Recommended Posts

Has anyone here had any luck purchasing from france69 on ebay? I am in the middle of a dispute with the dealer re: a couple of cellos I've purchased.

Are most e-bay cellos from France fake??

Do the "fake" instruments have any value? If I return the cellos, I will lose the cost of international shipping and thousands of dollars I've paid so far in repairs.

I am a cello instructor looking for affordable quality instruments to rent or loan out to promising students with limited financial resources.

Here's a picture of one of the cellos purchased:

Seller france69 removed original e-bay post as soon as they knew I would be filing a complaint. In order to have the J.Lavest in proper playing condition, I have had to pay for neck reset, new bridge, etc..

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Screen Shot 2019-08-08 at 9.48.18 PM.png

 

Edited by cellobear01

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, cellobear01 said:

 

I am a cello instructor looking for affordable quality instruments to rent or loan out to promising students with limited financial resources.

 

 

Don't go anywhere near Ebay then

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, cellobear01 said:

Has anyone here had any luck purchasing from france69 on ebay?

Ditto, avoid the seller, and ebay for that matter.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because there deals to be had if you’re not irresponsible with your money. Buying modern instruments from authorized dealers on eBay is typically safe, as the makes/models can be pretty easily verified.  Older instruments that are not reliant on their labels to define their respective prices are okay.  Anything else should be properly verified by a professional.  For example, the OP could have simply sent a link of the cello to any one of a number of dealers for a quick opinion prior to paying.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ClefLover said:

Anything else should be properly verified by a professional.  For example, the OP could have simply sent a link of the cello to any one of a number of dealers for a quick opinion prior to paying.  

I don't think this works in practice. If a potential client of mine were to get in touch and ask if something on Ebay was worth buying, I would consider them tactless and a bit naive.

If I tell them they will get stung, it seems like sour grapes. If I tell them the thing is good, then I am somehow taking responsibility for a risky purchase. If they inadvertently draw my attention to something genuinely worth taking a risk on, how can they expect me to be objective?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/13/2019 at 10:50 AM, reg said:

Why oh why do some folk still buy off eBay?

Because I'm making a profit at it.  Can't answer for the legions of the clueless, of course.  :ph34r:;):rolleyes:

4 hours ago, ClefLover said:

Because there deals to be had if you’re not irresponsible with your money. Buying modern instruments from authorized dealers on eBay is typically safe, as the makes/models can be pretty easily verified.  Older instruments that are not reliant on their labels to define their respective prices are okay


Yup.   A lot of self-education is a must, too.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, martin swan said:

I don't think this works in practice. If a potential client of mine were to get in touch and ask if something on Ebay was worth buying, I would consider them tactless and a bit naive.

If I tell them they will get stung, it seems like sour grapes. If I tell them the thing is good, then I am somehow taking responsibility for a risky purchase. If they inadvertently draw my attention to something genuinely worth taking a risk on, how can they expect me to be objective?

 

Good points.  I suppose a dealer not answering is probably to be expected.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Because I'm making a profit at it.  Can't answer for the legions of the clueless, of course.  :ph34r:;):rolleyes:


Yup.   A lot of self-education is a must, too.  :)

Ok but is it not also true that some rogue dealers are preying on the unwary? That taints the whole violin dealership spectrum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What if the seller markets the OP as a “attractive French copy?” Making sure that the approx age is listed.  IMO, it is an ‘attractive’ instrument.  I won’t debate the moral and ethical violation the seller’s business practices.  But in an alternate reality, I think this seller could make a bit more selling his/her instruments without deception. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, reg said:

Ok but is it not also true that some rogue dealers are preying on the unwary? That taints the whole violin dealership spectrum

[Picks up an axle rod to use as a pointer]  Historically, provenance fraud (in the form of what's now called "workshop labeling") appeared in the very shop of the Amatis in Cremona when violins were a recent innovation.  Strad's labels were being forged even before he was dead.  There's evidence that the Klotz shop was sticking Stainer labels into their own new builds in the mid-to-late 1700's (I own a possible example). Vuillaume is believed to have invented the "Duiffopruggar" violin. Everybody who's been here a while knows who the Voller brothers were, as well as who Machold is, and has heard accusations about the "violin MAFFIA". The continuing list of scandals goes on and on. 

Violin dealing had an unsavory reputation for fleecing customers long before internet sales venues appeared, and, sad to say, continues it today without any need for eBay as a middleman.  Any market with such juicy temptations is going to have a danger of fraud, market manipulation, and overcharging.

You can get screwed most expensively over wine and cheese in a classy venue as easily as you can for comparative peanuts in a flea market.  :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

[Picks up an axle rod to use as a pointer]  Historically, provenance fraud (in the form of what's now called "workshop labeling") appeared in the very shop of the Amatis in Cremona when violins were a recent innovation.  Strad's labels were being forged even before he was dead.  There's evidence that the Klotz shop was sticking Stainer labels into their own new builds in the mid-to-late 1700's (I own a possible example). Vuillaume is believed to have invented the "Duiffopruggar" violin. Everybody who's been here a while knows who the Voller brothers were, as well as who Machold is, and has heard accusations about the "violin MAFFIA". The continuing list of scandals goes on and on. 

Violin dealing had an unsavory reputation for fleecing customers long before internet sales venues appeared, and, sad to say, continues it today without any need for eBay as a middleman.  Any market with such juicy temptations is going to have a danger of fraud, market manipulation, and overcharging.

You can get screwed most expensively over wine and cheese as easily as you can in a flea market.  :lol:

I thoroughly enjoy the way you write, it’s a joy to read. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, ClefLover said:

I thoroughly enjoy the way you write, it’s a joy to read. 

Thank you.  I try.  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ClefLover said:

I thoroughly enjoy the way you write, it’s a joy to read. 

Seconded. I wish your shop were close. I’d visit daily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 (Picks up a cello endpin which has just spiked his instep, to use as a pointer - and as a foil for an axle rod!) 

Well yes , all that you say is well known and documented. Hamilton Caswells in his book on 'Violin fraud' details the case of a petitioner to the Duke as having bought a violin labelled Strad, but made by a lesser mortal -- wanting redress. Such fraudsters have and always will exist and gullible people looking for a bargain will continue to fall for their wiles. 

So yes this is a fine tradition in the violin trade - but you and I would not do that, would we?

But again, does that allow for such charlatans operating openly on eBay and other media and known to be selling mis-labelled instruments? I do think that Maestronet has done a fine job through the years in exposing some of these crooks, but it seems that many still survive slithering along their slimy ways unchecked! Surely there must be a simply way to put a check to this - maybe a banner that flashed up - 'check with Maestronet'  :)  I find it difficult to fathom how some of these dealers have been flagged up time and again, yet carry on with impunity!

As Cleftover rightly observed, the seller could make just as much profit without the deception

(lets endpin fall from his grasp, exhausted - and spikes the other foot!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, reg said:

 

As Cleftover rightly observed, the seller could make just as much profit without the deception

 

I'm not sure this is true. We meet so many people who have a collection of tat bought on Ebay, Brombay or wherever ... they would never have bought any of this stuff if it had been correctly described.

It's nigh on impossible to sell such people a good honest violin with the right label in full playing order because they are addicted to the idea of getting a bargain, striking it lucky, spotting a sleeper etc. 

I think the industrial Ebay sellers have judged it very finely - they allow just enough latitude for a fool of a buyer to think himself cleverer than the seller.

Essentially the business model works in the same way that tourist resort crap restaurants work - you only go there once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎8‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 1:24 PM, Delabo said:

I see that the sellers location is " Marseille".

I think thatis the ebay seller that Martin Swan has warned about.

No, I don't think so, not an actual violin dealer, just an antique dealer of the kind who knows nigh nowt about violins or cellos.

I don't know who Martin is refering to it's a mystery to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, reg said:

 (Picks up a cello endpin which has just spiked his instep, to use as a pointer......................

So yes this is a fine tradition in the violin trade - but you and I would not do that, would we?

But again, does that allow for such charlatans operating openly on eBay and other media and known to be selling mis-labelled instruments? I do think that Maestronet has done a fine job through the years in exposing some of these crooks, but it seems that many still survive slithering along their slimy ways unchecked! Surely there must be a simply way to put a check to this - maybe a banner that flashed up - 'check with Maestronet'  :)  I find it difficult to fathom how some of these dealers have been flagged up time and again, yet carry on with impunity!

As Cleftover rightly observed, the seller could make just as much profit without the deception

(lets endpin fall from his grasp, exhausted - and spikes the other foot!)

1.  But there hasn't been anyone named "Celloendpin" associated with a notorious violin scandal... :huh:

2.  I know that I wouldn't.  :P

3.  The prevalence of musteloid business practices on eBay, while I do feel that they could enforce the rules with more vigor, and should ban questionable vendors at the first whiff of suspicion, isn't entirely the fault of the venue's management.  First, you have to report a problem before they can take action.  How many vendors you object to have you reported?  Another part of the problem is that the very global reach which makes eBay such an attractive place to shop also makes enforcement difficult.  Add to this the cultural diversity of the venue.  People with widely differing sets of traditional business practices, ethics, and expectations are suddenly right next door to each other.  Buyers who have lived their entire lives in a warm, cuddly cocoon of consumer protection legislation are now, electronically, right across the counter from sellers whose local standards and legal requirements go no farther than "caveat emptor", at best.  I'll also note that eBay makes you an electronic tourist, and many of the "shops" on eBay are nothing more than "tourist traps".  If you were, actually, physically, present in the seller's stall in a picturesque market somewhere thousands of miles from your living room, would you really let your guard down, accept claims at face value, buy without haggling?  One seriously doubts that.   Could eBay even enforce one single code of behavior without getting into trouble of some kind for discrimination?  YouTube rather quietly exercises flexibility and discretionary latitude in what they allow to be posted depending on the source.  I would suspect that eBay does something similar.

4.  Some people seem to enjoy deceiving buyers.  For example, there's a musical instrument retailer right in my own back yard, geographically speaking (no cultural relativism to hide behind there :lol:  ), whose blatant misrepresentations of their stock offered on eBay has continued for decades.  What they are selling is actually of excellent quality, and, if they didn't feel compelled to lie about where it comes from, they'd probably do triple the business, and have a lot fewer "misunderstandings".  Go figure. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, martin swan said:

We meet so many people who have a collection of tat bought on Ebay, Brombay or wherever ...

Are you suggesting..? No, of course not. My most cherished lumps of wood came from Bromati

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my small business as a cello dealer, I have made the mistake of dealing with a South France seller.  I will give myself credit by admitting that I am young enough in the business to learn from my mistakes.  My eyes were bigger than my brain.  As I have a small Midwest shop, and sell on several platforms, I really try to be careful, as my reputation is more important than my profits, at this point. I was fortunate that my encounters were short lived with the gamble on South France’s promises. The posting of a handful of instruments I had purchased from the area was foolish, and cost me a small fortune when the inventory was finally sold for pennies on the dollar, though felt the buyers were ultimately happy with the final prices.  Had I contacted Salchow, and others, prior to my listings, I would have saved myself a bit of dignity.  A lack of qualified professionals in my immediate area, or so I thought, led me to a dead end with my optimism.  I have now found several luthiers I can consult for anything on the “rare” side, but reluctance still courses in my veins.  Celli are a bit easier to price, in my opinion, and less volatile than violins, especially when a said maker bears their name.  For example, a nicer, older factory cello can have some worth, though the same is more unusual for a violin. I am curious as to other dealers’ experiences.  I literally started by selling celli out of the trunk of my car, and am happy that I have made it this far with a small business with local, national, and some international customers, but could have done without dealings with S. France.  Do other dealers here share similar experiences in building a business in this market?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/16/2019 at 3:59 PM, martin swan said:

I'm not sure this is true. We meet so many people who have a collection of tat bought on Ebay, Brombay or wherever ... they would never have bought any of this stuff if it had been correctly described.

It's nigh on impossible to sell such people a good honest violin with the right label in full playing order because they are addicted to the idea of getting a bargain, striking it lucky, spotting a sleeper etc. 

I think the industrial Ebay sellers have judged it very finely - they allow just enough latitude for a fool of a buyer to think himself cleverer than the seller.

Essentially the business model works in the same way that tourist resort crap restaurants work - you only go there once.

I would agree with this 100%

Regularly people want to bring in some treasure they have recently bought, to be checked over and valued. The state of these things is often unbelievable, and hardly worth the cost of the matches needed to burn them.

Often these people are quite good players, although most are amateur. I've even had college graduates trying to buy something of a professional quality on eBay, thinking they can spot a bargain.
It is this need for some to obtain a bargain, spot a sleeper etc. over anything else which drives the whole thing. You could go to a shop, try a lot of instruments or bows in a given price range, then take a couple home of a few weeks trial with no obligation, but of course this is too easy and boring.....

No matter how many times we bang this drum it will never ever change, the idea of buying a Hill bow for £700, or an Italian violin that needs a bit of work for £1200 supersedes peoples common sense, the excitement of bidding takes over, with people paying well over the odds for stuff which would be hard to give away. It's a classic case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing, mixed with the idea that no one else can see what they do.

The way it is referred to as "winning" on eBay makes me cringe. They didn't win anything, but the seller did win I suppose.
In the end people will convince themselves that the violin with no sound post, and the neck hanging out sounds amazing, and better than any other violin they've heard, or that the Czech 1960's nickel mounted bow with nicotine yellow hair plays better than a friend's Fetique. That the cello with a neck snapped at the heel, screwed back together, and needing a neck graft doesn't matter, because it has no wolf note and the D string sounds like angels singing.

When you point out it is not what they thought it was, invariably people get angry, but not with the seller, usually it is with me for pointing out the truth. I'm constantly amazed by how often people get fleeced, but seem very reluctant to complain, or can't be bothered with the hassle of taking back to the post office.
Those on eBay who sell a lot of these misleading instruments or bows know this, and milk it for all it is worth. I'm sure over a year they do very well out of it too. I'd imagine for every 50 they sell, very few, if any actually are returned. Seems most people don't like to admit they made a mistake, and then have to do something about it.

I would continue to rant on, but now it's lunchtime and I'm going to have a sandwich.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Dave Slight said:

When you point out it is not what they thought it was, invariably people get angry, but not with the seller, usually it is with me for pointing out the truth.

Just recall that we had a thread not long ago about one of this Ebay 150$ findings, and we who gave the damned thing the right name were accused of being rude, unpolite, I don't know what else, exactly by  posters giving smart analyzes now and here;), having there no other comments on it than "enjoy". So even Maestronet isn't different and always helpful.

OTOH, I know enough "reputable" offline shops having a similar business model like what's bemoaned here, even run by violin makers.

Share this post


Link to post
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.