Disappointed to find out I cannot trade up a bow I bought at Shar

August 2, 2019, 12:20 AM · maybe all sellers don't allow this, but I was hoping to trade up a bow I recently got, as I had some extra money come in. Nope, no trade-ins on bows. waaaaauuughhh.

Replies (17)

August 2, 2019, 2:42 AM · Hmmm I've never heard of trade-ups on bows. Are there shops that do this?
August 2, 2019, 6:20 AM · Potter has a bow trade-in policy:


August 2, 2019, 7:00 AM · Johnson/Carriage House also allows trade-ups for bows.
August 2, 2019, 9:25 AM · I thought they sometimes allowed for that? Maybe they already have too many traded in ones. A lot of local shops allow for trade ins, sometimes full original value.
August 2, 2019, 10:18 AM · Interestingly, CF bows have only 60% trade-in value at Johnson, vs 100% for wood. I wonder why that is. CF is far less likely to be in damaged condition.
Edited: August 2, 2019, 11:01 AM · Everyone wants a fine, antique wood bow. Nobody wants a grimy, old CF bow.

On wood bows, they're historical markings, whereas on a CF bow it's just dirt and scratches.

August 2, 2019, 3:06 PM · Lydia, trade-up valuations also sometimes are different for fractional instruments.
August 2, 2019, 6:48 PM · CF bows do not allow high trade in value probably because they do not get better with age?
August 2, 2019, 7:40 PM · Support your local violin shop!

Less any damage and the cost of a rehair, we usually do take back what we have sold in trade toward more expensive things.

August 2, 2019, 8:10 PM · Cheap wooden bows are also unlikely to get better with age.

Edited: August 5, 2019, 1:35 PM · The lower trade in values for CF probably just reflects a lack of a secondary market for CF bows and uncertainty about values in the long term.

If you're a violin shop keeping inventory, you are essentially betting a lot of money that your inventory will hold its value.

There just haven't been enough high quality CF bows sold and not that many of them are on the used market.

And there is justifiable doubt about long term future values anyway. Already there's a plethora of really cheap (like $100) CF bows that play pretty well. Low end manufacturers just get better and better.

I'm an Arcus owner and fan. You can argue that a good quality Arcus bow is worth $4,000 or $5,000 now because of how well it plays compared with comparably priced wooden bows. But what if some Arcus competitor finds a way to produce comparable quality hollow-stick bows for $1000, or $200? Will people pay $3,000 simply for the Arcus stamp? I would think probably not. Whereas people will pay $3,000 for a Voirin stamp, whether it plays well or not. The Voirin is a much safer long term investment.

August 5, 2019, 9:44 AM · I would also add that those of us who buy and use an Arcus bow have absolutely no illusions about their "investment value" (which is zero). Our primary criteria is playability and tone production, followed by a desire to avoid endangered wood species and other materials covered by CITES that makes international travel with it difficult.

It's unlikely that another maker would follow suit and copy the Arcus design because it behaves so differently from the average pernambuco or epoxy-CF bow on the market that there are not many adopters.

August 7, 2019, 11:25 PM · I know; it stinks! Shar has an awesome trade in policy for violins. Hopefully they will do their bows like that soon. I bought my bow from Johnson. These programs are very handy for slowly letting us afford nicer instruments.
August 8, 2019, 8:51 AM · It's been Shar's policy for a long time, at least since I found out the hard way about 20 years ago. That's why I've taken my business elsewhere.
August 12, 2019, 5:11 PM · Seman violins in the chicago area has 100% trade in on bows and violins. I’ve used the bow trade in policy about 4 times, and the violin policy once. I beleive they are doing more mail order transactions these days. Very nice selection of products as well, covering student to professional.
Edited: August 13, 2019, 4:46 AM · I never heard that bows improve over the years, not only that, but that they get worse, only problems appear: breaking, curving to one side, loose things...

I think that would be the reason they don't trade them in. In violins is the opposite, they do get better overtime, or, at least, we can guarantee they don't get worse, so it's a win-win situation and that's why shops trade violins in.

August 13, 2019, 8:46 AM · Some stores might offer you a trade in value on your Shar bow, but it probably isn't going to be 100%

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