMHO my old Strat kicks butt on anything I've seen come out of Fender since I bought it. From a logical and practical point of view, both of my Alembics are far superior to the Strat. The reality, though, is that if they were priced on quality in relation to the Strat, I wouldn't have any Alembics. The pricing is what it is. The downside is that it stinks when you sell. The upside is that it's great when you buy. Hmmm ,,, a downside AND and upside. This is beginning to sound like most things in life. Enjoy playing and don't let the crazy stuff, like instrument values, drive you nuts.

Bill, tgo
rami
Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 538
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 7:06 pm:   Edit Post

Hey Joey,

Although the Kennedy mystery may never be solved, the reason the sky is blue is due to the scattering of sunlight by air molecules.

Betcha didn't see THAT one coming!

Cheers,
elzie
Advanced Member
Username: elzie

Post Number: 379
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 6:16 pm:   Edit Post

I just purchased a 4 string Epic on ebay for $895. Of course, it needed a whole lot of tlc when I got it, but it is a great bass non-the-less. Two Alembics now and I feel like Rami Jr. ;)

Yes, pics to come when I finally put it down....

Paul TGO
longhorncat
Member
Username: longhorncat

Post Number: 55
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 1:25 pm:   Edit Post

Would you like to know why no one bid on your Epic?
- You've never sold anything on eBay before!

You have a 17 positive feedback for buying stuff, but no history of selling. The better your selling feedback, the more buyers will trust you wonít steal their $1000. You have to start small or youíll take a big hit in potential final prices.

You also need better pictures. Nothing sells better than a bight, shiny instrument. There is a great web site for learning how to photograph basses. Iíll post the link when I can find it.


jetbass79
Intermediate Member
Username: jetbass79

Post Number: 112
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 2:33 pm:   Edit Post

I've thought that ebay wasn't a particularly good place to try to sell vintage stuff because people who generally buy vintage stuff want to play it first because vintage basses are so inconsistent. I sold a '76 Strat and got a grand out of it after three attempts and the listing had all kinds of good pictures for illustration.

I think the difference with Alembics is that they don't have high resale value but they at least hold it. I've noticed the normal procedure for a lot of people who aren't totally sure about purchasing a custom made Alembic buy a used one to see how much they like it. Then they decide to go for the gusto and sell the one they bought used for more or less what they paid for it. Or they just keep the one they bought and order a custom one.

There's no mystery as to why vintage Fender basses and guitars keep going up in value: attrition. There are fewer and fewer in the pool for consumption each year and they have a particular vibe about them. At one point I had four vintage Precisions...but only one of them was worth keeping.

I was confident enough in the Alembic product that I didn't even go out and play one before I ordered mine. To drop $3500 on something without ever playing anything like it and have it be absolutely smashing says a lot about value to me.

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