12 May, 2008

Deal of the century

Location: the corner of roosevelt and ravenna
Mood: triumphant

I am getting quite good at this bargaining thing. And I am also getting quite good at stockpiling musical instruments.

Yes, it is true. I bought another (!) guitar. And another good deal. I think this might be the steal of the century though. Went into Trading Musician yesterday to try to sell some tuners that I bought on E-Bay that turned out to be the wrong ones (see other blog). They didn't really want to offer me much for them, so I bailed on that plan. But I did my usual once-through the store, and saw a new instrument that hadn't been there previously.

A USA American Standard Fender Telecaster, made in 2000. Very good condition.

Price: $419

This seemed completely out of whack. These things should go for more.

But there's a reason. The guitar was custom painted with an "interesting" green paint on the front and back, including bizarre stickers of children on the back of the body, plus a sheet of yellow lined notebook paper under the lacquer with some strange children's writing on it.

They said that because the guitar had the crazy paint, it was going for a deal.

I played it, and it was definitely a legitimate good player, and sounded great. Another backup guitar? So I thought about it overnight, and went back there today.

The key to my negotiation depended on a little secret that I did not tell them, but I will tell you now, here, my fellow blog friends:


i l o v e t h e p a i n t j o b

shh... don't tell anyone.

so i went in, and started asking all sorts of questions about "what would it take to get this guitar back to looking acceptable again, etcetera, etcetera". and joe, one of the manager guys, was patiently explaining what he'd do. i yammered on a little bit about how i thought this would make a decent backup guitar, but i was concerned about how much labor it was going to take for me to make it acceptable... how many hours, and all that.

all things told, here's how it ended up. asking price was $419. i offered them $360 cash, out the door, to which he looked at me and smiled, and was like, "um... no... this is already a great deal", which i of course knew was true. i never expected them to take $360. but it sort of is the necessary "borderline low-balling" pre-offer that one must make to anchor oneself in the reality zone of "i know what you're really going to be willing to take for this guitar, so we're going to do this dance now, and then we're going to come to an agreement".

i ended up getting the guitar, a new strap, and a VERY NICE NEW padded gig-bag for $400 cash, out the door, no tax. given what was included with the instrument, this was probably about a $100 savings over the asking price for all items. my guess is that the gig-bag alone was worth $30 or more. and my cursory search suggests i am correct. so i basically got the guitar for about $325 plus tax, or $100 off, which sounds to me like a 25% discount. not bad for trading musician.

so... now... i am finally done buying guitars.


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