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ebay seller premiereviolin? what u think?


Dora
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The violins are Francesco Guadagnini, Enzo Bertelli and Carl Ferdinand Landolfi, and the cello is Annibale Fagnole. I don't really know much about instruments, but the claims in the listings certainly make the instrument very good. What do people think? Do you think the instruments are being trumped up, or are they a bargain? Thanks

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Hi Dora,

The instruments by makers that you mentioned are very valuable. They sell for tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars at good auctions, which I think you know.

Many well-known dealers scour the ebay listings looking for good instruments that might fall through the cracks. Often, violins I sell on eBay are bought by dealers whose firms I recognize. It would be unrealistic to assume that the violins for sale on ebay by this seller are selling for a small percentage of their auction value. I am not suggesting that they are not good violins and not well worth the prices they sell for, but I doubt that a genuine Landolfi, worth six figures, would slip past the sophisticated buyers looking at eBay violin listings. It might sell for several thousand dollars on ebay, but this maker's auction history approaches $100,000 and may exceed that in recent sales.

This seller represents the items he sells as "by" those famous makers whose labels are in the violins. I doubt his attributions could be backed up by written appraisals by recognized experts.

Jesse

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I bought a bow from this seller back when they accepted PayPal. I paid immediately including high shipping/handling. Bow was as described/pictured BUT, it was not a pleasant experience. Even though I was confirmed by PayPal, seller would not ship until money transferred to his bank and then his bank notified him of confirmation of receipt from PayPal. Normally when you use PayPal, the item arrives in a few days not a few weeks (within the USA). I had begun the "Item not Received" process when it finally arrived.

Regis

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I wouldn't touch anything this guy sells. Sadly but understandably, good people who get ripped off rarely leave negative feedback, so it's hard to document. But I recall discussions of this seller in the past -- I think he changed his name in the past year or so, but he has been selling for some time. (Is this the same SF seller mentioned by Geigen in the thread "Watch out for scams online auctions"?) Rule of thumb for ebay buyers: if it's too good to be true, it probably isn't true. Excellent photos and detailed descriptions always tell you this is a seller who knows the true value of things.

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  • 1 month later...

Seems like we have a new player on the block, or just the same with people with a different eBay ID. All the same bidders. (although premiereviolin now blocks bidders ID's for "privacy").

People in California must really love obscure american makers, cause nearly all the bidders on this one (except the winner) are from CA.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...A%3AIT&rd=1

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People in California must really love obscure american makers, cause nearly all the bidders on this one (except the winner) are from CA.


Amazing that the seller couldn't even read the label. "Luther & Arneson" indeed!

Does anyone recognise the model Mr Arneson was working to? To me it looks a Giovanni Ala Carta

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Amazing that the seller couldn't even read the label. "Luther & Arneson" indeed!


Bean, I don't quite understand what you mean by that. I suspect I'm displaying my total and utter ignorance about American makers, but could you explain for me please?

Neil

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I have never been comfortable with sellers who block the IDs of their bidders. You can't get the email addresses of the bidders from eBay, so protecting the privacy of a bidder doesn't really make any sense. I need to see the numbers of feedbacks of the participating bidders. If they all have zero or one feedback, then I would get suspicious.

This seller provides no certificate and no refund. Under the terms and conditions, they stated "Premiere Violins shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the item is in perfect condition." If you are a bidder, you will have to determine whether or not the descriptions are correct by looking at their "incredibly detailed" picture. I don't remember reading something like that on the Tarisio or Sotheby's web sites. Their "Voirin bow" is offered without a reserve price at one dollar! Give me a break!

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You're uncomfortable bidding because the bidders' ID's are blocked?...what pertinent information do you gather from knowing who the bidders are?...you're not going to bid because you're afraid you'll become a victim of shill bidding?...me, I look at the instrument and calculate my bid mostly upon what I see....I then use a sniping program to bid for me -- shills don't affect my bid one way or the other..."This seller provides no certificate and no refund." -- most of the time neither do Tarisio nor Sotheby's nor Skinner's nor Bonham's. etc...it's an auction...you pay your money; you take a chance...maybe you win, maybe not...and you have to give "premiereviolin" some credit -- his photographs are just about the best I've ever seen; he should get a job as a freelance photogapher for luthiers.

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His photographs are good but they are not large enough to show any real details. He is a good enough photographer to include telling detail if he wished.

This seller intentionally misrepresents his items as authentic masterpieces. Reading his description, most people would conclude that his violins are authentic and made by the person whose label appears within. They are not. I would not buy from this seller as he has shown himself to intentionally deceive. When he burns enough suckers he will simply change his user name and start again.

By the way, Skinner, Christies, and Tarisio all stand behind their descriptions. If they say it is "by" a particular maker, then they will provide a refund if it is proven not to be. Also, when requested, those auction houses will provide a written condition report which they will also stand behind.

This seller is a fraud, in my most humble opinion. Sellers like him ruin the market for legit sellers.

Jesse

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The latest... Comments?


It is a bad violin with bad outline, bad open seam ( seam doesnt even match the center line )

bad pegbox with ugly cracks.

The fingerboard is at the end of its life, you will have to replace it. Pegs used to be new black trimmed Hill style, with the pin cutted.

2 upper bounds of uneven size. Offsetted neck.

amature work

Ugly F holes.

Scroll might be a later addition

I dont think I need to explain the Voirin bow he is selling, I think it is quite self explanetory

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I notice he uses a clause saying that if a price isnt reached 12 hrs before the end of the auction then he will pull it.I once tried that and ebay swiftly closed my auction as it was against their rules.

Also i dont know if its just me but the proportions look a little weird on this violin. Maybe its my monitor!

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OK, let's address the question.

If seller "A" has a fiddle that he has "Buy It Now" at 800 dollars, and a bidder decides that he is willing to pay that and . .

If seller "B" has the same item to which he generates false interest via multiple shills throughout the life of the auction, and bids against the winning bidder at the last minute to drive the price to nearly double of what it may have brought without shills, but in line with what the seller originally wanted, yet the bidder obviously was willing to pay that or he wouldn't have won . .

Is it esentially the same thing? Is that just good marketing? Maybe my thinking is "dated".

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Hmmm, remind me not to bid on your auctions.

To my mind the two scenarios you mentioned are two completely different animals.

The first using the "Buy Now" button isn't an auction at all. It's basically buying from a store at a known price.

The second scenario isn't an auction either, it's fraud. If you put an item up for auction you can set a reserve (or minimum bid) to set a minimum you're willing to accept and everything after that is gravy. However, to drive up the bidding using shills has nothing to do with "marketing". Why auction an item if you're going to rig it?

As a buyer I wouldn't hesitate to complain to ebay about shills and if the amount I'd spent justified it, I wouldn't hesitate to sue the seller's arse off.

Neil

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Shills are common place in even the most legitimate auction houses. It is part of the auction game. Of course, it is risky for the seller-he might not sell his item to a real buyer. The very reason auctioneers use the fast patter is to confuse the audience as to who the last bidder is and allows the auctioneer to discreetly backtrack to the real money if his fishing doesn't get a bite. In a real live auction, there is nothing other than the juice to keep a consignor from bidding on his own item. Likewise, at an auction like Christies, floor bidders bid against the auctioneer until the reserve is met. Who is to say that an auctioneer doesn't keep bidding beyond the reserve when he or she has a hot one on the floor? Also at a live auction you might see two famous and well recognized dealers bidding up an item with a low reserve. If a third bidder decides to "shadow the ax" and overbid to beat the dealers at their own game, he will likely wind up with his "prize". A "prize" that might well have been consigned by one of the well recognized dealers who were doing the enthusiastic bidding.

Why would a recognizable expert bid themselves, when they could just hand their paddle to an assistant or sales clerk to do the bidding? It is for show and for a purpose.

Jesse

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I can understand how folks get caught-up "in the action" of live auctions. But ebay? You have days to look at a few pictures and a description (all you are going to see). You can even research the seller, somewhat. Then decide on a bid amount (shill or no shill) that you are willing to spend. If you tend to get overly excited and are temped to over bid your target price, buy a snip program or service and you'll sleep better.

You may get a $1500 violin for $250 but, you are not going to get a $150,000 violin for $2,500.

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