Trade in policy
I recently tried out a couple violins from Robertson’s about a week ago, and most were in my opinion, a little lackluster(I was trying violins in the 4-6k range), but one in particular I found had an brilliant and rich sound, a violin made by Christian Pedersen. The only thing that bugged me was the look, the were small holes within the varnish(not actual holes, just gaps where it didn’t match with the rest of the violin), and also a long mark that goes through one of the f holes. I’m wondering if any of you guys have experience with Robertson’s and their trade in policy. Would I be able to trade in this violin for another of the same maker if available?
My guess is that dealer trade-up policies are about what you paid for the previous violin. Of course you should ask for a letter of appraisal with the violin, and this letter should contain a verbose description of its appearance so that you are not blamed for causing those marks by mistreating the instrument somehow.
Paul: Yes the white specks is just rosin, I was in the middle of practicing. I do have a letter of appraisal, though I admit I do not understand most of it. It just states that the top “has varying narrow to medium width grain across”, which I have no idea what that means.
If they are selling the violin on consignment, then doubtful any shop will take it back as a trade in - but they will likely try and sell it for you (ask what their consignment fee is). If they own the violin outright, you might have a better chance at it - but obviously, just ask! This is a perfectly reasonable question only they can answer ;).
Isn't Pedersen the staff luthier there? If he's actively making they should be able to set you up with trials as new ones come available.
Note the last one on Robertson's list -- you can't transfer your trade-up value to a third party. At Potter your trade-up value goes by half when transferred to a third party. These policies are intended to keep other dealers from honoring a competitor's trade-up policy.
The marks look to me like the maker's "antiquing" to give it the look of older instruments. As others have said, Robertson's trade in policy is that if you buy the instrument from their inventory, they will accept it back for what you paid for it if you trade it in for another instrument in their inventory. In other words, if what you are trading in, or what you are trading in for is a consignment instrument, then it doesn't apply.
Yes Peterson is one of their in-house luthiers.
Karl, sorry for my naivety, but what is a consignment instrument. If you are asking if I bought the instrument from Robertson’s directly, then yes I did. I used their approval program and had requested 3 violins in the 5-6k range sent to me and I bought one of them. Hope that clears anything up.
A consignment instrument is not part of the dealer's regular inventory. It is being sold by the dealer on behalf of its owner, usually for a very hefty cut of the sale (such as half).
Standard consignment is 25% for the dealer 35% tops, no one charges 50% unless it includes restoration and set up
I let a fractional cello go at 50% consignment but it did need a lot of work. Luthier said it needed a new bridge cut and the fingerboard planed. I was glad to be rid of it, as all my attempts at FSBO were fruitless.
Paul, I don't think that counts as 50% dealer fee.