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Buying Violins on Ebay

May 11, 2006

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.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2006 8:15 am

    So true! You should see most of the bassoons people pick up off of ebay… better for making a lamp than playing!

  2. Jodie permalink
    May 14, 2006 10:40 pm

    I’ve just seen so many students struggle with their instruments and they shouldn’t have to. I’m very spoiled because I grew up in a town where there were always good student violins.

  3. May 24, 2006 2:16 pm

    I must say that I was one person who actually sold a decent violin online, but I sold mine on Craigslist and not ebay (mostly so the person could see it in person and also to avoid shipping a delicate instrument — the clarinet I shipped, but not the violin). It was time to face the fact that none of us could conceivably play a 1/4 size violin, so perhaps it was time to pass it on to someone who would enjoy it.

    Don’t worry, Jodie, I still have my full size violin and keep thinking about picking it up again; perhaps I’ll get to it once I’ve moved.

  4. Jodie permalink
    May 31, 2006 9:30 am

    When you said you sold your violin I was worried at first. I’m glad that you still have your full size. Keep thinking about picking it up, you’ll get back to it. Plus you know if you need any music recommendations….

    Craigslist makes more sense to me, because you can actually get a chance to see it before you buy it. There are just so many crappy violins out there, and plenty of people willing to make money off of them.

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