Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Dodgy Attributions


martin swan

Recommended Posts

skiing, your a bit daft, you claim theres no dishonesty but he said "i dont know if it is that old" when he knows full well its not that old, he says he doesnt know its that old when he DOES know its not that old, if you dont think thats dishonest maybe you need to go back to college and major in ethics.......

Lyndon,

I get tired of your remedies for what you perceive as others' character flaws. Are you sure you aren't being overly judgmental? Are you sure you have perfect wisdom? If you believe I have some fundamental character flaw, then there's no reason for you to respond to any of my posts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually my original question was really to do with whether this is legal. It seems to me to be perilously close to passing off, concealing expert knowledge that you have, which would influence the price.

I think it's probably actionable, though I don't suppose anyone would want to reveal they'd been duped. It seems to me like a con trick, pure and simple, though I notice American members are much more gung-ho, caveat emptor than I am.

Personally I do feel very sorry for people taken in by a dishonest selling strategy which is extremely subtle.

I would also assume that this opportunistic dishonesty isn't confined to this seller's Ebay dealings

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally I do feel very sorry for people taken in by a dishonest selling strategy which is extremely subtle.

The other side of the argument, Martin, is that people become ebay junkies (with the usual garage/attic full of rubbish) in the first place because 1. they imagine that they can get a bargin from some ignorant dupe and 2. They presume that the normal retail violin shop is unreasonably expensive (since they forget or underestimate the repair costs neccesary when buying on ebay, v. none at all when buying at a retail shop).

The fact is that, unless you are quite an ace at recognising antique violins from crummy photos, you will almost invariably get screwed and even if you are good at recognising them, you will be as often as not. Thus people essentialy are the victim of there own “Hauptgier” (can`t think of the english word, help me Schiigeiger please!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the ideal free market, people buy the best goods for the best price.

In the case presented in the OP, we know nothing of the buyer, save the hammer price. So is this Timmy’s mom, buying for a budding virtuoso, or an unshaven, chain-smoking ebay addict? Does it matter?

Do people really “deserve it” if they aren’t violin identification experts, and have had no advice on how to buy a violin? How do wanting a good deal, and lack of full disclosure compare? Are they really on a par? Where do we draw the line, on the slippery slope between lack of complete honesty, and Machold? Did his customers deserve it too? unsure.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[some buyers] presume that the normal retail violin shop is unreasonably expensive (since they forget or underestimate the repair costs neccesary when buying on ebay, v. none at all when buying at a retail shop).

The fact is that, unless you are quite an ace at recognising antique violins from crummy photos, you will almost invariably get screwed and even if you are good at recognising them, you will be as often as not. Thus people essentialy are the victim of there own “Hauptgier” (can`t think of the english word, help me Schiigeiger please!)

Those are exactly the points those of us on the other side were trying to make, and those points are the important ones for a violin buyer who who wants to get their money's worth; ie, you, as a buyer, may want to go with reputable over cheap.

My dictionary gives "covetousness, avarice, greediness" as English translations for "Habgier." None of those quite works for me. Maybe the best notion comes from taking the work apart: haben = to have, Gier = eagerness, desire (often excessive and negative), greed. So, "the excessive desire to have things." Jacob, You're right. It's hard to find one word that works.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do people really “deserve it” if they aren’t violin identification experts, and have had no advice on how to buy a violin? How do wanting a good deal, and lack of full disclosure compare? Are they really on a par? Where do we draw the line, on the slippery slope between lack of complete honesty, and Machold? Did his customers deserve it too? unsure.gif

Those are really good questions. For some selling venues, lack of full disclosure may be the norm. So, if you go to such venues, you should be somewhat skeptical. How do you know not to be skeptical? You have complete trust based on experience with the firm or person you're dealing with. In other words "skeptical" should be your normal frame of mind, and "completely trusting" is the exceptional state you reserve for the proven, deserving few.

That's the sad part of Machold. If you are an individual player or collector, Machold had the reputation which normally would allow you to offer him your complete trust. He had a world wide reputation as a expert. So, the individual player or collector can be forgiven (and compensated) for being taken in.

The banks, on the other hand, which didn't bother to check the validity of the collateral he offered, deserve no forgiveness and should be the last in line for compensation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funnily the only question was about the case of the violin :blink:

That's a good point. The issue really is whether the final price was reasonable, not the circumstances of the sale. If you feel a violin is worth, say, $1,000, and it gets sold for $2,700 at an auction, are you sure that some kind of deception accounts for the difference? Might your underestimation of the fiddle account for the difference? Did the buyer have his reasons for paying what he paid, and wasn't led astray by any supposed tricks?

If the biggest mistake you ever make as a violin player or collector buying violins at auction is overpaying for an instrument by $1,700, count yourself lucky.

If losing $1,700 buying at auctions leaves you seriously short to pay for life's necessities, then don't buy at auctions. Gambling should be reserved for funds you can throw away. A novice at a violin auction is just gambling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So much for the credibility of the "does not seem to look as old as 1736 but I can't tell” statement. dry.gif

Are we going to worry about a seller's representation of himself or the representation of the violin? If you're buying in a situation where seller makes no claims at being an expert and you believe you know more than the seller, whose fault is that?

The point is, if you want to play expert in a situation where you are going to outsmart the "naive" seller, make sure you are an expert in violins. Your "expertise" in identifying the knowledge base of your seller should be irrelevant, or may even work against you.

I would also like to ask, How honest is it if you truly are an expert (or at least knowledgeable) to vastly underpay a truly naive seller for an instrument? Do you have an obligation to let the seller know what he has, even though he hasn't asked? Or is saying nothing and paying the asking price enough honesty? If you, the knowledgeable buyer, don't inform the seller of their mistake, maybe you're misrepresenting yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that's a good point!

Obviously Ebay works for experts, and for no-one else. As a seller one is in a position to advertise one's expertise, as a buyer one isn't.

An openly expert seller is at a disadvantage in this marketplace, as is a naive seller. The only person who can play the system for gain is a wolf in sheep's clothing, in other words an expert posing as naive. I don't think most Ebay buyers realize just how few naive sellers there really are ....!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just noticed that "with letter by Laurence Naisby etc" appears in the item description.

So for me this parallels the auction houses' commercial use of certificates they don't believe. I think this practice is very questionable in any context - if Tarisio, for instance, sells a violin with a Degani label and a certificate by some crackpot saying it's a Degani, yet they know for a fact it's not a Degani, shouldn't they say so?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obviously ebay, which aside from a market for widgets and other junk is essentially a business model based on legalized fraud, could care less if they have people representing things intentionally to deceive or create an appearance that is not valid.

On the other hand, anyone who spends four figures on an item on ebay and has not done their own research and due diligence is an idiot for whom we can only have limited sympathy.

The web presents such a fantastic opportunity to equalize the playing field. There are already many posts on this site and violinist.com which anyone can search and find all the dogs with fleas that go with certain sellers and patterns of sale on ebay. I for one would like to see a site just dedicated to providing an independent, unpaid, uncompensated forum to equalize the ridiculous claims made in some ebay violin related listings. As long as the information in the forum is factual (e.g this seller also happens to have another web outlet where he purports himself to be a cremonese expert), there is no issue of libel. If anyone is interested I would be happy to create and host such a forum. Or perhaps it is already within the guidelines of maestronet.com?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it would be against the rules of maestronet.com, since we are not at liberty to discuss particular individuals.

I'm afraid I sail pretty close to the wind from time to time, and Jeffrey quite reasonably raps my knuckles for it ...!

I hope I haven't strayed too far in this thread, but one thing which really gets my goat is an experienced professional pretending to be a fool in order to get vastly inflated prices for poor trade violins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...