Buying Violins on Ebay
I’ve been meaning to post this for a really long time and haven’t gotten around to it. I’ve had students buy violins from E-bay and overall I think it’s not a great idea. The violins are never really in great shape (they don’t have a properly fit bridge, pegs are not fit right or are not made of quality materials, etc.) and students end up fighting against their instruments so much that it hinders their learning abilities.
It’s best to find a local shop that provides instruments, and know the questions to ask the dealers. If a violin shop is giving less than full value for an instrument when you trade it in for the next size this is a bad sign. Granted it needs to be in good shape, but violins do not depreciate in value unless they are beaten up. If you can’t find a local shop there are several places that rent out all over the place. My favorite (I worked there for two summers, can you blame me?) is Robertson and Sons Violin Shop. They provide very good violins whether you’re interested in student quality or professional instruments. Overall, it’s best to consult you teacher for advice.
For another article on eBay violins go to Perfect Fifths; Beware the eBay violin.