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On ebay - reputable sellers(?)


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Given that practically every violin ID enquiry on this forum is apparently dutzenarbeit 'rubbish' that would cost far too much in labour to be worth restoring, how come people get upset when a keen and interested person wants to use a similar box (that they already own) to practise on? The chances of picking up a 'proper' violin on Ebay etc. at a bargain price, as frequently pointed out, must be really, very low. So what's the harm in trying? Or are these 'boxes' actually worth something?

Unlike attempting to mend your boiler or perform brain surgery, there isn't much jeopardy involved..............or is there?

 

Anyway, that was a bit surreal to stumble on the pigeon thing whilst looking for the Wells Swan logo :ph34r:

 

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28 minutes ago, Bob K said:

Given that practically every violin ID enquiry on this forum is apparently dutzenarbeit 'rubbish' that would cost far too much in labour to be worth restoring, how come people get upset when a keen and interested person wants to use a similar box (that they already own) to practise on? The chances of picking up a 'proper' violin on Ebay etc. at a bargain price, as frequently pointed out, must be really, very low. So what's the harm in trying? Or are these 'boxes' actually worth something?

Unlike attempting to mend your boiler or perform brain surgery, there isn't much jeopardy involved..............or is there

 

As I mentioned above, it is one thing repairing a dirty Dutendarbeit” that has spent 40 years in someone's aunties bike shed, and quite a different one (and more expensive) to repair it after it has endured diverse DIY measures. I fully expect that I would want to chuck a bridge that the Op made on the kitchen table with a bread knife, straight into the bin.

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12 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

I fully expect that I would want to chuck a bridge that the Op made on the kitchen table with a bread knife, straight into the bin.

Like all the hyperbole over gas mains and brain surgery, that gibe simply doesn't reflect the reality of what we are discussing here, which are people following tutorials like those from Triangle Strings, with proper, and often very carefully chosen and well maintained tools.  If @Rachell66 starts cutting bridges, I expect she'll do the same.  :P

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7 hours ago, Rue said:

 

But, FWIW, I worked, went to school, paid bills and looked after kids too.

 

As a mother or father....? Massive difference.

I am a mother first, work, learning music and violin restoration/making hobby last. So reading books, slowly investing in proper tools.. Tinkering on cheap violins. After coronavirus and lock down. More options of learning, will open up. I'm 35..so late start, will I do much? As build a quality violin? Highly unlikely! Will I start? Yes. There is a workshop that I can go to in Cambridge, UK. Once coronavirus passes. I have tons of work learning to play the violin too. The most important is growth, every single day, every week... 

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13 hours ago, Bob K said:

Given that practically every violin ID enquiry on this forum is apparently dutzenarbeit 'rubbish' that would cost far too much in labour to be worth restoring, how come people get upset when a keen and interested person wants to use a similar box (that they already own) to practise on? The chances of picking up a 'proper' violin on Ebay etc. at a bargain price, as frequently pointed out, must be really, very low. So what's the harm in trying? Or are these 'boxes' actually worth something?

Unlike attempting to mend your boiler or perform brain surgery, there isn't much jeopardy involved..............or is there?

 I think it depends on the condition firstly, if there isn’t a lot wrong with it, it may well be worth taking to a shop.

If the condition is bad, then it’s clearly worth very little, and not worth paying a professional, and they would probably tell you that themselves.

What I have seen, are people starting with a dutz or two, mending them poorly, and then thinking they are Sacconi.
The desire to start working on something better takes hold, and soon they are trying things on much more expensive violins, which are way beyond their skill level, with the obvious result.

I wouldn’t shed a tear for anyone ruining their own dutz, but might when something better is ruined through ignorance.

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I both buy and sell violins on Ebay UK. I get a little upset about the misrepresentation which one often sees on this forum. 

Obviously, it is not in the best interests of a professional luthier or retailer to praise Ebay sellers. But to hear that we are all con men is a bit rich. 

I don't know about the US site, but here in the UK all items are returnable and refundable. 

Over the past sixteen years I have sold many violins on Ebay. In that time I have had excellent feedback, which is visible to all potential customers. (Such feedback is not available elsewhere, I might point out.) I have described my violins as accurately as possible.  I declare earnings for tax purposes. My prices are lower than retail because I have fewer overheads. I have never claimed to provide a service which is akin to that of a qualified luthier. 

So, although there are plenty of rogues out there, do not tar us all with the same brush.

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12 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

 I think it depends on the condition firstly, if there isn’t a lot wrong with it, it may well be worth taking to a shop.

If the condition is bad, then it’s clearly worth very little, and not worth paying a professional, and they would probably tell you that themselves.

What I have seen, are people starting with a dutz or two, mending them poorly, and then thinking they are Sacconi.
The desire to start working on something better takes hold, and soon they are trying things on much more expensive violins, which are way beyond their skill level, with the obvious result.

I wouldn’t shed a tear for anyone ruining their own dutz, but might when something better is ruined through ignorance.

I don't disagree. The advice, often given, to get a professional opinion is always good. However, I am sure that if someone really wants to take the top off a 'Skylark' out of curiosity before using it for firewood, that is entirely up to them. Sadly, there are also many other beautiful and valuable things in the world that people wreck through their ignorance, greed, selfishness, petulence, etc. etc.

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32 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

What I have seen, are people starting with a dutz or two, mending them poorly, and then thinking they are Sacconi.
The desire to start working on something better takes hold, and soon they are trying things on much more expensive violins, which are way beyond their skill level, with the obvious result.

There are also some who, 'starting with a dutz or two'. go on to repairing many more dutz. And building up their skills. And refusing to work on instruments which are valuable, and refusing to tackle repairs which require a professional. Isn't there a niche for such people? In fact, as I have been doing it for 17 years, I would claim to have proved the need for such people. 

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7 minutes ago, geoff1954 said:

I both buy and sell violins on Ebay UK. I get a little upset about the misrepresentation which one often sees on this forum. 

Obviously, it is not in the best interests of a professional luthier or retailer to praise Ebay sellers. But to hear that we are all con men is a bit rich. 

^Yes. This is true of a few here, both contributors and lurkers. 

At the same time, I think that this forum does help alert novice buyers that there are con-men and con-women on eBay deliberately and knowingly selling mis-represented and fake wares, and about other risks and pitfalls associated with buying instruments on eBay.

On the other side, there are honest eBay sellers who have no idea how to accurately and completely represent an instrument in an eBay listing. Personally, I will sometimes message them to help them understand what they are selling, and how to photograph and describe it better. (And I state that I am not and will not be bidding on the item.)

I'd also add the brick-and-mortar dealers occasionally get a fair share of bashing in this forum, too.

 

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"Due to circumstances I can't go to any professional schooling, not for the next 7 years at least so... I'm veeeeery limited. I have got plenty of time to learn from YouTube, good books and plenty of trial and error. I would like to even open up the violin, learn the measurements, try varnishing. All on a crappy violin. 

One time I was sitting for 3 hours just cutting a bridge with a kitchen knife and sanding it down with sandpaper, and sanding down a peg... Silly but I loved sitting over a table and doing it. I cleaned the violin with linseed oil with a rag.. I love the thought of a violin sitting up in somebody's attic, and me restoring it and blowing some life and music into it. I wwwwwish!"

While you're tinkering with your worthless violins, remember to use PROPER tools and methods. Doing things improperly, just because of value, isn't a good model for life.

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4 hours ago, geoff1954 said:

There are also some who, 'starting with a dutz or two'. go on to repairing many more dutz. And building up their skills. And refusing to work on instruments which are valuable, and refusing to tackle repairs which require a professional. Isn't there a niche for such people? In fact, as I have been doing it for 17 years, I would claim to have proved the need for such people. 

I’m sure cheap German and some cheaper French violins sell regularly on eBay, as the many, many posts on such things confirm (although usually relabelled).

As to knowing which instruments are more valuable, and best left to pros, it is an acquired skill. Most at the start, have no true idea of what they have in their hands, requiring others more knowledgeable to tell them.
The same can be said of the potential value, and not knowing this leads to people ruining things which would have been best left to someone else.

You may know when it’s best to consult someone else, after 17 years, but those starting out don’t, and eagerness regularly overtakes common sense.

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12 hours ago, Rachell66 said:

As a mother or father....? Massive difference.

I am a mother first, work, learning music and violin restoration/making hobby last. So reading books, slowly investing in proper tools.. Tinkering on cheap violins. After coronavirus and lock down. More options of learning, will open up. I'm 35..so late start, will I do much? As build a quality violin? Highly unlikely! Will I start? Yes. There is a workshop that I can go to in Cambridge, UK. Once coronavirus passes. I have tons of work learning to play the violin too. The most important is growth, every single day, every week... 

I have been hesitating to post, and please ignore it is unhelpful, but to me their are usual more choices than two, and I do know of a third possibility in this case, depending on some logistics.

A couple years ago I talked to a local maker about learning set-up, and he basically said he would sell me a violin in-the-white, and teach me through the steps for so much an hour, essentially ending with the cost of the violin if he had done it himself. So, would have cost me like $2500 (US). I have a demanding job and lot of other responsibilities, but he was going to do it off hours, like on Sundays. I actually had thoughts of continuing to learn, and perhaps getting to at least do set-ups on the shop's lease fleet.

In the end, I decided against it for various reasons, but if you have a good shop within reasonable driving distance, you might be able to come to some arrangement like this. Just a though. :)

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8 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

On the other side, there are honest eBay sellers who have no idea how to accurately and completely represent an instrument in an eBay listing. Personally, I will sometimes message them to help them understand what they are selling, and how to photograph and describe it better. (And I state that I am not and will not be bidding on the item.)

 

 

I thought I was the only one who did that :)  In most cases it's because I feel bad that some poor soul thinks their "Grandfather's Italian Violin by Rocca" will sell on eBay for $8,999... so I cave and message them about it.  If it's anything halfway decent I tell them to go straight to the nearest shop for advice. I will also tell them they can send photos to Tarisio for an evaluation.

Here's the most recent one.  It's actually a nice fiddle, and I was so sad to tell her it probably has a soundpost crack on the back.  I haven't heard from her since. 

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On 1/29/2021 at 6:25 PM, deans said:

Yes, used sniping. He wasnt afraid to pay up for good German trade instruments. Just about every Roth at some point, and there was a good number back then. 

Almost a badge of honor to be outbid by him.

WOW... that's a blast from the past!  Good old pknorr!  Man, I wouldn't even try to outbid him.  I just focused on whatever he wasn't interested in  :lol:

Well if his feedback numbers are anything to go by, we can expect precisely 1,575 more fiddles where that one came from! 

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