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Jeffries for sale - Canada


rowanramsay
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I am considering selling my great-uncle's Jeffries 38-key concertina. It needs complete refurbishing, estimated at about $2500 CDN to do the work. Is it better to sell it in as-is condition now, or have the refurbishment done first, then sell for a better price? Thanks for any information you can provide!

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Rowan

 

This looks to be a 30 button concertina rather than a 38 - a misprint? Do you have any more photos you can share with us?

 

There are a couple of people not far from you who are very experienced in both playing and repairing/restoring concertinas, including a Jeffries such as this. They're on this forum regularly and I'm sure they'd give you an honest opinion. If you want to send me a private mail, I'll see if they've seen this as well and want to be put in contact with you

 

Alex West

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Is it better to sell it in as-is condition now, or have the refurbishment done first, then sell for a better price?

There are pros and cons.

 

The main advantage is to remove uncertainty over what a buyer is buying. Uncertainty over condition depresses the price, or at least should do so. Though confusingly the market (ie ebay) has certainly been known to overpay for unrestored concertinas from time to time. Though if you know it the condition is about as bad as it looks it might be, then probably it makes little difference. It is the situation where it isn't as bad as it might be that you may have difficulty communicating that convincingly to the market. In restoring it yourself, it is important to be able to quote the name of the reputable restorer who did it, and be able to convincingly demonstrate it has been fully restored to modern playing condition. Because some sharp operators partially restore concertinas hoping to be able to sell it as "restored" when in fact the job hasn't been fully done. The other advantage is that it gives a potential purchaser an immediately usable concertina, without the annoyance of having to commission their own restoration.

 

The disadvantages are a bit more subtle. What is your ability to commission a suitable restoration and get it at a fair price (because the more you pay the less profit you make). Are there significant choices to be made in the restoration, and can you judge what choices would best maximise the value of the concertina (compared to the cost of restoration)? How certain are you that when the restorer starts restoring he won't discover hidden defects which add to the cost of the restoration?

 

Certainly a competent dealer would commission a restoration before sale, because he will be experienced in commissioning them, get it done for less than most of us, and will no doubt trust his own judgment on what options will maximise the value of the concertina.

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Some points to consider:

 

A trade buyer will always prefer in instrument in 'as found' condition to one that has been worked on by someone without a good reputation.

Knowledgeable players may prefer to have work done by their own trusted repair person.

Getting a good restoration done before selling may take many months. Most of the well regarded repairers have long order books.

 

So it is genearlly not likely to be to your advantage to pay for restoration work before selling.

 

Another option you might consider is that some repairers will undertake to renovate the instrument and sell it on commission for you.

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Wow! If the buttons were teeth, it could eat corn on the cobb through a chain link fence...like some of my former girlfriends.

I've never seen a Jeffries in person or pictures of one in pieces. It looks to me like the guides at the bottom of the buttons are broken off or the guide holes are greatly worn (If they have them)

 

Question for those who do such things - Why is it so expensive to put a Jeffries back to playing order when you can get a Lachenal in about the same condition restored for around $1,000 US?

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I just can't see the difference unless there's a great difference in material cost.

Thanks

Edited by drbones
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Some points to consider:

 

A trade buyer will always prefer in instrument in 'as found' condition to one that has been worked on by someone without a good reputation.

Knowledgeable players may prefer to have work done by their own trusted repair person.

Getting a good restoration done before selling may take many months. Most of the well regarded repairers have long order books.

 

So it is genearlly not likely to be to your advantage to pay for restoration work before selling.

 

Another option you might consider is that some repairers will undertake to renovate the instrument and sell it on commission for you.

These are all good points. I would add that a private seller's "restored" statement doesn't care the same weight as one from a respected dealer or restorer, especially since the dealer/restorer is likely to stand behind the restoration and address any problems that might arise in the initial months after sale, which you as a seller would not be able to do.

 

One more option would be to get a problem list/repair estimate from a restorer and post that along with the sale notice.

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Wow! If the buttons were teeth, it could eat corn on the cobb through a chain link fence...like some of my former girlfriends.

I've never seen a Jeffries in person or pictures of one in pieces. It looks to me like the guides at the bottom of the buttons are broken off or the guide holes are greatly worn (If they have them)

 

Question for those who do such things - Why is it so expensive to put a Jeffries back to playing order when you can get a Lachenal in about the same condition restored for around $1,000 US?

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I just can't see the difference unless there's a great difference in material cost.

Thanks

 

well, yes, there are differences in material costs. any original jeffries' spares are harder to come by than for lachenals, because they are in higher demand, and rarer. also, you are paying for someone to put extra care into the instrument. jeffries are (overall) much better than lachenals. it takes significantly more time to fix a jeffries, because you have to be more careful, spend more time finding the right parts, etc. sure, you could find a reed for a jeffries, but does it match in tone color and sound? these considerations are not as important for lachenals, because it simply does not make as big of a difference.

 

if you have one reed on a lachenal that is just ok, it won't ruin your experience with the instrument, because all of the reeds are not likely to be that great anyways. if you ruin a reed on a jeffries, then it will make a huge difference. 59 reeds that speak as softly as a whisper and can blow the roof off the house will not play nicely with one reed that plays as well as a lachenal reed.

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These are all good points. I would add that a private seller's "restored" statement doesn't care the same weight as one from a respected dealer or restorer, especially since the dealer/restorer is likely to stand behind the restoration and address any problems that might arise in the initial months after sale, which you as a seller would not be able to do.

 

The problem is when the dealer has had the restoration made by a restorer, and then they end up both blaming each other when there's a problem without anyone taking responsability, leaving the buyer screwed up. It happened to me, live and learn ;-)

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There is a saying in the Antiques Trade that "the first profit is the best profit" !

 

Jeffries Anglo Concertinas in any condition are like gold dust, but a premium price is most likely to be paid by a player in the Republic of Ireland or a collector/dealer in the UK.

 

Either way they will have to pay Duty and V.A.T. on their purchase, (between 25% & 40%). If it is restored in Canada (and I could reccomend a highly reputable one in Canada, and several in the USA); they will effectively be paying extra tax on the cost of restoration as well as the cost of the instrument; which would affect the maximum price a bidder was willing to pay.

 

Put it on international eBay as it is, preferably with internal photographs to show that there are no important bits missing, and with the note that a Canadian restorer has quoted $2500 for restoration.

 

I would endorse everything that Theo has said above, good luck,

Inventor.

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