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Selling Fiddles with a no return policy

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Aug 7, 2020 - 9:27:43 PM
40 posts since 12/9/2010

I've been shopping and am a little surprised that a good portion of the Fiddles recently listed for sale on this site have a no return policy. Don't you think that is a little out of line?

My two cents worth.

Aug 7, 2020 - 9:52:51 PM

1658 posts since 12/11/2008

It's true. The purchase of any musical instrument is a highly personal, subjective matter, especially one you're supposed to chuck under your chin for hours and hours. Yeah, I suppose the seller could send a video of it being played, but if in real life the thing turns out to scream like a banshee, make no more than the slightest, scratchiest whisper or, worse yet, possess some sort of debilitating flaw, it can result in one unhappy purchase.

Aug 8, 2020 - 7:14:02 AM

485 posts since 9/1/2010

Buying a vintage Martin D-28 or say an old Gibson Loar mandolin is less of a crapshoot. With fiddles, I feel there is much more of a gamble involved. I have played my cards on eBay purchases that were $300 or less and had great luck. At that price I know I could get at least half of my money back re-selling or trading. For someone to offer anything over $500 without the possibility of returning and no video/sound file is a definite red flag for me. Why would they not offer a return within a timeframe with the buyer paying the shipping expense?

Aug 8, 2020 - 7:20:05 AM
like this

5497 posts since 7/1/2007

quote:
Originally posted by jacroom

I've been shopping and am a little surprised that a good portion of the Fiddles recently listed for sale on this site have a no return policy. Don't you think that is a little out of line?

My two cents worth.


I always send fiddles out with a return label in the package. I don't get many back, but who needs unhappy customers when growth depends on referrals and reputation? Besides, I don't get charged unless the return label is used. I put up good photos and good demo videos on fiddles, so people usually have a pretty good idea what they are buying. Still an instrument sometimes isn't a good match. If people buy an instrument, the cost of shipping is included in the price; in the rare case they return an instrument, I refund all but the shipping cost. Most people don't incur that cost on a whim. There is the occasional butthead, but they are a cost of doing business everywhere. I think return privilege is a factor that all potential buyers should consider in making a purchase. It indicates a seller's confidence, and interest in customer satisfaction.

Edited by - KCFiddles on 08/08/2020 07:25:35

Aug 8, 2020 - 10:10:51 PM
like this

doryman

USA

54 posts since 2/10/2020

Yeah, I don't get it. Who in their right mind, for example, would go into a regular music store and buy a fiddle without playing it and without the ability to return it?

However, here's a tip. I'm also on the Banjo Hangout. Also a lot of banjos for sale with a no-return policy. Also insane, but banjos are very heavy and difficult and expensive to ship. A real pain in the arse for the average picker. So it is almost understandable that your average joe might not want to go through the experience of shipping a banjo more than once! BUT, every time I've contacted a seller privately indicating my very genuine and serious interest in their banjo, they have, without exception, agreed to a 2 or 3 day return window. As an aside, I have never returned any of those banjos. So, the take-home message, if you are very serious about buying a fiddle that has a no-return policy, talk to the seller, indicate your serious intent to buy and they may grant you a few days to try it out. If not, there are other fiddles in the sea.

Aug 9, 2020 - 9:22:33 AM

gapbob

USA

709 posts since 4/20/2008

Buddy MacMaster bought a EH Roth fiddle out of the Sears Catalog back in the 50s. It sounded pretty well.
I've ordered instruments to be made for me with generally good results.

Aug 9, 2020 - 10:17:16 AM

20 posts since 6/12/2015

A seller who has a few fiddles for sale in the classifieds right now doesn't take returns, but from my experience I wouldn't hesitate to buy anything he's selling. He takes good pictures, posts sound samples (surprisingly rare in online instrument sales), and (in my experience from the fiddle I bought from him) does a really good setup with good strings. His prices are reasonable, and his feedback reflects a lot of happy customers too. So taking all that into account the no-returns policy wouldn't deter me.

Aug 9, 2020 - 10:26:43 AM

DougD

USA

9768 posts since 12/2/2007

Yes, I looked and noticed the same thing. A longtime member with a good sellers rating. Still, an instrument just might not suit you, and I'm a little surprised he doesn't offer a return privilege.
BTW Bob, I think Sears always had a good return policy, since when they started in business ordering by mail was a new thing and people may have been skeptical.

Aug 9, 2020 - 4:31:06 PM

WyoBob

USA

128 posts since 5/16/2019

quote:
Originally posted by doryman

Yeah, I don't get it. Who in their right mind, for example, would go into a regular music store and buy a fiddle without playing it and without the ability to return it?

However, here's a tip. I'm also on the Banjo Hangout. Also a lot of banjos for sale with a no-return policy. Also insane, but banjos are very heavy and difficult and expensive to ship. A real pain in the arse for the average picker. So it is almost understandable that your average joe might not want to go through the experience of shipping a banjo more than once! BUT, every time I've contacted a seller privately indicating my very genuine and serious interest in their banjo, they have, without exception, agreed to a 2 or 3 day return window. As an aside, I have never returned any of those banjos. So, the take-home message, if you are very serious about buying a fiddle that has a no-return policy, talk to the seller, indicate your serious intent to buy and they may grant you a few days to try it out. If not, there are other fiddles in the sea.


I'm a Banjo Hangout member, too. (RV6).  I've bought 3 banjos from Hangout members and sold 5.  I wouldn't buy from someone who didn't offer returns and from all that I've sold, I've offered returns on all but one banjo.  No problem with the banjo I sold and the buyer was happy.  I just wasn't in the mood at the time to fool with the possibility of a return.  I also buy from people who have positive ratings.

I can understand the worry about no returns and there have been a few problems with purchases done with return privileges by a few folks on the BanjoHangout in the eight years I've been on that Hangout.   Not many, but if it happens to you, it's a bad thing.

Where we live, there's no option to go and try out a fiddle or bow so I did the online, mail order thing with Kennedy, Fiddlerman and the Bluegrass Shack.   The one I received from the Bluegrass Shack was perfect.   I modified the Kennedy to mimic the setup on the one from the "Shack" and that fiddle turned out perfect, too.  I sent the one back to the Fiddlershop the same day as I received it as the nut spacing and action was just too high for me to get along with.  Great service from the Fiddlershop, BTW and I like the C.F. bow I bought from them.

Aug 9, 2020 - 6:22:04 PM

Apltrez

USA

149 posts since 2/1/2008

Ditt to what Michael said. While I despise the idea of less than serious buyers or tire kickers I also don't want to stick someone with a fiddle they hate. For someone to bear the shipping to and fro means they really didn't like to instrument. But somebody out there will and it is time to move on.

Micheal, my friend, glad to see your are still kicking dirt around. Thanks for referring Dom to me. I think he is quite happy from the emails even though our paths haven't crossed.

Cheers
Greg
Las Cruces

Aug 9, 2020 - 7:14:18 PM

25 posts since 1/28/2018

restocking fees usually cure tire kickers...

Aug 9, 2020 - 7:59:09 PM

5497 posts since 7/1/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Apltrez


Micheal, my friend, glad to see your are still kicking dirt around. Thanks for referring Dom to me. I think he is quite happy from the emails even though our paths haven't crossed.

Cheers
Greg
Las Cruces


Thanks, Greg, and likewise! Life does keep one pretty occupied sometimes. It was a pleasure meeting Dom, and I'm glad I could put him  and that banjer together. Hope he's till getting good use out of it.

Aug 23, 2020 - 12:44:44 AM

346 posts since 8/21/2007

Great to see you Micheal. I have been away from the FH as well.

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