As many people know, I am always looking for a good bargain with musical instrument equipment. Bass guitars are probably top on my list, mainly because I have always loved playing the bass, and I love teaching bass to young students. I have posted a few blogs about using the electric bass in a bluegrass setting, so I really am conscious of finding inexpensive bass guitars for those interested in bluegrass bass.
About a month ago, I found a listing on eBay for a Glarry Burning Fire electric bass that a third party was selling overstock for about $40.00. Tax and all made it closer to $49.00, but I took a shot. About a week later, a small package arrived with the same USPS tracking number that was provided upon payment. The package turned out to be a pair of ladies underwear! I contacted eBay and PayPal, and fortunately, I got a full refund (and am stuck with some underwear !).
I knew that it was too good to be true. At least I got my money back, and all that it cost me was a little frustration. About two weeks ago, I was surfing the website Wish.com for bass guitars. You can usually pick up a Chinese no-name P-bass for about $65.00, coming out to about $80.00 with shipping and tax. However, I did come across one ad that had a P-bass for $32.35! I wondered if I should take a chance. I have had decent luck with Wish.com, the only problem being a long delivery time. With tax and shipping, the total cost was $47.01. I rolled the dice and took a chance.
A week later (a lot faster than usual Wish.com shipments), the package was at the post office for me to pick up. And yes, it was a full-sized P-bass! I shook the box a little to hear if there were any broken parts (my previous experience with Glarry was that it was shipped with no packing material to cushion). OK, no noise, so let’s get it home!
To my surprise, it was packed really well, inside molded styrofoam and wrapped in semi-bubble wrap. Pulling it out of the package, I found it to be typical of the Chinese no-name basses – lightweight body (so the headstock tends to drop down if you are not holding the neck), mediocre tuning gears, fret ends needing some smoothing, and the neck feeling a bit rough on the back. I haven’t yet plugged it in to see if the pickup and controls work fine, and I’m figuring that the pickup will need to be adjusted for height. A good set up will make this a decent playable bass. For $47.01, it is well worth it!
A bit of learned information about Wish.com: this purchase was a lucky shot. Occasionally, the site will have sale prices, but you have to be in the right place at the right time. When checking on this same P-bass a few days ago, the price was back up to $68.00. They will also have items like cords, tuners, foot pedals, and practice amps sold at decent prices as well as the occasional deep-discount sale. But you have to be scanning every day. Again, the only real concern is shipping time, so if you were buying a Christmas present for someone, you would have to order it in early November to get a guarantee pre-holiday arrival.
Now getting a gig bag for this bass is another thing. Trying to find one less than $20.00 is near impossible, even on Wish.com. Which leads me to what I want to do with the bass. I already have four other basses, including a Chinese no-name P-bass. I will probably just get this new one set up, then sell it on Craigslist in the same packaging that it was shipped in.
I’m not sure how next weekend looks, as it is Christmas. Hopefully I will find the time to post some short note.
Chew on it and comment.