If you want a cheap bass I would recommend trying Rondomusic.net. They sell on ebay or from their web site for the same price. They have a very good customer rating if you look at Harmony central reviews.
I dont know anything about their bass guitars, but I recently bought a guitar with licensed floyd for $119.
Basicly the guitars that are made in Korea and china can be very good and cheap. I also have a Jay Turser guitar that I bought for $200 on ebay that is awsome. One of the major retailers picked up this line and sells the same for $430.
The key is to read the harmony central reviews and you'll get a good guitar for cheap.
The cheapest major retailer in the US is the woodwind and brasswind. also owns music 123. try wwbw.com. They always beat guitar center and musician's friend.
My advice is do a little research and buy off the beaten path.
I honestly can afford to buy whatever guitar I want. The cheap ones I have play as good as some costing 4x.