Thanks for those quick responses. I've had a browse to the Hobgoblin site, that one looks nice, commission sale is fine but I think it's a little overpriced for a baritone.
The 1858 Wheatstone looks good too, unfortunately we get stung for the VAT and other charges when importing, the GBP is way down in value against the USD at the moment which makes a big difference.
I fancy the one at Red Cow, it's the right instrument and a good price, but the price could be a lot lower. VAT is a problem. You might ask why, we all have to pay VAT when we buy stuff. Yes, that's true, but . . . there's always a but
VAT is charged on the increase in value. In the case of the commission sale VAT would only be payable on the commission element, and usually the seller would be billed for the commission so the seller would pay the VAT on the commission.
I did email Red Cow to ask about the price because on their website it shows the price with and without VAT. As it's a used instrument it qualifies for the VAT Margin Scheme. Why is that important you might ask?
Here's how the Margin Scheme works . . .
Dealer buys concertina for say £1,000 from private seller. Adds 20% markup, so selling at £1,200
If the normal standard rate VAT is charged then the buyer pays £1,200 + 20% VAT (£240) = £1,440
If the margin scheme is used, then the VAT is only payable on the dealer's margin of £200, so the VAT is £40 and the selling price is £1,240
£200 less cost to the buyer and the dealer makes the same profit. Details are here on the government website.
Looking at it another way, VAT was paid on the full price of the concertina when it was sold as new, so when it is resold as a used item the government has already had their VAT, they really are only entitled to VAT on the increase in value, which is the dealer's margin. If the dealer doesn't use the margin scheme then the buyer gets overcharged and the only winner is the government because they collect the VAT again.
I emailed Red Cow and suggested they use the Margin Scheme but have not had a response.
You might be wondering - yes, my business is VAT registered, so unfortunately I need to know this stuff