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We all know the unparalleled feeling of finding "the" violin. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I did: I went to a shop and found a beautiful instrument that has exactly the sound I am looking for. Therefore, I want to upgrade. I'm looking to sell my current instrument to set up the right financial situation. My violin was made in 1998 by Raphael Le Cointe (who then went to Cremona). I have an insurance appraisal for $15,000 and his instruments have sold for upwards of $20,000. I'm hoping to get 10-12K to offset the cost of the upgrade. The violin is in suberb condition: it's more a solist's instrument (powerful, bright, direct, and responses). However, and I am playing much more orchestra and chamber stuff now, so it's not the right sound for me anymore (I'm looking for something warmer and less penetrating). I've read a bunch of old threads (from this site and others) on various tips for selling violins and the different options one has (consignment, auction, private sale, shop sale, trade-in, donation for tax break, etc). However, I think I'm stuck at the point where only a private sale is a realistic option, despite the difficulties that come with trying that. Consignment: I can't afford to buy the new violin and put my current one on consignment, because the up-front cost is too high (and I don't want to get trapped in a scenario where my current instrument doesn't sell for years). On the other hand, I can't put my violin into consignment and be left without an instrument to play while I wait for it to sell. Auction: I think an auction would yield far too little money. I've contacted the bigger auction houses (Tarisio, Bromptons, etc) and they don't seem interested in a modern NY instrument. Trade-in: The shop where I found the violin I love (a reputable shop in the USA) assessed my current instrument for a trade-in. The luthiers there confirmed it is well-made and in very good condition but they required the vice-president's approval. He, for whatever reason, declined the option to trade the instrument, even though I would have paid a significant net cash difference. The shop won't tell me why they weren't interested (they want to charge me for a "verbal appraisal"), even though I think this information would help me. Donation: quite simply, my income is too high since I file jointly with my wife, and the tax break I'd get for donating, even at the insurance appraisal value, isn't worth it. Shop sale: I can't imagine a shop or luthier will just buy my instrument from me to add to their inventory if I'm not buying a new instrument from them. PRIVATE SALE: This leaves me with private sale. I have reached out to old teachers, fellow musicians, a couple of youth orchestras in the area, and some other resources. However, this has proved futile so far as I am finding that potential buyers have an inherent trust in shops (it's understandable: it gives an impression of legitimacy in case something were to go wrong). I'm looking for tips, resources, or even contacts anyone might have on how to get word out about my instrument and find a student who is looking to upgrade. I believe my current violin is perfect for an advanced player, especially someone looking to move into a fine instrument and continue studying solo repertoire (something like a promising high school student or early conservatory student). I have also listed my violin on Reverb.com: https://reverb.com/item/31296574-fine-violin-american-hand-made-4-4-size-raphael-le-cointe-nyc-1998