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A man walks into a violin shop


jezzupe
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Ok stupid hypothetical question....

 

And he asks the clerk if he can play "that one right there", the clerk hands him the instrument, the man begins to play, slips with the bow, and smacks the edge of a corner with the frog, thus damaging the the varnish and putting a visible mark in the instrument....

 

What happens next?

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Ok stupid hypothetical question....

 

And he asks the clerk if he can play "that one right there", the clerk hands him the instrument, the man begins to play, slips with the bow, and smacks the edge of a corner with the frog, thus damaging the the varnish and putting a visible mark in the instrument....

 

What happens next?

 

A friend of mine let her friend play her violin.  The bloke did some gymnastic on the bow and left a long scratch on the violin back with the bow screw.  She took it to a luthier who kindly touched up for free.  End of story.

 

I have walked into some glassware store that has the following sign everywhere: "you break it, you buy it".

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On a personal lending level: if you borrow something...isn't it your responsibility to fix it if you broke/damaged it?

A shop is different. A shop should have accident insurance.

 

What happens when someone test-driving a car from a car dealer runs the car into a tree?  Does the dealer absorb all the damage?

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Ok stupid hypothetical question....

 

And he asks the clerk if he can play "that one right there", 

At least, usually "the one right there" behind the counter isn't the good stuff, which is hidden some where.

 

I'm not sure we're supposed to be giving serious answers or having fun, but I'd probably not miss a beat and with a dead-pan expression ask, "And will you be taking it with you, sir, or would you care to have it delivered?"

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At least, usually "the one right there" behind the counter isn't the good stuff, which is hidden some where.

 

I'm not sure we're supposed to be giving serious answers or having fun, but I'd probably not miss a beat and with a dead-pan expression ask, "And will you be taking it with you, sir, or would you care to have it delivered?"

 

That's another way of saying, "you break it, you buy it". :)

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Ok stupid hypothetical question....

 

And he asks the clerk if he can play "that one right there", the clerk hands him the instrument, the man begins to play, slips with the bow, and smacks the edge of a corner with the frog, thus damaging the the varnish and putting a visible mark in the instrument....

 

What happens next?

Sounds a fairly minor case of damage. What if  "that one there"  is a seriously good  bow that snaps at the head?

Same scenario but  the stakes are higher?

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What happens when someone test-driving a car from a car dealer runs the car into a tree?  Does the dealer absorb all the damage?

Been there , done that, except that it was an 18 wheeler that decided to back up at a stop sign, and a car was behind me... so I just held the brake and the hood buckled before the trucker realized what happened... I think the salesman in the passenger side had to put his eyes manually back in their sockets..  and yes... all  was covered by the dealer insurance...mind you the sales manager was not a happy camper when we got back. My parting words... "Thanks for the test Drive"... and off I went.. to the next dealer

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You always hand the new unvetted customer something inexpensive and tough first to size them up before you hand them anything valuable. It protects both of you. 

A good idea.  Seeing how someone handles an instrument tells a lot about their experience with instruments and how well they appreciate what they are holding.

 

I have been continually amazed over the years at how cavalier dealers and auction house personnel are sometimes in keeping an eye on valuable instruments.  Once at a certain auction house in London there was a Strad, and some VERY attractive young lady came in with a "sugar daddy" looking fellow.  She had her hands all over the varnish for a couple of minutes and no one said a word. I always wondered if she ended up with that violin.

 

At the preview at another auction house they had a violin I wanted to see in the office area.  While I was in there, an assistant came rushing in and warned the manager, "Mr. Johnson is "hacklinging" the Fiorini again!"  (The names have been changed to protect the innocent.)   :)

 

And if anyone doesn't know the Hacklinger gauge, it works on a magnet to tell the thickness of a plate, but requires touching the device to the instrument and is dangerous in the wrong hands.  So the assistant was making a verb out of Hacklinger, and it was so funny we all laughed, but the manager took off like a bat outta hell to head off Mr. Johnson, who apparently had tried this antic before. 

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Did I mention he had a parrot? :lol:  I think Faulks idea is a good one, he play the junk first, we'll see if your worthy. Well at least it's not 1978 and we're not talking about guitars, cause those KISS belt buckles were a real varnish killer. :D

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Regarding the deductible...we never claim for small things.  For example, if the deductible is $500...we would not put in a claim for $1000.  It's not worth it for that small amount.  But if we had $10,000 damage...then it's another story.

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A similar story to the Hacklinger one: In the year 1971 I went to the viewing day at Sotheby's to see the Lady Blunt. There was a big crowd looking at the violin and it was being passed around. Suddenly some ham-fisted fellow pulled a mirror from his pocket and tried to push it in through a sound hole. The auctioneer went white and grabbed the violin back - fortunately no damage was done! I don't know what it would cost to fix the kind of problem that that could have caused!

Ed

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Did I mention he had a parrot? :lol:  

I'm sure it was the parrot's fault. I used to have an African Grey who would come out of her opened cage when she saw me pick up a violin to play. Climbing to the top of her cage, she would clear her throat and start singing. Her screeching and my bad playing, defined the word, cacophony.  :rolleyes:

 

Anyhow, this purported incident reminds me of a lesson taught me years ago: Qualify your buyers. Also, choose your pets carefully.

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You always hand the new unvetted customer something inexpensive and tough first to size them up before you hand them anything valuable. It protects both of you. 

 

Maybe line up the shelves and showcases with Yitamusic copies of Strads, dGs, and Guadagninis and keep the real things in the back room. :D

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Somehow I envision a Monty Python skit, with the boys at a violin shop looking to see a REAL STRADIVARIUS.  With the counterman having none of it:

 

Sir, can you even hold a violin?

 

Wha?  Why of course I can 'old a violin.  Me dear sainted mother put one in me 'ands when I was a mere slip of a lad, still wearin' swaddlin' clothes I was.  'ere, gimme that one over there and one of them things t' make the noise with.

 

A bow.

 

A wha?

 

A bow.

 

Oh, we were too poor to have a bow.  What's this white stuff?

 

Horse hair.

 

Horse hair ye say...which end o' th' horse?

 

If you are concerned enough to ask, probably the wrong end.

 

Oh. Well.  Alright then, let's give it a go.  But you keep the bow, I'll just strum it.

 

Pluck it.

 

Well,  you don't have to get rude, I can take my business elsewhere y'know.

 

Oh, no sir, I mean pizzicato.

 

Well, being rude in another language don't make it any better.

 

No, no!  Pizzicato is Italian for plucking.

 

No wonder I didn't get very far in Italy.  Plucking, you say?

 

Plucking, strumming, and pizzicato are all different words for the same thing.  Here, just take the bow.

 

[ Eric makes a few noises]

 

Turn it around the other way.

 

How could I run me fingers over it?

 

The Bow!  Turn the bow around!

 

[ Eric plays a few more notes which sound just as bad or worse]

 

Oh.  Yes.  That's much better.  I was just testin' ya, ya know.  'ow else could I know if y' got a real Stradivarius.  Well, don't be 'oldin' out on me.  You can see I know me way around  "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

 

Oh, that's what it was.  It's somehow quite different.  Perhaps it's the Heifetz arrangement?

 

No, it's Byer.

 

Byer?  Byer?  Oh...you mean "by ear."

 

Yes. The accent is on the second syllable.  I guess one don't 'ave to be too erudite to sell fiddles.

 

Violins.

 

Them too!  Anyway, don't ya think it's about time ya cough up a Stradivarius.

 

Well, sir, in fact I handed you a Stradivarius immediately.  We like to treat our customers right.  You asked to see a Stradivarius, and I showed you the finest we've seen in years.  That's what you've been...er...ah...playing.  

 

And what might a little unit like this cost me?

 

About 5 million pounds.

 

[Eric starts shaking and the violin ends up on the floor.  He faints.  So does the counter man.  When they come to, Eric says:

 

I think that's a little pricy for this pile, don't you?  Maybe I'll just take th' bow. 

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