First off, I want to make sure nobody gets this wrong: My number one priority for my next violin purchase is NOT tonal quality, my number one priority is resale value. I want to resell it again in 1-2 years without any financial loss.
The situation I am running into quite frequently is that I find something that looks interesting but when I ask how certain the authenticity of the instrument is, the shop (usually online shop) tells me they don't have a certificate and they do not do appraisales/certifications.
In many cases, the instruments I am looking at might be workshop violins of famous makers, for example, the instrument might be advertised by the shop as a Collin-Mezin Jr. violin, but when you ask how they established this, you may get the impression that it might just be a Collin-Mezin workshop violin, not necessarily made entirely by CM himself. Note that I am not talking about instruments which are advertised as "labeled XY" or "attributed to XYZ", but those advertised with a strong attribution, not a weak one.
In any event, if a violin is a CM workshop violin, I would still consider it as long as the authenticity has been established and as long as such workshop violins also have a good resale value, which in this particular example would be the case. What I am worried about is fakes, where some maker unrelated to the workshop has faked the style and the label to fetch a higher price.
For that, it would obviously help to get an appraisal that says something about authenticity. However, if the shop doesn't have one and they don't seem to have a mechanism to get one upon request of a potential customer, then how do I go about it?
If the shop is not interested in getting an appraisal or offering to get one if the customer pays for it or pays half of the cost or whatever arrangement may be made, is that a sign that they already know that their merchandise is not authentic? Do you guys simply stay away from such shops? Or do you have some "secret formula" how you convince them to get an appraisal? Or do you simply bite the bullet, buy it, get an appraisal and either be lucky or not?
If so, what do you do if the violin turns out not to be authentic? Do you then do the same as the shop did and sell it on without mentioning the appraisal that established it was not authentic? I try to live by "don't do upon others what you don't want done upon yourself" so this approach doesn't seem appealing to me.
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