Advice on selling relatively inexpensive instruments
As I have gotten better as a musician, though I am still a relatively intermediate player at best, I have been upgrading my instruments. It is time to say good bye to two violins and a viola or two. Naturally I want to get a reasonable amount for them, close to what I payed for them, minus any upgrades that I might have made.
As a public school teacher my first instinct was to reach out to colleagues to gauge interest; but they are mostly band teachers that teach a section of orchestra and have little desire to learn the instruments.(Don't get me started!) I was a band teacher once, but have thoroughly embraced violin and the string family; hence the intermediate player at best.
Other than this, I lament to say it, I was thinking Craigslist and perhaps Reverb. Are their any other avenues that you would recommend? Most music shops would not want these instruments as they sell more expensive in-house ones. I am hoping to get about $400 for the violins: Chinese handmade Stainer copy & German Factory Amati that has some issues, but once was a purely lovely instrument. This is about what I paid for them.
Any thoughts are appreciated!
If you itemize your income tax you might do better to donate to a music charity or local school and write off the current retail value.
Getting rid of instruments at ANY price point is difficult. As I always say, they're like sailboats and horses.
This is the price range in which most people choose to rent instead. I'd suggest a donation to charity would probably be best.
Donation is best. If you sell any instrument for which you've paid less than $5,000, be prepared to take a significant loss (FSBO) or to suffer a dealer's commission (consignment). Very often the dealer will only consign the violin, not the bow and case too.
I don’t think dealers will even consign instruments at this price level. There isn’t enough in it for them, and they’d be competing against themselves.
I put a few of mine up on letgo. I don't recommend that. I had some interest but they tried to low ball me. I don't mean just a little bit. It was almost embarrassing.I'm willing to take a hit, but I'm not giving them away.
Low end instruments do not appreciate, they depreciate. You probably won't get anywhere near what you paid for student instruments. If you're fortunate you will get half what you paid. If you're spending $400 for your kid's first violin, you might as well buy new, so that's what people do.