pandora Posted May 19, 2005 Report Share Posted May 19, 2005 A quote from the current "Where's Michael" thread: "Maybe it has become a bit boring answering and discusssing the same questions, albeit asked differently, over and over and over...." If this is a subject that should stay dead, then my apologies and please ignore. But I'm curious: Two years ago there was a BIG HONKING LONG thread about Internet buying vs. support-your-local-luthier issues; (it started with a post from Connie Sunday about a "confrontational email") Now, two years later, ebay traffic has ballooned and I'm asking: to all the pros and shop owners out there, have your policies or opinions or pricing structures changed since then? What is your opinion now of a typical customer (say,me,perhaps) who does the following: 1) steers new and upgrading students -hard!- away from rentals or new packages and toward the well-set-up used violins at my local luthiers', plus brings down regular repair/maint. work 2) buys all student and personal music and the odd rosin or set of strings from the local music store 3) once a season puts in a big order of strings, rosin, chin/shoulder rests etc through an online discount house 4) finds my students (and myself) decent deals on cases online, usually used known names on ebay or factory seconds. Note: I know what chinrests I like because I tried out all of them at my local shop and BOUGHT the ones that worked for my students right then; online is for repeat orders, not try-it-out-and-send-it-back comparison shopping. Am I on the right side of the ethical divide here? I LOVE my local luthier - he does lovely work and pays equal, respectful attention to 100$ German no-names and high priced divas, and never gives my beginning students any disdainful b-s attitude. I will send work to him forever (and no, I don't get a percentage)and never question what he charges for repairs or setup. BUT: my students have, mostly, somewhat limited means and the difference between an 18$ catalog Kun and an in-store 30$ markup really matters; same with cases, I want to see them in a nice oblong but a new Bobelock is out of the question. If it's a choice between a Chinese clone on ebay or the same one 50-100% higher downtown, where does my loyalty begin and end? (This is worse than buying produce at the co-op - one apple's locally grown but not organic, the other's organic but flew in from New Zealand. Yeesh.) How do I support my students AND my shop-owning colleagues and still feel like a good person? How much are you all depending on accessory sales these days? Thanks so much for the continuing education, folks - this forum is a goldmine, and those of us who have been teaching for years without bothering to be curious enough about what goes into these elegant little wooden boxes, well, we should just be ASHAMED. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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