Stuck trading up at same shop?
I've bought a few violins, trading up one after another over time at a local Los Angeles shop. I get the full price paid originally applied toward the new purchase when I trade in, and then give them some more money for a better instrument.
(I think the instruments may be a bit overpriced in general there, but the staff is first-rate.)
Problem: Would like to check out other sellers but don't want to lose the full trade-in/trade up purchase value I'd get at the old shop.
Any thoughts? Ideas on how to get most bang for my buck?
Depends on the class of instrument you're talking about. How much did you pay for the current instrument that you want to trade in, and what value do you want to trade up to?
Very few other shops are going to offer you as much as you paid for it at their competitor, especially if his prices are sorta high, that doesn't mean its impossible, you might find another shop where the better violin is reasonably priced, and they give you less trade in for your old one, but it works out for the better because the new violin is so good, worth investigating, no harm in trying.
Why do you think sellers offer trade-ups? Because they've got you trapped into a cycle of accepting higher and higher mark-ups because every time you're farther under water from what they sold you last time!! However, it still might make more sense for you financially in the moment. And it might take some of the stress out of your purchasing experience to know that you're not going to be flying all over the country (world!) trying violins. I think that's one of the most attractive features of trade-up for the typical buyer (i.e., the Suzuki parent). If your shop has a good inventory of fine violins to choose from, and you feel you're going to wind up with a reasonable value for the "terminal" instrument, then I see no problem with it.
Unless you meet the love of your life (or that part of your life) in another bar/café...:)
Though I hate to say it, I believe they likely mark up to compensate for the trade. If the trade in amount is simply a built in number, then it isn't important if you look elsewhere. In fact, it allows you more freedom.