Buying Directly from Dealer in Germany
Hi everyone! Quick question on your opinion of buying direct from the dealer. In my current search for a new violin I am leaning towards this Klaus Heffler 703 that I currently have on trial from David Kerr in Portland.
If you read my previous post on picking a new violin you might remember that David Kerr’s set out about 8 violins and told me they were all under 3k (though none had the price on them). When I narrowed it down to this one and asked the exact price they responded with “Oh, we must have made a mistake, that one is actually $4200, and I really shouldn’t do this but I’ll give it to you for $3500”.
Because I found that somewhat fishy I have been looking into the price of the Klaus Heffler 703 elsewhere but can’t really find one. I went to the Klaus Heffler website (which is in German) and I asked them if the 703 is the same as one of their website models but perhaps with a different name. They responded with this:
“As we wouldn´t like to come into a rivalry with our own dealers, our dealers have numbers on their models (like #500 #600 #702 #703 #705 #706), we use names (like Ideale, Allegro, La Primavera)
You are searching for this instrument:
The la Passione is the same violin as the # 703.
Shipping costs to U.S. are always 30€ ( up to 31 kg ) and take 5-9 days from Germany to the US.”
So 2.220,00 € = 2751.13 US dollars
Which means if I went through them directly I would be saving $750
My question is this, do you think this would be worth it, or that it is risky since the violin may not sound the same?
I realize that every instrument is different even if it is the same model, and I don’t know if Kerr’s sets them up differently than Klaus Heffler etc. On the Heffler website it says they put Evah Pirazzi strings and a Guarani chin rest which the one from Kerrs has, it appears it may have a different bridge though.
I do like the sound of this one, and would like to save the $750 but would just want it to be very close to the same violin.
Thanks in advance for all the advice!
you wont get the same violin, it might be better but probably worse.
Here is another adult learner from Portland. Over the 8.5+ years doing business with David Kerr (I am also familiar with Geesman and Schuback), I find them to be honest. I have also tried violins out of my price range (I don't remember if it was due to my request or their mistake), but I found it educational - it made me realize what I might be missing (or not) if I stick within my price range.
Since you understand that "that every instrument is different even if it is the same model," then why would you risk buying a different instrument of the same model? Are you going to send it back if you don't like it?
Lyndon- you are probably right.
As far as I know if you do not pay the German VAT, you must pay in the US for the import. I don't know the exact regulations though. Also you have to pay customs in the us I believe?
I agree with all the above. You haven't tried enough Heffler violins to know that, in general, you like that model. For all you know, the one you like could be the result of a thorough casting made by David Kerr of that model.
For not much more than the $750, you can fly to Germany and audition the violin yourself. Kind of like buying a car on the European Delivery Program - you don't save any money, but you get a free vacation out of it. Bonus - there's more than one violin maker in Markneukirchen or Mittenwald, so you can try out a variety of instruments. And try out some Schweinhaxe und Weißbier while you're there, too.