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An Auction probably by Amati Auctions


Yogic
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42 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Expect Mrs. PhilipKT to point out that scotland isn't very close to Italy

Yes, that will be a bit of a pickle, but maybe I can convince her that the Scots are actually speaking Italian and the weather is unusually bad right now.

Plus, we live in Texas, and by the distances we are used to in Texas, Scotland isn’t actually that far from Italy… Northern Italy at least.

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1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

Sarcasm is difficult to get even between the two branches, the King’s English And whatever we speak over here.

 Don’t you mean ‘especially’ between?

’Even’ would be correct if you said “even between two Americans”.

And we haven’t had a king for some time. 

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40 minutes ago, martin swan said:

We moved to Wells around 2 years ago.

Not quite finished with the DIY but we're getting there!

IMG_2747.thumb.jpeg.fa6e5af9e035312a2c3bfbf93ab34c91.jpeg

From the photos on your web site, I feel that Avenue House is very charming, and nicely sited.  The high ceilings are glorious.

Before the fireplace seems an unusual place to display bows.  Are those from a bundle that Jacob sent you as kindling?  :huh:;):lol:

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2 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

 

Before the fireplace seems an unusual place to display bows.  Are those from a bundle that Jacob sent you as kindling?  :huh:;):lol:

Very droll ...

My main concern with putting bows on that table is that the ceiling light (which is German and very heavy) doesn't fall on them.

 

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Just now, Wood Butcher said:

They are part of a spit for roasting haggis over an open fire.

Those bows look perfectly placed for the cleaning lady to knock on the floor :rolleyes:

That's what cleaning ladies are supposed to do. When I was at school one of the other kids was from a fairly rich family who had a cleaner, they also had a rare Persian rug. The cleaner was getting upset with the tassels getting stuck in the hoover so she just cut them off.

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2 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

They are part of a spit for roasting haggis over an open fire.

Those bows look perfectly placed for the cleaning lady to knock on the floor :rolleyes:

Sadly no cleaning lady since the end of March ...

The bows only come out for customers - the rest of the time they live in a safe.

 

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18 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

Isn’t this what you are trying to do, by telling other people how to run their businesses, as though you know better?

I buy regularly from a business entity and I gave a customer feedback to that business.  I have more skin in the game with an auction house like Amati as I always buy multiple lots from them and found it slipping in standards. Customer feedbacks are important and if the auction house is smart they would listen to someone who buys from them regularly and is a regular customer  than someone who has nothing to do with them.

Also you dont need to be an Eric Blot kind of expert to tell a specialist auction house that excessive use of 'probably made by ' or ' possibly made by' for even low end commercial violins will only destroy their brand reputation.

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5 hours ago, martin swan said:

Since you have been here on Maestronet you have only talked about buying and selling for profit - you haven't so far shared any love for instruments - so this is a strange accusation for you to level at an auction house.

It seems to me that you main gripe is that an auction house doesn't at once offer you all the guarantees of a retail establishment while at the same time offering you a large margin for profit. In other words, that the auction house is actually requiring you to know what you are buying ...

 

You may be right. Auction houses actually require you to know what you are buying. But I had always viewed Amati in the same league as Tarisio fine auctions where their attribution is precise and a buyer always felt safe buying from them because they are the 'experts' of the trade. The way Amati is headed with it reckless use of 'probably by' or ' possibly by'  even for low end commercial violins sadly points out they are uunfortunately are not.

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52 minutes ago, Yogic said:

Also you dont need to be an Eric Blot kind of expert to tell a specialist auction house that excessive use of 'probably made by ' or ' possibly made by' for even low end commercial violins will only destroy their brand reputation.

Nobody else here seems to agree with that sentiment. It does not bother me in the slightest.

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1 hour ago, Yogic said:

Customer feedbacks are important and if the auction house is smart they would listen to someone who buys from them regularly and is a regular customer  than someone who has nothing to do with them.

Thanks @Yogic, totally agree about customer feedback, although I am not sure that a public forum on a website is the perfect vehicle for it. Thank you for buying from us. The curse of anonymity is that I don't know what you have bought, but as any buyers are good news. Genuinely - thank you. One of the dangers of anonymity is that we attack the person, thinking we are attacking the argument. I hope I haven't done so, but apologise if I have.

I'm not going to go down the rabbit hole of attributions publicly. If you wish, I am happy to answer any private messages you wish to send.

On the same subject of feedback @Shelbow thanks for the point about the scroll. Not sure why we have never done it - we shall. Hopefully over Monday / Tuesday. I think we might be able to do it in time.

Oh - and on sending bows / violins to the States. @PhilipKT a lot of buyers are from your side of the pond. We do all the paperwork (and shipping) our side and it is fairly effortless (says the man who isn't working until 11pm trying to pack ten cellos for shipment). If you have any questions, do get in touch with Elena or Sarah. Both masters of their art.

We do our best, but I am totally aware we drop the ball sometimes - thanks to you chaps who put a good word in. Genuinely grateful.

JKB

 

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31 minutes ago, Yogic said:

It bothers the buyers and not the browsers

It doesn't bother me in any way.

I find Amati's attributions to be very clear. The items you take issue with are ones where I also think it's not wise, if even possible, to make a definite attribution or to say for sure that for example the date is correct.

There is no creep towards inaccuracy, rather the reverse which is that responsible auction houses are increasingly aware that they must be clear and precise. If they can't say for sure that something is as labelled, then they say "we can't be sure". 

How that can be construed as some kind of failure of standards is completely beyond me, unless seen from the perspective of someone who wants to make a quick buck out of flipping violins in the trade without really understanding or studying them.

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18 minutes ago, jamesbuchanan said:

Thanks @Yogic, totally agree about customer feedback, although I am not sure that a public forum on a website is the perfect vehicle for it. Thank you for buying from us. The curse of anonymity is that I don't know what you have bought, but as any buyers are good news. Genuinely - thank you. One of the dangers of anonymity is that we attack the person, thinking we are attacking the argument. I hope I haven't done so, but apologise if I have.

I'm not going to go down the rabbit hole of attributions publicly. If you wish, I am happy to answer any private messages you wish to send.

On the same subject of feedback @Shelbow thanks for the point about the scroll. Not sure why we have never done it - we shall. Hopefully over Monday / Tuesday. I think we might be able to do it in time.

Oh - and on sending bows / violins to the States. @PhilipKT a lot of buyers are from your side of the pond. We do all the paperwork (and shipping) our side and it is fairly effortless (says the man who isn't working until 11pm trying to pack ten cellos for shipment). If you have any questions, do get in touch with Elena or Sarah. Both masters of their art.

We do our best, but I am totally aware we drop the ball sometimes - thanks to you chaps who put a good word in. Genuinely grateful.

JKB

 

@james Thank you for your comments.It is refreshing that you are willing to look at some of the points brought out especially being in a trade that is full of people who seem to know everything there is to it. I have had the chance to work in multiple industry sectors and the voice of a small end user customer is more valuable and insightful than the opinion of all the 'experts' in the room. I wish you well and I apologize the anonymity does not allow me to introduce myself. But I have bought in every one of your auctions for the last two years and have always been partial to older Italian violins so if you can use a bit of data science you will have no problems locating me! 

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3 hours ago, Yogic said:

 the voice of a small end user customer is more valuable and insightful than the opinion of all the 'experts' in the room. 

Many if not all of these people you disparage as 'experts', people who have been in the trade for a good while, are also clients of Amati and other auction houses.

 

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3 hours ago, martin swan said:

Many if not all of these people you disparage as 'experts', people who have been in the trade for a good while, are also clients of Amati and other auction houses.

 

Being in the trade for many years does not automatically qualify you as an expert.It best qualifies you as a professional. I could have worked in the banking sector for all my life with exposure only to retail banking and retired as a Vice President.But that does not qualify me as an expert of the banking industry . It best qualifies me as a banking professional.An expert has  broader extensive knowledge across all if not every sub field of the industry and is gained through intensive study, research and experience that could come out of your occupation or outside of it.If you have been a luthier spending 30 years of your life repairing student instruments in a small town,you will still not have the exposure or qualifications to discern an old Italian violin from a closely contructed fake.The person at best is a violin professional and not an expert on string instruments depite having spent 30 years in the industry.

There are two sets of competencies at play here. One is your knowledge of string instruments and the other is your business acumen and skills to globally procure, source and distribute string instruments. The second set of competencies requires you to understand consumer behavior, consumer marketing,financial management, tracking changing purchase patterns and keeping abreast of industry trends.In my state there are four dealers who apparently studied under the same violin expert  and started off with similar financial backgrounds, knowledge and at a similar age. One has turned out to be one of the largest and most respected dealers in the Country with inventory worth millions. The other three are always on the verge of going bankrupt and still operate out of their garages doing mostly repairs and some sales.So clearly it is not your knowledge of string instruments or the number of years you spend in the trade that you sets you on your path of running a successful string instruments business.

Not being an expert in one set of competencies does not disqualify someone from having insights on the other. It apears the general sense of the forum here that whoever has experience or has sold violins for many years know everything and that is all to it. Not true.

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6 hours ago, Yogic said:

 

There are two sets of competencies at play here. One is your knowledge of string instruments and the other is your business acumen and skills to globally procure, source and distribute string instruments. The second set of competencies requires you to understand consumer behavior, consumer marketing,financial management, tracking changing purchase patterns and keeping abreast of industry trends.In my state there are four dealers who apparently studied under the same violin expert  and started off with similar financial backgrounds, knowledge and at a similar age. One has turned out to be one of the largest and most respected dealers in the Country with inventory worth millions. The other three are always on the verge of going bankrupt and still operate out of their garages doing mostly repairs and some sales.So clearly it is not your knowledge of string instruments or the number of years you spend in the trade that you sets you on your path of running a successful string instruments business.

 

I suppose it's a natural tendency to think that if other people are successful, it's because they must in some way be like you :lol:

While I completely accept your point that experience alone is not enough to ensure success or even to bestow authority, I would say that the violin business seems to reward two kinds of people above all - people with unusual abilities to identify instruments, and people who are good with other people.

It's very rare to be good at buying and selling, nor is it necessary for success (you can always make alliances), but you need to be very good at one of the two, and of course this needs to be backed up by some rigid business discipline.

With regard to buying, I don't mean to be disparaging, but since you have been on Maestronet you have demonstrated that you are relatively at sea with instrument identification - you seem to wish auction houses or Maestronet members to do your identification for you, and to that extent you can never rise above the competition, who are way ahead of you.

With regard to selling, you come across as slightly irritable, quick to pick a fight, and a bit entitled. If you are working remotely with dealers then that may not be a disadvantage, but private sales are the real business, certainly for someone who doesn't have highly developed expertise. I fear you may not have a lot of value to add to private sales (understanding of musicians or of sound, set-up skills, great customer service etc), and you may lack the patience to deal with other peoples' demands, which are often difficult to unpick and nigh on impossible to satisfy. 

So, since we're dishing it out left right and centre, that's my little bit of friendly advice on how you might run your business.

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