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Fiddle Lovers Online


Dec 2, 2022 - 6:30:13 AM
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12 posts since 11/20/2022

I just need a place to vent. I've been wanting to play violin forever and finally decided to pull the trigger after playing one at a music store and falling in love. I loved the Eastman VL 305 and ended up looking online & found a used one on ebay for a really great price. After speaking with the owner several times and impatiently waiting for him to get back from vacation so I could buy it, I bought it. I was bouncing off the walls excited. This was this past Sunday. I have not been able to reach him since the Thursday before I bought it, and the violin still hasn't shipped (it was supposed to be here by today at the latest). It's not like he ghosted me after I bought it, he was super quick to respond the first few days, then quit responding a few days before I bought it. I don't believe eBay pays you out until you ship the item, so I don't think he's got my money yet either.

My heart is set on this violin and I can't afford a brand new one. I'm not sure what to do here. I feel like something happened to the guy over the holiday and I want to give him more time because I love this model & it's a great price. Plus I've already bought all the accessories needed since it was just the violin & a cheap case, nothing else. But I can't wait forever with $700 tied up and no violin to show for it. At this point, in order to start my lessons on Monday that I've paid for I'm going to have to go rent a violin. I wanted to get one month of lessons in before I have to have wrist surgery and won't be able to play much for several weeks after.

What would you do in this situation? It's a great violin at an great price. Obviously I'm super eager to get it since it's my first violin and I just want to start playing. I just feel bummed out, like the universe is telling me I can't learn. Thanks for letting me vent!

Dec 2, 2022 - 6:32:31 AM
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14146 posts since 9/23/2009

I sure understand how you feel. I don't know much about how ebay works, but I think if possible I would contact the guy and ask him what the status of the shipping is by now...don't know enough to know if that's what you can do, but I sure would contact him. Hope you get it soon.

Dec 2, 2022 - 6:38:08 AM
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2496 posts since 10/1/2008

So often things don't lay out like we expect or want. Patience, Padawan . . . . and a bit of good luck. R/

Dec 2, 2022 - 6:48:34 AM
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12 posts since 11/20/2022

quote:
Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

I sure understand how you feel. I don't know much about how ebay works, but I think if possible I would contact the guy and ask him what the status of the shipping is by now...don't know enough to know if that's what you can do, but I sure would contact him. Hope you get it soon.


I have, I think 3 times now since the purchase. Next week I will probably contact eBay to see if they can reach him. I don't want to cancel the purchase yet in case something happened and it's just going to take extra time. It's just agonizing not knowing. 

Dec 2, 2022 - 6:55:54 AM
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14146 posts since 9/23/2009

Yeah...I can see how that'll drive you crazy. Hope you can get it cleared up and get your violin soon.

Dec 2, 2022 - 7:02:35 AM
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RichJ

USA

801 posts since 8/6/2013

A tracking number is usually issued as soon as the package is dropped off to the shipper (UPS/USPS/Fed Ex). If one hasn't been issued by this time then the guy has likely not got the violin to a shipper. That might be something to worry about. If a tracking number has been issued you should at least be able to find out where the violin is. The mail does move slower this time of year so a bit of patience may be in order as well. Sure wishing you Good Luck.

Dec 2, 2022 - 7:04:45 AM
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Erockin

USA

253 posts since 9/3/2022

My situation was similar but not the same. I purchased mine unplayable and I had to make appointment for set up. Then that process was about 2 weeks so all in all about a month. It seemed like an eternity but in the end, it all was worth the wait. You'll be so happy when it does and I agree, that's a good deal. Consider this time of year, things take longer and the shipping world for which I live is taking longer.
In the meantime, keep consuming videos and music to get you pumped! Good luck...I hope it gets shipped soon.

Dec 2, 2022 - 7:33:31 AM
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12 posts since 11/20/2022

Thanks for the support all. I'm trying my best to be patient. I've been reading and watching lots of videos in the meantime. No tracking/shipping info has been sent and nothing shows on ebay, it's just basically in limbo right now. I'll keep everyone updated as to what happens. Hopefully the guy is alright and nothing bad happened over the holiday.

In the meantime, I'm going to go to a nearby luthier tomorrow to look at their rentals so I don't have to miss lessons. They also make very expensive custom violins, so it should be a fun trip!

Dec 2, 2022 - 7:55:53 AM
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Old Scratch

Canada

1091 posts since 6/22/2016

You're not jumping to conclusions, anyway, which is often the temptation in such circumstances. I was once in a situation where the shoe was on the other foot - someone had one of my violins and the payment or return was not forthcoming - and I eventually wrote an angry email - but, fortunately, thought better of it before I hit 'send'. I don't want to get into the whole sad story, but when I finally found out what had happened on the other end, let's just say I was glad I had restrained myself .....

Dec 2, 2022 - 11:29:26 AM

972 posts since 3/1/2020

Check the eBay listing for the expected arrival time when you bought it. If that date has passed and you don’t have any tracking info, the package isn’t on its way. As soon as it goes to a shipper, you get messages from the carrier and from eBay confirming that a label has been created, then emails confirming that they’ve been shipped and providing tracking info.

If contacting the seller hasn’t produced any results, go through eBay. They will contact the seller to ask what’s going on.

It’s possible that the seller is just having trouble getting the violin shipped for some personal reason. If so, you ought to be informed, but you can hope for the best. Be aware, though, that there is a chance this is a scam. I bought a book once that didn’t arrive for weeks. Two weeks after the date it was supposed to arrive I still hadn’t gotten notification that a label had been created. I opened a case with eBay and the book arrived a little while later. When I opened it, the book was not right (pages missing, random blank pages, many impressions so poor that it was illegible, nothing like the photos). Since the package arrived I had to answer that it had been delivered, which closed the case. Because that case had been closed, eBay would not allow me to open another about the book not being as advertised, and I was unable to get a refund. When I tried to leave negative feedback on the seller’s page, I was not allowed to do so because, again, the case I’d opened was closed. Unfortunately, there are some sellers on eBay who post things that they don’t have in order to prevent other sellers from making sales. They’ll come up with excuses for not having the products in stock or they’ll send something different. This happens all the time with string sets.

Best wishes. I think it’s true that eBay holds the money for some time, but I’m not sure if it’s until the package ships or if it’s held for a period of 30 days or something like that, so that helps you a little.

eBay is great for a lot of things, but about 99.9% of the stories about buying a violin there are horror stories.

Dec 2, 2022 - 11:48:27 AM
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693 posts since 7/30/2021

It may be that your teacher has got an extra violin which you can use at your first lesson?
Often, teachers have "Loaners" lying around...

Or does a friend have one you can borrow for a bit? Many kids take lessons and quit, and their instrument gathers dust in the back room...

I hope you don't have a Flaky Seller!
At the very least, he should respond to emails/messages with a bit of reassurance...I hope your fiddle arrives soon! :-)
 

(And sadly, there are scams...not to derail thread, but a very nice family came to our door and I bought $20 worth of Girl Scout cookies from them...which never ever were delivered...I didn't think about it until several months later. At least I hope the money helped them out and they put it to good use...)

Edited by - NCnotes on 12/02/2022 11:50:47

Dec 2, 2022 - 12:05:14 PM
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DougD

USA

10986 posts since 12/2/2007

I just might mention that you "loved" the instrument you played in the music store, not the one on ebay. Although its the same model and should sound similar, all instruments are different - they're not like Tupperware. Although I've had some good experiences with ebay, I would really hesitate to buy an instrument without playing it first. If you're thinking of visiting a local luthier to investigate rentals you might see what they have for sale in case this doesn't work out.
That said, I hope it does work out and the violin is everything you're hoping for.

Dec 2, 2022 - 2:35:28 PM
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banjopaolo

Italy

257 posts since 9/14/2010

Hi Julie
I'm not familiar with ebay so I can't help you but I wish you solve the problem soon and get your violin in time for your lessons... Good Luck! :-)

Dec 2, 2022 - 3:44:24 PM

12 posts since 11/20/2022

@the-violin-beautiful
Well that's scary! Glad you told me your experience though, it seems that seller knew about the case loophole and was able to get one over on you! I had no idea once a case was closed you're out of luck. If I end up having to create a case I'll have to choose wisely. Today was the expect-by date. But I know with people traveling over the holidays unexpected things can happen, so I'm going to give it more time. I would rather wait & get this violin than have to look for another option. Fingers crossed.

@NCnotes I did check with the teacher & the music store where the lessons are held, no full size violins available right now so I'm out of luck there.

@DougD I am aware the same model can and will sound different across different serial numbers. I've been along with my boyfriend for multiple guitar purchases and have seen it firsthand. But the 305 in general has a mellow & darker sound that I like. I can't afford a new intermediate model violin, so unfortunately I can't just go to a store & try multiple models to choose from. I wish I could. But with PayPals protection program I felt confident going for this one. I am going to visit a nearby shop tomorrow though to look at their rentals & used violins in case this falls through.

Dec 2, 2022 - 4:49:32 PM
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6096 posts since 9/26/2008

I play a 305 - it is a nice fiddle and indeed does have a darker sound with good tone, though I wouldn't call it mellow at all. Good luck with Ebay. I've only purchased one item, a second generation Feadog penny whistle. No issues, but also not much ventured.

Dec 3, 2022 - 4:54:18 AM
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12 posts since 11/20/2022

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

I play a 305 - it is a nice fiddle and indeed does have a darker sound with good tone, though I wouldn't call it mellow at all. Good luck with Ebay. I've only purchased one item, a second generation Feadog penny whistle. No issues, but also not much ventured.


Nice to meet someone who plays one! How long have you been playing and was the 305 an upgrade for you? I'm curious what strings you like best on it. The person I'm getting to buy from has recommended pirastro tonica with the gold label E string. What are your thoughts? 

Dec 3, 2022 - 10:58:43 AM
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6096 posts since 9/26/2008

I've had the fiddle for... I don't know, maybe 7 - 8 years, been playing since mid 90s on several old German fiddles from the hey day of catalog fiddles (1890s - 1920's). It was definitely an upgrade. I use Prim strings (with their Lisa E) because I do a bit of cross tuning. It came to me with Tonica strings (I think) which were nice sounding, just not durable. I play for barn dances, old time music and in a bluegrass band. I also have a nice old fiddle that was revoiced by Royce Burt that I love but is in need of repair that is my favorite, mostly due to its smooth as butter playability. But the Eastman is my workhorse.

Dec 17, 2022 - 7:06:25 AM
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83 posts since 12/26/2021

It's been a couple of weeks so I'm wondering if you ever got your fiddle?

Dec 17, 2022 - 11:08:14 AM

6096 posts since 9/26/2008

We've corresponded and I think she's looking into a fiddle from Royce Burt.

Dec 17, 2022 - 11:32:27 AM
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12 posts since 11/20/2022

quote:
Originally posted by crunchie812

It's been a couple of weeks so I'm wondering if you ever got your fiddle?


I did not unfortunately. I tried reaching out to the person through my boyfriends account to see if he would respond about another listing. I figured if he responds then it's a scam, and if he doesn't that something genuinely must have happened. He never responded so I ended up opening a case and getting eBay to refund my money. They made it easy enough, just had to wait the 3 days for them to step in after opening case. 

I have been speaking with a few folks on the forum that work on violins and am looking at some options for a different violin now. But of course I had an unexpected break down on my septic a few days ago, which replacing just so happens to cost almost exactly what I was looking to pay for a violin. I swear I'm hitting roadblocks every which way. I'm trying to tell myself it's not a sign lol!

But alas, hopefully all goes well and I'll soon end up with a nice violin so I can return this terrible rental I'm using! I'll keep you updated. 

Dec 17, 2022 - 5:04:35 PM

2157 posts since 12/11/2008

If you have any fiddle/violin/serious musical instrument shops within reasonable distance, phone/text/email 'em and tell them of your interest. Make it a fun adventure. Go to as many as you can. See if you can relate to the weirdness with which you brace the instrument between your shoulder and chin/jaw/whatever so you can saw away with your other hand. Wrest some sound out of 'em. Watch the salesperson perform his/her magic as they generate beautiful, compelling sound. Enjoy the journey. Make it an event.

Edited by - Lonesome Fiddler on 12/17/2022 17:06:03

Dec 17, 2022 - 7:11:36 PM
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bacfire

USA

23 posts since 3/26/2008

I'll vouch for Royce Burt and his fiddles. I have two and, as Chickenman suggested, Royce's setup is enough to sell the fiddle.

I've been to his house and played at least 25 of his instruments. There were no bad ones that I saw and all were worth more than the asking price, IMO. Royce is very patient and easy to work with; a great guy, even if he is a banjerpicker.

Dec 18, 2022 - 3:51:30 AM
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12 posts since 11/20/2022

quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

If you have any fiddle/violin/serious musical instrument shops within reasonable distance, phone/text/email 'em and tell them of your interest. Make it a fun adventure. Go to as many as you can. See if you can relate to the weirdness with which you brace the instrument between your shoulder and chin/jaw/whatever so you can saw away with your other hand. Wrest some sound out of 'em. Watch the salesperson perform his/her magic as they generate beautiful, compelling sound. Enjoy the journey. Make it an event.


You know I actually did lol, I made a big list of just about every place in Ohio and called them all up over 2 days. Only one had one of the Eastman's I was originally looking to buy although way overpriced, and some of them had some great used ones in my budget according to what they said. I was hoping to do exactly that, go visit a few shops & make a day of it but things have been so busy lately with vacation coming up. We'll see what ends up happening. I would prefer to buy this way, trying several until the one "speaks" to me. Fingers crossed, whatever ends up happening I'll end up with one I really love.

Dec 21, 2022 - 9:27:38 AM
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35 posts since 6/20/2022

quote:
Originally posted by MissyLee5
quote:
Originally posted by crunchie812

It's been a couple of weeks so I'm wondering if you ever got your fiddle?


I did not unfortunately. . He never responded so I ended up opening a case and getting eBay to refund my money. They made it easy enough, just had to wait the 3 days for them to step in after opening case. 

I have been speaking with a few folks on the forum that work on violins and am looking at some options for a different violin now.

Sorry this happened, glad you got your refund. I've purchased several instruments (mostly electronic ones) thru Ebay & Reverb. Sold a lot too. I've been lucky so far.
As far as fiddles...I was going to a local jam with my cheap banjo, but I never thought I'd play a fiddle until I saw one at a flea market. $20. I said "what do I have to lose? only $20." A student model...'Cecilio mendini". This was a great fiddle to learn on. I did take it for set up one time, and put the Wittner fine-tuners on. It sounded & played pretty well. The only problem was it was kind of low volume. I bought a more expensive model & took the wittner fine-tune pegs off & put them on my new fiddle.
My point is, maybe you can find a cheap fiddle in your local facebook marketplace or some such, and keep it to learn on, until a Really Good fiddle comes along. I'd ask where you're located and if you're in southeast PA maybe you could borrow it.

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