The fellowship that I play for currently has a bass amp, but no bass. I am trying to talk them into getting one that I can play, so I need some suggestions of a low cost, yet reliable. It will be used once or twice a week and sit around most of the summers. It doesn't have to be great quality, just so it won't go to crap in a month or two. I'm looking for value <$100 to maybe $200.
if you want a new bass take a look at the squier affinity, or... you can try a second hand and get a better bass with $200, maybe it will have a scratch... or two,but who gives a damn.
dean makes great basses. Look for one that is used...that is most likely the best value for your money
Look for a used Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass.
Squire series / Yamaha RBX / Ephiphone ?
NO! Epiphone make the worst basses. Don't touch them, even with a 99 and half foot pole.
Get a quality used bass on ebay or elsewhere. The new bass you'll buy for the same price will only disappoint you a couple of months from now... or sooner.
You could try an Ibanez Soundgear 100. Cheap and simple. My 200 sounds pretty good and has a fast easy to play neck. The j pickup is a little noisy, but the 100 has no j pickup, so problem solved Yamaha's beginner stuff is well liked also. Just make sure to try before you buy. Or yes, you could look for something second hand that's a tier up.