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29 minutes ago, Dave Slight said:

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.

Martin, Taiwan is rainy, and there’s nothing to do except watch the rain, so today I almost posted a question about this subject.

how do honest dealers feel about all this auction stuff going on?

I have my lifetime cello and-probably-my lifetime bows, but I’m constantly looking for inexpensive cellos for my students. The three local shops here don’t have anything except whatever “Grandmother’s Attic” walks in off the street, or modern Chinese stuff. The phenomenon you mention is quite real. I am very loyal to my shops(one owner was best man at my wedding) and I always send my kids them(many have bought Haide or Shen or Klier or Stöhr cellos) 

I don’t buy on EBay and I haven’t bought a violin or violin bow in ten years, although I’m constantly looking just for education purposes.

how do honest dealers deal with this auction phenomenon, especially because most customers haven’t the slightest idea how to buy an instrument?

(Ooops I’m afraid I was distracted because my wife snarled at me about posting on Maestronet instead of paying attention to a conversation in Mandarin that I could not understand, and I inadvertantly addressed this comment to the wrong person.)

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So is there not an accreditation process we can put in place?

For example if Vdm sells on Ebay she would have the right to insert a banner "reputable seller endorsed and recommended by Maestronet" 

I agree fully with Dave Slight - had just such an experience last week. Got quite shirty with me when I declined to sort out her 'sows ear' Cello bought for peanuts online and expecting a silk purse. Even had the gall to ask for a discount because she was 'getting all these repairs done together'?

Forsooth!

 

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On ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 3:49 PM, 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 in a classy venue as easily as you can for comparative peanuts in a flea market.  :lol:

 

On ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 3:59 PM, ClefLover said:

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

 

On ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 9:01 PM, PhilipKT said:

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

Forget it man, her battlements are impregnable.

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11 minutes ago, sospiri said:

 

 

Forget it man, her battlements are impregnable.

Yes, but I can work magic with my cello. Couple of scales and the drawbridge is down. Joshua and his Trumpets got nothing on me

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2 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

how do honest dealers deal with this auction phenomenon, especially because most customers haven’t the slightest idea how to buy an instrument?

(Ooops I’m afraid I was distracted because my wife snarled at me about posting on Maestronet instead of paying attention to a conversation in Mandarin that I could not understand, and I inadvertantly addressed this comment to the wrong person.)

Phillip, I will assume this was intended for me.

There is no real way to deal with it, people will spend their money as and where they see fit.
I'm sure it leads to a lot of frustration for shops and dealers, probably more for shops who sell educational type instruments & bows, because they will have things right in the eBay tat range.
Most of the eBay bargain hunters are not spending huge amounts, it's just a shame that those who don't have much money to waste become the victims of the vagaries of eBay descriptions. All the stuff about private collections, owned by an unnamed professional and the like is just ridiculous, but it takes people in every time.

For teachers, I think it is worth creating a relationship with somewhere local if possible, and especially a place that will do good setups on the student instruments they sell. At least the instruments will be useable, and a lot of frustrations such as slipping pegs, wrong bridge radius, fingerboard shape, strings etc. will have been taken care of. That way you can get on teaching, rather than spending half a lesson fighting the instrument.
The shop is always on hand for advice, trade ups, accessories, and will want returning customers for as long as they can keep them. I guess they may not have the range you might hope for in older instruments, but new instruments are not all bad by any means.

I realise that it's not always possible to have a place like that on the doorstep, and things get progressively more difficult as the distance increases. Naturally people will shop in a way which seems easiest for them, and it can be easier to have something delivered, than to travel and view instruments some hours away. Some don't feel confident at a dealers and can be overwhelmed by the choice.

All you can really do is provide a great service, fair prices, be honest and look after your own customers well. Word of mouth about good dealings, workmanship and service will you serve you well over the years. Personally I'm not too interested in trying to lure the unwary away from eBay, it's at a level I don't need to be involved in, but at the same time I don't like to see people become victims of the unscrupulous sellers there.

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Just now, PhilipKT said:

Yes, but I can work magic with my cello. Couple of scales and the drawbridge is down. Joshua and his Trumpets got nothing on me

Well, I think you should try to woo her outside the Castle walls and away from the moat. Don't want you to end up like polk salad Annie's granny do we?

 

 

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4 hours ago, reg said:

Buy one of her violins on eBay and request collection in person?

As I made plain here long ago, I sell locally, I don't sell on eBay.  :)

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