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Thread: Am I asking too much?

  1. #1
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    Default Am I asking too much?

    I bought an Ibanez M510BS mandolin on Amazon in October. It got me into the instrument and I quickly wanted something better, so I bought a J Bovier off of Reverb in December. The Ibanez has been gathering dust so I decided to sell. I did not want to deal with shipping for a cheap instrument so I put it on LetGo for $105 (70% of what I paid). I had some inquiries but all just low-ball offers. I have since dropped the price to $85. Again many inquiries but just low offers. Am I asking too much? Should I sell elsewhere? The instrument is in terrific shape and has been given the "Rob Meldrum set-up"

  2. #2
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    The popular rule-of-thumb is that you should be able to get 70-75% of street price for a mandolin. The problem is that, even with a fair asking price, you still have to find a player who wants your mandolin. That usually takes time and some luck.

    I have a couple of low-end but popular mandolins (Eastman MD505 and MD315) that I'll probably never try to sell, just because I'm not likely to get enough out of them.

    Have you thought about keeping your Ibanez as a beater/loaner/backup? If you are having trouble getting $85 for it, then I'd be tempted to keep it.
    Doug Brock
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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    Not in my opinion, low ballers are constantly trying to beat up sellers!
    “What’s your best price?”
    MY best price is three times what I have it marked so, I feel that my marked price is fair. Stick up for what you feel you feel is fair and don’t accept the lowballer’s unreasonable offers.
    I have no use for the “Up yours, seller!” mentality.
    End rant.
    Timothy F. Lewis
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    I used to underprice instruments thinking that someone could buy my instrument that otherwise couldn't afford it. What I did was sell to flippers looking for a quick buck. That is why I like to give deals to friends.
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  6. #5
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    I used to be irritated by folks trying to knock my prices for used camera gear down to crazy low prices. I just had to keep reminding myself that they had every right to hope for a "killer deal," and that shopping for great deals can be the hobby unto itself. They might be planning to resell, or they could just be wanting bragging rights for this lens that they paid only ____ for, or they might want to get the best piece of equipment they possibly can for a certain price.

    I ask for fair price (and at the low end of fair price) based on whatever sales info I can glean from the Internet for a particular lens or body because I want to give the buyer a good deal. That isn't to say that I'd be unhappy for a killer deal by a little old lady who only drove the mandolin to church on Sundays, lol (but if the price were too low, I'm the kind of person who would tell the little old lady that she should be able to get X dollars for that mandolin, even if that placed the mandolin out of my reach. Sigh.).
    Doug Brock
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    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    I have the same model Ibanez. I bought it new for $100. I did a set up on it - I bought it to practice setting it up. I had to purchase a new tailpiece because the original was weak and was resting on the top. The strings were garbage, so I put a new set on. All in I probably have $130 or so into it plus my time. If I were to sell, I guess I’d look to get in the neighborhood of $80 or so dollars for. To me it’s not worth it to sell. It has ok tone for what it is. Easier to donate than try to sell IMHO. So, for now it’s residing in the closet. Anyway good luck with it!
    Thanks

  8. #7

    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    You could try selling it to Guitar Center if you have one nearby, they tend to take mostly everything even if you don't get the most money you could for it. Otherwise I'd probably just hang on to it as a beater or to use for alternate tunings and such.

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    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Scott View Post
    I have the same model Ibanez. I bought it new for $100. I did a set up on it - I bought it to practice setting it up. I had to purchase a new tailpiece because the original was weak and was resting on the top. The strings were garbage, so I put a new set on. All in I probably have $130 or so into it plus my time. If I were to sell, I guess I’d look to get in the neighborhood of $80 or so dollars for. To me it’s not worth it to sell. It has ok tone for what it is. Easier to donate than try to sell IMHO. So, for now it’s residing in the closet. Anyway good luck with it!
    When I bought the Ibanez I thought it sounded pretty good. But, after comparing it to the Bovier and a Kentucky KM250 I bought here on the classifieds, it falls pretty short. For a while I kept it at work and would play in during lunch breaks but it is mostly gathering dust

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    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    Is $85.00 that important? Surly there is a deserving aspiring musician that could use a free Mando. Then your cup runith over.

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    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    Never heard of Letgo, but on craigslist sellers have to have thick skins, you'll get people asking you to drive hours to them, or 15 pictures or "I'll send cashier's check for purchase price plus some overage which you'll pay my shipping company to pick it up" and baloney like that. And then on ebay i see instruments w/pretty reasonable starting auction prices get no bids over and over again (I guess you can do up to 15 listings a month, something like that, so it doesn't cost you anything to keep relisting it)
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    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmybikes View Post
    Is $85.00 that important? Surly there is a deserving aspiring musician that could use a free Mando. Then your cup runith over.
    If there were a deserving young musician that needed it, I would do that. However, there is no way to determine if the inquiries are from one of those or just an opportunist

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    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveGinNJ View Post
    If there were a deserving young musician that needed it, I would do that. However, there is no way to determine if the inquiries are from one of those or just an opportunist
    Local school system might be of help (or not)
    The "Junior Appalachian Musicians" program is active in several east coast states (at least NC & VA) and often can make use of instruments for the use of middle school students.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    I still have the first mandolin I ever bought, a low end Washburn A model with f holes, for reasons listed above by others. My kids beat it up quite a bit when they were little but also got into playing music that way. I've loaned it to friends and relatives who were considering learning mandolin. When I used to fly for work, it always got the nod to go with me if I worried about being forced to gate check. It used to go out on pontoon boat and car camping trips with my young family. I learned how to make a new string nut and how to fit a bridge to a top on it. After 26 years, it is reaching the end of its useful life since the neck angle has progressively gotten more and more shallow, but I only had a small amount of money in it in the first place. It will soon just hang on the wall and remind me of many great memories. Keeping it was worth way more than the $75 I could have gotten out of it.
    Last edited by ToneDeaf; Jun-18-2019 at 11:38am. Reason: spelling, grammar. I'm a bad proofreader.
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  16. #14

    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    All great advice and suggestions. One more idea: a trade.

    For instance, you could go to Craigslist's instruments-for-sale section and see if anyone wants to trade something for it. That's how I ended up with my favorite guitar. You never know.

  17. #15

    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    There is no reason you can't get your initial asking price. Letgo and offerup are highly prone to flaky low ball buyers. I have sold a fair amount of personal stuff on there and it is always a hassle. Craigslist tends to be better.

    Just keep in mind, most people are not really looking to buy a mandolin. They are just looking for a great deal. Possibly to flip. I always post my lowest price and make it clear (in a nice way) that I will not entertain offers or trades. Then figure that finding someone interested at a fair price will take at least 2+ months per 100k of population.
    Robert Fear
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    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    Quote Originally Posted by ToneDeaf View Post
    ... still have the first ... low end ... kids beat it up ... got into playing music ... loaned it to friends and relatives ... fly for work ... pontoon boat and car camping ... string nut ... fit a bridge ... neck angle ... worth way more than the $75 I could have ...
    My '63 Kay guitar sits by the computer giddy with glee, having learned of a kindred spirit. What's that? Yeah, the super-light electric strings DID stop your neck & body from collapsing, tone be danged! And still ready at a moment's notice to make non-public music even at 57 years old. Someday I'll re-set your neck and replace the soft brass/bronze/copper(?) frets that have divots both under the strings AND between them, simply from finger wear. Play on, ol' buddy!
    - Ed

    "What our group lacks in musicianship is offset by our willingness to humiliate ourselves." - David Hochman

  19. #17

    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    One of the nice things about mandolins I think is that they are not so large as to make it difficult to have a few extras laying around.
    Maybe someday you or someone you know will decide to build a mandolin and just strip all the components off of it.

  20. #18

    Default Re: Am I asking too much?

    I would just hang onto it for the future, maybe your kid or grandkid will become interested. Or maybe you'll have a student to loan or rent it to. Years ago, I gave a similar model away to someone who no longer plays and in the meantime I have had many inquiries for an inexpensive mandolin by potential students.

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