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Hi, I've been violin/bow shopping recently and I began to wonder, will the customer ever know the "true" value of the instrument/bow that they bought? Stores will definitely put some sort of premium on the instrument, but as a customer unless we have the violin appraised elsewhere, we're never really going to know the true value. I was looking at a violin couple months back and really liked the instrument (feel and tone), but the instrument was marked at $3500. This was over my budget. When I asked if the price could be lowered, the sales person punched some numbers on his calculator and very willingly knocked off $500. I personally felt that was a little too easy and probably could have brought it down more. Similar story, I went back to the same store to buy a new violin bow. This Nickel Mounted Marco Raposo was labelled at $650. When I said it was over my $500 budget, the sales person punched in some numbers and brought it down to meet my $500 budget. Again, seemed too easy. Is this a sign of 'good customer service'? Or the result of a significant markup in prices? This makes me wonder how much my "$3000" violin is really worth. Maybe it's only worth $2000 and they just pocketed $1000. Kind of depressing, but I might just get it appraised at another store some day just out of curiosity. Anybody else have a similar experience? For people that own violin stores, is there a general "mark-up" (like 20%) on the actual value of instruments/bows?