Violin not set up, will it be harder to sell?

December 6, 2016 at 05:05 AM · Going to be selling, shop said not to put strings on it or fix it up, if I plan to be sell it, but don't know exactly when I will be selling. They said something like no reason to put strain on it if my goal is to sell it eventually. 1943 James Reynold Carlisle Handmade by him.

Will it be harder to sell if its not set up?

Replies (50)

December 6, 2016 at 05:39 AM · I have no idea what the shop is intending but if you have the bridge, soundpost at right place and etc. Set it up.

Buyer will have no clue what they're buying until they've played at least a single note from that violin.

Unless if you are trying to sell directly to a luthier who can set it up to resell, it will be very hard to sell not set-up.

December 6, 2016 at 02:25 PM · Shops will buy or take on consignment instruments that are not set up and do that work themselves for a price. If you want to sell the violin yourself to a private party, it needs to be set up.

December 6, 2016 at 02:31 PM · If you're selling it to a player, then it must be set up correctly.

December 6, 2016 at 03:10 PM · I'm finding your question to be a bit confusing. My impression is that the shop recommended not setting the violin up RIGHT NOW, if you don't intend to use it but only intend to hold onto it for a later sale. That seems like good advice to me. Your own report about their recommendation doesn't seem to suggest that they said don't set it up to sell it eventually.

December 6, 2016 at 06:16 PM · yeah that words it better, "not setting the violin up RIGHT NOW, if you don't intend to use it but only intend to hold onto it for a later sale. That seems like good advice to me"

They said they would do the set up and repairs if I did a consignment.

But they said they let people take consignments home to with them to try.. that kind of turned me off, but they take their credit card, is that normal? I guess it would still be insured by them if under them...

December 6, 2016 at 06:22 PM · Yes, it is normal. Few musicians want to purchase a violin without a home trial.

December 6, 2016 at 06:38 PM · It does need to be properly set up before you sell. No one will buy an instrument without wanting to play it.

As far as long term storage, I personally would leave it set up with a properly fitted sound post, bridge, and strings tuned down half a step or so. You should ask a luthier, though.

If you take the strings off for a long period of time, you will also need to take the sound post down and remove the chinrest.

December 6, 2016 at 07:05 PM · Try to sell a car with no wheels and then report back!

December 6, 2016 at 10:58 PM · When you turn it over to the shop to consign, they will do the set-up they feel shows the instrument to best advantage. (This is not necessarily the set-up that you, personally, would have chosen.) That's normally done at no charge to you. If they need to do repairs, you will have to pay for the cost of the repairs (but possibly that money can be taken out of what you receive when it's sold, rather than paid up front).

Buyers will always take instruments home for a trial, and generally will keep the instrument for a week or two -- occasionally longer, especially for high-end instruments. The shop guarantees that the instrument doesn't go walksies; if the buyer absconds, the shop is responsible for paying you. Shops vary in the measures they take to prevent people from just wandering off with the trial instrument. Some will take a credit card. Some operate on trust.

December 6, 2016 at 11:12 PM · A shop here operated on trust until the 90s, when someone stole a valuable viola. It was never found. No one operates on trust around these parts anymore, to my knowledge.

December 6, 2016 at 11:20 PM · I don't even like the idea of someone taking it out to see if they like it, so will prob avoid the consignment at least from the shop I went to.

They said they would buy it out right for 2000 or if I consigned it be closer to 5k. not about to just sell it outright to a violin shop tho.

December 6, 2016 at 11:27 PM · Nobody serious is going to buy a violin without taking it home for a week or so. You cannot make an accurate judgment based on a few minutes playing time in the shop.

December 6, 2016 at 11:30 PM · plenty of violins sell online without having been played.

December 7, 2016 at 01:04 AM · That is true but the great majority of violins sold online sell for $500 or less. If you are up around the $2000 mark then nobody is going to buy that online or hand over their money after playing it for a few minutes in the shop.

Violins always sound different in the shop :)

December 7, 2016 at 01:15 AM · I just looked up the seller for that violin. I strongly recommend having it set up and have it consigned and/or sell it set up. Online quoted values range from $5000~$12000

December 7, 2016 at 01:36 AM · thanks, you looked up the seller? or you mean the Maker? I saw some in the same price you just stated. I am going to look into having it set up. I am just kind of worried cause I have never owned something precious like this and would be scared leaving it with anyone lol

December 7, 2016 at 01:49 AM · maker*

December 7, 2016 at 01:51 AM · When you leave it for consignment, you will go through some paperwork. Appraisal/commission they will take from selling price, and etc.

December 7, 2016 at 03:22 AM · Yeah. There is no way that anyone is going to buy a violin in that price range without trying it out first. A week's trial is standard, and you are likely to be asked if the trial can be extended to two or even three weeks.

The thing about an outright buy is that you get your money right now. Consignment can take months or even years, and you might prefer cash in hand.

December 7, 2016 at 05:26 AM · "no reason to put strain on it..."

Really? I'm not sure I'd want a violin that couldn't take the strain of having strings on it.

December 7, 2016 at 05:45 AM · I am a guitarist so I have no idea, but the guy who said it has been working with them for over 30 years... I know guitars are better with strings so the neck does not get warped.

December 7, 2016 at 03:34 PM · Violin necks are short and rigid compared to a guitar. Warping should not be an issue either way.

December 7, 2016 at 05:03 PM · String it up and have somebody start playing it. If it has not been played in a long time then it may take a while before it gets its 'voice' back.

Interesting point : what strings to put on a violin of unknown sound quality ? Do you start with Dominants ?

December 7, 2016 at 06:15 PM · If you leave the sound post up with no counter pressure from the strings, you will damage the instrument. How do I know? Personal experience :(

December 7, 2016 at 07:30 PM · Here it is.. Its just in a case this way.

December 8, 2016 at 03:03 AM · Dominants, Tonicas, or Pro Artes, I imagine. Neutral and inexpensive.

December 10, 2016 at 05:13 AM · Anyone have a good recommendation for a case? The one I have it in is old, and I don't really trust it.. And should I put some kind of humidifier in it?

December 10, 2016 at 05:27 AM · Need for a humidifier depends on where you live. If you live where the winters are cold, and heated indoor air becomes extremely dry, then maybe you do need a humidifier. Where I live, in the S.F. Bay Area, a humidifier is completely unecessary.

December 10, 2016 at 05:43 AM · Can you put one in a case?

December 10, 2016 at 05:52 AM · With the right case & humidifier, definitely yes.

December 10, 2016 at 05:53 AM · I currently have a GEWA Jaeger case, some people have dislikes/likes for it, but since you're only hoping to set it up and sell it, whichever shop you decide to leave it will care for it.

December 10, 2016 at 07:33 AM · I disliked the shop I went to today, Was like I can get 5000 ish if I fix it up for 250.00 or 1500 to sell up front. He was like "I would take the money and run" I took my violin and ran. He did know about them pretty much but just didn't like it.

December 10, 2016 at 06:04 PM · Careful with case humidifiers. Better to humidify the room if need be.

December 11, 2016 at 04:24 AM · Dave, whereabouts are you located? Personally, I have very positive experiences with one store, and my luthier. I've had bad experiences with one luthier, and 2 music stores in my town. However, with the trusted store SoundPost, and my luthier. I may even ask them to safely store my violin when I am away for the summer traveling in Europe(I will likely take the violin with me to Europe however).

You could ask someone here for suggestions on who who leave the violin with.

December 11, 2016 at 06:23 PM · Ohio Usa, Where you?

December 11, 2016 at 08:39 PM · I certainly cannot make a recommendation, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

December 11, 2016 at 09:38 PM · Just going to focus getting it set up, I want to hear it... I could fly it to Canada for 15k lol

December 12, 2016 at 12:41 AM · May I ask, how it came into your hands? If I were your shoes, I would love to have it set up, and play it myself, unless I am in a deep pinch for cash, and "shop around" for best prices I can get from different people/places.

I cannot make any guarantees as to if local stores/workshop is willing to consign/buy it. It would be a little more secure for you to do it locally in your area though. I mean, just imagine just handing it over to someone, 1000km away.

December 12, 2016 at 08:35 AM · Well short story, thrift store for 45 Dollars.

December 12, 2016 at 09:08 AM · Dave - where in Ohio? I'm outside Akron, Oh and know a guy or two..

December 12, 2016 at 06:00 PM · YouTube has an old silent film showing James Reynold Carlisle's shop. I believe Tarisio, the auction house, originally posted it. Just search YouTube's site.

December 12, 2016 at 06:02 PM · yeah, The Luther I 1st went to told me it was the 1st video ever made of a violin maker. Kind of interesting.

December 13, 2016 at 06:40 AM · here is what will happen, I will prob end up learning to play, on a cheaper violin. for fun, end up selling my Carlisle, and in 10 years ill be good, and be like DAM I OWNED A Carlisle and SOLD IT!!!

December 13, 2016 at 07:34 AM · exactly. don't sell it, play it, like many others here have said.

December 18, 2016 at 03:17 AM · Any suggestions for a violin less than 200 for a beginner?

December 18, 2016 at 12:01 PM · Dave, maybe instead of buying another violin you could get your Carlisle fired up and playable. Maybe that that is why you discovered it in a thrift store for a small sum, to develop a latent ability waiting to be brought to life. Buy yourself an inexpensive new case and a hundred dollar carbon fiber bow. Find a recommended luthier and have a new bridge cut for your Carlisle, a new tailgut, the tuning pegs doped up, and a new set of strings. Then you find a teacher and practice practice practice. If you find out that violining is not for you then maybe you can sell the instrument on your own.

Since you are a guitarist I think you might be able to pick up the basics of playing a violin much easier and faster than a lot of newbies. Think about why you happened to stumble upon an elite American fiddle at the local corner thrift store for pennies...

December 18, 2016 at 04:44 PM · " Any suggestions for a violin less than 200 for a beginner?"

DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!

If you search the term VSO (violin shaped object), you'll get lots of good information. A $200 violin will sound scratchy, have irregularities that make it difficult to play, and will have the cheapest possible strings which will have to be immediately replaced (add $50). As soon as you have about 6 months of playing under your belt, you'll realize you hate your violin and will want another one.

On the other hand, you have a fantastic instrument that could be set up for around $200 and if you ever wanted to sell, it would be ready to go.

If you are still against using the amazing violin you already have, then consider renting from a reputable dealer. You'll get a much better quality instrument. It's already hard enough to learn to play violin; a cheap one will make it more difficult.

December 18, 2016 at 06:05 PM · If you sell your Carlisle, the money will rot in the bank; if you fix it up and play it, the value will increase year by year. Keep it!

December 18, 2016 at 08:05 PM · Thanks, Looks like I'll spend it fixing it up.. I'll post more when I get the Carlisle set up. 10 grand would make me happy at the moment but keeping it and learning would bring me more happiness. : )

December 18, 2016 at 08:27 PM · As much as I am in agreement with everyone saying to fix it up and play yourself, and to stay away from cheap VSO's. I would personally be freaked out if I were in possession of an expensive instruments, and afraid to play it properly because I'll be afraid of damaging it in some way.

I mean, I did go through only 10 secondary violins, 2 electric violins, and 2 violas to realize that "secondary/practice violin" isn't going to cut it(Dave, I didn't break or damage any of those, I was just not happy not as happy playing with those as my main violin).

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