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Highest odds when rolling the dice - Violins or Bows?


jacklinks
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If one were to buy violins or bows online  (whether auction or fixed priced sites), which do you think would give you the higher odds of finding something of value (let’s assume that means at least twice what you pay for it)? Could mean paying $200 and selling for $400+ or paying in the 000s and selling for 2X 000s. The dollars don’t matter as much as being able to find inherent value. 

You may need to take into consideration how difficult a decent undervalued violin or bow is to find online and how difficult it is to sell one (ie whether violins or bows generally easier to sell).

I know that buying sight unseen can be a fool’s game, but just curious as to where you think the odds are greater.

PhilipKT’s “occasional” posts about bows makes me wonder. It does seem that bows are often overlooked and there could be some diamonds in the rough there. 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, jacklinks said:

If one were to buy violins or bows online  (whether auction or fixed priced sites), which do you think would give you the higher odds of finding something of value (let’s assume that means at least twice what you pay for it)? Could mean paying $200 and selling for $400+ or paying in the 000s and selling for 2X 000s. The dollars don’t matter as much as being able to find inherent value. 

You may need to take into consideration how difficult a decent undervalued violin or bow is to find online and how difficult it is to sell one (ie whether violins or bows generally easier to sell).

I know that buying sight unseen can be a fool’s game, but just curious as to where you think the odds are greater.

PhilipKT’s “occasional” posts about bows makes me wonder. It does seem that bows are often overlooked and there could be some diamonds in the rough there. 

 

 

IMHO, bows are a much bigger gamble.  Too many hidden variables, and too little that you can influence in the shop.  I only buy bows for my own use in person any more, and take the violin I intend it for along for testing the bow.  :)

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1 hour ago, jacklinks said:

PhilipKT’s “occasional” posts about bows makes me wonder. It does seem that bows are often overlooked and there could be some diamonds in the rough there. 

I can promise it’s not the case that bows are overlooked, but buying bows unseen, is a crapshoot of epic proportions.

While people will often convince themselves that their latest tomato stick is a great player, it’s interesting to note that they never go on to be their main bow.

From poor pictures, you have little chance of seeing repairs, unless they are diabolical, no way to judge strength, balance, if the bow is even straight. Bushings, screws, eyelets can often be needed, along with lapping, thumbgrip, faceplate, re-hair.

Soon your €100 bow (plus commission & shipping) needs €300 in restoration, and worth €450 at best.

I’m sure there will be lots of anecdotes about buying a good bow for peanuts, and it can happen once in a lifetime.
It depends if you wish to spend the remaining days of your life trawling through rubbish, just looking for that one which might make you €1000, to justify all those wasted days and nights you could have spent with family instead.

 

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I have never bought violins or bows on line... but... I do visit antique shops... and never pay the asking...amazingly every now and then there is a deal.

Travelling in PEI I bargained a $10 bow down to $7... I did not have my spectacles with me it was dark in the shop and when I got outside.... A nice Tourte copy with silver fittings... sold it for $700 after a cleanup and rehair.

In Florida I picked up a John Juzek viola for $75 ....well used and abused... Restored it and 3 years later sold it for $1100.

It's like panning for gold... only more comfortable:P

 

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On 4/20/2021 at 4:33 PM, jacklinks said:

PhilipKT’s “occasional” posts about bows makes me wonder. It does seem that bows are often overlooked and there could be some diamonds in the rough there. 

@PhilipKT has been posting here for 20 years. Perhaps he could tell us how many diamonds versus rocks he has found in that period. As I recall the last bow he bought with a "free violin" he returned.

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The value of a good bow is worth buying a few duds at bargain basement prices.  Chances are you are never going to find a sartory but deals can be had. Personally, I find it harder to buy online. Especially when people pay crazy money for junk sight unseen.  If you want to come close to just breaking even you need to have seen loads of real stuff and have the desire to sort though pages and pages of junk.  However everyone’s got to have a hobby:rolleyes:

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The best bow I have I bought at Tarisio. I’d been looking for one and this one was excellent and original and I took a gamble and bought it without playing it. It’s wonderful. A short time later, another bow by the same maker, a bit lighter and, if I recall correctly, with a replace button, sold for ~ twice what I had paid. I eventually acquired my second Gillet( the one that had inspired me to go looking for one) from the lady who had declined to part with it till then, and it was expensive.

I've had some good results, but some disasters, like the Hill bow that was chewed into uselessness by rats. Remember that one? Most disasters, though, are instruments. But mostly, I’ve had disasters. I’m not very good at this, but  I’d go with bows if I were going to focus only on one category.

But if I want a bow for myself, I’ll call Martin.

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